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Need advice regarding upcoming mobile service appointment

Rothgarr

Member
Apr 15, 2019
888
724
United States
I need some advice about an upcoming mobile service appointment. My car started throwing alerts related to the Passenger Side Restraint System. Through the app, I set up an appointment and I was pleased that they are coming out to my house to fix it under warranty.

On the cost estimate it says:
- Check tire pressure and condition $0.00
- Reseal Front Upper Control Arm Ball Joints $0.00
- Inspect X950 and X952 for Damaged Electrical Circuits $0.00

The last one is what I scheduled service for. The first two I guess they do as a courtesy since the Model 3 is known for Upper Control Arm problems.

Since they are coming out to the house anyway, I figured why not have them also rotate the tires for me for $50 and save me to trouble of having to borrow jacks/stands.

But here's the kicker... I have wheel spacers on my car. Does anyone know if they'll refuse to rotate the tires once they see the spacers? I'm also wondering if they'll add something to the car's "permanent record" noting the spacers just in case the Upper Control Arm Ball Joints do eventually fail, even not as a result of having spacers.

So I'm wondering if I should cancel the tire rotation. Or would they see the spacers anyway through the process of resealing Front Upper Control Arm Ball Joints? I'm wondering if just know anyway by seeing the wheels flush with the fenders... here's a picture of my car for reference (so you can see the wheels -- I'd take the Rimetrix covers off the 18 aero wheels)

Thanks in advance for the advice!
 

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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,583
13,537
Riverside Co. CA
I dont think anyone would be able to answer this question definitively for you, however, all reports I have seen here tend to mention that mobile techs are a bit more forgiving than taking the car into the service center.

If it were me, I would make sure I was home at the time of the mobile appointment (me, instead of having a family member there if I was busy, I mean), and when they arrived I would go out and chat with the mobile tech in a friendly manner.

They "likely" would tell you if they had a problem with it, and suggest to you whether the service should be removed or not etc, vs if you just took it into the SC them just saying "no" in the app or something.

Like I said, I dont know, but I would just have a friendly chat with them when they get to your home.
 

focher

Active Member
Oct 15, 2013
1,202
2,062
Bay Area
It seems that you’re most worried about issues with the control arms being denied warranty coverage. So I think that’s your financial exposure - the cost to replace them If they fail.

I agree and it’s also been my experience that the Mobile Service people are a bit more cavalier around this kinda thing. Mostly likely wouldn’t report it or note it. But why risk it?

As a last note, I have no idea if spacers would place added stress on a control arm but if it does then it’s really not right to hold that detail back if you do make a warranty claim some day.
 

holmgang

Active Member
Sep 9, 2019
1,342
1,485
eu
- Reseal Front Upper Control Arm Ball Joints $0.00
- Inspect X950 and X952 for Damaged Electrical Circuits $0.00

The last one is what I scheduled service for. The first two I guess they do as a courtesy since the Model 3 is known for Upper Control Arm problems.

Seems like a worldwide service bulletin. Just scheduled my car in europe for temp sensor check/replace, and got the same notifications on the pre-servicing agreement.
 

Rothgarr

Member
Apr 15, 2019
888
724
United States
So I wound up removing the spacers this weekend. It only took an hour to remove all four wheels, remove the spacers, and then remount the wheels.

What's good is the tire wear was even, so the spacers didn't appear to have any negative effect. But it was also clear that I'll need a new set of tires before winter. Only 16k miles on the original tires.
 

ochompsky

Member
Oct 26, 2020
99
78
md
im curious, did he end up doing - - Reseal Front Upper Control Arm Ball Joints $0.00

i also had that added to an unrelated visit that they came out for. but the tech didn't actually do it. he ended up coming past the scheduled time and i was in a hurry so i didn't bring it up.
 

stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
11,137
6,269
im curious, did he end up doing - - Reseal Front Upper Control Arm Ball Joints $0.00

i also had that added to an unrelated visit that they came out for. but the tech didn't actually do it. he ended up coming past the scheduled time and i was in a hurry so i didn't bring it up.
There's a TSB for it, they probably threw it in since they were going to work on the car, but it's not critical:
Tesla begins notifying Model 3 owners to proactively address upper control arm issues [Update]

For the tire pressure/condition check that's standard and supposedly required to throw in California when cars are in service.
 

Rothgarr

Member
Apr 15, 2019
888
724
United States
im curious, did he end up doing - - Reseal Front Upper Control Arm Ball Joints $0.00

i also had that added to an unrelated visit that they came out for. but the tech didn't actually do it. he ended up coming past the scheduled time and i was in a hurry so i didn't bring it up.
Yup, he did it when he came out to the house on Wednesday. All good!
 

Rothgarr

Member
Apr 15, 2019
888
724
United States
As a quick follow-up, I did wind up taking the spacers off before the mobile tech came out. I talked to him while he was here -- I didn't say I had spacers, but I asked him what his thoughts were and if he thought Tesla would have a problem with them. He replied that he owns a 2020 Model 3 Performace and he's going to put spacers on his. And he doesn't think Tesla would have a problem with them since they are a common aftermarket item and people also get aftermarket wheels, so...

Anyway, I ordered wider spacers for the rear (25mm) so I look forward to putting them back on next weekend.

Thanks for everyone's input.
 
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stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
11,137
6,269
As a quick follow-up, I did wind up taking the spacers off before the mobile tech came out. I talked to him while he was here -- I didn't say I had spacers, but I asked him what his thoughts were and if he thought Tesla would have a problem with them. He replied that he owns a 2020 Model 3 Performace and he's going to put spacers on his. And he doesn't think Tesla would have a problem with them since they are a common aftermarket item and people also get aftermarket wheels, so...

Anyway, I ordered wider spacers for the rear (25mm) so I look forward to putting them back on next weekend.

Thanks for everyone's input.
I would caution against just taking the word of a tech, as one tech willing to do something does not necessarily mean all techs or service managers agree, especially if something happens that is tangentially related to your spacers.

I know when Tesla worked on some issues on my car (a door that was stuck), they had me sign a waiver about my PPF and made it clear if the issue was related to the PPF, they would have to charge me money instead of covering under warranty. In the end, it turned out it was a loose door seal from factory that they reseated, and was unrelated, but it was pretty clear if aftermarket parts had anything to do with a given issue or if they damage that part during service, they were not going to take responsibility.
 
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I would caution against just taking the word of a tech, as one tech willing to do something does not necessarily mean all techs or service managers agree, especially if something happens that is tangentially related to your spacers.

I know when Tesla worked on some issues on my car (a door that was stuck), they had me sign a waiver about my PPF and made it clear if the issue was related to the PPF, they would have to charge me money instead of covering under warranty. In the end, it turned out it was a loose door seal from factory that they reseated, and was unrelated, but it was pretty clear aftermarket parts had anything to do with a given issue or if they damage that part during service, they were not going to take responsibility.
I agree. The tech knows what to do and how to do it on the Tesla, so being covered by warranty is not such a big deal for him (or for those of us that also know and are willing to work on our own cars). It could be different if an issue would have to be addressed in a service center where they might have stricter oversight on policies.
 

Rothgarr

Member
Apr 15, 2019
888
724
United States
I would caution against just taking the word of a tech, as one tech willing to do something does not necessarily mean all techs or service managers agree, especially if something happens that is tangentially related to your spacers.

I know when Tesla worked on some issues on my car (a door that was stuck), they had me sign a waiver about my PPF and made it clear if the issue was related to the PPF, they would have to charge me money instead of covering under warranty. In the end, it turned out it was a loose door seal from factory that they reseated, and was unrelated, but it was pretty clear if aftermarket parts had anything to do with a given issue or if they damage that part during service, they were not going to take responsibility.
My takeaway is... I wont remove the spacers any more if I need a mobile tech to come out, or if I need to take it to Tesla for work so long as that work has nothing to do with the suspension

But yeah, if I'm having trouble with the suspension, I'll definitely remove the spacers beforehand.
 

SteelClouds

Member
Nov 12, 2021
29
19
CA
I would not take the word of the tech. Here's the thing. Liability. Any service writer worth his /her pen will use those spacers as a "get out of jail free card" if there is ANY issues with the suspension. You can't prove they didnt do it and they can't prove it did but they can prove you modded the car outside of factory specs. Hence the term "contributory negligence" and they won't accept the liability of working on the suspension and putting them back.

This holds true for pretty ANY mod to the car/truck etc beyond factory. Crash your car and if the insurance company wants to be a bunch of dicks, they will flag your aftermarket wheels and spaces as something that "could have" contributed to the accident. If you had not use them you might have been able to keep control.. blah.. blah.. blah.. I've been on the receiving end of this conversation in a past life and while I got away it, it was touch and go for a bit. The only saving grace for me was the other party blew a stop sign in front of the cop who witnessed the accident.

I am NOT a lawyer. and I dont play one on TV.. I just had to listen them blather on about this in a small room :/ your milage will vary on this.. considerably

BTW.. Window tint is a big hit with insurance companies when they want to stick it to you and not pay. It's money on the table for them.

"Contributory negligence laws essentially prohibit a plaintiff from recovering damages for an injury accident if a jury finds that he/she was negligent in any way for causing that accident. “In any way” means a plaintiff is barred from recovery even if he/she helped cause an accident by a mere one percent."
 

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