Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Model S Technical / Mechanical Issues

DrComputer

Active Member
Jan 29, 2009
1,132
363
Sherman Oaks, CA
Since more Model S' are hitting the road I think we need to have a new sticky or sub forum for mechanical or technical issues. I was at the LA store yesterday having a vibration issue with my Roadster looked at (it was determined to be a bent rim...ouch). There were several Model S' there for service. One had a broken windshield, the others were there for upgrades or replacement of the stereo amp. The service guys said there has been an issue with the amp that can only be fixed by either replacing it or upgrading the firmware at a service center (won't work over the air). They also said they've had a few door handle issues arise already.

So far the techs have said they've seen no drive train problems, and that's a good sign. I don't want to read too much into these early delivery problems, but I think we should start to track them in a wiki or thread.
 
  • Love
Reactions: Familyfirstj

Thread Summary

Member Generated Post Wiki
Aug 14, 2012
38
8
As early adopters we are seeing many teething troubles with the Model S. These are to be expected but are frustrating nonetheless.

This Wiki attempts to capture the problems that have been seen, and any approved (or unapproved) fixes and workarounds. Anything provided herein is used at the owners risk.

CATEGORYPROBLEMREPORTED BYCAUSED BYFIX or WORKAROUND
GeneralCar behaves like ChristineCinergiCar is doing a software updateGo and have a cup of tea (or several) and hope things don't turn nasty
GeneralAny other random errorCinergi et alUnknownReboot...
  • Reboot the center screen by pressing and holding both the rollers on the steering wheel for about 15 seconds
  • Reboot the dashboard display by pressing and holding the top buttons on both sides of the steering wheel as above
  • Call Tesla Service
DoorsDoors difficult to closeVariousDoor misalignment during productionTesla Ranger or Tesla Service can realign door
DoorsDoor handles don't extend (properly)ggr hereSoftware bug/mechanical problemsCall Tesla Service
DoorsWind noise from top of door/window
Misaligned window during productionCall Tesla Ranger or service to adjust
BrakesBreaks squeak/screech
Limited use due to regen causes surface oxidation, causing noise when brakes appliedOptions:
  1. Live with it and be glad you don't have to keep paying for brake pads
  2. Use the brakes occasionally, whether you need to or not
Sound SystemLittle or no bass; little or no sound from rear speakers
Dolby 5.1 with a stereo source
  • Workaround: Turn off Dolby 5.1
  • Fix: Hopefully TM will adjust the sound system to properly emulate 5.1 from a stereo source
Windshield"Low Washer Fluid" errorMike K herev4.0 code bug?Reboot (see below)
WindshieldWashers jets don't cover entire windshield
Jets angled too lowUse a pin to reorient nozzles, or call Tesla Ranger
WindshieldWipers can't cope with heavy raindmetcalf hereNNIC (Not Needed In California :wink:)Update: they fixed the speed with an OTA update within a month - before heavy snow - NNIF(lorida ;))
Locking/UnlockingCar will not lockContaygious herePassenger door not closed properlyClose door properly :smile:
DisplaysOrange dotted line on range/power displayVariousCold weather and/or Range ChargingOrange line means that regen is (temporarily) disabled or reduced. This is normal behviour until the batteries reach normal working temperature or can accomodate charge from regen
DisplaysPixellationggr hereSoftware bugNot seen in recent software updates
Power/PerformanceLow Power warning; Call ServiceBen W hereUnknown; possibly 3.x software bugPower off car using Settings, wait one minute. Repeat another two times.
Suggest reporting to Tesla Service for diagnostics
HomelinkVarious problems; will not programBifff67 hereSoftware bugFixed in 4.0?
Charging'Vampire' drain - losing significant charge each day when not plugged inBifff67 hereKeeping the batteries conditioned and keeping the computers powered upv4.0 code introduces Sleep Mode to reduce power consumption when not in use; consequence is that computers take longer to boot when turning car on.
ChargingCharging is "painfully slow" at 110V (3 mile/hour)Ben W herePhysicsWorks as designed. If you need more, move to NEMA 14-50 (240V, 40A, 20-30 mile/hour) or HPWC (240V, 80A, 62 mile/hour) or Supercharger (160 mile/30 min)
ChargingCharge cable cannot be removed from charge port
Mechanical and/or software problemsPotential work around: put car into Range Mode, then use settings to stop charging; charge port lock may release
Proper fix: call Tesla Service
ChargingCharge cable will not lock on insertion into charge port


MirrorsSide mirrors stopped tilting down when car in reverse.MDR hereUser errorCar has to be in reverse gear to save the mirror position for reversing. Put car in reverse then hit save.
Backup CameraDisplay 'floats' in wrong place on display screenCottonwood hereSoftware bugNot seen since v4 code
BodyBubbles in paint armourChadS hereNormal drying processShould disappear in a few days. If not, call Tesla Service
12V BatteryDashboard warning about needing to replace 12V batteryBen W hereBad batch of batteries/Software BugThere was a software bug that was causing the 12V battery to drain. Fixed sometime before 4.0. If you still have an issue and are already on 4.0 call Tesla Ranger or Service to replace
XM RadioWhen switched to new channel, still shows old channel numaviators99

DefoggerDefogger rapidly oscillating between low fan and highest fan (5 times per second)aviators99

4.0 Google Maps bugWhen doing various pinching and zooming, OS crashes, A/C stopsaviators99

Phone appTimestamp on "Recent Calls" is incorrectRobert.BostonSoftware bug
InvertorMoskito typ whine @15-30KWhLazy BearUnknownService said whine level is acceptable (No so to me). Workaround: turn on music/radio.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

ggr

Expert in Dunning-Kruger Effect!
Mar 24, 2011
6,977
27,518
San Diego, CA
I'm having two issues. The door handle problems seem to be real. My driver's door handle extends but won't open the door. Ranger coming to fix it in an hour or so. The other problem I'm going to show him is clearly a software problem, the dashboard (small) screen has smatterings of black pixels with a semi-regular pattern. This is almost certainly caused by data being written through bad pointers. Problems like this usually get worse over time, until something important gets overwritten, so after I show it to the ranger I intend to do a display reset.
 

dtich

#P708
May 31, 2012
427
2
Los Angeles
now we're getting down to it. nothing beats real world use for a proper shake out. sorry to hear about these issues, but not surprised. hopefully they're very much on top of it all and fixes will be implemented and folded into production asap.

thanks for tracking these things, i think a wiki or updating list is imperative.


good luck guys. we're all holding our collective breath on these things believe me.


dt
 

gg_got_a_tesla

Model S: VIN 65513, Model 3: VIN 1913
Jan 29, 2010
6,533
769
Redwood Shores, CA
ggr, how did the ranger visit go? The door handle problem sounds a bit disconcerting; the handles have more or less been considered by TMC members to be the most likely piece of mechanical gadgetry to show signs of trouble; probably right up there with the pano roof.

Mods, sticky please...
 

Bifff67

Member
Nov 2, 2011
290
26
Northern Virginia
Cool, great idea. And we should bin them and give them bug numbers and track what version had the fix and if the fix worked. (sorry)

But first things first, vin 96, Software ver 1.7.36, awaiting next update that I was notified about.

to the pixels thing, I saw something different, I had a white flashing on the bottom of both sides of the dash screen. just for a few seconds but really caught my eye.

BT: In the delivery we paired my iPhone to BT. later in the day I had a call, worked. At the end of the day I had a call and the car dropped it but the call was still on so I picked up the phone and talked. And then the car reconnected. Next day the car could not connect to the phone. I spent a lot of time, restarted phone, other stuff, no luck, connection would just spin and not connect. Next day I tried more and did reboot of car. Then the BT screen would come up with list. I deleted phone and then re-paired and it work. More later on if it holds or falls out again. iPhone 4S 1.5.

HomeLink: I could not get my garage door opener to pair with the HomeLink. Tried multiple times, held button down for well over a minute, no workie. Last idea, I did it again and instead of standing in front of the car and aiming it, I stooped down and held directly against the front black nose. It worked.

Just because of some inconvenience, I have not charged for a couple of days, nor driven the car (!). and the charge is down pretty far. There is another thread on the 1% per day discrepancy. Over the week I have noted miles available on Tues 80, Wed 72, today 62. Thats more than 1% a day. I will do a lot more empirical data collection over time but this is initially worrisome. And of course I am going to plug it in!!

Good thread, so what else are we seeing out there people?
 

kevincwelch

Active Member
May 13, 2012
2,060
99
Chicagoland
Just because of some inconvenience, I have not charged for a couple of days, nor driven the car (!). and the charge is down pretty far. There is another thread on the 1% per day discrepancy. Over the week I have noted miles available on Tues 80, Wed 72, today 62. Thats more than 1% a day. I will do a lot more empirical data collection over time but this is initially worrisome. And of course I am going to plug it in!!

This worries more than the rest of the items to date. The others seem like software or simple mechanical glitches that could be fixed. Maybe yours is an issue with how the battery is calibrated with the software. If you're battery is draining that fast while not doing anything, that's bad.
 

pguerra

Member
Oct 22, 2011
180
0
Now my worrying has begun regarding reliability. Door handles, battery issues, radio issues, pixel issues....oh boy.

Regarding exterior paint: I talked to a specialist about "soft" paint that's on the Model S. I had this specialist polish and put Opti-Coat on my Prius to see the effect/results before committing this technology to the Model S exterior. After seeing the results, I'm 80-90% sure I will put Opti-Coat on the Model S too. Not 100% sure yet b/c it hasn't even been one day of results yet. :)
 

efusco

Moderator - Model S & X forums
Mar 29, 2009
5,421
666
Nixa, Missouri, United States
Now my worrying has begun regarding reliability. Door handles, battery issues, radio issues, pixel issues....oh boy.

Regarding exterior paint: I talked to a specialist about "soft" paint that's on the Model S. I had this specialist polish and put Opti-Coat on my Prius to see the effect/results before committing this technology to the Model S exterior. After seeing the results, I'm 80-90% sure I will put Opti-Coat on the Model S too. Not 100% sure yet b/c it hasn't even been one day of results yet. :)
These things are going to come up in a first generation vehicle...count on more. But I'm counting on Tesla to make them right.
 

NigelM

Recovering Member
Apr 3, 2011
13,386
555
Northern Virginia
Regarding the requests to sticky this: If we have one thread covering a variety of issues it's going to be difficult to find or research anything (Example, most of the items referred to so far would mean this thread should be under Model-S-User-Interface sub-forum). I would recommend that if/when issues arise then threads can be started in the appropriate sub-forum. If anything becomes major it can be made a sticky there. The problem with too many stickies is that it fills up the whole screen on certain views.

Here are the sub-forum descriptions:

Untitled.jpg
 

Discoducky

P100DL, 2021 M3, 3 CT reservations and counting
Dec 25, 2011
3,462
3,592
Seattle
I like the idea of bug#'s and how about track them just like deliveries on a google doc spreadsheet? I've found it to be very useful and easy to search.
 

kevincwelch

Active Member
May 13, 2012
2,060
99
Chicagoland
1% of 300 miles would be 9 miles per day which seems to match the miles per day you listed. What am I missing?

Below:

1% of 300 miles is 3 miles. What am I missing?

This is a two part question.

1. What was the SOC when the car was delivered to you (Bifff67), and if you haven't driven it or plugged it in, how did it get so low in the first place? Was this from all your fiddling? Seems a bit of a drain for just the fiddling.
2. Anyone: Is battery discharge when idle linear? If not, how does it decay?
 

efusco

Moderator - Model S & X forums
Mar 29, 2009
5,421
666
Nixa, Missouri, United States
Regarding the requests to sticky this: If we have one thread covering a variety of issues it's going to be difficult to find or research anything (Example, most of the items referred to so far would mean this thread should be under Model-S-User-Interface sub-forum). I would recommend that if/when issues arise then threads can be started in the appropriate sub-forum. If anything becomes major it can be made a sticky there. The problem with too many stickies is that it fills up the whole screen on certain views.

Here are the sub-forum descriptions:

View attachment 10188
I'd suggest a new subforum within the Model S forum. At Priuschat we have a "Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting" subforum for each Prius model and find it very useful for people to start new threads within that specific section since it covers everything from actual problems to just "how do I XXX" etc.
 

MDR

Member
Aug 16, 2007
64
0
Oakland, CA
I’m seeing many of the same issues and some others.

Noticing a higher than expected drop in the “rated range” number after unplugging. After completing a standard mode charge to 251 miles, I disconnected the charge cable. 2 3/4 hrs later rated miles were down to 243.

Also having problems with door handle operation. My driver’s door does not always open and some other inconsistent behavior.

Pixel problem on instrument cluster.

Side mirrors stopped tilting down when car in reverse.

Sometimes when I try to swap positions top to bottom with camera and nav screens, one of them goes gray.
 

mulder1231

Active Member
Jan 1, 2012
1,789
9,714
SF Bay Area
Not good. I wonder how many people who are reading these problems are going to want to defer.

On the other hand, that might mean I would get mine this year after all. :smile:
 

DrDave

Member
Jan 22, 2012
241
0
Regarding exterior paint: I talked to a specialist about "soft" paint that's on the Model S. I had this specialist polish and put Opti-Coat on my Prius to see the effect/results before committing this technology to the Model S exterior. After seeing the results, I'm 80-90% sure I will put Opti-Coat on the Model S too. Not 100% sure yet b/c it hasn't even been one day of results yet. :)

What do you mean "soft" paint that's on the model s? What is the exact paint technology are they using?
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top