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For non-electronic maintenance, can you use your regular car mechanic?

Discussion in 'Roadster: Technical' started by John W. Ratcliff, Apr 30, 2016.

  1. John W. Ratcliff

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    I have a great mechanic who has worked on all of my cars (Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, NSX, Porsche, BMW, etc.)

    I realize that for anything related to the electronic systems on my Roadster I have to take it to Tesla. However, if it needs any normal general car work; tires, brakes, suspension, is there any reason not to just let my regular mechanic do this work?

    Thanks,

    John
     
  2. supersnoop

    supersnoop Tesla Roadster #334

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    This is the main reason: Jacking up a Roadster

    As long as you pay attention to the jack points, tires/brakes/suspension should be fine for anyone to do.
     
  3. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    I've also heard of mechanics over-torquing the lugnuts which can, in the right conditions, seize the lug bolt to the rotor thread and that cost some money to fix. Also over torquing can cause rotor damage. If Tesla isn't available or close, an experienced Lotus mechanic who specializes in the Lotus Elise/Exige is the next best thing, even at times better than Tesla!
     
  4. John W. Ratcliff

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    Ok, thanks, this all sounds like good advice. I hate to take away business from my existing mechanic, but I gotta be safe with my car too.
     
  5. gaswalla

    gaswalla P4201/85/airsusp/pano/19i

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    Yes, you can go to a quality repair shop..especially for tires, brakes, alignment. It's a car (speak from personal experience)
     
  6. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    I don't even trust wheel-shops, I pull my tires off with my new tire and instruct them how to mount them professionally, matching the yellow dot with the valve stems. They've manage to screw-up that simple task with me, so how do you think they'd be in lifting, working, and torquing down your car correctly?

    Find a reputable Lotus shop, preferably one that's active in racing Lotus's. Have them look over the Roadster suspension-wise, bushings, etc, , ask questions, and build a relationship with them. These guys are the true experts on the Roadster's suspension and handling, tons better than Tesla. They know what wears, breaks, and needs to be replaced in a proactive maintenance sense do to stressing the Elise/Exige at the track and working on a higher density in terms of #'s built and maintained, for a specialty car.
     
  7. thefortunes

    thefortunes Member

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    +1
     
  8. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    #8 wiztecy, Apr 30, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
    And even professionals mess up. That's why I prefer to do as much of the maintenance and upgrades I can. To catch something that's not correct and fix it. For example, I'm currently putting in some MonoBall spherical bushings all the way around in the control arms to get more feel of the road and less friction in the arms which offer better response. So when I was working on the passenger front, I popped/separated everything out (tie rods, ball joints) and then when I popped the lower ball joint out, grease and water came out of the top of the boot. That's not good. I really had thought I'd cut the boot, but when I cleaned things up and looked closer, the top circle clip was totally missing and the function of this keeps the boot snug to the ball joint and prevents dirt and water contamination to the ball joint and grease. I should be able to recover it and will use a wire twist to snug it up.... Going to have to wick up the moisture and repack the ball joint. Thing is I don't know where this went missing.... Was it Tesla or was it when I had my aftermarket shocks put on by a Lotus shop? I really don't know. I don't even believe that the lower ball joint needed to be separated to replace the shock. So in a sense it couldn't have been the Lotus shop. Its an easy mistake, I've personally experienced it popping the tie rod ends, the clips always come off. But I know to inspect closely there now. The circle clip could have come off before it was mounted to the car by Tesla. Anyways.... Happy I caught it no matter where it happened.... No harsh / negative feelings towards anyone. But I'll never know where it disappeared.

    Getting back to the thread, a person more specialized in identifying these things, like a clip missing, comes from working on those particular types of cars knowing to be aware in certain areas where you're working, a good mechanic will always double check these "problem" areas since it may have been observed on other cars of similar makeup. A generic mechanic, not so much.
     
  9. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    Just replace it. The ball joints are not expensive for the Roadster. You don't know if you'll ever get the moisture out and it will be a tedious, time consuming job.
     
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  10. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    Thanks. That's the right and smart way to go. After sleeping on it I'm going to replace all of the 8 ball joints, uppers and lowers. I have all the control arms off, seems to make the most practical sense to replace them all since I'll have all the control arms off.
     
  11. tvuolo

    tvuolo Member

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    That's not a viable option in Denver. The Lotus shop wants a minimum of $700 to do an alignment. $200 to mount and balance a tire... A SINGLE TIRE. However, the local Lamborghini shop will work on them at reasonable prices and seem to really care about getting everything right.
     
  12. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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