Things to check when you pick up your Tesla

I will just start by saying I love my Tesla Model S but it is important to us all (as both owners, shareholders, staff & potential customers) that all the cars are in perfect condition on collection. I’ve experienced perfect customer service on both of my cars when I’ve had problems and they have always gone above and beyond the call of duty to get my problems fixed.

In other words, don’t let anything on this page put you off your purchase and remember this pickup experience is to be enjoyed. If there is an issue with your car Tesla will resolve it.

Before you get your Tesla you should:

  1. Watch the walkthrough videos on the support section of Tesla.com – These are great at getting you started with the basics and will speed up your handover process
  2. Review the information supplied on the Tesla Support pages, these go over details on Finance, Trade-In, Registration, Insurance, Warranty and loads more. It’s also worth checking these pages before asking questions on the Facebook page.
  3. Book in for a Tesla Owner Orientation Event (previously known as 360 events), you will meet other owners and learn lots of handy tips about the car, driving the car and living with the car.
  4. Get a home charger installed (Tesla info page) – Tesla have a list of recommended installers but search the Facebook group if you’re unsure
  5. Read the manual or more likely download a digital copy ready on your phone/computer for when you need it / have 5 minutes to read it. Having this searchable and in a location that you can quickly access saves the embarrassment of asking an obvious question on the forums/facebook page.
  6. Reading this ‘What they don’t tell you when you buy an electric car
  7. Grab a decent tyre pump – It will save you tyre wear
  8. Consider swapping your home electricity to 100% renewable (+ get £25 Amazon voucher on this link for doing so)
  9. Join the Official Tesla Owners’ Group on Facebook.
  10. Consider buying a few items from the ‘Must have’ accessories for your Tesla page

Important things to check upon collection

Pointing these out before you leave is important but if you only notice something days later then don’t worry as Tesla will rectify these issues either immediately or on your next visit to the service centre.

UPDATE: Since my MK1 version of this list was printed by many new UK owners it was noticed by staff and management at Tesla UK / Europe, I’ve been informed that a full walkthrough & investigation has taken place at the Tilburg Final Assembly line & delivery centres nationwide, all senior service staff were handed a copy of this list (& similar in-house versions) to ensure procedures were put in place to remove these issues from ever arriving in the UK/Europe (or so they don’t leave the Fremont factory, to begin with). I’ve therefore updated this list as a whole to better reflect changes to the vehicles, assembly and PDI and removed certain issues that are very infrequent.

paint-tesla
Follow the reflections to see any swirls, marks or poorly painted surfaces
  1. Examine the exterior and paint. Like any new car delivery check for scratches, scrapes, dings, glue & polish residue, dents, paint overspray, swirl marks, orange peel (see photo below), look at reflections in the paint to see poor or thin painting etc.
  2. Examine interior. Leather seats & the roof headliner should be clean and free from defects. Any marks should be noted.

    A perfect example of a misaligned door panel on a Model S
    A perfect example of a misaligned door panel on a Model S

  3. Check panel alignment , start with the chrome parts (see photo right), then look at the frunk,  trunk and doors to ensure the gaps are equal both sides.
  4. Sunroof – check proper operation and check for raised plastic/rubber that should be sealing it
    An example of wax left on the edges between doors/boot/frunk etc
    An example of wax left on the edges between doors/boot/frunk etc

    An example of 'Orange Peel' on the paint of a car, check your Tesla doesn't have any signs like this. Source
    An example of ‘Orange Peel’ on the paint of a car, check your Tesla doesn’t have any signs like this. Source

  5. Check you have the correct adaptors / UMC + optional Chademo + other accessories (boot liner, floor mats, window shades etc)
  6. Windows, check they’re fully operational and don’t squeak
  7. Check delivery mileage, should be around 10-30 miles. The industry standard is between 10-50.
  8. [Very uncommon] Visually check your wheels for excessive weights. Weights on wheels are fairly common in the industry, they’re generally the same colour as the wheel and positioned just behind the spokes. They’re to ensure the tyre is balanced on the wheel, however, they should generally only be about 1 spoke wide, if they go across more than 3 then the wheel/tyre has some sort of issue + they won’t look that appealing.
  9. [Very uncommon] Turn on the air-con / heat to full power and just listen for any strange noises.
  10. [Very uncommon] Play some music in the car just check everything sounds fine, in the premium audio vehicles you may want to do a further sound check on each speaker.
  11. Check you’ve snapped a photo of it looking all clean in the showroom

If there is a problem do what most of us owners have done and book the car in within 30 days to have any issues resolved. 

Although uncommon remember if you have a car you’re not happy taking away that day you have every right to decline the handover until the problems are fixed, when this has happened in the past Tesla have been very accommodating offering a loan car whilst the issues get fixed.

As part of the walkthrough it is important that you find out about:

  1. How to charge / work a supercharger / open the charge flap etc
  2. Make sure correct closing technique for frunk is demo’d.
  3. How to use Autopilot (safely)
  4. How to find superchargers/other chargers (hint: Plugshare on your phone is the way forward)
  5. How to open/move between apps on the display
  6. Pair phone and check how to connect/reconnect Bluetooth
  7. How to use DAB Radio, Podcasts & Spotify.
  8. Steering wheel buttons explained + how to swap what each do + how to change what
  9. How to do a full reset of the main screen and the dash above steering wheel
  10. How to adjust seating, save profiles, have mirrors drop/or not when reversing etc
  11. Go through all settings pages etc
  12. Use of the Android or iPhone apps (your own won’t be enabled until after you drive away, but the staff can demonstrate on their phones)
  13. Note where to find roadside assistance info from the main screen.
  14. Add your local service centre support number to your mobile phone should you need it in the future.
  15. Find the user manual (on the screen) so you remember it when you need it.

powerOnce you get your Tesla home, a few things to consider:

  1. Go and drive it!
  2. Go and try a supercharger (a good excuse for a first drive)
  3. Download Plugshare app to find chargers
  4. Getting the paint protected with something like Gtechniq, Liquid Elements, Opticoat or similar Ceramic paint protection, this will give you a protective coating which will help prevent scratches, stone chips etc. Note: Tesla can’t recommend any of these services so use the group search to confirm which is best.
  5. A vinyl clear wrap on the front of the car, this prevents stone chips
  6. Install a dash camera. Many owners have used Simon Holbon to install BlackVue or similar cameras. His methods are approved by Tesla and do not void the cars warranty.
  7. Alloy wheel insurance or protection (e.g. RimProTec or Alloygators)
  8. Learn how to properly wash your car
  9. Swap your home electricity to 100% renewable (+ get £25 Amazon voucher on this link for doing so)
  10. Be aware there is no spare tyre!
  11. When your V5C arrives check it’s the correct Model listed, Tesla have a habit of listing P90D models as 90D, which could become an issue when you sell your car on in the future + more worryingly could be an issue with your insurance company. Double check you’re insuring the correct car!
  12. Respond to the surveys that Tesla send. These are checked by the senior team weekly.
  • theGodFakker

    The thing is a Model S simply isn’t a premium build car, and thinking you are getting RR or even VW quality is a recipe for disappointment. Most of what you outline is stuff that can be fixed on a rescheduled service. If you want to ruin your pickup, and quite probably have to go back again to collect it (at your expense) then follow Will’s advice. Oh and those charge lights are REALLY important. Why?

    • Correct but lots of people do not realise that. They look at the list price and expect Audi/VW/BMW quality inside.

      Yes most can be resolved with a service booking but it’s often a lot easier to point it out during the pickup, thankfully UK law allows 6 months of ‘grace period’ where manufactures have to fix issues without the customer having to prove it came with the car.

      Yes it may ruin your pickup, that is partly why I’ve made this post, so Tesla see the issues and hopefully resolve them so future customers don’t have the problems.

      RE: Charge lights, we’ve had a good amount of people confused what they indicate, although I agree it really isn’t that important so will edit. Thanks

  • The OVO Electricity tariff link has expired.