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Service says $22k for new battery on 2012 Model S

BostonBurley

Member
Jan 13, 2021
138
54
South Pas
I got my Model S VIN 1751 off the line back in 2012 and have had it ever since. On Feb 14th during the day, I pulled it out of the garage with 114 miles showing on the battery. I woke up in the morning with some battery low errors. When I got into the car, it told me that the car wouldn't drive because it needed service, the 12V battery was low voltage and the HV battery was at 0 miles. After calling Tesla Roadside Assistance, they connected to the car and said that it had to be towed to a service center. I was able to get it towed to the closes Tesla service center and now they the tell me my warranty for the drivetrain expired on 1/9/21 (one month earlier) and the HV battery has to be replace for $22k. If my battery was 8 years old, I would be ok with that. I assumed a level of risk having a car for this long and I expected that the battery would go bad at some point. It's just a shame that it died a month after the warranty expired. The kicker for me is that I had a faulty backflow prevention valve in my HV battery 1.5 years ago and had the battery replaced under warranty. Now service is telling me that if I buy a new battery for $22k I get a 4 year/50k mile warranty on the new battery, but the battery they replaced 1.5 years ago only had a one year warranty for parts. I feel I had to somewhat document this to people as I am one of the first roughly 2k-2.5k cars that are out of warranty at this point and I seem to be one of the first to at least document out of warranty replacement options on this site (at least as my search abilities go). So be careful when that warranty expires. You are on your own. Tesla isn't budging on helping my 1.5 year old bad battery and now essentially bricked car. From what I can tell, the car is worth somewhere between $18k-25k working. I'm not sure yet if I'm going forward with the battery replacement to sell it or not.
I have a 2800 vin, and have been out of warranty since December 8. I’ve had rear subframe replaced, right headlight, all suspension components, new wheels and tires and new pads and rotors. Early vin is a money pit. It’s a rather unreliable car whether new used or old. I’d avoid a new battery. The car isn’t even worth that.
 

AmpedRealtor

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2013
6,414
3,401
Phoenix, AZ
Personally, I think spending 20k+ to fix what's effectively the ICE equivalent of a major mechanical problem on a Tesla is probably a pretty terrible idea. Easily half the value of the car or more. $5k or so, sure. $20k? Not so much.

Most likely this is an older car that probably wouldn't get $40k on the market anyway. Just sell the car as-is (I'll buy such cars any day of the week at a reasonable rate, just shoot me a note), take the sale payout and/or the $20k you were going to spend on a battery, and just put that down on a new Model S. You'll likely be much happier with the result.
Thank you! Finally someone around here who makes sense and understands basic math.
 

SmartElectric

Active Member
Jul 9, 2014
2,523
2,177
Toronto,Canada
VIN 6000-ish and we’re doing great with recent new eMMC and 4g upgrades. Car feels better than it did in 2015 when we bought it used. Less than 5% battery degradation. Not remotely a money pit. But then again, Tesla replaced a drive unit, rear air suspension, battery heater core, cabin heater core and one door handle under warranty. We finally spent the first money post warranty upgrading to 4g last week, and Tesla charged us less than $320 Canadian (!!!!) before tax. What other car company offers an infotainment computer upgrade like this!?

My Daimler EV lost 2g connectivity years ago and no options. My newer Daimler EV has 3g connectivity but they refused to allow NA customers to use it, just Europe gets the phone app.
 

SmartElectric

Active Member
Jul 9, 2014
2,523
2,177
Toronto,Canada
Just “acceptable” ?! I don’t know if you’re aware of the Canadian dollar. $300 is like $200 USD. It’s stupid cheap. Tesla is giving this away. Very very happy owner of a very early Model S, and Elon had very little to do with how happy we are as owners. Tesla has done well by us. Minimizing my feedback with that reply…why bother, is the case arguing about poor Tesla practices or reliability so weak that my experience is not to be uttered in public lest it water down the case. Huh.
 

BostonBurley

Member
Jan 13, 2021
138
54
South Pas
VIN 6000-ish and we’re doing great with recent new eMMC and 4g upgrades. Car feels better than it did in 2015 when we bought it used. Less than 5% battery degradation. Not remotely a money pit. But then again, Tesla replaced a drive unit, rear air suspension, battery heater core, cabin heater core and one door handle under warranty. We finally spent the first money post warranty upgrading to 4g last week, and Tesla charged us less than $320 Canadian (!!!!) before tax. What other car company offers an infotainment computer upgrade like this!?

My Daimler EV lost 2g connectivity years ago and no options. My newer Daimler EV has 3g connectivity but they refused to allow NA customers to use it, just Europe gets the phone app.
Just wait.
 

Darmie

Super Member
Supporting Member
Jan 13, 2016
2,005
1,288
Clear Lake TX.
as Tesla moves to structural battery packs, wonder if modules are planned?
These structural battery packs sounds like a great thing but is it? Are they really thinking that the new cells will go million miles? Stuff happens but I feel that Tesla is not considering a pack repair.
 

SO16

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
3,135
9,797
MI
Chevy is able to do this with the bolt’s battery pouches and replace affected cells on the spot.
But I want it “automatic”. And no need to replace affected cells. Just take them out of operation since there are so many (7k). Only a little bit of range loss.
 
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Adri

Member
Jul 30, 2016
78
30
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
But I want it “automatic”. And no need to replace affected cells. Just take them out of operation since there are so many (7k). Only a little bit of range loss.
You can take the cells out, but as you take more cells out, it will create a bigger and bigger imbalance between the bricks.
The BMS will try to compensate by lowering the charge on the other bricks, so you loose more range then just the dead cells.
Eventually the BMS will decide the imbalance is too great and give an error and to replace the whole battery,.
 

SO16

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
3,135
9,797
MI
You can take the cells out, but as you take more cells out, it will create a bigger and bigger imbalance between the bricks.
The BMS will try to compensate by lowering the charge on the other bricks, so you loose more range then just the dead cells.
Eventually the BMS will decide the imbalance is too great and give an error and to replace the whole battery,.
It seems that only a few cells become problems over time. Gruber motors takes the whole battery apart just to isolate the cell. Would be great if it self isolated so that taking apart the battery for this reason becomes unnecessary.
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
6,911
13,051
California
It seems that only a few cells become problems over time. Gruber motors takes the whole battery apart just to isolate the cell. Would be great if it self isolated so that taking apart the battery for this reason becomes unnecessary.
Creating a remote, BMS-controlled mechanism to arbitrarily isolate (i.e. physically disconnect) any single cell in a ~7,000 cell pack sounds like a pretty significant amount of complexity to engineer in for what is presumably a relatively low rate of failure. There's also the matter of whether or not this is really a feasible solution for the long term... Gruber obviously says yes, @wk057 seems to be pretty firmly on the other side of the fence, suggesting this "fix" just exacerbates imbalance issues in the pack and ultimately leads to other issues.

Not sure the juice is worth the squeeze. For better or worse, remanufacturing and/or manual remedy is probably the most efficient means to address this at scale.
 

henderrj

Active Member
Jun 16, 2014
1,007
838
Graham, WA, United States
It seems that only a few cells become problems over time. Gruber motors takes the whole battery apart just to isolate the cell. Would be great if it self isolated so that taking apart the battery for this reason becomes unnecessary.

I'm still waiting to hear of an actual vehicle that Gruber has done this with. I don't think there's any users out there, perhaps I should say customers of gruber's, that have had this done. Maybe I'm wrong. But I don't know of any.
 
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wk057

Vendor & Senior Tinkerer
Feb 23, 2014
5,715
11,984
Hickory, NC, USA
I'm still waiting to hear of an actual vehicle that Gruber has done this with. I don't think there's any users out there, perhaps I should say customers of gruber's, that have had this done. Maybe I'm wrong. But I don't know of any.

I've done a battery replacement for one customer who originally sought service from Gruber. They were allegedly told that the cell-snip repair was not possible on their vehicle... despite the YouTube hype they caused about this. I'm pretty sure they know that this is not a real fix, and the YouTube stuff is just marketing hype to pull people in for bait and switch nonsense.

Like I said, it's not a fix. Do not have this cell-removal "fix" done to your vehicles unless you want a rather large and expensive paperweight.
 

BostonBurley

Member
Jan 13, 2021
138
54
South Pas
So the only proper fix is module replacement? Seems to me this is a quite expensive fix for teslas.
Changing a module is no easy feat. At Chevy they can do this with the pouch batteries, but at Tesla if you have battery issues they take your pack out and give you a loaner pack. Seems like even if you buy a new 90kwh battery from Tesla for $21,000 installed, you give them your mostly reusable used pack as part of the deal.
 
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