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A/C Compressor finally failed. But $3400??!

Discussion in 'Model S' started by mzincali, Apr 18, 2018.

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  1. mzincali

    mzincali Member

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    For years we have been complaining that our A/C has been making way too much noise, especially the little thump that it makes when it cycles on and off, almost once a minute.

    So now the A/C has finally died. Tesla service wants $3400 to replace the compressor and a DC converter. I don't recall ever having to replace a compressor in any other car - it seems awfully high. On the other hand, whatever made the system cycle on and off so often is probably what killed it, and we complained to them many times over the years, and they would just say "Oh that's the A/C", and we'd say, "odd, we have had cars with A/C, don't recall any of them making so much noise". Fan noise yes, but the vibration and thumping no.

    Anyone have any insight on how to proceed?
     
  2. Tam

    Tam Well-Known Member

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    When was your car born and how many miles are under its belt?
     
  3. mzincali

    mzincali Member

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    Its a 2013 and ~70K miles.

    The first time we complained was in 2015. Last time we complained was last year.
     
  4. Doanster1

    Doanster1 Member

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    If your complaints have been officially documented by the SC each time, you have a strong case to get the repair covered.
    If it was all verbal and they just sent you on your way, then there’s no hope of getting it warrantied IMO.
     
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  5. mzincali

    mzincali Member

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    But is it supposed to cost this much? Research on the net shows compressors at $100-300.
     
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  6. nowtleft

    nowtleft Member

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    Ask to see the actual price Tesla pays for the spare parts and see what mark up there is. At least they should do the repair at cost.
     
  7. ShockOnT

    ShockOnT ⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️

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    How about trying a non-Tesla air conditioning place for a repair quote?
    The compressor is probably the same as in a Camry or whatever, so you might get a much cheaper price.
     
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  8. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

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    #8 cwerdna, Apr 18, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
    Doubtful. Camry would probably have a belt-driven compressor with a clutch.

    Camry Hybrid would have an electric AC compressor (probably supplied by Denso) which has some chance of being closer, but still unlikely the same part.

    A few Google image searches for tesla model s ac compressor have turned up stuff like Tesla Model S (2012-2015) OEM A/C Electric Compressor HVCC Part# 1028398-00-E | eBay, which is made in Korea and I don't see any Denso markings. TESLA MODEL S 2016 AC A/C Compressor | eBay says Hanon Systems. I'd not heard of Hanon Systems until today.
     
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  9. ShockOnT

    ShockOnT ⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️

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    Yeah I don't really think it's a Camry AC :)
    I guess my point was that Tesla aren't making their own AC compressors, so it's probably an OEM part that's in cheaper vehicles, and a proper AC shop might be able to source and fit much cheaper than Tesla.
     
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  10. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    Tesla Service Centers charge $175/ hour in my area for labor. Your local SC rate will be listed on the bottom of a prior service ticket. Expensive labor plus unique sourced parts = $$
     
  11. brkaus

    brkaus Well-Known Member

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    The DC/DC converter is quite expensive in itself. Did one burn out the other?
     
  12. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    This sort of thing scares me. We're out of warranty and our compressor is loud. It doesn't clunk when it starts and stops but it sounds like a centrifuge that's slightly out of balance.
     
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  13. MP3Mike

    MP3Mike Well-Known Member

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    Are you looking at electric drive high voltage compressors? Or a traditional belt driven automotive compressor?
     
  14. apacheguy

    apacheguy S Sig #255

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    A few have reported that Tesla replaced HVAC components together with the DCDC. Usually it turns out that an internal fuse on the DCDC blew out, but Tesla seems to not like replacing fuses. They just replace the entire assembly instead.
     
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  15. Tam

    Tam Well-Known Member

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    I feel your pain and I agree that Tesla repairs are just too expensive!
     
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  16. mtndrew1

    mtndrew1 Active Member

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    I had an electric A/C compressor die on a 2004 Prius just outside of warranty and Toyota wanted about $1500 to fix it back in about 2006. Toyota ate part of the cost but it was still quite pricey given the pedestrian sticker price of the car.

    It’s not just a compressor, it’s that and an inverter/converter and an electric motor all wrapped up in one module. I think it’s very unlikely that it’s an off-the-shelf thing shared amongst multiple car companies from a supplier.
     
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  17. jeffro01

    jeffro01 Active Member

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    Price seems quite reasonable based on the only datapoint that I have experience with... 15 years ago my A/C compressor on my chevy cavalier went and the shop (multiple ones actually) wanted anywhere from $2K - $2500 to fully repair the system so if you account for inflation and the reality that this isn't a simple repair, the number you've been quoted doesn't jump off the page at me personally...

    Jeff
     
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  18. Brian-MS90D

    Brian-MS90D Member

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    I'm probably going to get a lot of dislikes on this comment as usual, but I can't resit. I do not think this repair is expensive. I have experienced similarly high repair bills on much less expensive ICE vehicles. Very, very expensive and low production cars such as Tesla Model S = higher repair bills.

    Parts for higher production volume cars cost less because of economies of scale and better automation in the manufacture of the parts (more capital equipment budgets for better poka-yoke, etc).
     
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  19. Darren Donovan

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    Tesla has stated that the cost of owning Tesla EVs is way cheaper than the ICE dinosaur cars. We're seeing the contrary. Lol!!!
     
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  20. demundus

    demundus Active Member

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    I have a 2013 with 117k miles and my thump is so incredibly audible it worries me everytime it cycles on. I can feel its imminent failure and it pisses me off how much Tesla works the compressor, so much so that this will be my first ever AC compressor replacement on any car ive owned.

    FYI, remember when they said they have "overheat" protection, to protect you electronics inside? I went screaming for the hills... why do I want my compressor to work its ass off in the blazing heat? Trade one part for another i guess?
     
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