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Some pressure put on traction pack during safety inspection- how bad was this?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Andyw2100, Dec 24, 2015.

  1. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Well-Known Member

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    So, my P85D was delivered exactly a year ago today. I had scheduled my annual New York safety inspection for today at a local shop that had been recommended to me by another member here. I had actually gone there once before, last month, to have a flat repaired, and my snow tires (already on wheels) mounted. When I went last month I brought a print out that included the jack points, etc., which they kept on file. They had me drive the car around to the bay last time, and I watched as the mechanic carefully positioned the lift mechanism, and some rubber things on it to protect the car. I put the car in jack mode myself.

    Today I believe it was actually the owner of the shop who asked for my fob, and though I hesitated, did not offer to let me just drive the car back myself.

    After pausing a few moments I decided to walk back, and saw that he had driven the car onto ramps, and it was apparent those ramps were themselves some sort of lift. I thought this was good, as there would be no issue with lift points potentially making contact with the traction pack. I also was not sure what needed to be done for NYS safety inspection.

    I became concerned when I saw the owner of the shop placing large wooden blocks near the front of the car, on something underneath it, between the front wheels. I was outside the garage, so couldn't tell exactly what they would be making contact with, but I feared it would be the traction pack, or more accurately, the traction pack shield. As it turns out, I was correct. He went on to use some small hydraulic unit on the inside of the tracks the car had been elevated on to raise just the very front of the car just a few inches. The wooden blocks were probably 4 X 4s, and were perhaps a foot long.

    By this point I had walked into the garage, and when the car was lowered I tried to closely inspect the points where the wooden blocks had made contact with the traction pack's titanium shield. I was pleased that I could not see any obvious signs of damage, but I also did not get all that close.

    My question is am I correct that this was a bad thing for the owner / mechanic to do, and if so, how bad was it? My Tesla is the third local Tesla that they work on. I know of no other local shop that has worked on Teslas. I don't know whether I should continue to use this shop, but make sure to stress that the car can't be raised at all except by the jack points, or whether I should look for another shop.

    As an aside, I had also brought instructions with respect to proper torquing of the lug nuts when I had my wheels changed over, and while I did watch the mechanic use a torque wrench to tighten all the nuts, he also used an impact wrench to get them off, and possibly to do the initial tightening as well. (My recollection of that is fuzzy. I know I was surprised and concerned because I wasn't expecting to see an impact wrench used at all.)

    I'm interested in your thoughts and advice. Thanks.
     
  2. mrElbe

    mrElbe Member

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    Using an impact tool for taking off the nuts is OK BUT putting them on with an impact tool is a no no in my opinion because they never reduce the torque of that tool.
    The listing as you described is definitely not proper procedure. Wooden blocks should only touch the designated lift points. When I change my tires, I place a hockey puck onto my hydraulic jack before lifting at the proper points.
     
  3. mwulff

    mwulff Member

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    I wouldn't worry about removing/remounting the wheel nuts with an impact wrench. As long as they tighten the bolts with a torque-wrench afterwards. Most experienced mechanics have a feel for their impact wrench and can tighten reliably to 100 NM. Then do the final tightening by hand.

    I think that the real problem is with how they jacked the car up. It sounds like they didn't cause any damage, but that was just plain luck. I would at the very least inform them politely that their actions could have caused damage to the traction pack and that the repair would be insanely expensive.

    The car has huge lifting points that even Stevie Wonder couldn't miss. So there is no excuse for not lifting the car properly.
     
  4. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    I just rotated my tires this morning. I break the lug nuts loose with a breaker bar, I do final tightening with my torque wrench. I do use the impact wrench to run the nuts off and on. I use the minimum torque setting. I stop after the hammer hits the third time or so, and each time there's still plenty of room for the torque wrench to work (so the impact hammer is not over-torquing them). In fact, I'm guessing that even the highest setting wouldn't over-torque those bolts, given the required torque.

    As for your battery pack: yes, he did the wrong thing. Insofar as damage, I'm guessing the armor on the pack itself (and the shield) would distribute enough of the weight that it shouldn't be an issue, but it might be good to let them know.
     
  5. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 918 Hybrid

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    A local tire shop did something similar to mine. Tesla verified everything was fine.
     
  6. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    I use hockey pucks at the jack locations. (only done this once, used auto mechanics the rest of the time)
     
  7. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the responses, everyone.

    The first time I was there last month I made very certain to watch how the mechanic was preparing to put the car on the lift.

    Today, aside from the fact that the car was initially driven away from me, when I saw it on the ramped lift, I just figured all was well, and that for the safety inspection they just needed to look under the car, or at the inside of the wheels or something, but did not realize the car would have to be elevated beyond the point that the ramped lift already had elevated it. I guess when I saw the blocks I could have run over to ask what he was doing, but I had been told that this shop knew how to deal with Teslas, etc., etc. so I mistakenly gave him the benefit of the doubt. Oh well.
     

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