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High mileage issues (long and frustrating)

Discussion in 'Model S' started by KidDoc, Jun 16, 2018.

  1. KidDoc

    KidDoc Supporting Member

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    So I have a 2014 Model S85 since March 2014 now at 70,000 miles. I love the car and plan to buy Tesla again but I have had a very frustrating day/week with Tesla and wanted to complain and get random internet feedback. I had plenty of early build issues early in the car lifespan from broken sensors to bad MCU/Bad nav unit etc which were all replaced with excellent service from the Austin service center.

    At around 44,000 miles I had the milling noise and had the drive unit replaced, no problem it happens.

    I went out of warranty and decided to gamble and not get the extended since it had been pretty good after the starting issues. After paying $1000 for a simple leak in the headliner then a quote for $1000 to replace tail-lights that have bugs in the them I purchased a 3rd party warranty (Carshield) to try and mitigate the big repairs like MCU/AC, suspension, etc.

    So a few weeks ago I started to notice a clunk and some clicking noises when shifting from regen to acceleration. Car drove fine no issues but it was really annoying. I called service and took it in (North Houston). They found both drive unit problems as well as the issues with the half axle spindles slipping. If I got the axles done at the same time there would be no extra charge for labor (usually about $400) just parts for two half axles ($1,700 total- drivetrain not covered by my dumb warranty). I picked it up after a few days and everything was fine. As a side note my LED on the charge port is turning weird colors and I asked about that- they said it was just cosmetic and $500 to replace-- pass.

    So Friday night we drove from Aggieland to downtown Houston and back for the Eagles concert (200ish miles 90% of battery). I plugged it in when we got home and this morning got in with a 100% battery to drive again to Houston for Father's day lunch and within 3 miles I received alerts about limited power and to get car serviced. It SEVERELY limited acceleration immediately. I drove back home and we went in my wife's BMW and I started a whole series of phone calls.

    The end result is they picked it up and towed it the 90 miles to the North Houston Service Center "for only $495"( the "roadside service" from my warranty maxes at $75- worthless!) . Per Tesla roadside they will reimburse that if it turns out to be something covered or something the service center did wrong three days ago. This is my first towing experience in 70,000 miles and it is very frustrating considering it was JUST in the shop and I had my 4 year service less than 6 weeks ago so I've had $2500 in service fees in the last two months despite a (pretty crappy) warranty.

    I will note that the Tesla roadside, North Houston service center, and the tow guy were all very helpful and friendly.

    Any ideas on what could cause sudden power limiting a few days after drive unit and axle replacement? I suspect a battery issue or coolant issue but don't really know.

    Thanks for reading sorry for the long post but it was super annoying.
     
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  2. ahkahn

    ahkahn Member

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    Wouldn't the powertrain warranty cover the faulty drive unit issues?
     
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  3. KidDoc

    KidDoc Supporting Member

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    Yes it covers the drive unit but not the drive train so the rear half axles are not covered. The $1700 was for the two half axle parts only.
     
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  4. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    Again and again, it's just frustrating how Tesla doesn't repair anything but swaps out entire units and has ridiculous prices for those 'parts'. A tail light for $1000? That's just nuts. Front light is $1300, MCU is $3400, two half axles for $1700, door handles for $700-900.

    Definitely get AAA membership for long distance towing. It saved me $500 in one case and $200 in another case.
     
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  5. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

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    #5 cwerdna, Jun 16, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
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  6. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    How much is the Carshield insurance? I read through their policy contract and it is pretty limited. Many parts mentioned do not apply to an EV and some EV specific parts are not specifically mentioned so I assume they would refuse coverage. For example a DCDC converter, a charger, junction box, charge port, and other EV specific things would not be covered. I'm not sure if they would cover the MCU.
     
  7. KidDoc

    KidDoc Supporting Member

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    Excellent question. It was $5200 with $100 deductible per repair for 4 years 48,000 mIles (so 2022 or 113,000 miles). So far it has covered a door handle repair but everything else they find a loophole. I was sold that the main control unit is part of an "instrument cluster " which is a covered part but I am concerned about the hassles already and I am considering cancelling for a prorated refund.
     
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  8. ucmndd

    ucmndd Member

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    This is far and away the new normal in first party automotive service, and it’s not unique to Tesla by any stretch.

    Try and get Toyota to rebuild a transmission for you. Not gonna happen - they just swap it out, remanufacture it at some central facility, and sell your rebuilt one to the next guy.

    The real sham here is not so much the full swap of major components at high cost, but rather the lack of a substantial core credit for the “broken” unit. If more people insisted on taking their old parts with them after out of warranty “repairs” like this, things might change...
     
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  9. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    I get that swapping out entire units can be better and more efficient. That's why Tesla swaps out entire drive units no matter what part is not working in there. But they get rebuilt in the factory. I can see it's not worth rebuilding a tail light, but $1000 for it is too much. And $3400 for the MCU that I got quoted for a simple bubble on the screen is just stupid because the screen can be replaced separate.

    The other issue is Tesla making your own repairs hard or impossible. You can't replace a seat without having Tesla program it into the main computer. That's just protectionism. Yes it is a trend, but that doesn't make it good. I'm sure you are aware of the way makers of farming machines have also tried to block self repairs. It's a dangerous trend and not good for the people.
     
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  10. KidDoc

    KidDoc Supporting Member

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    Here is my Monday morning update from Tesla:

    Hi xxxx, we have diagnosed the alert to be present to the rear drive unit. Today's service will be under warranty and we have parts to proceed with the service. During replacement, the boot on the axle was damage and will be replaced at no cost. We will proceed with service and provide an update this evening on our process.

    What a mess! At least it isn't costing me anything and they are going to send me a check for the tow cost. Hard to imagine how they screwed up a fairly routine sounding repair on 2014 model S so badly.
     
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  11. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Well-Known Member

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    You've discovered a mistake made by the service center, and the reason why that mistake occurred needs to be addressed so that it doesn't happen to someone else. I would ask to speak with the service manager, find out where the breakdown in communications occurred, and see to it that the situation is remedied or a failing employee counseled.
     
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  12. KidDoc

    KidDoc Supporting Member

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    Apparently they are remedying the situation for me personally but it is not acceptable for the car to become undriveable and damaged a few days after a repair. I'll try to contact the service manager at lunch as it really screwed up my Saturday. I'm glad it isn't costing me a bundle of cash though!
     
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  13. Super Dude

    Super Dude Member

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    And more importantly, speak with a manager about getting something for your time, aggravation and hassle for their screw up. Who knows, it may have even put you in danger. Certainly worth a try to get a voucher for your next repair.
     
  14. KidDoc

    KidDoc Supporting Member

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    Good idea! We were in downtown Houston around midnight the night prior so I'm glad it didn't leave us stranded out there! It sounds like it could have for sure.
     
  15. KidDoc

    KidDoc Supporting Member

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    I picked up my Tesla today. The shop foreman Adam said it was just a bad reconditioned DU which happens sometimes and when it overheated it re-damaged one of the rear 1/2 shafts. Annoying but only cost me some hassles and it was my first poor experience with any service center.

    Hope this one lasts more than 72 hours.
     
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  16. heinzcatsoup

    heinzcatsoup Member

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    I've seen people have perfect driveunits with 0 issues.. but then i've also seen people go through 2-3 DUs...so correct me if i'm wrong, but if your DU is broken, they will put a reconditioned one into your car which is like playing merry go round with just bad driveunits after driveunits because they just keep reconditioning them and putting them into other peoples cars?
     
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  17. TaoJones

    TaoJones Beyond Driven

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    Glad you had good experiences with AAA. I did as well back in the day.

    I’d add a caveat emptor these days, however, as AAA New Mexico took 4.5 hours to send a truck in 37F (and dropping) drizzly weather in the wee hours (keeping both me and one tow company operator in the dark (literally) in the process, and then managed over $400 in damage during the tow.

    As well, AAA SoCal told me prior thereto that “*all* AAA trucks have jump boxes for EVs now” - meaning fewer tows necessary. Nope. That misinformation directly contributed to the AAA New Mexico misadventure.

    I may indeed end up with AAA again for long range towing; however, it will only be after I have exhausted every other possible roadside service option/competitor.
     
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