Tesla Roadster How to Wake-Up a Bricked Roadster

November 21, 2019

If your Roadster is in the advanced stages of bricking, it will no longer wake up on its own. The cause is a dead 12 Volt battery which is no longer being charged from the main ESS battery pack DC-DC Converter in a 2.x Roadster. The 1.5 version Roadsters have no external 12 Volt battery, but still have the 12 Volt connecting points shown below.

There are a number of reasons to temporarily wake up the car. The rear wheels are usually locked if it was not put in ”tow mode” before being bricked. Locked rear wheels will make it challenging to move the vehicle and raises the cost of transport since either rear wheel dollies have to be used, or the car will be winched onto the transport vehicle. This process can damage or flat spot your tires and sometimes requires a flat bed tow truck to “deck” the car onto the transporter.

Another important reason to wake up the car is to retrieve logs, which will be very useful during the service effort, since logs will disclose precisely when and what caused the the ESS battery pack discharge. Here is what you will need:

1 – A 12 Volt DC (at least 5 amp) power supply, spare battery, or 12 Volt starter pack box (below)
2 – A 10MM socket or wrench to remove the passenger rear fender skirt

Step 1

For illustration purposes, we have removed the rear passenger wheel.

Although tight, a portion of the fender skirt can be removed exposing the 12 Volt DC plus and minus terminals shown, without removing the wheel.






Step 2


The negative terminal on the left is chassis ground.  The right terminal is the positive 12 VDC connection.

Apply 12 Volts with respective polarities.  Reverse connection can cause damage.

When you first apply 12 volts to the connecting points show, the car will not respond for a couple of minutes as it is waking up. You will then hear some clicks, and the main screen will come on usually displaying a number of errors.



Step 3

Click through and dismiss the error screens and you will eventually end up on the lower left main screen below:


12 Volt Battery in the trunk

There is an AGM 12 Volt motorcycle battery buried underneath the right front headlight, behind a fender skirt, which powers all the 12 volt devices in the Roadster. These batteries need to be replaced every two years, which is usually a trip to a Tesla Service Center.

We have developed a battery relocation to the trunk, in an accessible housing, with a meter showing battery condition. Replacement now is DIY, and takes only a few minutes.