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"Refresh" Headlights, separate and repair DRL?

Proxlamus

Member
Jun 11, 2017
78
53
Colorado
Hey guys,

I'm frustrated with the burnt out DRL LED accent lights on the 2017+ refresh Model S headlights. Ive read the dozens of threads with people with the same issues.

Can anyone confirm if the headlights can have the adhesive heated, softened and cracked open to do a repair on the lights ? Retrofitting a new LED strip shouldn't be difficult once its open.

I see people have done it on older headlights but im confused why it hasn't been done on my refresh lights?

I'm tempted to buy one from eBay with busted tabs and try it out on my own before I damage mine.
 

nigelboid

Member
Jul 18, 2015
29
9
United States
Schedule a service appointment -- Tesla will replace the headlights for you. They are aware of the problem and seem to be replacing affected headlight with no questions asked. You may have to wait a few weeks for parts to arrive.
 

Proxlamus

Member
Jun 11, 2017
78
53
Colorado
My 2017 is already past 105k miles. So Im well outside warranty.
I've also seen posts where people have legit had the headlights replaced up to 7 times.

What I'm looking for is someone who has had experience heating and separating the headlights and whether it's possible to retrofit or repair on your own.
 

nigelboid

Member
Jul 18, 2015
29
9
United States
My 2017 is already past 105k miles. So Im well outside warranty.
I've also seen posts where people have legit had the headlights replaced up to 7 times.

What I'm looking for is someone who has had experience heating and separating the headlights and whether it's possible to retrofit or repair on your own.

I hear you, but I bet they will replace the headlight regardless since they have admitted a known defect. In fact, I am very curious to learn what they tell you, if you are willing to try...
 

Cheburashka

Active Member
Jan 29, 2018
2,326
2,842
Los Gatos, CA
Pretty much guaranteed that you can bake these Mexican headlights in the oven for a bit to open them up like all other sealed plastic headlights. Doubt Tesla uses any special heatproof adhesive.
 
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beatle

Active Member
Aug 31, 2019
1,098
551
Springfield, VA
I think the number of refreshed cars that are now out of warranty are few. Of those few, I bet even fewer are willing to bake and pry their headlights apart to replace some LED strips. I consider myself moderately handy, but attempting to retrofit projectors in a couple sets of my truck's headlights ended with some pretty miserable failures, and it wasn't fun getting there. Hats off to enterprising individuals who are able to fix these defects, however.
 

BrianS85

Member
Dec 1, 2018
123
57
San Diego, CA
Rockwell (evfixme) recently posted something on the forum about mods we would like to see. Maybe ask them about modding the led headlights with DRLs that don’t burn out.
 

vraev

Member
Jan 31, 2018
223
153
Mississauga
My car has burnt out headlights and tesla said I have to pay $2K to replace a single headlight (Canadian $). I am out of warranty at slightly under 3y since purchase (2017 December and 99K km on the odometer). SO no...they are not replacing them if you are out of warranty...and now the other light is also burning out.
 

nomis_nehc

Member
Jul 9, 2018
202
148
Rancho Cucamonga
I hear you, but I bet they will replace the headlight regardless since they have admitted a known defect. In fact, I am very curious to learn what they tell you, if you are willing to try...
They won't. They'll want to charge you. You're better off buying replacement online for cheaper. However, if you do buy from Tesla, since the headlights themselves would have warranty, you can get them replaced if they crap out again.

I went through a lot of headlights before landing on the ones I have right now that's been solid.

Also, you cannot bake these open. They're permaseal. At the temperature where you can separate the "seal" you'll be melting other parts of the headlights. The only possibility is using a heat gun, and effectively melting/cutting into it. Of course this presents a whole another set of problem, which is sealing. Considering the way the headlight is designed to sit, anything less than a 100% seal, you'll likely have condensation issue.

Not worth the headache. Unless you're tremendously bored.
 

JoshM

Member
Nov 17, 2016
63
47
Northern Virginia, US
Same issue for me on my refresh Nov. '16 S. I've had them replaced before, at least once but I think twice. I am out of warranty now. Wondering if there's any new info around on how to fix the eyelid.
 

krsgio

Member
Nov 8, 2018
353
333
Colorado
Also, you cannot bake these open. They're permaseal. At the temperature where you can separate the "seal" you'll be melting other parts of the headlights. The only possibility is using a heat gun, and effectively melting/cutting into it. Of course this presents a whole another set of problem, which is sealing. Considering the way the headlight is designed to sit, anything less than a 100% seal, you'll likely have condensation issue.
All their headlights are permasealed, while its a pain in the ass to open its totally do-able without 'melting' or 'cutting' anything. Using something like a butyl instead of something like RTV will prevent condensation issues when re-sealing the headlights. I've opened and chrome deleted my HID headlights without any condensation issues. Tons of retrofitters can do the same. It just boils down to if you have the know how and motivation to open them up to even fix the LED problem in the first place.
 
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BioDiesel & Electrons
Nov 20, 2020
222
178
Tacoma, WA
Jumping on this thread - as I want to open up the ModelY headlights and de-chrome the inside headlight (maybe modify the drl light output also) but the permaseal has me freaked out.

I’ve done other butyl headlights - separated and resealed with no issues.

Because of the permaseal - I might farm this out to a lighting specialist, though it is a DIY type job...
 

Cheburashka

Active Member
Jan 29, 2018
2,326
2,842
Los Gatos, CA
Same issue for me on my refresh Nov. '16 S. I've had them replaced before, at least once but I think twice. I am out of warranty now. Wondering if there's any new info around on how to fix the eyelid.

It's not fixable. The LEDs don't burn out, they unsolder themselves from the heat and melt some plastic around them.
 

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