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Anyone else had to replace the whole drivetrain?

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Jgdixon, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Jgdixon

    Jgdixon Member

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    #1 Jgdixon, Feb 6, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013
    :crying: Long story but I was on the highway yesterday doing about 125 kmh, heard a boing boing alarm and a message came up saying car shutting down pull over immediately! Made it to the shoulder on the very busy 401 highway. No power but all other systems were working. Tried to reboot everything with no luck. Called Tesla they said they would send a flat bed. Made some calls for work but not very happy sitting there as traffic whizzed by. Tried to put the car in D after about 20 minutes and it worked! Barely made it to the next exit and it happened again! Tow truck arrived and we did the jack mode etc and loaded my car. Today I'm told I need a new motor and inverter. They had one in stock and I should have the car back tomorrow.
    One interesting note: the car has to be loaded from the rear, if I hadn't limped to the exit I can't imagine how the flat bed would have turned around and backed up to my car from the rear on that busy 3 lane highway.
    Hope all is back to normal tomorrow, can't stand the crappy ICE car that was rented for me, so prehistoric.
     
  2. mcornwell

    mcornwell Active Member

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    Wow, that stinks, but I can't help think that if a traditional ICE vehicle needed it's drivetrain replaced, that it would take the dealer a lot longer than the under 48 hours it sounds like Tesla will be doing it in.
     
  3. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

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    Wow, hard to imagine you fritzed a motor and inverter :)! (Actually I missed, at first, that you were in km/h... 80mph is perfectly normal for us.)

    Another unrecognized benefit of Tesla Model S: on what ICE car could you have replaced the drive train and engine in a day or two?
     
  4. dave

    dave Member

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    I can't help but wonder what that would cost when the car is out of warranty...
     
  5. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

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    That stinks John. Hope they have you back on the road in your S soon!
     
  6. CapitalistOppressor

    CapitalistOppressor Active Member

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    The motor and inverter should be cheap compared to an ICE engine or transmission. The only really expensive part on the Model S is the battery.
     
  7. Jgdixon

    Jgdixon Member

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    Yes, apparently they just drop the battery pack and insert the motor and inverter. I actually can't believe they had one in stock. Apparently each service center was sent a 'sample pack' of parts when the S was introduced. The only glitch could be if they need to replace any extra parts as they do the replacement and they have to come from Freemont.
     
  8. dave

    dave Member

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    I haven't seen much of anything that is cheap from Tesla so far!
     
  9. 7racer

    7racer Member

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    I'm in medicine and not electronics per se....could someone educate me on what would cause a motor and inverter to fail?
     
  10. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    It's very probable that the whole "motor and inverter" didn't actually fail, but only one component. It's probably simplest just to replace it as a unit, and most likely they want the whole assembly back at Fremont so they can figure out why it failed.
     
  11. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Sorry to hear this story--hope you get up and driving soon.

    BTW, I've had my car on a flatbad (inverter fault--turned out to be a software glitch) and it was driven right onto it--no need to back on.
     
  12. mike

    mike EVangelist

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    I would imagine they may want to keep the whole drivetrain for failure analysis, even if it may be a simple part swap.
     
  13. Jgdixon

    Jgdixon Member

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    Todd
    I think the difference is you said "drive on". If the car can drive on the flatbed it doesn't matter. But my car was dead so it had to be winched on. I was just following the instructions in the manual. The tow truck hooks have to be fastened in the back suspension area. It is worth all of you having a look at the instructions, there is a whole sequence that has to be followed. I had difficulty making sure the car stayed in neutral, they recommend doing that and then shutting down the car. But when you open the door it comes on again. Plus if you go near the car with the fob it turns on too.
     
  14. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Less than $120k...
     
  15. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    On one of the manufacturing promo videos, it looks like they just raise the whole assembly up under the car and bolt it on. Certainly a lot simpler than replacing an ICE drive-train, especially if you consider engine, transmission, driveshaft, differential etc.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Any work yet on extended warranties from Tesla. Due to my mileage, I'll likely blow through my 4-year warranty in 2 years.
     
  16. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    This is really why the whole drivetrain is getting replaced.

    The only thing that could really put out the motor is overheating (almost always due to overcurrent). The winding wire insulation ends up melting and the motor stops working. The other is a bearing goes bad (manufacturing defect). Other than this you are looking at external forces, direct damage, foreign object and the like.

    The inverter like any piece of electronics have numerous failure points.

    I would assume the inverter started faulting, and sent too much current out and the car shut every thing down to save the motor. Tesla wants to see the actual damage (to verify their safety systems are working) and see if there is a possible design weakness they could improve in future versions.

    The value to a failed drive train to Tesla at this point is so high they are going to take every one they can.
     
  17. Joyrider

    Joyrider Member

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    Wow...tough luck. It is amazing that you will have the car back in 48 hours, another confirmation of the superiority of an electric drive train.

    I am sure Tesla would replace the whole drive train even if it wasn't absolutely necessary to make sure it is a one off sort of problem. I had an the early Infinti Q45 and noticed some unusual vibration at certain rev rates. A factory rep came to look at my car and by the end of the day they were giving me the option of a new vehicle or a new motor. They wanted the motor so it could be analyzed to see if they needed to make a production modification.
    It turned out Nissan did change how the flywheel was produced. Oh, and it took over a week, not 2 days, to replace the ICE. :smile:
     
  18. Jgdixon

    Jgdixon Member

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    They were able to test drive the car after it got to the shop. Seems to be an intermittent problem, maybe even something loose etc
    The factory told them to drive it over bumpy roads etc. They decided to replace the whole drive train to play it safe I guess. Won't get it back until tomorrow now but just because some of the staff is working at other shops (probably getting ready for the regular production deliveries) Good news is there happened to be an engineer there from Freemont so he's overseeing everything!
     
  19. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    The down side with electronics is infant mortality. In short (pun intended), it will either fail quickly or last a long long time. You are the only one so far out of 3+K cars so Tesla is building quality and screening for IM (and doing a good job of it).
     
  20. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

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    #20 cwerdna, Feb 8, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
    I haven't seen the video you speak of, but from other documentaries and videos, it's not that complex a process either for ICEVs at assembly time. Skip to ~2:28 of The Factory Life: A Behind-the-scenes at Nissan production in Japan - YouTube, for example. Most other ICEV documentaries show it done the same way.

    Skip to ~4:50 of Ultimate Factories Camaro 5/6 - YouTube to see the same for a RWD car.

    But yeah, outside of a plant, it likely not as easy...
     

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