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From Love to Hate in one Roadtrip

Discussion in 'Model S' started by toolioiep, Jan 27, 2018.

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  1. toolioiep

    toolioiep Member

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    Cambridge, Ontario
    Picked up my shiney new Model S 75D on Dec 18th. Love the car. Love everything about it. With the exception of a small rattle on the driver’s side (which I’ll get taken car at a later date) the car is flawless.

    I gush about it. I rave about it. I can’t wait to do the first road trip with the family in it.

    First trip arrives today as we plan on leaving our place - in Cambridge Ont - to do a late Christmas at my parents house in Kingston Ont. It’s only an overnight trip due to work obligations - but the kids are excited. We need to make a stop along the way for a hockey game my daughter is playing in - but the navigation says a full charge followed by a 10 min stop at the Supercharger in Port Hope will get us to our destination with about 9% battery. Even my wife - who was against the purchase of the car due to range anxiety and delays from charging was impressed.

    Until we hit Port Hope.

    I couldn’t connect to the Supercharger. An orange ring and a could not connect was presented at the first stall.... and the second.... and the third... and the fourth....

    I called Roadside who stated that it appeared that everything was fine with the car except that many cars with my build date have “tight charging ports” that often prevent them from connecting to the SC. It is apparently “a known issue”. He suggested wiggling it and hoping for the connection to take.

    It didn’t.

    After 30 mins of trying.

    In the rain.

    With not enough charge to get to our destination we found a public destination charger where we now sit for the next 90 mins to get enough charge to get us to Kingston. Except that we don’t have any charging solution there with the exception of a SC which we can’t seem to connect too.

    Tesla strongly suggested we take the car to a service center for repair. Which we obviously can’t - as it’s too far away, isn’t open until Monday and in the complete opposite direction. Fear note though - they’ll log the concern in my file. Crisis averted (note: that’s sarcasm - they were of no help at all).

    Thankfully a local B&B in Kingston is being kind enough to let us charge overnight despite the fact we won’t be staying there. That should get us enough of a charge to get to Toronto so that we can find a public charger to get us home.

    Not the least bit thrilled with the situation - how is a cars inability to connect to a Supercharger something that gets by QC?

    I guess I can take solice in the fact that my wife is too angry to speak to me and as such I don’t have to listen to her yelling....

    Anyone encountered a similar problem and found a DIY solution?
     
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  2. andrewket

    andrewket Well-Known Member

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    This is a known problem with builds over a few weeks time. It’s unfortunate it happened to you and that Tesla didn’t send you a notice prior to your trip. The port needs to be replaced.

    The only DIY is to use a drummel to make the black center piece ever so slightly thinner.

    Don’t give up on road trips in your Tesla. It’s usually a great experience. We take more road trips now than we ever did before.
     
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  3. speedy

    speedy Member

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    Not to take away from the fact that it should have worked or your frustration, but if it was me, I would have tested Supercharging before embarking on a trip that depends on it. And in fact, I did actually test mine, even before a road trip, to get familiar with the process and determine my expected charge rate, etc.
     
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  4. BinaryField

    BinaryField Member

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    This is definitely a manufacturing defect for cars built in December. I was also affected by it and had a similar experience as you. First time charging was during a road trip - had to seat and re-seat the connector repeatedly and wiggle it vigorously to eventually find a position where the connector would lock. I found that putting pressure down on it right before the lock would also help.

    I brought my car in to the service centre the next chance I had. They re-shaped the charge port as a temporary fix and ordered a new one. The quick fix turned out to be sufficient for the time being. I'm just waiting to hear back from mobile service to get an appointment to install the new port.
     
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  5. skitown

    skitown Supporting Member

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    Seems dispatching a Tesla Ranger (err Mobile Technician) if there is one in that area would make sense given the circumstances. Not sure how you'd make that happen after hours however...
     
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  6. jorobsand

    jorobsand Member

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    Charlotte, NC
    Yes, similar problem here as I have a December 2017 build, but have so far avoided a service center visit. While "wiggling" seems to do nothing, I have found that if I put a decent amount of weight behind pushing the supercharger plug into the car, that the connection is made just fine. This has helped me out and I have found that with some force I have been able to remedy (at least for now) the situation.
     
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  7. Big Earl

    Big Earl Member

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    It’s very unfortunate that Tesla, who is well aware of this problem with certain builds, did not test and correct the problem prior to delivering the vehicle to you.

    I’m confident that they will take good care of you and get your charge port problem sorted out. It’s awful that your wife’s first experience, after already being skeptical, was a poor one. Repairing that damage will take time, but I think she’ll come around.

    If there is a Supercharger near tonight’s destination, it might be worth going out by yourself and attempting to make the connection. There have been several other threads on this problem and most people are able to successfully charge by using some pretty strong inward pressure on the plug.

    Good luck on your trip home.

    PS: When the nav recommends charging for 10 minutes in order to arrive at your destination with 9%, don’t believe it. If it rains or snows or the temperature drops significantly, you could find yourself running out of energy. I usually try to charge enough that the nav predicts 20 to 25% remaining at my destination... just in case.
     
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  8. Edison

    Edison Member

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    san francisco CA
    That sucks! Our first Road-Trip was an adventure as well. We had planned to "top up" with a long 120V charge overnight in Kings Canyon National Park, but it was too cold and we had to backtrack two hours to I-5 to charge. After a total delay of five hours we drove to Death Valley. On the way home after 4 lovely nights at Furnace Creek Inn we checked online and drove to the Mojave supercharger. It was dead, with no warning online or in the Tesla nav. (High winds had knocked out the power lines the night before but this info was not available to us.) We found a slower charger at the Mohave CHP station (very safe!) and Tesla did call us a few hours later when the Supercharger was back in service, but this was a fail, IMHO. I think they have improved their systems and Supercharger status is now more accurately provided.
    Despite these setbacks it was a great trip. After my experience in the cold weather I'm not sure if an electric car would work well someplace where they have winter (where we are we have wet/dry seasons).
     
  9. Graffi

    Graffi Member

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    San Diego, CA
    As long as you apply pressure straight in do not be afraid to apply LOTS of pressure. Whether it is Supercharger or a J1772 with the adapter, some will work easier than others but eventually all should work, just apply lots of pressure. Good luck
     
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  10. Evoforce

    Evoforce Member

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    If you have some Chap Stick or lip balm I would use it on the male side of the port.
     
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  11. Hornedfrog1

    Hornedfrog1 Member

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    Jan 23, 2018
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    I feel your pain through not exactly the same problem. I have a CPO 16 70d and sang the praises of Eaton Musk for a while. I only have 47,000 miles and in the 15 months I have had it I’ve been in the shop at least 7 times. I’ve had three
    Broken door handles, after chasing a connectivity problem for nine months they upgraded and replaced the mother board for both the phone and radio connection. Last weekend on a trip I had to leave my car 260 miles away from home aNd drive my kids home in a Kia minivan because I got the warning that the car might not restart. They found a problem with the battery coolant heater unit and replaced the 12 V batt also. Now thanks a major electrical issue far from home and mediocre quality and reliability I hate my car and am afraid to take it on the highway because I’m worried something else is going to go out.
     
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  12. whitex

    whitex Active Member

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    While it is a good idea to check a car before a trip, it should not be required, especially on a new car delivered the week before. Do you take your Tesla for an inspection before every trip over 60 miles? Even if you do (which would be a waste of money, but hey, you may worry about something being loose and falling off, your money), don't you think assuming that Tesla did a proper inspection a week earlier at delivery of a brand new car is a reasonable assumption?
     
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  13. whitex

    whitex Active Member

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    #13 whitex, Jan 28, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
    Care to elaborate on what you consider "take good care of you" means, since you are so sure of it? Will they travel back in time to fix things, will they gift the wife a P100D so she's not mad anymore? How exactly do you take care of such things? Will they voluntarily pay whatever the OP considers "pain and suffering damages"?

    What Tesla should have done is send a new loaner, or offer to pay for Uber Black or something to take care of the family trip while they take their time to tow the car unable to charge and fix it, then deliver it fully charged to wherever the family happens to be at that time. That would be taking care of it. Once your trip is F'ed up, the only way to take care of it would be through some gesture so ludicrous that makes the injured party think "they made up for it". Considering the family can afford a Tesla, a coupon for free BigMac isn't going to do it. A free battery swap from 75 to 100KW might.
     
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  14. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    #14 AnxietyRanger, Jan 28, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
    You will find more information of this issue here:

    Problems with supercharger

    "Charge-gate" on Dec Model S builds

    Unfortunately Tesla has a tendency to build cars with whatever parts are on hand, so as to not slow or stop production, so there is plenty of history of simply fixing this in service later for those who ask for the fixes. This way of operating is certainly not preferred by all of us.

    You got a point. As someone with three winters in a Tesla, it can be a challenge on the open road. In local commuting the big batteries are of course enough to offset any issues - and bigger issues are Tesla's "California tendencies" in other areas like easily freezing extremities... (From the Model X side: My falcon wings are the latest freezing story, they have this gnarly tendency of unlocking but not opening and then refusing to close/lock back, so they remain closed but unlocked and then pop open later when parked...)

    But overall, Tesla's do work in winter. Just remember to deduct 50% from any range calculations are you'll be safe range-wise.

    I sympathize. I've always found it easiest to deal with my Tesla's quirks when travelling alone. Then it is doable in many extreme cases too. When someone else is relying on me, I tend to go ICE.
     
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  15. NewTMSMan

    NewTMSMan Member

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    Sorry you had this first terrible experience. I have 2 Teslas and have had similar terrible initial experiences with both (albeit not exactly the same as yours). Tesla is a bit of a love / hate kind of car. When they are working well, they are just amazing and there is no better road trip car. When they let you down it just sucks.

    Once you get past the initial quality issues and get the car settled (all initial issues including rattles, etc.) and can make peace with the fact that they will still have some minor "gremlins" (i.e. reboots at strange times) you will love the car again. I am just starting to love my P100D S again and my wife is starting to love her X as well (although the driver's side FWD is misaligned again, which bugs me to no end).

    Put this in your past, get it fixed and don't let it ruin your experience with the car if you can help it.
     
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  16. toolioiep

    toolioiep Member

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    Dec 7, 2017
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    Location:
    Cambridge, Ontario
    Just an update...

    The NAV system miscalculated a little and we didn’t have enough power to make it to the local B&B last night. We coasted into a friends place on the outskirts of town with about 15 km of power left. With my parents place being another 11km away - and the charger we had arranged being 25 KMs away we opted not to risk things. We were already on Range Mode and cut all cabin heat/lights. It was pretty awful.

    We “charged” the car overnight on a 110V charge and should have enough this morning to get to the aforementioned B&B. The plan is to charge there for several hours and make our way home - knowing we will need a few stops at destination chargers and several more hours of charging to make it. I see a movie or two in our future today - with any luck maybe The Last Jedi won’t be so terrible on a second viewing.

    Needless to say this trip has been a complete failure - including having to reschedule a work flight that was supposed to leave tonight as there is no way we make it.

    Thanks for the suggestions on the Supercharger - I may stop and try it again on the way home as I have nothing to loose. Fingers crossed!

    As for testing the car before I left - the closest Supercharger is an hour away (at least for now - they’re building one 10 mins from my home). I don’t think it’s reasonable to take a 2 hour round trip to ensure something so critical and basic on my new car is working before taking a 5 hour one way trip. I am generally practical - but also don’t have hours of time to waste to cover other people’s mistakes.

    I’ll update when we make it back - and have had some time to reflect on things....
     
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  17. jjh1234

    jjh1234 Member

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    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA

    If you picked up your car at a service center, they most likely had a supercharger inside for their own use. If new owners knew that, they could ask to have their cars tested out at delivery. I certainly will if I ever buy another one.
     
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  18. Pgetzen

    Pgetzen New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2018
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    Location:
    Apex, NC
    I just got my 2017 Model S 75 right after Christmas, and had a few charging issues with the orange ring, but the thing that didn’t make sense was how much force it took to get the charger out of the car (two hands pulling). Sounds like I may have had the same issue as you. I took it back to Tesla, and they replaced the charging port, and now it’s much easier to put the charger in and take it out. I think it’s a great tip to try out at a supercharger before a trip. I will definitely do that!
     
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  19. Don85D

    Don85D Member

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    Mar 25, 2016
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    Location:
    Markham, Ontario
    For our first long road trip to the East Coast I carried a full sized spare tire with tools and a CHAdeMO adapter. In addition we had the dual charger option which I couldn't test at our home HPWC so of each of these mitigation items I pretested before our trip. The spare tire change wasn't required but the CHAdeMO was during a long run into the wind between New Brunswick and Maine.

    We had sailboats for over 30 years and I considered them life support systems just like a small aircraft. Constant attention to risks is required and with new tech like an EV the same applies.

    Perhaps reading posts on this site is the real benefit as usually someone else has seen the problem first. BTW, I carried a 240VAC plug for a welder in my kit just in case I had to stop at a farm house to charge. Never used that either for our touring but it felt good having it.

    We are still early adopters in the Tesla world and that requires some risk mitigation, in my opinion.
     
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  20. Brian-MS90D

    Brian-MS90D Member

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    I do not agree with this statement. Every machine needs to be checked periodically and before an intense or long use. This is true of ICE vehicles and their manuals state such. This is true of industrial equipment in factories, trains, airplanes, etc. It is true of an electric vehicle too.
     
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