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Second time crooked wheel after service

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Olle, May 24, 2015.

  1. Olle

    Olle Member

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    #1 Olle, May 24, 2015
    Last edited: May 26, 2015
    Not sure if I should put this in Model S or TM forum, but here it is:
    Got the Model S back Friday evening after some work at the SC. Steering wheel was off to the left. I didn't drive the car until Saturday. If noticed at delivery I wouldn't have accepted. This is the second time it happens, albeit at two different SC. I didn't take it lightly last time and not this time either. Here is the disturbing part; TM employees drove the car both times after the alignments were done and neither said anything, nor did anything about it. I am sort of ok with oversights, but these are not oversights, since the car was driven and the steering wheel can be seen by the driver.

    This time it was super obvious because the car was valeted to my house (25 miles highway) by a TM employee. You don't drive 25 miles highway without noticing a crooked wheel...

    What was the though proccess?:
    1. "Oh no the steering wheel is crooked! Last delivery before the weekend. If i am lucky, the customer won't notice until I am gone and turned off my phone for the weekend. He will call next week and somebody else will deal with it. We will drive his car another 50 miles back and forth +50 miles on a loaner and generate extra cost at the SC and block other cars that are backed up for repair, but who gives a rat's ass?"
    2. "Oh no, crooked wheel! Well, he only paid three times the average car buyer so can't be very interested in cars or care what they look like, so he will probably just take it as is and say; hey, nice crooked wheel, thanks very much" (although this is a wrong assumption, I am more ok with this one)


    If it was thought number 1. I am very worried, especially as a shareholder. Employees deliberately creating guaranteed customer comebacks and extra costs. If it is number 2 it is just annoying.

    Am I too picky here? I thought delivering crooked wheels to customers was a big no no even at the simplest of shops, let alone ones that repair $100k cars.
    I don't want to put the SC in a bad light if it is considered normal, but I am thinking about talking to HQ about this, since I find it possibly disturbing and offensive, what do you all say?
     
  2. doggshine

    doggshine Member

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    I had the same problem. Made them redo it twice. I don't have the time to deal with this type of poor service. they kept telling me... its going straight! no problems!
     
  3. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    Sorry to hear of the poor service experience.

    About generating service costs though, my understanding is that, unlike service center techs at non-Tesla dealerships, we are talking full-time Tesla employees here at the service center who make a fixed/predetermined salary (hourly or annual) and not wages earned on an hourly basis (for actual repair work done), right?!

    If that's accurate; then, they only lose by increasing their workload unnecessarily, particularly when the car is under warranty and the customer doesn't pay anything for work done.

    Am I mistaken here about how Tesla service employees are compensated?!
     
  4. ArtInCT

    ArtInCT Always Learning

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    If I understand you correctly, when you say crooked wheel you are meaning the steering wheel. Is it not aligned straight when the car is going straight? This can happen if the tech does not lock the steering wheel when performing the front end alignment. The steering post is splined as is the steering wheel hub. To fix this they have to remove the steering wheel and shift it one or two splines and then reattach.

    It is important to inform the service manager that your steering wheel was once perfectly aligned and now it is not. He will know what to do. The person who drove your car should have seen this immediately and returned to the service center for a quick fix.
     
  5. Olle

    Olle Member

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    - - - Updated - - -



    I think you are correct about the employee compensation, but there is a long backlog of service jobs, I waited a couple of weeks.
    So by adding unnecessary comebacks like this they are adding to the back log and creating costs down the line by eventually having to expand the service center and loaner fleet. Not to mention the cost of customer disappointment.

    Btw, I paid for the alignment even though the car is under warranty, because I wished to swap wheels and tires.
     
  6. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

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    Well, they don't work on commission, but that creates the opposite incentive than what you describe. According to a service rep I spoke to once, they will take as long as they need to solve a problem with your car since it isn't about the number of cars serviced in a day. He said if they put your car back together and have a spare bolt at the end, they will disassemble it again and find where it belongs. I doubt dealerships, which work on commission, have the same work ethic.
     
  7. Olle

    Olle Member

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    You are correct, the wheel is now turned to the side when driving straight.
    This has happened on my other cars sometimes when the car was delivered straight of the alignment rig. The odd thing in this case today is that they drove it and didn't say anything. Something you wold expect on April 1st.

    Btw, I am a big Tesla supporter, have "sold" a few MS to friends and neighbors and also a devoted shareholder. I truly hope that TM can stop this, kind of dishonest or what shall we call it, behavior of delivering a car they must know will come right back for service.
     
  8. drsaab

    drsaab Member

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    I also did an alignment. Car drove straight but wheel was to the left. When I got it back wheel was slightly left but car pulled right. Went back and ended up close to where I started. The tech showed me all the printouts of the alignment. Also we hooked up the computer and where the steering wheel Angle was at zero on the comp the wheel was slightly left in my opinion.

    It's not fully solved but it's not bothering me anymore. Was a $262 waste of money though. Dam expensive alignment for a car that needs "less maintenance than an ice car" .
     
  9. pimp-boy

    pimp-boy Member

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    Problem is when the company got bigger, they hired a bunch of duds from other dealerships and wherever else. When the SC initially opened in Menlo Park, they hired the upper tier of the techs that CARED about what they did. When the broke a clip, they took the initiative to tell me and that they will order the new part and fix it. I would never have noticed it, but they did what they said. Now that they are much bigger, they hired anyone and anything... getting the good techs along with the lazy/bad techs. Alignment has always been an issue at Tesla and have had my steering wheel off center multiple times through my service plan. Multiple times I brought it back even though I stressed to them "PLEASE BE SURE THE STEERING WHEEL IS CENTERED. I WILL bring it back to have it fixed if it isn't." Lo and behold, it was off center. Go figure.

    But this also applies to other places such as Wheel Works for FireStone. Hard to find a person that cares.
     
  10. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    Steering wheel alignment is one of my pet peeves with service as well. Every time I take it in, I specifically tell them that I want the steering wheel centered PERFECTLY. They even told me they would apply a level to the wheel to make sure it was perfectly centered. I drove 5 miles from the SC and had to return because the wheel was cocked to the left. They told me they road tested the car and it was fine, I told them no it's not and I was not pleased. I have to go through this every single time, it seems, and I wonder if anyone at Tesla is paying attention to how they do their alignments.
     
  11. m6bigdog

    m6bigdog Member

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    Incorrect assumption...
    The front wheel toe alignment must be set with the steering rack centered, steering spindle and steering wheel set in alignment, period!!.

    The steering rack is built with a center (straight ahead) position with no play (zero gear lash) in the steering gear and off center the steering gear has more gear lash.
    Hence, if the front-end alignment is completed with the steering wheel off center or the steering wheel is clocked on the steering spindle so it is straight but the steering gear is off center the affect is the same; the car will wander or tramline much more than if the front-end is aligned correctly with the steering rack centered and the steering wheel correctly aligned/centered on the steering spindle.
     
  12. Larry93428

    Larry93428 Member

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    Yes, yes. I second that. Also if you take the wheel off, put it on with a rotation, that will confuse the turn signals.
    ~Larry
     
  13. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    Right. Unlike most dealerships where techs are paid piecework, Tesla techs are salaried or hourly employees, earning the same whether they do extra work or not.
     
  14. Olle

    Olle Member

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    Nobody answered the original question yet. Am I too picky or shall I make a big deal out of the fact that they twice and knowingly delivered a car, which is under warranty, with a crooked wheel?
     
  15. 3mp_kwh

    3mp_kwh Member

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    You aren't too picky. I'm also noticing a trend. Afraid of being a PIA, I never posted but twice I've had alignments done to center a steering wheel that was multiple degrees to the left. I even said "a little right is better than any left", and still it came back left. Tesla, if you are reading, your alignment process is generating similar results, in multiple regions. Hmmm. After the second time, I went to the tie rods and fixed it. Then, months later, on an unrelated visit, they came out to deliver the car back and said "We noticed your alignment was off, and we fixed it". I cringed, but they actually got really close to zero. Thinking back on it, I wonder how many people live hours from service centers and give up on this kind of thing.

    Most steering splines are about a half dozen degrees apart. So, even if it doesn't foul your turn signals, or screw up the earth's magnetic poles, it is unlikely to work.
     
  16. cpa

    cpa Member

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    I noticed the same thing after my car was returned from its annual service. I thought I had screwed up the alignment, but am relieved to know that there is something wonky with the steering mechanism. When my car goes in for the whirring sound coming from the drive motor, I will insist that they correct the steering wheel alignment as well.
     
  17. Olle

    Olle Member

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    Poor alignments are understandable since there are so many sources of error. The infuriating part is when they drive the vehicle to you with a wheel way off center and don't say anything. What are they thinking? Did you personally pick it up from the alignment or did they drive the car to you?
     
  18. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    The fact that you are posting about this tells me that you are ticked off. If you're ticked off, you should make a big deal out of it. I did.
     
  19. 3mp_kwh

    3mp_kwh Member

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    Service center pick-up, but that was my point of sympathy for the distant folks. It is a headache they didn't create. I'm just 11 miles away.

    I'd be interested to know if anyone has had an alignment that put the steering wheel to the right?
     
  20. drsaab

    drsaab Member

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    So after a suspension part was changed, another alignment was done and now again car pulls right and wheel Is to the left. Time for realignment number 4 in 2 months. :(
     

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