Tesla owner blows up his Model S with dynamite over $22,000 battery replacement

pendragon1

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What kind of shitty cars do you drive? Every car I've ever owned has gone over 200K with zero major problems. My current car is a 2003 Baja and has 240K and has never even had a minor issue.
right!? if people take care of their vehicles and not bag on them, they will a little longer. what aboot head gaskets?! my 03 legacy is pushing 290K/Km(180K) on the og gasket. only issues are the typical rust and i replaced shocks and brakes and repaired exhaust. normal stuff...
 

DukenukemX

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As a mechanic (basically), this is pretty much... ridiculous. If you cant get in and replace a part then you dont belong in an engine bay, period. There are very few situations that I could legitimately say are maintenance nightmares. This is so absurd I dont even know how to properly respond to it.
I think you're misinterpreting what I'm saying. I'm not saying I can't get in and replace it but that the process is unnecessarily harder by design. Changing a starter on my dads RX300 is super easy as it's on top and hardly anything in the way. The starter on my friends now defunct BMW X5 had the starter under the intake system which is a nightmare to remove. I've heard of some manufacturers who put the starter in the transmission bell housing.

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Electric vehicles "like Tesla" will eventually require repairs and/or a battery. Maintenance/repairs will be more expensive because only Tesla can work on/service them.
Considering how many people repair Tesla's that isn't true. The problem is you're going from grease monkey to electrician to work on electric vehicles. There aren't many people who have experience or are willing to learn about electronics to comfortably work on a Tesla.
My total cost of ownership of one of my cars over 12 years (including gas for driving about 160k on it) is still likely under 20k. Learn how to work with your hands and youll never pay a shmuck to do work for you again.
This is why I work on my own cars. As I speaking I left my 3D printer to make a part for my Porsche 928 because I'm sick and tired of hunting down over priced parts. If you're good at Minecraft then you can work CAD and make some simple plastic car parts.
 

Tengis

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I think you're misinterpreting what I'm saying. I'm not saying I can't get in and replace it but that the process is unnecessarily harder by design. Changing a starter on my dads RX300 is super easy as it's on top and hardly anything in the way. The starter on my friends now defunct BMW X5 had the starter under the intake system which is a nightmare to remove. I've heard of some manufacturers who put the starter in the transmission bell housing.

View attachment 426508

Considering how many people repair Tesla's that isn't true. The problem is you're going from grease monkey to electrician to work on electric vehicles. There aren't many people who have experience or are willing to learn about electronics to comfortably work on a Tesla.

This is why I work on my own cars. As I speaking I left my 3D printer to make a part for my Porsche 928 because I'm sick and tired of hunting down over priced parts. If you're good at Minecraft then you can work CAD and make some simple plastic car parts.
They don't have maintenance manuals available for Teslas. Everything that is out there is a couple bros trying to reverse engineer some stuff and crossing their fingers. I have never seen anyone troubleshoot a Tesla at a component level - they just buy some used parts and swap them out while crossing their fingers.

Tesla's as a whole don't even look that complicated but once the electronics start to fail then you are screwed if you have no way to effectively troubleshoot and diagnose the issue. Same goes for modern ICE cars as well - electronics are getting more complicated and integrated.
 

hmz

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Lets put this way. It's a 2013 Model S and the battery is shot already. So eight years of ownership, probably spent over 100k EUR for a brand new one and now needs 22k for battery replacement. That is a lot of freaking money over the eight years.

I am looking forward to a Model Y next year, but the numbers are not looking good.
 

DukenukemX

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They don't have maintenance manuals available for Teslas. Everything that is out there is a couple bros trying to reverse engineer some stuff and crossing their fingers. I have never seen anyone troubleshoot a Tesla at a component level - they just buy some used parts and swap them out while crossing their fingers.
You think most mechanics are going to look at a maintenance manual? Most shops use ALLDATA where you can find information from other mechanics that tell you how they fixed a problem. Most mechanics are also going to use Google just like most doctors. The truth is sad, I know. The ones that don't are going to wing it because they ain't got time for that. Those are the mechanics you want to avoid because good chance they know as much as you do in fixing that car.

Another example is my uncle's 07 Tahoe which had a bad oil pressure switch that usually requires the removal of the intake to replace it... OR you just reach around the back and unscrew it. That's the difference between using Google like myself and looking at the maintenance manual like a good mechanic. You are getting billed by the hour to remove that intake, which isn't hard to do just time consuming. My point is that there's no correct way to fix things. If it's fixed then it's fixed.

Tesla's as a whole don't even look that complicated but once the electronics start to fail then you are screwed if you have no way to effectively troubleshoot and diagnose the issue. Same goes for modern ICE cars as well - electronics are getting more complicated and integrated.
I doubt they're complicated but the problem is that most of the failures are dependent on Tesla making parts that one could effectively buy at not inflated prices. There's a difference in fixing a part compared to replacing it. With enough effort a broken component can be repaired, but that usually takes a lot of time. Yet another example from my uncles 07 Tahoe was the gauge cluster that wasn't displaying anything on the LCD. A quick Google and a $5 part I was able to repair the cluster with basic soldering skills. There are plenty of clusters you can find online but I went with the cheapest option. A mechanic isn't going to solder a $5 part to save you money. You certainly can't do that with a Tesla battery so easily, especially since you gotta drop a very heavy battery pack to replace a $5 18650 battery. Good chance the software in the Tesla knows where the bad battery is located, at least generally. Using a multi-meter will narrow down the problem and isolate the bad 18650. This is not hard but a mechanic ain't got no time for this and will instead insist in replacing the battery entirely.

It's all about someone spending the time to fix something that they can't give you any warranty that it will work. I'm sure you won't be happy spending thousands to replace that one 18650 battery only to find that either it doesn't work because the mechanic made a mistake or yet another cell will fail in a week or two. Or better yet the customer doesn't want to pay the $6k it took to do the job and is now negotiating with you on the repair cost. Which leaves the mechanic with a car they don't want and will probably sit for years until they get the title from going to court so they can try to recoup the cost lost on the vehicle.

Tesla can fix this issue by simply making affordable cheap replacement batteries. There was a time Tesla was even considering swapping batteries so customers didn't have to wait to recharge the battery. Tesla can also fix this by making the battery pack serviceable. They're clearly not meant to ever be serviced since they're hard to get to and they glue the pack sealed to prevent water. You can design a car to make it easier to diagnose, remove, and access the offending battery cell.
 

Eulogy

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Tesla can fix this issue by simply making affordable cheap replacement batteries. There was a time Tesla was even considering swapping batteries so customers didn't have to wait to recharge the battery. Tesla can also fix this by making the battery pack serviceable. They're clearly not meant to ever be serviced since they're hard to get to and they glue the pack sealed to prevent water. You can design a car to make it easier to diagnose, remove, and access the offending battery cell.
If you have solutions for this, or at least reasoned out and somewhat well formed ideas and patterns for it, get in touch with me privately.
 

DukenukemX

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If you have solutions for this, or at least reasoned out and somewhat well formed ideas and patterns for it, get in touch with me privately.
Part of the problem is that Tesla has moved away from 18650 style batteries. So either Tesla makes upgraded parts for older vehicles or they will have to continue to manufacture 18650 style battery packs. As for the battery pack they can start by doing things like using rubber gaskets instead of a caulk like sealant they just squeeze all over. Make individual compartments per bank instead of one giant lid which takes up nearly the span of the car. Make the components to the battery modular like the coolant nozzle. Diagnostic software that can show you the health of the batteries. Prius owners can download Dr Prius that will give you real time information of the status of the battery for free. Not supplied by Toyota but still something.

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Eulogy

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Part of the problem is that Tesla has moved away from 18650 style batteries. So either Tesla makes upgraded parts for older vehicles or they will have to continue to manufacture 18650 style battery packs. As for the battery pack they can start by doing things like using rubber gaskets instead of a caulk like sealant they just squeeze all over. Make individual compartments per bank instead of one giant lid which takes up nearly the span of the car. Make the components to the battery modular like the coolant nozzle. Diagnostic software that can show you the health of the batteries. Prius owners can download Dr Prius that will give you real time information of the status of the battery for free. Not supplied by Toyota but still something.
So you don't really have much here. I'm extremely well aware of the problems and troubles facing here, and can say with certainty that you are very far off the mark in everything except your last part about Dx software availability.
 

Nobu

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932mi is pretty terrible. I'd say the treatment in this case was warranted, if a bit extreme. lol
 

sfsuphysics

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Make the components to the battery modular like the coolant nozzle. Diagnostic software that can show you the health of the batteries. Prius owners can download Dr Prius that will give you real time information of the status of the battery for free. Not supplied by Toyota but still something.
My hybrid battery on my 2006 Prius is showing signs of replacement, big red triangle with exclamation mark in the middle is a key. :D :D :D But yeah there is one cell that is definitely not holding a charge which brings down everything with it, and a cheap bluetooth OBD reader and said software showed me the problem in a flash without me having to go to a dealership (as per the manual states I should do), didn't need to get told "everything needs to be replaced that'll be $5000 please" (only a slight exaggeration). It gives me the option to know what is wrong though, so I can decide do I want to buy a used cell and try and rebuild the whole battery pack, do I want to buy a new 3rd party one (instead of the OEM version), it gives me the option of having knowledge of the situation rather than getting ambushed and told "it would be dangerous to drive the car" (it really isn't, just mileage majorly tanks and freeway speeds probably are not advisable).

But yeah why cars don't tell you problems instead of having a generic "check engine" light I dunno, well ok that's rhetorical I know... but I still don't know why they don't, the first time I had a check engine light it was because the gas cap wasn't tightened all the way... seriously WTF is that shit? and no stores like Autozone wouldn't read the codes for free as they do in some states. Cars come with an owners manual that's hundreds of pages long, largely useless, and just about any problem tells you to "take vehicle to dealer". As cheap as OBD readers are, cell phones are a thing, and google works, I would have thought newer cars this would be standard by now.
 

1_rick

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stores like Autozone wouldn't read the codes for free as they do in some states.
That seems like a sign you're living in the wrong state. Maybe not a major one, but yeesh. (The last time I went to Autozone, they were like "well, we're all busy, here's the machine, if you know where the port is.")
 

Eulogy

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My hybrid battery on my 2006 Prius is showing signs of replacement, big red triangle with exclamation mark in the middle is a key. :D :D :D But yeah there is one cell that is definitely not holding a charge which brings down everything with it, and a cheap bluetooth OBD reader and said software showed me the problem in a flash without me having to go to a dealership (as per the manual states I should do), didn't need to get told "everything needs to be replaced that'll be $5000 please" (only a slight exaggeration). It gives me the option to know what is wrong though, so I can decide do I want to buy a used cell and try and rebuild the whole battery pack, do I want to buy a new 3rd party one (instead of the OEM version), it gives me the option of having knowledge of the situation rather than getting ambushed and told "it would be dangerous to drive the car" (it really isn't, just mileage majorly tanks and freeway speeds probably are not advisable).

But yeah why cars don't tell you problems instead of having a generic "check engine" light I dunno, well ok that's rhetorical I know... but I still don't know why they don't, the first time I had a check engine light it was because the gas cap wasn't tightened all the way... seriously WTF is that shit? and no stores like Autozone wouldn't read the codes for free as they do in some states. Cars come with an owners manual that's hundreds of pages long, largely useless, and just about any problem tells you to "take vehicle to dealer". As cheap as OBD readers are, cell phones are a thing, and google works, I would have thought newer cars this would be standard by now.
The bad thing is, replacing a single cell is often at best a band-aid.

Let me put it in terms that most I think would get on a hardware enthusiast forum.
You have an array of drives. SSDs, HDDs, doesn't matter. One of them goes bad. The array can still chug along, unhappily. Eventually you replace the failed drive and the array is 'healthy' again. However, you now have a brand new drive working with a bunch of old drives. The likelihood of imbalance and later one of the other drives failing is still highish.

I know you likely get what I'm driving at, sfsu. In all our interactions you've seem pretty intelligent and knowledgeable about battery tech. So you understand that swapping a single cell, while it will make a problem go away, isn't a great long term "fix". It'll get ya by, but, eventually (likely sooner than later, with how the cells are grouped and leveled), another cell dies. So you're best bet IS to replace the battery. And IMO the right solution there is to keep advancing battery tech and get costs on entire battery systems driven down substantially.
 

sfsuphysics

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The bad thing is, replacing a single cell is often at best a band-aid.

Let me put it in terms that most I think would get on a hardware enthusiast forum.
You have an array of drives. SSDs, HDDs, doesn't matter. One of them goes bad. The array can still chug along, unhappily. Eventually you replace the failed drive and the array is 'healthy' again. However, you now have a brand new drive working with a bunch of old drives. The likelihood of imbalance and later one of the other drives failing is still highish.

I know you likely get what I'm driving at, sfsu. In all our interactions you've seem pretty intelligent and knowledgeable about battery tech. So you understand that swapping a single cell, while it will make a problem go away, isn't a great long term "fix". It'll get ya by, but, eventually (likely sooner than later, with how the cells are grouped and leveled), another cell dies. So you're best bet IS to replace the battery. And IMO the right solution there is to keep advancing battery tech and get costs on entire battery systems driven down substantially.
Oh yeah I totally get that, one cell changed of questionable life left in it (not sure I can buy new cells from anyplace, just 'refurbished' ones) but all the others are still pushing on that 15 year life span. The consensus I've seen is that unless you really want to get a lot of practice removing the battery and rebuilding it and rebalancing it, that it really isn't worth it. However the other side of that coin is that it is a 15 year old car, how much life is really left in it before another critical issue pops up, the $1600-2000 I throw into it today replacing the battery with a new one(and that's the DIY cost, fucking dealership quoted me $900 for labor making that a real easy choice to make). So yeah I've largely been waffling over what to do, simply moving my car back and forth across the street so I don't get a ticket for street sweepers, meanwhile being in a one car household for now.

I was amazed at how much needs to be removed in order to get at the battery though, in true car maker fashion "lets remove the back seats to get at the battery, oh yeah pull all the upholstery around the back that's held together with those insta-break tabs. Otherwise I might just very well replace a cell and deal with constant fixing, but the effort to do that, no thanks. One of these days I'll just say fuck it and fork over $2k for a new battery I'm sure.

That seems like a sign you're living in the wrong state. Maybe not a major one, but yeesh. (The last time I went to Autozone, they were like "well, we're all busy, here's the machine, if you know where the port is.")
Possibly, but what I did learn from that experience is that bluetooth OBD2 readers were so flipping cheap on Amazon and free apps to read the codes make it a no brainer just to do things yourself, because who knows if you should drive to Autozone at all... or if it is just something stupid like a gas cap being loose and clearing the code fixes the problem.
 

Eulogy

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Oh yeah I totally get that, one cell changed of questionable life left in it (not sure I can buy new cells from anyplace, just 'refurbished' ones) but all the others are still pushing on that 15 year life span. The consensus I've seen is that unless you really want to get a lot of practice removing the battery and rebuilding it and rebalancing it, that it really isn't worth it. However the other side of that coin is that it is a 15 year old car, how much life is really left in it before another critical issue pops up, the $1600-2000 I throw into it today replacing the battery with a new one(and that's the DIY cost, fucking dealership quoted me $900 for labor making that a real easy choice to make). So yeah I've largely been waffling over what to do, simply moving my car back and forth across the street so I don't get a ticket for street sweepers, meanwhile being in a one car household for now.

I was amazed at how much needs to be removed in order to get at the battery though, in true car maker fashion "lets remove the back seats to get at the battery, oh yeah pull all the upholstery around the back that's held together with those insta-break tabs. Otherwise I might just very well replace a cell and deal with constant fixing, but the effort to do that, no thanks. One of these days I'll just say fuck it and fork over $2k for a new battery I'm sure.


Possibly, but what I did learn from that experience is that bluetooth OBD2 readers were so flipping cheap on Amazon and free apps to read the codes make it a no brainer just to do things yourself, because who knows if you should drive to Autozone at all... or if it is just something stupid like a gas cap being loose and clearing the code fixes the problem.
Ya. Thankfully, at least in Tesla's, everything else is going to last quite a long time, it seems. You'll stop getting feature updates for the MCU and what not, but, you'll still have a perfectly fine car to get around. They seem durable and mostly well built, but the battery cost looms large still, and will for awhile. And replacing a battery in a Tesla is even worse, since they're basically integral to the chassis. Definitely making the right call in not driving it, as frustrating as that has to be.
 

vegeta535

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Ya. Thankfully, at least in Tesla's, everything else is going to last quite a long time, it seems. You'll stop getting feature updates for the MCU and what not, but, you'll still have a perfectly fine car to get around. They seem durable and mostly well built, but the battery cost looms large still, and will for awhile. And replacing a battery in a Tesla is even worse, since they're basically integral to the chassis. Definitely making the right call in not driving it, as frustrating as that has to be.
Wut? There are many reports of how crappy Tesla QC is and always a pain to get it properly fixed.
 

Eulogy

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Wut? There are many reports of how crappy Tesla QC is and always a pain to get it properly fixed.
And there are many more that aren't problems. Most of the QC issues were during new product launches (X, Y, then 3). Of course things still happen, people are humans, and some aren't great at delivery, but it's no worse than typical manufacturers out there. Better tolerances than most, actually, even with "poor" QC. Definitely a PITA if someone takes delivery and needs something resolved after that though... Tesla service leaves a lot to be desired (have run into issues with it myself this past year). But that's not really the point of the thread :) If you've made it far enough for the battery to be a real issue, especially on anything 2016 or newer, those QC issues aren't even a "thing"
 

narsbars

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He must have over 200k miles on that thing if it needs a battery replacement.

He got his money's worth.

Most cars are mostly disposable after 100k...
Not if you are on a fixed income. A car with a 100K is considered nearly new. Many decades ago a car with over 50 to 60K was at EOL. At 1 100K you could buy them for the equivalent in todays dollars of $500.00
 

narsbars

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Looking at the pre '18? leaf time bombs you see everywhere.

Get it appraised by an independent valuer or two, then the insurance company will honor the price you give them. If they don't get another one for your car specifically, classic car/bike insurers are good for this usual and well used to it. I have an S2000 that is irreplaceable as you cannot FIA homoglate them with the soft top retained after '09 due to rear support bar angle rule changes. It is the only one in the world that I know of with this alone, let alone low mileage and basically a dry sumped vette/camaro powertrain under the hood with all the rest of the stuff to make it fast and reliable on a track/hill climb. If I insure it at market value for standard car, it's a fraction of what it actually would cost to replace it. And it couldn't be replaced anyway in full.
In your case I see that Volvo prices vary extensively depending on condition and location of seller. Not everyone wants a Volvo and those that do will pay good money for a tidy example. I've always wanted to barra or ls swap one for a daily trollwagon.
Good call. I have had older cars that I have maintained perfectly with book values of $1500 and taken pictures of the body work, copies of receipts for work done, new tires etc. I rolled over a low value dodge truck, Blue Book, $1200.00 and received $3500.00 and they let me take back the new tires.
 
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DukenukemX

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So you don't really have much here. I'm extremely well aware of the problems and troubles facing here, and can say with certainty that you are very far off the mark in everything except your last part about Dx software availability.
Dismissing a half dozen ideas? The problem is going to be removing the battery pack safely and getting to the offending failed battery or battery pack. My ideas make it easier to do that. Also a supply of parts would be great. If enough of these cars enters the used market then aftermarket batteries will show up. Probably not as good as OEM batteries but they'll work and that's what matters. It would be better if the batteries were updated and the software in the car was updated to match, but Tesla doesn't care about the environment so off to the trash these cars go.

My hybrid battery on my 2006 Prius is showing signs of replacement, big red triangle with exclamation mark in the middle is a key. :D :D :D But yeah there is one cell that is definitely not holding a charge which brings down everything with it, and a cheap bluetooth OBD reader and said software showed me the problem in a flash without me having to go to a dealership (as per the manual states I should do), didn't need to get told "everything needs to be replaced that'll be $5000 please" (only a slight exaggeration). It gives me the option to know what is wrong though, so I can decide do I want to buy a used cell and try and rebuild the whole battery pack, do I want to buy a new 3rd party one (instead of the OEM version), it gives me the option of having knowledge of the situation rather than getting ambushed and told "it would be dangerous to drive the car" (it really isn't, just mileage majorly tanks and freeway speeds probably are not advisable).
I know about Dr Prius because I helped out my friend who has 2007 Prius with 280,000 miles. I took out the battery pack and went to town with the thing because a lot of the contacts had oxidized badly, but the offending problem was one of the batteries was leaking and shorting out to the frame. I did the cheapest thing and that was plastic weld the leak. A week later and now the car is complaining about the parking mechanism and something with the battery, which both are probably related to the battery. One of these days I'll have to use my laptop with TechStream software to get the detailed code and figure out what happened now. I own two Toyota cars so it's a handy tool for fixing them.
But yeah why cars don't tell you problems instead of having a generic "check engine" light I dunno, well ok that's rhetorical I know... but I still don't know why they don't, the first time I had a check engine light it was because the gas cap wasn't tightened all the way... seriously WTF is that shit? and no stores like Autozone wouldn't read the codes for free as they do in some states. Cars come with an owners manual that's hundreds of pages long, largely useless, and just about any problem tells you to "take vehicle to dealer". As cheap as OBD readers are, cell phones are a thing, and google works, I would have thought newer cars this would be standard by now.
Turns out manufacturers are working hard so that you have to work harder to repair your car. Toyota isn't innocent from this as the reason I use TechStream is to get the detailed code. My cheap $15 bluetooth ODB2 adapter will tell me the code but to know exactly what's wrong you need the detailed code, which requires an expensive scan tool, or in my case just buy a cheap ODB2 to USB with a very boot leg looking CD with TechStream on it.
https://www.amazon.com/MINI-VCI-tec...ream+software+and+cable&qid=1641062662&sr=8-4

The bad thing is, replacing a single cell is often at best a band-aid.

Let me put it in terms that most I think would get on a hardware enthusiast forum.
You have an array of drives. SSDs, HDDs, doesn't matter. One of them goes bad. The array can still chug along, unhappily. Eventually you replace the failed drive and the array is 'healthy' again. However, you now have a brand new drive working with a bunch of old drives. The likelihood of imbalance and later one of the other drives failing is still highish.

I know you likely get what I'm driving at, sfsu. In all our interactions you've seem pretty intelligent and knowledgeable about battery tech. So you understand that swapping a single cell, while it will make a problem go away, isn't a great long term "fix". It'll get ya by, but, eventually (likely sooner than later, with how the cells are grouped and leveled), another cell dies. So you're best bet IS to replace the battery. And IMO the right solution there is to keep advancing battery tech and get costs on entire battery systems driven down substantially.
I agree and that really depends on what I'm replacing. For example in the 2nd Gen Prius the ability to get to the battery is really easy and just replacing one bad cell at a time is not a big deal. Now if this were a Tesla where dropping the battery is a huge ordeal and I don't want to come back here again then maybe replacing an entire bank or the battery itself is not a bad idea. The only real consequence in this case is time, which can translate to money. Imagine paying $6k for one bad 18650, and then doing this every couple of months. It's obviously cheaper to buy the $22k new battery.
 
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Mchart

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I just can't comprehend spending that much on a battery on these things. $22k is the cost of a fairly high-end performance engine. The reality is that these Tesla's are 100% lease cars, as with most modern cars that are too complicated. Owning them outside the warranty period is cost prohibitive. A full replacement longblock on my Hyundai costs $2800, transmission is even less. Not that I even plan on needing to replace them. The car is nearing 200k miles and has had zero issues.
 

sfsuphysics

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Not if you are on a fixed income. A car with a 100K is considered nearly new. Many decades ago a car with over 50 to 60K was at EOL. At 1 100K you could buy them for the equivalent in todays dollars of $500.00
Sure but if you're on a "fixed income" you're probably not buying a car that costs $90k (?? How much does the model S go for?)
 

Tengis

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I can't read all that crap right now.

I'm sure Tesla hasn't thought of any of that stuff, might as well Tweet at the world's most successful billionaire that you've got some ideas they've never thought of.
 

Eulogy

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I can't read all that crap right now.

I'm sure Tesla hasn't thought of any of that stuff, might as well Tweet at the world's most successful billionaire that you've got some ideas they've never thought of.
Yeah. Their engineers have never heard of gaskets either. Bunch of idiots over there ;)

(sarcasm, in case it's lost)
 

DukenukemX

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Yeah. Their engineers have never heard of gaskets either. Bunch of idiots over there ;)

(sarcasm, in case it's lost)
The choices they make to manufacturer is not meant to make it easier to repair but easier to assemble. They avoid gaskets because it's just easier to tell Dave or a robot named Dave to squeeze out caulk and close the battery lid. For example, quick connector is only quick during assembly. Taking them apart is a pain in the ass, especially on BMW's. It's the same reason why smart phone manufacturers glue everything together instead of making a complicated battery compartment that you can easily remove the battery with your hands. Usually easy to remove with your hands. It's just cheaper to do it their way, and will increase assembly time, but usually makes it harder to remove and repair.
 
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N4CR

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I just can't comprehend spending that much on a battery on these things. $22k is the cost of a fairly high-end performance engine. The reality is that these Tesla's are 100% lease cars, as with most modern cars that are too complicated. Owning them outside the warranty period is cost prohibitive. A full replacement longblock on my Hyundai costs $2800, transmission is even less. Not that I even plan on needing to replace them. The car is nearing 200k miles and has had zero issues.
The early ones are worse, that's why it got detonated. It's just not worth fucking around with the packs because they are flawed. That was in the day when dendrite research was newer and Panasonic was probably making the cells, not a tech shared agreement at Tesla (gigafactory etc yet to come).
It's like trying to build a 2000 HP 4 banger, yeah you can do it (I've been to where they machine BMW 2000 series blocks used for the old F1 cars) but it's not the platform for it. Leave that old turd pack to die and move on.

Basically there is now quite high sample numbers (independent sources) of models after this particular troubled one, showing very good degradation figures (almost all under a few percent at 200k miles for later model samples!!!) on the later packs and models. What that means is you are looking at a 1 million mile EV if you keep the suspension/consumable rubber/gear oil/etc in check and the gears/laminations/insulators don't die at some later date.
In short I don't think it's as major of an issue now as it was, to the point where I am looking to buy a tri-motor Cybertruck when they finally launch, if business goes well. I don't hold TSLA etc.
I put my money where my mouth is and I feel it's not really a major issue on modern Teslas. But I'm very interested in and open to changing that opinion if you can prove otherwise!

edit: what was written about earlier Prius packs (pretty easy to maintain/touch up if you are not an idiot) is good advise. EVs are not always as expensive as you think if you are cunning. Same goes for normal car parts too. There's the easy price and there's the 'this guy did his research' price.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Not if you are on a fixed income. A car with a 100K is considered nearly new. Many decades ago a car with over 50 to 60K was at EOL. At 1 100K you could buy them for the equivalent in todays dollars of $500.00

My experience with many high milage cars (>100k miles) is that they often cost more to keep in good shape than a car payment does (depending on the car payment of course) unless you have the time and the ability to do all your own work.

Personally I feel comfortable doing most things that are not engine or transmission internals, but my work schedule prevents me from having enough time to do so, so I wind up paying even for simple stuff I used to do myself, like brakes and oil changes, and things get expensive in a hurry at a modern $120/hr shop rate.

Things generally go pretty well up until about 120k miles or so, and then all hell breaks loose. Engine mounts, shocks, exhaust, catalytic converters, various stupid little sensors and electrical components, ABS modules, coil packs, you name it, keep going, and when I tally up all the costs payments for a new car (well, certified pre-owned, I don't believe in buying new cars) would have been cheaper.

And then there is the previously mentioned aspect of the fact that you just threw thousands of dollars into a $2000 car, and it is still a $2000 car...
 
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Aurelius

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My experience with many high milage cars (>100k miles) is that they often cost more to keep in good shape than a car payment does (depending on the car payment of course) unless you have the time and the ability to do all your own work.

Personally I feel comfortable doing most things that are not engine or transmission internals, but my work schedule prevents me from having enough time to do so, so I wind up paying even for simple stuff I used to do myself, like brakes and oil changes.

Things generally go pretty well up until about 120k miles or so, and then all hell breaks loose. Engine mounts, shocks, exhaust, catalytic converters, various stupid little sensors and electrical components, ABS modules, coil packs, you name it, keep going, and when I tally up all the costs I could be paying for a new (well, certified pre-owned, I don't believe in buying new cars) would have been cheaper.

And then there is the previously mentioned aspect of the fact that you just threw thousands of dollars into a $2000 car, and it is still a $2000 car...
Reminds me of the techie adage "Linux is only free if your time is worthless."

That's not even necessarily an insult (and Linux has improved over the years), just a description of reality: it's sometimes worth paying money to save time. That's part of why I'm eager for EVs... replacing the battery can be very expensive, but they generally demand less maintenance than ICE cars. The biggest maintenance issues outside of the battery tend to be things that will always wear down, like tires, brakes and wiper fluid; that's a pretty big positive in my book, even if you're ultimately saving more time than money.
 

Mchart

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My experience with many high milage cars (>100k miles) is that they often cost more to keep in good shape than a car payment does (depending on the car payment of course) unless you have the time and the ability to do all your own work.

Personally I feel comfortable doing most things that are not engine or transmission internals, but my work schedule prevents me from having enough time to do so, so I wind up paying even for simple stuff I used to do myself, like brakes and oil changes.

Things generally go pretty well up until about 120k miles or so, and then all hell breaks loose. Engine mounts, shocks, exhaust, catalytic converters, various stupid little sensors and electrical components, ABS modules, coil packs, you name it, keep going, and when I tally up all the costs I could be paying for a new (well, certified pre-owned, I don't believe in buying new cars) would have been cheaper.

And then there is the previously mentioned aspect of the fact that you just threw thousands of dollars into a $2000 car, and it is still a $2000 car...
Really depends on the brand. The easiest way to know how long a car is going to last without any serious repairs is the length of warranty, and double it. So a Hyundai/Kia will be 200k miles, etc. This is assuming you follow the service intervals for fluids, etc.

It also depends on where you live. My car is going to last longer in Colorado then it will Minnesota due to the salt belt issues. I've owned every make of car, even ones most people have never heard of as collectors. In modern times i'd generally rate the top three of actual long-term quality as Toyota, Hyundai/Kia, and Honda. Everything else falls off a cliff accordingly in scale after that. Stay away from forced induction engines. Stay away from cars with dynamic dampers. Stay away from cars with all the electronics. If you want all these things, just lease any brand. Don't bother owning long-term.

But of course, that's the issue with any 100k+ mileage car. You don't know if the prior owner did the service intervals or not. However, at least if you buy a 100k+ mile cheap Hyundai and the engine blows, it's not going to cost very much to replace it anyways. Contrast this to a Tesla. It's not worth the risk. At all. Also, many of the major used car resellers like Carvana are offering a fairly hassle-free and robust 30-45 day warranty on their cars. That's typically enough time to abuse the car enough to know if something is fucked or not.
 
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DukenukemX

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My experience with many high milage cars (>100k miles) is that they often cost more to keep in good shape than a car payment does (depending on the car payment of course) unless you have the time and the ability to do all your own work.
Depends on the car and the work that needs to be done. Unless it's a luxury car that has value, then repairing it will always cost more than the vehicle itself. The parts are cheap, but the labor is what costs the most. My friend has a 2009 BMW 650i that has bad valve seals. The seals themselves are cheap but the work to change them easily goes beyond what he paid for the car. I plan to help him in the summer of 2022 to tackle this problem.
Things generally go pretty well up until about 120k miles or so, and then all hell breaks loose. Engine mounts, shocks, exhaust, catalytic converters, various stupid little sensors and electrical components, ABS modules, coil packs, you name it, keep going, and when I tally up all the costs I could be paying for a new (well, certified pre-owned, I don't believe in buying new cars) would have been cheaper.
Buying a certified pre-owned vehicle isn't cheaper unless you like buying crappy vehicles like a Nissan Rogue and you'll find the CVT trans is bad and needs $3k to fix it. Most used vehicles are driven by people who put gas and maybe changed the oil. I say maybe because they likely won't. These cars were likely leased and when the lease was up the car is now for sale used. The beauty of a leased vehicle is that you don't have to worry about what damage is being done to the vehicle as you drive it down the road. You don't worry about maintenance or anything beyond putting fuel in it, but when the car is resold then it's now someone else's problem.
And then there is the previously mentioned aspect of the fact that you just threw thousands of dollars into a $2000 car, and it is still a $2000 car...
My advice is to stop looking at cars as an investment. The value of the car doesn't matter except for buying it. Unless it's a really old car like a 1970's Dodge Charger where their value actually goes up, but all other cars lose value, usually rapidly. Lets say you dump that $2000 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix, then what are you replacing it with? Chances are yet another used car with problems you're not aware of. Remember my friends 2009 BMW 650i? That was originally a nearly $100k valued car, and he got it for $7k. Cars are not investments, they're to get you from point A to point B or as a hobby for some people.
Reminds me of the techie adage "Linux is only free if your time is worthless."
If you believe that taking the time to learn a valuable skill is worthless then you have bigger problems. Sure for that moment of time it takes to get something working on Linux or repairing a starter on a vehicle is something you don't expect to ever do ever again, would be a waste of time. Until you realize that Linux is so big that Microsoft is shifting towards Linux and now your alternator has gone bad and you need to fork over another $500 to repair that too.

In modern times i'd generally rate the top three of actual long-term quality as Toyota, Hyundai/Kia, and Honda. Everything else falls off a cliff accordingly in scale after that.
I'm not a fan of Kia's but yes Toyota and Honda, in that order. Ascending order. There's a reason why Toyota/Lexus has a very high resale value right now.
Stay away from forced induction engines.
There's a reason why the million mile Lexus has a million miles on it, and that's because it's a V8 engine with no Turbo or supercharger. A small little 4 cylinder engine with a turbo may make good power but will break down easily and you will need to buy a new rebuilt turbo. Get V6 or V8 engines with no forced induction otherwise you'll soon have another huge expensive to deal with.
 

sfsuphysics

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The choices they make to manufacturer is not meant to make it easier to repair but easier to assemble. They avoid gaskets because it's just easier to tell Dave or a robot named Dave to squeeze out caulk and close the battery lid. For example, quick connector is only quick during assembly.
Also it's cheaper to squirt out silicone around the shape of your battery compartment because it works with any shape you choose now and in the future, the gasket most likely would have to be special ordered for that unique shape adding a tiny bit of cost.
 

Aurelius

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If you believe that taking the time to learn a valuable skill is worthless then you have bigger problems. Sure for that moment of time it takes to get something working on Linux or repairing a starter on a vehicle is something you don't expect to ever do ever again, would be a waste of time. Until you realize that Linux is so big that Microsoft is shifting towards Linux and now your alternator has gone bad and you need to fork over another $500 to repair that too.
A skill is only valuable if it saves you enough time, money or both to be worth the effort. Even in the case of the alternator situation... well, do you want to spend time sourcing an alternator and repairing it, or would you rather spend that time with your family? If you have a few hours by yourself, sure, but I'd rather be spending quality time with my wife than in the garage working on my vehicle. This presumes you have the money, to be fair, but an alternator shouldn't be a frequent problem.

(Also: Microsoft is offering more Linux support because of its cloud services... you know, something an experienced IT manager is paid to know about and maintain. There's a big difference between that and a home user having to troubleshoot drivers or run command line tasks.)
 

bigdogchris

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Louis Rossmann put up a video yesterday that talked about someone that looked into the price. The $22,000 price is about right for what they have to replace.

Even if the price is fair, it's still not right. There has got to be a better way to repair these batteries without require replacement of the entire system which includes replacing a lot of parts that are not damaged. Imagine not being able to replace a sensor on your engine, you had to buy the entire engine again brand new.

If these cars are going to become mainstream, you cannot have $22,000 repair bills regardless of if it's 'fair' for what you are getting or not.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I'm not a fan of Kia's but yes Toyota and Honda, in that order. Ascending order. There's a reason why Toyota/Lexus has a very high resale value right now.

Judging purely by driving cheap rentals during my business trips, I'd take a Kia or Hyundai over any Toyota or Honda out there. They are much more comfortable and fun to drive than the equivalent Toyota models.

Being rentals, I can't speak at all to long term quality though. I only had them for a few days each.

Amusingly, the worst rental I ever had was that time I got a free "upgrade" to a 2013 BMW 528i. That thing was AWFUL.

I was expecting it to be pretty fantastic given all of BMW's "Ultimate Driving Machine" marketing, but BOY was I disappointed.

(It did look pretty stylish though)
 

sfsuphysics

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Even if the price is fair, it's still not right. There has got to be a better way to repair these batteries without require replacement of the entire system which includes replacing a lot of parts that are not damaged. Imagine not being able to replace a sensor on your engine, you had to buy the entire engine again brand new.

If these cars are going to become mainstream, you cannot have $22,000 repair bills regardless of if it's 'fair' for what you are getting or not.
Without knowing the actual reason the battery needed to be replaced it's hard to tell what could have been done. It could have been something that yeah was fixable with some no how, but if taken to a stealership they're almost exclusively going to say the fix requires replacement of the whole unit, which is pretty much universal across all models of cars. It may have been something like my Prius battery pack, one module failing pretty much hurts everything else just because that's how electronics work, but if you can't access it to diagnose, and then potentially fix, then yeah it is pretty horrible.

I really am disappointed in Musk though, there was one hype video he had where the car drove over a section of the stage, and a few minutes later the whole battery pack was swapped out. The feasibility of that on large scales may not work so well unless most electric cars are Tesla, but still it seemed they went in a different direction, another hype of "tabless design!" then "we can shave off 20 pounds by integrating the battery into the frame of the car, therefore you can't fix it anymore!" probably was more than 20 pounds, but still, seems to be going in the wrong direction regardless.

That said, lets not forget this was a luxury model of the car, $100k price tag or somewhere in that range? I'd expect the $40k model to maybe not use a battery that costs $22k.
 

DukenukemX

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Judging purely by driving cheap rentals during my business trips, I'd take a Kia or Hyundai over any Toyota or Honda out there. They are much more comfortable and fun to drive than the equivalent Toyota models.

Being rentals, I can't speak at all to long term quality though. I only had them for a few days each.

Amusingly, the worst rental I ever had was that time I got a free "upgrade" to a 2013 BMW 528i. That thing was AWFUL.

I was expecting it to be pretty fantastic given all of BMW's "Ultimate Driving Machine" marketing, but BOY was I disappointed.

(It did look pretty stylish though)
Maybe but I'm focusing on reliability. How the car drives and feels is not something I have experience, but realibiilty is something I have a good deal of experience with. Go look how much a used Toyota Tacoma or any Lexus costs. They hold their value much better than any vehicle you can purchase. There's a reason for this.

I really am disappointed in Musk though, there was one hype video he had where the car drove over a section of the stage, and a few minutes later the whole battery pack was swapped out. The feasibility of that on large scales may not work so well unless most electric cars are Tesla, but still it seemed they went in a different direction, another hype of "tabless design!" then "we can shave off 20 pounds by integrating the battery into the frame of the car, therefore you can't fix it anymore!" probably was more than 20 pounds, but still, seems to be going in the wrong direction regardless.
One idea is to make battery cells a universal standard. Just like how Europe is forcing everyone to use USB-C we should force manufacturers to make battery cells universal as well. This way aftermarkets can compete in making batteries and junk yard electric vehicles can take a battery cell from a Chevy Bolt and stick it into a Tesla Model Z.
That said, lets not forget this was a luxury model of the car, $100k price tag or somewhere in that range? I'd expect the $40k model to maybe not use a battery that costs $22k.
Just cause it was $100k new doesn't mean anything after 8 years. Once a car is sold and it becomes a second hand car, it's true value is now determined. You see this a lot with used Mercedes and BMW's that you can now find really cheap even though their original value was like $70k+. They cost a fortune to fix and because of this they have really low value.
 

sfsuphysics

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One idea is to make battery cells a universal standard. Just like how Europe is forcing everyone to use USB-C we should force manufacturers to make battery cells universal as well. This way aftermarkets can compete in making batteries and junk yard electric vehicles can take a battery cell from a Chevy Bolt and stick it into a Tesla Model Z.
Oh I agree, however making them do something like this would be quite difficult to pull off, just look at charging standards there's not just one and that is probably something that should be most standardized. Unfortunately though with Tesla's newest push where they do integrate the battery compartment as an integral part of the frame the idea of swapping out just fades away... at least for Tesla, other E-vehicle manufacturers could do something quite altruistic and come to an agreement on batteries and just leave Tesla in the dust but I don't see that happening either. Too much rah-rah "let the market decide" mentality in this country.
 

Eulogy

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Oh I agree, however making them do something like this would be quite difficult to pull off, just look at charging standards there's not just one and that is probably something that should be most standardized. Unfortunately though with Tesla's newest push where they do integrate the battery compartment as an integral part of the frame the idea of swapping out just fades away... at least for Tesla, other E-vehicle manufacturers could do something quite altruistic and come to an agreement on batteries and just leave Tesla in the dust but I don't see that happening either. Too much rah-rah "let the market decide" mentality in this country.
To be fair, not only is Tesla pretty much a leader (along with Panasonic) on EV batteries, they have open sourced all their patents as well. They're also adopting CCS connectors, though I'm not sure when/if they'll roll it out to all new models (especially in NA). It'd be up to other manufacturers to use the same battery... but I really don't see that as a benefit, and it would wedge design quite a lot.
 

sfsuphysics

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It'd be up to other manufacturers to use the same battery... but I really don't see that as a benefit, and it would wedge design quite a lot.
The benefit would be if EV makers made it such that batteries were hot swappable, since waiting 30+ minutes for rapid charging or 4+ hours for "fast" charging seems to be one of the larger roadblocks for EV adoption, or at least one of the largest complaints people who don't have an EV (and probably never will) tends to bring up.
 

Eulogy

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The benefit would be if EV makers made it such that batteries were hot swappable, since waiting 30+ minutes for rapid charging or 4+ hours for "fast" charging seems to be one of the larger roadblocks for EV adoption, or at least one of the largest complaints people who don't have an EV (and probably never will) tends to bring up.
I really don't think hot swap is a valid path forward, for a number of reasons. I think non-owners vastly overinflate the "issue" with charging as well. I know EVs aren't for everyone, and definitely know a lot of use cases where 300mi in a day is not enough.
 
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