4-year, 100,000 km import Tesla Model 3 long-range driving experience summary.

A few days before New Year’s Day, I set out from Beijing and drove thousands of kilometers to my hometown in Guangxi by myself. The total mileage traveled exceeded 100,000 kilometers.

So, what changes will happen to the Tesla Model 3 after driving 100,000 kilometers? Let’s take a look together!


Battery degradation:

Slight decrease in range (5%), estimated to be 30 kilometers less than before.

Exterior changes:

The white paint has slightly yellowed, which is more obvious compared to a new Model 3 of the same color.


Tire rotation, front wheel steering, white leather interior and driver’s seat, central control display, mudguard.

Vehicle configuration:

Selected white paint and white seat interior.

Full Self-Driving package (FSD).

Long Range battery – 18-inch standard power wheel.

Panasonic battery, seems to be the 74 kWh version.

Below, we will summarize the battery degradation, exterior changes, maintenance, infotainment system and ADAS, bugs and other aspects. Finally, I will share my infotainment system configuration and outlook for a new car.

Battery Degradation

This is the first batch of imported long-range vehicles in 2019. The new car was marked with a NEDC-label range of 668 kilometers, and the EPA-label range shown on the car display when delivered was 521 kilometers. The feeling after driving 100,000 kilometers is that the EPA range estimate is very accurate.

The range fluctuates depending on driving habits. The range of 521 kilometers was only seen in the first month after delivery, and the display has not shown this number again since then. The overall impression is around 480~490 kilometers.

Currently, when charged to 50%, the display shows a range of 249 kilometers. The theoretical range when fully charged up to 100% is close to 500 kilometers, but this is just a reference number. After driving 100,000 kilometers, the display shows 468 kilometers with a full charge, which seems to be about 30 kilometers less than before based on the estimated range calculated by the display. However, I believe this number is acceptable, and the actual driving range can still exceed 400 kilometers with 30-50 kilometers of range left to charge. The recent energy consumption for over 10,000 kilometers is 138Wh/km, which is equivalent to 1 kWh per 7 kilometers of driving. More than 80% of daily charging at charging stations are DC Superchargers, while supplying a temporary charging cable.

Exterior Changes

About a year or two ago, I noticed that when my white car was parked next to a brand new Model 3 of the same color, my white car had a slightly yellowish tint. However, if not directly compared, it still appeared to be a normal white car. I usually park under direct sunlight without using car covers. It is said that vehicle paint care at a car wash shop can repair this, but I don’t know how effective it is.Except for a slightly yellowed color, the appearance has remained basically unchanged. However, upon closer inspection, there are many signs of scratches and scrapes on the car body and wheel rims.


Warranty Inspection

During the four-year, 80,000-kilometer comprehensive warranty period, the car will be taken to the service center for inspection and maintenance every year or when the car reaches 10-20,000 kilometers, mainly for replacing the air conditioning filter. I don’t have much impression of other items. Currently, the battery, motor and other main components are also covered by an 8-year or 190,000-kilometer warranty.


The car has been brought in for maintenance due to several failures. One is a noticeable creaking sound when the front wheels turn or stop. This is related to the recall issue of the “ball head seal” and was resolved by replacing parts on both sides. Currently, there are occasional similar noises.


The tires were originally Michelin silencer tires, but due to driving 30-50,000 kilometers in the first two years without being able to swap the front and rear tires, the tire wear is obvious. At present, they are still being used with scratches on multiple parts of the wheel rims. I plan to replace them with a full set when they are suitable.


The mudguards above the 4 wheels have been eroded by rain, snow, and gravel over the years and are beginning to fall apart. Currently, the mudguards are the most urgent thing that needs to be replaced.

Driver’s Seat and White Interior

The driver’s seat has a “convenience entry and exit” feature, which frequently adjusts the seat’s position when getting in and out of the car. There were three or four malfunctions during the warranty period, such as the seat not moving forward or backward, and a seat belt warning error, which were mainly caused by problems with the slide motor and wire harness connectors. This problem still occasionally occurs, but I have gotten used to it.

The white interior that was added on is now showing obvious cracking on the driver’s seat and many small cracks during travel. Additionally, there are black marks that are particularly noticeable on the white seat.

Door Handles

In the winter, the door handles often do not return to their proper position, and need to be pushed back down manually. I heard that the problem can be solved by spraying WD-40, but I have gotten used to simply bringing the handle back down when entering the car.

Generally speaking, the car has been used without much maintenance. It is relatively worry-free to use, with occasional refilling of washer fluid and inflating the tires.

Car System and Driver Assistance

Tesla almost has a new version update every month, which can be as frequent as several times a month, and a major update is released once a year.

Over the years, the most memorable updates are:

FSD Full Self-Driving

The navigation driving assistance can automatically enter and exit highway ramps which is very useful for long-distance travel when switching freeways is required. It mainly automatically reduces speed when approaching the exit to not miss it. However, there is still plenty of room for improvement in the stability of the autonomous driving. For example, the speed is still too high before exiting the highway, leading to possible swaying when crossing intersections. When leaving a bend, the car maintains a fixed slow speed and backs up traffic. This feature can only score 3-4 points out of 10.### Map Navigation
Supports junction zoom, adding waypoints, and avoiding tolls;

Gesture Cards

Swipe from the lower left corner of the screen to switch between music and view mileage, power consumption, tire pressure and other information. This function disappeared for a whole year for no apparent reason;

Automatic Parking

Supports visual fusion automatic parking, often used when parking in side positions;

Camping Mode

You can comfortably sleep in the car with the air conditioning on for a night, consuming about 50-60 kilometers of electricity in 8 hours. A few minutes of quick charging can make it up;

Sentry Mode

Hasn’t proven itself yet, but it’s always reassuring;

Blind Spot Camera

When the turn signal is activated, the screen can display the corresponding camera image on the side;

Games and Videos

You can play games and watch videos while waiting for someone or charging;

Hold Mode

Supports the “Hold” option, which is often misunderstood as the “Single Pedal” mode;

Lock Reminder

Automatically closes the windows when locked, and sends a push notification to your phone if the doors and front/rear trunks are not closed;

Handwriting Input Method

Even with non-standard Mandarin, it is very convenient to set the navigation during driving by drawing. The recognition rate is high.

Bugs and Shortcomings:

Delayed Safety Warnings

When driving near a large truck or on a narrow road with oncoming vehicles or pedestrians, the on-board warning system is prone to false alarms, sometimes with minor phantom braking. It is not predicting a collision, but reminding after the safety pass. Usually at this time, I would cancel the assisted driving or grab the steering wheel to take over control of the car in time;

Unclear Cruise Control Status

I rarely use the cruise control, but sometimes when using the assisted driving (AP), there is a high probability that only the cruise control will be enabled. The difference is that assisted driving simultaneously takes over both the steering wheel and the accelerator/brake, while cruise control only takes care of the speed and not the steering. Sometimes, I only realize it when the car starts to sway. In terms of UI presentation, the enabled cruise control can only be seen from the small icon on the steering wheel and the color of the speed limit number, which is not very intuitive;

Setting Adjustments Without Confirmation

The setting options may change when sliding, and the wrong setting may be automatically saved;

Unable to Navigate Long Distances on Map

If charging planning is not enabled, navigating from Beijing to Guangxi will result in no results.

My plan is to change the car after 300,000 kilometers, and I hope Tesla has the following configuration:

4680 battery and long endurance of 1000+ kilometers.Heat pump air conditioning, seat ventilation, electric suction door;
FSD HW 5.0+.

This article is a translation by ChatGPT of a Chinese report from 42HOW. If you have any questions about it, please email bd@42how.com.