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Drive unit replacement - getting better?

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by mspohr, Aug 14, 2015.

?

My drive unit was replaced and my car was produced:

  1. 2012

    27 vote(s)
    16.1%
  2. 1Q 2013

    26 vote(s)
    15.5%
  3. 2Q 2013

    17 vote(s)
    10.1%
  4. 3Q 2013

    25 vote(s)
    14.9%
  5. 4Q 2013

    12 vote(s)
    7.1%
  6. 1Q 2014

    14 vote(s)
    8.3%
  7. 2Q 2014

    6 vote(s)
    3.6%
  8. 3Q 2014

    12 vote(s)
    7.1%
  9. 4Q 2014

    17 vote(s)
    10.1%
  10. 1Q 2015

    3 vote(s)
    1.8%
  11. 2Q 2015

    4 vote(s)
    2.4%
  12. 3Q 2015

    1 vote(s)
    0.6%
  13. 4Q 2015

    4 vote(s)
    2.4%
  1. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Well-Known Member

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    #61 AmpedRealtor, Sep 11, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2015
    If other EVs don't get noisier over time, neither should a Tesla. Even Tesla thinks the noise is unacceptable because they are replacing drivetrains due to noise.
     
  2. qwk

    qwk P130DL

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    You are grasping at straws comparing apples to oranges. What other factory EV's make 400hp? You cannot compare a 100HP leaf to any Tesla cars, just like nobody compares a Corolla with V8 muscle. They have different characteristics. Tesla replaces noisy drivetrains due to goodwill, and you can bet that once it hits a certain $$$ threshold, the goodwill replacements will stop. We are probably about there.
     
    • Disagree x 2
  3. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Well-Known Member

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    No, I'm pretty sure that I'm not the one grasping at straws here :)
     
  4. MartinAustin

    MartinAustin Active Member

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    The newer cars, which make a lot more profit, are probably paying for the drivetrain replacements on the older cars - which didn't make that much profit.

    Eventually though, it will stop, and I think that poll is beginning to show that. Obviously, newer cars haven't had as much use in the field yet for the issue to arise, but it looks to me like there are a lot less replacements going on.
     
  5. iCAR

    iCAR Member

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    The "milling noise" started on my S85 Dec'14 delivery at 17k miles in July, and the Scottsdale service center told me I would be added to a wait list for DU repair, pending release of a factory repair process. I now have over 21k miles and have not been contacted yet for the repair. The noise level seems to be getting louder, can be heard inside the car with the windows up and stereo on, and continues up to 40 mph! By the time it goes in for service at 25k miles, I will request that a repair or replacement be done.
     
  6. TES-E

    TES-E Member

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    I too have inverter noise after an extended trip. I was told ( by Scottsdale center) that a fix was being worked on, and I would be contacted when the fix was available. I reconfirmed that about two weeks ago. No word on timing of the fix.
     
  7. KidDoc

    KidDoc Supporting Member

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    Tesla knows about this issue and their techs are trained for it. I drove with the tech for literally 10 seconds and he said yup, that is what we call the milling noise due to a loose bearing.

    I understand the car is basically in beta and hope they can make a long term fix. On the upside for my case they thought it would take a week but is ready at 48 hours.
     
  8. drsaab

    drsaab Member

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    I have a nov 14 s85 autopilot, and just got the noise starting at 27k miles as well.
     
  9. kennybobby

    kennybobby Member

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    The axial loads wear out radial ball bearings which are not designed to carry such loads.
     
  10. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    "Inverter"? No moving parts in that component, as far as I know.
     
  11. hpham007

    hpham007 Banned

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    Strange, i though one of the posters was sure that tesla knew what the issue was, fixed it and it wasn't happening on newer drive units...
     
  12. Forty Creek

    Forty Creek Member

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    That's a very specific diagnosis! Did you get that from a Tesla technician? And what is the permanent fix I wonder... new / different bearings?
     
  13. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    the last time they described to me with a little detail something about bearings inside getting worn. so I think they know what the issue is but that they dont know how to fix it or stop it from getting worn.

    - - - Updated - - -

    yea this too. it's disruptive to me that it drops to 30 amps because frequently I get home at 10pm with 20 miles range left and I need to leave at 4am with a 90 or 100% charge and its just not possible to get it to 90 or 100% when it drops to 30 amps.
     
  14. rxlawdude

    rxlawdude Active Member

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    Right. It's just the batteries that die prematurely, with a manufacturer that seems not to care. Other than that, the Leaf is an exemplar of EVs. (Not.)

    - - - Updated - - -

    The other data point is that Toyota RAV4 EVs use Tesla drive units, and the last time I was at the Toyota dealer to service my previous car, a Plug-in-Prius, he related they had two RAV EVs in the back waiting for "months" for replacement drive units - from Tesla.

    Concerning.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The moving parts are the windings themselves. Inverter noise is not uncommon in EVs/Hybrids.
     
    • Like x 1
  15. qwk

    qwk P130DL

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    You should probably read what I wrote before taking jabs like this. Can you please quote where I wrote that the issue wasn't happening on the newer units? I said that for the most part, Tesla has taken steps to resolve the issue. Obviously they aren't at 100% success rate, which to my knowledge, nobody on this planet is.
     
  16. jerry33

    jerry33 (S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20

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    Well, they did start caring after the owners sued them.
     
  17. hpham007

    hpham007 Banned

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    Tesla was smart enough to circumvent a lawsuit by proactively changing the warranty to 8 years. If they hadn't, there would already been some pissed off owners and a lot of negative publicity. That gives them a few more years to figure out how to fix this mess. If they can't fix it, they better make the drive unit replacements cheap or else eight year old model s will be the biggest paper weights ever.
     
  18. jerry33

    jerry33 (S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20

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    True if the drivetrain problem is widespread (like the Leaf's battery in hot climates). It's just not known whether it's widespread or not. It is known that if you've had one replacement you're likely to have multiple replacements. FWIW, no replacements at 56-57K miles (2013 Q1).
     
  19. vgrinshpun

    vgrinshpun Supporting Member

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    #79 vgrinshpun, Sep 13, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015
    The properly reviewed and presented statistical data (based on annual owner questionnaires) are available from a major independent and trustworthy organization - Consumer Reports. I am not sure what the "widespread" definition is, but depending on which component of the drivetrain is considered the problem rate seems to be fairly low - less than 1% for the motor in 2012 cars (covered under the "engine" category per the Consumer Reports definition of the "trouble spots". For the Drive System "trouble spot" it is between 2 and 3% in 2012 cars (per the CR definition it includes reduction gear/differential which is a part of the drive unit and other components that are not).

    As far as I am concerned, the problem rate should not be labeled widespread unless it is at least exceeds 5 percent.

    The problem with many posts that gravitate to seemingly authoritative proclamations of doom and gloom and even go as far as insisting that there is a "problem" with the drive unit design is that they are not supported by actual data.

    As far as comparison between the reliability of Leaf vs. Model S up thread, they seemingly ignore the basics of engineering design.

    Engineered products can be designed for the longevity, and such design will tend to incorporate the highest possible safety margins, and because of this, by definition, will not be known for high performance. Another approach is to design for maximum performance, which will inevitably result in lower safety margins (electronic fuse for the ludicrous mode is a prime example of this), and, therefore lower reliability. There are also a spectum of the design approaches that fall in between these two extremes. Any discussion of the reliability that ignores this is incomplete.

    So discussions about reliability of Nissan Leaf vs. MS are deeply flawed because Leaf is obviously not a car designed for performance, while MS is.


    Anybody well familiar with the the Consumer Reports reliability ratings of cars will readily find examples illustrating the above. Hint: Toytas are much more reliable than BMWs not because Toyota can design reliable products while BMW can't, but rather because Toyota cars are optimized for relaibility, while BMW cars - for performance.

    Another extreme example of the performance vs. longevity would be the fact that fighter jets require a lot more maintenance and repairs than passenger airliners.

    Pick your poison...

    Snap111.png
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    • Informative x 1
  20. hpham007

    hpham007 Banned

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    This forum reports a much higher failure rate than 5 percent: Drive Unit Problem / Fixes - View Poll Results
     

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