Tesla Roadsters are aging, going on 12 years old, and new parts, component, and firmware issues are cropping up.
Tesla’s first vehicle, the Roadster, can be a good investment, and loads of fun to drive. This little iconic car is what made Tesla the success it is today, and launched the EV revolution. Any car enthusiast understands limited supply (2400 built) first edition status, all means collectible some day. Before you jump in and buy one, here are some considerations:
If you have a 2010 to 2012 2.X Tesla Roadster, you have a 12 Volt battery buried under the front passenger wheel well, that needs to be replaced periodically.
The 2008 1.5 series Roadsters did not have this battery, borrowing power from two of the sheets in the ESS pack to supply 12 Volts.
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
Buried deep inside most Roadster firmware, is a tribute to three early Tesla employees and pioneers.
As first generation Roadsters continue to age, some of the Power Electronics Modules (PEM) are reaching 11 years of age. There are components in this large electronics module that have deteriorated and are end of life, and overdue engineering change orders that if left unresolved, can cause failure or damage to a major sub-assembly no longer in production.
If your Roadster does not get charged for 2-3 months, it can drain the battery sufficiently to where the charge port will no longer allow you to charge, and a condition known as a “bricked” battery occurs.
The Tesla Roadster maintains a log file of events and activity that helps service staff understand how the cars are being used and how they are performing. A copy of this log file can be retrieved from the car using a USB thumb drive.
This log file is highly useful when diagnosing faults and is the first item we request during a Roadster service event.
What has become the most famous automobile in history, is coming back to earth with Starman, but not for long.
As first generation Roadsters continue to age, we are seeing a huge uptick and interest in our ESS battery pack recovery services. Roadsters easily reach a dangerous battery state called a bricked condition if the charge routine is disrupted for a length of time, and the result is a battery that can no longer be charged through the charge port, rendering it dead or bricked.
The finish on any car is under constant attack. Between road rash, rock chips, and parking lots, even the most well preserved car is going to end up with blemishes.
This month we will dive into the unknown, the diagnostics menu reserved for the Service Center technicians. You may remember a previous newsletter were we gave the code to get into the hidden menu.
The number of Roadsters for sale seems to be increasing. With more cars available, cars sit longer waiting for buyers, and prices are declining. Supply is up, demand is down, and this may be why: The Lithium Ion cells in a ESS Battery Packs are End of Life (EOL). Let’s not forget Tesla originally projected…
Our service partner in Europe received our first PEM failure due to capacitor aging. One capacitor, out of 19 in a PEM, had become resistive, and blew up inside the PEM sending shrapnel throughout the logic and circuitry. By a stroke of luck, the conductive debris did not short out anything.
This is a brief, but fascinating history of a car company that launched out of nowhere, and changed the transportation paradigm in just a few years.
Tesla Roadster Charge Table In an earlier Newsletter, we promoted 120 VAC charging vs 240/208 VAC charging. What you gain in reduced charging times with a 240 charge, may sacrifice long term reliability on key components in your car. (See the July Newsletter) This charge table is a guideline for various charge parameters. It is…
Charging at 240 VAC, which feeds 40 Amps to the Roadster is definitely faster than using the 120 VAC 15 Amp charge cable. A full charge at 120 VAC could take 30+ hours, and conveniently stores in the car and plugs into a regular wall outlets.
Tesla Motors was created based on being inspired by an electric sports car, called the Tzero, developed by a small company called AC Propulsion Systems founded by Alan Cocconi in San Dimas, California in 1992.
The main battery pack in the bowels of a Roadster is a 900+ lb monster, consisting of 6,831 Lithium Ion 18650 cells, mounted in 11 sheets.