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Is 1'000 USD too much for a 2 year service ?

TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
2,034
2,429
Houston
Short update to close this file, came back from service today,
223 usd, they did:
-wiper blades
-Cabin filter
-brake fluid check
-clean brake calipers

That seems pretty cheap considering what a pain the filters are to change and how you would need to remove the rear brake calipers from the car to clean and grease them properly. I wonder if they really did a complete job on the calipers, or if they just sprayed them on the outside with compressed air and called it done. You never know unless you take them apart yourself to check, or watched them do it. Here's what needs to be done.

 

brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
8,079
6,644
Austin, TX
I would really like to understand the science behind Tesla's recommendation to change the AC dryer every 6 years.

The entire AC system is always under pressure and never open to the atmosphere. The desiccant in the dryer removes any tiny bit of moisture that was left over after putting the system in a vacuum and then filling with refrigerant. After that, there's no way for additional moisture to get in the system unless you open it.

When you open the system, there's a chance that the mechanic won't follow procedures and cause problems. So I just don't get it. I have never see any AC systems (home or auto) recommend to replace the desiccant on an interval. You definitely must do it if you open the system up for other repairs, though. And some mechanics will get lazy and won't even do it then.

my understanding, and it may be wrong, is that the desiccant breaks down over time from the vibrations. If it gets down to dust size, that can travel through the system and plug things up. Again, not sure if it’s true.
 

leonar40

Member
Jan 6, 2021
258
154
Bloomington, IN
I was super excited when Tesla changed the Model 3 service intervals from every 2 years to a few inspections you can do yourself and the AC desicant every 6 years. That's much more like the "service free" promise that is part of the argument for EVs over ICE cars in the first place. 👍
 
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TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
2,034
2,429
Houston
my understanding, and it may be wrong, is that the desiccant breaks down over time from the vibrations. If it gets down to dust size, that can travel through the system and plug things up. Again, not sure if it’s true.

I believe that is a possibility, but I have never heard of anyone having a failure of the desiccant, and I have never had it happen to me despite owning classic cars that had their original 25 years old desiccant in place. Usually what goes is the compressor seals sometime after the 10 year mark. Those seals have a very difficult job, so they are the likely failure point.

So based on experience, I have no plans to do this service, especially since it's recommended 2 years after any warranty has expired. You'll never get Tesla to repair your AC under warranty 2 years after it expired no matter how many receipts you produce for desiccant replacements.

If I were to have it done, I would do it myself since I have all the equipment and recently experienced changing AC compressors on 2 super cars, so I know how to do it right and how easy it is to cut corners and do something that will cause a failure in a year or 2. That's why when people pay mechanics to replace their AC compressor, it often fails a year or 2 later again and they blame their car for "eating compressors." So I would never recommend anyone do this risky service to prevent something that almost never fails.
 
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Timbo2

Member
Jun 8, 2019
215
169
USA
I believe that is a possibility, but I have never heard of anyone having a failure of the desiccant, and I have never had it happen to me despite owning classic cars that had their original 25 years old desiccant in place. Usually what goes is the compressor seals sometime after the 10 year mark. Those seals have a very difficult job, so they are the likely failure point.

So based on experience, I have no plans to do this service, especially since it's recommended 2 years after any warranty has expired. You'll never get Tesla to repair your AC under warranty 2 years after it expired no matter how many receipts you produce for desiccant replacements.

If I were to have it done, I would do it myself since I have all the equipment and recently experienced changing AC compressors on 2 super cars, so I know how to do it right and how easy it is to cut corners and do something that will cause a failure in a year or 2. That's why when people pay mechanics to replace their AC compressor, it often fails a year or 2 later again and they blame their car for "eating compressors." So I would never recommend anyone do this risky service to prevent something that almost never fails.
Some searching on the web about this found the new Corvette C8 has a 7 year desiccant replacement recommendation. Speculation there was the even more hydroscopic nature of the 1234yf lubricants and permeation on rubber hoses. I’ve no idea about either and I thought only hardline was used. Anybody know if there is softline in the AC?
 

dmurphy

Buster: 11/25/14 - 6/20/21. So sorely missed.
Supporting Member
Dec 7, 2018
3,818
5,370
New Jersey - Morris County
Some searching on the web about this found the new Corvette C8 has a 7 year desiccant replacement recommendation. Speculation there was the even more hydroscopic nature of the 1234yf lubricants and permeation on rubber hoses. I’ve no idea about either and I thought only hardline was used. Anybody know if there is softline in the AC?

Usually, there’s soft line coming out of the compressor to help reduce noise & vibration. I believe this to be the case on Model 3 as well, as I recall.
 

TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
2,034
2,429
Houston
Some searching on the web about this found the new Corvette C8 has a 7 year desiccant replacement recommendation. Speculation there was the even more hydroscopic nature of the 1234yf lubricants and permeation on rubber hoses. I’ve no idea about either and I thought only hardline was used. Anybody know if there is softline in the AC?

Interesting data point.

Seems strange that a hose under constant pressure with refrigerant gas would let any moisture in.
 

Sam1

Active Member
Sep 11, 2019
1,185
1,152
NV
That seems pretty cheap considering what a pain the filters are to change and how you would need to remove the rear brake calipers from the car to clean and grease them properly. I wonder if they really did a complete job on the calipers, or if they just sprayed them on the outside with compressed air and called it done. You never know unless you take them apart yourself to check, or watched them do it. Here's what needs to be done.

Pretty much everything here is a waste of time and money. You don't need to grease the calipers, it's just a recommendation from Brembo. Tesla has to put it in their service manual, because Brembo recommends it.
 

dmurphy

Buster: 11/25/14 - 6/20/21. So sorely missed.
Supporting Member
Dec 7, 2018
3,818
5,370
New Jersey - Morris County
Pretty much everything here is a waste of time and money. You don't need to grease the calipers, it's just a recommendation from Brembo. Tesla has to put it in their service manual, because Brembo recommends it.

Disagree. Especially anywhere the roads are heavily salted. It definitely makes a difference.
 
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