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7k miles. New motor put in and now need gear box fluid service. Anyone had similar experiences?

Handerso

Member
Nov 21, 2019
9
12
Washington DC
Some details about my car:
4 months old
7.4k miles
Model 3 Performance motor (un-bundled)
Daily commute 80 miles

Last week at work my car experienced power failure, followed by a message stating that:
Vehicle may shut down unexpectedly
12v power reduced, vehicle needs service

After calling tesla, they towed to local service center. 5 days later I was told the front motor was "drawing too much power" and that they replaced the front motor. 1 day after pick up, I get the message: "Gearbox fluid service recommended - OK to drive - Schedule service when convenient" Scheduled mobile service, but they determined I need to bring it in. My service got auto scheduled for mid december - 3 weeks from now.

Any advice, info, or similar experiences would be much appreciated. I am a little concerned about the longevity of my M3 now.
 

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Occar

Member
Jun 20, 2019
156
259
TN
I read the word “gearbox” and was like wtf? I don’t know that we’re going to be able to offer you much assistance other than chin up, it’s under warranty, and it will get addressed.


Why? The motor isn't directly driving the wheels. Of course there is a gearbox. It is a fixed gear ratio, but it's still a gearbox.
 

Timbo2

Member
Jun 8, 2019
215
171
USA
My guess, and I mean guess, is that there is some fluid level sensor or similar and the new motor is leaking gear oil. Do you notice any drips?
 

ZOMGVTEK

Member
May 19, 2015
559
442
'Merica
so we have to change this fluid just like oil changes now?

Essentially every EV has a reduction gearbox that's oil lubricated. The oil isn't subjected to anywhere near the stress it sees in an internal combustion engine, and they often are designed with very long drain intervals in mind. Model 3 is the first to have a fully pressurized system with a filter, its quite possible you may never really need to change it depending on your climate and how long the car is on the road.
 
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kbecks13

Active Member
Dec 27, 2017
1,917
2,367
SoCal
Many higher-end gearboxes have a magnetic drain plug which traps any particulates that may have broken off from the gears. Some of them even have a sensor that can detect when you have debris in the lubricant so you can replace it (abrasives in your lubricant are bad!).

Let us know what you hear from Tesla!
 

Handerso

Member
Nov 21, 2019
9
12
Washington DC
My guess, and I mean guess, is that there is some fluid level sensor or similar and the new motor is leaking gear oil. Do you notice any drips?
No drips that I have noticed. and the service light does say "OK to Drive" and on top of that Tesla scheduled my service 3 weeks out.. so it makes me think its not super serious. Maybe I'll put cardboard under it this weekend to check it out.

Many higher-end gearboxes have a magnetic drain plug which traps any particulates that may have broken off from the gears. Some of them even have a sensor that can detect when you have debris in the lubricant so you can replace it (abrasives in your lubricant are bad!).

Let us know what you hear from Tesla!

Your theory seems to make sense. After the new motor was put in, service only put 7-8 miles on the car, there could be metal bits from a new engine that are typically flushed in factory, something like a break in service maybe? I might be blowing smoke, but when I got my Ford and when I did oil changes on my motorcycle, the break in period was critical as the engine has metal imperfections are present during the first few thousand miles.

I should also add that I drive in chill mode most of the time, the performance acceleration is too much for me in heavy traffic.
 

SeasonedTech

Model 3 Dual Motor
Jul 25, 2017
26
10
Benicia
Hi. I got the same notification on 11/23/19. My commute is about 100 miles round-trip – 3 days a week. The only service I’ve had done on my Model 3 (dual motor) is a service bulletin, where a leak was occurring at the front gearbox filter housing. A new o-ring, filter and fluid fixed that (performed in 6/2019). So for this recent notification, I brought it to the Fremont service center yesterday (12/5/19) and they could not find any reason for the notification. No leaks, fluid level is correct and pump is performing per specifications. They did mention that the warning was related to the front gearbox. I took the car home last night and this morning the same notification popped up! So I guess I’ll be visiting the service center soon. Maybe this is a software bug where the limits became more sensitive. Please update what they find with your car. Happy Friday!
 

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Handerso

Member
Nov 21, 2019
9
12
Washington DC
I got the same message on my TM3LR awd yesterday. It has 19.000km on it. Will schedule a service asap.

How did your case turn out?
It just finished service today, total service time 24 hours, I will pick it up tomorrow. I drove with the message on for 3+ weeks and over 1000 miles with the message on. Never noticed any fluid leaks.
 
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SeasonedTech

Model 3 Dual Motor
Jul 25, 2017
26
10
Benicia
It just finished service today, total service time 24 hours, I will pick it up tomorrow. I drove with the message on for 3+ weeks and over 1000 miles with the message on. Never noticed any fluid leaks.
Please share the service center paperwork, specifically what they did. I have another appointment on Tuesday - this would be very helpful. Thank you!
 

WaffleAndTim

New Member
Dec 14, 2019
4
8
FL
This same error happened on my new Model X the week before Thanksgiving. Seemed to only happen 30 minutes into driving or so. Took it to service, they couldn’t replicate the error and couldn’t find anything wrong. Error came back, took it in again, and they spent 3 hours replacing all the gearbox fluid. Error came back again. Service seemed to think it was a software issue as they couldn’t see anything wrong and the car drives fine.

Haven’t seen the error since the most recent software update, but also haven’t taken any long drives, so we’ll see!
 
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