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HVAC died today

Discussion in 'Model S' started by jomo25, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. jomo25

    jomo25 P4398

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    Encountered my first significant issue with the MS since getting it 26 months ago. The HVAC stopped working. While this isn't a major drivetrain issue, anytime you lose your HVAC in 116 degree Phoenix heat when 40 mies from home with 2 kids under 5, it's significant.

    We were visiting friends this afternoon and had the car parked in front of their house. So, yes the car was baking in the sun (as it has countless times since we got it). About 20 min prior to leaving, I started the HVAC to pre-cool the car. When we went to the car, it was still hot as heck. I thought, ok, maybe because it was so hot and sunbaked, the HVAC didn't have enough time to get the car cooler. We proceeded to drive, but quickly noticed the AC was blowing HOT air, hotter than the air from the windows that we had to open to cool ourselves down.

    About ⅔ of the way home, I dropped my wife and kids off at a Target so they could cool off and do some shopping while I drove home to switch to our Leaf. I called Tesla and of course they said they could only 'open a case for the local service center to get back to me on Monday.' I can make that work (though it does put a bit of a limit on our plans for tomorrow), but I couldn't help but wonder what would have happened if it went out when we were somewhere between SCs. I was little less than satisfied with their response because again, no AC with young kids in 115+ degree weather is a serious issue.

    In retrospect, I know for certain the fans were running when we got in the car. But I did notice that the loud jet sound wasn't present. And I double, triple, and quadruple checked that all the settings were right on the car ride home. Dead compressor, I suppose.
     
  2. Majerus

    Majerus Member

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    Did you supercharge the car with the ac problems? Just wondering because during supercharging the ac should ramp to max at some point and without it you would think the battery would throw a temp warning. I would guess the electric motor which drives the ac compressor stopped working.
     
  3. Cyclone

    Cyclone Active Member

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    Did you try rebooting the 17"? My HVAC cuts off for a few moments when I do that, presumably when the controls reconnect to the HVAC system rather than cycling the HVAC itself. Just curious if a control signal was misbehaving.
     
  4. jomo25

    jomo25 P4398

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    Yes, I did try a reboot about 5 min into the drive home (rather to Target). Didn't resolve the issue. The reboot went as normal, it turned off the HVAC for a few seconds during the process.

    No warnings or error messages on the screens. I didn't try to SC, since I was just heading home and wasn't out of range. I would imagine it would fail. And I decided to not even try to charge the car at home. I still have about 100 mi range. Even when I finally did pull into my garage and was switching to the Leaf, I checked and the car seats were pretty warm/hot to the touch. The app was showing the internal temp as 131 still at that point. Actually made me think to call my wife to have her doublecheck the kids out and make sure they were OK. The stroller of course was hot since it was in the trunk.

    When I got back to meet them at the store, I could see they were all red in the face still. It was actually a bit scary. Which just made the non-response from Tesla a bit more aggravating. I understand, but...
     
  5. wk057

    wk057 Senior Tinkerer

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    While the situation completely sucks, keep in mind that this isn't really an issue that is specific to the Model S or Tesla.

    From experience, the AC can die on any car at any time, without warning.

    I had a brand new vehicle several years back where the AC crapped out in a similar situation to yours (not in AZ, but in upper 90s high humidity NJ) less than 3 months old, about 50 miles from home. Arrived home in a puddle of sweat and pretty much ruined clothes. Called dealer service center, they had to order a part (without even looking at the vehicle, which in hindsight makes me think they may have just needed an excuse to put me off) that took almost a week to come in, and almost 2 work days to perform the repair afterwards. No loaner or anything either. It was so hot that week that I actually rented a car with working AC to use while mine was out of commission, out of pocket.

    So... yeah. Again, sorry to see this happen, but I'm betting there is not really much else Tesla can do here, and I can pretty much guarantee no other car company would do any better.
     
  6. jomo25

    jomo25 P4398

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    Yes, don't get me wrong, I don't think any other company would have done much, if anything more. And yes, it can happen to any car. Actually, like i stated, this is my first real quibble with the car (or company) since I got it. But I do wonder if there would have been a different response if I was on a road trip somewhere. Or if there should be. Honestly, in those conditions, I don't think the car is really drivable safely for any length of time. Would some form of roadside assistance be warranted in such a situation. Being that we do have a service center in town, and I do know they are open on weekends by appt, I also thought there might be the chance of getting a loaner for assistance.
     
  7. travwill

    travwill Member

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    Aw man, sure they will fix it pretty quickly this next week. A/Cs die constantly on all cars, and at best you'll be scheduling a service appointment to drop it off at 7AM for most one weekday when it is inconvenient, and they will look at issue and the validate if they even have the part, hold it, etc.

    Follow-up with Tesla's response and fix - will be interesting to compare.
     
  8. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    Did you perform 1 year and 2 year service intervals?
     
  9. Electricfan

    Electricfan Member

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    I think you win the award for biggest Tesla defender on this site! :smile:

    If a GM car's AC fails you have many more options for getting it repaired, as there are hundreds of thousands of repair centers that can take on fixing just about anything on a GM car. The fact is we're early adopters and as such we're in more danger of getting stuck with problems that can't be resolved as conveniently as is possible with more established car companies. Tesla will get there some day, but its not there yet. There's another guy on a trip across the country as I type this - he's posting pictures from Pikes Peak and other places - but his car has a malfunction in the dash causing a buzzing sound and Tesla refuses to even look at his car because they're "too busy". Its just part of being a Tesla owner.

    I'm all for defending Tesla, but not to the point of declaring its no different from any other car company when problems occur. Its quite different.
     
  10. wk057

    wk057 Senior Tinkerer

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    #10 wk057, Jun 21, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015
    Wow, I've never been branded a Tesla fan boy before... you really have never read any of my past posts, have you?

    I don't defend Tesla, I defend common sense and logic. If you had seen some of my past posts you'll know for sure that I definitely do not defend Tesla and do not condone fanboy-ism. When they're wrong they're wrong, just like anyone else. I don't give them passes.

    Fact is that there are not "hundreds of thousands" of places within a reasonable distance that do GM's (or any other manufacturer's for that matter) warranty work, nor will they always have the parts available to do such work immediately. The car I mentioned in my first post in this thread was in fact a GM vehicle, which took over a week to have the issue resolved.

    There isn't a dealer out there that will drop everything on a Saturday afternoon to do warranty work on a car's A/C. A promise for Monday, in my experience, is definitely better than par for the course for this type of issue.

    As for the other person's issue you mentioned, a "buzzing sound" that doesn't hinder operation of anything definitely is not going to be a priority for any servicer... I would be disappointed if Tesla *did* prioritize such a thing. And I highly doubt that they refused to look at it and instead refused to look at it immediately and they would schedule an appointment... as has been my experience with Tesla and other brands.
     
  11. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Active Member

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    This often gets confused with fanboy-ism, for reasons I do not quite understand.
     
  12. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    A month or so after getting my car, the DC converter went out, specifically the relay part that powers the compressor. Luckily, it was only a warm day in a Texas winter when I noticed.
     
  13. thecloud

    thecloud As rhythm raced inside, the ship came alive

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    I think wk057 has it right here. Yes, it absolutely sucks to be without A/C in the summer, and it's worse in ridiculously hot weather, the kind that can be deadly if you forgot to bring bottles of water with you. His post expressed empathy for the OP's situation, which he could relate to since it happened to him as well. But this wasn't an emergency situation since the OP called from home, not from the side of a desert highway. I have no doubt that Tesla roadside assistance would have responded immediately if he actually was stranded somewhere in killer heat.

    As for service options, getting a Monday morning service appointment seems pretty good. My experience with previous ICE vehicles has been that while you might find a shop open on the weekend, they will need to order whatever part has failed, and/or the guy who knows about that stuff is only in on weekdays, etc.
     
  14. woof

    woof Model S #P683 Blue 85 kWh

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    I believe the reason is the OP is looking for A) sympathy, and B) an extra-ordinary response from Tesla.

    Because wk057 showed reasonably that Tesla did exactly what any other dealer would do, and that provided neither A nor B. Thus it looks like a defense of Tesla, and thus fanboy-ism.

    Would the OP feel differently if Tesla delivered a loaner Model S that afternoon? He still would have had to pickup his family in the LEAF (assuming the loaner wouldn't arrive in time), but then his Sunday plans wouldn't have been ruined and he'd now be singing Tesla's praises.

    I think the myth is that Tesla service is extraordinary, and when in reality it is just ordinary the mood is soured. Pointing out the ordinary doesn't make anyone feel better.
     
  15. jomo25

    jomo25 P4398

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    Just for clarity, I don't have any Monday appt yet. Just that a case would be opened for the local SvC to look at. I expect they will call me early tomorrow as the guys in Scottsdale are great, and know me. But nothing's set yet.

    I'm not looking for sympathy. Just sharing my experience. And throwing out the question if the response would have varied if I wasn't local.
     
  16. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    What does this mean?
    "Model S #P4398 | VIN #8521"
    Why are they different? Your VIN# should be P08521. What's the "P4398" for?
     
  17. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Probably the reservation number.
     
  18. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Early purchasers had a reservation number before they got a VIN which used to be in MyTesla. I don't believe the reservation number is shown anymore because it caused some angst when the VIN order didn't match the reservation order.
     
  19. wcfinvader

    wcfinvader Member

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    If the AC goes out I'm guessing the batteries would get heated up quite quick. The leaf is aircooled and still heats up pretty fast while driving /charging. Would this affect the batteries? I'm guessing so.
     
  20. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    The coolant pump and heat exchanger (aka radiator) would still be active, and if the target temperature is reached, you'll get a yellow dashed line limiting power.
     

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