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Tesla 's Number One Fanboy Neutered


Jan 31, 2015
Power MT
Our car a Dec 2014 P85D with 1st generations auto pilot has been my dream car and a nightmare. It is the most efficient, powerful, easy to drive, relaxing to drive, fun to drive, I have ever seen or owned. I love this car. But Tesla just keeps trying to neuter me, not that it matters at my age. I also thought Tesla is the most advanced innovative company by far, environmentally friendly and forward looking. I did not have much of a worry investing almost all our retirement savings to buy this car. $125,000

Just got back from Portland where our 4th annual service was preformed. Actually the 3rd as the first was skipped. The bill was $4575.69 which is good I guess, as the quote they gave me was $5000. I was expecting $850. The only complaint was a clicking coming from front in raised position under acceleration. SC said axle was cracked.
Before we bought the car Elon had indicated that there would be a 8 year battery and unlimited mileage power train warrantee. I know many ICE manufacturers have a 100K mile drive train warrantee as my grandson just had a major problem on GM product repaired for $50., at 70K miles.

Living in the middle of nowhere (central MT) it is not easy to get Tesla service and most of the service has been less then exceptional however their attempts to help have been exceptional. Portland is 850 miles, Denver 800, and Salt Lake is 500 miles. I am going to list the history of vehicle as best I can. Picked up the car in Portland December 30 2014. In April 2015 with 6700 miles the car failed to start. The high voltage battery had a failure. Tesla came up with a pickup and trailer, hauled the car to Salt Lake and had it back in just 5 days from failure. Amazing service, but when the car was returned and unloaded I noticed no AC. Tesla sent a ranger in small van to fix it, but failed. It seems when the battery was replaced they pried on the compressor cracking it. Tesla wanted to haul it back to Salt Lake. I told them we had plans to be in Custer SD in two weeks and could drive to Denver and to arrange to have it fixed there. Denver replaced the compressor with no further issues, May 19 2015 mileage 9100.

In early December of 2015 the car was hit in the left quarter panel while parked. Portland SC gave us a Tesla approved body shop and the plan was to get both the annual service and body work done while there. The SC recommend we get the 2nd annual service because our mileage was 23290. The night before we were to leave for Portland the touchscreen failed. This made for a very interesting anxious trip in winter with no heater and car taking 3 minutes to start with a continuous string of failure warnings. Driving with the windows down to keep frost off windshield doesn’t give you a warm fuzzy feeling. The invoice of December 22, 2015 show the charge port and touchscreen were replaced. The car was picked up and delivered to the body shop The insurance for the body repair had rented us a car. The plan was to stay in the Portland area until the car was ready, body shop had said 7 to 10 days after parts arrive from Tesla. After two weeks and no sign of parts we left for home in rental car. Another month passed with no sign of parts. I called the SC, upset, they said they would do what they could and within a week the body shop started work on the car. We returned to Portland the first week of February, picked up the car and took it back to the SC for annual service and new tires. According to the invoice dated Feb 16 2016 , the charge port was replaced again, both front axles, plus the full 2 year annual service, mileage 23320. We got a call late in the day the car is ready. The next morning we got another call “where are you, don’t drive that car, we are sending a tow truck”. It seem they had fail to replace the drained gear oil.
Our next Service Center appointment was one year later March 2017 when we scheduled a annual service and another tire set replacement, after a year of trouble free service, mileage is now 47000. I also requested the speed restriction of 130 be removed and set to advertised 155 and was refused. We picked the car up late in afternoon and headed for our hotel. Both the wife and I though something on the car is not correct. As luck would have it the freeway was plugged to 10mph and we could hear clunking, I managed to work my way to edge and called Tesla. It seems lug nuts on both front wheels were loose and RF was just ready to come off. The car was returned to SC the next day where they replaced the wheel, removed the speed limit, fixed a loose piece of trim i had complained about and removed charges. All greatly appreciated, but I would be happy to pay for good work the first time.
Before we got home from this annual service we started to have trouble with the charge door again. The door was working but the car didn’t thing so and we were getting constant warnings. I called Denver Service and made a appointment two months out, explaining the problem, and we would be at least 250 miles out of our way. When we got to the SC they said we don’t have the part, we will reprogram it. That gave us even more grief as now we were getting verbal and visual warnings, mileage at Denver was 51000. Within about a month we drove to Salt Lake and got the charge door replaced with no farther problems. NC (invoice missing, millage ?). In the last year we had two issues not requiring trip to SC. One door handle failed to present, I replaced myself with ebay part, $200. And had car shutdown while driving hard. Called Tesla, they sent tow truck. When we got back to the car everything was normal and car has operated since. Asked if the logs showed anything 3 or more times but no-one had answer. That brings us back to the current annual service at 67,000 miles.

I am selling my Tesla stock to cover the repairs to my car, so happened the bill is the amount of stock i had. I have had problems with dealer service many times before but none quite as bad as this. I have no intention of buying another car in my remaining driving life. if I am forced to I will look at other electric car companies, I will not go ICE. If Tesla expects to remain the number one best ever car company, they have a lot of work to do on reliability and service. If you own a D model try to get the axles replaced before the 50K miles, or save $5,000 for each 30K miles. Note, our car had been making the noise for 10,000 miles before serviced with little change, no vibration. The first axle replacement at 25K had vibration no noise..


Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jan 26, 2016
Palmdale, CA
Feb 16 2016 , the charge port was replaced again, both front axles

I wonder if you might have an argument about the axle repair cost due to this prior service. Especially with the documented failure to fully tighten the lug nuts at your next service. So you have a documented problem with the axles under warranty, then they failed to put the wheels back on properly during a subsequent service, then your axle fails again out of warranty this time. I might try to escalate that to the executive team via your My Tesla page.

And honestly, you probably live too far away from a service center and may want to consider switching to a different EV brand with more local service options.


Active Member
Oct 31, 2016
My 2014 MS is doing very well with over 250,000 km. But our service center is only 120 km away.

Wish you more luck in the future. The cars are built really well and are improving all the time.

Sorry to dissapoint you, but it is uninteresting to hear you are doing well when someone else has real issues. If the cars fail they are not built really well, you just happened to get lucky. Well built means everybody has a good car, no exceptions.

Rich is so on the money:


Aug 30, 2016
That's a bummer especially considering how far you are from a service center. I have a 2016 build and it's been solid...at 40k miles and not one problem and that's with only one annual service at around 15k. If I were you I'd unload the out of warranty Tesla and use the cash from that sale toward a Model 3(I'd assume the low range 35k model prob has range pretty close to your high mileage 2015 85). I know your tainted by your experience but if you had a new reliable Tesla you could live the dream without the nightmare part.
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Jul 17, 2012
Prince Edward Island & Wisconsin
They sent tow Trucks?!! We pay over $1,000 each time we have to transport ours to the nearest Service Center (1100Km away). With three Signatures over five years, we haven't had a three month stretch without something going wrong. Many of these are small things and get batched up for a visit, but some disable the car. For example, one of ours has gone back and forth three times for a failure to charge issue (which makes it impossible to drive beyond a full charge range). Not fixed yet, after a new charge port and $3K for a new on-board charger. As the OP said, these are amazing cars, and we still get a "charge" (sorry for the pun) out of driving them every day. For us, the trade off of recurring repairs is worth it, but other people might not feel that way.


Jan 31, 2015
Power MT
Sorry about the issues with the car.

I couldn't make it through most of the text. The idea of being near retirement and having a retirement savings of $125-250K (scary enough!), so I "invested" it in a $125K car... just kept pounding the inside of my head.

Funny! The car is our only valuable possession, sold house on contract and rent it back, other property sold on time and SS equal about 35K / year. retirement $ is for travel / fun. Save the pain killer pills.

Zhelko Dimic

Careful bull
Jan 17, 2016
Toronto, Canada
Sorry to dissapoint you, but it is uninteresting to hear you are doing well when someone else has real issues. If the cars fail they are not built really well, you just happened to get lucky. Well built means everybody has a good car, no exceptions.

Rich is so on the money:
In 2008, I bought 2003 Porsche 911 Turbo. Top of the line, original price $180K+
It almost bankrupt me. 2009 or 2010, I spent $12-$15K on repairs.
Overall, 2008 to 2015, I spent $40K for repairs. It's unfortunately par for the course with performance, high power cars
With Tesla, you don't need to worry about engine or transmission, everything else will be the same.


Active Member
Jul 15, 2008
Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
Sorry to dissapoint you, but it is uninteresting to hear you are doing well when someone else has real issues. If the cars fail they are not built really well, you just happened to get lucky. Well built means everybody has a good car, no exceptions.

No. Well built means that a greater percentage of cars are good. There are exceptions, always. Manufactured goods deal in percentages.

As to uninteresting, I read that you only want to hear how bad Tesla is, and that you are absorbed in your own sad tale. Percentages say that what you are talking about, is, actually, luck. Many of us are "doing well", and your issues are regrettable. That said, I have had two Model S cars, each with near 80,000 miles, and now a Model 3 with near 3000 miles, and I rarely have problems, or take them to the service center, which is 115 miles away. If I had your problems with failed parts, I suspect I would be upset, but I would also expect Tesla to fix everything, which they always have done.


Jun 22, 2015
Australia, Sydney
Sell it and be done with it before the bill really mount up.

Buy a cheap 1 year old Subaru Crosstrek, might run on gas but they are tough, cheap to repair and reliable.

in a decade Teslas will be good but still way to go in terms of reliability and build quality.
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Nov 6, 2017
Usually in the past.
The service centers seem better now than everyone describes from a couple years ago. That said it really sucks you had all those problems. Living in the middle of nowhere definitely has its advantages and disadvantages. Enjoy the Big Sky!


Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2016
Off topic, but is there such a thing as neutering anymore?

I'm pretty sure the Social Justice Commandos had Congress enact legislation outlawing any form of gender.

When you encounter an older form you must fill out that asks: "SEX" you are just supposed to write in "No Thanks."

Seriously, sorry to hear your problems.


Give me some sugar baby
Mar 15, 2012
Funny! The car is our only valuable possession, sold house on contract and rent it back, other property sold on time and SS equal about 35K / year. retirement $ is for travel / fun. Save the pain killer pills.

The problem is, a car that gets regular use is nothing but a (rapidly) depreciating asset. People do put big $$ into cars as part of their retirement strategy. Classic very high value and rare cars that almost never get driven... not mass produced cars that depreciate quickly.

Get the car repaired and get out of it before it degrades in value any more.

I think you've set yourself up to be in a tough spot here as you insist that a gas burner car is unacceptable. There just aren't many options.

Still can't comprehend the concept of doing what sounds like a reverse mortgage, living on a tight social security income and then dumping 1/2 of my retirement income into a vehicle purchase.

Mind boggling.

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