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Cleaning the vehicle charge port pins

Discussion in 'Technical' started by TonyWilliams, Jan 23, 2017.

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  1. TonyWilliams

    TonyWilliams Active Member

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    I recently cleaned some of the power pins on a Tesla charge inlet, and I was astonished at how filthy they were. There is at least some chance that dirty pins could negatively affect the ability to charge or affect the charge rate in an adverse way. The power pins have both internal and external contact points... clean inside and out.

    The pins can be cleaned with common non-residue electronics cleaners or possibly with an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner. Nonmetallic swabs may be useful. These pins are coated with a thin layer of material for conductivity and corrosion resistance. Do not scratch them or use abrasives which will remove this finished. A heavy build up of carbon on the pins may require careful cleaning.

    What follows are my suggestions in a graphic format on how to disassemble the unit for cleaning.

    Disclaimer: injury or death could result in the handling high voltage AC or DC electricity. The car must be turned off and neither plugged in nor charging prior to cleaning.



    You_Doodle_2017-01-23T07_32_57Z.jpg



    You_Doodle_2017-01-23T07_16_17Z.jpg

     
    • Informative x 1
  2. Moonwick

    Moonwick Member

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    Nice pictures, and thank you for posting! I've never been remotely that thorough when cleaning my charge port, I've found that just prodding it carefully with some cleaner-soaked q-tips seems to clean off quite a lot. Are you able to reach other bits by disassembling it like this?
     
  3. iwannam3

    iwannam3 Member

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    Is this done as part of the annual Tesla service visit?
     
  4. TonyWilliams

    TonyWilliams Active Member

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    No, you would have to do it yourself (not terribly difficult and only needs a few simple tools) or pay the Service Center, or pay a competent auto mechanic.
     
  5. scaesare

    scaesare Well-Known Member

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    Excellent.

    I have a 1st-gen port, and have taken to cleaning the pins annually. If I don't, I'll start to get sporadic charging issues... specifically the car will often lock/unlock the charge port a couple of times after cable insertion. I'll also get a greater number of charge-current reduction events. It appears that issues with the ground and/or pilot pins are the causes.

    I get quite a bit of grime from just using contact cleaner and swabs fromt he outside. Perhaps I'll take it apart next time and see what I find. If so, I'll contribute Gen-1 port disassembly pics.

    Thanks.
     
  6. TonyWilliams

    TonyWilliams Active Member

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    Yes, I think some spurious issues can be directly related to dirty pins, plus it's easy to clean (maybe an hour). If you're using public Superchargers and other public charge stations that are sitting outside, collecting all the grime they car to share with all the cars, then you are a prime candidate for a cleaning.
     

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