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Please Help... Tesla Model S: Maximum battery charge level reduced (cannot get past 20 miles)

This is kind of long, but I am trying to add every detail - any sort of help would really be greatly appreciated.

I was coming back home with my family from a semi-long road trip on my 2013 Tesla Model S 85 that I've owned for about 6 months without any sort of mechanical or range issues. We had supercharged before we made our way back and, as far as range goes, we assumed we had more than enough range to get back home without an issue (We had about 65 miles left on the battery and the trip back home was 35 or 40 miles). We were going just fine and the display stated that we had enough range to get back home, until the car suddenly started to slow down. Eventually, the car advice us to "Pull over safely" since it was coming to a complete stop when we had about 30 miles on the battery left and our home was about 11 miles away. It was fairly cold, about 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and the infamous "Snowflake" display was nowhere in sight. We eventually decided to call a towing service to get our car back home, which took us a few hours.

Once we arrived home, I plugged my car in to my standard 110v charger that comes with every Tesla and left it charging overnight. When I woke up and checked up on how the charging was going, I noticed that the "Snowflake" display was there, along with the message "Maximum Battery Charge Level Reduced." My battery was not charging anywhere above 25 miles of range and it simply stated "Charging Complete" every time that I plugged my car in using my 110v charger. The nearest supercharger to my location is 11 miles, but I don't want to take chances and end up stuck on the side of the road again, especially if the car is not charging. As the day passed, I noticed that the snowflake display had disappeared since it was starting to warm up outside. But even so, my car still showed no signs of any charging going through.

The first thing I did was panic since I have heard some stories about battery replacements being overly expensive, especially because my Model S is not under any warranty. I have made a Tesla appointment through the "Service" tab and will have my car insurance company tow the car to the service center for me since the range won't do it. I was trying to see if there's any other certified Tesla service mechanics near me that could do the job faster/cheaper, but I had no luck finding one her in North Carolina.

My question to you guys is: Should I panic? Is there any way to fix this without having my car serviced? Am I going to have to pay a ridiculous amount of money to get my battery replaced since I am not under any sort of warranty? Any additional information I should know/expect?

Additional Details: My Tesla typically has a max range of 220 miles (205 on winter) // I only supercharge when I am traveling long distances // This is the first Tesla that I've ever owned
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
7,962
10,078
Boise, ID
Well, I have bad news and then slightly less bad news.

along with the message "Maximum Battery Charge Level Reduced."
Yes, that is the error message for an actual failed battery. There is a 23 page thread about it titled exactly that:


My question to you guys is: Should I panic?
Well, you are right to be concerned. This is the big expensive failure people are worried about with electric cars.
Is there any way to fix this without having my car serviced?
No.
Am I going to have to pay a ridiculous amount of money to get my battery replaced since I am not under any sort of warranty?
Some significant amount of money, but you have options.
I was trying to see if there's any other certified Tesla service mechanics near me that could do the job faster/cheaper, but I had no luck finding one here in North Carolina.
Uhhhh...really? Because there is only one place in the entire United States that is immensely knowledgeable about Tesla battery replacement and is the only shop I would trust to do this. I will give you one guess as to what state he is in. Yeah, I would have to bring my car all the way across the country to Hickory, North Carolina to get a battery replacement for much cheaper than Tesla does.

@wk057 has done many hundreds (thousands?) of battery replacements on these, and is now a large enough operation that he has started offering a preemptive battery monitoring and warranty plan for cars that are out of their original factory warranty, or near the end of it. Here is a thread about this:


It's too late for the warranty package, since your battery has already failed, but contact him to see what a replacement would cost. And jeez, you are so lucky to be that close to his shop.
 
This is a problem that occurred for my 2012 S 85 as well, and exactly after the update. I've had it just a hair under six months with no problem, just finished ironing out the kinks and it's been running and charging fine. Had two software updates at the beginning of the year, and when I plugged it into a supercharger three weeks ago, it said 'Maximum Charge Level Reduced'. At first I thought it was the warranty issue I'd read about, but at the service center here in Dallas, they said it was a bad HV battery and had to be replaced. I don't know Teslas as well as I'd like, but I know software very well, and it does sound like a software problem. I checked with Electrified Garage in Florida that does service on the battery, and they said they've seen multiple of these in the last month.

Will we get support from Tesla for bricking our cars? Will we have to buy Elon a new space station? Stay tuned and find out!
 
This is kind of long, but I am trying to add every detail - any sort of help would really be greatly appreciated.

I was coming back home with my family from a semi-long road trip on my 2013 Tesla Model S 85 that I've owned for about 6 months without any sort of mechanical or range issues. We had supercharged before we made our way back and, as far as range goes, we assumed we had more than enough range to get back home without an issue (We had about 65 miles left on the battery and the trip back home was 35 or 40 miles). We were going just fine and the display stated that we had enough range to get back home, until the car suddenly started to slow down. Eventually, the car advice us to "Pull over safely" since it was coming to a complete stop when we had about 30 miles on the battery left and our home was about 11 miles away. It was fairly cold, about 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and the infamous "Snowflake" display was nowhere in sight. We eventually decided to call a towing service to get our car back home, which took us a few hours.

Once we arrived home, I plugged my car in to my standard 110v charger that comes with every Tesla and left it charging overnight. When I woke up and checked up on how the charging was going, I noticed that the "Snowflake" display was there, along with the message "Maximum Battery Charge Level Reduced." My battery was not charging anywhere above 25 miles of range and it simply stated "Charging Complete" every time that I plugged my car in using my 110v charger. The nearest supercharger to my location is 11 miles, but I don't want to take chances and end up stuck on the side of the road again, especially if the car is not charging. As the day passed, I noticed that the snowflake display had disappeared since it was starting to warm up outside. But even so, my car still showed no signs of any charging going through.

The first thing I did was panic since I have heard some stories about battery replacements being overly expensive, especially because my Model S is not under any warranty. I have made a Tesla appointment through the "Service" tab and will have my car insurance company tow the car to the service center for me since the range won't do it. I was trying to see if there's any other certified Tesla service mechanics near me that could do the job faster/cheaper, but I had no luck finding one her in North Carolina.

My question to you guys is: Should I panic? Is there any way to fix this without having my car serviced? Am I going to have to pay a ridiculous amount of money to get my battery replaced since I am not under any sort of warranty? Any additional information I should know/expect?

Additional Details: My Tesla typically has a max range of 220 miles (205 on winter) // I only supercharge when I am traveling long distances // This is the first Tesla that I've ever owned
Omg this something happened to me after I downloaded this update 2021.24.28 I have a 2013 p85+ had the car for 3 weeks updated the car and boom maximum battery charge level reduced! It was fixed in the software before 2021.24.28 took the care to a tesla service center and they told me I need to but a new battery for 20k or a used battery for 12k and I was like wow that's bs they can update the car and break it because this car can still get unlimited sc. Trust me people will say you need a new battery but you don't! This was fixed in a update and once I updated to 2021.24.28 it came back and after the update my heat doesn't work anymore so it's definitely a problem with tesla they trying to kill off the old Model s. I called to see if my car could be covered under warranty because I've only had 88k miles and was only 6 months out of warranty and they basically told me to talk there electric train to hell!
 
So I have the BMS_U018 on my 2012 model s p85 that I bought less than a week ago!! Dealer won't help me as there is not any lemon law for used cars in Utah. I had it towed to where I bought the car as of now. I read a few places that if you go into the service menu and change the Tire size and confirm it will do a sort of hard reset and get rid of most errors as it will reset the "gateways"? If any of you still have yours easily available to try that option, it would be amazing if it can at least make it drivable while I figure out how I'm going to pay for the fix.

Also, for people curious I've been in contact with 057tech, Recell, and Gruber.
Gruber over the phone were kinda jerks and are saying they have a 8-9 month back log!!
057tech has been overall helpful but i'm still waiting on an estimate for cost and time.
Recell has been freaking amazing giving me a full written quote, low and high estimate, and telling me once its in their shop they have about a week turnaround. They also have answered all my emails within an hour or so of me sending each one.

Just feedback for anyone in a similar situation. Tesla doesn't give one crap about any of it. It also seems fishy that people this issue has exploded more recently than before. I wish so bad that I kept my 2014 model s 60 I had last year it only had 50,000 miles and still under warranty. Im such an idiot.
 
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I'm in this same situation and tesla will not admit that the software 2021.24.28 update broke my car 2021.24.27 fixed my bms problem. Tesla tell me a 80k battery is no go??? I call bs I bought the car because it has free super charging for life so what's they best way they can make 20k off people that have free super charging for life gimp the charging speed and send out software that caps the battery.
 
Perhaps instead of breaking anything, 2021.24.28.xx simply removed the interpolation algorithm (fancy way of plotting an unknown value between two or more points) that Tesla originally put in place to deal with the BMB/Cell 6 issues. with that interpolation algorithm now removed, those batteries that would have failed earlier due to a BMB malfunction, are possibly throwing errors now.

these errors should present themselves in some kind of normal distribution over time, yet this sudden occurrence being all clustered together, especially amongst out-of-warranty vehicles, makes my spidey-sense tingle.

perhaps @wk057 has some thoughts on this?
 
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wk057

Vendor & Senior Tinkerer
Feb 23, 2014
5,995
13,758
Hickory, NC, USA
Perhaps instead of breaking anything, 2021.24.28.xx simply removed the interpolation algorithm
(fancy way of plotting an unknown value between two or more points) that Tesla originally put in place to deal with the BMB/Cell 6 issues. with that interpolation algorithm now removed, those batteries that would have failed earlier due to a BMB malfunction, are possibly throwing errors now.

It's more of a substitution thing. When a cell sense messes up, that cell reading is bogus, and generally the adjacent lower cells are also screwy. Usually the cell that messes up is on the end of the string, so only 1 other screwy reading besides the bad sense. The BMS eventually can make sense of the erroneous reading on the adjacent cell, and since it can read the full module voltage, all it has to do is subtract the 5 cells it knows from the full module voltage to get the missing cell, within a decent margin of error.

Seen nothing to suggest this has been removed.

these errors should present themselves in some kind of normal distribution over time, yet this sudden occurrence being all clustered together, especially amongst out-of-warranty vehicles, makes my spidey-sense tingle.

perhaps @wk057 has some thoughts on this?

I feel like it's not "all clustered together" in reality. I'm guessing just more of the packs prone to issues are experiencing them as time goes on, and occasionally more of those people actually post about it around the same time.

Overall, there appears to have been very little done on the BMS side of things recently with the older S's since the initial fix for the cell sense issue.
 
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