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swegman: Car won't turn on (screens are dark)

Discussion in 'Model S' started by swegman, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. swegman

    swegman Member

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    Not sure if this is the right place to post this. Moderator, please move to the appropriate place if necessary.

    Picked up my Performace S on Tuesday afternoon. Drove it home and placed it in the garage. It snowed Wednesday, so I left the car in the garage all day, especially because I have the 21 inch tires. Today (Thursday), I drove the car to Germantown, MD in the morning. No problems. In the afternoon, I drove to Leesburg, VA. No problems on the drive to VA. About an hour after arriving in Leesburg, I opened the trunk to put something in it. I closed the trunk and walked to the driver's door to open it. When I put my hand behind the handle, the handle retracted into the car and the doors locked.

    The car would not extend the handles when I walked up to the car (I tried this several times), but would extend by pressing the button on the fob. I opened the door, but the car would not wake up. The hazard flasher, the interior lights, the trunk and the wipers worked, but the 17 inch screen and instrument cluster were dark, and the stereo would not operate.

    Called Tesla. I told them it was as if the car went to sleep and would not wake up, and asked if there was a way to reboot the car. They informed me they would send a tow truck to get my car to the Rockville (MD) Service Center and arrange for a rental for me. Tesla was very nice and apologetic, but I am somewhat upset. The car has only 100 miles on it and is 2 days old. I have been driving for nearly 40 years, and this is the first car that has left me stranded. Yes, I have had cars that broke (a long time ago; GM cars), but none of my prior cars left me unable to drive them. And I have never owned a Datsun (now Nissan), Infiniti, Audi, Lexus or MB that left me stranded. Even my Corvette, that had a fair amount of problems when new was always driveable to the dealer. My confidence in the car is not high at the moment.

    The lttle time I spent driving the car was fun. It is so fast (too fast?). But I am nervous now that the car will not be dependable.

    My question to everyone here is whether there is a way to try to reboot the car should this happen again? I asked Tesla, but they said they wanted to see the car. My iphone app shows the car is on-line again (it could not find the car when I was stranded), with the frunk open and parked at the Service Center. So I assume it is running now. Tesla told me they pulled all the logs and the engineers are reviewing the files. Should this happen again, I would like to try to reboot the car instead of losing 4 hours time waiting for a tow truck and a rental car.
     
  2. bluetinc

    bluetinc Member

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    Hey Swegman,

    First, that totally blows!

    There are a few things that you could try, though depending on what they find, may not have helped.

    1. Reboots of the Displays (Dash and center console): You do this by holding the top two buttons down on the steering wheel pads for about 15 seconds, and the center click wheels down also for about 15 seconds.

    2. Main dash fuse. There is a yellow fuse in the frunk that can be pulled to cause a hard powerup when reinserted(provided you are the type that likes to pull fuses).

    Please let us know what they find from the logs!

    Peter
     
  3. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    perhaps this was something like a faulty 12V battery or loose 12V battery cable. that could have happened on any type of car. no way to really know until you get feedback from Tesla. I would not worry about it, just a fluke. looks like they figured it out pretty fast if you're seeing it online already.
     
  4. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Not that this is an consolation (I'd be upset, too), but experience has shown that an electronic device will most likely fail in the early part of its operating life. "Infant mortality rate." That's the purpose of burn-in --- to catch the majority of the infant mortality failures. The failure rate will then level off throughout normal device life ... and increases again in old age. (Hey! Like all of us!)

    I wouldn't use an early failure as a predictor of long-term reliability. And again, I'd be upset...
     
  5. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    Sorry for your troubles, swegman. I don't think any of us knows enough about what happened to your car to make a recommendation on what you might have done to 'wake it up'. I'd ask that you give Tesla a chance to make it right and try not to let this one experience place a shadow over your enjoyment of the S. Many of us have driven thousands of trouble-free miles in our cars.

    At this early stage in the production of an entirely new automobile, every failure in the field represents an opportunity for Tesla to improve their processes and make future vehicles even better. We early adopters should expect some of this: what matters to me when something like this crops up is how the company responds, both in terms of the owner's service experience and improvements in production. Please let us know how it goes for you.
     
  6. Velo1

    Velo1 Member

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    #6 Velo1, Mar 7, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2013
    I may have a way to reboot from sleep mode. But first a brief background: I was having trouble 3 days ago where I would return to the car only to find my driver-side window open. This happened several times over the next two days. Then yesterday I drove to Home Depot, returned to the car, the window was up, but I had a very difficult time getting the door handles to present. Finally after a few minutes the handles presented. I sat in the driver's seat and the car was DOA. Nothing would wake it up. I called the Denver Service Center. They had me pull a 20-amp fuse that serves the display. After pulling the fuse, I waited 10-15 seconds and reinserted. The Service Center was monitoring the car remotely and said it may take 2 minutes to wake up. So after 1:30 I felt a full-bore linear panic starting, but then the big Tesla logo appeared on the display. Another minute later the car was up. I took it directly to the Service Center where they replaced the 12-V battery, as it was not charging. Today the car is fine and perfectly normal, and I am convinced the issue is resolved.

    So check your owners manual to see how to access your fuse boxes. You can easily see two boxes side-by-side near the top. Remove the lid/top of the box on the left as you face the windshield. There are 2 different bright Yellow 20-amp fuses, but the one controlling the display is in the 4th column in from the right side of the box, and in the slot closest to the windshield. You may want a pair of small needle-nose pliers to grasp the fuse and wiggle it up and out. Wait 10-15 seconds and reinsert. Try and wake up the car with the FOB, but you may have to wait a few minutes for the display to start lighting up. If that doesn't work, then your service center will need to help.

    I bet you, too, have a bad 12-V battery the simply is not charging. The Service Center guy said they have replaced a handful of them, as there seems to be a bad batch or something preventing it from charging. Good luck, too.
     
  7. steve841

    steve841 Active Member

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    Too add / agree with everyone it blows. And yes, I can empathize ... I was left stranded when I had the early 12v battery issue.

    Same feelings .... "is this going to happen again???" But, they fixed her up and within a few days confidence was restored and the car has been zen like since....

    Its a nasty speed bump, dont let it get you down.
     
  8. Velo1

    Velo1 Member

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    I forgot to mention that I first tried depressing and holding both scroll buttons, but it didn't wake up the car. It was only after pulling and reinserting the display fuse did the car wake up. I, too, was unable initially to use my iPhone app to log into the car, as it could not connect since it was asleep. The Service Center was able to see the car on their computer, but confirmed it was asleep and they couldn't wake it remotely. It was during my drive to the service center when they contacted TM engineering and, as per their logs on my car, it showed my 12-V betters was only at 8 volts, hence the approval to replace the battery.
     
  9. kinddog

    kinddog Banned

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    can't wait to see this as tomorrow's headline in BusinessInsider... :rolleyes:
     
  10. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    If it's just a bad batch of 12V batteries, that should be addressable by stricter 12V battery testing at factory (and like other people said, it could happen with any car). If it's some other problem then it's more worrisome.
     
  11. swegman

    swegman Member

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    I had asked the service people if it could be the 12 volt battery. They did not think so, as the door handles, rear trunk, lights and wiper worked. But I'll update everyone after I speak to Tesla tomorrow.

    I know I'll eventually get over the confidence issue. But my wife got a new Avalon hybrid at the end of January, for less than half the price of the Tesla, and is repeatedly pointing out to me that she has no problems.
     
  12. MikeL

    MikeL some guy

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    Yikes! A 12V automotive battery is "dead" at about 10.5V-ish. Seems like an awful lot is riding on the proper operation of that one piece of very old technology, but that is also true for any new car.
     
  13. steve841

    steve841 Active Member

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    Suck it up.... And when some young hottie is looking to see who's driving that Tesla, just tell the wife not to worry, it happens all the time.
     
  14. vetboy45

    vetboy45 Member

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    Sorry to hear of your troubles. Being an early adopter is a lot of fun but you can't expect the experience to be 100% for everybody. I haven't had a single issue. The small number of people who have had serious issues seem to be universally impressed with Tesla service and back on the road quickly. Believe me, I'd take a stranding for all the fun I've had driving this thing.
     
  15. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    The door handles and trunk can still work at least with a bad 12V battery (up to a point at least). Hope it gets fixed soon.
     
  16. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

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    FWIW, this is probably going to be the norm for electric cars. All of the drive train related components are either going to work or not work and when they don't work it's probably not anything obvious on physical inspection, which is different than the partial failures you can get in an ICE with things like loose fan belt, soft clutch, one bad fuel injector, etc.

    I'm not saying that it's ultimately not as reliable as an ICE (it's probably superior in the long run), just than the failure modes are going to be different.
     
  17. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    No doubt in my mind it's the 12V (or cabling/fuses related to it).
     
  18. Lyon

    Lyon 2016 S P100DL, 2016 X P90D

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    That's a major bummer! With any mass produced product there's going to be a few immediate failures, no matter how good they get at manufacturing. Even Toyota. Unless this starts happening a lot, I wouldn't worry.

    The good news is that Tesla's going to fix your car and it's going to run perfectly for many years to come, the bad news is that your wife may never live it down. And, FWIW, I wouldn't be caught dead in an Avalon! ;)
     
  19. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

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    That really bites, very frustrating--all I can say is to echo what everyone else said, so I won't repeat it all...but keep us posted, please!

    Kendall ;-(
     
  20. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    If it's the 12V battery, we will likely merge this with the main 12V battery thread.
     

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