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Model 3 won’t charge - broken port

M3 owner

New Member
Oct 11, 2019
3
1
California
My Tesla Model 3 is 11 months old and I haven’t had many problems until today. I tried to charge at a supercharger and I couldn’t get the charging cable to latch properly. I inserted the charger into the port, heard lots of clicking noises and then the charge light went from blue to yellow and charging stopped. I thought it was the charger and so moved to another charger. Same problem. Drove to a different supercharging location. Same problem. Plugged in at home. Same problem. It was a Friday night after 6pm and so I called roadside assistance. They suggested I drive it to a Tesla service center and leave it there until Monday morning and then someone “might” be able to help me. I called and a representative told me I could get a service appointment in 12 days! Why no service for critical maintenance on weekends? Meanwhile I was without a working car. The car had just 22 miles of charge left and I had 100 miles of driving to do over the weekend. The roadside assistance representative had suggested over chat that I see if something was lodged in the charge port. Sure enough, I found this...

F1BA026B-8B24-4D3D-8AA2-500BD849AAAE.jpeg


It looks like a plastic piece of the left charging pin broke and got wedged into the charge port, which blocked the charger from being fully inserted. After reviewing some posts on this site, and desperate to be able to drive over the weekend, I got a small screwdriver and dislodged the plastic from the charge port, without being electrocuted. After that, I was able to plug in and charge. I will definitely be taking the car in for service on Monday morning. It seems crazy to me that Tesla doesn’t have service over the weekend, especially for critical/safety issues like this. Anyone else been stuck over the weekend with a disabled Tesla? What did you do? Rent a car? I didn’t think I needed a second “back-up” car, until today.
 
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Led Jetson

Member
Sep 13, 2019
34
22
Naples
When I had my last mobile service appointment at home. The tech told me he was switching out a new connector for the charging as there have been connectors breaking on people. It took him a few minutes and it is probably that exact same piece.

We just completed nearly a 3,000 mile road trip in my M3P, and I can't imagine what would have happened had that happened to us somewhere in the middle of nowhere. My advice to all Model 3 owners is to request right away to have Mobile Service have that piece replaced immediately or at least before you are on a road trip and find yourselves screwed for several days.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,293
11,631
Riverside Co. CA
My Tesla Model 3 is 11 months old and I haven’t had many problems until today. I tried to charge at a supercharger and I couldn’t get the charging cable to latch properly. I inserted the charger into the port, heard lots of clicking noises and then the charge light went from blue to yellow and charging stopped. I thought it was the charger and so moved to another charger. Same problem. Drove to a different supercharging location. Same problem. Plugged in at home. Same problem. It was a Friday night after 6pm and so I called roadside assistance. They suggested I drive it to a Tesla service center and leave it there until Monday morning and then someone “might” be able to help me. I called and a representative told me I could get a service appointment in 12 days! Why no service for critical maintenance on weekends? Meanwhile I was without a working car. The car had just 22 miles of charge left and I had 100 miles of driving to do over the weekend. The roadside assistance representative had suggested over chat that I see if something was lodged in the charge port. Sure enough, I found this...

View attachment 465132

It looks like a plastic piece of the left charging pin broke and got wedged into the charge port, which blocked the charger from being fully inserted. After reviewing some posts on this site, and desperate to be able to drive over the weekend, I got a small screwdriver and dislodged the plastic from the charge port, without being electrocuted. After that, I was able to plug in and charge. I will definitely be taking the car in for service on Monday morning. It seems crazy to me that Tesla doesn’t have service over the weekend, especially for critical/safety issues like this. Anyone else been stuck over the weekend with a disabled Tesla? What did you do? Rent a car? I didn’t think I needed a second “back-up” car, until today.

Most ICE car dealer repairs are not open on weekends either so....
 

MoHazee4

M3 LRD
Jan 26, 2019
137
48
Midwest
Oh man - sorry to hear! I had a service appointment a few weeks ago and the technician did a repair on the charge port, which addressed s Service Bulletin (he said) for this exact issue.

Because there is a Service Bulletin out for this issue - I feel pretty confident Tesla will help make this right. Although, it's gonna be a hassle for you.

Good luck!
 

Kilotango74

Active Member
Apr 2, 2019
1,337
1,129
Palmdale, CA
My Tesla Model 3 is 11 months old and I haven’t had many problems until today. I tried to charge at a supercharger and I couldn’t get the charging cable to latch properly. I inserted the charger into the port, heard lots of clicking noises and then the charge light went from blue to yellow and charging stopped. I thought it was the charger and so moved to another charger. Same problem. Drove to a different supercharging location. Same problem. Plugged in at home. Same problem. It was a Friday night after 6pm and so I called roadside assistance. They suggested I drive it to a Tesla service center and leave it there until Monday morning and then someone “might” be able to help me. I called and a representative told me I could get a service appointment in 12 days! Why no service for critical maintenance on weekends? Meanwhile I was without a working car. The car had just 22 miles of charge left and I had 100 miles of driving to do over the weekend. The roadside assistance representative had suggested over chat that I see if something was lodged in the charge port. Sure enough, I found this...

View attachment 465132

It looks like a plastic piece of the left charging pin broke and got wedged into the charge port, which blocked the charger from being fully inserted. After reviewing some posts on this site, and desperate to be able to drive over the weekend, I got a small screwdriver and dislodged the plastic from the charge port, without being electrocuted. After that, I was able to plug in and charge. I will definitely be taking the car in for service on Monday morning. It seems crazy to me that Tesla doesn’t have service over the weekend, especially for critical/safety issues like this. Anyone else been stuck over the weekend with a disabled Tesla? What did you do? Rent a car? I didn’t think I needed a second “back-up” car, until today.
Do other car manufactures supply 7 day a week maintenance availability or cars on demand when there is a breakdown...... no I would t expect it from Tesla either. This falls under the S$it happens catagory. Sorry it happened to you but since there is a SB issued on it they will get it fixed.
 

M3 owner

New Member
Oct 11, 2019
3
1
California
Most ICE car dealer repairs are not open on weekends either so....
That’s not my experience. In fact, I did a quick search on Yelp for car dealerships near me and the first 3 I clicked on all have at least 9-7pm hours on Sat and Sun. Working people need a time to get their cars fixed. As Tesla targets middle income customers, it’s going to have to change its service hours to accommodate those customers.
1862FB9F-13AA-424C-95A3-1BBF2F5E5949.jpeg
15504AC4-74F7-41AB-9F01-16A0C23642A3.jpeg
4D34D913-0678-460B-80A7-16B52814F523.jpeg
.
 

M3 owner

New Member
Oct 11, 2019
3
1
California
Thanks all. Just a follow-up. I took my car into Tesla service on Monday (without an appointment) and they replaced the plastic tips of both pins in the charge port. It took about 20 minutes and there is no charge. I was told there is a Service Bulletin (as others on this thread reported) for this problem, meaning it’s a known issue and will be fixed for free. I would recommend that anyone with a November 2018 vintage Model 3 or thereabouts take their car in proactively for this fix, so you aren’t stranded, like I was. I was also told by the service techs that it was a BAD idea to try to dislodge the plastic piece from the charge port myself. BTW, a Tesla Roadside service rep was the one who recommended that I try this via text, so beware what they recommend!! The service tech at the dealership said that if another part of my hand had touched the other pin, while I had a screwdriver in the port retrieving the broken part, I could have been seriously injured, if not worse. That’s different from things I read on this forum, so just sharing what he told me.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,660
7,951
Boise, ID
The service tech at the dealership said that if another part of my hand had touched the other pin, while I had a screwdriver in the port retrieving the broken part, I could have been seriously injured, if not worse. That’s different from things I read on this forum, so just sharing what he told me.
Ha ha ha ha! Wow. Man! I wish we could find that thread of crazy/wrong things service techs have said.
 

AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
10,398
12,642
San Diego
Apparently these plastic bits (or something similar?) get stuck in the Superchargers too so if you find one that doesn't work, you could try to knock it out or (gently!!!) pry it out of the Supercharger as well. Fairly sure that is safe with the Superchargers too but YMMV. YOLO, perhaps not for very long. ;) I'd definitely try to just rattle it loose first if you identify this as the problem (it is visible if you look at the end of the Supercharger cable).

See video for method:

 
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M3-Florida

Member
Mar 18, 2019
66
38
NE Florida
That’s not my experience. In fact, I did a quick search on Yelp for car dealerships near me and the first 3 I clicked on all have at least 9-7pm hours on Sat and Sun. Working people need a time to get their cars fixed. As Tesla targets middle income customers, it’s going to have to change its service hours to accommodate those customers.
View attachment 467507 View attachment 467508 View attachment 467509 .

These are showroom hours. I used the three examples you provided and service hours are not the same. They are not open that late and none of them open Sunday.

Yes, some working people take their car on Saturdays or drop it off and get shuttled to work or get a courtesy car. Others take time off. I don't see where Tesla is any different.
 
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Kdblondie

Member
Sep 11, 2019
43
10
Bay Area
That’s not my experience. In fact, I did a quick search on Yelp for car dealerships near me and the first 3 I clicked on all have at least 9-7pm hours on Sat and Sun. Working people need a time to get their cars fixed. As Tesla targets middle income customers, it’s going to have to change its service hours to accommodate those customers.
View attachment 467507 View attachment 467508 View attachment 467509 .

Are you sure that these are service hours? & not dealership hours? Most dealerships are open 7 days a week but service is usually Mon-Fri & half day on Saturday.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,293
11,631
Riverside Co. CA
That’s not my experience. In fact, I did a quick search on Yelp for car dealerships near me and the first 3 I clicked on all have at least 9-7pm hours on Sat and Sun. Working people need a time to get their cars fixed. As Tesla targets middle income customers, it’s going to have to change its service hours to accommodate those customers.
View attachment 467507 View attachment 467508 View attachment 467509 .

Those DEALERSHIPS are open, but did you check to see if the SERVICE departments are not only open, but servicing cars?
 
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Kilotango74

Active Member
Apr 2, 2019
1,337
1,129
Palmdale, CA
That’s not my experience. In fact, I did a quick search on Yelp for car dealerships near me and the first 3 I clicked on all have at least 9-7pm hours on Sat and Sun. Working people need a time to get their cars fixed. As Tesla targets middle income customers, it’s going to have to change its service hours to accommodate those customers.
View attachment 467507 View attachment 467508 View attachment 467509 .
I think that might be dealer hours not.......oh hell just read what the last four posts in a row have said.
 
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Vines

Active Member
Jul 20, 2018
2,043
2,371
Silicon Valley, CA
I am just figuring this issue out myself, except its my UMC that the plastic is stuck into and im going to be stuck at home.

For me, I just went to service and they replaced my charge port proactively. One of the pins had the tip broken off but otherwise charged fine. They never bothered to mention, that once they replace the charge port my UMC is a possible location where the other end of the plastic is stuck and I wont be able to charge, due to the part they just replaced. That little black ring is stuck inside my UMC charger handle. No amount of smacking it will dislodge it either. I tried to make a tool to get it out and spread the pins equally but that isn't working.

Trying to extract the plastic pin has been not possible so far, thinking ill need to fracture it to get it out of the spring connection.
 
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AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
10,398
12,642
San Diego
Trying to extract the plastic pin has been not possible so far, thinking ill need to fracture it to get it out of the spring connection.

That is a bummer. Sucks they did not give you a heads-up - they must know... Interesting that it does not shake loose, but seems to from a Supercharger. Seems like you need a very thin pick-like tool or something. Not sure how much clearance you have. Probably not much.
 

Vines

Active Member
Jul 20, 2018
2,043
2,371
Silicon Valley, CA
I figured it out just now. The reason in my opinion it shakes out in a supercharger is likely because how much more often they get used, the pins are much more worn.

It is disappointing that they did not tell me to show them my UMC, would have fixed it in 5 minutes, while at the service center.

The issue with mine was the inside of the connection is a ring type spring, and when the plastic piece started coming out it would get hung up right at the opening by the spring action of the outside of the connection, inside the UMC handle.

I needed a tube of the perfect diameter to spread this ring open, then the plastic piece could clear the spring portion of the inside of the UMC connector, and come out. I'll post pictures
 
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