Not charging at a supercharger?

Not charging at a supercharger?

Yesterday, for the first time I checked the TESLA app soon after leaving the car to realize the car was not charging.
I went back to the car and the light was orange/red instead of green. I unplugged and plugged back in. Same problem.
Got back in the car with a new message in the dashboard: “car needs service”. Apparently, the car couldn’t be charged at the supercharger. My car was the only one parked in 6 slots available. I barely had enough charge to drive home. Once home, the car did charge without any problem.
Tomorrow I am scheduled for service. Can’t imagine if I was on a trip far away from home on the weekend...
Did anybody experience the same problem?
I really like my P85D, but because of this problem, I have lost a lot of confidence.

b.tesla | 15 juli 2018

I've read of a few similar cases on the forums, but haven't experienced it myself.

When supercharging, it is feeding your car DC, and it bypasses the car's AC->DC converter.

Most other charging from a HPWC, a UMC, or a level 2 J1772 public charger, etc, is feeding your car AC, and it goes through the car's AC->DC converter.

There must be some kind of problem just when supercharging.

AxTrader | 15 juli 2018

I have plugged into a Supercharger and received the amber ring a few times. You can try removing and reseating the charge plug and if that doesnt work, make sure you try another charging stall to ensure its not a specific Supercharger problem.

tes-s | 15 juli 2018

Did you try one of the other stalls? Sometimes there is an issue with the supercharger.

jordanrichard | 15 juli 2018

Was it the service center that said bring the car in.....? They can remotely diagnose the car. One day when I plugged my car in at home, the ring was orange and there was a msg on the screen saying that the car could not charge, yet it was albeit at 30A vs the normal 40A. Unplugged and replugged a couple of times, no difference. I then tried a reboot, no difference. Call the service center, they checked the car out via their data connections with the car and determined that the onboard charger was faulty.

stevenmaifert | 15 juli 2018

Happened to me a while back at the San Diego Supercharger although I did not get the “car needs service” message. After several failed plug-in attempts I switched to a different pedestal and the car charged normally from that connector..

raimondo62 | 15 juli 2018

I did not try another charger because I felt the problem was inside my car with the message on dashboard. The message is still there despite the normal charging process at home.
When I call the TESLA service they did not mention they can do anything remotely. They referred me to the closest service center, which I did.
After I bring the car in to TESLA, I will update the forum with their input.
Thank you for your feedback!

NKYTA | 15 juli 2018

Yeah, try another SC stall. But with the car needs service alert, get thee to an SVC. Perhaps ask, how is my High Voltage Junction Box doing...

Bighorn | 15 juli 2018

Always try another charger

jordanrichard | 16 juli 2018

I think it was 2 years ago I was down in SC (from CT) and was using a supercharger. I plugged in, light started flashing green and I walked away. When I got back to the car, there was an error message saying that the current charge level was more than what I had selected. I hadn't changed the charge level, which I always leave at 90%, so this message didn't make sense. I called my service center back here in CT and over the phone the checked my car's logs and determined that it was just a glitch, don't worry about it. I wasn't worried, I just curious. So I find it odd that they couldn't do the same for you.

minervo.florida | 16 juli 2018

I have a 2015 P85D that had the same issue, the car needed a new high speed charger, would charge normal but not on Supercharger. This happened at about 27,000 miles.
I am pretty sure the new one is a newer model.

jordanrichard | 16 juli 2018

When supercharging, the onboard charger is by-passed. The onboard charger converts any incoming AC into DC before going to the battery. Superchargers are DC.

raimondo62 | 16 juli 2018

Got the car to TESLA service. I was told the car needs the Master charger replaced which is the device that controls the supercharger DC flow of current the goes straight to charge the batteries. They have seen this problem before on 1st generation devices. Not good for me...
The part is covered by the warranty and itt takes 3 hours to install.
I guess with electric cars we are getting used to different challenges.

Anthony J. Parisio | 17 juli 2018

raimondo62 ,
Thanks for this important update. Please keep us informed. Oh and will you give us info on your car? Year, Battery size, Miles, etc.

Rocky_H | 17 juli 2018

I think @NKYTA nailed it. It's the high voltage junction box that manages Supercharging. It's not master charger--wrong terminology used by the service tech, I guess, but we get the gist of it.

Bighorn | 17 juli 2018

Agree about NKYTA’s dx.

raimondo62 | 17 juli 2018

They installed a new Master charger. As far as I understand, though the master charger is not directly involved with the supercharger DC, its malfunction interferes with the supercharger flow of current.
They did drive the car and tried the supercharger which now works fine. For Anthony, this is a P85D 2014 with only 22,700 miles on it. They said that with the Gen 2 master charger (I had the Gen 1) this does not happen...
Hope not to have this problem anymore

Rocky_H | 18 juli 2018

Ooh, something is now sounding a little familiar. On the old cars, the HVJB was a separate part than the primary and secondary chargers. I do now recall that with the 2016 refresh redesign, they integrated the two, so that the one main charging unit also contains the HVJB. So if you have a newer car, that would make sense that to replace the HVJB, they would have to do the master charger anyway, because it's part of that same unit.

raimondo62 | 18 juli 2018

That is consistent with what I understood. Thank you for putting it in technical terms.
Hope not to run another problem like this in the future...

Lush1 | 18 juli 2018


Happened to me in 2016 on my 2013 S60. It's a rare, but not unknown problem. FWIW, here's a link to a 2013 thread on the topic which includes my experience.

Top Dog | 18 juli 2018

The same thing just happened to my 2013 S85, it wouldn't charge at one of the stalls at the Kingman Az Supercharger. So, I just changed stalls and then everything was fine. But then I began to receive the "needs service" message, and after a month of this it wouldn't charge at all.

It turned out that my onboard charger had gone bad and my car is currently at the Las Vegas Service Center having the onboard charger replaced.

Anthony J. Parisio | 19 juli 2018

raimondo62 ,

Rocky_H | 19 juli 2018

@raimondo62, Ah, yep, that does get a little confusing, as the AC and DC charging are usually thought of as separate processes, but that hardware change made them a little bit related in this one circumstance.

NKYTA | 19 juli 2018

@Rocky, good info, didn't know that. Still stuck in 2012. ;-)

Rocky_H | 19 juli 2018

Yeah, my car is old too, but I stick around for stuff like this, because I hear about things like that in the newer cars and frequently they stick in memory.

Like over on TMC, someone had a weird issue where their car was stuck only being able to charge at 24A on AC charging. I remembered that the new chargers that are 48A or 72A are internally different number of modules that handle 24A each, so that number was way too coincidental. So I mentioned that the symptom sounded like one of the modules in his internal charger had gone out, and the service center checked and found that's what it was.

nathan.dudley | 12 mars 2019

Similar problem on a S 60 - 2015. Takes 2-10 tries to start supercharging. Drops sometimes during charge. Odd thing though Chademo adapter works great every time. Chademo saved our trip to Whistler. Both Chademo and Supercharging are DC.

nathan.dudley | 12 mars 2019

Similar problem on a S 60 - 2015. Takes 2-10 tries to start supercharging. Drops sometimes during charge. Odd thing though Chademo adapter works great every time. Chademo saved our trip to Whistler. Both Chademo and Supercharging are DC.

jsavin | 2 april 2019

My 2014 Model S with 55,000 miles is in the shop two issues: Drive Unit making buzzing milling noise at low speed when power applied. Service Center is replacing Drive Unit with reconditioned unit.
Second issue onboard Master Charger not working when Supercharging getting message "Charging will start momentarily" but it does not start, service center checked the logs and found out that onboard Master Charger is bad and needs to be replaced that will be 2,365 for reconditioned Master Charger since that component is not under warranty. Disappointing to say the least, onboard Master Charger should have the same warranty as battery and Drive Unit 8 years unlimited miles. It is one of the main components for this car to work, to make this worse the warranty on reconditioned Master Charger is 2 years or 24000 miles. This should change as onboard Master Charger is one of the main components for the car and it should have better warranty. Very Disappointing experience, plus not even getting new parts. Service manager told me that he could not get the new parts only reconditioned, very odd.

GHammer | 2 april 2019

@jsavin They don't make that version of the charger anymore, chargers that go in the new cars are different.
Reconditioned units are the only ones available.

jsavin | 2 april 2019

@OR-US Thank you, wonder if it is the same for Drive Unit for 2014 Model S 85kw.

IdeBruce4236 | 14 maj 2019

On a trip to Nashville from Pensacola, I stopped at Greenville, AL Supercharger. No matter the charger unit, no charge. I spent over 4 hours trying to get info for instructions. I drove back home with 109 miles on battery with 112 miles to travel. I slowly (with no AC in 83 temp) made it with 11 miles left. Plugged into home charger successfully. The closest service center is 8.5 hours away. It would take me til the 3rd day to get there employing Level 2 chargers. Other option is to tow the car for $1200 and still find a method to get to service center to pick up the car. Not good. I am still waiting for Tesla Service to contact me. Every call I make (6 calls total) has me on hold for 20-30 minutes before a live person is connected and disconnected when transferred to tech. Not good. My vacation in Nashville is made in an ICE car. 6 travel hours wasted. Originally started the trip at 7:30 am and arrived at 10.:30 pm for a 435 mile trip. Not good.

Bighorn | 14 maj 2019

What’s the issue? Are you out of warranty? Why not get mobile service to come to you? Try using the online scheduler. Much easier than calling.

IdeBruce4236 | 14 maj 2019

The first tech person, Devon checked the car's data and concluded that he needed to investigate further if I would hold on call. About 15 minutes later, the call was disconnected with no response. I waited about 20 minutes for a call back but none came. I called again waiting 28 minutes of prompts and messages before I got a live person Mike who agreed to connect me with a tech but was again disconnected. I again waited about 20 minutes for a call back but none came. I called again waiting 32 minutes for a live tech named Jeff who had trouble hearing me but said he would call back. No call back. By this time, I knew that I had to do something and decided to travel home to get my wife's car before the vacation trip would need to be cancelled or we would be stranded without a car. On the way, I called and waited about 30 minutes before a live person with an accent that attempted to help me by advising that I go to a service center. He suggested that I could follow a series of reboots of various instructions that may or may not fix the problem. I then asked him to email the instructions to follow. At that time, I lost cell phone connectivity and the call was dropped. i never received a callback nor email. I attempted to call Tesla tech several more times waiting 30 minutes or so each time with no answer. By searching the internet, I just found out that Tesla opened a service center in Pensacola (850-374-7167) several day ago. None of the people told me of this although they knew my data. I now have an appointment for service when I return from vacation. Now I look forward to seeing Keith Urban tonight.

Bighorn | 14 maj 2019

Sounds like a connectivity issue wrt getting help. Maybe they had trouble querying the car for the same reason your calls were dropped.

IdeBruce4236 | 23 maj 2019

Returned from a fabulous time in Nashville on Sunday and called Tesla Pensacola; left message. Called Monday around 1:30pm and left message. Called Tuesday around noon, left message to please call. Called Tuesday night 9pm and left message to please call back. Called Wed twice at each number. The local number left message. The 877 number took me to a person who transferred the call to Pensacola. I spoke to customer service. I was informed that the part was ordered after review of vehicle’s diagnostics and was in Tesla parts depot located in Bethlehem, Pa. The parts are hard to get because of the volume of failures on the Master Charger. Currently, there is no ET available.

The replacement install should take about 6 hours. Since the Pensacola location has no Supercharger, the closest one to confirm successful repair is in Mobile, AL about a 3 hour round trip plus charging time. Since my S has just passed having a 4 year warranty, I will need to purchase the part and labor about $2,500.00 because this is not under the 8 year battery warranty. ICE cars include fuel injectors that must carry the energy to the power unit so, why is the charger any different?

According to some experiences reported by owners, Master Chargers are often reconditioned for this price with a 2 year/24 month warranty. Apparently, both new and reconditioned units are the same cost. That is a highly unusual business practice if true. If it is true, then one should be able to demand a new unit and get it. So far, I have had a motor replaced that was not bolted in place properly causing the rear frame to be so damaged that it needed replacement plus a new motor (total 3 days away from home in Cockeysville, Md); a MCU failure replaced by Mobile Service after waiting with inoperable vehicle for 2 weeks within 30,000 miles and a re-established software all under warranty. Now, a charging system failure that needs a part not currently available.

Today is Thursday May 23rd, I can drive the car locally only. My plan to visit my daughter in Roanoke, Va and a trip to Dollywood with my Great grand-daughter, is on hold unless I use my wife’s ICE. I have been ensured that Pensacola will call me with a date for repair. So far, customer service has not been stellar just unacceptable. How long will it take to get the car repaired this time? Can I really have faith that Tesla will deliver?

Is Tesla ready for Prime Time? Not good!

Bighorn | 23 maj 2019

Tesla can overnight stocked Bethlehem parts overnight. They often bend on recently expired warranties.

IdeBruce4236 | 23 maj 2019

The order was placed according to Pensacola on Monday May 13 when I reported the issue when they performed over the air diagnostics to determine the issue. I did not find that out until much later as no one called me with followup to my numerous phone calls/messages. It is now 11 days later at 3:06pm with no ET on the part. If they can overnight the part, then there is a logistic issue in customer service at Pensacola or Pa. Perhaps there are no Master Charger inventory to overnight. With Memorial Day upon us, I am not confident that I will hear from Tesla until afterwards. One tech last week had mentioned a reboot process that was many faceted. I had requested to have instructions emailed so that I could follow them. No email was received. I searched the internet in hope to find and employ them with no result. The part appears to be the only option. Now the question is when. Not good!

IdeBruce4236 | 23 maj 2019

I searched again for instructions and found this
This may have been what the tech was to email.
I will attempt this to determine if this will work.
If so, then I saved $2,500. If not, then just spent time.

IdeBruce4236 | 24 maj 2019

I followed the instructions in with no result. I called Pensacola Service and had them check the diagnostics. The report was that the Master Charger was in fact bad and must be replaced. They did not know when Bethlehem will receive Master Charger inventory. Again, the volume of failure is greater than the replenishment of replacement inventory. How many other S owners are in limbo? Why can't the manufacturer of the Master Charger either increase production or setup a repair process to replenish inventory? Is the problem with Tesla or the manufacturer? In either case, this is not good.

johnvanspey | 29 juni 2019

I just had the Master Charger also fail. I had no problem getting a short charge in Petaluma but when I tried to charge at the supercharger in Ukiah about an hour later I could get no charge. I tried several chargers there without success. Luckily (sort of I guess) there was a fellow there with a similar history who said they had to fix his car to the tune of $2700. We got good help from the Tesla phone connection. We felt limping home over several hours was not an option so we did a couple of charges at destination chargers and made it back to the San Rafael Service Center about 15 minutes before closure. A young representative named Justin was a great help. He said they couldn’t do anything that night but gave me a loaner. Fortunately we had a place to stay nearby so didn’t have to spring for a motel. The next day they gave me the bad news of a similar cost to repair. Justin kept me up to date as to progress. They had some issues with the firmware but Justin and the technician stayed overtime a short while and got it fixed. I pick it up this AM and hope for the best. Can’t say enough about Justin at the San Rafael Service Center. He was just very helpful. I agree that this should be covered but that needs to be addressed at a higher level than the service center reps. It wasn’t mentioned that this was rebuilt but it may be. That doesn’t bother me but that may be because I have a couple of old cars from the 30s and everything is rebuilt. For the record my car is a 2015 85D with about 83000 miles on it. This is the first major issue so I guess I can’t complain too much but it is still annoying that it isn’t covered. It would be interesting to find out how often these fail.

dharanimo | 29 juni 2019

Thanks everyone for their detailed experiences. I am a new owner of a 2019 model S. Does this problem show up in 2019 models too?

rxlawdude | 30 juni 2019

Parts failures can occur in any consumer product, so I'd predict @deharanimo the answer is "yes, but extremely rarely."

Tweener | 1 juli 2019

Our 2014 Model S was unable to supercharge on June 26. We left Baton Rouge for a Florida beach vacation (packed with two adult folding bikes and two kids bikes in the trunk plus a 10' inflatable kayak in the frunk) and arrived at the Mobile supercharger with 14% charge remaining. The ring on the charging port would flash blue and then after about a minute the main screen would indicate that charging had stopped. I tried multiple two-button resets and all of the chargers with the same result. Other cars arrived and could charge just fine. Tesla phone service was very friendly and hoped the Pensacola service center could get us back on the fast track. The service logs indicated the car could not accept high voltage. We found a destination charger at a local brewery named Haint Blue. There are worse ways to spend a few hours while charging. The Pensacola service center looked at the logs and indicated they were looking for the parts. Getting return calls back from the Pensacola service center was a challenge (as in we never got one return call). We just made the best of our adventure and completed the trip using Level 2 charging (including watching in Toy Story 4). We stayed flexible even when back to back to back we found chargers ICEd, fully occupied, and totally removed (formerly at the Red Fish Blue Fish restaurant in Pensacola Beach - though the folks at the restaurant next door named Jelly's were nice enough to tell us where an unoccupied J-1772 charger was nearby). Working with the New Orleans service center for a fix. They have been very responsive in the past.

ssrrocks22 | 1 juli 2019

I rented a Model S and was told by the person I could go anywhere to charge it. Well my wife and I stoped at a supercharger station in Topeka Kansas and pluged it the car. It register that it was charging. Went to lunch and returned 40 mins later to find the car was in fact not charging at all. We where able yo get home to find out the owner had not given us the adapter plugs to charge the car. After several calls to him he said ihe would see if he could find the adapters for the car. He returned my call several hours later to say he was sorry his wife could not find the adapters and I could just go to the supercharger station and charge the car. I explain to him we had already been to the supercharger station and the car would not charge. He said it should be free to charge. After several hours on the Tesla web site I find that the car is not registered for supercharger station. Explaining this the the owner he told me to just go to any charging station to recharge the car. I explain to him that without the J 1772 adapter I could not charge the car. He said everyone carrys the adapter and I could pick one up anywhere. This simply is not true... at this point I have a model S car with only 30 miles to go before it becomes trash... hope someone at Tesla reads this. After this experience I would NEVER purchase a Tesla vehicle for any reason. Rocky N. By the way I now have a Tesla account for noo reason that does Nothing and No one can help me. Thanks

akikiki | 1 juli 2019

Dear ssrrocks22, you must not have actually gone to a Supercharger to charge. The cable at the Supercharger connects directly into the car and does not use an adapter. So that part of your story is not accurate.

There's no information available on the Tesla web site that would inform you that the car was not registered for supercharging stations. Model S supercharging falls into two categories. Free Unlimited Supercharging, or the owner of the car pays for charging after 400 hours of charging. So, that part of your story is also not accurate.

And finally. Thank you. We are pleased you will never purchase a Tesla vechile for any reason. Glad to hear it. Have a happy Tesla-less life.

trevor58 | 2 juli 2019

It’s a mistake to try and BS owners who have had their Teslas for 6-7 years.

Innkeep | 2 juli 2019

It sounds to me like ssrrocks rented a Tesla from an owner who didn't include a J1772 adapter. Renting Teslas might not always be a pleasant experience, especially when failure to supercharge is part of the problem. Whether this was a problem with a single stall that would have been remedied by changing stalls, or a failure of the car itself, it could have been better handled by the owner.

Those of us who buy a Tesla spend weeks or months obsessing over every detail of operation and those who spend time on this forum become aware of the kind of issues that might come up.ICE owners come with a more limited understanding and really should have a car that contains the 120v cable and J1227 adapter. Sort of reminds me of Air BnB that usually works out well except for when it doesn't.

p.c.mcavoy | 4 juli 2019

I’d be a little cautious about call BS too quickly on @ssrrocks22 and his comments about being unable to charge using a supercharger. There are some very early MS cars where supercharging had to be purchased to be enabled. It is possible that the car @ssrrocks22 rented is one of those, truly cannot supercharge. Given he provided no details on the vintage of MS he rented it is impossible to tell whether his statements around not being able supercharge are legitimate or not. It is just as likely that the individual he rented from is not behaving in an up-and-up manner, provided full disclosure on the front end, and made no effort to provide the J1722 adapter. Insufficient information has been provided to confirm.

I’d encourage some owners to actually think though alternate explanations before immediately calling BS for anything that does not fit their assumed reality. | 5 juli 2019

@dharanimo - "Does this problem show up in 2019 models too?"

Tesla completely redesigned the charger in vehicles made after June-2016 (the "refresh"). While I don't think the charger in older cars fails any more than other complex electronics, the newer design seems more bulletproof. The new charger boosts the single charger in old cars from 40 amps, to the new charger handling 48 amps. There is also an 80 amp dual charger option in old cars and 72 amp chargers in a few refresh cars - both rare to find and neither available in 2019.

For those with older cars, the new charger is not retrofittable into older cars.

guillermo.castellon | 13 augusti 2019

I have had 2 vacations ruined due to my Model S P85 not being able to charge at a supercharging station. I tried 4 different stalls, 4 different locations and nothing worked. This started happening after a firm upgrade. Not sure if it a coincidence or something with the charger went bad. I can only charge on low voltage chargers. My car is still under warranty and hopefully they can figure out what is wrong with it. I spoke with several support team members and they said they could not see anything wrong with the logs. I taking the car to the nearest service shop to see what is wrong. Has anyone experience a situation like this? This story "Tweener | July 1, 2019" looks the closest to what I am experiencing.

Qwiksilver | 13 augusti 2019

I sympathize. I cannot reasonably going on long trips now as well. Tesla has throttled back supercharging for many owners (myself included), to the point where it would take 1 hour or more at each stop.
There is now a class action lawsuit being brought against Tesla.