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Car needs service - Unable to Charge

My wife jumped into our 2019 Tesla Model 3 this morning to head out for a day trip, including a long drive. She was greeted by the following error message: Car needs service - Unable to charge.


This event was the start of a long day packed with troubleshooting and search for support on how to resolve the issue.

After may calls to Tesla, emails to Tesla, google and YouTube searches, service scheduling and ultimately a trip to the local Tesla service center, ending with me dropping the Model 3 off at our local Tesla service center and then catching an Uber (on Tesla’s dime) to my local watering hole for serval of these (vodka soda w/lemon) before catching another Uber (also on Tesla’s dime) back home.

Bad News:
As of this writing (11/02/2019) this rapid charge port clicking sound followed by the “Car needs service - Unable to charge” is definitely going to be a bad day... Right now Tesla has no clue as to why this happened and is estimating it will take 3 business days to resolve.

Good News:
I get the impression Tesla feel confident they can solve the problem within 3 business days, once the car arrives at one of Tesla’s service centers.
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I recently got the same error pop up while supercharging on a trip to Florida. The car continued to charge and I supercharged several times after that. I scheduled a mobile appointment and got a text stating they needed to know the exact time and date of the error so they can investigate. Still waiting.


Jul 13, 2018
Sorry to hear about your trouble Bullish. I have had a few problems here and there with the car, but nothing like what you are describing. Like some of the others who have commented here, I have, once and a while had odd glitches and warnings that appeared, and then disappeared after I reset the car and or got out and returned to the car later. Curious what happened in your case, but the good news, as you point out, is that Tesla is addressing it quickly for you.
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I'm having a similar issue with my Model S (2015 85D AP1). I charged at home last night, no problem and drove to a SuC with about 70 miles of range left. As soon as I plugged into the SuC, I received a few errors: "Car needs service, car may not restart" and "Acceleration and top speed reduced. Performance may be restored on next drive". I scheduled a service call (one week from now) and drove on to work. I arrived back at my house with 9 miles of range left and tried to plug into my HPWC. It would not let me plug the car in. I rebooted the car twice and called Tesla. They took a look from their end and told me to contact my "local" service center (which is about 140 miles away). We will see where this takes me. My fear is that I'm going to have to tow the car to the service center and they are going to tell me it's not under warranty (8 years/unlimited miles on the high voltage components) and I'm going to get stuck with a huge towing/repair bill. If I had known that this was going to happen, I would have driven to the service center as soon as I received the message (I had enough range to make it this morning). I'll keep everyone posted.

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