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12V battery in trouble, far from service center. Options?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Mayhemm, Mar 30, 2016.

  1. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    Yesterday I was greeted with the infamous "12V Battery needs service" message on my instrument cluster. I spoke with Tesla about it and, of course, they would like to send a Ranger out to replace it. However, given my remote location, this would result in the maximum ranger fee of $1500

    UPDATE: I was a little tired when I started writing this thread and ended up posting it before it was complete (confused CREATE with CANCEL), so please hold any replies until I add the second half of the post. Thanks.
     
  2. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    Okay, I guess the EDIT POST option times out after a while, so I'll put the remainder of the main post here.

    20160328_182641A.jpg


    I’d like to solicit the forum’s advice on how to proceed.

    The way I see it, I have several options:

    1) Bite the bullet and pay the Ranger fee. Now, paying $1500 for something that would normally be covered by warranty and performed at no cost if I lived closer to a service center does rankle a bit, but this is by far the simplest solution. I just wish I knew if this was something I need to have done ASAP. I’m planning a trip to the service center anyway, but not until summertime.

    2) Make the drive with a failing 12V battery. This is the riskiest option since the battery could give out at any time and leave me stranded. Tesla has indicated that if I can meet up with the Ranger somewhere on his scheduled rounds, they would waive the $1500 fee. However, this only works if he’s actually going to be in the area at all. It’s also going to involve several weeks on the road (I’m over 2000km from Vancouver), accommodations, meals, etc. A bit much just to change a battery, wouldn’t you agree?

    3) Carry on as normal. The car still drives as expected, and I don’t go very far in a day. Worst case scenario is it won’t start at the grocery store and I have to pay to get it towed back home. Aside from some embarrassment and bad PR for EVs everywhere (yet another EV running out of charge and needing a tow)

    Personally, I’m leaning toward Option 3 for now. Model S 12V battery problems are as old as the hills so I’m sure there are many many discussions and threads on the topic. Can anyone provide me a link to some of the more useful ones? (the TMC site redesign is the bane of my existence) Any tips for prolonging what life remains in my 12V? Would trickle charging it help at all?

    Thanks.
     
  3. Tennisballer

    Tennisballer Member

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    My advice would be to change it yourself it's not that hard have them ship you a battery. If that is out of the question buy a couple of jump boxes and hook one up make the drive. You could easily zip tie one in under where the frunk is.
     
  4. spottyq

    spottyq Member

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    Yep, as Tennisballer said, just getting an inexpensive jump box would solve your problems temporarily. Or at least 12V jump cables and ask a friendly car when you need to start your car.

    I suppose you already know this, but just in case anyone would like to know the rationale behind my reasoning :
    The 12V battery is being charged by the HV battery anytime you (1) drive, (2) charge, or on demand (3) when the car is off.

    The 12V battery is there only to switch on the HV pack, power the displays and computer, manage opening and closing the doors and a few other misc. things.

    So when driving or charging (1 and 2) you could just yank the 12V battery and the car would carry on without problems (though it would certainly throw some form of 12V errors.)

    In the last situation (3), the problem with a failing 12V battery is that it could get too low too quickly for the computer to notice (and start a charge from the HV pack.) in that case, the car would be completely unresponsive and unable to charge. The solution is to pop the nosecone and connect the 12V leads, put the car in drive and you're good to go (until the next time.)
     
  5. Wilf

    Wilf Member

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    A 4th option might be to bite-the-bullet and just purchase a replacement locally. As I understand, it is a standard form-factor 12V automotive battery, likely worth less than $150 from Canadian Tire or Walmart.
     
  6. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    I'm assuming you guys aren't too familiar with the layout of the car. While the battery posts are located just behind the front nosecone for easy access and the battery format is fairly standard, Tesla (for reasons beyond my comprehension), decided to nestle the battery itself way down inside the front end of the car, such that several major components must be removed in order to gain access to it.

    Sadly, as much as I would like to avoid the Ranger fee and get my car back on the road, I don't think it's within my skillset to take the front of the car apart in order to change out the battery.

    As great as Model S is, the interaction of the 12V battery with the rest of the car (constantly recharging/discharging until failure) is one of those things that makes a person wonder what the engineers were thinking.
     
  7. ZBB

    ZBB Emperor

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    I had the 12V warning come up in early March. Couldn't get a service appointment for about a week and a half -- and the car was fine. Service wasn't particularly worried, and I had no problems (other than the message being up all the time...)

    Does your route take you near another service center?
     
  8. S'toon

    S'toon Knows where his towel is

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    Um, he lives in SK. Rural SK. The nearest service centre is over 1700km to him.
     
  9. TLej

    TLej Little-Known Member

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    This is why the Calgary service centre can't come soon enough. Of course, they could always skip Calgary and just put the service centre in Edmonton. Calgary could keep the Store... :p

    I won't be hopping on the Model 3 train until they have this resolved. Luckily, that still gives them a few years to figure it out.

    Is Option 4 to schedule a time to meet Ranger Dave in Calgary or Edmonton? Of course, I have no idea what the Ranger schedule looks like for Alberta, apparently Ranger Dave is still in training.

    Good luck with this, I hope they have a better option in Alberta before my 12V gives out in a year or so...
     
    • Like x 1
  10. TLej

    TLej Little-Known Member

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    Post today on the Alberta Owner Thread now says the Ranger Range is 800 km instead of 80, does that help with the 12V situation, @Mayhemm ?
     
  11. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    Yes and no. Having Tesla cover the first 800km would cut my total distance to the nearest service center in half. Unfortunately, the Ranger fee is $3.00 per km so I would still be looking at a $2400 charge for the remaining 800km. Fortunately (I guess), Tesla caps the fee at $1500.

    As long as the car still runs, I'll probably just drive it like normal. If the battery does completely die and make the car undriveable, I'll have to get Tesla to send up a Ranger.
     
  12. GSP

    GSP Member

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    Perhaps keeping your car charging on 110 V at the min current setting would keep the high voltage system active and keep the 12 V battery topped up. This avoids having the car just sitting, which drains the 12V. That may help until your service visit.

    Good Luck,

    GSP
     
    • Helpful x 1
  13. TLej

    TLej Little-Known Member

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    I could totally be wrong here, but I'm pretty sure it's distance from service centre, or store. And with a store in Calgary... I'm quite certain the Calgary guys aren't paying Ranger fees, and now it looks like we might be covered in Edmonton too. Bear in mind I have done nothing to confirm this, just relaying something that was posted elsewhere. But still might be worth checking into for you.
     
  14. Kalud

    Kalud Member

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    Very good idea, while charging the HV is obviously enabled, so is the DCDC converter that keep the constant 13-14V on the battery. I'd do that too until fixed.
     
  15. TLej

    TLej Little-Known Member

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    @Mayhemm Sorry, the Alberta guy just clarified the ranger distance is not extended. He was confused with roadside assistance. :( Still, if you can get the car to Calgary the new Ranger is apparently nearly ready to go.
     
  16. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    My service message popped up saying 12V battery needs service, replace battery soon. Did yours say that or replace it now? I called my SC and they said I was fine, but they like to replace them in a week or two after the message appears. I have driven for a week and a half with no issues so far. I go in tomorrow AM for a replacement. So far, so good. The only things that I have noticed is that the car goes into a deep sleep at night, even when plugged in, so I need to use my fob in the morning to open the doors and the Summon does not work, giving an error on the phone referring to the 12V battery.
     
  17. Nixx

    Nixx Member

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    Any idea how much it would cost to throw the vehicle on a truck and ship it to Calgary (when is Calgary SC open?) and back? It has to be less than $1500.
     
  18. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    My previous comment was already assuming Calgary was the starting point (I'm ~1200km from Calgary, BTW) Removing 800km would still leave a remaining distance of 400km subject to the fee. Though I guess it would be reduced to $1200 in that case versus the original $1500. As it turns out, the point is moot since the 800km coverage applies to roadside assistance not Ranger service. :(

    Well, it cost $1500 just to have the car transported 530km this past January, so I would imagine the 1200km trip to Calgary would be between $2000 and $2500. Even if the cost was reasonable, I don't really like transporting the car that way. The tow shops out here don't have the equipment to secure the car as Tesla specifies, so I'm concerned something will eventually be damaged en route. I'd also need to factor in the cost of transport and accommodation for myself.
     
  19. Nixx

    Nixx Member

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    I meant ship, not tow. Like put it on the back of one of the trucks that carries a dozen cars to dealers.
     
  20. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    Hmmm....didn't really consider that an option, TBH. I didn't think those kinds of things were available for private use. At least, I'm not aware of any companies around here that offer such a service. We're pretty much limited to the local tow truck companies if we want to transport a vehicle. Usually the fees for bringing in a transport from out of town (like a car-carrier or covered flatbed) end up doubling the overall cost and eliminate any advantage to using the service.
     

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