Charging issue on 1 month old model 3 ~1,000miles

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Joined
Jun 11, 2018
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14
Location
Los Angeles
Tesla Owner
Model 3
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#1
Hello all,

First time Tesla owner here and a proud owner of a brand new model 3. I had my first “major issue” with car yesterday. After a 90% charge over night, I drove the car for the first time that day. And after about 1 minute of driving, 2 notifications popped up. One says “unable to charge” and second says “ reduced power”. I noticed 2 things that’s different about car immediately: 1. There is no regenerative braking (I had the setting on). 2. The grey line underneath the speedometer used to indicate whether you are charging (thru regenerative braking) or pulling power from battery changed - left half became dotted line and the right most 20% of the right half became dotted as well. It basics meant that you don’t have the ability to charge or use the top of you power range.
Diagnostics: I went home plugged in my 30 amp 240v charger, not charging either. Tried restarting the computer (hold the two buttons on steering wheel), same messages after restarting. Called Tesla and they did remote diagnosis, saw the same messages I saw in the car. Walked me thru the step to restart the car( which is different from restarting the computer), no use. Ask me to bring the car in a service center.

So now the car is being looked at by the service center. Without looking at the car, the service advisor said it might be a software issue rather than hardware. But they really don’t know until Monday when they look at the car. I just wanted to post it here to see if anyone has experienced similar issues. I will report back once they figure out the issue.
 

Brokedoc

Kick-Gas Contributor
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May 28, 2017
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#2
Hello all,

First time Tesla owner here and a proud owner of a brand new model 3. I had my first “major issue” with car yesterday. After a 90% charge over night, I drove the car for the first time that day. And after about 1 minute of driving, 2 notifications popped up. One says “unable to charge” and second says “ reduced power”. I noticed 2 things that’s different about car immediately: 1. There is no regenerative braking (I had the setting on). 2. The grey line underneath the speedometer used to indicate whether you are charging (thru regenerative braking) or pulling power from battery changed - left half became dotted line and the right most 20% of the right half became dotted as well. It basics meant that you don’t have the ability to charge or use the top of you power range.
Diagnostics: I went home plugged in my 30 amp 240v charger, not charging either. Tried restarting the computer (hold the two buttons on steering wheel), same messages after restarting. Called Tesla and they did remote diagnosis, saw the same messages I saw in the car. Walked me thru the step to restart the car( which is different from restarting the computer), no use. Ask me to bring the car in a service center.

So now the car is being looked at by the service center. Without looking at the car, the service advisor said it might be a software issue rather than hardware. But they really don’t know until Monday when they look at the car. I just wanted to post it here to see if anyone has experienced similar issues. I will report back once they figure out the issue.
Welcome to the Tesla family! Sorry to hear about your issue. What version firmware do you have installed? If it turns out to be a software issue, it may appear with others on the same version.

It's encouraging that the remote diagnosis presumably didn't find any hardware fault codes in the logs. Hopefully the SvC can update the firmware and have your car back to you tomorrow. Keep us updated.
 

garsh

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Apr 4, 2016
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Pittsburgh PA
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#3
Thanks for taking the time to write up that post, @Martins.

This "unable to charge" issue seems to be somewhat common. If you're able to get a detailed explanation of the resolution from someone at the service center, please let us know. It's always good to have more information about these common problems so that others will know how to handle them quickly and correctly in the future.
 
Joined
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#4
Folks, I got a call from Tesla service center just now. The update is the car NEEDS A NEW BATTERY!!!:(:mad: A one month old 1000 mile car! Can you believe it! They said something is going on with battery that causes it not to take a charge. They don't know what it is. The new battery is coming in Weds. I will let you all know the final outcome then. For now I will be driving the Model S 75 loaner for a few more days.
 

KarenRei

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#6
Indeed. The car that did the hypermiling trip and ended up with the "unable to charge" message also needed a new battery... a new 12V battery. :)

And indeed, they - at least in that case - suspect a software issue that was causing the 12V to be over-drained (and killed) in some situations.
 

garsh

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#9
The main traction battery is comprised of 4 battery banks. I'm guessing there is a flaw in one of them and they will just replace the flawed bank, not the entire 75 kW battery.
Maybe. But the entire battery pack has to be dropped as a single unit. It's therefore easier and faster to replace the entire pack.

It might also be worthwhile to Tesla to replace the entire pack, then have the bad pack shipped back to the Gigafactory for analysis of what went wrong and how to prevent it in the future.
 

PNWmisty

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#10
Maybe. But the entire battery pack has to be dropped as a single unit. It's therefore easier and faster to replace the entire pack.

It might also be worthwhile to Tesla to replace the entire pack, then have the bad pack shipped back to the Gigafactory for analysis of what went wrong and how to prevent it in the future.
Either way, Tesla will check the bad bank to see what went wrong.

Yes, the entire pack has to be dropped. But it weighs over 1000 lbs. while each bank only weighs around 250 lbs. Which would you rather ship? I think the only way they send the entire thing back is if the banks have to be balanced/matched with each other.
 

Brokedoc

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#12
The main traction battery is comprised of 4 battery banks. I'm guessing there is a flaw in one of them and they will just replace the flawed bank, not the entire 75 kW battery.
Doubtful. The SvC doesn’t have the equipment or the expertise to be able to open the battery pack to service individual modules. Plus the modules are very carefully chosen for each pack so that the charge capacities are balanced.
 

PNWmisty

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#13
Doubtful. The SvC doesn’t have the equipment or the expertise to be able to open the battery pack to service individual modules. Plus the modules are very carefully chosen for each pack so that the charge capacities are balanced.
I didn't know that. Hopefully it's just the 12V battery!
 
Joined
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#15
Doubtful. The SvC doesn’t have the equipment or the expertise to be able to open the battery pack to service individual modules. Plus the modules are very carefully chosen for each pack so that the charge capacities are balanced.
@Brokedoc you know what you are talking about. This is exactly what the guy at the SvC told me - that the cells have to be balanced. They also told me that the service centers don't usually service / repair the batteries for 2 main reasons:
  1. Most of them don't have the expertise, recycling process and equipment to service the batteries.
  2. It would take a long time to service the battery if you are talking about replacing sub-modules and cells. Rather than keeping the customer waiting, they rather put on a whole new pack and ship the bad one back to Fremont. There is a special place in Fremont for investigating battery issues, so that they can conduct root cause analysis and see if other VINs are impacted by the same fault.
Addition information:
  • They ship the batteries using the same method they ship cars around since it is 1000+lbs. So how soon you will get the battery depends a lot on your location, if you are in TX, it is 2 weeks. If it is CA, usually within a week.
  • Model 3 HV batteries are actually very easy to replace due to their design (maybe preparing for future battery swap service that Elon demo'ed a while back??). What take time is the firmware update after the swap, which takes 1-2 hours.

Oh yeah, by this point you guys probably already guessed it, they are replacing the entire HV battery pack on my Model 3. Even though I am not happy about the quality issues on the model 3 (some I read about, some I experienced personally), one thing I got to say is I am very happy about the services and owning-up to problems Tesla is providing. They are definitely better than BMW, which is not bad. I think it has to do with: 1. Unlike dealership/service centers with other brands, Tesla SvC and showrooms are not franchisees. So they are not incentivized to get every dime out of you. 2. Tesla is trying to win over customers from other more established brands, so they are being super nice and accommodating in every customer interaction. 3. They know they have some quality issues with their product.

Anyway, alone with the battery pack swap, they are doing the following things for free for me while I have the car in the shop. I am listing them here so that you guys get an idea of to what extent they are willing help you. So when you go to SvC, you know how much to expects.
  1. Fix a panel alignment issue know as the "Tesla Fang" (a service guy told me), which is the pointy bit of the fender right beside the headlights sticking out more than normal. They said it is within spec, but will try to fix it as much as they can. My take is, if your service guys got a nick name for the issue, it is a common enough issue you have to address.
  2. Replace the front tweeter speaker mesh covers, where were damaged/melted by my tint shop. This is NOT Tesla's fault, so it is really nice of they to do it for me for free. Although I am not sure if i need to pay for the parts.
  3. Replace the chrome trims (2 piece) that were scratched by my tint shop. (I know, not a very good tint shop. Probably not going back for anything else. But apparently, tint shops are scratching Model 3's chrome trims left and right, due to how new it is. There is a whole different thread on this forum about it. So make sure you ask your shop to be extra careful if you are getting your car windows tinted.)
I will report back once I get my car back.
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2018
Messages
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Los Angeles
Tesla Owner
Model 3
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#18
Guys, got my car back today. It took 1 week longer than what they told me. In the shop for 2 weeks. All seems to be working fine now. When i picked it up today and after driving for a bit, a coolant low message came up. I took it back, they said there is air bubbles in the coolant tubes. They re-flushed the battery coolant system. Now it is fine. They said the model 3's battery cooling is a different design than X and S, they don't have a lot of experience with it yet. They have to give it a couple of tries.