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Out of warranty concerns about Tesla

Discussion in 'Model S' started by rdrcrmatt, Dec 2, 2014.

  1. rdrcrmatt

    rdrcrmatt Member

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    This is going to be an unpopular post.

    Hoping you guys can help me with something I'm having a hard time with.

    Little background on me, I'm an IT guy and a fairly experienced mechanic. I build race motorcycles and I've rebuilt cars. Mixing the two makes sense to me, there's no "magic" happening in the Model S, I understand the car quite well. I purchased the car because I was driving a LONG distance to work and not paying for fuel made the price of the car make sense. I'm not made of money, and I'm realizing I may have purchase more car than I should have. so please bear with me on this.


    When preparing to purchase my Model S I asked everyone I could at Tesla how hard this car would be to maintain once it is out of warranty. Every person I spoke with said it would be easy. I explained that I also planned to service the vehicle when repairs were required and was told that too would not be all that difficult.

    I'm nearing 50,000 miles which means it is time for me to start planning to service and maintain the car.

    I'm having a number of issues with Tesla. Per the maintenance schedule, there is a battery coolant change due at 48,000 miles. I'd like to know what the specified coolant is. I'd like to know if they have a published procedure for changing the coolant as it has been stated they are sensitive about owners opening the battery coolant. I realize the coolant change is most likely not required at this time but I would like to inspect the condition of the fluid.

    the only answer I've gotten is that they aren't publishing any service information at this time and that if I want it serviced I have to go to them or an authorized repair facility.

    I had one of my two on board chargers fail a few months ago. The car would only charge at 40a. I asked for diagnostic information so I could diagnose the issue myself. I was told I'm not allowed to get that info. I asked for a price for a charger out of warranty, they wouldn't give it to me. I asked for the procedure on programming and installing the charger and was again met with the response that they were not publishing service information.

    In my opinion this is total BS, to the point that I'm considering selling the car. I'm fuming about it even typing this. I want to be able to maintain and service the car. ANY other brand (except maybe the exotics) this would not be a problem.

    Do I have any options here? This feels like I'm being forced to purchase service from Tesla when I really don't need to. Something about that stinks of unfair practices.
     
  2. Cerie

    Cerie Member

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    Why not just buy the extended warranty? You can save yourself the agony for another 50k miles.
     
  3. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Your choices are to:
    a) sell the car
    b) wait and hope that stuff doesn't fail
    c) wait and hope that Tesla changes its policies.

    I absolutely understand if you'd choose to sell the car. No reason to deal with businesses you don't like more than you have to.
     
  4. Trnsl8r

    Trnsl8r Blue 85kwh since 12/8/12

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    I think maybe you should start thinking about the Model S as an exotic.

    I can understand Tesla's position here. With all due respect for your qualifications, servicing battery coolant and replacing chargers can be really dangerous with all the high voltage going around, and even if you get it together it needs to hold up for driving X miles afterwards.

    My electrical engineering skills are close to zero, so maybe it's hard for me to relate, but if I were you I would let Tesla fix the charger under warranty and spend another $600 to service the car, coolant included, and also look at the "extended service plan" (which basically extends the warranty to 8 years/100k miles).

    Sounds like you may have been misled by the Tesla reps initially. Personally I don't think Tesla will offer guidance to DIY-ers until Model 3 hits mass production. They also have a vested interest in repairing and servicing the cars now to track statistics.
     
  5. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

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    IIRC, some jurisdictions require the release of service manuals and diagnostic tools in order to prevent the manufacturer from maintaining a service monopoly. How does Tesla get around this?
     
  6. randompersonx

    randompersonx Member

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    It probably mostly boils down to "Nobody has sued them yet".
     
  7. swaltner

    swaltner Member

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    I believe most of the laws are written by saying that the manufacturer needs to provide end users and independent shops with any documentation and tools that they provide to their franchised dealers. Since Tesla doesn't have franchised dealers, they are not in violation of these laws.
     
  8. rdrcrmatt

    rdrcrmatt Member

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    I guess I should have said I know about the warranty and I'm weighing that option as well.

    I love the car, not loving Tesla Motors anymore.


    I'm interested in the part about them having to furnish service documentation.. They say they have authorized repair facilities, but those seem to be body shops only. I'd even be willing to take training on how to service the car.

    "High voltage going around" Tesla designed the car to not have high voltage anywhere in the car when the contractors are open.. Just pulling the 12v battery is enough to render the car safe to work on and simple checks of the high voltage lines can validate that before digging in.
     
  9. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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  10. 3mp_kwh

    3mp_kwh Member

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    Coolant nanny?

    It is really frustrating. I'm not much for safety crazies, and own a lift myself. I expect this of Tesla, and am a bit more worried about it with the way the recently seem to value their existing fleet. If a 4yr old car, with high service $$ leads to a decision to go new, sadly it won't be any skin off their back. And this isn't supposed to happen because it's an EV, right?

    MA has 'right to repair' laws that could be modified to help both independent shops and people such as ourselves. I can see a push to change them away from serving only franchises. In only a couple states is this likely to happen.
     
  11. glhs272

    glhs272 Unnamed plug faced villian

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    rdrcmatt,

    You are preaching to the choir here with me anyway. I too feel this concern. I don't feel like I should have to purchase an extended warranty (that's a dealer rip-off if I ever hear one). I am more than competent to work on my own vehicles. Even exotic cars such as Ferrari can be serviced by other independent shops (at least ones that specialize in Ferrari) and the Tesla is no Ferrari (in a good way). Although I have fear and loathing about my car's servicing, I am going to stick it out. The only good thing I have seen so far is that when owners actually do have problems, Tesla service usually steps up to the plate regardless of warranty and as long as it's not a salvage car. How much it actually is going to cost is another matter. Elon famously said that they don't want service to be a profit center. They just need to break even. That should translate to lower repair costs when the time comes. We'll see. But, for sure that means I am never going to have the option of a "good used" replacement part from a salvage yard or similar.
     
  12. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Because $4k is one hell of an expensive insurance policy when you drive 50k miles/year. The value is not there.
     
  13. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    Don't forget the deductible every time you use it, not to mention the ranger fee still applies, and you have to buy the service plan for the extended warranty to be any good. When one reads the fine print, it's just not a very good deal.
     
  14. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Btw, I hit 60k miles last week and no, I don't have the extended warranty or service plans.
    776e16226ece1871ae3574b325aa4f2f.jpg
     
  15. Frankrb

    Frankrb Member

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  16. Electricfan

    Electricfan Member

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    I'm feeling anxious about the long term cost of the car also. What I worry most about is the battery, and what happens if you're out of warranty and you get that famous "car is shutting down, pull over immediately" message on the dash? From what I've read, they won't just open your battery pack and fix a couple loose wires or bad cells and put it back together for you. You have to replace the whole 85 kwh case. Ouch!
     
  17. Cerie

    Cerie Member

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    Isn't the battery covered by 8 year, unlimited mile warranty? Or do you mean after 8 years?
     
  18. http.com

    http.com Member

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    wow, you weren't kidding....you certainly DO drive a lot in a year!! The most miles I've ever put on a car in one year, was around 30k....but typically I average 15-20k/yr. Back to the point here....I agree, Tesla needs to offer more service options or at least be more transparent with the servicing information it puts out, so owners can have options. Having an American made Lamborghini is something less than ideal IMO. If I wanted to mess with the hassles & expense of exotic, then I would have spent my money on one of those fancy Italian things on 4 wheels.

    - - - Updated - - -

    the "bumper to bumper" warranty is only 4yr/50k mi if I'm not mistaken.
     
  19. Cerie

    Cerie Member

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    No I meant that for him. 8 years is a long time to enjoy this car. If I'm going to be completely honest, I'll probably have moved onto the next Model S by then :wink:
     
  20. breser

    breser AutoPilot Nostradamus

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    8 years isn't really that long to keep a car. I had my Lexus for 15 years and my F-150 for 10 (and still going). Some people are inclined to trade every few years. But that's not everyone.
     

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