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PDC (parking sensors) upgrade

SeanTek

Member
Oct 15, 2012
88
11
California
I'm in the process of getting a PDC (parking sensors) upgrade to my May 2013 60 MS.

Has anyone else gone for this? It would be good to get more intelligence on it: how much, how long it takes, where the "VIN breakpoint" is, and how much additional functionality is added compared with newer models. I believe that the newest models have 12 (?) parking sensors (4 front, 4 back, two on front/back driver's side, two on front/back passenger's side), plus the forward-facing sonar (?) in the middle of the grille.
 

SeanTek

Member
Oct 15, 2012
88
11
California
PDC Upgrade Info Thus Far

Is Tesla doing the upgrade? I thought they said parking sensors were not a retrofit item.

I'm curious because I am also a May 2013 VIN.

Yes, Tesla is doing the upgrade, in combination with a certified Tesla auto body shop Avio Coach Craft.

I have spoken with Tesla Service Centers as well as Avio; here is what I have found thus far:

The estimate is around $7K-$8K. The specifics depend on the specific car; contributing factors to a higher price tag include metallic or multi-coat paint, and clear bra (paint armor). Due to an accident, I am getting my front fascia (bumper) replaced anyway so insurance is covering that part, thus bringing the overall cost down.

(Note: I believe PDC = Park Distance Control. It's synonymous with parking sensors.)

There are three configurations: no PDC, basic PDC (4-sensor), and PDC (6-sensor) + forward collision warning sensor (on grille) with autopilot/driver assist (also known as TACC, Traffic Aware Cruise Control). As of now, Tesla ships all new vehicles with the latter.

Basic PDC has 4 sensors on the front and 4 on the back. The front includes two sensors on the nose cone and two on the front fascia (bumper). The back includes all four sensors on the back bumper.

Advanced PDC/TACC/autopilot includes 6 sensors on the front and 6 on the back. The two additional sensors are on the sides right next to the wheels. They mainly help with lane changing. They do not provide much help at all (so I am told) for parking purposes.

I heard conflicting reports about whether particular cars can be upgraded. The latest that I heard is that all cars without PDC can be upgraded to basic PDC (4-sensor); there may be VIN-specific exclusions that depend more on the configuration of the car than the production run. Specifically, if the car lacks the Tech Package or possibly some other things, a PDC upgrade may be difficult or impossible. In the service center's experience, it's only a possible snag if it is a signature car; however, they have been able to upgrade some signature cars.

There is no way to upgrade to TACC/autopilot (I think this is public knowledge), or to the advanced 6-sensor PDC independently.

The PDC upgrade is good for parallel parking, which is its main use. It is not going to sense a curb hitting the car or the wheels. It's mainly about things directly in front or directly behind.
 

FreeOfPge

Member
May 12, 2013
440
109
CA
There is no way to upgrade to TACC/autopilot (I think this is public knowledge), or to the advanced 6-sensor PDC independently

Do we have confirmation that this will never be a retrofit option? The last time I visited my SC (a few months ago) they said that it was not available now, but possibly would be in the future. Would be nice to have at least the TACC upgrade if not full autopilot.
 

SeanTek

Member
Oct 15, 2012
88
11
California
Do we have confirmation that this will never be a retrofit option?

Never is a long time. They told me that there is not a retrofit option to TACC/autopilot, and either there won't be or there probably won't be.

Tesla's plans could always change but having bit the bullet on the PDC upgrade, I am loathe to do it again (it would require adding more sensors on the sides of the car near the wheels, which, in turn, would probably require changing the bumpers).
 

AMPUP

Member
Mar 27, 2014
638
227
Dunn Loring, VA
Never is a long time. They told me that there is not a retrofit option to TACC/autopilot, and either there won't be or there probably won't be.

Tesla's plans could always change but having bit the bullet on the PDC upgrade, I am loathe to do it again (it would require adding more sensors on the sides of the car near the wheels, which, in turn, would probably require changing the bumpers).

I wonder if the additional 2 sensors are a separate module and those could be retrofitted, like some of us did with the 4 sensor PDC.
 

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