"Charge cable fault" fix (???)

"Charge cable fault" fix (???)

I plugged my X90D in a half-hour ago and got a red ring at the port and an error, "Charge cable fault. Check manual". The light on the charge cable wall unit was flashing red 3x, repeatedly.

I unplugged, re-plugged the car a couple times. Nothing. I checked fuses (fine). I checked voltage with a multimeter (fine). And, I could not find any real answers to this (or anything useful online or in a manual). Also, while the car was unplugged, I unplugged the charger (NEMA 14-50) from the wall a couple times. Same result; red light flashing 3x. I did a software reset, with the brake pedal depressed and thumbs on both steering wheel buttons. No luck. Even my phone was telling me that there would be no charging until the problem was addressed.

Called local SC; closed for the day.

Then, unintentionally, while the car was still plugged in, I unplugged the charge cable from the wall and then plugged it back in. Realizing this may have been a gigantic mistake, I froze for about three seconds - only to see the familiar green light on the cable unit turn back on! The car is now charging.

I'm not sure if this is coincidence, dumb luck, or an actual workaround.

Just sharing in case someone else has a better idea or explanation.

Solarman004 | 6 May 2017

First thing to try if it happens again: disconnect cable from car and press the "reset" button on the HPWC. Then try charging again.
If that doesn't work, disconnect power to the HPWC, open it up and check for a loose power wire (from the 14-50 plug) at the 2 terminal blocks. I had this happen on my HPWC, and it just required tightening​ the loose terminal screw.
While you are in there, make sure the rotary switches are set properly for your circuit breaker size.

RealToast | 7 May 2017

@Solarman004 - Thanks for the tips (I think!). Before attempting, I'll have to consult my dogeared Electricity for Dummies, Third Edition.

You make a good point. Perhaps my "successful" experiment was coincidental to having the car plugged in while I unplugged and re-plugged at the HPWC; this may have simply jiggled the outlet back into working order.

paulo | 25 June 2018

I have a different answer: I just got my brand new X100D and tried my Tesla home charger . I got the dreadful message "Charge cable fault".
I noticed that the charge resets itself after a while, or you can also reset it by turning the circuit breaker off and on.
I then tested to charge the older model S85 and all went fine, but when I plugged into the new X100D the problem would return.

I then realized that on the "charging" screen of the car, you can select the max Amp for that location, which was set to 72. I daunted on me that the charger was installed to handle the S85 and probably could not take the 72 Amp. Bingo, I lowered the Amp limit to 60 Amp and "Voila" it works fine.

So, if you have the problem, try lowering the Amp limit in your car. Most likely it will work.

paulo | 30 June 2018

Guys, I am sorry for the post. Yes, the charger worked after that, but the problem repeated next day and that did not solve the problem. The charger has no problem with my model S, but it was only able to charge the model X once.
I tried to lower the current setting, rebooted the wall charger, nothing seems to work.

lilbean | 30 June 2018

Maybe the problem is not the “charging cable” but the “charger” in the X.

davidahn | 30 June 2018

@Paulo, I had the same problem with my MS 85D using my brother-in-law's 32A mobile connector (my mobile connector is 40A). I just gave up and used my mobile connector. I'll have to try reducing the charge current to 32A and see if it works.

Instead of giving an error, Tesla's software should limit the amperage to what the cable can support.

bp | 30 June 2018

It appears MCU2 cars may have problems charging with Gen 1 HPWC or Gen 1 UMC or the 14-50 connector (which likely uses the Gen 1 hardware).

I'm guessing the faster processor is causing some handshake problems with the Gen 1 equipment - resulting in "red ring of death" or reduced charging amps.

The Tesla charging team appears to be aware of these issues and is working with the development group on a software update.

fbasciano | 30 June 2018

After 3 months of trouble free home charging we got the error on the screen of the tesla model S - 100D that identified a fault in the charging cable. The “stove outlet”was installed on its own circuit, to the tesla specs, and by a competent electrician. The charger itself shows a red flashing light as well as the ring at the power port of the car. We have unplugged and replugged the charger in several times and switched the breaker off o few times.

Tesla suggested that we charge the car at a public charger first to help narrow down the possible problems and then call service. We have a supercharge station nearby and will give it whirl tomorrow. We have plenty of charge and a quiet few days ahead so we have the luxury of time to sort things out.

We will keep you posted on our findings.

Any thoughts?

Redmiata98 | 30 June 2018

fb, Are you charging at home with the cable to an outlet or to HPWC?

johnse | 1 July 2018

Charging at a Supercharger will not test the onboard charger in your car. You’ll get a charge, but it bypasses the AC-DC conversion in the car, feeding DC directly to the batteries.

To help diagnose your issue (ruling out the on-board charger as a potential problem, you will want to use a J1772 Level 2 charging station. You can use to find ones near you.

fbasciano | 1 July 2018

Sorry for the use of the term “stove outlet”. We had an electrician install a NEMA 14-50 outlet. It connects to our electrical panel with a 50 amp breaker.

The home charger provided by Tesla plugs into this outlet, from which we then coil the cable on a wall mount bracket and plug into the car on a regular routine. A part of the cabling has an object that has a light that is currently showing colour red and is normally colour green.

The car now shows a warning that there is a cable fault.

I hope this answers the question.

Thank you for the explanation.

We also have some public chargers nearby as well. We can give one of them a go.

Thanks all of you

Triggerplz | 1 July 2018

After about 18 months my charging cable stopped working the ranger came out and replaced it

fbasciano | 8 July 2018

Tesla will be replacing the mobile charging cable with a 2nd Generation cable.

They tech guys were very good once we gave them a good picture of our steps to identify and clarify the situation.

paulo | 12 July 2018

Now hear this! I found out that my model X was allergic to Power Wall chargers. The car would only take charge from a Supercharger. It did not work with my home charger that has bee charging my model S and it did not take another charge at a hotel that I stopped by during a trip. I called tesla, they sent the mobile technician. He updated the software (which was already updated) and could not solve the problem.
I take the care to the service. They confirmed that the car would not charge from their own PW. This was Monday. I called yesterday (Wednesday) and the answer is that they had ran all the tests and send the results for diagnostics. They were expecting an answer by Friday (tomorrow), can you believe it? I hope the problem with your cars is not as bad as this. Very disappointed with Tesla.

davidahn | 12 July 2018

@paulo, if it will only charge via DC charger, looks like your onboard AC charger(s) are bad. Sounds like an easy enough fix, drop-in replacement.

paulo | 16 July 2018

Well, this is what I though too. After spending one week at the service, they came out with an explanation from engineering that my car has an "upgraded hardware" and can only work with newer Gen2 chargers. I can't believe it is true. I took the car out of the service and wrote on the receipt that I don't consider the problem solved.
If this was true, it would mean that all the new cars could not rely on the thousands of Wall Charges provided by restaurants, shopping and hotels where there are no superchargers available.
Besides, if this was official, the service guys should be alerted instead of having to deal with angry customers.
On my side I will continue to pursue a better solution.


thormark | 7 August 2018

I have the same problem. Leased 85 D charged fine with HPWC for the last 3 years. THen I bought MS100D and it wont change. Gets red ring and then I have to reset the charger. I keep trying 5-10 times and it will eventually work. No problem at superchargers, just HPWC. Tried my friends HPWC and same thing - red ring. So I'm thinking the gen 1 HPWC does not work with the newer MCU cars as was already stated on this thread.
Have not got a lot of help from Tech yet. Playing phone tag, etc.
Has anyone had this problem solved by having the charging cable replaced?
Paulo - did they give you a new charger cable?

BTW the Tesla Motors Club Forum is much better than this one - at least you can search the thread!

Sc0rPs | 8 August 2018

Also should chime in, have a Bosch Level 2 charging unit doing 30 Amps as I have a different EV. A few times I got that error message so found two ways that work. Turning off & on (reset) the charging unit will do it but sometimes it has taken a few tries. The other, and easier, was to first start a lower amp for the car and once reached just raise it.

Haven't had this happen for quite a while so just plugging in set @ 72.

davidahn | 1 September 2018

Brand new MX 100D, 3 year old first gen HPWC. Gave me a charge cable fault on first insertion. This was working just fine for my 2015 MS 85D with dual chargers. I left it overnight (that had worked despite same error on a G2 mobile connector). Did not charge. Tried multiple unplugging and reinsertions, still error. Tried lowering the charge amps to 70. Checked HPWC, giving 8 red blinks. I pushed the reset button, no joy. Pressed the reset button for about 15-20 seconds, got a green light. So far so good at least in my case.

Oddly enough, my 2018 MX seems to charge just fine on the first gen mobile connector at 40 amps. But it’s early days... just picked MX up 4 days ago. We’ll see how it goes. This seems like a backward compatibility issue that should have been worked out before releasing new A/C charging hardware.

wmyers | 3 September 2018

My X is the smaller battery pack. Charges fine at Home if I set amp draw to 30a. Got a 100d loaner and it gave the cable error no matter what I did. When I set the amp draw to 30 it would give the cable error and reset itself to 70 amps. I finally just gave up and just drove one of my other cars.

ajpardilla | 21 September 2018

hey guys I wanna chime in, I just got a P100D Model X 2018 and at work we have a 3yr old 1st gen HPWC and I also get the charge cable fault. After messing with it for a few days the best solution i can find is to keep unplugging your car, then press the red Reset on HPWC, then plug in, and just repeat this process until your car starts charging.

My guess is just like everyone else's, the new computer inside doesn't do a very good handshake with the old gen 1 hpwc.. I'm getting the 2nd gen HPWC installed at home in a couple of days and I will update to see if I get any problems with that.

phazor | 21 September 2018

Coincidentally I rarely come onto the forums but was coming on today to share my story related to this issue and how I resolved it. I was having a problem where my car would charge for a while and then stop randomly, same error you're getting possibly. I tried just about everything I could think of thinking it was a bad wall charger or the converter in the car itself. Finally after exhausting all options I noticed when it stopped charging that he cable and handle were very hot to the touch which led me to believe there was resistance occurring. I'm coastal so everything corrodes due to the salt air so I researched the best anti-corrosion solution I could find and I came across Corrosion X-HD, which is a spray I bought on Amazon (no I'm not affiliated with any of these companies). I sprayed it in the charging plug generously and I haven't had the issue since. The cable no longer gets hot and it slides in and out of the charging socket smoothly and easily. I hadn't noticed how much friction there was before since it slowly progressed. Try this simple fix, I hope it works for you and anyone else struggling with this.

phazor | 21 September 2018

BTW my solution before I figured this out was the lower the charging amps and it also worked but who wants to charge at 24 amps when you can do it at 40 or 48 with a simple spray solution.

davidahn | 21 September 2018

+1 ajpardilla, for me, with HPWC one time I had to do a long press of the reset button, but most of the time even just waiting

Thanks, @phazor, I'll give that a try too. I'd love to resolve this. But I don't live in a particularly salty environment, about 6 miles off the coast, but we do get an ocean breeze.

davidahn | 21 September 2018

Oops; here's what I was trying to say:

+1 ajpardilla, for me, with HPWC one time I had to do a long press of the reset button, but most of the time even just waiting a minute clears up the fault.

davidahn | 22 September 2018

@phazor, forgot my MX is brand new, no corrosion. If anything, maybe in the charging plug?

Utaztec | 27 November 2018

My wife's X is now 11 months old and this fault occurred for the first time yesterday. Can someone tell me why leaving the the car plugged-in and then removing and replacing the wall connection is a bad thing? That's the action that got it working again. Thanks.

Vawlkus | 27 November 2018

It can cause a short in the connector or possibly a surge through the charger. Neither are good for electronics, and while Tesla’s are robust, this can cause problems fairly quickly if done often.

Vawlkus | 27 November 2018

FYI, it’s slightly better to flip the breaker for the plug rather than unplugging. It won’t help with surges, but it’s much less likely to cause a short.