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Coolant Low Warning Concern

Hi,

I am new to this area, so hopefully, I put this question in the right place.

My wife and I have recently purchased a 2018 Tesla Model X P100D in August of this year. My wife went for a trip today, but shortly after starting the drive, she got a warning that the coolant level was low. I mentioned she should turn around and I can check things over. I popped the cover off in the frunk and checked the expansion tank. It looks like the coolant level is about 1/2 inch below the low-level mark. I could top it off, but I am concerned that there is a leak somewhere in the system. I haven't found any puddles under the vehicle, and I haven't started pulling panels off the undercarriage yet.

I was hoping to get feedback on where the most common locations are that the system may leak. The vehicle has about 77k miles on it, and I don't know if there have been any issues with the previous owner. I am hoping that it is something simple like a hose, and doesn't require sending into the service center since we are about 200 miles from one.

Any suggestions on the best coolant to use, and where I should be checking for leaks first?

Any feedback is appreciated!
 

ShawnA

Active Member
Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2017
1,192
996
Edwardsburg, MI
Hi @barncricket ,

Welcome to TMC!!!

There are a few major areas where coolant may leak:
The front drive unit, the rear drive unit, the battery,
and the heat exchanger...
If you add coolant it is imperative that it be CLEAN.
If dirty coolant contaminates the battery it is expensive to
flush it out.

Coolant leaks can be hard to find because the panels catch
and contain the leakage...
You may or may not see light stains on the garage floor.
You may have to remove a bottom panel to find the "lost" fluid.
Rodents may chew the covering on the hoses causing leaks.

If you need to add use Zerex G48 antifreeze coolant.
Add carefully and plan a service visit soon.

Normal operation does not lose coolant, there is a leak somewhere.

Good luck,

Shawn
 
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We have a 2016 X 60D and had the low coolant warning for the first time last month, but were in the middle of a trip so had to drive 300 miles with the warning going off. Service replaced 2 valves, one that was leaking and the other because it was the same age and there was no extra labor charge. Repair was done the same day and we've had no issues since then.
 
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ATPMSD

Active Member
Mar 12, 2021
2,013
1,950
Atlanta, GA
Look around the car as best you can. Then consider in an ICE cars when coolant heats up there is some evaporation and, as a result, there is a loss of fluid. I do not know if this same issue affects the Tesla cooling system, therefore, it is possible that your fluid loss in a 3-year car may be normal. My advice is to top it off and monitor. If it continues to leak then address it.

BUT if your car is still under warranty make an appointment to have Tesla check it out!
 
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ATPMSD

Active Member
Mar 12, 2021
2,013
1,950
Atlanta, GA
Cooling systems are closed loops. There should be no loss of fluid.
At least in an ICE car, not true. While these are closed loops the level is maintained by an overflow reservoir, which has a vent. Over time you have to add fluid due to evaporation. A Tesla also has a coolant bottle. But I found this elsewhere:

HOWEVER there is no "Normal" circumstance which causes or shows a Coolant Low message.

The Tesla people I have encountered are very uncomfortable with customers adding coolant. If you contaminate the coolant battery system you are looking at a repair bill beyond your worst nightmares and risk voiding the battery warranty...
If you are comfortable with these risks - proceed with caution.

So I retract my suggestion to “top it off.” Call a Tesla SC.
 
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ngng

Active Member
Jul 23, 2018
2,049
1,173
Bay Area
At least in an ICE car, not true. While these are closed loops the level is maintained by an overflow reservoir, which has a vent. Over time you have to add fluid due to evaporation. A Tesla also has a coolant bottle. But I found this elsewhere:

HOWEVER there is no "Normal" circumstance which causes or shows a Coolant Low message.

The Tesla people I have encountered are very uncomfortable with customers adding coolant. If you contaminate the coolant battery system you are looking at a repair bill beyond your worst nightmares and risk voiding the battery warranty...
If you are comfortable with these risks - proceed with caution.

So I retract my suggestion to “top it off.” Call a Tesla SC.

Yeah, I guess like everything there is some nuance. A correctly functioning cooling system would no evaporate. The only coolant that should be evaporating is from that expansion tank. I also would like to modify my original statement, that a slight drop in the level of coolant in the expansion tank...and we're talking fractions of an inch, is normal. But, that being said, if you are servicing your car you'd have flushed and refilled the coolant before that happened.
 
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