Car will not take charge

Car will not take charge

This is a purely tech-support post, but plugging the car in tonight, it will not take charge. The cable is green-light, connector plugged in, but the charge port does not lock or take charge. Any ideas? The main console notes that I need to plug in the charge cable, but when I put my foot on the brake, it alerts that the charge cable is plugged in. 85 miles left, but I would love to not have to take it in if anyone knows how to get around this. Thanks!

Timo | December 8, 2012

Call Tesla. Ranger will come to you and fix it in place (if it is possible).

Vic M | December 8, 2012

Thanks Timo. I will tomorrow morning

bfranks273 | December 9, 2012

Sorry to be obvious, has happened to me: Can you pull the plug out? If so try re-inserting but be pretty forceful. Even though you get a green light make sure you hit bottom, push hard. When it goes in you should hear a little thunk of the local latch grabbing. Pushing on the top button on the plug should also thunk, and then allow you to pull it out. Best of luck in any case.

Vic M | December 9, 2012

Thanks bfranks. I push in hard, and it does latch over time, but does not latch immediately and turn green. Will have to call Tesla.

mbarontseff | December 9, 2012

Let us know what the Tesla ranger says. If it's an easy fix, it would be good to know what to do. I certainly want my car charging when I plug it in.

Brian H | December 9, 2012

If at first you don't succeed, get a bigger hammer!

pilotSteve | December 9, 2012

BrianH - "if you can't fix it with a hammer, its an Electrical problem"!

Brian H | December 9, 2012

Ain't it the truth‼

lph | December 9, 2012

It is a smart car, however, I think that you are expecting too much of the model S to take charge ;-)

Brian H | December 9, 2012

KITT! Help me out here!

Siri? Is that you? | December 9, 2012

Brian you seem to be having much more fun these past few weeks :o)

Brian H | December 9, 2012

No, this is Iris, her smarter younger sister.

Step aside, you lot. This is HAL 9002, and I'll handle things from here on out.

kent | December 9, 2012

I had the same problem it was the UMC charging cable. Call Tesla and they will overnight you a replacement. I took my car to a public Nissan dealership to confirm the issue and it worked fine on their J1772 charger although slow.

I've had my new one for a week without any issues.

Sig. #121 - Vin #513

Vic M | December 10, 2012

Kent, I think you are on the money. I am charging (slowly) right now on the level 1 at the office. I will get it back to Menlo Park today for a cable replacement/ repair.

kent | December 10, 2012

Your description was spot on to the problem I had experienced. The great news is that it has worked perfect with the new cable. Can't wait until the HPC comes in to have a two charging methods at home. I'm leaving the 14-50 plug in case of an emergency after the HPC is installed.

Good luck,

Vic M | December 10, 2012

Kent, it was indeed the same issue, and I mentioned your post to the service rep. Hopefully they can beat this our of the design. Lucky for me Silicon Valley is thick with charging, so no inconvenience really.



m67tesla | December 10, 2012

you have to suspend the charge via touch screen

kent | December 10, 2012

It was a little more challenging for me, but I made some new friends at the Nissan dealership. All is fine due to Tesla superb service.

Glad you have the issue resolved. Enjoy the Model S Vic!


kenheidorn | March 21, 2013

Just had the same thing happen. UMC failed, car would not charge. Tesla sent a new UMC (Universal Mobil Connector?)seems to work fine now. Thank goodness!! The nearest service center is a 9 hour drive.

Now if only the weather would clear-up, don't want to get the car dirty.

Mark Z | April 11, 2013

After a few days of using the HPWC, a similar problem occurred. Model S would not charge or there was a delay after fully inserting the charge handle for a few minutes. I did find the problem today!

The delay never happened with J1772 chargers, other HPWC, SuperChargers or my standard charge cord. During the wait, the phone app shows, "Charge Port Open - Connect charge cable." While waiting worked at first, it has gradually gotten worse. I called Tesla Motors and the local service center is to schedule a Ranger visit. Tesla service did download the latest version of software, but that did nothing except add the 60 amp warning when manually raising it on the touchscreen. Running the HPWC at 80 amps creates a lot of heat in the HPWC case. Nothing serious, but 60 amp warmth has a "normal" feel at both case and cable. Both settings made no difference with the failure to start charging.

Temporary success occurred depending on how the button on the charge handle was pressed after the handle was fully inserted. It appears that a short or button failure is causing the problem. If I hold the front of the button down, the vehicle starts charging! The button is very sensitive, unlike any other Tesla charge handle I have used. With this knowledge, the HPWC can be coaxed into working. Timed charging will be skipped to guarantee a charge. Having a ChargePoint charge station and a NEMA 14-50 provides a backup.

Not sure if the Rangers will be able to fix the charge handle or if the entire charge cable will need replacement. The internals of the HPWC appear to be working fine, even the self test is successful. Hope this discovery helps someone who may encounter a flaky charge handle button at home, on the go or at a SuperCharger.

Brian H | April 12, 2013

So the solution is "lean on it"? Seems like a threading or latching problem.

Mark Z | April 12, 2013

Lean won't help. The actual button on the top of the charge handle is covered with a thin metal. Using sticky tape, the metal button cover can be lifted slightly to change the pressure on the button hidden beneath the metal covering. Once the metal cover is lifted slightly, the front of the metal cover can be pressed with the slightest pressure, allowing for proper operation. Each situation would be unique due to the hidden button and the metal covering. Perhaps excessive glue is under the button cover causing the problem. Whatever it is, it takes trial and error in lifting and pressing the metal button cover to discover the right area and pressure to make it work. I consider the above paragraph to be a suggested activity if and only if the Tesla charge handle is acting up and the driver cannot start the charging process. Having the handle fully inserted into the charge port is the most likely reason for the problem, but secondarily is the button being defective for those who encounter this issue. As you can see by the lengthy thread, others have encountered the situation of the EVSE being defective. Replacement of the handle, charge cord or EVSE will solve the problem, but until that occurs attempting to make the button work may allow the Tesla Model S to charge when there are no other charging devices available.

Brian H | April 12, 2013

Mark Z;

Very cogent.

Dcp9142 | July 27, 2013

Same issue.

On day 2 after delivery my UMC would not lock in. Ring stayed white. I went for a drive and had no problem charging after it. Day 3 ok. Day 4, no matter what I did, would not lock. Twisting or torquing would get green, but when pressure released, back to white. Using a J1772 to charge worked fine. Day 5 no problem. Day 6, just like day 4.

Called service and described the issue. As might be expected, this was blamed on need to 'finesse' plugging it in. The UMC lights themselves showed no problem, the connector was not damaged. Opening port by 17" screen, or by UMC button made no difference. Rebooting main screen made no difference. Car logs not revealing.

But, I had taken video with my phone of he behavior. On sending that to Vince, the service rep, it was completely clear that the problem was not how I was plugging in, but that we had a real defect.

so a new UMC was overnighted to me. So far, connecting flawlessly.

Take home lessons: video of a fault is golden for troubleshooting; Tesla customer service is stellar.

Cross posting this to TMC forum as well.

brent | November 15, 2013

I had the same problem. Inserting the cable, caused charge indicator to stay "white". I reset the computer, same result. I unplugged the cord from wall plug and same result. I ended up solving the problem by carefully pressing down on the front of the button. Pressing about 1/2 down made the charge indicator go green. But when I let go of the button the charge indicator turned white again. Ugh! Finally I got some masking tape and carefully taped the button down about 1/2 way and it is working. I will call Tesla now to ask for replacement.