TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

Drive Unit Replacement Poll

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by nleggatt, Apr 11, 2014.

?

Drive Units Replaced

  1. 1 Units

    272 vote(s)
    79.8%
  2. 2 Units

    50 vote(s)
    14.7%
  3. 3 Units

    10 vote(s)
    2.9%
  4. 4 Units

    4 vote(s)
    1.2%
  5. 5+ Units

    5 vote(s)
    1.5%
  1. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    Messages:
    13,270
    Location:
    Sarasota, FL
    So why use it as a basis for quoting stats....?

    Never mind. Time for bed here.
     
  2. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Messages:
    1,108
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Because, it's pretty obvious that not all 15,076 members are active here.

    On every forum I'm on, not every single member logs in on a regular basis. Heck, some just make 1 post and never return. Some make 0. Others vanish after awhile...
     
  3. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    15,013
    Location:
    Columbia River Gorge
    Really good point. I've had Tesla replace some things on my Roadster that really were fine (by me, anyway), but they wanted the part for analysis.

    +1 Rep to you!
     
  4. Theshadows

    Theshadows Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,904
    Location:
    PA
    It shouldn't be used for quoting ststs but it would be interesting to see which problems are causing he most replacements and if the problems seem to show up after x number of miles. If there are no units getting replaced that have over 35k miles then it's probably safe to assume that if you made it past raft mileage with no problems then you probably have a solid motor.

    It seems to me from what I have read that most of the problems I have seen tend to show up relatively early. Indicating slight defects that show up quickly.
     
  5. nleggatt

    nleggatt Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    389
    Location:
    Abbotsford, BC
    Ok, is there some one knowledgeable enough to create a wiki/excel/whatever to better track this.
     
  6. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Messages:
    18,238
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    All of this still doesn't make this poll valid.
     
  7. Kraken

    Kraken Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    799
    Location:
    Voltageville, CA
    you are working against your point. The fact that it's common (even in other vehicles) might just mean the motor makes noise after time without any serious issue, just like an ice makes noise without any serious issue. While it is possible something is out of sync and broke (since brand new ones don't make the noise), it's also possible that once the motor settles in (a certain period like a break in period in any device), the noise is inherent and natural.

    FYI, the noise in the rav4 videos is similar to what most here are talking about... Since you probably haven't heard the noise yourself, not owning one. The noise in the edmunds video is completely different and sounds like an actual problem. It sounds like something is out of balance. I don't think that is the sound most are having.

    It is possible that tesla is replacing them not because there is actually any reason to be concerned, but instead they are doing it purely out of a customer satisfaction standpoint, especially if it costs very little to replace it and fix the old one.

    and it is also possible there is something actually wrong with those motors, but we can't conclude that at all with the data here. I'm not sure why you, not owning the car, are always also concerned with finding every last issue with it... Even when for all we know it isn't an issue.

    i personally don't expect any moving thing to not make any noise... Hell.. I make a ton of noise even just walking around the house. Until I have actually seen this become an issue, I'm not worried about the noise. Especially when you hardly notice it with any music on.

    btw, the fact that they are being replaced multiple times and even newer cars have developed the noise, means to me that they haven't made the noise go away permanently in newer motors/mounts.

    edit: fixed autocorrect of the word "know" to "meow"... Evidently my ipad is in a "super troopers" mood.
     
  8. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Messages:
    1,108
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    #68 cwerdna, Apr 13, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014
    FWIW, I've driven the Rav4 EV numerous times and have test driven a Model S. I know what they "normally" sound like (w/o the buzzing motor sound). I also have about 8.3K miles on my Leaf. I can't recall a single Leaf on mynissanleaf.com that has had its motor or gearbox replaced due to increased noise and it's been on sale since end of 2010. And, there are far more Leafs in the world (Nissan sells 100,000 Leaf EVs worldwide) than there are Model S. The # of motor replacements that we know of are also almost nil.

    There's This Seattle-area Nissan Leaf owner has already put 100,000 miles on his EV. If there are any who have beaten him, they're unfortunately probably outside the US and in Japan (likely Japanese taxis), also partly due to there being almost 2K CHAdeMO DC FCs in Japan...

    So, you're saying the Rav4 EV noises and other similar videos I've heard hear of Model S motor noises (for which drive unit replacement fix it) are "normal"? You're probably correct on your statement re: Edmunds' noises.

    As for the bolded part, I'm not. For "Even when for all we know it isn't an issue." What's not an issue? The noises? Drive units being replaced?
     
  9. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Messages:
    18,238
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    It does seem that way at times though.

    Just because the motor/inverter was replaced doesn't mean it definitely was a serious issue as others have pointed out. It could be of course but Tesla could also simply want to study it since the car is still so new.
     
  10. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,855
    Location:
    United States
    36k+ miles... original drive unit going strong... really wish 0 was an option in this poll :confused:
     
  11. Kraken

    Kraken Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    799
    Location:
    Voltageville, CA
    #71 Kraken, Apr 14, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014
    the leaf is using a different motor, so yes, something that isn't happening with the leaf might be normal in the tesla motors. Just because they are both electric doesn't mean that it's apples to apples. I certainly wouldn't compare a ferarri to a focus.

    That all being said, with the motor tesla uses, after a certain amount of time it might settle in and when it does there might be a natural vibration that is harmless but can't be eliminated without a redesign. If that's the case, tesla might be working on it but it isn't a pressing issue if it really isn't costing a lot of money to swap it out (if the customer is bothered) and doesn't put anyone at risk if they don't swap it. In the meantime, studying the ones that have been pulled out of vehicles will help with the redesign. Then they can do what they need to do to re calibrate or remount the motor (or whatever temporarily quiets it).

    its possible all the cars you've been in hadn't been to that point in their life. It's also possible that every motor settles in at a different amount of time (possibly depending on driver habits)... Or maybe you were concentrated on other things. It isn't immediately noticeable if you're paying attention to other things or have any music on.

    or again, it is possible it is an issue, but no one here has any evidence that the noise is an issue that indicates something's wrong... Other than a minor annoyance to some people.
     
  12. mkjayakumar

    mkjayakumar Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2012
    Messages:
    2,393
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    As another datapoint, 30k miles on my first Leaf and another 5k miles on my 2nd one - Zero issues. When I mean Zero, I literally mean it.

    Leased my 2011 model - first version that rolled out of Japan - took it to the dealer for tire rotation and mandatory battery check in 12 months, and 30k miles 24 months later - returned it for another 2014 model. That's it. There have been heater/AC problems for quite a few on Leafs that were manufactured in Smyrna, TN but nothing on basic mobility or charging issues in any appreciable scale.

    But of course being in Dallas I would be the first to point out Leaf has one major fatal defect - battery degradation. If Tesla can manage that, all the issues you are seeing today are minor and solvable.
     
  13. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,649
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    The Leaf doesn't generate 430 ft/lbs of torque, either. That is an insane amount of power to generate and transfer to the wheels. If the reduction gear mesh or differential isn't exactly perfect then excess wear is going to occur. I suspect the droning noise is from premature wear in the reduction gear on a small number of cars, which, as has been pointed out, is integral to the whole drive train unit and requires a whole drive unit swap to replace. I'd be willing to bet the motors are fine.
     
  14. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    2,855
    Thats what I tried to explain to him on another forum, but it seems like in his eyes, a high performance drivetrain is the same as a low performance one. Simple physics debunks that, as Higher HP means more heat, and heat is the enemy of reliability.
     
  15. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Messages:
    5,095
    Location:
    Buckeye, AZ
    New drive unit replacements also involve installation of a new, updated motor mount. According to my service center, the motor mount is partly to blame for the droning noises some have been hearing. I've gone through two drive unit replacements for the same droning noise above 70 MPH (NOT the same noise as in the Rav4 or Edmunds videos). The last one was about 2 weeks ago and I received the redesigned motor mounts. Per engineering, the issue should not recur with the new mounts. This tells me it is a vibrational or resonance issue, something that perhaps feeds back into the motor and causes an issue over time. I don't know what's been changed with the new motor mounts.

    We cannot compare Leaf motors with Model S motors. The only thing they have in common are that they are both electric. Beyond that, we are looking at very different beasts. The Model S motor and inverter generate ridiculous amounts of power, especially the P85 drive inverter which dumps even more current into the motor. One other aspect of this poll that is not tracked is the flavor of Model S. Since the P85s have a special inverter, have more P85s undergone this replacement than others? Poll doesn't tell us. It's very skewed towards those who have had problems.

    I don't accept that it's a characteristic of the motor to get noisier over time. The expectation is that if it is quiet to start, it will remain that way. Having your driving experience degrade with time is probably not acceptable to the majority of owners, myself included. If my ICE vehicle's engine got noticeably louder during ownership, I would consider it a fault that needs to be fixed. If it is "normal" per Tesla, then there is a problem with the design that needs to be corrected in my opinion.

    So far, Tesla has been first-rate at dealing with this issue. I hope that doesn't change.
     
  16. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,649
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    clintons' post over in another thread here
    got me wondering - how much consideration should we give to waiting for the Model S to warm up a bit before hammering it hard? I have to admit I've given it no consideration at all. But it would seem it might be prudent. While there isn't as much damage to be done as on a cold ICE, might there be some truth to this?

    I learned on my turbo charged Audi to not lay on the boost until my oil temp came up, as well as giving the turbos time to cool off before parking. Should we develop similar rules of thumb for our high powered electric drive trains, or can we safely discard all that caution to the wind?
     
  17. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Messages:
    5,095
    Location:
    Buckeye, AZ
    I doubt this has anything to do with the drive unit noises. I baby my car, never floor it, and usually stay around the speed limit or 5 over. I've had two drive units give me droning noises, the first one happened when the car was brand new and less than 500 miles.
     
  18. nolngrgrsngslde

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    Messages:
    151
    I'm scheduled for a replacement in a couple of days. 30k miles in 15 month. Got the car on 01/08/13. Non performance 85.

    I never had any issues. Only lately I hear a very low volume buzz at low speed and low acceleration coming from the back. They diagnosed it very quickly and decided to change the drive train.
     
  19. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Messages:
    7,841
    Location:
    Portland, Maine, USA
    When my car was in for wheel swap and a few minor bits, the tech identified "excessive noise at cruising speed" and changed out the drive unit. I had noticed this but didn't have a reference for "excessive". Much better now, and I appreciate the proactive service.
     
  20. rdrcrmatt

    rdrcrmatt Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    551
    Location:
    Milwaukee
    I had one replaced at 22,000mi. It was clunking (since 17k) due to a worn our bushing but also had a slight hum to it at low throttle.
     

Share This Page