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Results of my visit from my local Tesla tech

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by cinergi, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    Here's the laundry list I worked with:

    • Suspension rattles & squeaks
    • Water through door handle
    • Wind noise
    • Fogging headlights
    • Ignition lock
    • Bubble in paint armor (3M paint protection)
    • Alpine nav muted (no voice guidance or button sounds)
    • Trunk release
    • Driver's seat rocks forward & backward a bit
    • Play in transmission
    • Loud A/C

    Some of these (seat rocking, wind noise, play in transmission) were just "curious, are these normal?" kinds of questions. Those were all classified as normal. None of them were concerning to me.

    Other results:

    Suspension rattles & squeaks
    Squeaks reproduced; rattles -- not sure. Difficult to reproduce with two people in the car. This will be looked at in more detail in the NY service center (more on that later)

    Water through door handle
    No obvious explanation. Door panel removed, things looked fine. I used a garden hose to try to simulate some wind-driven rain to no avail. Fluke? Will keep an eye on this ...
    IMG_0490.JPG

    Fogging headlights
    These are the worst the tech has seen on a newer Tesla. Had he known, he'd have brought new headlights instead of venting these. Basically removed the caps in the rear of the lamp assembly, gentle heatgun to evaporate the standing water, and replaced modified caps to allow more breathing. This was done on a dry 55-degree (F) day. This evening is below freezing and a little frost on the exterior of the car. No sign of fog in the headlights.

    Ignition lock
    Tumbler removed and greased. Much easier than I thought it would be.

    Bubble in paint armor (3M paint protection)
    Could have taken care of this (he would have had to call someone over to do it -- they're not trained to do it themselves). Since the car will head to NY at some point, I opted to skip out on this during this visit.

    Alpine nav muted (no voice guidance or button sounds)
    The unit seems busted. Could be field-replaced but risky without spare clips in case one falls off during the replacement process. Will be done in NY.

    Trunk release
    This is related to the one cold morning where the trunk release didn't work (didn't even hear a click or any electrical activity). Since it's working now, not much we could do.

    Loud A/C
    The A/C is normally "loud" but the tech said mine's WAY too loud inside the compartment. May be a mounting issue. This is the primary reason the car is making a trip to NY. That and getting the car up on a lift to check suspension.

    The firmware was updated. Just some bug fixes... one was related to turning the car on and off too quickly, confusing the system during the contactor initiation process and causing a scary battery fault message. The other was to modify the parameters of balancing A/C between battery and passenger compartment (I seem to recall reading that it sacrifices even more passenger comfort for the batteries but I don't know which way this was adjusted). Here's the laptop updating the firmware (connected via usb-to-serial to one of the CAN bus connectors):
    IMG_0491.JPG
     
  2. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I thought it was the other way 'round... a little more cool air to the cabin.
     
  3. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Whew... Seems like you got way more than your fair share of SNAFUs there. Glad they are sorting you out. In particular, I bet you are relieved that they are taking care of your overly noisy A/C.
     
  4. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Thanks for the detailed report Ben!...it's a great yardstick for all new and soon to be new Roadster owners to use to help diagnose possible problems with our vehicles...
     
  5. strider

    strider Active Member

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    Cinergi, I hope they're able to get everything sorted out. Glad to hear the rocking seat is "normal" - I've noticed that myself. Though my 2006 Corvette does the same thing so it's not just a Tesla thing.

    It was a warm (70F) dry day for my HID install yesterday so we'll see if that has any effect on my (very minor) headlight fogging.

    What are the symptoms of your "play in the transmission"? I notice that when I select R or D and let off the brake there's a low buzzing sound and then the car moves. If I'm on an incline the car will roll a bit before it "grabs". I assume this is just a delay in engaging the motor and is normal.
     
  6. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    The tranny play is hearing and feeling a thump as you go from forward force to reverse (e.g. Regen vd. Accel). It's most noticeable at very low speeds.
    I drove my rep's roadster yesterday and the seat moves but not nearly as much. I can feel it move in my car while driving.
    I also noticed that the play in my steering wheel wasn't present in his car either. His felt much more so.I'd overall. Hopefully we will work that out when the car takes it's trip to NY.
     
  7. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    That sort of accel/decel play is very typical for a manual transmission car in 1st gear. On automatics the torque converter probably mushes it out. The Roadster ought to behave a lot more like a manual transmission car, minus the clutch. Personally, I was fully expecting it to work that way and wasn't the slightest bit surprised when it did.

    My seat does not rock. It's fully back; perhaps it depends a bit on the seat position?

    I haven't noticed any play in my steering wheel. It's very tight.
     
  8. ChrisC

    ChrisC see signature

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    I'd add "for a car with broken motor mounts".

    I had exactly this problem in my manual transmission Audi for over a year. I took it unsuccessfully through several shops before I finally took it back to the dealer and said "you will find this today or my next task will be talking to my lawyer". 90 minutes later with a stethoscope and they'd found it. The motor mounts had broken in an unusual way.
     
  9. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    Just realized I didn't see this part of your post while reviewing this thread (as I take notes for my upcoming blog post)...

    Sounds like you're describing the brake system's vacuum pump?
    There's definitely delay when engaging the motor for 'creep' after releasing the brake . It's a little weird. It's also a tad annoying that when coming to a stop, it stops the creep after forward movement is nearly 0 which causes me to come to a sudden not-so-smooth stop. Not sure how much power creep actually uses (it's less than 1KW) but seems like it's unnecessary to shut it off when the car is stopped with the brake pressed down if it's purely for energy-saving reasons.
     
  10. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    Probably depends on whether the engine is mounted transversely or not. I'm familiar with the the play in an MT car especially in first gear (especially while in traffic! ugh!). I just didn't expect it at all in the Roadster considering how simple the "transmission" is ... However, it doesn't bounce around like an MT does (presumably rocking the engine on its mounts). It's certainly nowhere near as annoying, but I do find it a little unfortunate.
     
  11. strider

    strider Active Member

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    Yeah, brake booster was going to be my guess. The creep is taking some getting used to. It's a weird combo of a MT and AT car. With the brake on there's no creep like in an MT car but then when you release the brake it creeps like an AT car. It's odd when you're on a hill and it rolls back a bit before it grabs.

    As to why my guess is it's probably hard on the motor to have current going to it but not allowing it to turn so TM shuts it off when stopped.

    Anyway, glad to hear it's common and I'll just get used to it.
     
  12. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    And my Roadster is off to NY for service ... *sniff* I'll miss you!

    IMG_0470.JPG
    IMG_0471.JPG
     
  13. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    Overdue on my report -- here's a quick summary of items worked on:

    1. Bubble in the clear guard
      Replaced​
    2. Voice guidance on the navigation system
      Reset Alpine unit (no replacement needed). Simple press of the reset button with a pen on the front bottom-right reset button​
    3. Compressor replacement
      Replaced. Too cold to test.​
    4. Squeak
      Nothing done to fix this, but it's not happening anymore. This is the trunk rubber "boots" mating with the body panels.​
    5. Take a look at the trunk release again.
      Actuator mechanism was full of water; when frozen, cables are impossible to moved. Replaced. Works fine for now.​
    6. Rattles
      Still rattles. The subwoofer enclosure may have been touching the frame so this was resolved but doesn't appear to have altered the rattles I hear. I may investigate later.​
    7. Play in the steering wheel
      Fixed. One of the u-joint pins/screws was loose.​
    8. The battery fluid is a little low
      I had trouble locating fluid to top off myself, plus trunk was frozen shut. Normal for new car to get low due to air in the system. They gave me a gallon (to make 2 gallons) of the Sierra AF​
    9. Winter tires
      Local BMW dealer said the Tesla-provided Hankook tires wouldn't fit. Tesla had no problem putting them on. Good grief.​
    10. Headlights
      Re-adjusted after the local visit from a tech. Functions a bit better now. I have the HIDs on order.​

    They had the car from 12/20 to 12/30. Holidays and the blizzard got in the way. They were helpful and willing to listen and do what they can to help. e.g. Tesla: "Not sure I understand the steering wheel thing?" ... Me: "Here's what it's like [...]" ... Tesla: "OK, I'll check it out"

    The only thing not "fixed" is the rattles. I'm not convinced if it's normal or not -- they're hard to reproduce without being intimately familiar with them and what causes them. I'll probably drive my sales rep's demo to see. My discussion with Tesla was along the lines of "If they're normal, that's fine -- just make sure there's nothing loose, especially from a safety standpoint" and that was well-received.

    Thanks to the NY Tesla service team for the time & effort spent (including picking up the car and dropping it off)!
     
  14. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    On order from...?
     
  15. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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  16. kgb

    kgb Member

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    I also had a visit from the Tesla Ranger. I will admit that I was very concerned prior to purchase that Tesla was going to screw me with the 1$/mi fee. Turns out... so far, no problems.

    I had charging problems twice so far. 1st time was 2 weeks after getting the car. My UMC was faulting... it had a red light LED, so it was easy to diagnose, they just sent me a new one. Then 6 weeks later, different fault... not as easy to diagnose. Could no fathom a double UMC problem. Ranger spent several hours on my vehicle... we eventually figured it out. No charge.

    So (for those keeping score):
    My vehicle had UMC problems x 2
    Lost part of the E in the rear (T=SLA)
    Fogging of left headlight

    UMC's and E sent by FedEx.
    Fogging will be fixed next time he is in town. (we'll see if they charge for that... but I told them not to fix it if it will cost $)

    Oh yeah... and wind noise. I fixed that. It's in a different thread.
     
  17. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    3. Compressor replacement

    It's still relatively cold so while I can turn the A/C on, it won't run at "full throttle" ... but it's enough for me to hear the difference -- and it's jaw-dropping how much quieter it is. At the low speeds it ran at, the ONLY thing I hear is the "click" when it turns on. I don't hear the compressor running at all -- even with the hood open and standing over the area that it's installed in. Wow!
     

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