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Roadster Sport will not stay in Performance Mode

Discussion in 'Roadster: Technical' started by John W. Ratcliff, Aug 12, 2016.

  1. John W. Ratcliff

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    So, I'm dealing with my first real issue since I got my roadster. I paid about an extra 10 grand specifically so I would have the 'sport' edition with the additional horsepower and torque.

    It turns out, performance mode has pretty much never worked since I got it. The console shows the text in 'red' which, idiot me, I assumed meant 'red for really fast' or something. But, actually, it's supposed to stay white and if it turns red, that means it has been disabled.

    There has been lots of discussion on the forums about how temperature sensitive that mode is, but that's not the issue I am having. If I put the car in performance mode it will turn white, but then the *first* time I do a launch it almost immediately turns red; even if it is cool outside and the car just started up. If I continue to drive more slowly, it will go back to white again, but the instant I put my foot on the accelerator, it turns red again. It just refuses to stay in performance mode if you, you know, actually try to be performant.

    The car recently underwent it's annual inspection and cleaning, and got a clean bill of health.

    I have dropped it off at the Tesla place in St. Louis but they are being honest with me that they really don't know very much about the Roadsters and are immediately stumped.

    This is definitely a major concern of owning a Roadster I believe. If I owned a Ferrari, there are easily five shops in the St. Louis area who would be more than qualified to fix anything on it. But, with the Roadster, the only place I can go is the local Tesla service center and..if they don't know anything about the car..that presents some major challenges.

    They are contacting techs throughout the country who know more about the Roadsters to help diagnose the issue. One theory they have is it could be a failing sensor inside the motor. I shudder to think what that repair might cost.

    Has anyone else ever encountered this problem with their Roadster and, if so, how easily was it fixed?

    Other than the fact that it won't stay in performance mode, everything else on the car has been rock solid and running beautifully.
     
  2. MileHighMotoring

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    Did you charge the car in Perf mode? And is it fully charged? Finally, what are the temps on the display when you're trying this?
     
  3. John W. Ratcliff

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    I didn't charge the car in perf mode. It does have a full standard charge. This happens even when cold, so if it is temperature related I would guess a bad sensor.
     
  4. strider

    strider Active Member

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    When you say "cold", what are the outside temps when you're driving? It's been wicked hot here recently and my Perf mode stays red all the time. When I lived in SF it would only turn red after I was on it quite a bit. The air-cooled PEM is a limitation of the Roadster - they liquid-cooled it in the Model S. Even high ambient temps (in the 90's) will trip the PEM into Red perf mode even in normal driving. That being said, even when perf mode is red your Sport is still faster than a base Roadster.
     
  5. Stefan T

    Stefan T Member

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    And have you cleaned your PEM from dust and dirt
    I have blown mine with air from the bottom without taking it out
    But get warnings if i drive fast and accerate fast after a wail doing that
    But it was worse before my to simple cleaning
    I need do real clean but didn't have time to do then i did it
     
  6. John W. Ratcliff

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    Yes the PEM has been cleaned. As I said it just had its annual service. By cold I mean both cool outside and the car hasn't been driven at all. Just the very first time you step on it.

    I just got a call from service and their telemetry is showing that the instant you accelerate a sensor is reporting an immediate (rather than gradual over time as expected) increase in temperature.

    They are still trying to diagnose it.
     
  7. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

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    When the PEM temp reaches 45C the car will show the red performance mode, when it goes back to 44C it will return to white. If you put the car into "debug" mode you can read the actual temps on the VDS. If the PEM is actualy heating up that fast when the car is completely cold, you probably have a bad temp sensor inside the PEM. The PEM can heat up enough to tun the fan on after just one full throttle 0-60 run, but if you can't even do that, then it's probably not an airflow problem. I've never had the motor heat up enough to see if it also causes it to turn red, but I would guess it does. The motor heats up slowly, so if does get hot fast, it is definitely a bad temp sensor inside the motor. It's shouldn't be that hard to figure out what's wrong.
     
  8. gregd

    gregd Member

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    I recommend you pull the logs and find out exactly what errors the system is seeing. Not much gets reported to the VDS. In your case, only 1 bit (going red). Not much help.

    Pulling the logs has been discussed in several places, but amounts to putting a USB stick (4 gig or less) into the USB connecter that's right above the Accessory outlet under the center console. Pre-configure a directory on the stick named "VehicleLogs" (case sensitive) in the root directory, and the car will push all sorts of good info to the stick. There's a decoder program here: VMS Log Parser for Tesla Roadster There's a list of errors posted here: Roadster

    This should tell you what sensor, if any, is flipping out, or whatever else might be going on. To be fair, the service guys have probably done the same, but collectively we might have more hands-on experience than they do. Let us know what it says, and perhaps we can help steer them in a productive direction. No harm running this in parallel with their investigation, and we might all learn something in the process.
     
  9. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    I know your PEM was just cleaned out at your annual service, but a common mistake made by techs not familiar with the Roadster (and even some who are) is they don't clean the motor cooling ducts. These clog up almost as easy as the PEM. I would check with the tech who performed your annual service and ask if he/she cleaned the cooling fins around the motor. The logs will tell you whether it's the sensor in the PEM or motor. Since Tesla already d/l the logs, they can tell you as well.
     
  10. John W. Ratcliff

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    The tech is investigating all of these things. The fact that the sensor reports an *immediate* overheating measurement, even when the vehicle is cold makes me think it's unrelated to any of these other problems. Hopefully they will find and fix it. It doesn't sound like anyone else has had the particular problem though.
     
  11. gregd

    gregd Member

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    Well, perhaps not, but not everything that happens with these cars gets reported through the SC channel. Please do let us know what they come up with, and specifically what log entries (error codes) were related, so if nothing else we have it for the archives.
     
  12. Habious

    Habious Member

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    My Roadster (when it runs - and it currently doesn't). Is the same way.

    On a mild day, I can get "white" performance mode for...maybe 15 seconds before it goes "red".

    On a warm day, I can't get "white" performance mode at all. The techs at my service center seems to feel that "that's just how it is".

    I don't believe them. It wasn't like that when I first got the car. However, untouched-by-the-local-service-center only lasted about 3 months of ownership, because my battery pack went Tango-Uniform, and they had to replace it.
     
  13. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

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    The car is designed poorly. At 113 degrees the mode goes red. At 109 degrees the cooling fan starts to slow down, which tends to keep the PEM around 100 to 105 degrees while driving. When the outside temp reaches into the 90s, you get a couple of seconds before the temp goes from 105 to 113 degrees. Then it can take several minutes to cool back down using 90 degree air. The fan blows on the heatsinks located in ducts on the bottom of the PEM, not directly inside the housing itself. Once the entire PEM gets warm there is very little cooling that takes place inside the unit itself, so the overheating situation gets progressively worse. Hence the switch to liquid cooling.
     
  14. John W. Ratcliff

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    >>The techs at my service center seems to feel that "that's just how it is".

    Yeah, they are definitely wrong! I have a friend who owns a 2.5 sport and his performance mode works fine for him. When the car was brand new the sport model commanded a massive increase in the asking price and even on the used car market a sport model sells for 10-15k more than a non-sport.

    If the answer was," you can't use performance mode in hot weather", well, I could accept that. But not being able to use performance mode at all, that's definitely not acceptable.
     
  15. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    More like 5k difference at most. I think you're confusing the fact that many sport models also had a lot of other options. Performance mode was not unique to the Sport model. In any case you're correct that it should work in almost any kind of weather. Keep pressing Tesla Service and don't take "that's normal" for an answer.
     
  16. John W. Ratcliff

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    So the 'performance mode' thing was not only available on the sport model? If performance mode is showing 'red', just how much actual loss in performance is there?

    For reference, even with performance mode in the red, I was able to do a 13.01 second quarter mile at the track.
     
  17. supersnoop

    supersnoop Tesla Roadster #334

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    The Sport model had, I believe, a hand-wound motor with a few extra rotations. Unlike today's models where the speed is adjusted by software, it took actual hardware back then.

    Every car has a performance mode. On 1.5's, it only changes the charging behavior. On 2.x models, you have to be in performance mode to achieve the rated 0-60 times.
     
  18. MileHighMotoring

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    I think sport mode was 0.2 seconds faster to 60, and of course came with the adjustable suspension as well.
     
  19. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I thought it allowed the motor to get a bit hotter before a power cut was automatically applied to protect the motor.
     
  20. Stefan T

    Stefan T Member

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    My basic EU Roadster 2,5 have a 2,0 sport motor !!!
     

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