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My car is "offline", no radio at all, marginal GPS [SC states bad computer]

timk225

Active Member
Mar 24, 2016
2,050
1,063
Pittsburgh
I had a mobile service appointment scheduled for the 15th, but Tesla changed it and had me bring my 3 to the Wexford SC today to be worked on tomorrow. I got a Model S 70D loaner to try out and it's ok, but I'm surprised it doesn't have the Hold feature in the driving options. Once I stop in traffic, I have to keep my foot on the brake!

I seem to be developing a reputation around the Wexford SC, and probably not in the best way. First, let me say I've been working on my own cars doing some pretty advanced work since the late 80's, and I'm also an IT person for many years, so my automotive and computer experience are far above the typical car owner / Tesla driver. Sorry not sorry! :)

I've been watching the LTE problem come and go for a few weeks. The LTE hasn't worked in 5 days now. I gave up doing 2 button resets and Power Offs, because that never fixed it for long. Ever since the big double reset (it did a double, I didn't make it do that) that wiped my 3 year lifetime Trip B numbers and reset every setting in the car, my phone won't work over the car speakers, although aside from the phone and LTE problems, things have been pretty normal.

Another 3 year problem, ever since the car was new, is that the low tone horn quits working after driving in rain. It comes back when it dries out, but for the last 8-9 months, it barely works at all, wet or not. I put that in my mobile app ticket to be changed.

But the real annoying part for me, was turning in my car and key card. The service phone app said just drop the key card in the drop box, no need to speak to the service techs, but nah, I'm not like that. I'm special. In addition to being a member of the Tesla Elite, I also have advanced car and computer knowledge, as I said before. The service guy saw me standing by the window. I didn't enter the service area like the sign said, but he had that "Oh Sh!t" look on his face when he saw me. He came to the door to get my key card, and I started to speak to him, he needed to know about the phone problem. Right away he cuts me off with "(my name, my name), you do this every time, we're very busy, it's the end of the quarter, we'll diagnose it and call you tomorrow". He was polite about it, but I could see that what he was really saying was "Dude, STFU and GTFO". :)

At first I was going to say something about him trying to come up on me like that, but that wouldn't be becoming of a Tesla Elite member, so I just said ok and gave him the card and left. But I was annoyed. So annoyed, in fact, that I couldn't even enjoy the ride home. But here's how I see it. My 67,000 mile 3 is out of warranty coverage now, so I'm gonna get stuck paying a crazy $175 per hour shop fee plus whatever parts they change. For this kind of big money, I need 5-10 minutes of personal attention! It's my car, I drive it every day, and Yes, I DO in fact know better about what's going on! If I had access to the Tesla diagnostic tools and a shop manual, I'd have no problem pulling the thing apart myself and fixing it.

So whatever, We'll see what they say tomorrow. It better not cost more than $500 either. I know I could get in there and fix it myself for a lot cheaper.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,401
11,742
Riverside Co. CA
(personal opinion only, not moderation content or representing TMC or anyone other than myself, personally)


As someone who is also in IT but has either performed, or managed people who perform customer service roles, for more than 30 years, given the tenor of the posts you made in this thread, it is not surprising to me for you to mention that it seems like "you have a rep" there.

Getting a rep can go both ways. It can help you "get taken care of" on some things, and it can also ensure that you get "charged the entire amount for all work provided, big or small". I would say, based on what you said above and other things you have said in this thread, if you communicate with them like that, you are trending firmly toward the later, not the former.

You might want to try reading your posts out loud to yourself, and imagine someone else saying them to you and see if thats what you want to sound like.
 
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timk225

Active Member
Mar 24, 2016
2,050
1,063
Pittsburgh
Well, it's the bad news. The SC rep called today and said the 2.5 computer is futzed, they couldn't connect to it, the car is offline, etc. TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS, PLEASE.

Yeah........ NO.

I've enjoyed being able to just take my car in under warranty and have them just fix whatever with no concern for cost, but since I drive my car too much (67,000 miles in 3 years), the good days are done. I'm gonna have to do this the "almost as good and a whole lot cheaper" way. Which means finding a used 2.5 computer and swapping it myself, although I'm sure a mobile tech or someone will have to reprogram something.

This is just poor design, having the LTE not be its own removable card. System on a chip design is good until it's off warranty!

I certainly have the automotive experience to handle this job, but the whole computer reprogramming side is a mystery. Plus the SC rep said there's water cooling lines going up to the display computer as well.

Now, I could put the two grand on the credit card, but being a crypto coin nerd with a bunch of Nebra Helium IoT hotspots on order, and waiting to order a bunch of light hotspos as soon as they become available, there's no room in the budget for a $200 computer in the car right now. It still works, I just have intermittent radio and GPS. And that's not worth $2000 to me right now.

So I need to find diagrams and schematics and start researching this project. See what a 2.5 computer and display assembly goes for on ebay, it better be less than $300! :)

And when I use my phone in the car, it won't play sound over the speakers. The phone is on Bluetooth, why isn't that working? The phone connects to unlock the car, it just doesn't work for phone calls.

Let's see.... workarounds. Maybe a Verizon mobile hotspot plugged into one of the USB ports? Get data into the car that way when I'm not at home?
 

timk225

Active Member
Mar 24, 2016
2,050
1,063
Pittsburgh
After having driven my car some since yesterday, it now has a few problems that it didn't have before it went in for service.

1. There's no temperature readout on the screen. Someone must have left a wire unplugged from the computer.
2. While driving in traffic, not on autopilot, every time I come to a stop I get a pop up warning saying "Parking assist unavailable". I never used parking assist, not even sure if my Base AP car has it.
3. When I park the car, I can't set the climate control to stay ON. It says "climate keeper unavailable due to a system fault". Maybe because of problem #1, no temperature readout.

So, I made a another ticket in my mobile app, here we go again! :)

I'm going to contact Tesla and ask for a free computer under (expired) warranty.

But let's think about it. 67,000 miles in 3 years is technically expired, but since the computer isn't a moving part like the motor, maybe they can stretch a little and give me one.

I also tested the radio at home while the car was on my wireless. It worked. Once I started driving the LTE was on, and the radio worked. Then the LTE quit 5 minutes later and took the radio with it.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,401
11,742
Riverside Co. CA
After having driven my car some since yesterday, it now has a few problems that it didn't have before it went in for service.

1. There's no temperature readout on the screen. Someone must have left a wire unplugged from the computer.
2. While driving in traffic, not on autopilot, every time I come to a stop I get a pop up warning saying "Parking assist unavailable". I never used parking assist, not even sure if my Base AP car has it.
3. When I park the car, I can't set the climate control to stay ON. It says "climate keeper unavailable due to a system fault". Maybe because of problem #1, no temperature readout.

So, I made a another ticket in my mobile app, here we go again! :)

I'm going to contact Tesla and ask for a free computer under (expired) warranty.

But let's think about it. 67,000 miles in 3 years is technically expired, but since the computer isn't a moving part like the motor, maybe they can stretch a little and give me one.

I also tested the radio at home while the car was on my wireless. It worked. Once I started driving the LTE was on, and the radio worked. Then the LTE quit 5 minutes later and took the radio with it.

Yeah, because a person who says this to you is absolutely eager to give you 2 thousand dollars worth of out of warranty for free, you know, based on past interactions and all that:

He came to the door to get my key card, and I started to speak to him, he needed to know about the phone problem. Right away he cuts me off with "(my name, my name), you do this every time, we're very busy, it's the end of the quarter, we'll diagnose it and call you tomorrow"
 

timk225

Active Member
Mar 24, 2016
2,050
1,063
Pittsburgh
Yeah, because a person who says this to you is absolutely eager to give you 2 thousand dollars worth of out of warranty for free, you know, based on past interactions and all that:
Well I'm not going to ask HIM for it. I wouldn't give him the satisfaction of saying no. I'll contact higher Tesla warranty support. And I doubt it was intentional, but my car DID leave the SC with 3 problems that it didn't have when I dropped it off, and the original problem wasn't fixed, so there's that.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,401
11,742
Riverside Co. CA
Well I'm not going to ask HIM for it. I wouldn't give him the satisfaction of saying no. I'll contact higher Tesla warranty support. And I doubt it was intentional, but my car DID leave the SC with 3 problems that it didn't have when I dropped it off, and the original problem wasn't fixed, so there's that.

You mentioned you either work in, or are familiar with IT systems. All such systems in a large ( and even smaller) companies have a customer service system that works on some form of IT tickets, attached to customer information.

My point is, if your interactions are as you say, it is VERY likely that there are "notes" in your account, based on your interactions with various people there.

Also, again as someone who has either performed, or managed customer service teams for decades, when a CS person thinks they have a customer who will cause (or has caused) what they perceive as "issues" they make SURE to have "detailed" notes, because they know its going to go above them, and they want whoever their manager is to know their side of the story, before the customer starts in on theirs.

There is definitely "someone" who could approve such a thing (although the level you would have to reach to get a repair costing 2k+ to get comp'ed even though its out of warranty is likely very high), but reaching them within tesla is very difficult.

Given that, and your description of your interactions, this will be very difficult / close to impossible for you to get complementary service. Essentially, you are asking for a favor, but have notes in your accounts based on your previous interactions. I am not trying to blast you or anything, just telling you how CS works on the back end.

TL ; DR , its unlikely who you ask will matter, as there are likely notes in your account based on whatever interactions you have had. Who you contact likely wont matter, as they will know the general interactions you have had, and anything you were told.

In any case, good luck with your request.
 

timk225

Active Member
Mar 24, 2016
2,050
1,063
Pittsburgh
I'm working now on getting some warranty coverage at least in part for a computer replacement. Warranty or no, it should not be failing in 3 years and I sure as hell ain't paying TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS for one that only has a 1 year warranty! I'll grab a used one on ebay for a few hundred and it lasts as long as it lasts. So far, the responses in the phone service app are the usual wall of text boilerplate responses (the warranty is blah blah years or blah blah miles whichever comes first).

Anyone know anyone in my area who has experience with changing these computers? I presume I'd need access to Tesla tools to program the new one with my VIN and related data?

I was on the phone with the Tesla service people from the phone number displayed on the car's screen, and they were all like "Call the service center". The SC people are the problem! I doubt getting to the manager there is going to be much help.
 

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