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Warranty for Radiator Leak

Discussion in 'Model S' started by enantiomers, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. enantiomers

    enantiomers Member

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    After one week of driving, my new MS 75D is in the shop. I first found some green fluid on my bumper, and I immediately took the car to the service center. According to the service people, it was Radiator fluid leaking...and it is NOT covered by my warranty since the car could have been hit by a rock on Highway...I never took the car to car wash, nor got hit by anything as far as I can recall. My commute is mainly highway. But should the parts be more reliable and shouldn't the warranty cover it? this is frustrating for a new owner who might have to pay a lot to fix this....anyone else here had similar experience? estimate on the cost of repair if I have to pay....Thanks a lot.
     
  2. MP3Mike

    MP3Mike Active Member

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    Yes @tigntink has had something similar happen. He posted about it here. He said it would cost about $400.

    Now that we have two people reporting something very similar I would be curious what your VINs were to see if maybe there was a bad batch of radiators...
     
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  3. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    In over a million miles of driving, I've never had a radiator leak due to a rock.

    Most of the times when radiators leak, it's due to corrosion or cracked plastic endcaps that crack due to heat and are not even exposed such they could be hit by rocks.

    Where was your leak exactly? If they're not going to cover it, they need to show you the impact from the rock that damaged it.
     
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  4. enantiomers

    enantiomers Member

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    I only saw green fluid on my front bumper and was told that it was coming from the radiator. Since it was Saturday and I went there around 1pm, they only had 3 technicians there. They took the car and would probably work on it on Monday.
     
  5. Nietschy

    Nietschy Member

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    I would expect them to find a loose connection, or something not damaged by your driving at all and you might get it fixed under warranty.
     
  6. tigntink

    tigntink Member

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    Just for clarification - The mechanics said it was a piece of metal that flew into ours and ruptured it. Something to do with a piece from a semi tire? It was just odd because for both my husband and I, we've never had anything like that happen in an ICE either.

    SC said that they see it about 5 times a year. We have a S 90D that we picked up in late August, new.

    The time to get a new radiator in and to get the repair done was exactly 7 days at the Bellevue, WA SC
     
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  7. enantiomers

    enantiomers Member

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    Just got a call from Tesla. Estimate is around $500, and they don't cover it. Only thing they know is the radiator was hit by something on the road. The car is only 1 week new! How is this possible?
     
  8. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    Getting hit by something on the road can happen at pretty much any time. Sucks that it happened to a car so new, but it could have happened just as easily to anyone else here who has had theirs longer.

    That said, you should absolutely either ask for photos of the damage or to be given the damaged parts so you can verify what they're saying yourself.

    Side question: I was under the impression that the louvers in front of the radiators are mostly closed during normal driving. They only open fully when parked and charging, or the car is being pushed hard. Looking online, I couldn't find any pictures of a Model S in motion with the louvers open. Anyone recall if that's the case?
     
  9. enantiomers

    enantiomers Member

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    I guess the radiator was hit from the bottom?! I did ask for photos, but haven't heard back from them.
     
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  10. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    Seems strange. Would have been a pretty serious hit in that case, presumably noticeable to the driver. Like most vehicles these days, the Model S has a plastic shield in the front of the vehicle for aerodynamics. In order to impact the radiator, the debris would have to go through this shield. I don't know about newer vehicles, but on the pre-refresh models Tesla used an unusually thick and textured plastic for that area.

    I'd keep on them about the pictures/parts. Especially if you don't recall any serious impacts.
     
  11. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    In that case, just turn it over to your insurance. This will be handled as a comprehensive(not collision) and it can't raise your rates. What is your deductible? Have you called any other Tesla approved body shops in the area to get quotes on what they would charge to replace the radiator?
     
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  12. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    I've seen this mentioned here before and it rings false to me. This has to vary by state or something then, right? I've twice had cars damaged or items stolen that were handled as comprehensive claims. Both times I had premium hikes at renewal that cited "claims history" as the cause. Two different insurance companies, too. Looking around online, I see that claims history regardless of type of loss has been used as a premium indicator for at least a decade, and that a comprehensive claim increases premiums, on average, 2%. That's a modest amount compared to other types of loss, but not nothing.
     
  13. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Banned

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    Your car could have also been hit by a meteor from Mars. Ask Tesla to show you the impact site. If they can't, it should be covered under warranty. Warranty is not declined for something that "could have" or "might have" happened. It needs to be shown definitively that it was a collision and not a failed component. Don't accept any less.
     
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  14. MorrisonHiker

    MorrisonHiker S 90D 2017.28 c528869

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    I don't think it would be a good idea to make an insurance claim over a $500 repair. Chances are the deductible would be higher than that!

    $500 doesn't seem that high of a price either. I've had to replace the radiator in my CR-V twice in the last 20 years and it cost $350 to $450 each time.
     
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  15. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    Depends on what your deductible is. Folks usually have smaller comprehensive deductibles because it hardly effects the cost of insurance. I've made far larger claims on comprehensive and have not had my rates change as a result. Yes, I saw the study that said rates increased by 2% on average but there's no proof it was related to claims history or that it was related only to comprehensive claims.
     
  16. enantiomers

    enantiomers Member

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    So, here's what happened. A piece of metal went through the louver, and hit the radiator. There goes my $500....the repair is $477 plus tax, and my deductible is $500, so it doesn't make any sense if I decide to file a claim. It'll take longer and probably increase my premium. Thank you everyone for your advice. Hopefully this won't happen to anyone else.
     

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  17. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    Yup. It would only make sense if you had a much smaller deductible like $100.
     
  18. Pollux

    Pollux Active Member

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    In short, it seems you got unlucky. :-( Definitely NOT many reports on this forum of radiator problems.

    I hope the rest of your ownership experience will be more joyful!

    Best regards,
    Alan
     
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  19. tigntink

    tigntink Member

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    I was pretty upset and said the same thing. They gave us a loaner for all 7 days because we've had some pretty bad luck with our car. Pano came cracked, glue stuck all on the back window, a random plastic piece fell off our door, our charge port randomly stopped working and our fog lights had condensation building up in them. We had a pretty long list in our file for a 2 month old car when the radiator thing happened.

    We were early adopters of the nissan leaf and had zero issues ever. I took the rest of the problems in stride - new car manufacturer and all that jazz but the radiator shook me. Nothing like walking out to your car and seeing a giant green puddle and then turning on your car and having it say DRIVE TO THE NEAREST SC IMMEDIATELY.

    Edit: Zero problems since the radiator incident though *knocks on wood*
     
  20. enantiomers

    enantiomers Member

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    I'm so sorry to hear that... I guess we just got unlucky...did you have to pay for all of the repair cost? The funny thing is there was no alert on my system, but luckily I saw that. Otherwise, it could get pretty ugly... Initially, I thought that the louver should be closed, but was told that sometimes it would be open to help ventilation or cooling...Anyway, they gave me a loaner, but I'll try to negotiate with their manager to see if they can offer me a discount on the repair... or something......it's just so frustrating...
     

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