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Car shut down after car wash, Tesla says oil pump seal

n2mb_racing

Active Member
Jun 14, 2014
1,133
711
durham, NC
I took our older RWD LR model 3 through a no-touch car wash and about 2 miles later, it flashed a bunch of errors and then refused to move again once I stopped. Then after about 30 minutes, it started working again and was fine all weekend. I drove it to service and Tesla says, "Upon diagnoses, we have found that the oil pump seal is defective."

Not a big deal, but I wonder if that isn't the real problem? I can't find any info, but I don't think the oil pump is on the high voltage supply. I assumed the problem would be a high voltage electrical connection that wasn't fully sealed. Once it got wet, there'd be some current leak that the car would sense and shut down. I don't think 12V would have much measurable leakage current with water ingress, so I wouldn't have expected the problem to be on the 12V side.

Any thoughts?
 

ZOMGVTEK

Member
May 19, 2015
559
434
'Merica
The oil pump is definitely 12V. I wouldn't think water ingress into the pump or connector would be an issue that quickly. Based on the few people that had the pump fail, it didn't throw a bunch of codes and the car was drive-able. It wouldn't make a lot of sense the pump would seal a leakage path to HV. Maybe they're being slightly vague since the real issue is a bad look?

Luckily at least, this doesn't appear to be a common thing. Presumably it should be fixed when it leaves.
 

North75

Member
Mar 28, 2017
608
739
MA
So what is it lubricating? It's not like Tesla has a tranny ...
There is a single speed reduction gear / differential in there somewhere. It seems that they are pumping the oil through an oil to coolant heat exchanger to get the heat out of assembly as well.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

ZOMGVTEK

Member
May 19, 2015
559
434
'Merica
So what is it lubricating? It's not like Tesla has a tranny ...

Its lubricating the differential and reduction drive, as well as providing cooling for the motor assembly. As far as I know, every production EV has oil in the reduction box. Model 3 happens to have a pump and runs it through a filter, as well as use it to pull heat out of the motor. It’s quite possible the oil may never need to be changed, but it’s vitally critical to the proper operation.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

iwannam3

Member
Aug 8, 2016
921
1,300
Washington
S and X don't have an oil filter. My guess is that they determined many of the early S & X drive unit failures could have been prevented with an oil filter so the model 3 has one. No service interval I can find.
 

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