Welcome home Tesla Roadster #40… And first disaster…

So, I announced a few posts ago our intent to bring home Tesla Roadster Signature 78. We hit to visit, test drive, and wait… And wait…

Apparently during the pre-delivery inspection (PDI) process they noticed that the motor was making an out of spec noise. It turns out that the solution to the problem is a replacement motor. It was going to take about three weeks to get tis problem fixed.

So, Tesla made us an offer to swap out #78 for #40.


If you looked at our initial picture from the previous post on Roadster 78, Roadster 40 is behind me in the picture.

So, what are the differences between 78 and 40? Frankly, color of the interior and 40 did not have a hardtop. Oh… And mileage, 78 was closer to 21,000 miles and 40 has closer to 2,200 miles. Since the problem was found late and prior to delivery, Tesla offered us a swap of 78 for 40. We deliberated and agreed to the swap with some other adjustments. Namely, we wanted the same hardtop to move from 78 to 40, so Tesla agreed to move it with a price adjustment to cover the hardtop.





Author with that specialized EV Grin known as a Tesla Grin


A View of the Tesla Roadster from its sibling in our garage, the current star of this blog, the Active E… Yes, the one that made us Environmental members of the rEVolution.


Our first day with the Tesla Roadster was awesome. I had planned an ambitious drive and asked the store to charge the vehicle using Range Mode as I was looking at a 170-180 mile range first day to drive around the Los Angeles Basin to show family our new addition. It was suggested by our contact at the sales center (and current Roadster owner) that this might be ambitious for a first day, I capitulate and drove down our itinerary. We ended up with a 120-130 mile drive that was excellent. We arrived home with about 81 miles ideal range (about 70 miles of estimated range).

It was great driving the car around. This warm end of summer day and when we reached home, we decided to try our various charging set-ups. We have an MC240 to use with our Roadster 1.5, this is the pre-cursor to the UMC that has universal ports and supports a NEMA 14-50 on one end and the Roadster plug on another. This runs at 30 Amps and we plugged it in. The port went from white to Red and we encountered the dreaded “Powertrain Problem, Service Required, ID 287” fault. Thinking that we had a bad MC240, we tried using the CAN (a J1772 to Roadster Adapter that is all too elegant) from HCSharp. Adjusted the Amperage to 32A, the maximum that our EVSE can handle, dropped it down to 16A then finally 12. Still the same challenge. This was perplexing and unnerving. We just picked up the car about six hours prior. Numerous attempts and checks with no joy. Even went so far as to use the included 120V mobile charger at 12A (this would be 20-40 hours from empty to charge a Roadster), still with no joy. Same reaction and error.

It would seem that there are a lot of Roadsters with this particular challenge, and Roadster 40 is no exception.

So, called Tesla Service for Ranger Service and was promptly told that the chances were slim to none of getting anyone to pick up until Tuesday. (it is a Holiday on Monday, Sept. 2, 2013). Went scrambling back to Google and read, and read, and read on the teslamotorsclub.com website. And found differing challenges that people had faced and what their resolutions had been. It was a long list of things. And feeling defeated, dejected and downright depressed over the woes of first generation EV car company purchases, we went to sleep.

Flash forward to early morning 9/2/2013. It has been a very hot weekend, and I was jolted awake by the rustling of my better half. I thought to try to just plug the car in. 120V at first. Voila. It worked. 12A, but it started to take the charge. Feeling a little better. I thought to swap out the 120V for the MC240V at 30A, and that started to work as well. Thus, you find me here reporting our success to you, our fine reader. In fact, prior to publishing this post. I went back to the garage to check on the ideal miles on the Roadster (as it still charges), rather noisily compared to our Active E (a negative mark for the Tesla Roadster), shows that it has increased 26 miles since I plugged it in about an hour ago? Not really sure as I was QUITE asleep when I first ventured to plug it in again.

So, what was the resolution? I suppose it was to let the car “cool down” and/or “dry up” before having the charge cycle start. We ran the HVAC unit all day since we got the car and there was a post regarding moisture and the same error (I’ll re-edit a link to this once I find it again.) Or something. Either way, I need to get back to sleep.

So, as the house cools down, I find sleep beckoning again and I think I shall return to slumber.

The tan interior is warm and inviting, so if you don’t see updates on the blog for a while, we’re just busy EVangelizing with our two EV car family!

For more Tesla Roadster pictures (both 78 and 40), though I suspect there will be more 40 as the years progress. Click here for Flickr.

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