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

mzincali

Member
Apr 18, 2018
5
4
orinda, ca
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?
 

Doanster1

Active Member
Feb 14, 2018
1,031
558
Oregon
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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nowtleft

Member
Apr 16, 2017
298
92
Uk
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.
 

cwerdna

Active Member
Jul 11, 2012
3,639
2,548
SF Bay Area, CA
The compressor is probably the same as in a Camry or whatever, so you might get a much cheaper price.
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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ShockOnT

⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️
Jun 26, 2016
3,404
3,093
Sydney
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.
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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Az_Rael

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jan 26, 2016
5,644
8,829
Palmdale, CA
But is it supposed to cost this much? Research on the net shows compressors at $100-300.

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 = $$
 

Rockster

Active Member
Oct 22, 2013
3,012
4,621
McKinney, TX
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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mtndrew1

Active Member
May 12, 2015
1,350
3,767
Gardena, CA
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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jeffro01

Active Member
Jan 30, 2013
2,693
1,959
Teller County CO
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?

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
 

Brian-MS90D

Member
May 31, 2017
176
125
Cincinnati, OH
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).
 

demundus

Active Member
Jul 5, 2015
1,335
868
Oceanside, CA
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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