New 12 V Battery

After 4 1/2 years, I got another warning light that my 12 Volt battery needed replacing.

I have to admit, I love Tesla Roadside service. I scheduled an appointment for a week out. Every few hours I checked the app for an earlier appointment and I eventually got a next day appointment. I think a fair number of customers reschedule appointments, so its pretty easy to get an earlier time slot.

The service person was kind and efficient as always and wore a mask in the open garage. He even checked the wear on my tires. They are holding up after 6,000 miles very nicely at 8.5/32 on all four tires. I am planning to go in for my free rotation at the tire shop regardless.

Although the service was excellent, he couldn’t tell me where the 2nd key fob is. I figure someday it will show up in a pocket somewhere.

Hankook Tire Review

On a bit of a whim, I decided to try a different brand of tires, Hankook.  This brand runs about 70% of the cost of more conventional brands but are not as high rated in terms of performance or wear.

When driving on the tires, I generally found them to be just fine.  I think only in one situation during their lifetime, I thought “gosh these tires are underperforming”, so from a performance point of view they served their purpose just fine.

During this experiment, I meticulously checked the tire pressure monthly and added air as needed and rotated them twice around 6K of mileage.  But because of the pandemic and limited ability to travel, probably more driving was done on hilly and curvy roads than normal.  These types of road are far more enjoyable than freeway or conventional straight and flat roads.   But driving on steep grades and windy roads is hard on tires.

I was hoping the tires would last, but I went to have them rotated again at 16.5K miles, and they were completely worn out.  All four tires measured 3/32 and the left rear inside sidewall was at the sketchy dangerous level.  Again inside toe issues but at a tolerable level.

The last set of tires on my 19” wheels lasted 23K miles.  The rough math is that the $/mile ends up being basically the same for both sets.  When I had 21” wheels, the four tire sets averaged 16,400 miles each.  

My new set of tires is now the factory Michelin primacy tires with a 45,000 mile warranty.  I’ll probably rotate them as frequently but I doubt I’ll keep up with the super regular tire pressure checks.  I wonder how long these will last.

100,000 Miles

The Tesla Model S finally hit the big 6 digit mark during the pandemic. The car is now over 7 years old.

Nothing really to report as everything is fine with the car. I have no desire to upgrade or replace it anytime soon. Not interested in self-driving features or any other incremental new features. Ideally I’d like a slightly narrower car but I’ll keep this one for now.

Towing Improvements Soon?

I rarely blog unless something unique happens but today something actually did.  Nothing significant but makes a decent yarn.

I was out on the San Francisco Bay paddle boarding  in an unpopular location.  As I returned to my dock, I found a Tesla Model S in the water.   


Having been to this location many times I knew this was unusual.  I asked the man in the dark shirt to the right:

“Are you stuck?”

He said “no”.

As I docked, the Model S successfully pulled out of the water. I noticed two unusual things:  a missing silver door handle and then the telltale MFG – manufacturing – plate on the back of the Tesla.

 I asked the two men what they were up to.  Turns out they are testing the ability to pull boats out of the water as they were working on improvements (I’m assuming software).  I asked well 

“Don’t you need a boat?” 

He said “no, its actually all about the angle”

By the time I reached my ICE that can easily carry the paddle board, they had returned with their second vehicle a Model X and dunked it similarly in the water.


Being the ever curious nosy Tesla owner, I decided to film the pulling of the Model X out of the water.  


The video quality is bad as the cheapie reading glasses slipped over the camera lens on the iphone.  So I’ll just included a still.

But as they were trying to pull it out, the Model X slipped back even more, and they got stuck! 

I heard the driver say “I don’t have enough power” to the guy sitting with a laptop in the trunk.  

 He thought about getting out of the car, but realized (I’m assuming) his shoes and pants would be full of sludge.  He ended up calling I assume someone back at the factory for a tow. 

waiting for a tow.jpg

The sludge is well pretty sludgy and sticky at the dock but the dock does have a grate as you can see in the photo below.   This was at very low tide and perhaps the back wheel of the X was below the grate and in the sludge directly?

I didn’t wait to watch.  More work needed on the software I’m assuming!

Sleepy Door Handles

For the last couple of weeks, I was noticing that my door handles did not move when I approached the car.  I thought it was a bit odd, and I would double click on the roof of the fob, and the door handles would move to the open position.

When you have a fob with you, the door handles by default “auto-present” knowing that you are in the vicinity.  You can change this behavior by changing the settings on the touchscreen.

I did not fret the first time this happened, but then it happened several times more.  So I looked through the settings and they were still set to “auto-present”.  After some web research, I found a hint of what could be the problem.  If you have a key fob close to or in your car, the car will remain unlocked at all times.

My first thought was that the “junk drawer” with the key fobs is not that close to the car.   I’ve also left the key fobs in there for 6 1/2 years now, so why would this behavior just change now?

The second possibility that the secondary key fob was actually IN the car.  I couldn’t find the 2nd key fob in the junk drawer.  But low and behold, the key fob was just sitting on the driver’s seat.

So technically someone could have easily stolen the car for the last couple of weeks.  But then again, they would have to have actually touched the door handle to open the door.  Even then, the car could easily be found through the Tesla app.