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Battery replacement + drive unit replacement = basically "new" car?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by NewCow, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. NewCow

    NewCow Member

    Dec 3, 2015
    Aurora, CO
    General question, but theoretically if you were to get your battery replaced as well as the drive unit replaced, isn't this essentially the same as getting a new car within the same shell? I'm just thinking about longevity of the S, and this seems like a huge benefit if you want to keep the same car for a very long time. Of course, the rest of the car will undergo wear and tear and age, but wouldn't this be analogous to ICE cars getting a brand new engine (which obviously isn't really feasible/practical and no one does it)? Not sure what the out-of-warranty cost on both replacements would be farther down the line though...
  2. apacheguy

    apacheguy S Sig #255

    Oct 21, 2012
    So Cal
    No. I've had both units swapped but the DU is a refurb unit. Refurb != new
  3. luvnMyTS

    luvnMyTS Member

    Jan 6, 2015
    Los Angeles, CA
    LOL, did they also replace the brakes, ball joints, stress points, re-paint the car so it shines like new, replace the interior leather and carpet so it shows no wear, replace the tires, possibly replace the nose cone and wheels that may have normal chips and scrapes, etc, etc, etc. Yes Electric Cars have "LESS" moving parts, but just because you replace two of them does not make the car a "NEW" car. Paint fades, leather wears, rocks chip paint, curbs scrape wheels, squeaks and rattles build over time due to general stress on a the metals of a 5,000 pound car.
  4. DFibRL8R

    DFibRL8R Active Member

    Jan 17, 2013
    Leesburg Virginia
    I believe many of the battery replacements have also not been new with most owners getting packs with prior use when they had a pack failure under warranty as opposed to a brand new one.
  5. Jool

    Jool Member

    Jun 26, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    Not sure I'd call it basically new. Maybe similar to an old high mileage Honda getting a low mileage JDM replacement engine :smile:

    I'd worry more about things like suspension, it'll wear out a lot faster than an engine/motor would. Not sure how comfortable I'd feel jacking up my Model S to change ball joints and control arms!
  6. 1208

    1208 Active Member

    Dec 22, 2014
    #6 1208, Jan 5, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
  7. green1

    green1 Active Member

    Mar 25, 2014
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    not really, the whole car wears out, everything from the leather to the wheel bearings, tie rod ends, brakes, hoses, etc. People talk about how an EV shouldn't depreciate because it doesn't have an ICE to wear out, but there are still a lot of other pieces.

    I had a 25 year old mercedes, and a 20 year old mitsubishi, in neither case was the engine really an issue, they just kept on chugging, but that didn't mean the vehicles didn't feel their age, the accessories were dying, the body was corroding (and yes, aluminum does that too) the steering didn't feel as tight, the panels squeaked and rattled... cars age, no matter the drivetrain.
  8. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Well-Known Member

    Jun 30, 2013
    Phoenix, AZ
    Not unless a new battery and drive unit come with built-in Autopilot for early owners... :)
  9. benf

    benf Member

    Oct 20, 2015
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Yes, it would be 100% analogous to an ICE car getting a new engine, which is actually very feasible and not THAT impractical. I've done engine swaps on tons of cars. Does a new engine in an ICE car or a new battery/DU in a BEV make it a new car? No, not at all. It makes it an old car with a new engine or new battery/DU. :D
  10. Mike K

    Mike K Member

    May 15, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Replacing the drive unit on a Tesla isn't the equivalent of replacing the engine of a standard car. It's the equivalent of replacing the entire drivetrain, differential, transmission, engine, fuel injectors, sensors, etc. So in that sense, yes, if a car ever saw a drive unit failure and you swap it with a known good unit you are effectively replacing your entire powertrain. If you replace an ICE you still have a load of other failure points that weren't replaced such as the transmission, most engine sensors, differential, driveshaft, etc.

    Drive units are already down to $6,000 per my local service center. If that's the price from Tesla, imagine how cheap they're going to be in just a few years when there's a bunch of units from salvage cars hanging around. I suspect these cars are going to be very inexpensive to fix in the future.

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