Tesla Model S Pre-Facelift OBD port access (#P18)

You know what…I’m done being busy. From now on, I might be busy because I want to travel, but not because there’s mandatory stuff to be done (in time) with banks, insurance companies and getting ahold of my new…old…Tesla Model S :mrgreen:

I’ve been hooked on buying a Tesla since pre-unveil of the Model 3, but I never came to like the 3 for what it costs here in Germany. Might be different in the US, will be different in the future when buying used will be a serious option. But for now, it was buying a new M3 vs. a used MS, and the latter clearly offers more bang for the buck for me. YMMV. MMMV when the first repair bill hits me, which, given the very sparse service history of this car, might be tomorrow or in two years. You’ll never know until the turd hits the fan at preferably full speed.

So, there’s no current “nice” photo of it, but I bet you can google a 2015 (so pre-facelift, PFL) Model S on your own. Base 19″ wheels (good Lord), black exterior, grey interior, fully specced except glass roof (don’t want) and third row seating (don’t need). 85D battery/motor configuration. This photo is from battery testing and a rough suspension inspection, hence at full height. Will go down to normal height based on geodata, and will lower at speeds above 110 km/h for some 3% energy savings on the Autobahn. Air resistance’s a bitch.

Now, as for today’s small blog post, I thought I’d share my very first modification to the car. I’ve bought a OBDLink LX OBD diagnosis module and a universal adapter cable that fits both PFL Model S as well as the facelifted version and all Model X. There is an OBD plug on the left side of the steering column, but that doesn’t lead anywhere (for all MS 2014 and later, as far as I know). OBD access is only mandatory for classic ICE cars and hybrids with an ICE component. It doesn’t apply to fully electric vehicles, so we’re glad Tesla does offer some diagnosis and debugging over a standardized protocol. The plug isn’t standard, but that’s what the adapter is for.

Thing is: That port is hidden behind one small storage compartment below the main display. It can be accessed by removing the plastic part with some force, but that’s looking a bit rough if it stays that way. Plus storage near the front seats is somewhat limited, so having that little cubby is valuable. I decided to remove a small bit with the Dremel and put it back into place so that the OBD port is within reach. Note that is is a LHD model/part, so for all those people that drive on the wrong side of the road, this notch might be required on the other side, but I don’t know. Check your unit before destroying this 30€ part.

The removed bit is roughly 5cm squared, I aligned the cut on the right with one existing notch. Note that the two folds in the plastic will be inside the center column, so the only part that sticks out is the entire flat piece. You need to cut into there in order to make room for the cable. Otherwise you just squeeze it against the lower lip that seals it on the bottom and you’ll never get the damn thing in ever again.

I also tried quite a long time to do that, the secret recipe seems to be inserting the left hinge first (from the right), pressing it in as far as possible, and then making the two front clips fit their catch. That’ll also guide the right hinge into place. In my case the left hinge didn’t fully pop in until that point, but that was easily fixed with some pressure from below once the part was in place. Not gonna lie, including the first try with a cut that was too short, it took me half an hour in varying but always very inconvenient posture. Now the OBD cable sticks out like this, and the second cable (too many pins for RF, maybe some USB or other serial protocols?) is still hidden behind the storage compartment. As this is photographed in selfie mode from below, nothing is visible when sitting, but of course accessible if you know that it’s there. Scan My Tesla works well!

Other than that, everything seems fine for now. Charging at work is a breeze – my boss got a BMW 330e hybrid this week as well, and he’s having troubles all the time. He’s now charging in the backyard using a 10m Schuko extension (so 230V/13A) and I get to be at the dedicated 22kW charging and parking spots right in front of the building. Could be worse :cool:

Some Google Translate right here in the charging notification, as I went down to 6% before plugging in:

“Fahrzeug verbraucht Batterieladung im Ruhezustand. Jetzt laden, damit dass das weiterhin Fahrzeug starten kann und keine Batterieschäden auftreten.
Wir empfehlen, die Batterie jetzt zu laden”.

Yeah, the CAT S60 camera is a piece of sh.. ;)


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