First Roadster We Serviced
After we decided to create another division in the Gruber companies, and call it “Gruber Motor Company”, (GMC) we reached out to the Roadster community and offered, engineering, maintenance, and service. After 3 decades of providing nationwide critical power equipment service in Data Centers, we realized the technology in the Tesla Roadster is virtually identical to Uninterruptible Power Systems (UPS).
As always, low tech auto can easily be handled on a local level ranging from tires, brakes, suspension work, windshields, paint/body, and mechanical issues. Prior to our entry into the Roadster Service business, advanced repairs like PEM problems, usually required a complete assembly swap from Tesla. Advanced ESS Battery Pack issues, also usually required a swap with refurbished packs.
This particular Roadster was our first customer, seeking a component level PEM repair, from the Bay Area. Faced with a $10K PEM replacement, he elected to ship his Roadster to our engineering lab.
This Roadster, shipped to us for a PEM repair, turned into a rebuild. The reason was, the further we dug into the problem, we began to take note of age related engineering problems, the most compelling being the decaying IGBT Transistor Insulating Material, which in this case had shorted his megapole power board.
What we learned from this Roadster PEM set an additional series of now popular retrofits in place, which include the PEM cooling fan CIC board socket pin regression fix, bleed resistor upgrades, electrolytic capacitor age tracking and replacements, and contactor and relay replacements.
This deep dive into this Roadster PEM, revealed a number of other age related component failures, which if left unresolved, create a ticking time bomb, in a vital part of the Roadster drive train, out of production since 2008.
As a result, we generated a number of tech tips, and began sharing them with Tesla corporate and the Service Centers. We continued our Roadster electronics reverse engineering efforts, created schematics, test procedures, and diagnostics, setting in motion an extensive list of service procedures still evolving today.
Many years later, this first Roadster rebuilt by GMC is still on the road, being enjoyed by the owner.