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Model S in a flood, next day would not start

Discussion in 'Florida' started by julioalonso, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. julioalonso

    julioalonso Member

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    #1 julioalonso, Mar 2, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
    This weekend I went up to the Stuart FL area for a soccer competition my youngest daughter was taking part in. Needless to say that later the matches were are cancelled because of the heavy rains and floods (http://www.tcpalm.com/weather/street-flooding-causing-havoc-in-st-lucie-and-martin-counties_41067050). On Saturday morning I woke up early and decided to go up to the St. Lucie Supercharger to top up since the trip from Miami plus the going around had let me with just 90 miles left. It turns out I chose the worst possible time of the day to do that.

    I just had to do about 14 miles from my hotel in Stuart to the Supercharger (http://bit.ly/1N9Nw1d), but there was very heavy rain, almost zero visibility and had to drive slow (20-30 mph max). It was in this conditions that I got into a large puddle of water. I was driving on the right most line, had traffic to the sides and low visibility so changing lines at that point looked more dangerous. Also there were other vehicles ahead going through the puddle, though a bit taller than my Tesla.

    I did go through the puddle no problem at about 10 mph on a constant pace, never stopping until I got out. the Model S did great, the only thing to mention was an increase energy consumption on the graph which I understand is normal. I went on to charge at Port Saint Lucie for a range charge, no problem. Went back to the hotel, and used the car during the day normally. I probably made about 7 different uses where I would get into the car, drive a short distance and stop. Everything was perfect. Boy, was I happy and proud of the performance of the Model S under those circumstances.

    Then the following morning I went to use the car but it would not start. It did open normally, the screens came up normally, also the AC and the Slacker music came up as usual. The car was showing 183 miles left on the battery, which from what I recall was consistent with what I had at the end of the previous day. But when I pressed the brake, the car refused to leave car off mode. Tried repeatedly, no use. Tried rebooting the consoles a couple of times, no change. The person parking her car next to me came up and told me that she had seen my car’s lights on during the night. Later I realized that even though the car did close the doors when going away, the lights would stay on. I also saw that a few miles of range had been lost during the morning because of this.

    At that point I called Tesla Ownership. They went through the same with me a couple of times and no results. Then they tried to contact the West Palm Beach Service Center, which was supposed to be open on a Sunday. It wasn’t. So at that time they organized a rental for me and my family and a tow for the Model S to take it to the West Palm Beach Service Center, which was closer to where I was than the Dania Beach Service Center with which I normally work. They even got an Uber ride to take us from the hotel to the Enterprise Rental Office and had a nice but bulky ICE ready for us.

    Today, Monday, I spoke several time with the West Palm Beach Service Center. They have gone through initial diagnostics and ruled out it is something simple that they can repair for free under the warrantee. They told me they had detected water in the back trunk (the lower trunk level had the carpet wet, so it looks like water got there) and that at that time they needed me to contact the insurance company to authorize them before they went into further diagnostics.

    Just called Progressive and they told me that they had more flood related cases in the area (they actually said in the hundreds) and that they would take care. Seems like it is covered under the comprehensive part of my insurance and I would need to pay just the $500 deductible. Unfortunately because of the large number of claims in the area they won’t be able to go and see my car till Friday.

    I am really hoping the electrical damage is not significant and that the repair does not take too long.

    Just for reference, I found two previous threads of similar flood related incidents on the forum. I am linking them here: http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/17699-Bad-experience-with-flood-waters, http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/9578-Warranty-(esp-driving-through-floods!) in case they are of interest to people who arrive to this post researching for flood related incidents.

    Will update this note as I learn more. If anyone has had other similar experiences and want to share, I’d be very interested in hearing them.

     
  2. julioalonso

    julioalonso Member

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    Just heard from Tesla again today. Seems like the car has started working again. They were getting some error messages but they seem clear now. They will still make a few more tests, but luckly they are bringing the car back to me tomorrow. Seems like the problem dried-out. Weird.
     
  3. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    That's what I was thinking... But if they don't know what part of the car was being "shorted" or whatever, how do they know if there isn't any lasting damage that should be corrected?
     
  4. julioalonso

    julioalonso Member

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    Yes, that is my concern as well. I'll have to ask again when they call me to organize the delivery. It also seems a bit weird that one day they say they have no clue of what's happening and that to further diagnose it they need the insurance company involved (and paying for additional technicians time I suppose) and the next day everything is magically solved. I am relieved, of course, but I'd like to understand it better to make sure it is not short-term relief.
     
  5. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    If I recall correct, the battery/car has moisture sensors that can prevent the car from starting and it may be possible that after the car has dried out then the car allowed it to start again. However, I would assume such an event should show up in the logs.

    Here's a similar incident:
    http://my.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/driving-thru-water-flooded-street-battery-protected
     
  6. tdelta1000

    tdelta1000 Active Member

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    Glad to hear that the S is back on the road but did you take any pics of the area that had the water intrusion? If not, does anyone have under body shot of the S showing where water could have gotten into that area?
     
  7. julioalonso

    julioalonso Member

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    I don't have pictures, but from the outside you could not see where the water did get in. All I noticed was that the carpet on the lower level of the back trunk was wet and that some water was dripping from right in front of the back right wheel.

    - - - Updated - - -


    Thanks for sharing. Yes, I would say the moisture sensors got wet and that what was preventing the car from moving. Strange though that I did not get a single error message.
     
  8. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    So do you have the active air suspension and did you raise it before going through the flood zone?
    Thanks for sharing your story, I hope she did well in the tournament.
     
  9. julioalonso

    julioalonso Member

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    No, I don't have the air suspension option. The soccer tournament got suspended because of the rain...
     
  10. julioalonso

    julioalonso Member

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    Got the car back a few days ago. On the work sheet it says that the connectors that link the battery to the rest of the car were wet. They took out the battery, dried and cleaned them up twice and then it worked fine.
     

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