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Hit a dead deer last night and car is out coolant :(

narenravi88

Member
Nov 3, 2019
29
22
MA
Last night while driving home I hit part of a dead deer on the highway. I swerved as much as I could to avoid it but I still managed to hit some part of the deer. I checked under the car and I see some flesh and blood of the deer in the between the front wheels (right in the center between them). There is also blood from the passenger side door to rear wheel. I think I swerved enough so that only the passenger front wheel went over it... I am not a 100% sure now.

I pulled over and noticed a bunch of liquid leaking :( . I am afraid It was going to be battery coolant or something. Within a few minutes I got the same error about power reduced - OK to drive but schedule a service appointment when convenient. Another warning about my speed will be limited. Shortly after my GPS was stuck + rear back up camera became completely dark. I called Tesla road side assistance and told that the car is showing alarms of coolant being low and GPS sending unknown error messages.

The car is now sitting in my driveway (GPS says it is parked on the highway). I've contacted my insurance company and informed them about the damage. I hope my insurance covers all of this because my car is less than a month old :(
 

C141medic

Active Member
Apr 9, 2016
1,714
1,497
New Jersey
Oh man, really sorry that happened to you. I feel your pain though. Many years ago I was driving my ICE car and the same thing happened to me. A tractor trailer in front of me mangled the deer and I was unfortunate enough to run over the other half of the poor soul. Well, my entire exhaust system was shot. When I took it to to get repaired, the bottom of the car looked like something out of a horror movie. At least there were no injuries to you. Good luck with the repairs.
 

narenravi88

Member
Nov 3, 2019
29
22
MA
Thanks. I'm dreading driving my rental car until I know what Tesla is going to say about how long it's going to take to fix it.
 

narenravi88

Member
Nov 3, 2019
29
22
MA

I am unable to get underneath the car to asses any damage. The only thing I can see underneath is some a part of the deer that's still stuck there. I saw puddles and at some point liquid leaking quite fast. However, I can't see the actual damage. The front looks like nothing happened. The side door to back is blood stained.

It can vary based on state and insurance, but it is typically viewed as a not-at-fault accident so the impact on price, if any, can be minimal .any

That's some good news. Thanks.

My worry is why is the GPS and backup camera misbehaving/not working. Tried everything to reset it but nothing seems to work.
 

AdamVIP

Member
Mar 4, 2019
535
305
California
I know you probably don't want to but you need to get rid of those deer parts. They are going to start stinking and smell up the car. Even after repairs you might smell it for a long time if they get too far decomposed and the stink gets into the door insulation or something. Hose it off and grab a stick.
 

narenravi88

Member
Nov 3, 2019
29
22
MA
Yeah, I will. I am waiting for the appraiser to come and see that I hit a deer and do it before they tow it out from my house.

When I spoke to a Tesla's service center this morning, they said two things are being reported from the diagnostics.
1. The battery coolant is not full (probably quite low).
2. Front control unit is malfunctioning. [ I really hope this is not damaged or needs replacement].

Tesla SC says next appointment is 10 days away. However they also said I can do all of this at their recommended collision shops. Local reviews seem fine for Tesla work.

I am apprehensive about choosing between Tesla or their authorized body shops. Latter will work with my insurance and can apparently repair the problems. Any MCU issues I feel like Tesla would be a better bet but they wouldn't talk to insurance companies.

Any advice?
 

Garlan Garner

Banned
Mar 31, 2016
11,351
6,061
Chicagoland
Last night while driving home I hit part of a dead deer on the highway. I swerved as much as I could to avoid it but I still managed to hit some part of the deer. I checked under the car and I see some flesh and blood of the deer in the between the front wheels (right in the center between them). There is also blood from the passenger side door to rear wheel. I think I swerved enough so that only the passenger front wheel went over it... I am not a 100% sure now.

I pulled over and noticed a bunch of liquid leaking :( . I am afraid It was going to be battery coolant or something. Within a few minutes I got the same error about power reduced - OK to drive but schedule a service appointment when convenient. Another warning about my speed will be limited. Shortly after my GPS was stuck + rear back up camera became completely dark. I called Tesla road side assistance and told that the car is showing alarms of coolant being low and GPS sending unknown error messages.

The car is now sitting in my driveway (GPS says it is parked on the highway). I've contacted my insurance company and informed them about the damage. I hope my insurance covers all of this because my car is less than a month old :(

I'm so sorry about your unfortunate accident.

Both for the deer and your car.
 

CharleyBC

Active Member
Jun 28, 2019
1,403
1,589
Talent, OR
Yeah, I will. I am waiting for the appraiser to come and see that I hit a deer and do it before they tow it out from my house.

When I spoke to a Tesla's service center this morning, they said two things are being reported from the diagnostics.
1. The battery coolant is not full (probably quite low).
2. Front control unit is malfunctioning. [ I really hope this is not damaged or needs replacement].

Tesla SC says next appointment is 10 days away. However they also said I can do all of this at their recommended collision shops. Local reviews seem fine for Tesla work.

I am apprehensive about choosing between Tesla or their authorized body shops. Latter will work with my insurance and can apparently repair the problems. Any MCU issues I feel like Tesla would be a better bet but they wouldn't talk to insurance companies.

Any advice?
Check the timing on the body shop. The 10 days for Tesla may be a bargain. I needed some minor body work earlier this year, and the only Tesla-authorized body shop in the Sacramento area had a month and a half lead time for an appointment just to evaluate the damage.
 
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AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
9,993
12,039
San Diego
I pulled over and noticed a bunch of liquid leaking :( . I am afraid It was going to be battery coolant or something. Within a few minutes I got the same error about power reduced - OK to drive but schedule a service appointment when convenient. Another warning about my speed will be limited. Shortly after my GPS was stuck + rear back up camera became completely dark. I called Tesla road side assistance and told that the car is showing alarms of coolant being low and GPS sending unknown error messages.

Those coolant hoses going into the battery really are pretty vulnerable - they really are right behind the plastic fender liner, and I could see a large object getting into the wheel well and deforming the liner and just breaking the hoses. They probably got ripped apart. If you're lucky, maybe it's the hose itself, and not the fitting it is connected to, which is part of the battery pack (Tesla has to replace the battery pack apparently when that fitting gets cracked - you can see the metal clip that joins the hose to the fitting).

After cleaning things up, if you have a chance to take some pictures of the underside and wheel well, that would make the issue pretty clear. The hoses are pretty easy to see as soon as the aero shield or fender liner gets ripped apart...

I really feel like these fittings should be armored somehow.

IMG_5987.jpg
IMG_5991.jpg
 
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Garlan Garner

Banned
Mar 31, 2016
11,351
6,061
Chicagoland
Those coolant hoses going into the battery really are pretty vulnerable - they really are right behind the plastic fender liner, and I could see a large object getting into the wheel well and deforming the liner and just breaking the hoses. They probably got ripped apart. If you're lucky, maybe it's the hose itself, and not the fitting it is connected to, which is part of the battery pack (Tesla has to replace the battery pack apparently when that fitting gets cracked - you can see the metal clip that joins the hose to the fitting).

After cleaning things up, if you have a chance to take some pictures of the underside and wheel well, that would make the issue pretty clear. The hoses are pretty easy to see as soon as the aero shield or fender liner gets ripped apart...

I really feel like these fittings should be armored somehow.

View attachment 473180View attachment 473181

Yeah....but a deer isn't a small object. I could see the entire fender liner being ripped out by hitting a deer.

Why would we expect anything different?
 

AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
9,993
12,039
San Diego
Yeah....but a deer isn't a small object. I could see the entire fender liner being ripped out by hitting a deer.

Why would we expect anything different?

It's true that hitting objects on the road at speed can never be expected to end well. But high vulnerability high cost areas could be armored, for quite a low cost. It doesn't make a lot of sense to replace an entire battery back because a plastic fitting got cracked - but it may well be required due to a combination of the construction of the pack and the lack of armor. The fitting is also plastic and has a huge lever arm on it, which are also negative factors.

Hopefully it is just a hose in this case. If the damage is more in the center of the vehicle it's more likely the hose or the drive unit (not sure if it is an AWD or not in this case) fitting or other cooling system fittings in that area (which are much cheaper items of course).

Relevant to some people might be an autocross course. It's not unusual at autocross for a big cone to rip out or deform a wheel liner - it happens. I could see hitting a cone, getting unlucky and needing a battery replacement. I guess you could argue that when you mess with a bull sometimes you get the horns but there may also be a better solution.
 
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Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,296
6,858
Canyon Lake,CA
Tesla (and all manufacturers) collect data on collision damage. If they see a trend of critical parts being damaged, they will design protection for them.

Example is when some Model S were having batteries damaged by road debris, they quickly developed a titanium armor piece. Put it on all production cars after that and offered free retrofit to the existing fleet as well.
 
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Garlan Garner

Banned
Mar 31, 2016
11,351
6,061
Chicagoland
It's true that hitting objects on the road at speed can never be expected to end well. But high vulnerability high cost areas could be armored, for quite a low cost. It doesn't make a lot of sense to replace an entire battery back because a plastic fitting got cracked - but it may well be required due to a combination of the construction of the pack and the lack of armor. The fitting is also plastic and has a huge lever arm on it, which are also negative factors.

Hopefully it is just a hose in this case. If the damage is more in the center of the vehicle it's more likely the hose or the drive unit (not sure if it is an AWD or not in this case) fitting or other cooling system fittings in that area (which are much cheaper items of course).

Relevant to some people might be an autocross course. It's not unusual at autocross for a big cone to rip out or deform a wheel liner - it happens. I could see hitting a cone, getting unlucky and needing a battery replacement. I guess you could argue that when you mess with a bull sometimes you get the horns but there may also be a better solution.

Wait......Armored? For free?

What car company armors their wheel well? For the rare occasion of things like hitting a deer or something? If armoring had anything to do with MY safety...I might be willing to start to consider approval.


Otherwise..No thanks


BTW.....A forward drive unit is protected by the fact that you have yet another drive unit in the rear that can propel the car by itself.
 

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