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The dreaded...clunk....

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Alysashley79, Apr 26, 2014.

  1. Alysashley79

    Alysashley79 Member

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    I started hearing a slight clunk at low speeds about a month ago. I mentioned it to a service guy to see if it was ok when he was giving me a ride to enterprise back in March and he assured me it was fine. Then my husband started hearing it and last night our car was limiting how fast we could go. It wouldn't let us go faster than 90 and kept giving us a line on the kWh.

    we had planned to go to a sounders (soccer) game downtown and tesla said we could park in their lot so we asked if they'd take it for a spin and let us know if everything was ok. After the game we got back and we were told that our inverter is going to need to be replaced and maybe some other things. The whole underside including a tire was off. We only have 13,000 miles on our 6 month old car.....I LOVE my car don't get me wrong but now I'm a little worried that such a major part has failed so early on. And am a bit skeptical of that one service place now because he let me walk away letting me think things were fine and they weren't.

    How many others have had their drive units replaced? We have a P85

    On a positive side. The seattle SC has loaner cars!!!
     
  2. Electricfan

    Electricfan Member

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    Wow that's awesome that without an appointment Tesla service not only looked at it but started fixing it! Cool!

    Look out, though. You're about to be a victim of "blame the victim", a popular sport on this forum. You drove too hard, too fast, too often, too you-name-it, you must have caused it.

    Thanks for posting and keep us updated on the outcome. Tesla owners want to know!
     
  3. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    There's a thread on this already. It has "Poll" in the title.
     
  4. Bardlebee

    Bardlebee Member

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    I haven't seen this blame the victim game you speak of on this forum. At least not often. I feel the same as the original poster here I would be skeptical too if they said not to worry and then something happened. The good thing though is that they have to replace the inverter, okay well that is something that they can do. I think I see your stance on this however, like "If the inverter is bad this early, what else can go wrong"? It is my thought though and understanding is that there isn't a whole lot extra that could go wrong if you compare it with an ICE. On a ICE car your oil could start leaking and then you wonder what 1000 other parts could be going bad too?! In this case there are way fewer parts so hopefully that puts your mind at ease.

    I'm sure if you let the service center know too that you were told not to worry about it ahead of time they will take proper precaution to avoid such assumption in the future. One can only hope anyway.
     
  5. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    #5 brianman, Apr 26, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
    (a) This sounds reasonable.
    (b) This sounds concerning.
    (c) Drawing the conclusion that service "led you astray" when you originally reported (a) but then changed their opinion when you now report (b) seems unfair (to me). The original behavior does sound fairly benign while the latter behavior is perhaps an evolved state of the original problem, but definitely different in severity.

    Elaborating on (c)...

    Consider this example:
    • Owner: My tires have 2,000 miles on them. Traction control kicks in briefly when I floor it while turning on wet pavement.
    • Tesla: That's not unusual. No reason to be concerned.
      ...
    • Owner: My tires have 20,000 miles on them. Traction control kicks in constantly when I press the accelerator even slightly on wet pavement going in a straight line.
    • Tesla: You're probably due for tire replacement (or worse if your tires are somehow not worn after another 18,000 miles).


    In the original instance Tesla "let the owner walk away thinking things were fine" ... and they were. When time passes and the scenario changes, it's totally reasonable to form a different opinion especially when different symptoms start to present themselves.
     
  6. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    +1

    I've read a lot of posts on this forum and I don't recall anyone every saying someone drove "too hard, too fast, too often" in response to a problem. That seems silly. But maybe you can point me to the posts where this 'popular sport' keeps occurring.
     
  7. William13

    William13 Member

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    The service was the same as all service. Originally the problem was too minor to diagnose, later it progressed and was diagnosed. Tesla fixes the entire drive train as a unit. One day this drive train will be on someone else's S after it is fixed in the factory. This model of repair will need to be optimized when we are off warranty coverage. How will we pay for this. Will it cost $10,000 for the motor and inverter? Will we pay $1,000 for the removal and reinstall with a remanufactured unit?

    I hope that Tesla is trying to figure this out. As I have a high mileage, early model protection in the form of the extended warranty was purchased.
     
  8. Alysashley79

    Alysashley79 Member

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    Brian

    thanks for putting this into perspective for me

    like I said I LOVE my car I've sold probably 5 or 6 to friends and have even gone to a community college and spoken to students about the tesla. I believe in huge company and will never drive any other car again. Just got a bit worried.
     
  9. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    Contrary to what others may say here, Tesla is having quality issues with their drive unit/inverter assembly that sits on the rear axel. I'm now on my 2nd drive unit (fingers crossed) at 8,000 miles, had my first one replaced at 500 miles. The car was delivered with a noisy motor that should have been easily caught at the factory. Within a few thousand miles of the first unit being replaced, the noise returned and the drive unit had to be replaced a 2nd time - this time with an updated motor mount that is supposed to alleviate the issue.

    I don't like the fact that service told you that the clunking noise you described to them was "normal". A clunking noise is not normal under any circumstances. My car never makes that noise in any situation, with either of the drive inverters that I've had. The proper response from service should have been to investigate further. Clunking noises have been traced to bad traction batteries and faulty drive units, both of which can be serious issues if they fail while you are driving. You can end up stranded.

    I don't want to be an alarmist, since your issue is being addressed, but I do wish your service advisor took your concern more seriously.
     
  10. Electricfan

    Electricfan Member

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    Good info AmpedRealtor! Thanks. No problems with mine that I know of, but thinking about it I wouldn't know what a "bad" sound was. All my experience is with ICE vehicles. To me that's why this forum is extremely important - we need to hear each other's stories, more than any other group of owners has ever needed it.
     
  11. Alysashley79

    Alysashley79 Member

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    I know there's a poll out there already but I'm sort of wondering out of all the drive units that have been malfunctioning. How many of them are P units and how many of them are regular drive units....maybe I'll start a new poll to see about that. Would be interesting to know.

    I think what I've learned from this is that I need to trust my gut. If I feel like something's not quite right to push the issue and have them take a look. The service team has always been fantastic to us and I really don't want to bash them, because normally they have been quite proactive in fixing the small things. I'm going to look at tes from Brian's standpoint, but will likely be going to the seattle SC moving forward as I did like the. Fact that I was just planning to park my car there and asked if they could take it for a spin and listen to the noise and even said I knew they wouldn't be able to do anything with it because. I knew they were booked solid for the day and would bring the car back and they said they wouldn't let me leave with the car because it wasn't safe to drive it and...it was all torn apart in the the back so not drivable.
     
  12. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

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  13. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Always a good idea. If your gut is unsettled, it affects your overall experience in multiple ways. Don't be afraid to tell Tesla service point blank "I may be a little paranoid about ___ but it's affecting my confidence with and enjoyment of the car. Can you please give it another look with specific attention to ___ and ___ under ___ conditions?" Tesla service employees have shown themselves (to me at least) to be sympathetic and generally human, taking such concerns seriously.
     

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