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Almost a disastrous 1st trip (but it isn’t over)

Discussion in 'Model S' started by bsf29, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. bsf29

    bsf29 Member

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    We have had our MS 60 for just over a week and decided to take a long weekend to the NC Outer Banks. There are 2 superchargers on the way with a destination charger in Kitty Hawk, so we figured it was a safe trip. The plan was to stop at Rocky Mount for a 10 minute charge and then a full charge at Plymouth to minimize sitting at the destination charger. Rocky Mount went well and luckily we stayed a few extra minutes. At the Plymouth charger, we couldn’t get a good connection. We tried 4 of the 8 stations and only got an orange light. To top it off, we didn’t have any cell signal to call for assistance. We had 84 mile range with 76 miles to go. Luckily I like to hyper mile in my hybrid and our previous Volt so I was fairly confident we could make it. As soon as we had cell coverage we called support but they didn’t have any failed reports. I stayed just under the speed limit and easy starts at traffic lights. While we had a few warnings that we would not make it, we got to the destination charger with 22 miles to spare. The down side is that we will be spending about 9 hours charging with little to do vs relaxing. From searching, it looks like I needed to push the plug harder. We plan to try Plymouth on the way back and hope that this was the issue. Fingers crossed that we don’t have any further problems and make it home.
     
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  2. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Best of luck. And congrats on successfully squeezing extra miles out. Welcome to the forum.
     
  3. ScottChes

    ScottChes Member

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    If you need some power, I'm in Kitty Hawk and I have a 14-50 at the house. I pick up my car next Friday.
     
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  4. HebrHmr

    HebrHmr Member

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    I noticed that on some superchargers it wasn't necessarily harder but that it almost needed a more swift plug in. Glad you didn't get stranded and maybe it's time for a new cell provider!
     
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  5. Electricfan

    Electricfan Active Member

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    The supercharger cable is more bulky than the home cable, and so its a little harder to push in. I bet you are right and just need a little more elbow grease inserting it. Congrats on your new Tesla!
     
  6. SmartElectric

    SmartElectric Active Member

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    I pack a kit with cotton swabs and alcohol to clean contacts on the charging cord and on the charging receptacle on the car....

    I always firmly press the plug in when at superchargers as noted here.

    I've seen orange before. Just unplugged and cleaned the contacts. Went green when I replugged in...
     
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  7. JRMW

    JRMW Member

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    This might be you car.

    I've never seen the dreaded yellow or orange charge port light at a Supercharger

    But at home I commonly get it
    Early on I'd get flashing orange or yellow 10, 20, even 30 times in a row. Then magically it'd be green

    I've had my car 2.5 months

    Now I only get flashing yellow or orange 10% of the time, and when I do I can get it green or blue with 2-3 tries.

    For my car the trick is
    You have to angle straight in, perpindicular to port and parallel to ground.

    You must push in firmly but quickly, and NOT jam it in

    If it fails 2-3 times, sometimes I don't pull all the way out. I pull back minuscule amount gently, then pushnin very quickly and firmly

    The trick for my car is QUICKLY

    Not sure if it's my charge port or home UMC.

    It's never happened at an SC
     
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  8. OBX John

    OBX John Autonomous Driving Enthusiast

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    I'm a local here too - glad you made it! Been thinking about adding some 14-50 outlets to my rentals - I have one on the beach road where I could loan you my 50amp extension cord to plug into the ground level stove outlet should you need it: The Sea Witch
     
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  9. jsmay311

    jsmay311 Member

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    I don't mean to be a Negative Nancy, but...

    The more I read threads like this one, and also others about Supercharger power limiting (at least occasionally) due to overheating at the plug, the more I wonder if the Tesla charge connector just isn't well designed.

    No one should have to know any tricks about how to plug in their charging connector.
    Or carry around alcohol swabs to clean off pins/contacts.
    Or get reduced charging speeds just because the pins/contacts aren't beefy enough and/or can't handle modest wear associated with frequent use and end up overheating.

    Am I wrong?
     
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  10. jcaspar

    jcaspar Member

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    I wouldn't say wrong, just not experienced on the subject. It is like the first time one pumps gas. There is a very slight learning curve. He has got it now and I suspect will never have any problems again.

     
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  11. HebrHmr

    HebrHmr Member

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    There are tricks to putting gas in my motorcycle and not spilling it all over my hands and tank.

    Gas stations have paper towels and spill clean up supplies.

    Pumps frequently slow down, go completely out of service, or don't accept payment.

    You should rightfully hold the supercharger network to a higher standard but I've had more issues with gas stations than I have super chargers. These are just new problems so they seem worse because we aren't accustomed.
     
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  12. Phoenixhawk101

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    I lived right on the boarder of PA and NJ and the number of people who would just stand at the pump and stare at it blankly/confused for dozens of minutes would shock you. Learning any new method of fueling takes some time. My first stop at a super character I had a similar issue but now have the timing of inserting the plug just right.

    Hopefully that is all this is.
     
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  13. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

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    You don't own a Tesla, do you?
    It's not a trick to have to push the connector all the way in. Sometimes you think its in, but it isn't. After experiencing it a few times you get the feel of how it's heavier than the UMC or HPWC connector and needs a little more force.
    How do you suggest Tesla design the contacts so they can't get dirty? They're outdoors in the elements. Sometimes people let the connector touch the ground.
     
  14. jsmay311

    jsmay311 Member

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    #14 jsmay311, Mar 4, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
    No, I'm not a Tesla owner. But I am a prospective owner, so I'm trying to educate myself by reading testimonies from Tesla owners. And some of it is disconcerting. So that's why I posted and asked if my impression is wrong.

    The OP said that he tried 4 different Superchargers and failed to get any of them to work. Granted, he's a new owner w/o experience, so it's not a huge red flag. But it's still not reassuring. Then another poster in this thread said that the trick to getting it to work it to push in the connector "quickly". This advice is far from intuitive or normal-sounding, so another worrying data point, IMO.

    And regarding Supercharger performance...
    I can't help but dwell on the fact that the Tesla connector is FAR smaller than the SAE CCS and CHAdeMO connectors. This stark difference always had me very perplexed.

    At first I assumed that perhaps Tesla -- unencumbered by bureaucratic infighting between automakers in the SAE committee and freed from any requirements for backward compatibility -- were simply able to use their smarts to design a better connector.

    But now I wonder if maybe the reality is that Tesla made a poor design choice and erred on the side of a small/sleek/cool/sexy connector at the expense of reliability and resilience that a beefier connector with larger pins and more contact area and better heat dissipation could provide.

    Granted, this is all speculation, and we don't yet have real-world experiences with 100+kW CCS chargers to compare to. But it doesn't seem like an unreasonable thing to wonder/worry about, especially given Tesla reputation for pushing the envelope and making risky/questionable engineering decisions. (See FWD's and AP/ditching Mobileye.)

    Also, note that I talked about pin/contactor "wear", and not simply pins getting dirty. The fact that Supercharger performance issues seem to be concentrated in high-usage areas seems to indicate a correlation with the frequency of use. But if the problem was due to contacts getting dirty, wouldn't intuitively expect a connector exposed to the elements in Kansas to stay any cleaner than a connector exposed to the elements in LA. Right?
    Regardless, good design can also help keep a connector clean too, even if it's something as simple as cable management. But if it's mechanical wear that's to blame, that could be attributed to insufficient connector design.
     
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  15. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    I've seen kids who were able to plug in a Supercharger cable for their parents fine.

    (little kid who are shorter than the height of Supercharger cable holder.)

    There's a much older and taller kid (8 years old) whose height is taller than the height of Supercharger cable holder who would give you a Supercharger demonstration on you tube:

     
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  16. JRMW

    JRMW Member

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    For me, it is. There is likely something wrong with my UMC or charge port.
    Likely the UMC as I haven't had this issue at a SC. But I've only used an SC 4 times
     
  17. Lon12

    Lon12 Member

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    I just had an issue with my J1772 for my Leaf. A quick spray with contact cleaner fixed it. I'm going to keep it in the car from now on.
    Dirty contacts are not unique to Tesla.
     
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  18. JRMW

    JRMW Member

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    @jsmay311

    I'm not sure if there is a Quality issue with the charge port, but it's likely not a big issue.

    You don't see a lot of charge port issues with non-new owners. I think I'm one of the few.

    There will be a massive issue with Supercharger access near population centers (especially California) in my opinion when the Model 3 rolls out. Thus if you will depend on Supercharger you may want to see how that settles out.

    I personally will use a SC 0 to 4 times per year maximum, and it will happen in an area far from any Tesla owners (Hinkley MN)

    If you are a person who can go with the flow, you'll love your Tesla. (I do)
    If you are easily aggravated by small car defects... hold for now. At least 1-2 years to see how things work with large Model 3 production
     
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  19. AndrewTX

    AndrewTX Member

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    I'm a new owner and had trouble figuring out why I couldn't get the connector out of the charge port until I realized the doors were locked - I didn't have the key fob in my pocket at the time.

    There are many things different about MS than an ICE car that take time to get used to. I still find myself holding the brake pedal while at a stop sign even though Creep Mode is turned off.
     
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  20. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    Wouldn't it still be a good idea to have your foot on the brake anyway in case someone rear ends you? Also, so your brake lights are on for traffic behind you? Unless the brake lights are on in that situation, I use creep so I don't know.
     
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