TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Opening the doors in the Model S if power fails

Discussion in 'Model S' started by cinergi, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    Messages:
    2,170
    Location:
    MA
    This last weekend, I learned some details about opening the doors that I almost forgot to share ...
    • The interior handles on the front doors electronically open the door; if you continue pulling them all the way, a cable engages and unlocks the door in case of power loss
    • The rear door latch is in the body frame and not the door. Therefore, in the event of power loss, there's something to pull on under the seat which will open the door
    • There's no way to get into the car if it's 12V system completely fails (note that this is NOT the same as running out of range). Unlike the Roadster which has a keyhole in the bottom of the door. This would be an extremely rare situation (and has been on the Roadster, which has an inferior system)
     
  2. pguerra

    pguerra Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2011
    Messages:
    180
    Thanks cinergi this is very important. So what is the solution to get into vehicle if 12V system fails (but not the electric motor Li Ion batteries)? Do we just plug it in and the 12V system recharges? I presume after 5+ yrs this battery would have to be replaced.
     
  3. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    Messages:
    2,170
    Location:
    MA
    I doubt a failure of the 12V battery would mean a failure of the 12V system altogether. I'm also sure the car tracks the health of the 12V battery and Tesla will replace it before it's a problem.
     
  4. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Messages:
    7,842
    Location:
    Portland, Maine, USA
    Sorry, that's not a great answer. The battery leads on my car worked their way loose (or something -- they were loose) and I'd often find the car without power. Having no backup plan to get into the Model S unless the 12v battery is alive isn't very smart. Can the frunk open to provide access to the battery?
     
  5. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    Messages:
    2,170
    Location:
    MA
    It would certainly be an annoying situation. I don't know that a failure of the battery (or its connection) would constitute a complete failure of the 12V system (e.g. 12V also comes from somewhere else in order to keep that 12V battery charged). I suspect there'd still be a way to unlock the car. (this is based on my understanding of the Roadster and what I've heard about the improved systems in the Model S) But getting more details from Tesla would be nice. Maybe I'll see if I can find out ...
     
  6. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    15,853
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    I suspect the 12V battery and the 400V traction battery (the "pack") would both have to fail in order to lock you out of the car.

    Probably there is some emergency method for the Rangers to get into the car, requiring hand tools or some such.
     
  7. AustinPowers

    AustinPowers Total Smeghead

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Messages:
    1,117
    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    I'm not sure European safety laws would allow a car to be sold here if it can't be opened in case of a flat (or otherwise unusable) battery.
    Tesla will have to provide another way that doesn't mean having to smash a window - or using a can opener, chainsaw etc. ;-)
     
  8. Norbert

    Norbert TSLA will win

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2009
    Messages:
    4,424
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    It will be a secret that Tesla shares only with AAA.
     
  9. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,890
    Location:
    Drammen, Norway
    In that rare case maybe you can "jump" the 12V by connecting to another cars battery? If you can get to the "+" and "-" connector...
     
  10. jerry33

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

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,763
    Location:
    Texas
    The 12V battery seems to be a significant problem for every car that has a large battery. I've heard that originally Tesla didn't have a 12V battery but later they changed. What I haven't heard is why.
     
  11. ddruz

    ddruz Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2012
    Messages:
    673
    Location:
    North Shore Oahu, HI
    Do you suppose the 12V battery was added to power the ancillary systems to help prevent bricking? I read somewhere that's one of the reasons the Leaf also has a 12V battery. Where did they add that battery? Does anyone know? I've wondered if that's what's under the arm rests and why they can't give us storage there. Does anyone know the answers? Thanks.
     
  12. widodh

    widodh Model S R231 EU

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Messages:
    4,822
    Location:
    Middelburg, The Netherlands
    Maybe?

    You could always charge the 12V battery with the big pack, but when the big pack goes under a certain point you can cut off all the power to the pack and just let it sit there.

    The 12V battery could then still power some vital functions of the car (like the locks and GSM/GPS module) so it can be revived again.

    It would however be useful if there was an easy accessible point where you can charge the 12V battery if it died for some weird reason.

    Wonder if they are using some cool Lithium-Ion 12V battery :) (Probably not)
     
  13. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Messages:
    7,842
    Location:
    Portland, Maine, USA
    The problems created by getting rid of a physical key....
     
  14. widodh

    widodh Model S R231 EU

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Messages:
    4,822
    Location:
    Middelburg, The Netherlands
    True. A backup physical key which allows you access to the frunk for example would be handy. From there you could then open the door with a physical cable or something.
     
  15. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    4,593
    Location:
    Nixa, Missouri, United States
    There's gotta be some mechanism to get in if there's a failure of the 12V system--it doesn't necessarily need to be a complete battery failure causing the problem, but it's magical thinking to believe that this won't happen once in a while. Unless there's some external access to the 12V one would be reduced to using a jimmy bar just to get into the car.
     
  16. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    Messages:
    2,170
    Location:
    MA
    I've opened pandora's box :redface:

    At this point, I'd say we don't have confirmation one way or the other. It's what one employee told me this weekend. They could be wrong. I'm trying to get confirmation now.. let's not turn this into 100 "me, too!" posts please :smile:
     
  17. Jeeps17

    Jeeps17 Cath Jockey in a P85

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2012
    Messages:
    875
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    +1

    :biggrin:
     
  18. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    15,853
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    In case of an accident, there is a trivial but destructive way to get in. Smash the window, reach in and pull the lever.
     
  19. grommet

    grommet Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2012
    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA
    I remember when I returned to our dead Audi at the airport after a vacation; kids left the rear dome light on. No problem since I had a portable 12V jumper in the trunk, right? Turns out the trunk, even though it has a keyhole available, has an electronic lock... so it wouldn't open, and there is no "analog" cable to open it inside the car. And no, I wasn't able to crawl through the "ski" slot between the rear seats to get to the jumper. :wink: Isn't technology wonderful?
     
  20. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,703
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR
    After looking at the latest skateboard deck they had on our showroom floor, and reviewing the test drive cars, can we even say the 12V system is separate from the main battery pack? I saw no evidence of a "separate" 12v battery anywhere... not that doesn't exist. Nor did I ask about it, but it just seemed that the whole car was so thoroughly built around a clean simple system - the main batt pack. ???

    So perhaps it's just a matter of plugging the car in to get live juice?
     

Share This Page