One of the things that we love about car culture is the strong DIY bent that so many people seem to have. One of the best examples of that can be found in the DIY Tesla communities of the internet. These brave souls are working to keep their salvaged Teslas on the road despite their being excommunicated by the Big T.
One prominent member of the community that we've RichRebuilds, and in his most recent video, he shines a light on his friend Phil in San Francisco. Phil is not only doing some seriously mad scientist-Island of Dr. Moreau stuff with a Model 3 and a Sprinter van, but also working to help keep Teslas on the road.is Rich Benoit of the YouTube channel
In Rich's video, Phil explains that one of the more common issues with used and salvaged Models S and X stems from something called the "eMMC." This is a chip that is used in the Media Control Unit (MCU) to log Linux data from the car's infotainment system. It's separate from the vehicle's other data-logging functions and isn't used by techs.
The problem is that this chip has a finite number of times that it can be written to before it fails, and Tesla's software does so much logging to this solid state chip that it fails within a couple of years of use. When it fails, the car's MCU won't boot up, and that means owners can't use climate control, navigation or even drive the vehicle outside of limp mode.
Phil -- who has his own YouTube channel called Ingineerix -- will take customer's dead eMMC chips and replace them. This service is essential because Tesla won't fix this outside of warranty and doesn't sell the components to repair the issue to customers. Phil also hacks Tesla's in-built software to allow excommunicated salvaged cars to use remote diagnostics.
Rich's video is pretty interesting and sparks some further debate about the "Right to Repair" struggle that Tesla owners have been dealing with for years. Tesla has loosened its policies somewhat in recent years, now consenting to sell some parts to owners of unsupported cars.
Tesla didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.