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2012 P85 HV battery replacement options -- need perspective.

gaswalla

Model S,3,X.. CT with Austin delivery
Sep 23, 2012
4,117
5,154
San Diego
For those wondering, this is the thread on the new battery - originally called a 85kwh, then renamed in Tesla spirit (ie, rounded up) to a 90kwh. It’s 350v vs 400v, which seems to be inconsequential for the 2012s.
 

wk057

Vendor & Senior Tinkerer
Feb 23, 2014
6,216
15,233
Hickory, NC, USA
We're super swamped on contact responses at the moment, but we've been getting through them. Give us a few business days on that at worst.

The thing is, I personally wouldn't think you're likely to get another decade out of a 2012 S that's actually being used and not just garaged for show. There were a LOT of other changes between 2012 and 2014 that significantly improve longevity, and more so in 2015+. I think mid 2015 is where I'd consider the S to be pretty solid and probably able to be kept for decades with a reasonable amount of maintenance, on average. With a 2012, you're going to run into issues left and right, many with expensive components that aren't even produced anymore and have no new stock anywhere, and also don't even have updated revisions that can be retrofit to improve lifespan upon replacement. You're kind of stuck with the 2012 design flaws.

My napkin math would come out a bit differently, and I'd expect over the course of 8-10 years, even with a new battery, that you'll spend more on the 2012 than you would cutting you losses and getting something at least late 2014. You might even be better off getting something even newer or even new, since the price delta isn't going to be massive and the added value of the newer models significantly more OEM warranty remaining could potentially outweigh everything else over the long term. Kind of a personal preference at that point, but I can't think of any scenario where trying to keep the 2012 on the road long term is a great plan.

I don't know exactly what we could offer on your car as-is since it would be dependent on a lot of things. DM your last-6-of-VIN, ZIP where it sits, if it drives at all (even at reduced charge/power), and any other relevant info you can think of related to the battery and powertrain in general... and I can probably give you a rough estimate. It's not going to be $29k, and I don't see any scenario where you'd get that back even with repairs, unfortunately, but we usually can offer something pretty reasonable for vehicles (except 60s) that drive under their own power, even with errors/damage/etc.
 
We're super swamped on contact responses at the moment, but we've been getting through them. Give us a few business days on that at worst.

The thing is, I personally wouldn't think you're likely to get another decade out of a 2012 S that's actually being used and not just garaged for show. There were a LOT of other changes between 2012 and 2014 that significantly improve longevity, and more so in 2015+. I think mid 2015 is where I'd consider the S to be pretty solid and probably able to be kept for decades with a reasonable amount of maintenance, on average. With a 2012, you're going to run into issues left and right with other components that are no longer produced and don't even have updated revisions that can be retrofit to improve them.

My napkin math would come out a bit differently, and I'd expect over the course of 8-10 years, even with a new battery, that you'll spend more on the 2012 than you would cutting you losses and getting something at least late 2014. You might even be better off getting something even newer or even new, since the price delta isn't going to be massive and the added value of the newer models significantly more OEM warranty remaining could potentially outweigh everything else over the long term. Kind of a personal preference at that point, but I can't think of any scenario where trying to keep the 2012 on the road long term is a great plan.

I don't know exactly what we could offer on your car as-is since it would be dependent on a lot of things. DM your last-6-of-VIN, ZIP where it sits, if it drives at all (even at reduced charge/power), and any other relevant info you can think of related to the battery and powertrain in general... and I can probably give you a rough estimate. It's not going to be $29k, and I don't see any scenario where you'd get that back even with repairs, unfortunately, but we usually can offer something pretty reasonable for vehicles (except 60s) that drive under their own power, even with errors/damage/etc.
Why not 60’s?
 
Well this is a little disheartening to hear that the 2012-2014 Model S might not be as sustainable as we all hoped. When I bought my used 2013 in 2018, I thought I got an absolute bargain and was hoping that 3rd party aftermarket solutions were start to pop up. I thought backwards compatible battery packs and 3rd party packs would start to emerge. We've doubled the mileage on our S and paid less than half of what the original owner paid, so I feel like everything from this point is just upside. I wouldn't mind paying for a battery upgrade should our battery pack crap out on us since our cost of ownership has been so low thus far. Fortunately for us we've had the HV drain hose, pyro fuse, HV battery contactors, drive unit, and TPMS retrofit replaced under warranty.

I wonder if financially separating the cost of the car and the cost of the battery would make sense since the battery pack can very quickly become half the value of the car itself. Secondly, the battery longevity and reliability seems to be a major hurdle for non-EV owners to get past. Separating the cost and insurance might be a solution while making the industry more sustainable. It makes you wonder how many all otherwise good EVs are junked or salvaged because of a battery pack fault.
 
So here's a different way of framing my dilemma: My car with bad battery is worth something in the low to middle teens, for the sake of argument let's say $14,000. I bought it in March for $29,000 and the second the BMS-u029 warning appeared on the dash it lost about half it's value. That $15,000 just vanished -- it's a "sunk cost" meaning there's no way whatsoever to recover it. Therefore, it's no longer a factor in the decision making process about whether to and how to repair the car.

The real calculus is this: is a nice 2012 P85 (with MCU2) worth $35,000 to me ($14K present value plus $21K for 90 kWh battery) with a brand new HV battery, with expectation of range in the high 270's, faster supercharging, and a considerably longer battery life where I control how the charging occurs? This versus trying to buy a 2014 - 2015 S with HV batteries that are 7 and 8 years old and out or warranty, for more money?
 

VT_EE

Active Member
Apr 22, 2017
2,533
3,560
Earth
Hello Brain Trust--

2012 P85 with 118,000 miles, 12/2012 build, in Upstate NY, with MCU2, approximately 15% supercharging and 85% charged at 20 - 40A at home. I purchased car in March from third owner. Tesla replaced HV battery under warranty with remanufactured July 2020 prior to my purchase, which I thought of as added value in this older car. Car had 100% SOC range of 240 in March with 109,000 mileage, and yesterday had full-charged range of about 235. Car sat unused, unplugged, outdoors in summer heat for six weeks until a week ago and lost most of its charge during that period but had no issues charging to 85% after that. Today the "Maximum battery charge level reduced" warning appeared while the car was charged to 190 miles range. I tried to charge it beyond that and got "charge complete" message, then left it in the driveway -- I don't know what the charge level has been capped at but want to preserve what range I have so I can get it to the SC. Made service appointment on app then got a call from Tesla couple of hours later saying they had remotely analyzed the battery and it needs to be replaced. Tech said it appears that "one brick is shorted." I pressed for more clarity but didn't get it; all he said is that at least one module is defective.

Tesla is giving me option of buying either a remanufactured battery or a new battery; both are 90kWh, and both have same 4 year / 50K mile warranty. Tech said the reman battery would be expected to begin life in my car with about 5% degradation compared to the new battery. Remanufactured (1102982-01-A) is $11,500. New (1101078-00-A) is $21,000. Tech was unable to tell me about actual wait time for either battery to arrive at the White Plains SC but said "about a week."

I'm aware of Electrified Garage, 057 Technology, and ReCell, and have reached out to all for information.

I may be nuts but I am actually leaning toward investing the $21,000 in this older car for the brand new battery -- I would then have $50K in the car. My logic is that I would then have a P90 with something like 290+ miles range at 100% SOC, and, more importantly, I would expect the free supercharging to be much faster for at least the first several years. I would also expect to get 8 - 10 years from the new battery, even if the warranty is only for 4 years, so amortized cost over ten years is not insane. I am also wary of buying a remanufactured battery from Tesla or third parties given that the reman in the car, which was installed 25 months ago, has apparently failed fatally (and is not warrantied as the original 8 year warranty is expired). I love the car and don't have any desire for self-driving or even auto-pilot features, and the car seems to be solid and in very good shape apart from the HV battery. Although I have many other things I'd rather use the money for, I can swing this if it makes sense.

So looking for a reality check here. Are my assumptions above correct? Is my logic flawed and is there a better way to think about this? Thanks in advance--
Get the new pack. You will have much higher Supercharger speeds making the car more practical. The reman packs are hit and miss. New packs use the newer, far more durable cell chemistry.
 
The thing about most of the reactions I'm seeing here is that they're basing it around the Kelly Blue Book value of the car. This is useful for those of us that trade in a car every 5 years.

For those of us that drive a car until it disintegrates I think a different analysis might be more appropriate. The question, what's the cheapest way to keep driving a Model S? Here a low KBB is actually an asset since it lowers insurance and registration costs.

Suppose I have a 2014 MS which is just out of warranty. I'm worried about the cost of replacing the battery. In Salt Lake I'm seeing about 45k for a 2014 MS. To keep a half decent warranty I'd like to make a jump to a 2018 MS. I'm seeing a typical price of about 70k here. So 70-45=25k. 25k to jump ahead four years. I rarely see a quote to replace the battery as high as this. If the newest bells and whistles in the 2018 really don't do much for me then I have to say It's a better value to just replace the battery. Even if the battery dies right at the end of the parts warranty it's still a better deal.

Yes I know other things breakdown. But really the only things to be worried about are the battery and the motor. And I don't hear much noise about the motor breaking down. If you can turn a wrench then the other problems on an MS are not that bad.
 
And I don't hear much noise about the motor breaking down.
well... p85 has LDU so there's a lot of noise about it :)
If you can turn a wrench then the other problems on an MS are not that bad.
thats the key, don't think many Tesla owners can do that (no offense intended, just the product of expensive car i think)
 
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David_Cary

Active Member
Dec 17, 2012
1,354
1,001
Cary, NC
Good discussion. You certainly can't ignore the "total loss" risk. But you can calculate it and put a value on it. Also correct for $25k in damages that you get $20k for that you would absolutely fix with a new battery in the car.

It has been implied but I will repeat. A 2012 is generally a pretty problematic beast. By 2015 (coincidently my year), a lot of kinks were worked out. There is always a big luck factor but don't discount the growing pains on the early cars.

I don't think you have stated how many things have been fixed already. Like the DU - most likely has but when? Door handles - newer generations?

I'd personally get the reman. Tesla really should give you a few extra years on the new battery warranty - maybe 6. Should be a low loss for them and a nice perk for spending a lot more money. Of course, you can do the math on new and expect MTBF of at 10 years at least.

I definitely agree that it makes sense to separate battery cost from vehicle. But 8 year warranty and then Wk057 service plans are pretty close. Capital given to manufacturer when needed. Then controlled cost after warranty.
 
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KJD

OD 7/27 MYLR Red/Black 19's/ No FSD/ Del 11/20
Supporting Member
Dec 14, 2013
1,685
1,587
SLC, UT
Yes I know other things breakdown. But really the only things to be worried about are the battery and the motor. And I don't hear much noise about the motor breaking down. If you can turn a wrench then the other problems on an MS are not that bad.
The motor is part of the drive unit. I would say that a drive unit repair is something I would consider non trivial.

Out of Warranty Drive Unit Replacement and Cost
 
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The motor is part of the drive unit. I would say that a drive unit repair is something I would consider non trivial.

Out of Warranty Drive Unit Replacement and Cost

I'm not denying that. It's just that from the posts here, which I admit isn't a very scientific way to assess things, I get the impression that motor failures are far less common than battery failures.

The motor is also slightly more friendly to amateur mechanics since, unlike the battery, it can't vaporize you if you mishandle it.
 
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I don't think you have stated how many things have been fixed already. Like the DU - most likely has but when? Door handles - newer generations?
This is an issue for me with owning a Tesla -- the secretiveness about the car's service history. Just off the phone with Tesla asking them to share the part number of the LDU that is currently in the car so I could see which revision it is and they refused -- never mind that I can go put it on ramps and pull the plastic off and look at the label myself. The young guy on the phone told me I could talk to Tesla legal and subpoena them for that info and I just laughed out loud. He also insisted that the car has the original HV battery in it -- I told him I have the service receipt for the replacement and a photo of the "reman" label from the battery on my desk. I have three service receipts for the car from the prior owner who had it for two years, but nothing before that, so I can only see that one door handle was replaced, the HV battery was replaced with a reman which failed after 25 months, and the 12V battery was replaced. I had Tesla replace front sway bar bushings and I've installed new TPMS sensors. Otherwise, it's all a mystery.

The DU is my largest concern, and after reading posts about it I asked Tesla to give me a price to check the speed sensor for presence of leaking coolant. I also told them that while they do that I expect to learn what the part number of the DU is, since that is not a matter of looking at classified records.... Or I may go out in the rain today and do that myself on my driveway....

The good news is that the price for the new battery, 10104116-00-C is now $18,000, not $21,000. They also confirmed that it won't be capped in anyway and that I can expect about 280 miles of range with it.
 
Just got a call from the service manager at the White Plains SC, who was completely forthcoming about the car's service history. He told me Tesla can share that information, but obviously nothing about former owners. One hand doesn't know what the other is doing in the Tesla organization....

It's definitely interesting how everyone I talk to at Tesla seems to "stretch the truth" a bit -- this service manager, who seems perfectly nice, told me that with the remanufactured batteries everything is replaced as needed, except the case. He said cells and modules are replaced. I told him my understanding is that this isn't done because the existing cells/bricks/modules can't be balanced with replaced cells, etc., and only then did he say that's correct, "for these older batteries...." There seems to be an assumption that no one who owns a Tesla has ever spun a wrench or read a circuit diagram, and only when you demonstrate some basic mechanical aptitude do you start to get actual truthful information. Bummer.

Anyway, I now know the DU was replaced in 2015, two of the door handles have been replaced, the PTC was replaced in 2019 as well as the windshield. No other major parts replaced from what he could see, apart from the HV battery contactors and then the HV battery itself in 2020. They are going to pull the rotor speed sensor from the drive motor and check for coolant leaks as a goodwill. I will have a loaner for as long as it takes for the battery to arrive and be R/R'ed, 1-3 weeks, starting two days from now. I'm going for it, despite the risks.

However, when I have more bandwidth in a few months, I'll probably sell our 2013 MS and look for a somewhat newer dual motor MS, or consider ordering an M3 or MY, given what I'm learning about the greater reliability of these more recent cars. Or maybe I should put it up on blocks in my backyard and keep it as a parts car to keep my very expensive 2012 alive, haha!
 
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gaswalla

Model S,3,X.. CT with Austin delivery
Sep 23, 2012
4,117
5,154
San Diego
They car had a ‘new’ battery under warranty in 2020? It was definitely a remanufactured battery, and sort of stinky for Tesla to not acknowledge in any matter that the ‘new battery’ failed in 2 years. There was a chance in 2020 to receive the 350v improved 85kwh battery under warranty- it was just a matter of luck. I dunno, this doesn’t sit well w me
 
I would definitely go for a new battery instead of the remanufactured one. You don't just get more range, also much faster charging and many little improvements like better battery cooling. It won't sound anymore like a fighter jet on lunch while supercharging. Also the reliablity on the remanufactured batteries are hit or miss. I drive a 2013 model S with an ok Battery but I'm thinking about to get it replaced for a new one before actually might fail so I can enjoy long trips again.
 
They car had a ‘new’ battery under warranty in 2020?
No, not new -- I misspoke -- it was a remanufactured battery, 85 kWh, 400V, p/n 1088815-01-D. Installed July 2020, five months from warranty ending. The fact that it failed 25 months later is basically all the reason I need to avoid putting a "remanufactured" battery into the car -- for $6500 more I am going for the actual NEW battery.

And, yes, in a kinder, gentler world Tesla would say "Failed after 25 months? Should last 4 years. So even out of warranty, let us fix that for you gratis." But this ain't their business model.
 
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