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

What's gone wrong with your Roadster?

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by benji4, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. benji4

    benji4 Roadster 2.5 #0476

    Nov 7, 2010
    Tokyo, Japan
    Last month I took my Roadster in for its first annual maintenance. The car was in great shape, needed only a new windshield wiper. Over the first year of its life a number of minor problems did occur however. Here is list of what I can remember from the first year / 6500 miles:

    1) Passenger side door stopped opening, wiring problem corrected.
    2) Rear reflectors both fell off the car.
    3) Back up monitor stopped functioning, camera needed replacement
    4) Water ingress above driver side door, needed re-sealing.
    5) Spare charger broke, exchanged for new one
    6) Squeeky noises from the suspension, not sure what was done to correct it.

    Not TOO bad I guess, and so far other than a wiper blade and new tires installed last week, the cost of driving the car has been the cost of electricity to power it only. I'm happy I have two years left on the warranty, but a bit scared to imagine what might happen after that! What kinds of things have needed repair or replacement on your Roadster?
  2. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Apr 2, 2010
    Ottawa, Canada
    #2 Doug_G, Apr 18, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
    I'm at almost 2 years and 21,000 km, and so far it's all minor stuff, with one exception.
    • Replaced PEM fans once (prior to upgrade) - the only non-minor item.
    • Bad TPMS sensor.
    • Bad key fob.
    • Part of TESLA logo fell off.
    • Door sills replaced
    • Windshield washer sprayer got plugged.
    • Passenger side airbag cover loose (caused by opening dashboard during the key fob investigation).
    I have a couple of new minor nits:
    • Recently the knob started falling off the vent control.
    • My trunk latches are a little sticky.
    • There's a couple of squeaks I'd like looked at (one caused by opening dashboard)
    • Backup battery wiring recall
    • PEM/motor fan assembly upgrade
    • A/C condenser cowling upgrade
    • Repositioned key fob antenna
    Paid-for upgrades:
    • HID headlights.
    • Extra set of rims and tires.
    • Tire replacement

    I think that's everything.
  3. 1. VMS not responding to touch- R&R
    2. Roll bar carbon fiber cover mis alignment- R&R
    3. Cluster frozen- reset twice then R&R
    4. Powertrain Fault - R&R PEM
    5. Trunk not releasing- R&R latches
    6. Driver Side seat rocks back and forth- R&R Seat Tracks
    7. Glove box cover mis-aligned R&R Cover
    8. Passenger side Heated Seats inop- R&R Heated seat lower cushion
    9. Water intrusion from windshield- R&R windshield seal
    10. Handbrake Engaged message even when disengaged- Adjust handbrake
    11. Crackling noise from Passenger side rear speaker- R&R
    12. Blower Fan sounds like its hitting something - R&R
    13. TPMS Errors- Intermittent unable to reproduce consistently- recalibrate
    14. Water intrusion trunk seal- R&R trunk seal
    15. HU loses track of vehicle- faulty VSS connector R&R
    16. Air Conditioner blows warm air, power limited mode- R&R Comp
    17. Brake pump noisy- R&R Pump
    18. Excessive wind noise from fenders- R&R inner fender liner
    19. Wheel finish peeling- R&R Wheels
    20. Dimmer switch only works in full right position- R&R Switch
    21. When turning sounds like something is rubbing- R&R inner fender liners
    22. Gear illumination intermittent- R&R gear selector panel
    23. Door needs to be lifted to close flush- R&R door latch
    24. Heavy vibration at 65mph- Defective shock
    25. Power Train Error- car will not move- R&R PEM #2
    26. Weather stripping on drivers side fell off- R&R Weatherstripping
    27. Center console shakes - nothing can be done for this I think all of them do that
    28. Climate control does not illuminate when headlights on- R&R

    Even with all its faults I love these cars!
  4. dadaleus

    dadaleus 4GETOIL P85#S70,FdrX,S85D

    Aug 27, 2009
    Solana Beach, California, United States
    Holy toledo smoothoperator!

    My list:
    - Bad TPMS sensors multiple times
    - JVC radio is not connected to speedometer so no navigation (still an issue because they needed more time and I haven't bothered, but I will get it fixed)
    - JVC radio randomly reboots when skipping hard disk songs

    That's it. I guess I could say the car rattles a bit, but I feel like that's just part of having a Roadster.

    I've actually been VERY happy. Two of the three are problems with the lame radio. I basically use it as an amp for my iphone so it's generally not a bother.
  5. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    Northern Virginia
    #5 NigelM, Apr 18, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
    Wow, that's quite a list *smoothoperator*; mine's much shorter.....

    • Water ingress at top of drivers door - window adjustment required
    • Various minor squeaks - 99% fixed when I upgraded to CF dash

    I did have Tesla move the microphone and had the key fob antenna respositioned (is that a design flaw or something which "went wrong"). I changed the interior, trunk and license plate bulbs to LED and installed HID lights. Replaced rear tires after 12 months.

    Edit: Forgot my UMC failure, Tesla over-nighted a new one.
  6. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

    Jun 7, 2011
    version 2.5 8000 miles 10 months old:

    Major repairs:
    high voltage controller failed. Unable to drive.
    PEM/Motor fans failed once before upgrade to newer fan with cowling.

    minor repairs:
    TPMS antenna failed.
    squeaky hard top - Tesla fixed this but 1,000 miles later became squeaky again.
    passenger side door switch would stick on.
    trunk latches sticky. takes several tries to open trunk (still not fixed)
    body panel alignment problems between rear bumper and trunk lid. Tesla worked on this but only partially fixed it.
  7. kgb

    kgb Member

    Sep 22, 2009
    Houston, TX
    #7 kgb, Apr 18, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
    Since Oct 2010:


    UMC failure x 2 (If you can't charge, you can't drive)

    TPMS antenna failure
    Car delivered without lumbar support pads
    Part of TESLA emblem fell off
    Tire rubs passenger front wheel well
    12V battery failure
    Bushing in steering column came loose
    Headlight housing fog
    Wind noise - fix was worthless
    Weak A/C - Ranger said he fixed something, we'll see (it's almost summer again)

    Above, all done under warranty

    Annual service
    Multiple Tire changes - covered under 2.5 tire thread.

    I must admit: My biggest reservation to purchase was the service. The owners with lower VIN's than mine were encouraging me by telling me that although TM had the right to charge for many of the warranty repairs, they hadn't. I didn't like the idea of making such a big purchase and then having to trust the good intentions of a corporation. Ultimately, I couldn't wait any longer. TM has been VERY fair about the repairs. I realize the roadster was their "proof-of-concept" model. I hope this keeps up after they release the Model S. Over all, I am very happy with the vehicle. The electric drivetrain is the best and most reliable part of the car. My only remaining lingering complaint is the wind noise (top up or down) - I've resorted to using the Bose noise canceling headphones when I drive.

    EDIT: It's my understanding that the "sound reduction upgrade" brings the 1.5 more in line with the 2.5. So I feel really sorry for all the 1.5's who haven't yet sprung for the noise reduction.
  8. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

    Oct 23, 2007
    Cupertino, CA
    V1.5, just went in for it's third.

    Y1: 1 sheet in the battery had to be replaced. Windows adjusted for soft top.
    Y2: 1 sheet in the battery had to be replaced, 2 others were replaced as 'marginal'.
    Y3: TPMS control module failed, replaced.

    I had the sound reduction upgrade done last year - the few annoying squeaks were removed (a couple have crept back). Had the headlights and suspension done this year.

    So, not much.
  9. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

    Apr 10, 2011
    Hong Kong
    1 year and ~11,000Km, and I've seen:

    • 2x 400Volt power converter in the front blow
    • 1x PEM fail
    • 2x Fuses in the battery blow (1 caused by a 400Volt converter blow, and 1 caused by the PEM issue) - requires battery swap and a lot of work
    • 1x VMS swap-out as it locked-up when extracting logs to USB
    • 1x Windscreen wiper blade fail (metal bit came out and threatened to scrape the windscreen)
    • 2x TPMS rear antenna replacement
    • 1x Loose wing mirror
    • Minor squeaks and rattles

    Quite a list, and talking to other owners here in HK, it seems I have just been unlucky. Most of the above was in the first six months, and the last six months have been pretty ok. Maybe pu

    That said, the 400volt converter is an issue out here in the high humidity of Hong Kong and that is something Tesla have been working on. I used to plug in and charge immediately upon returning home - now I have it set to charge at 4am to let the front dry out a bit before applying power. But, this is a concern as the summer is coming here and things are about to get very hot and very humid.

    The Tesla service and support team are beyond praise. The last time a 400Volt converter blew, the head Ranger came out to my home late on a Saturday afternoon and had it swapped in 30 minutes or so. They've honored warranty on everything, without a fuss, and have come out to my office/home to deal with the issues - saving me the trip.
  10. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Apr 2, 2010
    Ottawa, Canada
    When my Ranger did the fan cowling upgrade, he actually replaced the entire radiator assembly (Tesla determined that was easiest). After that he had to recharge the coolant loop. It didn't quite work right the first time - something got frozen and the pressure wasn't quite right - but he tried it again and pronounced it 100%.

    Interesting result: ever since my car was brand-new, I would get regular "compressor over temp" messages in the log whenever it was charging. I complained about it at the time but was told it wasn't important. Yet the first day I ever didn't get that message was the day my compressor loop was recharged.

    Weak A/C is a common complaint. Maybe a lot of these cars don't have their cooling loops charged properly...?
  11. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29, M3P 80k

    Mar 24, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    When brand new, all the a/c gas leaked out from a badly crimped connector.

    About 6 months later, had an intermittent problem where the display would sometimes go gaga with error messages, and wouldn't start. When it arrived at the LA service center, everything was fine (although the logs did show all the error messages). Replaced a bunch of computer modules and returned it to me after a week. The problem recurred about a week later, and it was in the shop for nearly a month; engineers flown down to LA to help diagnose the problem. It turned out that a CANBUS wire was out of the retainers and rubbing on the rear axle, and shorting if the car stopped with the axle in just the wrong place. Once finally fixed, the problem hasn't recurred. I came pretty close to invoking the lemon law, but fell back in love as soon as they found the real problem.

    Had the fans replaced once, but the motor kept overheating anyway. It turned out that the connector in the PEM that controls the fans had burned somehow, so even though the logs said the fans were operating, they weren't. New PEM.

    The satellite radio antenna failed and needed to be replaced. How does an antenna fail?

    Some other trivial squawks.
  12. Sparrow

    Sparrow S105/ Roadster 189

    Dec 14, 2010
    Marietta, GA
    Our windhield wiper cleaning fluid only sprays a few inches up so it doesn't even reach the bottom of the windshield wipers. I'll get the ranger to fix that on his next visit.

    Last year the AC temperature sensor in the cabin failed causing erractic AC operation. That is about it.
  13. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

    Jan 8, 2011
    NE Tennessee
    Wow I feel very fortunate with my 1.5 now with 10000 miles. I had to adjust the hood release and my door sills cracked and were replaced without issue. I now have a problem of the lumbar support not working but that can wait for a ranger visit.
  14. Surprising that so many other cars have needed PEM's...Really scared to see what happens once these start to go out of warranty. PEM's are like $12k.
  15. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

    Apr 10, 2011
    Hong Kong
    I don't think the entire PEM went. Just a fuse or component. I hope they will offer repair, rather than replacement with new. Same for the battery.
  16. The tech's are not trained to repair the PEM (at least where I live), and I highly doubt they will send it back to Tesla for repair then reinstall...probably easier for them to replace it than repair it (but more expensive for us).
  17. Botbldr45

    Botbldr45 Member

    Oct 11, 2011
    Sedona, Az
    Old #992 has 17500 miles with short list:

    1) backup camera bad - replaced immediately by TM
    2) trunk latch kept coming open - fixed with minor adjustment by TM that left them a bit sticky ..... Need too push button more than once..... Good trade off!
    3) Stereo - with volume up while traveling top down it likes to increase volume on its own about the db level of the mute button!! Not too annoying since it goes back down after a chorus or two. Never happened with lower volumes....... Go figure.
    4) Matt from TM changed the key fob antenna for me without my asking ..... Good change

    Upgraded headlights ... Awesome!
    Changed to LED lights on license plate, trunk, cabin ...... Recommend that
    Bought new tires and rims for winter .... Changed ride a bit but great traction on mud, ice and that stupid road salt.

    One other curious thing ..... " check right headlight bulb" warning came on once or twice after unlocking car at night. .... So I did and it was working. Guess I'll mention it at next service call.

    That's it far so good!
    Some owners complain about road noise ....... Drive an Audi TT with top down ....that's roar noise!!!
  18. Tesla 940

    Tesla 940 Member

    Nov 2, 2011
    Long Beach, CA & Taos, NM
    Nearly 2 years and ~9k miles:

    Charger door lid was tight and needed adjustment.
    Headlights were fogging - TM opened, dried them out and resealed. Nearly perfect now.
    Brake light sporatically did not work - TM replaced both
    Stereo volume increases/decreases for unknown reason.

    Other than that nothing - but I am concerned about the number and variety of high cost problems (battery, PEM, etc) that others have experienced.
  19. augkuo

    augkuo Member

    Apr 24, 2011
    I was in the Menlo Park service center so often that the service guys would say "oh no not again!" ;) The car has had two annual
    services, 2 rear tire changes (on third set now) and ~20k miles after driving it for about a year.

    1. TPMS failure x3
    2. brake sensor cable came loose
    3. rear dampers/shocks replaced
    4. AC problem - excessive oil in system
    5. cup holder wouldn't fully extend (blocked by seat)
    6. AC drain tube came loose
    7. passenger seat loose
    8. trunk leaked water
    9. Temperature control knob fell off
    10. 12V aux battery died
    11. parts of TESLA logo on trunk fell off

    1. Sound deadending
    2. HID lights

    My only costs were for the upgrades, annual service, tires, electricity and public transport tickets. All the problems were fixed under warranty and I got the car cleaned each time as well. I haven't been back since January so now my car is totally filthy ;)
  20. augkuo

    augkuo Member

    Apr 24, 2011
    This list is an aggregate of the problems of all three of your roadsters right? Was it spread equally across each one or one had a lot more problems than another?



Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.