Hughes owns 057 Technology, a vehicle repair shop Tesla. Over the years, he has become a valuable source of information on everything to do with the EV maker, which is why he is also known as the Tesla Hacker.
In a TMC post, Hughes shared that he is wondering about preventative and affordable measures for vehicles affected by these two moisture ingress issues.
The AC drain hose with the rusty steel fuse box is just one of the worries.
The other refers to deteriorated side rail outlets. According to Hughes, they were supposed to be one-way sealed openings for security purposes.
Tesla's Model S Moisture Problems
Tesla Hacker said the issues affect Model S units from day one to the fourth quarter of 2014 and some as late as the first quarter of 2015.
So we can assume that if the Tesla Hacker is aware of the problem, the EV maker has certainly known about it for years.
Regarding newer Model S units that also have these flaws, Hughes said that all cars that have had Tesla refurbished packages installed have also faced these issues.
Hughes is wondering about a scheduled service that will retrofit some custom parts into these older batteries to prevent water from getting into the battery.
057 Technology will also test the batteries for moisture ingress and use custom equipment to remove any signs of water inside the components, the thing is, this may not be enough.
“The ultrasonic solders that Tesla uses on the sensing connections are very sensitive to moisture and can unexpectedly fail even after we remove the internal moisture and correct the underlying ingress issues. In such cases, removing water only works for a certain amount of moisture, above that threshold a failure is practically imminent, even if it can be delayed,” said Tesla Hacker.
For batteries that exceed this humidity threshold, Hughes can offer a complete battery rebuild.
Predictably, it should be a longer and slightly more expensive process, but certainly not as expensive as replacing the battery with more than US$ 20,000.
In this rebuild, 057 Technology would inspect and test all 100+ sensing connections within the battery and update other components as needed.
Been chatting with some folks on TMC about a penetrative maintenance process for older Model S battery packs (pre ~04/2015).
With more data on this than anyone outside of Tesla, 057's developed an inspection process for checking these vehicles for known issues, and are also …
—Jason Hughes (@wk057) September 19, 2022