Even under the best of circumstances, accidents can happen. This week, Tommy planned to put TFL’s long-term Tesla Model 3 and its all-wheel drive system through its paces. To do that, this Dual Motor model will go through our slip test, to see what happens in various conditions when certain wheels lose grip. Unfortunately, there was a bit of a crunch along the way.
As its name suggests, the Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor has electric motors on each axle. One distributes power to the front wheels, while the other distributes power to the rear. Beyond anecdotal knowledge, where the car’s computers use algorithms to figure out how much power to distribute at any given moment, Tesla does not publish much public information on how its all-wheel drive system actually works.
Unlike some all-wheel drive systems, the Tesla Model 3 does not allow drivers to select from multiple driving modes. However, there is one setting that may help in slippery conditions called “Slip Start”. That setting disengages the car’s traction control to help free itself in snow, sand or mud. “Creep” also lets the Model 3 act like a normal car, moving forward when you release the brake pedal. For the start of the test, however, we just test the car in its normal mode. Check out the video above to see how the tests turn out!
The next day…
After Tommy finished the slip tests, that’s when the nightmare begins for our crashed Tesla Model 3. The car crunched into our garage while he backed the car in after filming. The result? A busted tail light, as well as a damaged bumper and part of the rear trunk hatch.
The real pain, of course, is the difficulty of taking a Tesla in for repairs. Of 18 body shops around Boulder, Colorado, only one is Tesla-approved. What’s more, finding a body shop that is in your insurance network may prove even tougher, if not impossible.
As it turns out, the body shop that State Farm works with is in the Denver area — about an hour drive away. After heading down there, the damage estimate comes in. The cost to repair a crashed Tesla Model 3? $6,193.73. Ouch.
When it comes to ordering the parts and sorting any unseen damage, TFL may be in for a long ordeal to fix our long-term Tesla Model 3. In the meantime, we’ll still film more videos and update you on the process. Fortunately, the broken tail light still functions, so it is road-legal to drive our Model 3 while it’s waitin g for repairs.