March 20, 2021: Milling Again?

That electro grinding sound.

Just about 5 years ago virtually all Model S owners encountered the infamous milling noise problem which was eventually rectified by Tesla Service by swapping out the rear motor with a refurbished unit that had ceramic bearings. I started hearing something similar again yesterday, although a bit more lower-pitched than last time:

It sounds eerily like to what occurred back in 2016:

A few days ago I installed update 2021.4.12 so at first I pondered whether this might somehow cause the motor to respond differently. It seems unlikely though. Figuring it might be another bearing problem, I scheduled yet another service appointment through the Tesla phone app.

It's almost as if the motor wanted to sound like it's an ICE waiting for me to shift into next gear. Or it's pretending to be a light cycle, which I guess in some ways isn't a bad thing.

I sure hope Telsa still honors the original drive unit warranty of 8 years and unlimited miles.

Update 03/21/2021: The noise sounded more course and "scratchy" today, but not like it was metal-on-metal. Since it's a Sunday I haven't received any feedback from Tesla Service. Perhaps tomorrow they'll reach out for any concerns.

Update 03/25/2021: I got a cost estimate via the phone app earlier today. Nice round numbers:

Yes, I approve this.

But knowing my luck the source of the problem will end up being an item not covered under the warranty. "Rats got under the car and chewed out wires which caused the resulting sound," followed by "...and your repair bill is now $5000. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯"

I've noticed in the last couple of days the sound also completely cuts out for a few seconds and then comes right back. Hmmm, yeah, that doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

Update 03/30/2021: Oh yes, after 4 days in the shop I can finally collect the car!

So I hopped into the loaner, ran down to Kato Road, turned the 75D in, and got my key ... only to be greeted by:

Well, good thing I'm at a Service Center, eh?

Technicians were called and a few moments later they were using one of those shopping cart pusher-like things to get the vehicle back into the shop. The tin foil hat side of me started wondering whether this was some elaborate ruse to get me to upgrade to that new Plaid. Uh, huh ... I see what you guys are trying to do.

I guess I'm keeping that 75D loaner for a little while longer.

Update 03/31/2021: Got a ping on the app that the car was (once again) ready.

While the 75D has been fun to drive, not having Autosteer and TACC is a noticeable bummer. Also a few days back I was told that the rear arch liners on my car (which are apparently not specifically the visible wheel well liners) were supposedly a bit torn or something so they recommended replacing. The idea was that it might potentially reduce rattles when loose sections of the liner would rub against the wheels. Fine, the cost was relatively neglible enough that I'll pay for it.

Tin foil hat paranoia on repeat: This is what you get for not upgrading to a new Plaid, cheapskate!

They also weren't sure why I had the voltage supply errors yesterday but they apparently did a reset and it was fixed. Almost like a budget home router when the Internet is on the fritz. Modern solutions require modern problems.

In any case it was good to be back in my car again. And to be able to use Autosteer and TACC. Big Blue might not accelerate or regen brake as hard as the cheapest Model S one could buy only a couple of years ago, but with my driving style it hardly matters. And most important of all: silent operation. Although I didn't get a specific diagnosis of my old motor and what caused the noise, I have to wonder how much a replacement rear motor would've cost me if this were out of warranty. I'm less than a couple of years away from that 8-year warranty mark.

The final bill: