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Winter Driving Adventures In My Tesla Mannequin 3

You will have in all probability been studying concerning the atmospheric river that has introduced unimaginable rain, flooding and destruction to California this winter. That atmospheric river hasn’t stopped at California however has continued as much as Utah. At larger elevations the precipitation falls as snow as a substitute of rain. Our ski resorts have been inundated with probably the most huge snowfall now we have seen in years. At midseason, the resorts have already obtained nearly 500 inches of snow, which is the common for the entire winter. Snow is piled as much as 20 ft excessive on the perimeters of the roads at Brighton. (See under.)

My Tesla Mannequin Three and 12 ft snow piles on the perimeters of the highway. Brighton Ski Resort, Utah. January 30, 2023. Photograph by Fritz Hasler.

You may see what occurred to me final winter within the image at high after we obtained 8” of latest snow from the time I arrived on the ski resort the place I educate at 7:00 a.m. till I used to be barely in a position to depart at 11:00 a.m. It occurred to me once more this 12 months. I took my 12-year-old grandson as much as see what night time snowboarding was like just a few weeks in the past. The 4-wheel drive warning mild was flashing as we entered the canyon, however I had no hassle driving up the highway with my dual-motor Mannequin 3. Nevertheless, after snowboarding for Four hours, my automotive was snowed in once more. You may see what my Tesla Mannequin Three appeared like at night time just a few weeks later after mild snowfall:

Night time at Brighton Ski Resort, Utah. January 25, 2023. Photograph by Fritz Hasler

This time I grabbed a shovel from the ski college and 15 minutes later my grandson had cleared a path and I had dug out the wheels with my gloves, so we may make a run for it. On the second merchandise of the management menu on my Tesla display screen (the Pedals & Steering sub-menu), I activated the Slip-Begin management on the backside. A automotive loaded with 6 skiers pulled in simply as we have been able to go, and so they helped push us out of the parking spot. A man began pushing on my open driver’s facet window and directed me since I used to be driving backwards and couldn’t see the place I used to be going. Lastly, we began on the plowed highway down the canyon.

I had nearly no clue the place the highway ended and the massive piles of snow on both sides started. It then occurred to me that with all of the commotion of digging and pushing that we hadn’t cleaned the brand new fallen snow off the headlights for the second time. I finished, my grandson wiped the headlights clear, and I may lastly see the highway. We began down the snow-covered canyon highway at 25 mph with no vehicles in entrance of us. A half mile down the highway, we stumbled on a automotive going ~5 mph. I tapped the brakes … nothing! … The highway was so slippery that we had almost zero traction. I used to be simply barely in a position to get my automotive down to five mph with out hitting the automotive in entrance of me. Now it was 5 mph for the following 5 miles. That was simply gradual sufficient to maintain from shedding management. As we obtained to decrease elevations, the snow turned to rain and the highway started to clear. The vehicles in entrance of us elevated their pace and we have been touring at 30 mph by the point we obtained to the underside of the canyon.

The following 20 miles on I-15 went uneventfully. We exited the freeway and drove the following Three miles up the hill to our home. Nevertheless, on the final 200 yards to our home, we heard a scraping noise beneath the automotive. I pulled into the driveway and my son took a glance beneath the automotive. He grabbed some branch-clipping shears and clipped off a giant piece of the fiber apron that protects the underside of the automotive.

The Tesla Mannequin Three has 5.5″ clearance beneath. My 2019 Mannequin Three has a flimsy multipart fiberboard skid plate/undercarriage beneath the entire automotive. I’ve now on two events ripped off a chunk of one of many undercarriage elements. The primary time, I didn’t see 12″ of water in a flash flood and hit it at ~40 mph. It ripped off the rearmost a part of the undercarriage board. Simply now, I  was driving out of a ski resort parking zone in deep snow and ripped off a chunk of the entrance a part of the undercarriage. The alternative half is made out of plastic as a substitute of fiberboard. Nevertheless, it nonetheless doesn’t look very sturdy. Warning!: Keep away from driving over water, snow, or rocks that may injury the undercarriage.

We had deliberate to make the 200-mile run to Southern Utah the following day, so the following morning I drove the Four miles to our brand-new Nice Grove Tesla Service Middle for an analysis. They mentioned it was no downside for our highway journey however to return in once more in a few weeks to interchange the under-apron.

I used to be stunned to study that Tesla had scheduled a cell service technician to return to my home to make the restore regardless that the space from my home to the Tesla Nice Grove Service Middle is barely Four miles. The technician arrived proper on time in his Mannequin S with the rear seat eliminated to create space for all his gear (See under.)

Tesla cell restore technician together with his Mannequin S. January 26, 2023. Photograph by Fritz Hasler.

A short while later, he had my automotive jacked up, the remainder of the fiber under-apron had been eliminated, and he was about to put in a brand new plastic apron to interchange it. (See under.) Sadly, there have been some stripped threads that made it unattainable to securely fasten the brand new apron. A separate service middle appointment could be wanted to finish the restore.

Tesla cell restore technician jacking up my automotive and holding the brand new under-apron. January 26, 2023. Photograph by Fritz Hasler.

Two days in the past (final Saturday), I obtained up at 5:00 a.m. to get a leap on the visitors going the 18 miles up the canyon to Brighton. Nevertheless, I made 4 errors. 1) I knew that I solely had 2/32” tread on my rear tires and had procrastinated getting new tires. 2) I did not examine the snow forecast. 3) I did not maintain a snow shovel in my trunk. 4) With 50 years of winter driving expertise with two-wheel drive vehicles in Wisconsin, Colorado, Maryland, and Utah, I overestimated the traction of my dual-motor Mannequin Three with little tread on the tires on steep sections of the canyon. I made it 14 miles up the canyon earlier than I slid off the facet of the highway in 4” of contemporary snow that had not been plowed just lately.

Brighton obtained 17 “of snow in a single day, however the snow report was not obtainable on the time I made the journey. I hitchhiked the final Four miles to Brighton, borrowed a shovel, and hitched again to my automotive. Fortuitously, a policeman in a giant 4-wheel-drive police truck with big snow tires was ready to assist me. We dug out my automotive, he attached a strap to the receiver on the again of my automotive (for my bike rack, and so forth.), and he pulled my automotive out of the snow to a giant plowed driveway throughout the highway, additionally altering the route of my automotive to downhill.

I used to be quickly on my method driving safely again down the canyon. I finished for a drink and made an appointment for brand spanking new tire set up close to my residence 20 miles south on I-15. I used to be Four miles from my meant exit when, to my horror, my automotive reported low strain in my left rear tire. The strain rapidly dropped from 20 psi to 10 psi to five psi to zero psi and I used to be nonetheless 1.5 miles from the following exit. I dropped my pace and someway managed to make it to the exit and to a tire retailer solely ¼ mile from the exit. I now have Four new all-season tires with wonderful snow tread. When there’s snow within the canyon, vehicles are required to have 4-wheel drive or chains. Conservative drivers will even have devoted snow tires. Some even have studded tires. I’ll make do as I’ve for the final 18 years with all-season tires, but when there’s a massive snowfall forecast, I’ll keep away from the canyon in my Tesla. I will even keep away from driving in deep snow within the parking zone, as I don’t wish to strip the under-apron off my automotive but once more.

Be aware: After I introduced my automotive to the Tesla service middle just a few weeks in the past to have a squeaky suspension system bushing changed, I used to be allotted $100/day of Uber credit for the 2 days it took to make the repairs. This time I used to be instructed that Tesla doesn’t give Uber credit when a automotive is out of guarantee. Go determine!


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