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Thread: What's gone wrong with your Roadster?

  1. #1
    Roadster 2.5 #0476 benji4's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
    Tokyo, Japan

    What's gone wrong with your Roadster?

    Last month I took my Roadster in for its first annual maintenance. The car was in great shape, needed only a new windshield wiper. Over the first year of its life a number of minor problems did occur however. Here is list of what I can remember from the first year / 6500 miles:

    1) Passenger side door stopped opening, wiring problem corrected.
    2) Rear reflectors both fell off the car.
    3) Back up monitor stopped functioning, camera needed replacement
    4) Water ingress above driver side door, needed re-sealing.
    5) Spare charger broke, exchanged for new one
    6) Squeeky noises from the suspension, not sure what was done to correct it.

    Not TOO bad I guess, and so far other than a wiper blade and new tires installed last week, the cost of driving the car has been the cost of electricity to power it only. I'm happy I have two years left on the warranty, but a bit scared to imagine what might happen after that! What kinds of things have needed repair or replacement on your Roadster?

  2. #2
    Moderator Doug_G's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
    Ottawa, Canada
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    I'm at almost 2 years and 21,000 km, and so far it's all minor stuff, with one exception.
    • Replaced PEM fans once (prior to upgrade) - the only non-minor item.
    • Bad TPMS sensor.
    • Bad key fob.
    • Part of TESLA logo fell off.
    • Door sills replaced
    • Windshield washer sprayer got plugged.
    • Passenger side airbag cover loose (caused by opening dashboard during the key fob investigation).

    I have a couple of new minor nits:
    • Recently the knob started falling off the vent control.
    • My trunk latches are a little sticky.
    • There's a couple of squeaks I'd like looked at (one caused by opening dashboard)

    • Backup battery wiring recall
    • PEM/motor fan assembly upgrade
    • A/C condenser cowling upgrade
    • Repositioned key fob antenna

    Paid-for upgrades:
    • HID headlights.
    • Extra set of rims and tires.

    • Tire replacement

    I think that's everything.
    Last edited by Doug_G; 2012-04-19 at 04:08 PM.

  3. #3
    1. VMS not responding to touch- R&R
    2. Roll bar carbon fiber cover mis alignment- R&R
    3. Cluster frozen- reset twice then R&R
    4. Powertrain Fault - R&R PEM
    5. Trunk not releasing- R&R latches
    6. Driver Side seat rocks back and forth- R&R Seat Tracks
    7. Glove box cover mis-aligned R&R Cover
    8. Passenger side Heated Seats inop- R&R Heated seat lower cushion
    9. Water intrusion from windshield- R&R windshield seal
    10. Handbrake Engaged message even when disengaged- Adjust handbrake
    11. Crackling noise from Passenger side rear speaker- R&R
    12. Blower Fan sounds like its hitting something - R&R
    13. TPMS Errors- Intermittent unable to reproduce consistently- recalibrate
    14. Water intrusion trunk seal- R&R trunk seal
    15. HU loses track of vehicle- faulty VSS connector R&R
    16. Air Conditioner blows warm air, power limited mode- R&R Comp
    17. Brake pump noisy- R&R Pump
    18. Excessive wind noise from fenders- R&R inner fender liner
    19. Wheel finish peeling- R&R Wheels
    20. Dimmer switch only works in full right position- R&R Switch
    21. When turning sounds like something is rubbing- R&R inner fender liners
    22. Gear illumination intermittent- R&R gear selector panel
    23. Door needs to be lifted to close flush- R&R door latch
    24. Heavy vibration at 65mph- Defective shock
    25. Power Train Error- car will not move- R&R PEM #2
    26. Weather stripping on drivers side fell off- R&R Weatherstripping
    27. Center console shakes - nothing can be done for this I think all of them do that
    28. Climate control does not illuminate when headlights on- R&R

    Even with all its faults I love these cars!

  4. #4
    4GETOIL P85#70,X#50,85D dadaleus's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Solana Beach, California, United States
    Holy toledo smoothoperator!

    My list:
    - Bad TPMS sensors multiple times
    - JVC radio is not connected to speedometer so no navigation (still an issue because they needed more time and I haven't bothered, but I will get it fixed)
    - JVC radio randomly reboots when skipping hard disk songs

    That's it. I guess I could say the car rattles a bit, but I feel like that's just part of having a Roadster.

    I've actually been VERY happy. Two of the three are problems with the lame radio. I basically use it as an amp for my iphone so it's generally not a bother.
    X Res #50 - P85 Sig #00070 - 85D #78512 - former Roadster #913
    Watch us in: Gallons of Light

  5. #5
    Senior Member NigelM's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
    Sarasota, FL
    Blog Entries
    Wow, that's quite a list *smoothoperator*; mine's much shorter.....

    • Water ingress at top of drivers door - window adjustment required
    • Various minor squeaks - 99% fixed when I upgraded to CF dash

    I did have Tesla move the microphone and had the key fob antenna respositioned (is that a design flaw or something which "went wrong"). I changed the interior, trunk and license plate bulbs to LED and installed HID lights. Replaced rear tires after 12 months.

    Edit: Forgot my UMC failure, Tesla over-nighted a new one.
    Last edited by NigelM; 2012-04-19 at 06:57 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member hcsharp's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
    version 2.5 8000 miles 10 months old:

    Major repairs:
    high voltage controller failed. Unable to drive.
    PEM/Motor fans failed once before upgrade to newer fan with cowling.

    minor repairs:
    TPMS antenna failed.
    squeaky hard top - Tesla fixed this but 1,000 miles later became squeaky again.
    passenger side door switch would stick on.
    trunk latches sticky. takes several tries to open trunk (still not fixed)
    body panel alignment problems between rear bumper and trunk lid. Tesla worked on this but only partially fixed it.

  7. #7
    Member kgb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Houston, TX
    Since Oct 2010:


    UMC failure x 2 (If you can't charge, you can't drive)

    TPMS antenna failure
    Car delivered without lumbar support pads
    Part of TESLA emblem fell off
    Tire rubs passenger front wheel well
    12V battery failure
    Bushing in steering column came loose
    Headlight housing fog
    Wind noise - fix was worthless
    Weak A/C - Ranger said he fixed something, we'll see (it's almost summer again)

    Above, all done under warranty

    Annual service
    Multiple Tire changes - covered under 2.5 tire thread.

    I must admit: My biggest reservation to purchase was the service. The owners with lower VIN's than mine were encouraging me by telling me that although TM had the right to charge for many of the warranty repairs, they hadn't. I didn't like the idea of making such a big purchase and then having to trust the good intentions of a corporation. Ultimately, I couldn't wait any longer. TM has been VERY fair about the repairs. I realize the roadster was their "proof-of-concept" model. I hope this keeps up after they release the Model S. Over all, I am very happy with the vehicle. The electric drivetrain is the best and most reliable part of the car. My only remaining lingering complaint is the wind noise (top up or down) - I've resorted to using the Bose noise canceling headphones when I drive.

    EDIT: It's my understanding that the "sound reduction upgrade" brings the 1.5 more in line with the 2.5. So I feel really sorry for all the 1.5's who haven't yet sprung for the noise reduction.
    Last edited by kgb; 2012-04-18 at 08:47 PM.
    Model S #5253 - Black 85kWh

  8. #8
    '08 #383 SByer's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Cupertino, CA
    V1.5, just went in for it's third.

    Y1: 1 sheet in the battery had to be replaced. Windows adjusted for soft top.
    Y2: 1 sheet in the battery had to be replaced, 2 others were replaced as 'marginal'.
    Y3: TPMS control module failed, replaced.

    I had the sound reduction upgrade done last year - the few annoying squeaks were removed (a couple have crept back). Had the headlights and suspension done this year.

    So, not much.

  9. #9
    Moderator, Asia Pacific markwj's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
    Hong Kong
    1 year and ~11,000Km, and I've seen:

    • 2x 400Volt power converter in the front blow
    • 1x PEM fail
    • 2x Fuses in the battery blow (1 caused by a 400Volt converter blow, and 1 caused by the PEM issue) - requires battery swap and a lot of work
    • 1x VMS swap-out as it locked-up when extracting logs to USB
    • 1x Windscreen wiper blade fail (metal bit came out and threatened to scrape the windscreen)
    • 2x TPMS rear antenna replacement
    • 1x Loose wing mirror
    • Minor squeaks and rattles

    Quite a list, and talking to other owners here in HK, it seems I have just been unlucky. Most of the above was in the first six months, and the last six months have been pretty ok. Maybe pu

    That said, the 400volt converter is an issue out here in the high humidity of Hong Kong and that is something Tesla have been working on. I used to plug in and charge immediately upon returning home - now I have it set to charge at 4am to let the front dry out a bit before applying power. But, this is a concern as the summer is coming here and things are about to get very hot and very humid.

    The Tesla service and support team are beyond praise. The last time a 400Volt converter blew, the head Ranger came out to my home late on a Saturday afternoon and had it swapped in 30 minutes or so. They've honored warranty on everything, without a fuss, and have come out to my office/home to deal with the issues - saving me the trip.

  10. #10
    Moderator Doug_G's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
    Ottawa, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgb View Post
    Weak A/C - Ranger said he fixed something, we'll see (it's almost summer again)
    When my Ranger did the fan cowling upgrade, he actually replaced the entire radiator assembly (Tesla determined that was easiest). After that he had to recharge the coolant loop. It didn't quite work right the first time - something got frozen and the pressure wasn't quite right - but he tried it again and pronounced it 100%.

    Interesting result: ever since my car was brand-new, I would get regular "compressor over temp" messages in the log whenever it was charging. I complained about it at the time but was told it wasn't important. Yet the first day I ever didn't get that message was the day my compressor loop was recharged.

    Weak A/C is a common complaint. Maybe a lot of these cars don't have their cooling loops charged properly...?

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