Tesla Weekend Social 2017, a visit to Paramus, NJ

A week ago, January 21, 2017, my wife and I were on a trip to New York and planned to visit my cousin and the new addition to his family in Randolph, NJ for the day.  This is one of my cousins who had kindly housed us both heading to Maine and back from Maine during our Here, There, EVerywhere cross-country trip of 2015.   We were staying in Manhattan the night before and had some time before we were scheduled to see them on January 21st, so it was a welcome surprise when we received an invite to the first Tesla Weekend Social of 2017. We wanted to see what has changed since the first social that we attended last year.

We received the following email on the 14th of January.

Weekend Social
Please join us for a Weekend Social New Year celebration at your nearest Tesla location.

Kick off 2017 alongside fellow owners, enthusiasts and Tesla staff. Family and friends are also welcome. Seasonal refreshments will be provided.

To attend an upcoming event near you, please RSVP below. We look forward to celebrating with you

After some challenges obtaining a confirmation (apparently there were some back-end issues that was communicated to us and eventually fixed,) we were able to get a confirmation to be added to the attendee list at the Paramus, NJ Sales, Service, Delivery Center and Supercharger location.  Since our family commitments were not until the afternoon, we decided to head over to Paramus, NJ to attend the first Tesla Social of the year and to spend a few hours with some New Jersey Tesla folks.

To provide ourselves with the most flexibility for this visit, we rented a car from Hertz.  Unfortunately, unlike our experience renting with Hertz’s On-Demand 24×7 product from a few years ago, there are no longer any electric vehicles in Hertz New York locations (nor is the 24×7 product being offered in the USA.)  So, we had to rely on driving an ICE vehicle for this trip, a Ford Focus.

We arrived at the location about 15 minutes before the scheduled 10:00 am program and secured a spot near the front of the store.  Here is a photograph of the area by the entrance of the store that we parked our rental car in.  We were originally parked right beside the HUGE ICE SUV on the right of the photograph.


Upon exiting our rental, one of the employees requested my keys to move the vehicle to the back of the store. It’s a rental and I had some items in the car that I didn’t feel comfortable to be in a section that I can’t see the car in, so I asked if he needed to move it, that he move it somewhere closer. He decided to move it to the other side of the parking lot, away from the entrance and across the superchargers at the location.

This location was not nearly as convenient as the customer parking spot that I originally used, but I figured there must be a reason why he needed to move my rental.  However, as you can see from the first photograph, this was a strange request as our original parking spot was right beside a large ICE SUV and another ICE vehicle.

We checked in and signed into the paper sign-in sheet that the store had placed at the entrance.  Here is the walkway to the entrance and the sign in is to the left of the photo.


Directly ahead of the entrance is your typical Tesla Service Center entrance reception desk. (This is not normally situated in a Tesla Store). Remember, Paramus is a combination Sales, Service, Deliver Center and Supercharger location.


For the event, the store personnel provided coffee, bagels and other breakfast items along the credenza under the apparel, beside the Design Studio wall.


I walked around the area to get my bearings and took a peek at the Delivery Center part of the store and saw an X and an S awaiting their new owners.  It seems that the New Jersey folks were not one of the stores that cover the vehicles in some sort of drop-cloth as I’ve seen in other Delivery Centers.

Not being used to weather, we originally walked in with our winter travel coats and realized that there was no place to keep our jackets.  Rather than wear our jackets the whole time, I decided to return them to the car.  I had to look for the employee who took our rental key to get access to the rental car and place our jackets in there. Once I located that employee, who is nameless, not to protect the guilty, but because he never took the time to introduce himself to me. I found the car tucked in between several inventory Model S that they have on the lot, and not by any customer vehicles.





The rental car was nicely surrounded by Teslas, but I did not ever notice any other customers vehicles being collected in the same manner as our rental car.

It appears that we were particularly targeted for this as when I walked by my original parking spot.  Another monstrous ICE SUV was parked there and not another Tesla or anything related to the event.  I was a little miffed at this considering the fact that all other customers were able to park in the customer section and our little rental car was summarily moved.  Either way, that’s a section of improvement for Tesla Paramus.  Either valet park all cars, or leave them be.

This particular event at Paramus seemed to be more casual than the other Tesla Social events that we have attended in the past. There did not seem to be an agenda and we spent a long time talking to the Tesla employees and fellow owners before we were brought into the lounge for the group discussion portion of the event.

Prior to being brought into the lounge for the group discussion, we spent a lot of time with two members of the staff who were very attentive and we wanted to commend them. Monica and Joey (didn’t catch last names). Monica moved to Paramus, NJ from Pasadena, CA and Joey who just started a few weeks ago.  They were very eager and helpful.  Monica has been with Tesla for a while and we discussed her move to New Jersey from California as well as my wife’s Roadster and Joey, as a new employee, was effectively being trained by us as long-time owners of Tesla.

Don’t get me wrong, I can spend HOURS talking Tesla with people, it’s just strange to invite a group of owners without seeming to have a plan for their time.

We waited until about 10:45 am before the program started.  However, program might be a generous word for this event.  It seems that it was meant to be very free-flow and I suspect that an agenda and some structure could have helped make the event better. The format was very open and thus had a hard time maintaining a flow.  There were many owners there.





Topics ranged all over the place and it was interesting to hear information that was directly contradictory to advice that I have received in Southern California regarding tire rotations and the like from Tesla Service personnel in New Jersey. Perhaps the difference can be attributed to the difference in climate and weather between the states.  In hearing from those involved at the location, it seems that folks around New Jersey have to go through a lot more tires than I do in Southern California.  I didn’t want to be the cause of ire from other owners, so I politely kept this information to myself.

Another subject that was brought up was regarding the $0.40 per minute supercharger idle fee that was recently enacted by Tesla.  It seems that these concerns are quite universal and the discussion around this was interesting.

After the group discussion wrapped up, a few of the New Jersey owners joined us in conversation as they were intrigued by visitors from California attending their session.  It seems that there is currently not an official Tesla Owners club for the New Jersey area and I spent some time explaining how the Orange County, CA club operates versus its other brethren in other parts of the world.  Several of the New Jersey owners seemed interested in forming one for their area and I handed out club cards for them to reach out for more information.

We also discussed Roadster ownership versus Model S as well as our visit to their state from our trip cross-country and how relatively easy and enjoyable that trip had been.

In the end, it was just as advertised, it was a Tesla Social, but one without an agenda.  I felt that an opportunity was missed in that this was the first social after some drastic changes in ownership for those that take delivery of a Tesla after the removal of the included supercharging for the life of the vehicle policy was replaced with the new pay as you go system.  Additionally, it’s been a few days since the release of the Tesla Model S and Model X 100D top range versions of those vehicles and it would have been good to have been provided some sort of presentation on those.  Alas, this was not the plan for the day.

We spent some time with yet another early Model S owner discussing growing pains and we took our leave so that we can head out to visit my cousin and his family.  We said our farewell to the two Tesla staff members, Monica and Joey, who provided such good company and service and left for the day.  These two counterbalanced the unnamed employee who saw it fit to move our Ford Focus rental while leaving all other vehicles unmolested.

Model S Third Year Anniversary – November 8, 2016

I am drafting this post around 3pm Pacific/6pm Eastern on November 8, 2016 as the pundits and media discuss the initial returns of the current Presidential Election Cycle.  Everywhere else in the country folks are talking about Election Night 2016.  As I write this, we didn’t know who has won the race. The polls in California are not even closed.  It’s been a very challenging election season and I thought that it would be good to step away from all that and focus on something I really like to do.

…and that’s write about EVs and my experiences on this blog.

It so happens that November 8 is a significant day in our family.  It’s the day that we flew up to Fremont to pick up our Model S from the factory and started our ownership of the Model S.  This is one of the big benefits of Tesla, they’re an American company with a factory that actually builds its cars in California.

I did a bunch of “near real-time” posts on the blog that probably would have been best served by Twitter three years ago.  But if you’re interested in following that, just click above and follow the subsequent posts.

I decided to publish this post on November 10 to separate my car’s three year anniversary from Election Day and post-Election Day coverage and to emphasize that US produced electrons from the Sun has done its part to save me money and to ensure that we don’t create more veterans of wars for oil.  Energy independence means less need to go and fight wars, but I digress.

On November 7, 2016, we brought the Model S in for its annual service.  It was originally scheduled for the previous month, but the Roadster has been in for an extended period, so we tried to time it when the Roadster was going to be ready.  We brought the car in with slightly above 66,500 miles and picked up the car and brought it home with 66,569 miles on the odometer.


So, what do they do for the three year service?  Well, apparently they match it against the mileage of the car.  Our car got service as if it was a five year old car at 62,500 mile service.

Tesla Service Model S 2016-11-8-1

We had prepaid our first four years of Model S service and were charged accordingly.

Ironically, when we were exiting the freeway to drive to the service center, the TPMS warning light went yellow and rather than stop and check it out ourselves, I figured to go ahead and drive to the service center directly and just report the notice to Tesla.  I’m glad to report that even though the tire had a nail in it, and Tesla’s previous policies were to replace the tire, the service center are now patching tires under certain conditions (in a nutshell as long as the sidewall is not compromised.)  We are still on our original set of four tires.  We even added a fifth one (that is usually in the frunk) and that one is at 8/32.  We’ll need to replace those four tires soon (Tesla recommends replacement at 3/32)

Tesla Service Model S 2016-11-8-2

The other thing that we reported to Tesla (and had reported it earlier in the year as well) is the continuing and increasing level of milling noise coming from the motor. Our previous request to repair this noise resulted in Tesla notifying us that the noise was within parameters. The last time this occurred was around 25,000 miles and it resulted in the motor being replaced. The noise is a constant whir that occurs between 20-35 mph (32-56 kph) and gradually lessens (though still existent) as the car approaches 55 mph (88 kph) and then is imperceptible to my ears.  The error was not as bad as the drivetrain failure on the loaner P85D but is quite irritating and I don’t know if it’s a symptom prior to a bigger failure.

This time around, apparently the noise has gotten to the point that Tesla Engineering has approved the replacement and we are waiting for the replacement part to arrive to re-schedule the repair.  Since we just got the car back today, there has not been an estimate on when the service center expects to receive the replacement motor.

In all, the car spent less than 24 hours at the service center and we were able to pick it up “good as new.”

So, how does our three year old car look?  Let’s compare to previous pictures at pickup at the factory.

Three Years Ago




Three Years Ago




Three Years Ago




Three Years Ago




So, our car still looks pretty close to how it looked when we picked it up three years ago. Not bad. In fact, if Tesla had not modified the fascia of 2016 Model S, I would dare say that our car would still look brand new.

With the service that we receive from Tesla, we can hopefully say the same for the car many years to come.

Here, There, and EVerywhere – Day 07

A quick note of thanks to the Beatles for inspiring the title for this series of posts. This is the seventh in a series of posts written about our trip that will be published four weeks to the day of the trip.

Missed Day 6, click here.

Day 7 – Visiting Copley, OH and Tesla Activities on Friday, May 8, 2015

We’re spending the day with family this Friday. Granted the kids are in school and the adults are at work, so it’s a “free” day.

We charged the car at my cousin’s house overnight and we rolled out at 130 miles of Rated Range. This means that we added 55 miles in 14 hours and 45 minutes. That’s an average of 3.7 rated miles per hour that was added since the previous evening’s arrival.


Having traveled close to 2,500 miles over the course of the last week, it might behoove us to have the car “looked” over and possibly washed again, so we contacted the Tesla Motors Service Center in OH Cleveland Lyndhurst Sales and Service Center. When we purchased our spare wheel and tire in preparation for the trip, our “regular” service center installed the rear passenger’s side wheel with a new tire on the rear driver’s side. This would’ve been fine, except our passenger side wheels both have a “rash” from the nearly 35,000 miles of driving and that we did since the factory. So, I requested that the Lyndhurst Service Center swap the two wheels so that all the “rashed” wheels are once again on the passenger’s side.

Visiting the Service Center at this location also gave us the opportunity to fill in information on the service center for the beta of the (now released) Teslarati App for iOS. The App not only provides for feedback to Tesla owners on superchargers, but on Destination Chargers, Service Centers, and Sales Centers. So, we were able to do “something” today for Teslarati.



Understanding that we were long distance travelers and to save us the time of having to stop of at Macedonia for a charge, the Service Center topped us up with their in-service center supercharger. Apparently, this location is not only a Sales and Service Center, but also has a supercharger within the service area. This means that the supercharger is not necessarily for “heavy” use, it could only be accessed “during hours” by cars that are being “serviced.” Current hours in May 2015 are M-F 8-6 for Service and M-F 10-6 for Sales.



Pictured below and looking like refrigerators is the in-service center version of the supercharger that the Cleveland-Lyndurst Sales and Service Center has in the back (service area). It is within the service center and thus subject to the service center hours.



The Sales Center part of the location had many CPO Model S in stock.  It seems to be the main distribution point for CPO in this part of the country.  As with most CPOs, check the website for what is offered.  Though based on what was online versus what was at the site, I would surmise that it would behoove interested parties to talk to a sales center to get a more accurate inventory of CPO cars.






A picture of the Service Center part of the location.  It was nice to see a couple of Roadsters in the Service Center.  I wonder how often folks that experience winter drive their Roadsters.  I know of at least one that used to drive in all sorts of weather, but we tend to be the sort to drive ours in “better” weather, the luxury of being Southern California based.


The Delivery Center portion of the Sales and Service Center.

A lucky few look ready for the pickup appointment.




I forgot to take pictures of the waiting area, but I have to complain about the “level” of coffee service at the location. It was at the “standard”/first or K-cup level and not at the premium ones found at the new Costa Mesa and West Los Angeles service center levels.

While we were waiting for the service to be performed on our vehicle, we asked Rudy Graham, the Service Concierge, where the nearest place was for a “meal.” Rather than have us walk to the rather pedestrian choices near the Lyndhurst Sales and Service Center, Rudy was able to provide us with a 70D loaner with the directions to a nearby mall with much better food choices.

The 70D was very new. It only had 43 miles on it. We ended up adding a few miles to the car and I couldn’t tell any difference with the way it drove. It had newer seats and I can tell that Tesla made some changes with the newer seats, namely, it felt “bulkier” with more padding. Additionally, like other recent loaners, the car displays the speed limit of the road on the dashboard as you come up to a speed limit sign.

We were missing “familiar” food to us, so we ended up at the Cheesecake Factory. (Though the chain is nationwide, the chain did start in Southern California.)




Visitors to the center need to be aware of the center’s “mascot” – a goose, we think it’s of the “Canadian Canada Goose” variety, but we’re not bird-watchers, or experts in anything “wild.” (Remember our trip acquired Deer Crossing-phobia).


During our entire stay at the service center, this goose was standing watch over the entrance to the service bay area. It was there when we arrived and turned our car in for service and it was there when we did our tour of the facility.


We were so happy with getting our car back in great condition.



What can I say, Tesla Motors Service is awesome, no matter where in the country you go. Rudy did a great job representing Tesla and we were happy with his assistance.

Of course the other benefit to having the car worked on, a clean car after we picked it up (something which we normally opt-out on at home as we wash our own cars as I find it very therapeutic.)


Getting the car back in this condition is a great way to represent Tesla to the folks in Ohio.

We went out to dinner with my cousin and his family for dinner on Friday night. We went to a restaurant called Tre Belle in Bath, OH. The food was good and enjoyable, but the evening was quite memorable (in a “car” sort of way.)

Apparently, the local Porsche club had a meeting at Tre Belle when we pulled in for dinner with our Model S. The valet’s eyes lit up when we pulled in and I handed him the key to take care of the car. I asked for a valet ticket, but he said “I’ll remember you.” And we went in. The valet parked the car in between two Porsche 911 convertibles and seemed to have caused a stir.

However, we were not approached by the Porsche club members, so I hope that they can be convinced to give Tesla a try.

After dinner, we headed back to my cousin’s home.



We parked the car with 200 miles of Rated Range left.

Go on to Day 8. Click here.

07_Copley to TSC to Copley