Many challenges come with owning the luxurious Tesla Model S. Often, owners complain about faulty door handles and other problems with the car’s bodywork.
Many former or current vehicle owners consider it a bad car. Yes, it’s one harrowing experience to spend a considerable amount of money on something that doesn’t seem to be reliable.
But what is it that makes the luxurious Tesla Model S unreliable?
Tesla Model S has common problems such as door handles, bodywork, and electric issues. Other problems include non-functioning windshield wipers, front boot and tailgate, faulty wheel alignment, leaks in the cooling pump for the battery pack, and improperly aligned latches. The Tesla Model S is also expensive to repair.
This article discusses some common problems with Tesla Model S and their possible solutions. By the end of this article, you will have had added knowledge of the Tesla Model S.
What Are The Most Common Problems Of The Tesla Model S?
Tesla has many recurring problems, which are mostly the manufacturer’s fault.
Owners complain bitterly about the downsides of owning a Tesla Model S. The downsides of the vehicle arguably equal the upside.
Some common problems with the Tesla Model S include the following, in no specific order.
#1. Poor Build Quality
It’s absurd to relate that Tesla vehicles are expensive yet have poor build quality. Most Tesla vehicles have poor build quality, and Tesla Model S is no exception.
It’s irreconcilable that they are top-level luxury cars, leading in technology yet awful. The Tesla Model S has a poor interior designed with cheaper materials.
As if that’s not enough, the exterior material isn’t properly organized. It takes the looks of a vehicle that was rushed over as some external parts begin to misalign.
The Tesla Model S also has other common build issues, such as malfunctioning windshield wipers, front boot and tailgate, and faulty wheel alignment.
It also has leaks in the cooling pump for the battery pack and improperly aligned latches.
#2. Lacks Dealership Support System
The Tesla Model S has little or no dealership support system, which is not good for vehicles prone to issues.
Unlike most car dealerships, which have recommended shops connected to them, Tesla takes everything by itself.
Despite the overwhelming number of people with Tesla vehicles, Tesla still lacks dealership support systems.
Thus, fixing your Tesla at the designated places for repairs will always prove difficult and time-consuming.
#3. Poor Performance In Snow
Aside from the fact that snow or snowy days are cold and degrades battery cells, Tesla is built for warmer weather.
As if that is enough, Tesla Model S is a ‘no’ for a snowy path, as the tires can wear and eventually tear.
Of course, you can always replace worn tires with spare tires. However, you might need more tires and funds if you forge on.
The vehicle displays an abysmal performance on a path full of snow. So avoid driving the vehicle on snowy days.
#4. Premature Battery Issues
Tesla vehicles should last eight years/100 000 miles, according to Tesla. However, reports show that the Tesla Model S starts to have premature battery issues within eight years.
It becomes frustrating to spend a significant amount on something that could be more reliable.
The only good news is that the eight-year warranty covers your battery, but not the time wasted.
#5. High Maintenance And Repair Cost
Tesla vehicles have a high maintenance cost. The truth is only the rich can maintain a Tesla.
We don’t expect an electric car to come at a cheap price, but not an unaffordable one. It is one thing to afford a Tesla and another to maintain it.
Tesla parts are expensive, and you can only get them at a specific Tesla shop. Tesla’s body parts quickly develop issues.
Now, you must purchase expensive body parts as often as needed.
#6. Faulty Door Handle
Developing a faulty door handle is unavoidable for many owners who own the old Tesla Model S. They must have all encountered a faulty door.
A faulty Tesla door handle may fail to extend as usual or unlock even when it finally extends. Also, it may refuse to retract after you pull it and stays stuck out.
Majorly, the Tesla door handle is faulty when the door fails to:
#7. Faulty Electric System
The Tesla Model S is an electric car, and everyone expects it to exceed other vehicles. But sadly, the vehicle seems to have a faulty electric system.
Most owners who have had a bad experience with their vehicle’s electric system complain bitterly.
There are reports of the vehicle’s terrible climate control, steering, and suspension systems.
The vehicle also has faulty electric motors, which you must replace for a smooth run.
#8. Power Steering Malfunction
The power steering problem is also a big challenge for Tesla owners. Like many other Teslas, the Tesla Model S also has a power steering problem.
While the vehicle has a nice steering wheel, it poses many risks. Sometimes the steering fails to go in the sync or come out from the sync, doesn’t lock up, or hesitates to do so.
#9. Faulty Safety System
Like other high-tech vehicles, Tesla designs high-level safety systems. These systems provide a better drive with the owner’s safety in check.
They are for your comfort and convenience. However, the safety systems on Tesla Model S seem to be hazardous.
Considering the vehicle’s cost, no one expects such a big flaw from it.
What could be more life-threatening than driving a vehicle without a well-functioning brake system? Tesla’s warped brake discs don’t make the car cool. There’s no quick fix to a faulty safety system.
What Is The Biggest Problem Of The Model S Tesla?
The biggest problem with the Tesla Model S is the malfunctioning door handle. People complain bitterly about the situation.
That is not to say other problems with the Model S are inconsequential because there are also life-threatening challenges accustomed to Tesla Model S owners.
But the door handle is subsisting, even though owners have not stopped drawing Tesla’s attention to the challenge.
To fix your Tesla door handle, you must involve an expert to avoid further damage.
Besides, it is also covered in the warranty. Therefore, taking it to the nearest Tesla service center is safer.
The exciting part is that you can still fix your faulty door handle yourself.
#1. When The Door Handle Does Not Present
The spoilt gear or cog causes the door handle not to extend. When the gear or cog inside the door is damaged, the door fails to present.
That’s when you can hear a faint mechanical noise if you move close to the door handle. Regardless, you can fix it by simply replacing the gear or cog.
But in any case, you need it fixed now; then, you must go for a quick fix.
Here, you’ll need two plane plastic cards for the quick fix. Stick one end of one of the cards into the bottom of the slot and raise it slightly.
Next, stick the end of the other card into the top slot to pull the handle out with both cards.
#2. When The Door Handle Fails To Unlock
To lock and unlock your Tesla, an electro-mechanism enables that function. You may mechanically pull out the door handle as often as possible, and the door won’t unlock.
Your Tesla door won’t unlock if the micro-switches or wiring in the door develops a fault. If the wiring pulls out, it’s a big challenge because it distorts the electro-mechanism.
Even so, there is an easy way to go about it. You can solve this challenge by replacing the door handle micro switch wiring loom with a new one.
#3. When The Door Handle Fails To Retract
Tesla Model S is motorized, and a spring in the mechanism aids the handle’s retraction. Therefore, the door will only not retract if the spring is damaged or there’s a restriction.
That said, the door will remain stuck until you remove the restriction or replace the spring. The best thing to do is, adjust the installation.
Check the position of the wires and the condition of the cog or gear, and replace it if it’s broken.
That’s the case with the wiring loom. But for your hand or other material, pull them out.
Did Tesla Recall The Model S?
Yes, Tesla did recall the Model S because of the alarming complaints from the owners. The main reason for the recall was the inability of the autopilot feature to function well.
Everyone has always desired to have a vehicle that drives by itself. But that Tesla is still struggling with this feature illustrates that we have yet to arrive.
The autopilot systems cause problems that could be life-threatening.
Which Tesla Model S Model Year Is The Worst?
The 2013 model year of the Tesla Model S is the worst, even though the model years before 2017 are also bad.
It brags as the Tesla model year with the lowest ratings and highest complaints.
The 2013 Tesla Model S has faults ranging from the faulty door handle to the Heating and Cooling system failure.
Tesla model years before 2017 are the worst, which means the ones after 2017 and the best.
The table below provides a few differences and similarities between the worst and the best model years of the Tesla Model S.
|Before 2017 Model||After 2017 Model|
|Faulty door handle||Improved door handle|
|Faulty Heating and Cooling system||Improved Heating and Cooling system|
|Forward Collision-Avoidance malfunction||Forward Collision-Avoidance malfunction|
|Faulty Steering||Improved but still faulty|
|Faulty Electric System||Electric System is still faulty|
Is It Expensive To Maintain A Tesla Model S?
Yes, it is expensive to maintain a Tesla Model S. Aside from being expensive, its body parts are also expensive.
Like every vehicle, Tesla also has a schedule for routine maintenance checks. In fact, according to RepairPal, the average repair bill for a Tesla is $ 832 per year.
But most times, you end up spending more than that amount. EV parts are not ICE parts that you find quickly.
Apart from the cost of car parts, Tesla experts are rare and charge a lot. The certified technician’s bill will be higher than the average repair cost.
Hey, I’m Michael Davis, a 35-year-old with a degree and a love for cars and tech. Since I was a kid, cars have been my thing—so much that I even thought they ran on magic beans! Fast forward, and I’ve built Vehicle Army, your one-stop-shop for easy-to-understand car facts.