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Major Problem (electrical failure, smell, smoke and shutdown) 2017 Model S

Sully's8

Member
Jan 4, 2017
206
242
Metro Chicago
Been a long while (years) since I posted, but Maggie’s in the shop for the first time since I got her 4 years and 3 days ago. . .very bummed. She’s still immaculate after 40K miles.

Was driving short drive from home to lunch, about 4 miles away. All back roads, never got over 40 or so MPH due to speed limits. Was halfway to destination and I felt / heard a “pop” sound behind and below infotainment to right of accelerator. I instinctively looked in rear view mirror thinking I might have struck something, but when it happened I had eyes ahead, didn’t see anything and there was nothing in rear view mirror.

30 seconds later I start smelling a toxic electric smell. Was warmish in Chicago so I had sunroof open. Couldn’t tell whether it was me or I was downwind of something or some other car, but yet smell was definitely there. 30 seconds after that I received the following alert at bottom of cluster, “Car may not restart; contact service”. . . Uh oh.

Kept driving, and 30 seconds more, about quarter mile to my destination I had what can only be referred to as an “Apollo 13” moment. Everything started beeping, alerts in rapid succession started filling my infotainment screen. Maggie started shutting all systems down 1 at a time but 100 alerts popped up in seconds. It was intense and chaotic. As I pulled into destination, I lost power steering, the accelerator stopped responding and I luckily coasted into the parking lot and rolled to a stop. I intentionally parked away from everyone because I thought I might be calling the fire department.

Once out of the car I noticed smoke coming from below car and through seam in hood by wipers. . .not quite billowing, but was easy to see. So. . .do I call fire? Or do I call Roadside? I gave myself 2 min to watch the smoke to see if it appeared to be getting worse, better, or staying the same. If worse, or the same I decided I would call fire.

Thankfully, the smoke dissipated once the car was shut down so I called roadside.

It’s been solid Tesla performance since then. . . Towed within 30 min to service center. Service Center has been very communicative (even this morning). Still waiting to hear the verdict but I’m really happy so far with the Tesla response.

Stay tuned for update.

By the way, anyone else have something like this happen?
 

galvatron

Member
Mar 15, 2020
118
71
WA
Oh man... definitely let us know what comes out of this. I always wondered in situations like this if I am out of warranty and something major like this happens, can I get insurance to cover, or Tesla to cover, or am I stuck out of pocket?
 

PDB33

Member
May 24, 2018
93
38
Oxford, UK
In April 2020 when MS was three years old, a loud electrical-type bang occurred when I put the car into drive, seemingly from behind, below and to the right of the instrument cluster (RHD vehicle). Then HVAC would blow only cold air but the car drove normally. The PTC heater had blown. SC replaced the heater as well as the 40A fuse in the forward junction box. The invoice also says "Correction: HV battery remove and install", which I assume means they had to remove the battery to get at something.
 

Sully's8

Member
Jan 4, 2017
206
242
Metro Chicago
You let out the magic smoke that makes it work?!

Sounds like a battery in the pack blew.

New or refurb pack.
Mine’s the original. . . So my guess is I will get a refurb. Hopefully covered by 8 yr 150K because technically I’m out of warranty for 48 hours when the event occurred. I also have 30 days to sign up for extended I think. . . Might get lucky there.
 

Sully's8

Member
Jan 4, 2017
206
242
Metro Chicago
In April 2020 when MS was three years old, a loud electrical-type bang occurred when I put the car into drive, seemingly from behind, below and to the right of the instrument cluster (RHD vehicle). Then HVAC would blow only cold air but the car drove normally. The PTC heater had blown. SC replaced the heater as well as the 40A fuse in the forward junction box. The invoice also says "Correction: HV battery remove and install", which I assume means they had to remove the battery to get at something.
Did yours have any smoke or electrical smell?
 

TSLA Pilot

Active Member
Mar 12, 2013
1,698
2,325
United States
Things like this make me wonder if it will be worth pay the substantial cost for the 4 year extended warranty that will have to be done in the next month if I go through with it.
I often portray this here as a "win-win."

If you don't use it much, Tesla gets the ESA payment to build more factories faster, thus helping secure (maybe) our entire planet's future. This is a good thing.

If you use it, it adds great peace of mind given that you really can't take these to Pep Boys and other non-Tesla shops, thus the cost of repairs can be high . . . .

 
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Sully's8

Member
Jan 4, 2017
206
242
Metro Chicago
Any rodents common where you live? Just wondering if something may have been chewing on a wire or two.
Dark Cloud. . . Nice call. Turns out there were wires chewed related to the high voltage coolant system. . . Still waiting for final tally but looks like battery system is intact. Engaged insurance adjuster and is covered under comprehensive. Thank goodness.

Never seen any type of critter in our garage or house. . . So this is a total shocker.

In googling this I did learn that the insulation on the wires is soy based and there’s peanut oil lubricant. Good thing elephants can’t fit.

I’m still in shock that this is actually a thing.

Props to Dark Cloud!
M
 

MP3Mike

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
15,376
33,362
Oregon
Dark Cloud. . . Nice call. Turns out there were wires chewed related to the high voltage coolant system. . . Still waiting for final tally but looks like battery system is intact. Engaged insurance adjuster and is covered under comprehensive. Thank goodness.

I'll be interested to see what they actually end up replacing. (Rodent damage seems to normally be limited to the low voltage/signaling wires. I think yours is the first case where I have heard the HV wiring getting chewed on.)
 
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TSLA Pilot

Active Member
Mar 12, 2013
1,698
2,325
United States

This tape is available from Honda dealers online, in case you desire to have the try it on your new wires--can't hurt, right?

It may take time to arrive if not in stock, so order ASAP if you wish to try it.
 
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