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2013 Model S Large drive unit (LDU) repaired

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I want to share my recent experience in hopes that it may help some of you save money and get a proper repair.

I own a 2013 Model S 85 with 123k miles, way out of warranty now.

Noise and issues with Tesla diagnosis:

About 2 months ago my car started making a tapping noise as I drove at lower speeds. I decided to make an appointment at my local Tesla service center in Westmont, IL. Their diagnosis was to replace the entire suspension for $4400. I decided to only spend $373 and have the front arms replaced.
The noise continued, and because the diagnosis was not specific, I decided to take my car to a local shop and have it diagnosed. There they scoped the sound and found it to be the drive unit, took them a few hours so the cost there was just under $200.
I immediately made another appointment with my local Tesla Service center, and upon bringing it in explaining the findings the tech confirmed that the noise which was now more pronounced is in fact the drive unit. The quoted me $8500 for a remanufactured drive unit replacement. I decided it was too much and had to think about my next steps. It was also the same amount of money they just quoted me for trading in my Model S, so it was a bit frustrating to say the least.

Research:
Now I wanted to find a 3rd party service center. I have heard of several but Gruber along with several others are too far AZ, CA, etc., Living in the Chicago Area I decided to deliver my car to Electrified Garage to repair my drive unit, which might be a good idea for anyone living near the east coast. I continued to do some research where I found a local Engineer and Tesla enthusiast Jordan Tesla Repair in Libertyville, IL. He was quick to reach back out and share a lot of information about my problem along with some other issues. Unfortunately, at the time he did not have a garage, so he referred me to Paul Erickson of Forklifts by day and Teslas by night in Armstrong, IA. After speaking to Paul, I was convinced that this was my best solution, and so very glad I found the two of them. I learned that my LDU was replaced at 56k miles before with a reman unit and now again at 123k miles which was less than 67k miles of life. Tesla offers a 50k mile warranty which is just too funny to me now that I see the trend of the LDU life.

Process and repair:

Paul was able to arrange transport of my vehicle to his Garage in Iowa (Armstrong Mobile Forklift Repair). Once delivered Paul went straight to work on it. I will share some of the many photos he shared with me along the process of repairing and informing me of the specific issues and precise solutions to remediate future trouble. My issue which seems to be very common in the early model LDU is coolant leakage into the motor or electronics themselves. Thankfully I caught it early enough that the electronics stayed dry/safe. The gears and bearings however were not as fortunate. The LDU was completely repaired, new gaskets, bearings, gears, and coolant delete implemented to prevent reoccurring issue. While he had it I also went ahead and had the rear cams, cv shafts, and air suspension replaced as well as Paul’s recommended battery pressure test, alignment, and brake inspection. Paul is very detail oriented and knowledgeable and just made me feel so confident that my car will be repaired properly and last longer than having this LDU swapped out at Tesla. His pricing is more than fair and his work speaks for itself. I ended up having all that work done for under $6k taxes included. If you live in the IA or MN area and are out of warranty, then look no further, going to Paul is a no brainer. I would suggest anyone in the Chicago area to reach out to Jordan now that he just opened his garage in Libertyville. He is capable and he can save you transport fees to Iowa. These two gentlemen you must know, especially if you own a Tesla out of warranty like myself. Honest, trustworthy and knowledgeable service tech/engineers.
Additionally, Jordan is manufacturing 3rd party upgrades to these older Tesla models as well which is fantastic.

I hope this information helps one of you Tesla owners out there in a similar predicament.
Feel free to post or reach out for any additional info or questions. I tried to keep this as short as possible but there is so much to share.

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I want to share my recent experience in hopes that it may help some of you save money and get a proper repair.

I own a 2013 Model S 85 with 123k miles, way out of warranty now.

Noise and issues with Tesla diagnosis:

About 2 months ago my car started making a tapping noise as I drove at lower speeds. I decided to make an appointment at my local Tesla service center in Westmont, IL. Their diagnosis was to replace the entire suspension for $4400. I decided to only spend $373 and have the front arms replaced.
The noise continued, and because the diagnosis was not specific, I decided to take my car to a local shop and have it diagnosed. There they scoped the sound and found it to be the drive unit, took them a few hours so the cost there was just under $200.
I immediately made another appointment with my local Tesla Service center, and upon bringing it in explaining the findings the tech confirmed that the noise which was now more pronounced is in fact the drive unit. The quoted me $8500 for a remanufactured drive unit replacement. I decided it was too much and had to think about my next steps. It was also the same amount of money they just quoted me for trading in my Model S, so it was a bit frustrating to say the least.

Research:
Now I wanted to find a 3rd party service center. I have heard of several but Gruber along with several others are too far AZ, CA, etc., Living in the Chicago Area I decided to deliver my car to Electrified Garage to repair my drive unit, which might be a good idea for anyone living near the east coast. I continued to do some research where I found a local Engineer and Tesla enthusiast Jordan Tesla Repair in Libertyville, IL. He was quick to reach back out and share a lot of information about my problem along with some other issues. Unfortunately, at the time he did not have a garage, so he referred me to Paul Erickson of Forklifts by day and Teslas by night in Armstrong, IA. After speaking to Paul, I was convinced that this was my best solution, and so very glad I found the two of them. I learned that my LDU was replaced at 56k miles before with a reman unit and now again at 123k miles which was less than 67k miles of life. Tesla offers a 50k mile warranty which is just too funny to me now that I see the trend of the LDU life.

Process and repair:

Paul was able to arrange transport of my vehicle to his Garage in Iowa (Armstrong Mobile Forklift Repair). Once delivered Paul went straight to work on it. I will share some of the many photos he shared with me along the process of repairing and informing me of the specific issues and precise solutions to remediate future trouble. My issue which seems to be very common in the early model LDU is coolant leakage into the motor or electronics themselves. Thankfully I caught it early enough that the electronics stayed dry/safe. The gears and bearings however were not as fortunate. The LDU was completely repaired, new gaskets, bearings, gears, and coolant delete implemented to prevent reoccurring issue. While he had it I also went ahead and had the rear cams, cv shafts, and air suspension replaced as well as Paul’s recommended battery pressure test, alignment, and brake inspection. Paul is very detail oriented and knowledgeable and just made me feel so confident that my car will be repaired properly and last longer than having this LDU swapped out at Tesla. His pricing is more than fair and his work speaks for itself. I ended up having all that work done for under $6k taxes included. If you live in the IA or MN area and are out of warranty, then look no further, going to Paul is a no brainer. I would suggest anyone in the Chicago area to reach out to Jordan now that he just opened his garage in Libertyville. He is capable and he can save you transport fees to Iowa. These two gentlemen you must know, especially if you own a Tesla out of warranty like myself. Honest, trustworthy and knowledgeable service tech/engineers.
Additionally, Jordan is manufacturing 3rd party upgrades to these older Tesla models as well which is fantastic.

I hope this information helps one of you Tesla owners out there in a similar predicament.
Feel free to post or reach out for any additional info or questions. I tried to keep this as short as possible but there is so much to share.

View attachment 1040009
awesome post. thanks for the info. i live 45 min from libertyville
 
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