Heater core error, keeps car from driving.

Heater core error, keeps car from driving.

So before a recent road trip from Seattle to San Diego, I took my 2013 85kw Model S to the Bellevue service center for a pre trip checkup and to recharge the AC system. They provided a loaner car which was very convenient. They told me everything was good to go and the AC worked. My trip went fairly smoothly until Mount Shasta when I got an Error code that said "service needed car may not be able to drive again", or something close to that effect. After parking it and charging it I didn't have the same issue again on the way to SD. The second issue I had was that every time I would make a sharp turn there would be the sound of liquid draining from the front passenger side of the car and it would drain into the passenger floorboard of onto the passengers foot. Im pretty sure that someone forgot to hook up a drain plug to the AC condensation drain pump, not a huge issue but still annoying.

On the way back from SD is where the real issues started happening, after pulling into the supercharger outside of Bakersfeild, I found that my car wasn't charging and I was getting a few error messages "voltage low"
"Car needs service" and another one that I can't remember what it was. I called the Tesla emergency number and they set up a tow truck for the next morning to pull it into the Bakersfield service center. After dropping it off the service tech started working on it and provided me with a loaner car to explore the beautiful city of Bakersfield which was nice. That afternoon I got a call back saying that the issue was the main drive motor as the service tech had found moisture under the cover. He advised me that I was good to drive it home and that I should get the motor replaced soon, but again that it was good to drive home.

Well that night I made it as far as the fine city of Sacramento before getting the exact same error codes, now Im pissed, after calling the Tesla emergency number again and expressing my extreme frustration at the shoddy service work, the extra days added to my trip and the day off from work I will now be missing, the operator offered to tow my car to the Sacramento service center at no charge(which was nice but the least they could do at this point).

I get to the Sacramento service center the next day and service center starts to work on it(no loaner car this time). That afternoon they call me and tell me that the issue is a heater core error and it will cost $1500 to fix. Im irritated, but I want to get back on the road as well, so I have them fix it. I make it home and the car has been running fine since but there is still liquid leaking out of the passenger side dash onto the floor when I use the AC system.

In all 3 instances when the car displays the error codes and or stopped running, the front passenger side floor board was very damp from all of the liquid leaking out of the AC unit, I'm wondering if the actual issue was the water being condensed from the AC unit triggering some kind of a moisture error that was keeping the car from driving as it seems really odd that a failed heater core would keep a car from driving....

I appreciate your insight!


Roger1 | July 11, 2019

Why did you feel the A/C needed recharging before your trip?