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Model S Technical / Mechanical Issues

JRP3

Hyperactive Member
Aug 20, 2007
19,799
44,457
Central New York
There can be issues with electric motors passing current through the bearings if they are not properly isolated, which prematurely ages the bearing. Because this is an electrical phenomenon it makes sense that it's related to the power going to the motor, either through regen or the inverter.
 

paco3791

TMC OG
Nov 10, 2006
366
7
Antioch, IL
There can be issues with electric motors passing current through the bearings if they are not properly isolated, which prematurely ages the bearing. Because this is an electrical phenomenon it makes sense that it's related to the power going to the motor, either through regen or the inverter.

That makes sense, and this doesn't necessarily even have to be actual motor power, I know in other motors if the bearing isn't grounded properly static discharges can also prematurely age the bearings.
 

Eggplant

Member
Jun 5, 2013
234
1
Hillsborough, NC
So, had my "annual" maintenance at 7 months due to milage.

Gripes about actual value of maintenance items aside, the SC did spend quite a lot of hours (one tech was on my car all day, 8AM to about 5PM) going over the car and fixing squeaks and wind noise. Some I mentioned before hand, and others they did on their own after a test drive. So that was nice.

One thing I have is a terrible loud squeak coming from a fan near the front passenger side of the car when the AC is running. It does this at any temperature. All I have to do is turn on AC. You can hear is best through the wheel well. They said it was a "known issue" and that "there is no official fix yet, but Fremont is working on it." It's quite bad, and embarrassing to drive up sounding like I have an 1980s era beater with a bad fan belt.
 

ddruz

Member
Mar 17, 2012
675
5
North Shore Oahu, HI
So, had my "annual" maintenance at 7 months due to milage.

Gripes about actual value of maintenance items aside, the SC did spend quite a lot of hours (one tech was on my car all day, 8AM to about 5PM) going over the car and fixing squeaks and wind noise. Some I mentioned before hand, and others they did on their own after a test drive. So that was nice.

One thing I have is a terrible loud squeak coming from a fan near the front passenger side of the car when the AC is running. It does this at any temperature. All I have to do is turn on AC. You can hear is best through the wheel well. They said it was a "known issue" and that "there is no official fix yet, but Fremont is working on it." It's quite bad, and embarrassing to drive up sounding like I have an 1980s era beater with a bad fan belt.

Have you tried setting your car to Range mode? The AC gets stepped down and the fan noise has been reported to disappear on a number of cars. It did on mine. Never have it on Range mode. Car still gets plenty cool most of the time. When I need it cooler faster I turn off Range mode till it cools then turn it back on again.

Also note other threads on the site that indicate prepaid service requirements have officially been relaxed. You can go in once a year now regardless of miles instead of every 12,000 miles. I too found this out just after I did my service check at 12,000 miles and 9 months. Next year though.
 

Eggplant

Member
Jun 5, 2013
234
1
Hillsborough, NC
Oh, that's interesting. I'll have to ask about that mileage thing. I'd much prefer to go annually since I pile so many miles on my car.

The fan issue seems to happen range mode or no. BUT. I'd like to follow up and say that apparently Tesla ownership reads this thread. (Everyone wave! Hi folks!) I just got a call from the regional service manager to talk about the fan issue based on my post above. He promised to get the fan issue fixed.

Tesla service is absolutely the best.
 

matthelm

Member
Jan 25, 2014
21
0
Phoenix, Arizona
At roughly 6000 miles, I started to experience a "wobble" during acceleration and deceleration. Using an airplane analogy, it felt as if the car would yaw to the right under acceleration and to the left under deceleration.

First thing Monday (7 AM) I brought it in to the Scottsdale Tesla Service Center. I did this *without* first calling and making an appointment. They took me right in, wrote down my concerns, and even went on a drive with me so I could demonstrate the problem. Since I was there, I mentioned a few minor squeaks and rattles, and they said they would look into these as well.

Chris Swann was my Service Advisor, and he gave me a ride over to Enterprise where they got me on my way with a nice, new Cadillac ATS. The rental and first tank of gas was on Tesla. During the rental walk-around, the agent started the Caddy for me. I asked him what the loud groaning and roaring sound was, then, before he could answer I said: "Oh yeah, that's the motor!" :) He gave me that "another Tesla A-hole" look, as that was probably not the first time he had heard that joke.

Chris called me around 11:00 AM with a status update. They had found some loose suspension bolts, and also needed to do a "Front Lower Control Arm Washer Installation" service bulletin. They were also going to look into the aforementioned minor buzzes and rattles and would probably be done by 3:00 PM.

Around 3 PM, Chris called me again and said the car was done, and would I like them to valet it to me and take the rental back. Wow. I declined, having been trained by all prior automobile dealers to bring the rental car back on my own and then schlep over to the dealer to pick up my car. :)

The Enterprise rental place that the Scottsdale Tesla Service Center uses is easily within walking distance, so I dropped the Caddy at Enterprise first. The agent asked how I liked the Cadillac, and I said: "it was fine." He then said: "But, I bet it's not as nice as a Tesla." I responded: "Im sure GM is doing the best they can." My inside voice however agreed with him, and I wondered how much longer GM will survive. Maybe they can find a niche for themselves as a pickup truck manufacturer. :)

Anyway, back to Tesla. Chris brought my car around, all shiny and clean thanks to a courtesy detail they had done. Nice! We went through the items they worked on, and the resolution of each. We then shook hands and I was on my way. Total cost to me $0.00.

Here were the items they worked on:

1. Panoramic Roof Creak.

I didn't mention this, and had no roof creak. I guess they are pro-actively checking these whenever a car comes in.

2. Front Lower Control Arm Washer Installation

3. Rattle in right rear area

They found a loose fastener on the right side of the headliner and fixed it.

4. Right rear and left rear seat belts will sometimes fail to extend

This they could not duplicate, and I admitted it was relayed to me from a passenger that might have "been doing it wrong."

5. Rattle just above 17" touchscreen

Tesla fixed this by applying "felt" and re-securing some clips on the dash pad.

6 & 7. These were related to the "yaw" problem I was experiencing, and Chris experienced as well during our test drive.

Chris said they went around and loosened and then re-torqued all suspension bolts to specification and that cured the problem. We then had a brief discussion on the chances that the bolts would just loosen again, and I would be back for a repeat performance. For example, are the bolts safety wired? No. Are they torque-striped to enable visual inspection? Not all of them. After consulting with some of the technicians, Chris and I reached consensus that the bolts of concern are similar to wheel lug nuts, that is, applying the proper torque value will allow them to maintain tightness. We both agreed to leave unanswered the obvious question as to why they were either delivered, or became loose, as we didn't have enough data to speculate. Personally I made a mental note to take the wheels off and torque-stripe the bolts and do a visual inspection when I rotate the tires. My guess at this time is that will likely turn out to be a waste of my time, as my situation was probably just a glitch.

8 & 9. Update Firmware

I didn't ask for this, so it was probably just another standard process thing Tesla does when you bring your car in.

All in all, an excellent service experience. I recommend that if you have any concerns you should take your car to the Service Center. Unlike other dealerships, they will not try to "up sell" you, and your car will love it! :)
 
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The Enterprise rental place that the Scottsdale Tesla Service Center uses is easily within walking distance, so I dropped the Caddy at Enterprise first. The agent asked how I liked the Cadillac, and I said: "it was fine." He then said: "But, I bet it's not as nice as a Tesla." I responded: "Im sure GM is doing the best they can." My inside voice however agreed with him, and I wondered how much longer GM will survive. Maybe they can find a niche for themselves as a pickup truck manufacturer.

May be the best quote of this forum.
 

Discoducky

P100DL, 2021 M3, 3 CT reservations and counting
Dec 25, 2011
3,471
3,618
Seattle
Great post matthelm! That issue with the rear seat belts is real and a bummer for the passengers back there. We use all the belts back there and they are far too sensitive to engage ratchet mode.
 

caddieo

Member
Mar 21, 2013
876
19
Palm Coast, FL
Great post matthelm! That issue with the rear seat belts is real and a bummer for the passengers back there. We use all the belts back there and they are far too sensitive to engage ratchet mode.

My issue with the rear seat belts is different. The latches are so recessed which makes the rear seat look nice, but which at the same time makes it difficult to engage them especially since most of my passengers are of a certain age with some mobility/flexibility impairment. I already called attention to this during my one and only visit to the Longwood SC but they cannot be extended. And I am not about to start cutting the leather back there either. Anybody else with this problem?
 

Discoducky

P100DL, 2021 M3, 3 CT reservations and counting
Dec 25, 2011
3,471
3,618
Seattle
My issue with the rear seat belts is different. The latches are so recessed which makes the rear seat look nice, but which at the same time makes it difficult to engage them especially since most of my passengers are of a certain age with some mobility/flexibility impairment. I already called attention to this during my one and only visit to the Longwood SC but they cannot be extended. And I am not about to start cutting the leather back there either. Anybody else with this problem?


This should help Check this out on AMZN:
http://amzn.com/B005MKX2TY
 

pete8314

Vendor
Jun 4, 2012
2,358
658
DFW, ex UK
My Pana Roof is creaking from the front side. Has Tesla figured out a way to fix this consistently yet? Does anyone know what they DO to fix it?

Mine just started creaking, loudly, again. It was fixed last summer after a couple of attempts, but now it seems to be the colder weather that's triggering it, as it starts to ease after 15 mins of driving. The cold damp weather here in Texas definitely brings out all the creaks, the dash has started to rattle a bit as well, but a gentle thump fixed that.
 

mknox

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
10,103
1,867
Toronto, ON
The agent asked how I liked the Cadillac, and I said: "it was fine." He then said: "But, I bet it's not as nice as a Tesla." I responded: "Im sure GM is doing the best they can." My inside voice however agreed with him, and I wondered how much longer GM will survive. Maybe they can find a niche for themselves as a pickup truck manufacturer. :)

I realize this is a Tesla enthusiasts forum and these kinds of comments are to be expected, but I just got back from Southern California where I had a rental ATS and quite liked it.

IMG_1663.JPG
 

pete8314

Vendor
Jun 4, 2012
2,358
658
DFW, ex UK
Mine just started creaking, loudly, again. It was fixed last summer after a couple of attempts, but now it seems to be the colder weather that's triggering it, as it starts to ease after 15 mins of driving. The cold damp weather here in Texas definitely brings out all the creaks, the dash has started to rattle a bit as well, but a gentle thump fixed that.

Hmmm, well, I just took a call from my local SC manager (Hi Jack!) wanting to bring my car in for the creak. given this is the only place I've mentioned this, that's pretty amazing service, and only a little bit spooky :-o
 

bareyb

Active Member
Sep 2, 2013
1,137
46
Silicon Valley, CA
My Pana Roof is creaking from the front side. Has Tesla figured out a way to fix this consistently yet? Does anyone know what they DO to fix it?

Hmmm, well, I just took a call from my local SC manager (Hi Jack!) wanting to bring my car in for the creak. given this is the only place I've mentioned this, that's pretty amazing service, and only a little bit spooky :-o

I just got one from Heather in Sunnyvale for my creak! I guess they are monitoring these forums and there was enough info in my signature for them to find me. Kinda makes me think they might actually have a fix for this. It's a small creak, but I have to say, it's been kind of a buzz kill. If they can really fix it, that would take care of the only real complaint I have with the car. :)
 

mknox

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
10,103
1,867
Toronto, ON
When was the last time any of us was quietly stalked through a forum by a car manufacturer wanting to fix our cars?

WHEN?

:)

Okay... years ago I was on a Chrysler Usenet Group talking about a peculiarity in how my car's automatic transmission was behaving as I would come to a stop (known as "bump stop" -- it felt like you were rear-ended as you came to a stop). A mechanic at my dealer saw it and called me in to have the transmission software re-programmed at no cost (was outside of warranty) and cured my problem.

It happens.

EDIT: I think it "helps" if your forum user name is close to your real name, or someone at Tesla knows you by your handle.
 

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