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Things I will miss about my gas car...

I live in gas-friendly California, so when I get my Model S, I will really miss:

My 300HP car gently rocking back and forth as another Prius races by me in the HOV lane

That awesome 'pointing hand' icon next to the words "Smog Check  Required"  on my registration bill

This car requires 'premium' electrons for another 20 cents per mole...

Using Shell gift cards (scrip for the kids' school) that promise cash back, but instead become worthless if they get below a dollar.  I get it... cash back for Shell!  They get up to 1% on a $100 gift card.  I should have read the microscopic text next to the asterisk. What a great lesson in marketing!  Thanks, Shell!

Getting to go through the fill up process twice when the gift card runs out, which it will quickly because the fill up costs over $50.

The joy of standing out in the cold (ok, it's CA, but it's still relatively cold), repeatedly re-squeezing the handle that says "do not top off" because the pump keeps shutting itself off and trying to ignore the one-channel TV they force you to listen to.

Idly staring at a sticker that says: "Prop 123 Warning: The fumes entering your nose and making you nauseated contain chemicals known by the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects..."

The privilege of having this conversation: "So, what did the 'check engine' light mean this time? ... uh huh... a leaking seal... the smell is burning power steering fluid?  It's leaking onto the hot exhaust manifold? What's it going to cost me?  You're kidding!  Oh well, at least I'll get cash back* on my credit card..."

The shade provided by that  'next oil change required' sticker in the corner of the windshield. "Why do you have a square on your face?" "Oh, yeah, that reminds me, I have to get my oil changed...".

The fun of repeatedly pressing the button to dismiss the  'oil change required' reminder popping up on the screen in the car every few thousand miles.

The marvelous smell of burning clutch when I try to start out going uphill.

The charming cacophony of squealing belts and grinding gears.  I didn't want to hear the stereo anyway...

The inside of the car just starting to warm up when I arrive at work...

Oh, well.

I'll just have to get used to it! **

* - not really
** - not really

The wait for the car to warmup in the morning when I'm already 5 minutes late for work.

From the age of the dinosaurs
Cars have run on gasoline
Where, where have they gone?

I can't get used to this lifestyle**

** - not really

What I am going to miss most about filling up my gas car? Going into the cashier, cash in hand, and having to wait 10 minutes for the clerk to sell the people ahead of me Lotto tickets! As a youngster (just after the dinosaurs died) I use to love the smell of leaded gasoline as it was being pumped.

Other than those…not a darn thing.

Prob'ly that's what caused the brain damage. Lots of kids in northern Inuit communities have the same addiction. Very sad.


I'm going to miss being able to take my car to a car wash.


I'm going to miss trying to diagnose that new puddle under the car....

Battery coolant, water from AC condensation, Exxon crying, the dog?

I don't understand Larry's comment. Is there a problem with putting a Model S through the car wash?

I drive a Leaf (till my Tesla arrives) and put it through the car wash no worries. Nothing in the Nissan owner's manual says no. So I'm also perplexed at Larry's comment about the car wash. Has Tesla said one cannot take the Model S through a car wash?

He probably doesn't want those harsh fibres and detergents touching his baby. He'll delicately wipe it down with facial tissues and mild soaps, using distilled water only.


Distilled water, mild soap and Q-tips, no doubt. ;)

Automatic car washes are in many cases better than they get credit for. If equipment is maintained and cleaned at regular bases then humans rubbing dirt off the car usually make worse result to the paint job and windows scratching them. Of course if you do the cleaning yourself you can get better result than those machines, but it is easy to do worse as well.

Letting my foot off the accelerator and having the car go faster and faster down hill. If I wanted to be going 100 mph I would have left my foot on the accelerator!

Stepping on the accelerator from a stop and having a brief delay before the car figures out what I've done. I will probably end up running into other drivers of gas cars because of the prompt acceleration. I'll have to remember when I am behind someone at the light to first see the light turn green then think, "duh", then step on the accelerator.

The smell of napalm on the morning.

I don't understand Larry's comment. Is there a problem with putting a Model S through the car wash? - Jason S

This discussion over at the Tesla Motors Club forum got me a little worried.

What's wrong with a car wash?

Admittedly the thread is about Roadsters, but I think there's reason to be concerned with all Tesla paint jobs. Here's the thread starters original remarks.

My owner's manual says to avoid automatic car washes as well as those coin-operated ones where you get a minute or two of high-powered spray for a few quarters. It says to hand-wash only.

And here's a response but an apparently knowledgeable forum member.

To answer why to not use a Car Wash is because of the water-based paint (WBP) that Tesla uses. WBP is one of the next big things in the automotive industry, the main reason is because they are Environmentally friendly compared to Acrylic paints. Most automotive companies around the world are using water based paint to reduce VOC emissions. Besides reducing VOC emissions, WBPs also reduce risk of fire, are easier to clean up (creating less hazardous residues) and result in reduced worker exposure to organic vapors.

Sounds great but WBPs have their drawbacks;

1. WBPs are softer than acrylic oil based paints. The quick forced dry process using higher curing temperatures causes the paint to dry fast, but not as hard. As a result, these paints scratch more easily.

2. WBPs also have difficulties with increased orange peel and production line runs and sags. The increased orange peel causes a reduction in overall smoothness and gloss.

3. WBPs are also more porous than conventional acrylic finishes. This accelerates a process known as drift. Drift is the process of waxes and sealants soaking into the pores of the finish. Because the finish of a painted surface looks similar to the surface of the moon, peaks and valleys etc., as sealants heat and cool, they soak into the finish. Drift occurs in every known finish, however the water borne paint allows this process to occur much more rapidly, in some cases, even as short as a two week period of time. As drift occurs, the paint is left susceptible to the outdoor elements. This leads the paint to loose gloss and be susceptible to water spots, acid rain, industrial fallout and many other forms of foreign particles.

Other manufacturers that use WB paint such as BMW, Lotus, Lamborghini and Ferrari have the same warnings about car washes and their owners really have perfected the best ways to keep a car clean. I didn't see a detailing/wash guide here, but here is one we compiled on our Lotus' forum In that it details the normal and rinse-less wash systems.

Here are some things not listed and some that really make a difference when dealing with WBP;

1. Do not use an automated car wash or or a sponge when washing as both create scratches. Sheep Skin mitts are highly recommended when hand washing. Micro Fiber is a close second but tend to hold some material like its Velcro-ed on (usually Plant Material)

2. When hand or machine polishing, it is recommended using a "diminishing abrasive" such as Meguiar's Body Shop Professional line to remove defects without damaging the delicate finish. Or for a more experienced tech the 3M line 3-step professional line works miracles.

3. Because water based paint is more porous than Acrylic based paint, it is essential to keep the paint "sealed" as well as waxed to prevent damage from environmental pollution. We recommend that only microfiber towels be used to remove sealant or wax as this will diminish any damage to the paint.

4. USE THE STRAIGHT LINE METHOD when Applying and Removing sealants/waxes/protectants by hand. Whatever circle motion you learned from Mr. Miyagi about waxing, throw it out the window, it only induces circular marring. Apply and remove the products in a straight line in the direction the air moves over the section. What this does is take that one little piece of debris that might fall on the car after drying and instead of creating multiple circular scratches that is visible in all light and angles it will be a straight line only visible in very limited types of light and angles. It's more of a professional technique that you only find in really informed detail shops.

Hope this helps,


So until I hear to the contrary from Tesla regarding the Model S, I think it would be prudent to be prepared to do a lot of hand washing of our babies. ;-)


Thanks Larry. That's very informative. Really too bad also. I personally don't have the time to hand wash my car.

This really sucks. Sorry to say that. I do not intend to hand-wash my car, neither do I look forward to being seen in a dirt-encrusted Model S.

With increasingly more vehicles using WBP (according to the above post), automatic car wash should be updated/upgraded/improved to be able to clean WBP cars without doing any harm. Hey guys, here's a business opportunity!

This is something I would very much like to see Tesla respond to. I've come to expect car finishes to be extremely durable. There was a post a couple of months ago about after-market paint protection ( Of course, if this just moves the problem of VOCs to a different part of the plant maybe it's not such a good idea.

Something similar to this:
but perhaps not the same product was mentioned previously. A new super hydrophobic coating, not yet sold at retail. Hmm...

"Officer! I'd like to report a hijacking!"

"Plane? No. Someone hijacked my thread!"

"Yes, I have a suspect. He goes by the name 'Larry'. He hopped on and yelled 'nobody move! this thread is going to CarWashLand! It's been there ever since."

I'm going to have my Model S painted the color of dirt, so I won't have to wash it.

The windows, too?

You can always get a one color vehicle wrap. This way you can pick the color you want (even clear) and you won't have to worry about the paint being chipped. 3M makes a great wrap material and laminate. You can even take it through a car wash and never have to worry about hurting it.

Let's stop and think about the car wash claims. Paint applied to Roadster is totally different than Model S. Remember the Models S is a powder coat process which is completely different than the water based paint used on the Roadster. I am not a paint expert but comapring these two totally different vehicle paint jobs will not teach us anything IMO.

We now return you to your normally scheduled forum.....

@BruceR: We now return you to your normally scheduled forum.....

That kind of bantering is our norm. But I think your point is a good end to that particular flow.

"The smell of napalm in the morning ..."

@bruce r, the powder coat idea was rejected some time ago by Tesla. I don't remember what they are using and don't know how delicate it is yet.

I know that one of the selling points for Tesla to get the plant from Toyota in Fremont was the new paint plant. well, maybe not a selling point but maybe a bullet point?

"NUMMI had a relatively new paint shop, and that alone is a huge amount of cost for any factory," Robinet said.

Maybe with the new paint shop comes a totally new paint process and one very different from the handmade Roadsters?

Quote from

"The innovative paint process will use powder coating for both the primer and clear coat layers. The Model S will be one of the first cars to employ not one, but two layers of powder coating."

This is from the blog in the other section of this site.

To get back to the original theme...I can say "fill er up" everytime the windshield washer tank runs empty....

The description of one (?) paint job in the Design Studio says something like "Multi-coat", which may refer to that.

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