Model 3 at the drive-in - a learning experience

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Justmurr

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Aug 13, 2017
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102
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PA
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#1
Yes, a few drive-in movie locations still exist and my family has recently discovered really nice one (Becky’s Drive In, Walnutpot,PA). We took the wife’s 2011 Lincoln MKX a few weeks back but had a few problems with it turning off on us and cabin lights staying on with the tailgate up no way to turn them off, plus the touchscreen being too bright and unable to be dimmed enough...so we decided to try my Model 3 next time and see how it went.
Well it all looked good on paper but there were a few times that my lights turned on in the middle of the film - so embarrassing! I will admit that this was partly operator error and on me but here is how it went for us:
  • We found our spot toward the front facing forward, 7yr old in the back seat. I took in my normal level of people eyeing up the car, only 1 guy asked me directly about it...”yes that’s the baby Tesla sir” ...”looks great!” Thanks.
  • I put her in “P” and had my iPhone in the charger.
  • Pulled up the menu and adjusted the exterior and interior lights from “Auto” to “Off”
  • I turned off ambient lights too (not sure if this mattered)
  • I adjusted the display screen as well, clicked off the “Auto” and set it to “0%” - you can still see all the settings in this mode but it was not distracting at all. No need to shut off the display completely.
  • Set the FM radio to the appropriate station for our movie (Jurassic World)
  • Adjusted our seats a bit for movie viewing and we were all set, snacking began.
  • I decided to make a quick trip to the bathroom before the film, upon my return I was informed that the car shut off when it sensed that I wasn’t in the driver seat - I thought the phone being left in it would have been enough to keep this from happening but no.
  • Car kept all the settings upon my return to the seat so we were back up and ready.
  • Film starts, it’s full sundown now
  • All seems well and then about 30mins into the film, the lights flashed on/ then off! yikes! Some level of panic and I noticed that the exterior lights shifted from “Off” back to “Auto”...but the headlights were not on...until...in our slight panic I decided to put my foot on the brake! BIG OOPS! Headlights full ON !! Wife gasping! Luckily I had the menu open and clicked them back to “Off” quickly. Embarrassing.
  • We are back to normal but definitely flustered and I’m unable to comprehend what happened.
  • After some time without another issue, we seem to clam down...until...
  • About 20mins later the car shut down, screen goes full dark, no radio, panic again ensues.
  • I again make the very bad decision of putting my foot on the brake, but this time I know the lights are going to go On so I have my hand at the ready to shut them right off - the lights flashed On, I shut them right Off quickly and the car was back to movie watching mode. Again, embarrassing...discussion in the car about maybe even leaving as we feel like we are becoming a distraction to others.
  • We stick it out and get back to the film, then about 30mins later...the quick flash happens again, the exterior lights setting moves from “Off” to “Auto” but this time I realize that the lights won’t come on as long as I do NOT hit that break pedal!!
  • Things go well again, the exterior lights are left in “Auto” but they aren’t on and won’t go on as long as I don’t hit the brake!
  • Then finally, the car did shut off on us one more time towards the end of the film, but this time we did nothing - the windows were down so we could still hear what was happening (it was an intense part of the film).
  • After about 2mins of being off the car just re-opened again?! All systems returned as previously set, almost like coming out of a brief sleep mode. No lights flashed or anything.
  • The film ended and that was it.... I’m willing to try again with the Model 3 now that I’ve been through this.
  • So Elon? How about a drive-in movie mode someday?
 

3V Pilot

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Joined
Sep 15, 2017
Messages
1,191
Location
Oro Valley, AZ
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#2
Yes, a few drive-in movie locations still exist and my family has recently discovered really nice one (Becky’s Drive In, Walnutpot,PA). We took the wife’s 2011 Lincoln MKX a few weeks back but had a few problems with it turning off on us and cabin lights staying on with the tailgate up no way to turn them off, plus the touchscreen being too bright and unable to be dimmed enough...so we decided to try my Model 3 next time and see how it went.
Well it all looked good on paper but there were a few times that my lights turned on in the middle of the film - so embarrassing! I will admit that this was partly operator error and on me but here is how it went for us:
  • We found our spot toward the front facing forward, 7yr old in the back seat. I took in my normal level of people eyeing up the car, only 1 guy asked me directly about it...”yes that’s the baby Tesla sir” ...”looks great!” Thanks.
  • I put her in “P” and had my iPhone in the charger.
  • Pulled up the menu and adjusted the exterior and interior lights from “Auto” to “Off”
  • I turned off ambient lights too (not sure if this mattered)
  • I adjusted the display screen as well, clicked off the “Auto” and set it to “0%” - you can still see all the settings in this mode but it was not distracting at all. No need to shut off the display completely.
  • Set the FM radio to the appropriate station for our movie (Jurassic World)
  • Adjusted our seats a bit for movie viewing and we were all set, snacking began.
  • I decided to make a quick trip to the bathroom before the film, upon my return I was informed that the car shut off when it sensed that I wasn’t in the driver seat - I thought the phone being left in it would have been enough to keep this from happening but no.
  • Car kept all the settings upon my return to the seat so we were back up and ready.
  • Film starts, it’s full sundown now
  • All seems well and then about 30mins into the film, the lights flashed on/ then off! yikes! Some level of panic and I noticed that the exterior lights shifted from “Off” back to “Auto”...but the headlights were not on...until...in our slight panic I decided to put my foot on the brake! BIG OOPS! Headlights full ON !! Wife gasping! Luckily I had the menu open and clicked them back to “Off” quickly. Embarrassing.
  • We are back to normal but definitely flustered and I’m unable to comprehend what happened.
  • After some time without another issue, we seem to clam down...until...
  • About 20mins later the car shut down, screen goes full dark, no radio, panic again ensues.
  • I again make the very bad decision of putting my foot on the brake, but this time I know the lights are going to go On so I have my hand at the ready to shut them right off - the lights flashed On, I shut them right Off quickly and the car was back to movie watching mode. Again, embarrassing...discussion in the car about maybe even leaving as we feel like we are becoming a distraction to others.
  • We stick it out and get back to the film, then about 30mins later...the quick flash happens again, the exterior lights setting moves from “Off” to “Auto” but this time I realize that the lights won’t come on as long as I do NOT hit that break pedal!!
  • Things go well again, the exterior lights are left in “Auto” but they aren’t on and won’t go on as long as I don’t hit the brake!
  • Then finally, the car did shut off on us one more time towards the end of the film, but this time we did nothing - the windows were down so we could still hear what was happening (it was an intense part of the film).
  • After about 2mins of being off the car just re-opened again?! All systems returned as previously set, almost like coming out of a brief sleep mode. No lights flashed or anything.
  • The film ended and that was it.... I’m willing to try again with the Model 3 now that I’ve been through this.
  • So Elon? How about a drive-in movie mode someday?
I believe there are some apps out there with "camping mode" that might work for movies as well. Basically the contact the car every 20 minutes or so (via the app) to re-engage the A/C. Keeps the car running all night long with no interruptions.
 

Ed Woodrick

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 25, 2018
Messages
233
Location
Atlanta, GA
Tesla Owner
Model 3
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#3
Yes, a few drive-in movie locations still exist and my family has recently discovered really nice one (Becky’s Drive In, Walnutpot,PA).
Maybe the right answer is to get a powered Bluetooth speaker (even better if it has FM receiver) connect your phone to it and go in FM radio mode.

Get the car windows in the right position. Just shut the car down.
 

GDN

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Far North Dallas, TX
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#4
Interesting that the lights kept going back to auto, maybe something about the profile they were saved in? Maybe just select the exit profile and make sure the lights are set to off which you tried to do. When you exited the car anyone left in the car should have just been able to touch the screen to get things going again. A good point about the brake pedal, I guess item one which you learned and shared is to not touch the pedal at all. Just touch the screen every 30 minutes or so should have been all it would take. Thanks for sharing the other information, turning it down to 0 and still being able to see the options is nice. but as also noted, you could have just into the cleaning mode and turned the screen completely off.
 
Last edited:

stuff

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Sep 19, 2017
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USA
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#5
Interesting that the lights kept going back to auto, maybe something about the profile they were saved in? .
An excellent point. Perhaps create a DriveIn profile that has all the correct defaults, including movie watching seat positions? Would be interesting if someone was to create a documented list of what settings are and are-not included in stored profiles. (Hint: For all you YouTubers out there looking for something unique)
 
Last edited:
Joined
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#6
Hi, I'm going to be visiting a drive-in this weekend. We tune into an FM band for the movie's sound. Will be staying for the double, maybe even triple header, meaning that i'll be running the radio for over 6 hours. Has anyone had experience running the radio this long? Do I need to worry about the 12v going dead?
 

viperd

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Joined
Feb 16, 2017
Messages
66
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texas
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#7
Hi, I'm going to be visiting a drive-in this weekend. We tune into an FM band for the movie's sound. Will be staying for the double, maybe even triple header, meaning that i'll be running the radio for over 6 hours. Has anyone had experience running the radio this long? Do I need to worry about the 12v going dead?
I’ll let owners comment on battery, but check this thread https://model3ownersclub.com/threads/model-3-at-the-drive-in-a-learning-experience.7578/ for someone else’s experience at the Drive-In.
 

KarenRei

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Jul 27, 2017
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Reykjavík
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#8
Why not just migrate the official camper mode (I forget what Tesla calls it...) rather than having Tesla make a special "drive-in mode"? My understanding is that they haven't made it available for Model 3 yet, but surely that's on its way.
 

Justmurr

Active Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2017
Messages
102
Location
PA
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Country
#9
Hi, I'm going to be visiting a drive-in this weekend. We tune into an FM band for the movie's sound. Will be staying for the double, maybe even triple header, meaning that i'll be running the radio for over 6 hours. Has anyone had experience running the radio this long? Do I need to worry about the 12v going dead?
I forgot to mention the drainage for my experience was around 25miles. A bit more than 2hrs, with the few “glitches” as mentioned above.
I’d be interested if you have similar experiences.
I wouldn’t worry about the 12v going dead - I’m no expert but I assume it uses the main battery to keep itself going.
 

Justmurr

Active Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2017
Messages
102
Location
PA
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Country
#10
Why not just migrate the official camper mode (I forget what Tesla calls it...) rather than having Tesla make a special "drive-in mode"? My understanding is that they haven't made it available for Model 3 yet, but surely that's on its way.
Funny, when we parked in our spot at the drive-in I even said it out loud to my wife... wish I had “camper mode” but that didn’t reach us 3 owners yet, maybe someday sooner or later.