slefain
slefain PowerDork
1/7/22 1:51 p.m.

Seems like a stupid question, but I realized nobody in my auto repair sphere has ever laid a wrench on a Tesla. Not even to put new tires on one. That blows my mind.

Anyone out in GRM world had one in the shop yet? Swapped out struts? Changed brake pads? Seems like there are a ton on the road by now and plenty on the used market. Surely they can't all be serviced at the dealer. I watched a few videos of people doing suspension repairs and everything looks...normal. Control arms, CV axles, hubs, tie rods all look like standard fare.

I even called two local shops that I would figure to be in EV country, nope. Neither had touched a Tesla...ever. Not by policy, just haven't had one come in.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/7/22 1:58 p.m.

Well, I've had one on the lift and poked around :) They do look completely normal in the wheel wells. A brake fluid flush is completely mundane.

Brake pads either last forever (street car) or have a short life (hard use), so it's not surprising that the average Tesla isn't seeing much service. People are definitely putting tires on them, but that's also unremarkable.

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand UberDork
1/7/22 2:32 p.m.

I changed my neighbor's cabin air filter ... not sure that counts. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/7/22 2:44 p.m.

I put tires on one before the guy turned it in on a lease, because the old ones had large swaths of steel belts sticking out. I remember it well because he bought the cheapest tires he could find off eBay, and they literally had no brand or model name molded into the sidewalls anywhere. Never seen that before. It was a Model X, so a bunch of us berkeleyed around with the gullwing doors, watching all the different ways they fold up.

clutchsmoke
clutchsmoke UltraDork
1/7/22 2:48 p.m.

Good friend of mine Adam owns a shop. I'll give them a shout out - Race Consulting Agency in Mundelein, Illinois. Adam has a Model 3 rwd and the co-owner of RCA has a Plaid. Adam installed some Swift springs and a bigger rear sway bar on his 3. Co-owner took the Plaid to a track event and cooked the brakes. He'll be upgrading those. Customer Teslas have pretty much just been wheels/tires and air suspension installations. In terms of that stuff it's all just like an average car.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/7/22 3:20 p.m.

Thinking about this, there are two things that come to mind.

First, Teslas (and other EVs) are exempt from all the things that bring in-warranty newer cars into the shop, such as oil changes. They're supposed to get brake maintenance but really, how many people follow THAT recommended service interval? So really you shouldn't see them until they start wearing out suspension bits (which takes a while) or get modified. Given that the mass market Tesla is only about 3 years old, it may not be surprising that they haven't started to need that sort of work. The S and X are older but there are a lot fewer of them.

Dedicated tire shops might be an interesting place to ask this question, though.

Second question - what's the usual age for cars to start visiting you? Do people who buy new cars have a tendency to take them to the dealer, or do you see a lot of 2021 model Accords (etc) coming by for oil changes? I honestly don't know, my view of the service industry is obviously way skewed because of our customer base ("this car has 42 miles, please build a new engine and install new brakes and suspension") and because I do almost all my own maintenance.

obsolete
obsolete GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
1/7/22 3:56 p.m.
clutchsmoke said:

Good friend of mine Adam owns a shop. I'll give them a shout out - Race Consulting Agency in Mundelein, Illinois. Adam has a Model 3 rwd and the co-owner of RCA has a Plaid. Adam installed some Swift springs and a bigger rear sway bar on his 3. Co-owner took the Plaid to a track event and cooked the brakes. He'll be upgrading those. Customer Teslas have pretty much just been wheels/tires and air suspension installations. In terms of that stuff it's all just like an average car.

Oh, cool! I've bought several things through RCA's online storefront because I randomly found them through Google Shopping and they often have better prices than the big guys. It's all been drop-shipped from Turn14 anyway, so RCA is just the middleman. Nice to hear that they're a cool local shop and not just some faceless online entity.

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia UltraDork
1/7/22 4:11 p.m.

These guys showed up on TikTok the other day 

Gruber motors 

Here is one of their YouTube videos ,  

I am sure there is one when their workshop burned down and toasted a bunch of Tesla Roadsters !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcpPyBYRDcM

clutchsmoke
clutchsmoke UltraDork
1/7/22 5:24 p.m.
obsolete said:
clutchsmoke said:

Good friend of mine Adam owns a shop. I'll give them a shout out - Race Consulting Agency in Mundelein, Illinois. Adam has a Model 3 rwd and the co-owner of RCA has a Plaid. Adam installed some Swift springs and a bigger rear sway bar on his 3. Co-owner took the Plaid to a track event and cooked the brakes. He'll be upgrading those. Customer Teslas have pretty much just been wheels/tires and air suspension installations. In terms of that stuff it's all just like an average car.

Oh, cool! I've bought several things through RCA's online storefront because I randomly found them through Google Shopping and they often have better prices than the big guys. It's all been drop-shipped from Turn14 anyway, so RCA is just the middleman. Nice to hear that they're a cool local shop and not just some faceless online entity.

Please continue to order from them! You can't beat their customer service.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
1/7/22 5:44 p.m.
clutchsmoke said:

Good friend of mine Adam owns a shop. I'll give them a shout out - Race Consulting Agency in Mundelein, Illinois. Adam has a Model 3 rwd and the co-owner of RCA has a Plaid. Adam installed some Swift springs and a bigger rear sway bar on his 3. Co-owner took the Plaid to a track event and cooked the brakes. He'll be upgrading those. Customer Teslas have pretty much just been wheels/tires and air suspension installations. In terms of that stuff it's all just like an average car.

Now I want a combo sandwich from Luke's. Or pizza from Bills. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/7/22 6:20 p.m.

I have done two sets of tires and two alignments.

ALLDATA and John Bean (alignment rack) have zero Tesla info.  I had to scour online for alignment specs and lug nut torque figures, which I think of as rather important.  

 

A rear wheel drive 3 will demolish its rear tires with frightening speed.  25k miles and they were bald as honeydew.  If you do most of your braking with regen, and you only have motors on the rear wheels, they gonna wear fast...

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand UberDork
1/7/22 6:35 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

E36 M3, I wish I could get more than 10k out of my M3 rears ...

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/7/22 6:47 p.m.

FYI, a friend is into the can system on his 3, and it turns out that even the AWD versions do most of their regen on the rear wheels. 

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
1/11/22 6:11 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

FYI, a friend is into the can system on his 3, and it turns out that even the AWD versions do most of their regen on the rear wheels. 

Same friend who wrote a book about small Japanese roadsters?

dclafleur
dclafleur Reader
1/11/22 7:26 a.m.

I was thinking about this the other day, the battery system uses a coolant, does it have a coolant change interval or do they treat it as lifetime? In fairness most folks treat the coolant in their ICE engines as lifetime too..

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/11/22 8:41 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

FYI, a friend is into the can system on his 3, and it turns out that even the AWD versions do most of their regen on the rear wheels. 

I've heard that Teslas use TCP/IP over Ethernet for a lot of inter-device communication that most cars would use CANbus for - although the powertrain is still all CANbus.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/11/22 9:16 a.m.
dclafleur said:

I was thinking about this the other day, the battery system uses a coolant, does it have a coolant change interval or do they treat it as lifetime? In fairness most folks treat the coolant in their ICE engines as lifetime too..

Lifetime. The temperatures involved are considerably lower, although I don't know what kind of difference that makes. 

slefain
slefain PowerDork
1/11/22 9:21 a.m.
dclafleur said:

I was thinking about this the other day, the battery system uses a coolant, does it have a coolant change interval or do they treat it as lifetime? In fairness most folks treat the coolant in their ICE engines as lifetime too..

From what I've found it uses that weird blue coolant like BMWs and VWs. While it may be "lifetime fill" there still may be small amounts of schmutz from pump wear or other contaminants that could benefit from a flush. Most of the hoses I've found are plastic with quick connects, but there are some old fashioned rubber hoses here and there. So those could still use replacement at some point.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/11/22 9:22 a.m.
GameboyRMH said:
Keith Tanner said:

FYI, a friend is into the can system on his 3, and it turns out that even the AWD versions do most of their regen on the rear wheels. 

I've heard that Teslas use TCP/IP over Ethernet for a lot of inter-device communication that most cars would use CANbus for - although the powertrain is still all CANbus.

CAN isn't fast enough for video, for example. So they're probably using Ethernet for most of the self-driving stuff involving cameras and radar, etc. 

Powertrain, speed, proximity sensors, driver alerts, general status indicators like the temperature of the headlights, HVAC, body control stuff, car configuration ("do I have a spoiler? Yes, I have a spoiler") - that's all CAN. It's a much longer list than what you find on the ND Miata - around 4000 PIDs. ND Miata is less than 500. 

Vracer111
Vracer111 HalfDork
1/12/22 2:13 p.m.

This guy has a business working on/repairing EVs and knows a thing or two about modding Teslas...

 

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