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Near annual replacement of 12V battery is typical according to Tesla Service Tech

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by ecarfan, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. BertL

    BertL Active Member

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    ...and for those of us with an extended warranty through year 8 of ownership after the first $200 deductible. :confused:
     
  2. California Roll

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    Santa Barbara, CA
    Is the 12 V battery available for purchase at all? I know about warranty, but still if at any point it needs changing, would that be relatively easy to DIY? I am thinking well beyond the 4 years, as this is a car I plan to drive "to the ground".
     
  3. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin President, Florida Tesla Enthusiasts

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    My Model S will be three years old next week. I have about 24,500 miles. To my knowledge my 12 v battery was only replaced once proactively by the service center a few months after it was delivered. I have never received a warning message regarding my 12 v battery in those three years.

    A couple of weeks ago I noticed that a coolant pump seemed to be running almost constantly. I also noticed that my vampire drain was over 15 miles per day even with my car set to Energy Savings ON, Always Connected. This situation persisted for a week until the service center could schedule my car for a visit. (The problem turned out to be a fault in the electronics associated with the drive unit pump along with a refrigerant leak.)

    With the exception of the early battery replacement I have never seen another battery replacement noted on any of my service tickets, including this last visit when the battery was subjected to more than three times the typical vampire load.

    Now that I have mentioned my good fortune, no doubt I have jinxed myself. :wink:

    Since I'm coming up on 25,000 miles I plan to take the car in for annual maintenance in a few weeks. I'll make a point of checking with the service center to ensure they check the records on my 12 v battery replacement and replace the battery if warranted.

    Larry
     
  4. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I had one battery replacement at about two years, and a second one a month later (obviously a defective battery), no replacements since at 62K miles. Assuming that two years is normal for me, next one should be in 2017. The warning came up each time so there was no driving time lost. This beats the VW TDI which required a new 12V battery ($189 + tax each) and a tow every year (because you can't jump a shorted out battery).
     
  5. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 Porsche 918 Hybrid

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    None of the battery replacements (even under warranty) sound good to me.
    With a properly designed electrical system, the 12V battery should last 5-6 years.
     
  6. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    That has not been my experience in any modern vehicle, 2 years seems much more normal.
     
  7. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 Porsche 918 Hybrid

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    Maybe because you are sub-zero in Calgary ... 5-6 years is the norm in California. :cool:
     
  8. ArtInCT

    ArtInCT Always Learning

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    FLAT:
    You are on to something with the environmental observation....
    The effects of ambient temperatures on auto batteries is very important. Perhaps even more so with the Tesla.
    Here in CT, my car is stored in an enclosed, none attached, unheated garage. In February when we have prolonged very cold sub 30 F weather is typically when
    battery starting issues in ICE cars begin.

    Also, does not the Model S battery system try to keep the traction battery at a certain minimum temperature? Does this power come from/thru the 12V battery
    regardless of the S being plugged in or not?

    Here in CT I have four cars now, One with a 9 year old battery (Optima) on trickle charge, One with a 4 year+ battery Volvo, One with a 2+ year old battery Prius and
    the AMX has a 6 month old battery.... The previous one died this summer on a very hot spell (It was also trickle charged 100% of the time) and was 5 years old when it died.

    I suspect the Optima will be the next to go or the Volvo Battery.
     
  9. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    No. The car wakes up and the power comes from the traction battery. The 12V wouldn't even begin to keep the batteries warm.

    Also Optima today isn't the Optima of ten years ago. The company has been sold and the batteries are now produced in Mexico with the expected results.
     
  10. brantse

    brantse Member

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    Besides the battery in my lawn mower and motorcycle (when I forget to disconnect them for the winter), I've never had a battery fail in less than 5 years.
     
  11. Cyclone

    Cyclone Cyclonic Member ((.oO))

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    My Toyota 4Runner went 7 years before it needing to be proactively replaced because the cold cranking amps were getting low and there was q concern that when winter hit, I could have a problem.
     
  12. Only Trons

    Only Trons Supporting Member

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    I just replaced the original battery in my 2007 Lexus GX470 two months ago. It lasted eight years. A battery test indicated that it might have a very difficult time this winter.
     
  13. Duma

    Duma Member

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    The anecdotal experience of 12V battery life experienced with ICE vehicles, while mildly interesting from an expectations perspective, is irrelevant given how different the demands placed on the battery are compared to an EV. Data on 12V battery life in other EV's, especially the Leaf, and even those (i3, Volt) with range extender engines when driven mostly in EV mode, would be interesting.

    The observed battery life in Model S seems consistent with the high vampire loads (even with the improvements from the early days) that deep cycle the battery on approximately a daily basis. Perhaps some of the load is justifiable for battery management, but overall it does seem like the vampire load is due to having a lot of processors that remain active rather than going into a low power sleep state. Perhaps this is a design error or perhaps some of this was a deliberate engineering trade-off to enable the "instant" get in and drive that is part of the Tesla experience, but it does come at the price of wear on the 12 V battery. The delay starting up an ICE also provides time for starting up a lot of secondary processors. (Of course, hybrids are in principle driveable on the battery before the ICE is started but the start up expectation is still that of a standard ICE.)
     
    • Informative x 1
  14. Cyberax

    Cyberax Member

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    Volt had problems with the battery in the initial model year - it could be charged only while the car is "on". It was fixed pretty quickly.

    Now Volt has no problems at all with 12V, it's as reliable as it can get. The load placed on it is really low - the main battery pack is used to start the ICE, so deep cycling is a non-issue. As for "instant driving experience" - Volt is on par with Tesla. You simply sit, press the "power on" button, shift into gear and start driving. You can do it all within one second.

    Volt's infotaiment system does take some time to start up, though. Tesla has some advantage here.
     
  15. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    Starting a motor is not "deep cycling", it's a short high power event, and the battery is charged quickly as soon as the motor is started. Deep cycling means long term draw down of the battery capacity to a low state of charge.
     
  16. Cyberax

    Cyberax Member

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    Yes, you're correct. I have just checked the standby power use on my Volt with a watt-meter, it's just 2W after the car is idle for more than 15 minutes.
     
  17. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Well-Known Member

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    I would gladly trade a longer startup time for a 12v that lasts for five years instead of one.
     
  18. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    In my opinion, the main difference is the size of the battery. If the battery was similar in size to an ICE car's battery, it would last much longer.
     
  19. brantse

    brantse Member

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    I wonder if having the car set to the power saving mode helps with this. I use it and don't mind the 10-20 second startup.
     
  20. jcaspar

    jcaspar Member

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    Two years for me on original battery. Have energy saving mode on virtually all the time. Recently turned on the always connected option.
    Car starts every time without even a moment of cranking! :biggrin:
     

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