Failed Power Adapter

Adapter Splayed Out on Garage Floor

Adapter Splayed Out on Garage Floor

In this blog, I have documented every small issue I have had with my Teslas.  I recently experienced another unusual issue, that I think could only effect a very small amount of Model S owners.  I have an uncommon setup where my high powered connector is the first Roadster version, and then I have an adapter from that plug to the Model S.  I chose to use an adapter instead of purchasing a new high powered wall connector. This setup had many benefits for me. The adapter was lower cost than a new high powered wall connector and is in effect an extension cord. I could still occasionally charge a Roadster at my home, and I did not have to hire an electrician.  There may be a very unusual case where I find a Roadster charge station while on the road, and I can charge my Model S from there using this adapter.  Everything had worked fine for about ten months.

Then one day late last year, I tried to plug my car in one day at home and struggled for a while. After a while of pulling it back and forth, I heard the audible click and the light changed at the port.

The next day when I got home, I struggled again with the same sequence.  I got to a strange point where the plug was physically connected to the car, but the Dashboard indicated that there was a problem with the connection.  I tried to jiggle the connection around a few times, and on the second day I simply could not even remove the cord from the car no matter how hard I pulled.  I played with it a few more times, and reboot the two screens.

Right Steering Column

Right Steering Column

To reboot the 17” display, you hold down both of the scroll bars on the steering wheel.  To reboot the speedometer display, you hold down both of the top buttons on each side of the steering wheel.

I was wondering if this was a problem with the new 5.8.4 software that I had just installed a few days earlier.  This software had an enhancement to watch for unexpected fluctuations in the input charge level due to bad house wiring.  A Tesla owner had a fire in the garage where their car was parked (the Tesla and connector were fine).  As a response to this incident, Tesla is sending all the owners of the Model S High Powered Wall Connectors new units with a thermal fuse.  The thermal fuse will prevent current from flowing if the wall socket region heats up for any reason.  I have no idea if my High Powered Wall Connector has a thermal fuse or not.  But after almost five years of use and a house that is less than ten years old, I am not concerned.

Vehicle Power - Power Off Button on Touch Screen

Vehicle Power Off

Neither of these two reboots worked.  I called the Tesla service number and the friendly person told me to reboot the main power also.  Rebooting the main power allowed me to remove the adaptor, but not charge the car.  Tesla could see that my car had an internal error about power.  Since I placed this call at night on a Sunday in the middle of the holiday season, the person on the phone could not find out any more information from the engineering department.

In the morning, I received a call back after the engineers looked at the car’s error logs.  A problem was detected in the physical adaptor cable.  That same day, I went to the service center and received a new cable free of charge as it was still under the one year warranty period.  I was told that my problem was a bit unusual, and the only suggestion they had was to not keep the cable wound tightly.  But I just keep the cable splayed out permanently in my garage as there is plenty of space.


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