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Experience with ultrasonic sensor repairs?

jat255

Member
Sep 11, 2017
108
82
Boulder, CO
On my way back on a road trip this weekend, a truck in front of me kicked up (I think) a mudflap that was lying on the road. It smacked full on into the left side of my bumper and went under the left front tire at least.

Upon inspecting the damage (pics attached), it looks mostly cosmetic, except for the two ultrasonics on that side being punched in. Autopilot and everything works as expected (except for auto park and summon, since the ultrasonics think there's something in front of them from inside the bumper). I already scheduled a SC appointment, but it's two weeks away, and I'm wondering if anyone has dealt with a repair like this before.

The guy I spoke with on the phone said that if the brackets the sensors attach to are broken, then they'll have to replace the entire bumper, since it comes as just one piece from the factory (not a great repairability-design...) at a cost of ~$1k. They won't just re-attach the sensors with glue or something.I'm hoping they just need to pop them back in, but I'm not optimistic. Anyone dealt with this before?
 

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Last edited:

ranova

Member
Apr 16, 2018
408
369
NorCal
During a roadtrip, a car's tire blew out in front of me and a piece hit my bumper and knocked in one of the sensors. AP worked fine until it had to come to a stop, then it would put the car in HOLD since it keeps thinking something is walking in front of it. Additionally, I got nonstop lane departure assist is limited.

I've read that others have been charged about $200 for an hour of labor that it takes to drop the bumper and re-glue on the sensors. Luckily, my SC fixed it out of goodwill. Yours looks like it can be reglued on
 

jat255

Member
Sep 11, 2017
108
82
Boulder, CO
AP worked fine until it had to come to a stop, then it would put the car in HOLD since it keeps thinking something is walking in front of it. Additionally, I got nonstop lane departure assist is limited.

Mine is doing that too, although nothing about lane departure assist (although I think I have that disabled. The mobile service person I spoke with explicitly said they do not glue them back on, so I'm hoping he was misinformed.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
8,933
7,722
Visalia, CA
...The mobile service person I spoke with explicitly said they do not glue them back on, so I'm hoping he was misinformed.

As a professional who's trained by Tesla, you should not glue it back on and you need to follow the Service Manual and replace the whole bumper as recommended.

But I hope you are not trained by Tesla are you?
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
8,933
7,722
Visalia, CA
I don't think the snark was particularly necessary... I was just expressing my desire to not have to spend $1000.

It's Tesla's way.

When an onboard charger is broken, Tesla would swap it out for thousand of dollars.

However, if you are not trained by Tesla, you can do-it-youself and fix it for about $20.

Same with when your MCU goes bad. Tesla would swap that out for thousand of dollars.

However, if you are not trained by Tesla, you can do-it-youself and swap out its eMMC chip for less than $50.

The difference is whether you are trained by Tesla or not.

...The mobile service person I spoke with explicitly said they do not glue them back on, so I'm hoping he was misinformed.

Trained Tesla professionals are not misinformed. That's how they are trained!
 

CharleyBC

Active Member
Jun 28, 2019
1,403
1,590
Talent, OR
I don't think the snark was particularly necessary.
I didn't take it as being snarky. I think it was more of a wink-and-a-nod thing. Since you're not an official Tesla-trained tech, you can try whatever DIY approach you think will work. I know I'd be inclined to.

Meanwhile the other issue is the ugly, um, "thumbprint" the mud flap left all over your bumper. Maybe replacement isn't such a bad idea, if that can't be cleaned up.
 

jat255

Member
Sep 11, 2017
108
82
Boulder, CO
Fortunately, the thumbprint appears to be able to be buffed off (it scraped off with my finger nail when I tried a small section), so if the bumper can be saved, there's hope it won't be so ugly!
 
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