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Need advice on recurrent rotor problems with 2014 Model S

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Jkhors, Apr 20, 2017.

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  1. Jkhors

    Jkhors Member

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    Hello Forum,
    I am looking for thoughts, experiences, and advice on how to deal with my ongoing Model S rotor problem. I purchased a 2014 Model S with 40,000 miles and auto park/ auto drive, jump seats. This was a certified pre-owned car. I received the car in November of 2016 and began having issues with vibration while active breaking (the car shakes at certain brake pressure). We had the car serviced at Tesla at the end of December/ early Jan and they said the rotors were warped and replaced the front rotors. About 6 weeks later I have the same problem, braking results in shaking of entire car (getting progressively worse each day). I returned to Tesla and they replaced all four rotors and examined and cleaned the brakes (or whatever they do). The car seemed better and actually seemed "looser", it seemed more likely to roll when stopped at a light. However, we are about 4 weeks after the last full rotor replacement and I am back to square one. The car shakes when I apply the breaks.

    Tesla service is telling me that the rotor problems are related to the way I drive and they want to go on a "road test" with me. Just to be clear I am not a "hot rod." I am a 35 year old veterinarian and mother of 3 children aged 8,7, and 5. There is no hard breaking, crazy road races or speeding up only to break. I drive to work in highway traffic, drive to pick up my kids and drive home. I spend about 1.5 hours a day MINIMUM in the car. Tesla service says the highway driving is heating up my brakes and melting the rotors. That being said, I rarely actively break on the highway... the regen braking does almost all of the deceleration.

    So here is my dilemma... what can I do with this car? Is this a lemon? Can someone really warp the rotors every 4 weeks from normal highway driving? Should I give up on Tesla, give the car up and move back to gas cars? Should I request a full refund and try another Tesla (maybe get an Model X)? I feel like I am getting blamed for using the car like a normal human being. At this point I am super disappointed and frustrated. We are building a house right now and I am seriously doubting investing in the new Tesla roof we are planning. I want to be happy, but this is turning in a nightmare. My sister and father both own a Model S and have had ZERO problems. Our best friend owns an S and X... ZERO problems.

    If anyone has experienced this or a similar problem? What was your experience? How was it resolved? Did you find that the resolution was a fair solution? Even some encouragement would be appreciated at this point.
     
  2. Takumi

    Takumi Member

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    Doesn't Tesla have logs to tell you how you're driving? Can't they just pull those? Ask them what in the logs tells them it's your driving that's causing this situation.
     
  3. Retired

    Retired Member

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    When you brake, do you use your right foot or left foot ??

    If it is your right foot, you might be just "touching" the brake pedal while driving. With power brakes you can be dragging the brakes without realizing it. Heat is what causes rotors to warp and a very light drag causes great amounts of heat.
     
  4. jschwefel

    jschwefel VIN#1249

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    Hmmm, your frustration is understandable. I rarely use the rotor brakes, except for the last 10 feet or so when the regenerative braking is no more. This really saves the rotor brakes and it increases range. If you do use the rotor brakes a lot, and the rotors are hot when you park, the clamping action of the parking brake on the hot rotors can cause warpage.
     
  5. Tampaukfan

    Tampaukfan Member

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    Florida weather is hard on brakes but from NOV to now is our cool season so I doubt its a heat related issue and if thats the excuse you are being told that is BS.. However if you are left foot braking that can cause excessive heat and warp the rotors.
    My senior father has a tendency to do that in his Silverado and he eats up brakes. He doesnt even realize he is doing it..

    You may have a bad caliper with stuck piston, master cylinder, or wheel bearing issue.

    Tampa service is great, ask for the service manager.. they will get you taken care of.
    You have no lemon law recourse, the law applies to new vehicle purchases. I doubt Tesla will swap out or take the car back.. no auto dealer does that on used cars.
     
  6. henderrj

    henderrj Member

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    I thought it wasn't possible to press both brake and accelerator at the same time on a Model S. Never tried it in mine, maybe I'll give it a shot tomorrow just to see.
     
  7. jschwefel

    jschwefel VIN#1249

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    You can, but it will beep at you.
     
  8. ACExpress

    ACExpress Member

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    I have not had your experience, but I would keep pushing Tesla. I highly doubt it's possible to ruin rotors on 4 weeks of driving, even if you were trying (which you clearly weren't).

    It's not necessarily a lemon, but it sounds like whatever problem is occurring has a symptom of rotor failure. Their misdiagnosis (and the car) needs to be corrected.
     
    • Like x 1
  9. brkaus

    brkaus Active Member

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    #9 brkaus, Apr 20, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
    The veterinarian mother of 3 I know drives like a crazy lady.

    But seriously, I see no harm in taking them up on the test drive option.

    Did they also replace the pads?

    Clean/replace the calipers? Perhaps a pad is stuck and dragging.
     
    • Funny x 1
  10. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    That doesn't make sense to me. Driving on the highway in a Tesla means almost never touching the brakes, it's "one pedal" driving unless you need to make a sudden stop.

    I don't see how that could be done unless you are riding the brakes.

    To keep the car moving forward at speed you need to apply pressure to the accelerator pedal. If you simultaneously depress the brake pedal the car alerts you with a fairly loud beep and displays a message on the drivers display. Hard to ignore.

    Please don't give up on Tesla yet. The issue you are having is very rare, in fact I've never seen it posted about on TMC. Let us know how things progress. Go on a test drive with a Tesla service tech.
     
    • Like x 1
  11. Jkhors

    Jkhors Member

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    Definitely not using the left foot to drive or brake in any way shape or form. I don't sit on the brake pedal, although at a light sometimes will, so I don't roll away. Also, if my driving style is affecting the brakes, then why has this never been an issue in other cars? Before the Tesla I drove a 2011 Lexus GX, which is a good sized SUV. It seems like the force to stop an SUV at 50mph would be greater then the force needed to stop a sedan. When I drove gas cars there was a lot more light braking and such to control the speed.
    Is there a different rotor they can install? Maybe a metal with a higher melting point so the rotors don't warp?
    I should be on a that test drive next week and I will let everyone know what they say.
     
  12. SD_Engnr

    SD_Engnr Member

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    Besides the test drive, they should be able to pull your logs. This should provide them feedback to how you accelerate/decelerate and would really show them more than a test drive would. Good luck and keep us posted!
     
  13. Jkhors

    Jkhors Member

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    Also. I wanted add that these are factor rotors and everything is standard Tesla. No upgrades. The car is an 85.
     
  14. somnambule

    somnambule Member

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    Sounds to me like this is an issue with the car and not the driver. As you said, if it were you, that should have affected other vehicles.

    I'd say do whatever the Tesla service center says they need to be convinced (i.e., go on a test drive) that it's not your fault. In my experience, Tesla is very good about addressing problems once they are convinced it's a problem on their side. Hopefully they can find a way to address the problem permanently.
     
    • Like x 1
  15. Jkhors

    Jkhors Member

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    Quick update for anyone reading this thread and experiencing a similar problem. Tesla did a road test and analyzed the driving data from the car. They finally said that our driving was not the problem.... big sigh of relief. However, that means that they are not sure what is causing the warped rotors (underlying cause undetermined). They have escalated our problem to "Engineering" and we were told they will get back to us.... but it may take awhile.

    We called them today (almost 3 weeks now) and they are still trying to decide how that want to proceed. I am not sure what that means.

    I'll update this thread when I have something more interesting to tell everyone. Finger's crossed that we get this all figured out.
     
    • Like x 2
  16. Don85D

    Don85D Member

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    After a run on the highway touch the spokes of each wheel to verify that one is not significantly hotter than the others. Heat causes warping but it shouldn't if the rotors were stress relieved during manufacture.

    I suspect a parts quality issue from the supplier of rotors to Tesla. Keep pushing back and ask for new rotors. In my experience cross drilled rotors are less prone to warping.
     
  17. phaduman

    phaduman Member

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    Did the car have any prior (before your purchase) accident history? Carfax shows anything? Tesla (or other brands) usually do not sell CPO cars that have history - so I doubt that is the case.
     
  18. aus

    aus Member

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    Typically, you don't warp rotors from regular road use and it's even less likely on a Tesla.
    You can warp rotors from over torquing the wheels bolts/lug nuts when installing them. It's less likely given the 125 ft/lbs of torque specified by Tesla but if they're using a big impact when installing the wheels, it could easily over torque the wheels.

    Are the pads standard pads? Most likely, you're having uneven pad deposits on your rotors. Some pads do this a lot more than other pads. That brake hold feature could also cause pad deposits if the rotors are really hot- unlikely but possible. I'm wondering if the previous owner changed the pads to something that deposits more easily. Did the service center change out he pads when they changed to rotors?
    .
     
  19. murphyS90D

    murphyS90D Member

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    It's 129 lb-ft for the lug nuts, not 125.
     
  20. aus

    aus Member

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