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Model X Drive System Completely Dead

zkhan2

Member
Dec 20, 2020
23
22
Virginia
Apologies in advance if this has been discussed. The family planned a trip from Lorton, VA to Chesapeake, VA, about a 175 mile trip. On the way, I set the navigation and placed it on autopilot. The car would continuously go in and out of autopilot. I finally pulled off, 32-miles into our trip, to the Virginia Welcome/Rest Center off of I-95 South.

I decided to do a two button reset. As usual the screen went blank, however this was the first time the car's large screen and instrument cluster screen did not come back on after waiting over five minutes. I put the car into reverse and I felt the motor engage and I move the car back a few inches. Then I tapped my fingers on the large screen and it turned on, however, the smaller screen above the steering wheel remained blank. I decided to do this again, and again after fives minutes the same thing happened again. Since the large screen was on, I went to the car menu and did a power off, waited two minutes then pressed the brakes and nothing. Including no screens. I also tried the two button reset, which I know cycled because my phone stopped charging and then started charging again after a ~minute.

I called called Tesla, the roadside assistant customer rep move me to a support rep as soon as she heard the screens are blank and my attempt to reset it. Fine, the support rep allowed to explain what happened and what I did. He asked me to do the two button reset several times. Meanwhile, he also tried to set a reset to the car but could not connect to it. After ~40 minutes, he said he would contact the nearest Tesla service center and someone would get back to me within 24 business hours. I said, are you kidding me??? I am stuck on the highway. I decided to see if the car would engage if I shifted to drive. It did. I asked the rep if it was okay to drive - he said that was up to me. I finally said thank you and hung up.

I drove the car back home, with traffic it took about an hour. Screens still blank. I backed the car in front of my garage and pushed the button to place the car in park. I was able to open all the door, trunk and frunk (using the FOB) to get all our stuff out of it. Once that was done, I opened the garage t back the car into the garage and the car is dead.

The car won't shift, the steering wheel has no power assist. The only thing it would let me do is adjust the seats, take the window up or down, adjust the mirrors, open the doors using the door handle.

This time I decided to use the Tesla app for roadside assistance. They dispatched a tow company after having me go through all the resets. The tow truck came an hour later. They connected a 12V source to a positive terminal in the frunk and ground. After waiting 10-minutes, no luck. The driver then connected a heavy duty 12V source with more Amps directly from the two truck to the Tesla frunk, nothing. He did this for over an hour. Finally, gave up and said he has never seen this before. He called back to his tow company and they send a tow truck with skates. Another hour-plus later, the new tow truck arrives connects everything up and off it went.

Other items that may be related. I have to perform a two button reset about once a week because eventually the car will have issues with mirror not folding, some parts of the infotainment system not working, touch screen being really insensitive to touch and I would have to push harder than usual, etc. Sometimes the screen(s) will go blank for a few seconds to several seconds. Lastly, I usually know that I have to do a reset when my audio starts to crackle like its staticky and/or Sirus/XM does not display graphics and/or will not change stations and/or stops working all together. This has been ongoing since I took delivery of this car back on March 2020.

I have called Tesla on this in the past, however they will have me do the reset and then won't see the car since everything is working.

Sorry for the long post, but it was very good to write it down and get it out of my system (excuse me for typos).

Of course the obvious question - does anyone have a clue what happened? My son thinks it's an issue with the MCU.

Thank you in advance for your responses. I will update as well as soon as I hear from the Tesla service center.

208702774_10220162660200227_8559024637803730907_n.jpeg
 
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Bigriver

Member
Mar 2, 2018
504
444
Pittsburgh, PA
What a hassle when headed off on a trip…. I had many similar problems from the time I took delivery of my car in 2017, which I have always blamed on MCU1. My problems disappeared with MCU2 upgrade. But you are already MCU2. I will be interested to hear what Tesla says and what they do.
 
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Les236

Member
Jan 20, 2018
247
119
Kissimmee, FL, Boston, MA
Yes, year and month and battery size, as well as MCU1/MCU2 is helpful information. We are all assuming the March 2020 delivery was of a new MX. I have re-read your post a couple of times. Great details, and scary. I do many long term trips that are planned out for weeks and it would kill me if I got on the road and started having these sort of issues. Definitely sounds like an MCU issue as the car is normally drivable without it functioning, but the "dead" once home is different. Could the main battery have been drained? Please follow up here on everything that is done to fix this.
 

zkhan2

Member
Dec 20, 2020
23
22
Virginia
Yes, year and month and battery size, as well as MCU1/MCU2 is helpful information. We are all assuming the March 2020 delivery was of a new MX. I have re-read your post a couple of times. Great details, and scary. I do many long term trips that are planned out for weeks and it would kill me if I got on the road and started having these sort of issues. Definitely sounds like an MCU issue as the car is normally drivable without it functioning, but the "dead" once home is different. Could the main battery have been drained? Please follow up here on everything that is done to fix this.
I am certain that it has to be the MCU2. I don't think the battery was drained. Although when I first got stuck off the highway - neither my app or the Tesla rep could connect to the car. However, at home, once I realized the car was dead, since I had the doors opened, I got a notice on my phone via the app. I went into the app and the app was able to connect without any issues. Only problem was controls like climate, and other controls would not work from the app. Mileage was at around 277. I just checked the app and it has drained to 201 - but I am not sure if they are servicing the car yet. Another note, is that app still shows my location at the rest stop off the highway. Service shows estimated completion June 29th @5:00 PM.
 

zkhan2

Member
Dec 20, 2020
23
22
Virginia
The car is ready, but since it was towed I don't have a loaner. I will have to wait until I can have my wife drop me off later tonight. I asked the service rep via the app text feature what the issue was. He said that I had a dead 12V battery and it was replaced. The rep called me as well to discuss. The symptoms that I have had with my car since I took possession could be due to low voltage from a defective 12V battery from the start - particularly the screen going blank for a few seconds and Sirius radio cutting out and sound system having static noise, etc.. I never received a "12v battery must be replaced soon" warning. Also, one item I did not mention is that I did have unusual phantom drain on my range but ignored it since 80% of the time I drive about 60-mies round trip daily.

The rep did say to monitor those symptoms and have the car back at the service center is they continue. I'll try to remember to update on those issue with the new battery in two weeks.

Could anyone explain how my frunk and all other doors opened and closed using the FOB if the 12V is dead? I though at a minimum the frunk does not open.
 
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croman

Active Member
Nov 21, 2016
4,912
7,143
Chicago, IL
The car is ready, but since it was towed I don't have a loaner. I will have to wait until I can have my wife drop me off later tonight. I asked the service rep via the app text feature what the issue was. He said that I had a dead 12V battery and it was replaced. The rep called me as well to discuss. The symptoms that I have had with my car since I took possession could be due to low voltage from a defective 12V battery from the start - particularly the screen going blank for a few seconds and Sirius radio cutting out and sound system having static noise, etc.. I never received a "12v battery must be replaced soon" warning. Also, one item I did not mention is that I did have unusual phantom drain on my range but ignored it since 80% of the time I drive about 60-mies round trip daily.

The rep did say to monitor those symptoms and have the car back at the service center is they continue. I'll try to remember to update on those issue with the new battery in two weeks.

Could anyone explain how my frunk and all other doors opened and closed using the FOB if the 12V is dead? I though at a minimum the frunk does not open.

This is what I was going to post -- this seems like a 12V issue. I bet it couldn't give enough voltage to properly power the power-hungry AP computer or other powered items (Speakers). Do you have a separate dashcam or other 12V tap?

I've been through 2 battery replacements in 4.5 years with my S. These cars eat up 12V batteries and I only got a warning once (my first replacement 8 months into ownership). The second replacement my car was acting funny (2 months ago) and my screen was wonky (MCU2) and they replaced the 12V (cost me $200) and it mostly fixed the issues. I don't think *all* of my issues were with the 12V though.

Regardless, you're under warranty. Fight like hell because Tesla has been in cost-avoidance and they'd rather you stay quiet and they save the money on fixing your issues. I think all the issues might not be explained by the 12V so keep an eye on it with the new battery.

As to your question about why doors opened and closed -- I think it is because your 12V was dying but not dead. The 12V dying means it has less voltage but not no voltage. If it clips or drops below a certain threshold the electronics will not function properly (or can be harmed) but some things require not much power to operate and can function with a diminished 12V.
 

zkhan2

Member
Dec 20, 2020
23
22
Virginia
So, the saga continues. Here is what I just wrote the service advisor now:

I picked up the just before 8:00 PM. As I am driving the MX continuously gave me the following message “GTW_w181, Park Assist unavailable” about every 3 to 5 minutes. This morning I get the following message, again at the same intervals, “APS_w172, Autopilot safety/convenience features unavailable.” Lastly (at least for now), their is a loud clank coming from the front trunk and whatever it is, it seems to slide to the left or right when I make turns. I opened the front trunk and noticed that my tow hook accessory is not there, I am presuming that a tech may have inadvertently placed it under the molded carpeting. I have pictures of the error messages if you need them. Since taking delivery of my MX I’ve had to do resets almost weekly if not more, as I have explained to you yesterday. It seems like the UI randomly shows systems as failed or certain function stop working (Sirius radio, touch screen, touch sensitivity, etc.). I really need someone to look into this, I am no longer comfortable driving this car after what happened on the highway this past weekend and symptoms that are still prevalent, continuous, and annoying.

I know that many of you have had great experiences with your Tesla vehicles. I am one of the few that have not and I wonder if it was a wise choice to give up my Audi S8 Plus (2018) for this MX that I really do fear driving long distances. It shouldn't have to be this way and I really want to stay electric.

Here is a picture of the notices:
 

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zkhan2

Member
Dec 20, 2020
23
22
Virginia
My car was dropped off yesterday at 8:30 am. They gave me a MX loaner. What a difference, not one occasion where I was getting any alerts. The car is still being serviced and like I told the service manager, I would rather they take their time and do it right then rush it to get me by MX back.
 

Silicon Desert

Active Member
Oct 1, 2018
3,598
3,493
Sparks NV / GF 1
I've been through 2 battery replacements in 4.5 years with my S. These cars eat up 12V batteries and I only got a warning once (my first replacement 8 months into ownership). The second replacement my car was acting funny (2 months ago) and my screen was wonky (MCU2) and they replaced the 12V (cost me $200) and it mostly fixed the issues.
Well, you have reminded me I should proactively replace my battery. On my 2016 MX100, I had to have the 12V battery replaced about 9 months after it was delivered (new). I got a warning that it was about to fail. Now it has been over 4 years on the replacement battery and no issues of any kind. The battery still seems to be reasonably healthy according to the various measurements I made, yet I'm not going to take an chances of it to die suddenly on the road without warning.

As for the OP, that sounds like a terribly frustrating experience and I hope they resolve it soon. In my MX (2016 as stated), I have never had a single issue that I can recall. Screen never went black on me or any other reason to require a reboot. Let's hope you get to that point.
 
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Silicon Desert

Active Member
Oct 1, 2018
3,598
3,493
Sparks NV / GF 1
Whatever it is, I hope they figure it out and not just do a reset and tell me everything is fine. If they had taken the time to do a quick road test yesterday they would have seen the Park Assist message.
Yes, precisely. And all this reminds me of the times I have had home computer issues in the past with software. Tech support always says reinstall it or restart the computer and then hangs up. As an electronics engineer, I often wish I could just slap them silly :) Rarely does that ever fix the problem.
 
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croman

Active Member
Nov 21, 2016
4,912
7,143
Chicago, IL
Well, you have reminded me I should proactively replace my battery. On my 2016 MX100, I had to have the 12V battery replaced about 9 months after it was delivered (new). I got a warning that it was about to fail. Now it has been over 4 years on the replacement battery and no issues of any kind. The battery still seems to be reasonably healthy according to the various measurements I made, yet I'm not going to take an chances of it to die suddenly on the road without warning.

As for the OP, that sounds like a terribly frustrating experience and I hope they resolve it soon. In my MX (2016 as stated), I have never had a single issue that I can recall. Screen never went black on me or any other reason to require a reboot. Let's hope you get to that point.

I had my factory battery warning in 2017 8 months into ownership. The replacement battery lasted 4 years and hadn't actually failed but clearly wasn't right. I was actually surprised they recommended replacement but I think proactive replacement makes sense because accessing the battery is not easy and it is not stocked by third parties in sufficient quantities. $200 is tough to swallow but the battery itself is like $120 and there is a fair bit of labor involved to access the battery and replace it (though most handy people can do it no sweat). I'd rather pay Tesla to do it and get a limited warranty to rely upon for premature failure.
 
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pereiks

Member
Sep 25, 2019
135
29
Sammamish, WA
I haven't had issues with 12v battery on my 2020 MX but I'm having the same intermittent errors since last week and overall weird behavior with MCU - mirrors not folding at home, car not unlocking doors on park, homelink triggering twice etc. Following to see what the resolution will be.
 

zkhan2

Member
Dec 20, 2020
23
22
Virginia
I do want start by saying that the staff at Tesla Tysons Corner in Virginia are good to work with and they do communicate well and not just use messaging but actually call. I got my MX back on Tuesday. They wanted me to pick it up on the Friday before after telling me that the tech could not find anything wrong with it. The service manager called and we discussed it and he acknowledged all the alerts in the log. I told him that it's not right that you see all these alerts but tell me nothing is wrong with the car. With respect to that he said he would have the tech do a more thorough review on Tuesday (Monday closed for the 4th). What they found out for the park assist failure is that my front license plate holder was loose enough to impede with the sensors in that area. The holder is third-party and latches to the grill structure deep in the bottom bumper opening so that holes don't have to be drilled. This specific one was recommended from the delivery person at Tesla the day I picked up my car. So I asked him to remove it completely and placed it in the car.

This still did not explain other issues and alerts - particularly Autopilot. I picked up the car Tuesday evening around 5:00. As I am driving, an Autopilot alert flashes for about two seconds. Too quick for me to take a picture and it was not logged into the triangle alert icon. So, I set my phone on camera and kept it in my hand to take a picture. The 30-minute drive was uneventful. I had to put the phone down to take the exit and go through turns at the lights and sure enough the same Autopilot alert happens again for a couple of seconds, again too quick for me to grab my phone.

One of the other symptoms of my car is the touch screen sensitivity. When I parked the car in the garage, I could not push the button to get my door to open. At least this one, I was able to capture on video. The service manager saw the video and heard about the Autopilot alerts and asked me to keep track of those issues and their frequency and then in a couple weeks they want to revisit these issues.

Here is the video of the screen touch sensitivity issue: iCloud

I am traveling to New York and New Jersey over the weekend and it will be interesting to see if I come across these issues. I am confident that the car will not die on me since we did replace the battery. Otherwise, I would have taken my other car.
 

zkhan2

Member
Dec 20, 2020
23
22
Virginia
I am going to keep this short because I am so frustrated with Tesla.

First time: They replaced the 12V battery and a memory module - said it's all fixed

Second time: They said it was my front license plate holder (messing up the sensors), they removed it as a courtesy - said it was all fixed

Third time: They said it is a firmware issue and my car is one of the first that has this issue. There was a service bulletin posted recently about random alert and random failures (autopilot, mirrors not tilting, seat belt buckle alert, park assist, screen going black, touchscreen not working, music crackling, etc.) - said there is nothing they can do until a fix is issued. This is not a priority issue for Tesla since only a handful of cars have this problem. They said that it could take a year or more before a fix. They said for now, anytime this happens to exit the Model X and then get back in to clear the alerts or reset. So, I am supposed just stop off on the side of the road when something stops working. They also said for me to ignore the alerts - I said that these alerts cause me a lot of anxiety and how do I know what alert is actual versus not - this is a safety issue.

In their (I spoke to two people at Tesla) cocky and arrogant attitude, they were both surprised that I was not happy with their recommended fix, which is to just deal with it and get out of the Model X when these issues arise and get right back in or reset.

Why are other 2020 Model X not impacted with similar issues if it's the firmware - wouldn't an MCU replacement fix this? Neither person I spoke to would answer that question and kept repeating that my Model X has a firmware issue.

Already contacted my family attorney to pursue this through the Virginia Lemon Law.

Lastly, I really thought I was doing the right thing by trading in my Audi S8 Plus for the Tesla Model X. I could not have been more wrong. I will wait for the Audi RS E-Tron GT - at least I know I will have a vehicle where, as with my last two S8, customer satisfaction is paramount.
 
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zkhan2

Member
Dec 20, 2020
23
22
Virginia
I haven't had issues with 12v battery on my 2020 MX but I'm having the same intermittent errors since last week and overall weird behavior with MCU - mirrors not folding at home, car not unlocking doors on park, homelink triggering twice etc. Following to see what the resolution will be.
If it is similar to my issues then read my last post, it seems like Tesla is telling us to efff-off and not bother them.
 

pereiks

Member
Sep 25, 2019
135
29
Sammamish, WA
If it is similar to my issues then read my last post, it seems like Tesla is telling us to efff-off and not bother them.
It does very similar, there is another post where the issue was fixed by redoing firmware, see Park Assist Unavailable

So far i've scheduled mobile service for this issue and will let you know how that goes.
The most annoying thing for me is falcon doors which I now have to press 3-4 times to open and homelink triggering 2 times so i can't really open/close the garage.
 
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