4-year 100,000-kilometer Tesla Model 3 Imported Long-Range Endurance Experience Summary

A few days before the arrival of the new year, I drove thousands of kilometers from Beijing to my hometown in Guangxi. The total mileage driven has exceeded 100,000 kilometers. You can watch the full video on my YouTube channel / Bilibili. Feel free to subscribe and follow. The video version of this article will be updated later.

So, what changes will the Tesla Model 3 experience after driving 100,000 kilometers? Let's find out together!


  • Battery degradation: Slight decrease in range (5%), estimated to be a reduction of about 30 kilometers;
  • Exterior changes: The white paint has slightly yellowed, which is more noticeable when compared to a new car of the same model;
  • Maintenance: Tires, front wheel steering, white leather interior and driver's seat, central control display, mudguards.

Vehicle configuration:

  • White paint and white seat interior selected as options;
  • FSD Full Self-Driving package selected;
  • Long Range - 18-inch standard power wheels;
  • Panasonic battery, seems to be the 74 kWh version.

Below, we will summarize the battery degradation, exterior changes, maintenance, vehicle system and assisted driving, bugs, and other aspects. Finally, I will share my vehicle system configuration and prospects for changing cars.

1. Battery Degradation#

This is one of the first imported long-range models in 2019. The new car was labeled with an NEDC-rated range of 668 kilometers, and the EPA range displayed in the car at the time of delivery was 521 kilometers. The EPA range estimate for 100,000 kilometers is very accurate.

The range varies with driving habits, and the 521-kilometer range was only seen in the first month after delivery. After that, I never saw that number again, and the overall impression is around 480-490 kilometers.

Currently, at 50% charge, the displayed range is 249 kilometers. Theoretically, when fully charged to 100%, the range should be close to 500 kilometers, but this is just a reference number. After 100,000 kilometers, the recent full charge displayed 468 kilometers, without scientific measurement, it seems that the range is about 30 kilometers less according to the displayed estimate. But I think this number is acceptable, as the actual driving range can still exceed 400 kilometers, leaving about 30-50 kilometers of range for charging. The energy consumption for the recent 10,000 kilometers is 138 Wh/km, which is equivalent to driving about 7 kilometers per kWh of electricity.
For daily charging, more than 80% is done using DC fast charging, and I have a portable charger for temporary use.

2. Exterior Changes#

About a year or two ago, I noticed that when my white car was parked next to a new Model 3 of the same color, my white car had a slight yellowish tint. However, if you don't compare them, it still looks like a normal white car. The car is often parked under the sun and has not been covered with a car cover. It is said that the car paint maintenance at the car wash shop can fix this issue, but I don't know how effective it is.

Apart from the slight yellowing of the color, there have been no significant changes in the exterior. However, upon closer inspection, there are many signs of bumps and scratches on the wheels.

3. Maintenance#

  • Quality assurance annual inspection

During the 4-year/80,000-kilometer warranty period, I go to the service center for maintenance every year or when the mileage reaches 10,000-20,000 kilometers. The main maintenance includes replacing the air conditioning filter, and I don't have much impression of other items. Currently, the main components of the battery and motor still have an 8-year/190,000-kilometer warranty.

  • Warranty repairs

There have been a few instances where I had to bring the car in for warranty repairs. One was a noticeable creaking sound from the front wheel steering or when parking, which was related to the "ball joint seal" recall issue, and both sides were fixed with better parts. Currently, there are occasional similar noises as well.

  • Tires

The tires are equipped with factory-installed Michelin low-noise tires. Since I drove 30,000-50,000 kilometers in the first two years and didn't have time to rotate the tires, the tire wear is significant, and I have been using them as they are. The wheels also have multiple noticeable scratches, and I plan to replace the entire set when the time is right.

  • Tire mudguards

The mudguards on all four wheels have been eroded by rain, snow, and gravel over the years, and they seem to be falling apart. Currently, the mudguards are the most urgent item to replace.

  • Driver's seat and white interior

The driver's seat is equipped with "Easy Entry," and the seat position is frequently adjusted when getting in and out of the car. During the warranty period, there have been three or four instances of malfunctions, such as the seat not being able to move forward or backward, and seat belt warning malfunctions, mainly due to problems with the seat track motor and wiring harness connectors. Currently, this issue still occasionally occurs, but I have become accustomed to it.

The white interior I chose as an option currently has noticeable cracks on the driver's seat, with many small cracks appearing during travel. Black marks are particularly visible on the white seats.

  • Door handles

The door handles often have problems not fully retracting in winter, and they need to be pushed back down. It is said that spraying WD-40 can solve the issue. I have gotten used to pressing them down when getting in the car.

In summary, I rarely maintain the car, which is relatively worry-free. I occasionally add windshield washer fluid and inflate the tires.

4. Vehicle System and Assisted Driving#

Tesla pushes out new software versions almost every month, sometimes several times a month during frequent periods, and there is also a major "red envelope" version every year.

Over the years, the updates that have left a deep impression on me are:

  1. FSD Full Self-Driving: The navigation driving assistance can automatically enter and exit highways, which is very useful for switching highways during long trips. It mainly automatically slows down near exits to avoid missing them. However, there is still a lot of room for improvement in driving stability. For example, the speed before exiting the highway is still too high, causing possible swaying at intersections, and the speed remains fixed and slow when leaving curves, causing traffic congestion for following vehicles. On a scale of 10, this feature only gets a 3-4 rating.
  2. Map navigation: Supports zooming in on intersections and adding waypoints and avoiding toll booths.
  3. Gesture cards: Swiping the bottom left corner of the screen can switch between music and view information such as mileage, energy consumption, and tire pressure. This feature was available early on but disappeared for a whole year for no apparent reason.
  4. Automatic parking: Supports visual fusion automatic parking, which is often used when parking in side positions.
  5. Camp mode: Allows you to comfortably sleep in the car with the air conditioning on. It consumes about 50-60 kilometers of range in 8 hours, and it can be replenished in a few minutes with fast charging.
  6. Sentry mode: Has not been put to use yet, but it provides more peace of mind.
  7. Blind spot camera: When the turn signal is activated, the corresponding side camera view is displayed on the screen.
  8. Games and videos: Can play games and watch videos while parked or charging to pass the time.
  9. Hold mode: Supports the "Hold" option, which is the "one-pedal" mode that many people find confusing.
  10. Lock reminder: Automatically closes windows when locking the car, and sends a reminder to the phone if the doors and front/rear trunks are not closed.
  11. Handwriting input: Very convenient for setting navigation while driving, especially for those whose Mandarin is not standard. The recognition rate is high when using gestures.

5. Bugs and Shortcomings:#

  • Delayed safety alerts: When driving close to large trucks or on narrow roads with oncoming vehicles or pedestrians, the in-car warning system is easily triggered, and sometimes there is a slight phantom braking. It is not predicting a collision, but rather giving a warning after passing the potential danger. Usually, at such times, I cancel the assisted driving or hold the steering wheel firmly to be ready to take control of the vehicle.
  • Indistinct cruise control status: I rarely use cruise control, but when using assisted driving (AP), there is a certain probability that only cruise control is activated without the driver noticing. The difference is that assisted driving takes control of both steering and acceleration/deceleration, while cruise control only controls the speed without steering. Sometimes I realize that the car is drifting before noticing. In terms of UI presentation, it is only possible to tell if cruise control is activated by observing the small icon on the steering wheel and the color of the speed limit number, which is not very intuitive.
  • Setting adjustments without confirmation: When sliding to adjust settings, the settings may change unintentionally, and incorrect settings may be automatically saved.
  • Unable to navigate extremely long distances on the map: For example, if I navigate from Beijing to Guangxi without enabling charging planning, there will be no result.
  • Controls:
    • Lights: Automatic
    • Wipers: Automatic
    • Brightness: Automatic
  • Pedals and Steering:
    • Driving mode: Comfort
    • Steering mode: Comfort or Standard
    • Hold mode: Hold - Fuel car owners can consider whether to enable it
    • Regenerative braking: Standard
    • Enable braking when energy recovery is limited: Enabled
  • Charging:
    • Charging limit: 80%
    • Scheduled charging: For home charging, set it to start charging after 22:00 or reach full charge before 8:00, corresponding to the low-demand period of the power grid.
  • AP (Autopilot):
    • Autosteer: Enabled
    • Navigate on Autopilot: Enabled
      • Start on vehicle start: Yes
      • Exit passing lane: No
      • Require lane change confirmation: Yes
    • Driving visualization: Enabled
    • Summon: Enabled
      • Summon distance: 12 meters
      • Enable by pressing and holding: No, not using it supports automatic parking in front and behind when getting out of the car
      • Standby mode
        • On - Except for home, work, and favorite addresses, only enable it in unfamiliar locations
    • Set speed: Speed limit
    • Autoblindspot camera: Enabled
    • Speed limit warning: Display
    • Forward collision warning: Early
    • Lane departure avoidance: Warning
    • Emergency lane departure avoidance: Enabled
    • Automatic emergency braking: Enabled
    • Obstacle-aware acceleration: Enabled
  • Locks:
    • Auto lock when walking away: Enabled
    • Unlock on park: Enabled
    • Lock reminder: Doors and windows
    • Lock confirmation sound: Enabled
    • Close windows when locking: Enabled
  • Lights:
    • Ambient lights: Enabled
    • Autoturn lights: Automatically turn off
    • Auto high beam: Enabled
  • Display:
    • Appearance: Automatic
  • Navigation:
    • Autonavigation: Enabled
  • Safety:
    • Sentry mode: On - Except for home, work, and favorite addresses
    • Dashcam: Auto + honk
    • Cabin overheat protection: No A/C

7. Planning to Change Cars After 300,000 Kilometers, Hoping for the Following Tesla Configurations:#

  • 4680 battery, range of over 1000 kilometers
  • Heat pump air conditioning, ventilated seats, electric suction doors
  • FSD HW 5.0+
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