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Beware of Model X

strider

Active Member
Oct 20, 2010
4,135
2,027
NE Oklahoma
I'm thinking heavy car, powerful motor, and low volume parts.
I'm thinking, they made the suspension for the original RWD Model S. Then when they decided to build the Dual motor cars, they figured out how to snake the half shafts through the existing suspension and the geometry for doing so was not ideal. Since Tesla was capital-constrained back then, they didn't have the resources to redesign the suspension.
 
I agree they tried to cram 10lb into a 5lb sack with Model X. Elon's said as much in an interview.

I assume some but not all of these fundamental structural problems with adding another 6500lb of combined weight rating (with trailer) into a 4500lb sedan's platform have been fixed

But, like, it's a Model X. If you didn't know what you were getting into when you bought one, *and then kept it for years and years*, caveat dumbtor. The "this is a bad idea" signals are and were extremely strong.

Oh, and our W212 E63 is at the dealer for warranty work right now on the...front suspension. Tesla saw the reliability of that car's suspension and was like what if I added 2000lb and increased the jerk rate by 1000%
 
I'm thinking, they made the suspension for the original RWD Model S. Then when they decided to build the Dual motor cars, they figured out how to snake the half shafts through the existing suspension and the geometry for doing so was not ideal. Since Tesla was capital-constrained back then, they didn't have the resources to redesign the suspension.

Thats quite plausible.

My car is the original 60, with a smaller battery and lower curb weight (~4462 lbs). The 85 was 46xx lbs.

Im pretty sure the suspensions are the same for both.
 
No surprise here. Elon/Tesla are always the smartest people in the room. They way they do it has to be the best and the way everyone else has done it has to be wrong. Because Elon is a micromanager from hell, no one actually competent will work for him (see also: revolving door of senior leadership). So Tesla reinvents the wheel over and over again.

Don't get me wrong, reinventing the wheel in areas like the drivetrain, are absolutely outstanding. This outside the box thinking has produced some amazing advancements. But it would be better if Tesla would hire and retain a few graybeards to help them with the things that are common across all vehicles and vehicle manufacturers. Stuff like suspension, glass, logistics and parts supply, etc. If they were able to take the best of the current industry and combine it w/ their advancements in places the current industry falls short, they would be unstoppable.

Of course, it's easy for me to say that sitting behind my keyboard. In practice it is much harder to know what parts of the current industry are the best and what can be improved without first trying new things.

It's no secret that the S/X suspension puts strain on the front half-shafts and chews them up. Running in the lowest suspension setting helps. Supposedly the Refresh model has an all-new suspension that hopefully addresses the issue. Though some people are reporting vibration under acceleration which I believe is what destroys the half shafts.

All that being said, I would be nervous owning a Tesla outside of the warranty period. My wife and I have decisions to make as hers is up in December, 2022. She hates the yoke so doesn't want a new S.

As a great beard myself, I'm with you. Except, as already mentioned, these cars are heavier than most, and much, much more powerful. This means the old methods won't necessarily work. The great beards would without doubt give some help, but won't be the total answer. Like all things, we need more experience before we'll know for sure how to make all this just right.

I've got a quarter million miles on my Model S and the maintenance has been much less than it was for instance on my S class mercedes. I think if we're going to buy these kind of cars, we need to know that there is going to be cost, just like there is for any. I think it's been a lot less, your mileage May vary.
 
This is happening on my S. I need to replace several parts, the most serious of which is the cracked sway bar joint.

Why the front suspension? I don’t know. Majority of the weight is on the rear suspension.
At how many miles? What is the cost to repair?

I thought the Model S was almost perfectly weight balanced front to rear.
 

DelPhonic1

Active Member
Supporting Member
Mar 20, 2020
1,099
2,105
Burbank
Teslas are maintenance free. Not repair free.

That’s what the EV evangelists fail to tell you.

Never own a Tesla outside the warranty period.
These guys have a fleet of Teslas and some have 300 to 500k miles. It's nice to see what they spend, even though its mostly highway miles, which are a bit easier on a car.

 

Batt Car

Executive, engineer, entrepreneur, author, dad.
Oct 1, 2018
148
118
West Chester PA
Have a 2017 X and it has been way less maintenance and repair cost than any of my other high end cars. Sure something will fail but it has been very rare for me. For instance just this month got the 12v battery message, got it replaced, first time since I bought it in 2017.
 

EbS-P

Member
Apr 21, 2022
80
26
NC
Had. The business was closed soon after Tesla stopped offering an unlimited miles lifetime battery warranty that commercial entities could exploit.
How many PR and marketing salaries did these vehicles make up for. They are still being discussed about how many years later? I read their TCO breakdown years ago and was impressed by but how much would those cost change with today’s warranty structure?
 
We're looking at a '17 X 100D tomorrow again, and I'm leaning towards it. Low KMS for the year (47k).

I'm lucky enough to have lots of friends in the industry including Tesla so I've had lots of feedback. Nothing glaring but I've got a specific list of things to look at.

Regarding the suspension arms replacement. I work with Land Rover, and have in the past worked with Porsche, Mercedes, as well as BMW through a private shop. Suspension arm replacements are incredibly common on any of these vehicles as the mileage creeps up. The heavier the vehicle, the more likely they are to require replacement. The bushings eventually fail under the extreme punishment of 4-5000 lb vehicles on our wonderful roads. Some manufacturers allow for bushing replacements, but these days everyone has moved towards replacing arms completely. Trouble with bushing replacements is getting them in and out, generally involving a messy and dangerous use of a torch and hours of labour.

Just my 2 cents. Wish me luck on this X!
 

sorka

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2015
9,751
7,957
Merced, CA
So basically they threw a bunch of parts at it guessing what the issue was until they finally replaced a part that made the noise go away. This is why you need them to put it in writing when they diagnose it that they guarantee that is the issue otherwise they never really found it. If you replace the entire car over time, you'll eventually fix any problem without having to actually figure it out.

The air spring is about $1000 US and about an hour to replace. Even adjusting for Canadian, yours is the highest reported price for replacing an air spring I've ever seen.
 
On the other side of this coin, my daughter has an X. The first week she had to have a part replaced, but since then I can't remember anything else. Since she always has to borrow a car when there's trouble, I'd know, but there haven't been any car borrowing over the five years she's owned it.

It has nothing to do with me being a Tesla fan. There are just no problems with my S, my wifey's 3, or my daughter's X. She's planning to buy another one this year. Of the people I know who own Teslas, no one takes theirs in for any unusual service or maintenance. I personally have owned four Teslas, accumulating over 250,000 miles, and have never been to a service center for service. I've owned plenty of Toyotas, and I clearly remember sitting in the waiting room many times with several other owners waiting for service to be completed, and this from a guy who changes his own oil (not any more!) Teslas are one of the best cars on the road, and this is just another factor.

For those of you who don't like hearing this, tough. Buy a Tesla and then tell me all the trouble you have. Doesn't happen.
 

JRP3

Hyperactive Member
Aug 20, 2007
22,702
59,781
Central New York
Buy a Tesla and then tell me all the trouble you have. Doesn't happen.
Not sure what you mean by that, there are numerous threads on this board from people with real problems, some so bad and coupled with horrible service that they've gone from super fans to haters. No doubt the majority of people have great experiences but that doesn't mean the opposite "doesn't happen."
 
On the other side of this coin, my daughter has an X. The first week she had to have a part replaced, but since then I can't remember anything else. Since she always has to borrow a car when there's trouble, I'd know, but there haven't been any car borrowing over the five years she's owned it.

It has nothing to do with me being a Tesla fan. There are just no problems with my S, my wifey's 3, or my daughter's X. She's planning to buy another one this year. Of the people I know who own Teslas, no one takes theirs in for any unusual service or maintenance. I personally have owned four Teslas, accumulating over 250,000 miles, and have never been to a service center for service. I've owned plenty of Toyotas, and I clearly remember sitting in the waiting room many times with several other owners waiting for service to be completed, and this from a guy who changes his own oil (not any more!) Teslas are one of the best cars on the road, and this is just another factor.

For those of you who don't like hearing this, tough. Buy a Tesla and then tell me all the trouble you have. Doesn't happen.

Why don’t you have some beers with me.

The stories I could tell about my Model S ! Would take an entire evening, 3-4 hours. 🙂
 

lynnpt2001

Cookie Monster MX & M3
Sep 9, 2015
574
634
Greencastle PA
We have a 2018 X 75D with 91,000 miles to date. Driven mostly with care. Tows a 5000 lb boat on occasion. Still very quiet inside, hardly any creeks rattles, etc. Have yet to replace one suspension component or half shaft replacement. Maybe we got lucky. We worked out a deal today on a 2022 with 1K miles on it. Started reading this forum today and now I am having reservations about following through? Maybe we should hang on to our beloved 18 and thank our lucky stars....
 
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DCGOO

Active Member
Supporting Member
Nov 24, 2015
2,631
1,839
Indianapolis, IN
We have a 2018 X 75D with 91,000 miles to date. Driven mostly with care. Tows a 5000 lb boat on occasion. Still very quiet inside, hardly any creeks rattles, etc. Have yet to replace one suspension component or half shaft replacement. Maybe we got lucky. We worked out a deal today on a 2022 with 1K miles on it. Started reading this forum today and now I am having reservations about following through? Maybe we should hang on to our beloved 18 and thank our lucky stars....
To quote Clint Eastwood: Do you feel lucky?

Personally, I had many problems with my 2018. Now it never stranded me and always got us to where we were going. But I had numerous key problems, requiring the central body control module replaced multiple times, many ultrasonic sensor replacements affecting the FWDs ability to open. Windshield was replaced twice. 12v battery replaced twice. I had enough minor problems that i decided I did not want to own one out of warranty. So I decided to replace.

So far (2 months) my 2022 has been solid. I had a wheel alignment performed to reduce energy consumption (which was phenomenal). But no other issues.
 

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