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Model S expensive repair making me feel like I'm losing the faith...

lance

Member
Aug 28, 2014
184
125
Montreal
So a few weeks ago my HVAC heater died on a cold night returning from the country. Tesla says it's the DCDC Module and will cost $2400 plus labour to repair. The charge port is also needing to be replaced as charging dropped out occasionally. Cost for repair for that is close to 2000 with labour. Under warranty I had the charge port replaced at least once and the mobile connector replaced around four times. I worry that this is going to be an ever growing repair expense as time goes on so I'm losing faith in the Tesla mission after only four years of driving electric. Repairs are estimated to take another 3-4 weeks.

I've had expensive repair bills before but on much older cars that Ive abused much more than the S. I'm still on a loaner battery for over year and the third drive unit. Oh ya, also on the fourth windshield! If I didn't have bad luck I'd have no luck at all.

At least on my older Volvos etc I was able to find refurb parts etc. Not feeling many options with the Tesla

Do I have a money pit?
 

RAW84

Member
Oct 6, 2014
614
314
Boston
What year is your car? Did your car's mfg warranty just run out and you opted against the extended warranty? (I ask because I'm about to be on that boat and will need to make a decision on the extended warranty)
 

demundus

Active Member
Jul 5, 2015
1,328
859
Oceanside, CA
Nope, you're about par for the course. The older cars are full of expensive repairs. "new" ones havent seen the same time/abuse as the old ones so we'll see how they fare.
 

Jpballer88

Member
Apr 2, 2018
58
130
Los Angeles
I agree with you. I have been reading up on how much repairs cost out of warranty and it's disheartening. On my S class mercedes, I can easily repair a misfire or change the motor mounts. On my Tesla MS, I cannot change the air strut myself as I am sure I need to reset something in the computer, or even change the AC compressor without hooking it up to some computer.

Also since my Tesla is salvage title, I cannot get parts that freely on it, if at all. Losing a little bit of faith too, maybe it's cause we don't have warranty?
 

neusmell

Member
Dec 16, 2017
11
7
Chicago, il
I agree with you. I have been reading up on how much repairs cost out of warranty and it's disheartening. On my S class mercedes, I can easily repair a misfire or change the motor mounts. On my Tesla MS, I cannot change the air strut myself as I am sure I need to reset something in the computer, or even change the AC compressor without hooking it up to some computer.

Also since my Tesla is salvage title, I cannot get parts that freely on it, if at all. Losing a little bit of faith too, maybe it's cause we don't have warranty?

it’s pretty easy to lose faith when buying salvage vehicles that you don’t know how/can’t fix on your own.

As for the OP - you’re still under the cost of the ESA, so hopefully this is the last bump in the road?
 

Jpballer88

Member
Apr 2, 2018
58
130
Los Angeles
it’s pretty easy to lose faith when buying salvage vehicles that you don’t know how/can’t fix on your own.

As for the OP - you’re still under the cost of the ESA, so hopefully this is the last bump in the road?

Yeah, would be a little easier if they sold parts to the public... then people would actually make write-ups and share DIYs on how to do things. Getting hold of parts is the biggest obstacle in repairing a salvaged vehicle. I am a pretty competent DIYer, have done all kinds of work on european cars. It's more about having the correct tools and some sort of manual or guide so I don't blow my limbs off mishandling all that electricity.
 
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pgiralt

Supporting Member
Jun 16, 2013
1,520
155
Cary, NC
This is the 3rd or 4th instance of this exact issue that I've heard - there is some kind of short that occurs in the heating element which results in a blown fuse inside the DC-DC converter and the only way to repair is to replace the entire DC-DC. I'm guessing if there was an external fuse it would not be causing as much damage as it is in this case. Fingers crossed that my 2013 doesn't run into this...
 

Brian-MS90D

Member
May 31, 2017
176
125
Cincinnati, OH
I keep seeing these posts pop up and I'm having trouble feeling sorry for these complainers. You bought an expensive, low production volume, near-first-of-its-kind vehicle. You should really not have expected lesser priced repairs.

And if you purchased this expensive of a car - any brand - and your ability to afford it depended on your ability to repair it yourself, then I think you need to reevaluate your budget, savings habits, and spending habits.

I'm not intending to be mean. I know it is not fun paying for car repairs and I've been there, especially with Land Rover (regular $280 oil changes, frequent air suspension failures costing nearly $10k total, countless electrical glitches) and Audi. But I expected it when buying such an expensive, low production vehicle. I don't understand why people expect different from Tesla, a new car company at that.

I also admit that Tesla does aim to be different. But for the OP to be "losing the faith" seems so hollow and naive. To keep a positive note here and not just complain, I'll offer advice. If you can truly afford this class of vehicle, then do everyone a favor and buy a new one (and brand). Why suffer through this if you have the financial means to solve the problem? If you do not have the means, why have you risked your personal well being by stretching your finances so thinly????
 

Jpballer88

Member
Apr 2, 2018
58
130
Los Angeles
I keep seeing these posts pop up and I'm having trouble feeling sorry for these complainers. You bought an expensive, low production volume, near-first-of-its-kind vehicle. You should really not have expected lesser priced repairs.

And if you purchased this expensive of a car - any brand - and your ability to afford it depended on your ability to repair it yourself, then I think you need to reevaluate your budget, savings habits, and spending habits.

I'm not intending to be mean. I know it is not fun paying for car repairs and I've been there, especially with Land Rover (regular $280 oil changes, frequent air suspension failures costing nearly $10k total, countless electrical glitches) and Audi. But I expected it when buying such an expensive, low production vehicle. I don't understand why people expect different from Tesla, a new car company at that.

I also admit that Tesla does aim to be different. But for the OP to be "losing the faith" seems so hollow and naive. To keep a positive note here and not just complain, I'll offer advice. If you can truly afford this class of vehicle, then do everyone a favor and buy a new one (and brand). Why suffer through this if you have the financial means to solve the problem? If you do not have the means, why have you risked your personal well being by stretching your finances so thinly????

$2400 for a heater problem? $2000 for a charge port? The idea here isn't about personal finances, it's about getting what you pay for. These are fairly expensive cars, you'd expect them to be built to a certain standard. I have 2 MS (2013 and 2014), and both of them have needed quite a bit of things replaced during my ownership (drive units, 17" screen, tie rods, control arms, wheel hub and bearings etc) and I have yet to hit 50K miles on either one.

Not everyone can/wants to drop of their MS at the dealer and pay a 4K repair bill. That's ludicrous. I thought the idea of Tesla was to make reliable "1 million mile" capable vehicles. With the influx of DU's being replaced and other door handle gremlins, I am starting to debate the quality of these cars.

Now don't get me wrong, I love Tesla's and will always keep one around, but that doesn't change the fact that I had to change my drive unit under 50K miles. So when I run out of warranty and have to pay 12K again before 100K miles for another one, will I be happy? I doubt it.
 

MP3Mike

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
15,863
35,523
Oregon
This is the 3rd or 4th instance of this exact issue that I've heard - there is some kind of short that occurs in the heating element which results in a blown fuse inside the DC-DC converter and the only way to repair is to replace the entire DC-DC. I'm guessing if there was an external fuse it would not be causing as much damage as it is in this case. Fingers crossed that my 2013 doesn't run into this...

Technically I think you can replace the heater module and the fuse and you are good to go, but Tesla doesn't replace fuses inside a component. (Many people have had a fuse blow in their charger and Tesla would only replace the whole unit. At least one of them bought the fuse, for like ~$15, and replaced it himself and has been fine since.)
 
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GHammer

What a long strange trip its been.
Feb 1, 2016
922
2,164
Wren, Oregon
This is the 3rd or 4th instance of this exact issue that I've heard - there is some kind of short that occurs in the heating element which results in a blown fuse inside the DC-DC converter and the only way to repair is to replace the entire DC-DC. I'm guessing if there was an external fuse it would not be causing as much damage as it is in this case. Fingers crossed that my 2013 doesn't run into this...
Tesla has replaced the DC-DC unit with one that has an external re-settable circuit breaker so that the entire unit doesn't have to be replaced. Unfortunately the new unit is not retrofittable. I dont know when the new version was put into production but all the ones that I have seen in message boards that have blown are all from 2013. It also appears that Tesla may be internally repairing the old units as ones they are using as replacements have refurb part numbers.
 

30seconds

Active Member
Feb 28, 2013
2,201
5,375
SF
The good news is that Tesla engineering seems to continually work on upgrading parts. It seems that we are seeing a number of charge ports are failing. I would expect this to be resolved with a part redesign, which would be very, very rare for other manufacturers.
 
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ACA Man

Member
Jul 19, 2017
714
489
Rancho Cucamonga
$2400 for a heater problem? $2000 for a charge port? The idea here isn't about personal finances, it's about getting what you pay for. These are fairly expensive cars, you'd expect them to be built to a certain standard. I have 2 MS (2013 and 2014), and both of them have needed quite a bit of things replaced during my ownership (drive units, 17" screen, tie rods, control arms, wheel hub and bearings etc) and I have yet to hit 50K miles on either one.

Not everyone can/wants to drop of their MS at the dealer and pay a 4K repair bill. That's ludicrous. I thought the idea of Tesla was to make reliable "1 million mile" capable vehicles. With the influx of DU's being replaced and other door handle gremlins, I am starting to debate the quality of these cars.

Now don't get me wrong, I love Tesla's and will always keep one around, but that doesn't change the fact that I had to change my drive unit under 50K miles. So when I run out of warranty and have to pay 12K again before 100K miles for another one, will I be happy? I doubt it.
Well said.
 

jaguar36

Active Member
Apr 10, 2014
2,069
1,570
NJ
$2400 for a heater problem? $2000 for a charge port? The idea here isn't about personal finances, it's about getting what you pay for. These are fairly expensive cars, you'd expect them to be built to a certain standard. I have 2 MS (2013 and 2014), and both of them have needed quite a bit of things replaced during my ownership (drive units, 17" screen, tie rods, control arms, wheel hub and bearings etc) and I have yet to hit 50K miles on either one.

Not everyone can/wants to drop of their MS at the dealer and pay a 4K repair bill. That's ludicrous. I thought the idea of Tesla was to make reliable "1 million mile" capable vehicles. With the influx of DU's being replaced and other door handle gremlins, I am starting to debate the quality of these cars.

Now don't get me wrong, I love Tesla's and will always keep one around, but that doesn't change the fact that I had to change my drive unit under 50K miles. So when I run out of warranty and have to pay 12K again before 100K miles for another one, will I be happy? I doubt it.

Aren't both your cars salvages? You can't comment on the quality of a car if its a salvage.
 

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