Tesla has a kind of an Apple approach when it comes to repairs. Their motto is if a part of it is broken, replace the entire thing. While this approach may be beneficial for the company, in the long run, it isn’t beneficial for the customer in the slightest. The customer has to pay for the full module instead of just paying to fix the small part that is broken. The same thing happened with Donald Bone who went to get his Tesla fixed, only to find that it would cost him $16,000. That was until he found a much better solution.
So it all started when he drove over some debris which caused something to break in his Tesla Model 3. The coolant was everywhere and he was quite worried. Fast forward to the day he took the car to the Tesla Service Center. They detected that the vehicle had a broken port. The part was small and Bone thought that the fix wouldn’t be that much costly. Lo and behold, the service center quoted that he would need to pay $16,000 and get the entire battery pack replaced.
So what did he do? He went to look for another option like a sensible person and didn’t just pay the $16k repair premium. Someone on the Tesla forums told him about Electrified Garage. The car then came under the eye of Chad Hrencecin from Electrified Garage who showed Bone just how simple the repair was compared to Tesla replacing the whole module. He removed the belly pan below the front axle and explained that something had pierced the nipple of the coolant port and it had cracked.
The repair was simple and it only consisted of cutting off the broken nipple and replacing it would a new one that would be made by using a pipe thread forming tap both on the cut nipple and the base from where it was extracted. Then both of them would be joined back using a brass nipple. Hrencecin also explained that he had done this type of repair multiple times meaning there is something in Tesla’s design that makes this part especially vulnerable to breaking.
Another Model 3 owner named Pete used Electrified Garage to repair his car as well. Pete argued that Tesla really should reinforce protection in that part of the area, maybe by using a steel belly pan instead of the current one they are using. This is exactly where the right to repair movement comes in. Many companies employ similar repair policies and that just hurts the customer’s wallet.
According to Steven Salowsky, channel manager of Rich Rebuilds, “The important thing is: right to repair certainly is showing up more and more. Tesla has really taken the Apple business model, and it’s a damn shame they don’t just have even a regional master tech. This would alleviate the issues that can, in fact, be done at Tesla Service Centers but require a bit more technical skill to do so”.
Nothing is more satisfying than beating the corporate at their game. Although there is a chance that Bone’s Tesla gets banned from supercharging since he didn’t get it repaired from the Service Center.