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How reliable is your Model S?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Dornish, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. ⚡️ELECTROMAN⚡️

    ⚡️ELECTROMAN⚡️ Respect the mods stay on topic

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    How big?
     
  2. ⚡️ELECTROMAN⚡️

    ⚡️ELECTROMAN⚡️ Respect the mods stay on topic

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    What was your previous car? I’ve normally bought Toyotas so that seems pretty normal.
     
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  3. billc918

    billc918 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2015
    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    I have a model S 70D delivered in August 2015. In almost three years of ownership and 41,000 miles I have not had a single problem. I rotate the tires myself every 5000 miles and that's it.
     
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  4. Buddy

    Buddy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2016
    Messages:
    646
    Location:
    Riverside County
    2016 Model S 75 refresh. (Bought as a 60).

    Had a new drive unit installed.
    Currently in for an issue preventing the vehicle to drive at all. "Car will not start" message.

    Probably 4 times autopilot system failed and had to be brought in for repair.

    Sunroof shuttered closed and needed repair

    Dash rattle

    Floor mat velcro came completely off

    12v battery died a few months after buying the car.

    Probably a few things I'm forgetting.
     
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  5. Mediocrates

    Mediocrates Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2017
    Messages:
    354
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Model S 100D delivered April 2017.

    Main battery failed in the first week (was still driveable but had to be replaced). Supposedly a bad batch of 100kWh batteries came out of the factory and "should have never gone into cars," but they did and many 100D owners had their vehicles recalled.

    About 4 months after that, I had the A/C unit, front wiring harness, and MCU (the center touchscreen and backend computer that controls most of the user-facing functions) replaced.

    Since then, nothing else has needed replacement. I've had a few incidents where the center console (sometimes along with the instrument panel) did not respond when entering the vehicle, requiring a reboot. I've also had a few incidents where the center console rebooted while driving (did not affect the control of the vehicle).
     
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  6. FlyinLow

    FlyinLow Enjoy the journey

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2018
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    Location:
    29036
    Model S 85, built in November of 2014...

    125,000 miles. I bought mine used, from a private party, still have the battery and drive motor warranty for another 4 years.

    Door handles all replaced
    Drive motor replaced once
    Battery thermal management (heating/cooling) serviced
    12V battery replaced after 3.5 years
    Steering motor bolts replaced to improve longevity

    Many 12 hour road trips. A few 6 hour road trips.

    Primary vehicle for my wife and I, our three kids love it. Our two dogs love it.

    Our gas car sits in the garage and we take turns reluctantly driving it only when we can’t make one car work.

    Buying a Model X next year. Best family car we’ve driven. Toss up to about 5500 pounds. Works for our cargo trailer and 20’ ski boat.

    Go get a test drive.

    Hit up local Tesla owners to go on a more extended familiarization ride along to see charging and Autopilot, Traffic Aware Cruise Control, seat comfort and navigation.

    Good luck with your search.
     
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  7. David99

    David99 Active Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Brea, Orange County
    260k km / 161k miles in 4 years. Never a breakdown. 100% reliable. I did have a few issues that were fixed under warranty but they were all cosmetic and I always had a free loaner car.
    I was on a flat bed once when I was on a road trip and a massive storm caused a wide power outage. I was stuck because I didn't have enough charge to make it outside the power outage area. Tesla sent me a free flat bed that drove me 90 miles to the next super charger!
    So far I had one $300 out of pocket repair. All other things were normal things like tires, wipers, cabin air filter or my own fault.

    I have taken many road trips. In fact 90k miles were all longer trips. The longest we do every year is 2000 miles one way. I saved about $16,000 compared to driving a gas car. It is even more if you count oil changes and fluid changes and other things gas engines need that are non existent on an EV.

    It terms or reliability the Model S is as good as it gets IMHO.

    The only thing that can get annoying are accidents. If your car needs body work, you will be out of a car for a long time. Tesla is know to deliver parts with great delays and certified body shops are rare and always overloaded. My car was in the shop for 11 weeks for a quarter panel and rear bumper. Many similar stories.
     
  8. tpham07

    tpham07 Active Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Rhode Island
    16 months into ownership, no issues except for pre-emptive drive unit replacement. It was done under warranty, took 3 days. not complaining. I probably didn't even need to have it replaced, car was still driving fine to me.
     
  9. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

    Joined:
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    Except you are on at least your 8th drive unit!

    https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads/6th-drive-unit-replacement-and-more.72974/#post-1614808
    https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads/drive-unit-replacement-poll.29834/page-27#post-1653580

    That's TERRIBLE, in my book.
     
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  10. suraj1194

    suraj1194 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2016
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    319
    Location:
    Bay Area CA
    ~65K miles in under 2 years. Never been to service center for anything but one annual service and a recall / uncork job.
     
  11. smk23us

    smk23us Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2018
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Poland
    Bought used Nov 2014 AP1 S85 6 months ago:

    - 1 week before delivery MCU died after reset to factory defaults (changed under warranty for new one with LTE, so thays an upgrade, not failure)
    - tail lamp had moist (replaced under warranty)
    - parking break sensor error (both parking breaks replaced under warranty)
    - LED lights in handles replaced (under warranty)

    Quite a list, but most of it was things overlooked by previous owner, which was just fixed by tesla service free of charge.

    Overal I LOVE MY TESLA and i dont want to have anything else! (well maybe a 100kW battery ;) )
     
  12. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    Those were issues that were covered under warranty and the drive unit I have had for almost 2 years now has not made a noise for 80k miles. The drive unit never failed! A DU replacement is not equivalent to an engine replacement in an ICE car. Yes we all know about the initial issues with the drive units. They are fixed now and if you buy a Tesla now (used or new) they are fine. Yes I was annoyed back then but a buyer now will not have any of these issues. What's the point of bringing up issues that doesn't exist any more?

    The fishtailing turned out to be an issue with the tires I had. I switched tires and it was gone for good.
     
  13. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

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    #33 cwerdna, Jun 6, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
    He asked about his experiences and you answered like this:
    Uhh... Being on your 8th DU is not anywhere near "as good as it gets". Ask a typical owner of a Toyota or Honda with a known good reliability record. They will also agree that what you experienced is frankly TERRIBLE, in comparison.

    I bought a new 04 Nissan 350Z in late 03 and sold it in mid-2011. Although it wasn't terrible, it wasn't trouble free either but never left me stranded. Some examples of issues I had to have fixed off the top of my head (all done under warranty): some buzzes and rattles, seeping valve cover gasket, got both front tires replaced for free and alignment done for free (under front tire wear warranty and alignment extension), axle click TSB and both my power windows failed.

    None of that recurred but that doesn't make it "100% reliable" nor "as good as it gets". My mom's 96 Camry before it was totaled in early 08 had a lot fewer probs. I don't think my over 12 year old 06 Prius (bought new in Jan 06) has been in the shop even 8 times for repairs.

    As for "Yes we all know about the initial issues with the drive units", the OP joined Monday. He may not have known.

    Should all the others who answered with some of their issues (e.g. drive units, MCU, door handles, AC failures, etc.) change their answer to be like yours? Should we also question the claims of others with "zero problems" or "no problems"?
     
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  14. ZERO260

    ZERO260 Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2016
    Messages:
    113
    Location:
    Waldorf MD
    Sept 16 model s 75D. No major problems after 27K miles. Minor issues left mirror and right door panel occasionally vibrate with volume high, but only on certain songs. Mirror replacement and two attempts to resolve vibrations were unsuccessful. I love it...and I used to hate driving. Auto pilot is great, but has its limitations.
     
  15. Brass Guy

    Brass Guy Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    Messages:
    1,097
    Location:
    Holbrook, MA
    Half-shaft: $1240.00 (each)
    Hub bearing assy: 230.00 (each)
    Labor & misc.: 481.25 (each side)

    Also I neglected to mention in my previous post that right now I have a few issues. I don't think they're out of the ordinary for a 124,000+ mile vehicle: LH tie rod end (~$80.00) & upper ball joint (~$275 - cannot purchase ball joints, must replace control arms). Replacing myself, against Tesla's "strongly recommend" they do it. Additionally I suspect I may need a front wheel bearing, and I have a rattle in the RR I haven't figured out yet, over moderate bumps. Might be just something loose, but could be a bushing somewhere.

    Oh ya, I had the steering rack motor mount bolts break. That should be covered under the recall. Didn't prevent me from driving to a performance that night, but I replaced the bolts the next day as a temporary fix.

    So reiterating my original post, I have had issues but it never left me stranded and always drives when I get in; which is the most important aspect of reliability IMO.
     
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  16. bob_p

    bob_p Active Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    3,483
    We've purchased two Model S cars.

    The first was a late 2012 S P85, delivered in January 2013. That was one on the early production cars - Tesla was making a number of improvements in the design as they ramped up production, and we ended up having a series of repairs replacing the battery pack (charging issue), motor (balloon squeal), front trunk latch (failed to engage), and touchscreen (bubbles from bad adhesive). These type of repairs were not unusual for a number of the early production cars. We still have our S P85, with almost 100K miles - and it's been a pretty reliable car the last few years.

    Our second was purchased last March, a 2017 S 100D, which now has 22K miles - and that car has been much more reliable. The only major repair done so far has been a replacement of the touchscreen (yellow lines from bad adhesive).

    Forum postings on reliability are usually not a good predictor for overall reliability. All manufacturers have a percentage of cars with multiple major problems - and those owners are more likely to post their experience than the much larger number of owners who haven't had any major issues.

    The best indicator is the customer loyalty - how many owners of Tesla cars purchase a second or third Tesla. If they were having a bad experience with vehicle reliability or customer service, they likely would not repeat that by purchasing another car from Tesla.

    We've purchased two Model S cars. We had a Model 3 reservation - and changed our minds recently and replaced that with an order for a Model X - and now that Tesla has several years of experience in manufacturing the Model X (and the falcon wing doors), we aren't concerned about reliability.
     
  17. Axael

    Axael Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2017
    Messages:
    135
    Location:
    Belgium
    I did around 30k kilometers with my S90D in a bit more than a year.

    I'm happy overall, but had a few issues:
    • the rear bumper getting loose on one side (fixed at the SC under warranty, needed an appointement and took about 2 hours)
    • the driver door handle not moving correctly + the left side mirror making some noise when closing the door (fixed at the SC under warranty, needed an appointement and took about 2 hours)
    • following the previous service intervention, the driver window wasn't correctly set back in place (fixed at the SC under warranty, no need for an appointement, took about 1 hour)
    • lots of issues with the Spotify connection, those are sometimes worse sometimes better after each OTA software update but were never really fixed (and SC apparently can't do much about those)
    • yellow stains on the borders of the main screen (issue reported to the SC in March, they only got the replacement parts now - but I'm in Europe, that's probably not helping - will be replaced under warranty)
    Now since the yellow stains appeared on my main screen, I had quite a lot of issues that may be related to it (or not), and I must admit that I wasn't happy at all with the way the SC "handled" them so far.

    In short, the car could be driven, but a lot of features were unresponsive (no system sounds anymore, can't open / close the roof, can't move the seat, can't set the suspension height, external temp not displayed anymore, airbag icon staying lit on the dashboard, power consumption frozen, and kilometers ridden not taken into account on the ODO meter). All of this happened 3 times until now, including twice while driving the car. Required a reboot to fix.

    First answer from the SC was "we'll check the logs and do a remote diagnose".
    Second answer was "we will replace the flatscreen (not the MCU, only the flatscreen) and it should be OK with everything".

    I then used the "escalate this issue to a manager" feature on their website to get more help, as I felt like the SC wasn't taking this issue seriously. I also warned them thay I'll be on holidays soon and that if all of those issues weren't fixed before, I'll require a written declaration from Tesla stating that the car is safe to drive and that they'll take full responsability in the event of an accident caused by those issues.

    The Tesla Representative I spoke to was very kind and contacted the SC for me. Thanks to her, my appointement (set to July 17th) was moved forward to June 13th which is before my holidays and the Technical Supervisor of my SC called me to explain that they will check the logs of the car, change at least the flatscreen but also the MCU if needed, and do a full and complete update of the software. They also kept a loaner for me since they're not sure how much time they need for this.

    So, at least, it's all been taken seriously now. Let's hope everything will indeed be fixed. :)
     
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  18. Lukez

    Lukez Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2016
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    627
    Location:
    Ontario
    How are the roads in your area? I've had some suspension issues (ball joints, air springs) but the roads in my area are terrible, tons of pot holes and uneven roads.
     
  19. David29

    David29 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
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    2,061
    Location:
    DEDHAM, MA
    I perhaps should have added that the Tesla service center tells me I am about due to replace my Michelin original equipment tires. I am surprised and disappointed that they have not lasted more than the 30,000 miles I have on the car. I do not think I am very aggressive with my driving, and the tires seem to be wearing evenly -- no alignment or balancing issues I am aware of. The Michelins are among the quieter and more efficient options for this car, but they are quite expensive, and I have not decided what I will get as a replacement. Not sure if this "counts" in response to the OP's question of reliability, but it speaks to the operating cost of the car.
     
  20. Don85D

    Don85D Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    Messages:
    331
    Location:
    Markham, Ontario
    Our 2015 85D may be an exception as there have been no serious problems and only a minor water leak at the trunk lid tail light. 12V battery, tires, brakes and fluid changes are normal usage items with this technology.

    With all products 'hardware breaks, software has bugs and people make mistakes'. It's to be expected and acceptable if the problem is fixed quickly and service levels remain high. I still cut Tesla some slack as they re growing their business and repair time can be improved.

    On the plus side our Model S is the only current EV that can replace our ICE vehicle usage and it runs on sunshine. Our solar array provides 25K km for free driving each year plus the convenience of charging at home or at an ever expanding Supercharger network.

    Looking at maintenance repairs alone doesn't consider the full business case and the direction to a cleaner world for our grandchildren.
     
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