TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC
Start a Discussionhttps://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/tags/

TPMS Continues to fail. The "New" customer service is non-existent.

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by scotty2541, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. scotty2541

    scotty2541 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2014
    Messages:
    160
    Location:
    Arlington, TX
    As many have read, my TPMS continues to self-sabotage. While there is some question as to whether this is intentional to force you to go back and pay Tesla to fix it, or it's just garbage that they won't fix or even acknowledge, one thing remains constant. Their customer service still is horrible. I don't have too many complaints about the service center. They can only do what the people in California tell them. It's California that is ignoring these things.

    Apparently, if you ignore your customer's letters and issues, you get promoted. At least that is what appears to have happened in the case of Jon McNeil...
    Tesla Is Taking a Risky New Approach to Customer Service

    I emailed him and got a completely insufficient reply, promising followups on the long list of complaints. Waiting for those promised "follow-ups" got a little old, so I wrote letters. They were completely ignored. So much for the promise of getting results by "escalating" issues. No wonder this is happening:
    Why this Tesla fan thinks the company is losing its way

    But this person is not me. I'm not gullible enough to continue to buy more cars when they ignore my issues on the existing one.

    (And of course, my account on the Tesla site is still broken. My requests to get it fixed are also ignored... I guess they really don't want to hear from me)

    I used to be a big advocate. I can point to several broadcast news segments with me talking about how great the car is. I even had to school one of their own sales people at a store grand opening, because he couldn't list 1/4th of the advantages of this car (He even looked at me in awe, and said "I need to remember that" )

    Not any more. I have ignored all those requests to attend EV events, because I don't have anything good to say about the customer service. But sitting silently, waiting to "hopefully" get a reply....any kind of reply... is now getting too old. I am ready to start attending those EV events, but in this case just to tell people how bad Tesla is on their customer service front. Many friends, acquaintances, and co-workers have already see it first hand. And I tell them I'm just waiting for Honda, Toyota, BMW, etc... to enter the EV market with real quality parts and customer service.

    This is what they have created.

    What triggered me? Just today, again, 3 months after service reprogrammed my TPMS antennas, they self sabotaged again. And the service center reprogrammed the antennas because they self sabotaged 2 months earlier after getting new tires. I was able to diagnose and reprogram them again. But what about those people who don't have the knowledge or resources? They are left out in the cold.

    All I'd really like is the ability to replace it with something that will last longer than 2-12 months before self destructing, or provide a tech ref manual so I can engineer my own solution. I wouldn't get rich building and selling a replacement, but from the number of people who have PM'd or replied to my posts, and have to believe there are many people who would also want a quality replacement.

    I post this to see how many other Roadster owners are feeling equally abandoned. Or how many others have gotten acceptable responses. But please, don't try to provide excuses. I can't imagine a reason for just ignoring.

    -Scotty
     
    • Informative x 2
  2. gregd

    gregd Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Messages:
    1,357
    Location:
    CM98
    Really sorry to hear about your experience with both the TPMS system and Tesla service in general. My own experience has been very different on both regards. The TPMS parts used in the 2.x cars are, as many have experienced, clearly sub-standard, and my own were failing some two years ago. After the second failure, the local SC in Rocklin volunteered to replace everything (tire sensors, at least; can't recall about the antennas), and the car has been trouble free since.

    One thing is clear, that the service experience is very dependent on the individual technicians and the local service management. It's also a matter of our own follow-up on things that aren't satisfactory, and I don't believe that's a unique situation to Tesla, or even automobiles. Seeing some odd things in the car's log, I brought this to the attention of the SC folks. Didn't like the answer (drive train replacement), and decided to wait. More logs, different techs. Eventually, one of them found that the PEM fan had been wired incorrectly (my guess, when the upgrade was performed). Fixed. Log messages are gone, and the PEM (and owner) is running a lot cooler too.

    So to your situation, I don't expect that your TPMS components, as crappy as they are, are truly experiencing self-sabotage on their own. Something external is causing it, and the SC has clearly not gotten to root cause. In everything we do, we need to be our own advocates. With the doctors, get a second opinion. With your car, use your engineering expertise to lay out the facts and symptoms, and keep after them for a true root cause. Your car is not typical. Why?
     
    • Helpful x 1
  3. scottm

    scottm Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,990
    Location:
    Canada
    Sounds like quality / defective senders or maybe weak batteries... Forget the reprogramming... since you're looking for a solution yourself, have you replaced them?

    TPMS should be easy maintenance item. I bought a second set of senders for my winter tire set.
    I have first generation model S, these got Baolong brand.
    2012-2014 Tesla Model S TPMS sensor | Bao Long 433MHz | TPMSDirect

    You can similarly get newer generation car senders from aftermarket tire places.

    Some guys have converted from first gen to second gen TMPS system by retro-fitting the receiver module. The software in the car will recognize either.. the newer gen will show individual tire pressures. Old gen shows no pressures and just a pop-up when at least one corner is out-of-range (low).

    When new sender/s are installed the car should auto-recognizes missing signals and lets you know with a pop-up. At which point you can do a reset yourself. Or you can pro-actively reset / relearn TPMS system when changing over tires, or installing a new sender... there's an option on the console to do that.

    +1 for Tesla for at least letting the driver do a TPMS reset, and not having to bring it to a shop and do it for you.

    Senders have batteries in them and will quit working after time, but I don't know how long they're supposed to last.. should be years. I think the senders sleep in extremely low power mode when the tires are not revolving. There is no battery replacement possible (sealed units) so whole replacement is required.

    Try replacing them.. if your car is still under warranty and these are your factory wheel set, take the bill down to your Tesla service and ask them to pay it.
     
  4. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    Messages:
    3,998
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    This is a roadster thread, btw. I think your comments are about Model S?
     
    • Like x 1
  5. scottm

    scottm Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,990
    Location:
    Canada
    Doh, oops! Sorry guys.. Roadster.. got it.

    Forget my comments on self-recognizing new senders... I have no idea how Roadster works, or if you have to take it in to get new ones recognized the TPMS head unit. That would be a pain if it kept forgetting them and you had to take the car in to relearn it.
     
  6. scotty2541

    scotty2541 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2014
    Messages:
    160
    Location:
    Arlington, TX
    Gregd, as you saw in my other posts,
    That TPMS issue, summarized
    I have gone as far into the cause as I can. And no one from the company replies. I can't get any more details on the internals of the units, and driving with my laptop tethered to the car collecting data for 2-3 months waiting for the next self destruction event isn't really practical. A wired incorrectly fan is not the same as a software defect that erases EEPROM or FLASH memory in a micro-controller. It's random, unpredictable, and it's not something I would expect someone at a service center to be able to diagnose. They are a "pull and replace" operation.

    There are only three things to replace: Two Antennas and the main unit. And they have all been replaced once, or even twice in the case of antennas. I don't even think the VDM/CAN bus is capable or reprogramming the tire addresses, the OBD connector has the pin for programming the tire addresses, and nothing is attached to it when they self destruct.

    If it is the VDM/CAN bus destroying the addresses, I doubt Tesla will give me the source code to troubleshoot it.

    Anyway, after all of them have already been replaced, in warranty, on the next failure, I was told to pay for all four transmitters. Of course, that was out of warranty by then. Next, 13 months later, stuff is dying again. Oh look, go buy another antenna... I don't feel like paying to have these things replaced again. And again. And again. Is the service center going to tell me "Yeah, the controller was replaced once, so we will do it again at no charge"?? I doubt it. And it's a gamble if it fixes the problem or not. I'm not gambling my money away on these parts, especially if these parts are so bad, there is zero chance of getting reliable ones.

    My most recent failure were the corruption of BOTH antennas. Last year they sold me a new rear antenna (although I believe it was used, it was filthy). In this case, they might have said they would cover the rear, but they would have made my buy a new one from the front. In reality, perhaps neither are bad. But the service center is not trained to diagnose LIN bus data communication. So I need to go high up the food chain.

    "Keep after them" ?? They don't answer me, and disabled my web account. I've seem to have run out of ways to "keep after them".
    "My car it not typical" ? Debatable, since so many others have said they have also TPMS issues.

    Maybe it is the rear antenna, since it is failing every 2-3 months since I put that one in. Prior to that, it failed every 15 months or so. either way, it's difficult to prove, when it's the front antenna that is losing it's memory too.

    By the way, I now have a connector accessible on the back of my Roadster allowing me to plug into the LIN bus and reprogram the antenna units myself. It sure beats having to jack up the car and take off the under body shield every few months. Or scheduling a week or more out to take half a day off in order to get into the service center and pay them to do it.

    And don't get me started on what happens when they put me in a loaner...

    -Scotty
     
    • Informative x 1
  7. gregd

    gregd Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Messages:
    1,357
    Location:
    CM98
    Scotty, I'm not trying to argue with you. There's something very wrong with your car, and the service guys aren't doing what they should be dong to resolve it.

    My own experience with the SC here is that they are the customer's advocate with the factory, and have worked to get the problems I experienced resolved. Is there another SC that you can work with? Or, perhaps go up the chain not about your specific problem, but rather about how you have been treated? I think that could be a more sensitive "nerve" to stimulate, if done respectfully.

    As for the TPMS hardware itself, the envelope I scribbled on still tells me that your car is an anomaly. We've got, round numbers, about a thousand 2.x cars rolling around North America, and if the average replacement period dropped anywhere close to what you are experiencing, it would certainly get noticed on a wide scale. I'm not saying the hardware is robust, but the vast majority of them seem to retain their sanity many times longer. You've done an amazing analysis of the failure mode. When you do get their attention, hopefully their resolution to how you have been treated is to get that data to someone who can do something about it.

    Fingers crossed...
     
    • Like x 2
  8. scotty2541

    scotty2541 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2014
    Messages:
    160
    Location:
    Arlington, TX
    Gred,
    I know you are not trying to argue.

    There is no other service center close to me, in the Dallas area. I'm not trying to bash the SC, however, I don't think it's within their capability to diagnose it this error. (I don't think they would even be able to see the corrupted address as I have decoded, they could only plug their handheld device in, and reprogram it... which they would have to do every 2-4 months depending on how long it takes to get in to see them after the failure. And I believe there is a charge for that. So what good would that do?)

    The first two times it failed after the new antenna last December, I called for service. First, they never called me back. Ever. Made me VERY pissed off. So I tried reprogramming it myself. The next time, I didn't want to wait three weeks, so I did it myself again. That was one of the issues I complained to Jon McNeil about. Now it's gotten down to about one week.

    I may have painted myself into a corner... in this way:
    After having routine failures since I purchased the car, like every 18 months, and once it was out of warranty I was now paying for those failures myself. And I realized I was now staring down the nose of continuing to pay these things over and over and over out of my pocket.

    My reaction was "I am not paying $600 or $1200 every 12-18 months to Tesla to replace this crap with more crap." So a year ago, I bought the antenna which they told me had failed, installed it myself (saving about $300 in labor) and commenced to diagnose it myself. You have seen the results of that endeavor, and thanks for the "plug" on the amazing job diagnosing it. (My conclusion: They sold me unnecessary part... I shouldn't have had to buy that antenna, it just needed to be reprogrammed)

    Now the failures have accelerated from a little over a year to a little over 2 months. And I'm dealing with a part that I installed myself. So I anticipate the response of "You've been messing with it yourself, we can't be held responsible" (on a part they had to order, and when they handed it to me, it looked used).

    So, when I say I'm afraid I've painted myself in a corner, it's because I expect to be told to cough up something like $2500 to replace everything, and start this process over from the beginning, and keep your hands off of it. And if it lasts more than 12 months, it's out of warranty and you get to pay again.

    By the way, every time I got a "TMPS System Failure", to the user (aka me) it's just that: A system failure. But every time I said "You already fixed it" their reply was "No, that was the controller, this is an antenna" or "That was the antenna, this is a wheel sensor", or "That was the front antenna, this is the rear antenna", or "That was a different wheel sensor". Well to the user, it's "The TPMS System", stop trying to parse out individual pieces of it. This makes me wonder how many earlier failures were simply the need to reprogram the antenna addresses. (and aren't wheel sensors supposed to last more than three years anyway?)

    Well, as you say, I need to "get their attention", or go "up the chain". That's what this, and many other social media posts are trying to do. Because I did that already with emails and letters, they were ignored. It's the only "chain" I have left.

    If someone at Tesla thought "He'll eventually calm down and go away", they are wrong. Because I have a reminder alarm to tell me to make noise again. Ironically, that reminder alarm is that code 409 TPMS failure that the car suffers from every few months.

    I did get a message late yesterday... But it was from the SC. Yes, that would be the place that said all they can do is replace the parts with the same parts. When someone says what you are saying : "Lets find the problem and solve it", I'll be more optimistic. As you have said, be a advocate for the customer, rather than a "company man" who was given the assignment of saying "Just bring it in so we can fix it again, blaming a different part this time". In any case, I did reply to that message with a detailed description, such as the conversations we are having here, and told him he's free to call me at anytime. Lets see what happens.

    -Scotty
     
    • Informative x 1
  9. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    Messages:
    13,617
    Location:
    San Mateo, CA
    #9 ecarfan, Oct 12, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
    @scotty2541 I am sorry to hear about your problems. As you clearly are aware, the TPMS in the 2.0/2.5 cars sometimes have problems, but your case seems to be an extreme one as @gregd correctly pointed out. However...
    There is no "question" in that regard, your assertion that Tesla is deliberately remotely breaking your TPMS system just so they can make money fixing it is ludicrous and you offer no evidence for that, only a vague "while there is some question" statement. Making such inflammatory accusations does not help your case.

    Yes, Tesla should be able to fix your TPMS such that it doesn't fail so often. But your car is long out of warranty and the TPMS system is a convenience and not a critical component of the vehicle. I suggest you buy a tire pressure gauge: consider it a "stress relief device". Life is too short to to get so upset about such a small thing. Our Roadsters are getting to be "old" cars, and they are going to become increasingly difficult to maintain.

    I'm sure you disagree with my point of view. So we can agree to disagree.

    Note: Yes, my Roadster is a 1.5 which has a different and more reliable TPMS system. But in the future, it if stopped working, I might not bother to pay to fix it. The first 40 years of my driving experience I had no TPMS in my cars. Somehow I got by without it...
     
    • Helpful x 1
  10. Sparrow

    Sparrow S105/ Roadster 189

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Messages:
    596
    Location:
    Marietta, GA
    On the other hand it is better not to have one at all than to have a broken one that constantly reminds you it is broken. If I remember correctly you also have to clear the error message away every time you start the Roadster so that your VDS is useable. Very annoying and I can understand that frustration.
     
    • Like x 1
  11. scotty2541

    scotty2541 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2014
    Messages:
    160
    Location:
    Arlington, TX
    EcarFan,

    I never said it was deliberately breaking it by remote control. My implication is that the system, on it's own, is either so bad that it breaks that often, or has some defect to intentionally cause it to fail, forcing the user to go get service.

    Politely emailing and writing to them has appeared to not help my case either. Maybe a little inflammatory statements will garner some attention instead. Even if it's negative attention, at least it's some kind of attention ("Squeaky wheel" to use an automotive analogy LOL! )

    Got one. :) I've known how to use one for my 39.5 years of driving. Almost caught up to you :)
    But the VDM alarms are annoying as heck... No way to disable them either.

    Not entirely. I think you disagree with my desire to get some attention on this. I am just continuing my crusade of trying to get it recognized and hopefully addressed.

    Yeah, the cars are getting old. As is my Acura, which I also had to have the TMPS system repaired. But that was once in the 10 years, 140,000 miles. Tesla is every 18 months or less, and only 45,000 miles (except mine which is now every 2-3 months). That's a big difference, don't you agree?

    What I find interesting is this:
    I've had American built cars, and they have all had things die within a few 1000 miles of warranty. Ignition coils, door locks, A/C systems, washer pumps, differential gearboxes... And amazingly diverse range of things failing. And all were suspiciously close to the warranty expiring. We all know it as "planned obsolescence". What is fascinating to me is that your 1.5 works fine... great car, rock solid... but when (I heard this on some profile of the company on some news show year ago) Tesla hired a bunch of American car company engineers who had been laid off, suddenly the model 2.x starts behaving with that same "planned obsolescence" of inferior parts that I had to endure back in the 80's and early 90's. Which I why I will not buy a "Big Three" American car company product ever again.

    And if you doubt that there is planned obsolescence in the sale of those replacement parts by the buy three auto makers, then we *really* do disagree. I've had peeks into the replacement parts infrastructure.

    Anyway, it's my suspicion that they adopted the "cheap crap - sell more replacement parts" business model from those American automaker guys (whether they knew they were getting that when they hired American car company engineers or not), more than my suspicion that they intentionally have it self sabotage. but either way, the net result is the same.

    But, it's all just conjecture anyway :)

    Thanks.

    -Scotty
     
  12. strider

    strider Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    3,153
    Location:
    NE Oklahoma
    Well, I have had nothing but TPMS problems in my 2.5. I've also had the Burlingame SC (who has one of the original Roadster techs from 2009 working there and are close to the factory so should have the best available info) look at it and they cannot figure it out. They swear everything checks out and have swapped antennas, sensors, you name it yet after driving for 20 minutes I get an alarm. The only blessing in my case is that I was never charged any money, just a lot of time wasted.

    I refuse to throw good money after bad and I am quite skilled at using a tire gauge but I still have to listen to that horrible beeping. Never mind that the TPMS alert is the same as the alert that the car is about to explode so it's quite startling when you're driving.

    As they say, don't assume malice when incompetence will suffice. There are many places where they cost-reduced the 2.5's but made improvements in other places (built in GPS/cellular connectivity, sound insulation, infotainment, better looks :p , etc). Why they would bother w/ a new TPMS system for such a low volume car is beyond me but it is what it is.

    More and more we will be left on our own to keep these cars on the road. That's just how it is. Tesla must keep Wall Street happy or they would be dead in 6 months (at the rate they're burning cash) so they have to play Wall Street's games. This means they only care about building and shipping new cars. I do believe that in the future when the company is on more stable financial footing, is staffed appropriately, and finds a rhythm with their operations that they will circle back around and devote some engineering time to us (I recently read where Porsche is now making new parts for their older models so there is some precedent). We've all heard tales of the other 3.0 mods that were developed but never completed. They're sitting on a shelf somewhere, probably in Palo Alto, waiting.

    Until then I'm hoping we can figure out some workarounds using the new OVMS since it'll have more capability to read/write to the various buses in the car and hopefully we can spoof the TPMS into submission.

    One other whacky idea.... does anyone know if the VMS code base is common across the various models like it is for Model S? If so, that would mean that the 2.5's have the code to recognize the older TPMS units. I wonder if we sourced an older unit from a crashed 1.5/2.0 if it could be plugged into a 2.5 and have it work?
     
  13. scotty2541

    scotty2541 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2014
    Messages:
    160
    Location:
    Arlington, TX
    Yes, exactly. If Tesla doesn't want to support, then if would share some specs, I would work on alternatives to keep the car not spitting out system alarms.

    That includes seeing if/how we could incorporate the older unit (which is the same as the newer model S...?) into a Ver 2.x. If the CAN messages are the same, we should be able to plug it in, if they aren't, I would develop an MCU that would do some translation.
     
    • Like x 2
  14. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    2,581
    Location:
    NE Tennessee
    Yes and the annoying Orange FAULT message that remains lit until it is fixed. I would be OK if I could turn it off. As you say testing tire pressure is not hard.
     
    • Like x 1
  15. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2014
    Messages:
    399
    Location:
    SW Florida
    The TPMS can be disabled as it is in the Euro cars, but you need Teslas software to do it. It is required equipment by the Feds, so we are out of luck. Someone overseas previously posted a pic of a screenshot using Tesla's tool where it can be turned off, but I can't seem to find it.

    I wonder if someone installed one of those $50 aftermarket TPMS systems (thats correct-$50 for the ENTIRE system-made in China just like the original), Tesla would accept that as satisfying the federal requirement, and disable the OE system. Someone friendly with their service center want to inquire about that?

    Or just get everyone to file a complaint.
    2.x TPMS - file your complaint and lets get it recalled.
     
  16. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    Messages:
    3,998
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    I think the situation in USA is that you can't disable a working TPMS, but if it is broken already...
     
  17. supersnoop

    supersnoop Tesla Roadster #334

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Messages:
    972
    Location:
    Pflugerville
    Do you have any aftermarket electronics installed in the car?
     
  18. scottm

    scottm Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,990
    Location:
    Canada
    #18 scottm, Oct 12, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
    Me again, the model S dude who posted into this thread wrongly above.

    I've been reading along... and I work with electronics and would like to toss in an idea. Because this smells like EEPROM corruption and I've got some experience with that in automotive products.

    Supplying low voltage to the TPMS head unit, when in the OFF state, might be massaging its brains (causing it to forget the tire sender addresses). And this is very unpredictable as to if/when it might strike but the presence of low voltage within the unit is a clue. If the unit is only supposed to be fully powered (+12v or whatever) when the car is running but is somehow getting some very low voltage instead of zero volts when the car is off, it could corrupt EEPROM while in the off state. I've seen this happen overnight. It takes a while change EEPROM bits with voltage strays.

    Get a meter that is sensitive in the 0 to 2 volt range and probe not only the supply line to the TPMS head unit, but also all other lines going into the unit when the car is turn off. This includes bus and data lines or any I/O. It's typically voltages leaking in through I/O lines while the MPU is de-powered is what causes internal EEPROM to get goofy. What's really tough on EEPROM is not just a too-low constant DC voltage but something with a nice little ripple to it.. And it may be rippling about zero so a DC meter will show zero. Flip your meter to A/C and look something there too, or use a scope.. Improperly terminated data lines going into the unit can hit the EEPROM like A/C when signaling is going on.

    Similarly if ground is not ground but floating by one diode drop so that it is really +/- 0.7 volts instead of ground this can cause EEPROM to get goofy while "powered off". Clean the grounds and maybe add an extra ground line that runs directly to the +12v battery or whatever is sourcing the power to the unit.

    In the most bizarre cases, if you disconnect the power and the ground to the unit, but leave just the data / I/O lines connected, that can be enough to fnark up the EEPROM too. One data line will act as ground as another data line will carry low voltage into the unit with its signaling.

    Why is this happening on your car but few others? If you've hooked up any aftermarket electronic stuff, and I'm talking about even simple stuff like LED signal bulbs or a relay or ... anything. Try probing all the TPMS head unit lines with your stuff connected and then disconnected to see if there's a difference. Maybe other cars having same issue all have a similar option or version of some module elsewhere in the car that comes from the factory, and others don't, so you're the lucky ones. And explains why changing the TPMS units again and again is not the answer if something elsewhere is causing leakage into it.

    I'm assuming you've tried 4 x new senders somewhere along the line, or at least tested them to rule out weak batteries there.

    Just trying to be helpful, because I feel you. And this would drive me mad too.
     
    • Informative x 2
  19. scotty2541

    scotty2541 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2014
    Messages:
    160
    Location:
    Arlington, TX
    I replaced the Alpine with a Kenwood, based on a thread in this forum, about 4 years ago. That was done in the middle of all these TPMS failures. Their frequency didn't change.
    And the radio has no connection to the CAN or LIN bus anyway.
     
  20. scottm

    scottm Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,990
    Location:
    Canada
    Anybody got a schematic of the TPMS part of the car?
     

Share This Page