November 25, 2017: Missing Lug Nut

Wheel falling off while driving. Do not want.

It's been a couple of weeks since Tesla Service did an annual maintenance, part of which involved tire rotations. I was doing a quick wash and cleaning my wheels when I noticed:

One of these things is not like the others.

Two possibiilties came to mind:

  1. 1. A prankster stole a lug nut while I was parked somewhere. Sure, it could happen.
  2. 2. A Tesla Service technician forgot part of the standard operating procedure.

I know correlation != causation, but I'm going with option 2. Just a hunch.

In addition, a quick check revealed that one lug nut on each rear wheel was also loose. They spun freely when turned by hand. Considering that I was due for a drive to Lake Tahoe in a couple of days, I was worried. I could tighten the loose ones to the 129 lb-ft spec with my torque wrench, but I can't resolve a missing lug nut without some assistance. Thankfully, the Fremont Tesla Service Center was open on a Saturday.

When I rolled onto the Service Center lot, it was eerily quiet. No long line of Tesla vehicles waiting to be queued into service, no employees shuffling about getting customers checked in, and actual open parking spaces in front of the building. Of course, this was just after Thanksgiving so perhaps Tesla allows its employees to enjoy holidays at home after all.

Since I was the only customer in there, they immediately rolled my car into the shop and got the lug nut situation squared away. No charge. I mention the "no charge" thing because considering the cost of my windshield replacement, I was bracing for an invoice listing a $150 lug nut. Thankfully there was no such thing and I was on my way.

Customer service to the rescue.