Tesla improves Service Mode with alert payload data

By Kevin Armstrong
Alerts in Tesla's Service Mode will contain additional details on what triggered the alert
Alerts in Tesla's Service Mode will contain additional details on what triggered the alert

Most modern cars come with access to a Controller Area Network (CAN) that lets you access information about systems in the vehicle.

It's often used to help diagnose vehicle issues and find out if a certain part may need to be replaced.

Teslas, just like other vehicles will display critical alerts or warnings on the screen based on CAN data.

The warnings can be as simple as being low on windshield wiper fluid. They could also alert you of critical issues such as airbag errors or heat pump issues.

Service Mode

For owners or shops who wish to troubleshoot or repair their vehicles, Tesla also includes a Service Mode.

Service Mode gives you access to more details about any alerts the vehicle has shown, as well as letting you reset certain systems.

Not every vehicle alert is customer-facing, meaning that some alerts only show up in Service Mode. These alerts could be temporary warnings without any customer impact, so they're of limited use to the vehicle owner, but they could be useful to a technician diagnosing an issue.

Although Service Mode displays additional details about vehicle alerts, they've also been somewhat limited.

Alerts are triggered based on certain readings from the vehicle's CAN, which provides real-time information on a slew of vehicle systems and any errors they report.

If the vehicle detects a high temperature or low voltage in a given system, it may trigger an alert. The user may see an alert such 'X system not available', although usually the reason is omitted.

In Service Mode, some additional information may be shown about a given alert, such as why it was triggered, such as due to low voltage.

However, up until now the additional information provided in the alert in Service Mode has been somewhat limited.

Alert Payload

In a recent update, Tesla has added individual CAN readings to the alert, known as the alert payload, or crack data. Instead of seeing a simple 'low voltage detected' message, technicians or DIY owners can now see the exact value of the voltage when the alert was triggered.

Twitter user @greentheonly shared this news on Twitter, showing a screenshot that shows the plethora of information that is now available to Model S and X owners. Model 3 and Model Y owners do not yet have access to this data, but it's reportedly coming soon in a future update.

Adding alert payload data to Service Mode is a significant shift, as Tesla kept this information close to the chest and encouraged owners to take their vehicles to Tesla service centers. However, with this kind of information now available, third-party electric vehicle shops will have the data to fix Teslas. Not only shops but do-it-yourself types will also have access to the same information previously available to the technical support team.

That said, it’s important to note that Tesla’s warranty can be voided “due to improper maintenance, service or repairs.” The warranty paperwork, which you should read before ever tinkering with a Tesla, or any expensive item, clearly detailed how the company “strongly recommends that you have all maintenance, service and repairs done at a Tesla Service Center or Tesla authorized repair facility in order to avoid voiding or having coverage excluded under this New Vehicle Limited Warranty.”

@greentheonly’s tweet got a lot of attention. In a follow-up tweet, the user tells readers to enter service mode, and the information can be found in the service mode menu. The tweet is accompanied by a short video showing how to get to service mode. The screenshot shows active alerts with drop-down menus that provide more details.

Reddit comments were supportive of having more information. One poster said: “After they made the service manuals free, I’ve found I can do literally whatever I’d like! I no longer need service to answer questions about parts, processes, or fixes. Just look it up in the manual!”

While another, clearly a DIYer, posted, “This pleases me. Hopefully, between this and the free service manual online, most repairs should be able to be done at home.” 

But another commenter believes Tesla is still holding too much back, “Now give us gateway config tasks on the toolbox, and we'll actually be able to make meaningful changes to our car.”

Keep in mind that Service Mode is aimed at technicians and is not meant to be accessed by customers. The information displayed is not consumer friendly and will often require some vehicle knowledge to be useful.

Service mode will also disable various safety systems while in use, and it is not recommended to be accessed by customers.

Tesla to offer a 50% FSD discount if you upgrade your car in China

By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison
Tesla is offering returning customers a significant discount on FSD
Tesla is offering returning customers a significant discount on FSD

One criticism we've heard is that Tesla does not allow you to transfer its FSD package to a new vehicle.

Given that Tesla has steadily raised the price of FSD to the current $12,000 USD, it can cost early adopters thousands of dollars more to get FSD on their newer vehicle.

Tesla has now launched an offer that lets current customers upgrade to a new Tesla and receive a 50% discount on the FSD package.

The offer is available to owners with or without FSD on their current vehicle.

Tesla is testing this new loyalty program in China, seeking to retain customers and ensure they choose Tesla again when upgrading to a newer car.

This promotion will incentivize customers to upgrade their Tesla by offering them a more reasonable price for FSD. In addition to offering a 50% discount on FSD for returning customers in China, Tesla is also offering 15,000 km of free Supercharging and a free home charging service valued at 元8,000 ($1,185 USD).

Tesla has previously launched local incentive programs such as 10,000 miles of free charging and $1,000 toward a home charging solution.

Tesla has previously offered a similar FSD promotion in China back in 2021. There's no indication that Tesla will expand this promotion to other areas, but it certainly sets a precedent.

Tesla will likely continue to offer incentives that encourage sales where necessary, based on the conditions of each market. Although Tesla is the dominant leader in the EV race, competition is increasing.

Tesla is competing with western manufacturers like Rivian, GM and Ford, in addition to Chinese EV makers, that are aggressively expanding their investments in the EV market.

Tesla to allow charging for Destination Charger use

By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison
Tesla is making various improvements to its third-gen Wall Connector
Tesla is making various improvements to its third-gen Wall Connector

Tesla operates two charging networks; the Supercharger and the Destination Charger. The Supercharger network consists of direct current, fast-charging stations for long-distance driving.

The Destination Charger network consists of slower-speed chargers, specifically the Tesla Wall Connector, installed at restaurants and hotels for Tesla owners to charge at their destination.

Destination Charging has typically been free up until now. Tesla announced that they are enabling paid charging at Destination Chargers. In order to set pricing at a Destination Charger location, restaurants and hotels will need at least six Tesla Wall Connectors.

In 2020, Tesla upgraded Destination Chargers with third-generation Wall Connectors, and the EV automaker told property managers that it would enable paid charging with this new generation charger.

Tesla’s Destination Charging locations have usually been complimentary. In most cases, the only requirement was that the Tesla owner was also a customer of the business.

The chargers would help bring more customers to the business, who would cover the cost of electricity from the Destination Chargers.

A great example of Destination Chargers that increase business is hotels. A Tesla owner may be more likely to choose a hotel with Destination Chargers if it means they could easily charge when needed while on vacation.

With the new 3rd generation Wi-Fi-connected Wall Connector, Tesla is enabling businesses to set their own price for charging. However, a business must have at least six Wall Connectors to activate the feature:

Tesla Commercial Services can be enabled on Gen3 Tesla Wall Connectors that are connected to either Wi-Fi or Cellular and have a signed Services Agreement with Tesla. A minimum of six units are required to be installed to be considered for this service.

This excludes many Destination Chargers since most locations only have two to four Tesla Wall Connectors. 

This upgrade will also encourage some property managers to add more chargers since they can charge customers for the service and cover their electricity costs.

Tesla Owners

Tesla Wall Connectors can add about 44 miles of range per hour of charging. In some circumstances, this is a better solution than a Supercharger, which has idling fees after your vehicle is done charging.

Property Managers

Now that property managers can charge for the service, they can cover the cost of deploying the chargers and the cost of electricity while also attracting Tesla owners to their businesses or apartment complex.

Apartment Complexes

If you live in an apartment complex and haven't bought an EV because of limited access to charging, this could be a turning point.

Up until now, many apartment complex managers have been hesitant to add EV chargers due to the added cost. However, now they'll be able to pass on any costs to their residents, adding value to their apartment complex without accruing any charges.

Destination Chargers can be used by Teslas and any other EV with an adapter.

It'll be interesting to see whether Tesla opens up this feature further by removing the six Destination Charger requirement. That would allow almost anyone to charge for the use of their Wall Connector.

All owners will soon be able to connect their third-generation Wall Connector to the Tesla app.

Tesla will soon retrofit some of their Superchargers with a CCS plug, allowing non-Tesla vehicles to charge without the use of an adapter. It's possible that the same feature may also arrive for the Wall Connector in the future.

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Tesla News

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.24.1.

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.


Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.