Published on October 29th, 2018 | by Kyle Field0
Tesla Opens Up Parts Catalogs & Diagrams For DIY Enthusiasts
October 29th, 2018 by Kyle Field
Tesla has opened up its parts catalog for all of its production vehicles past and present this week via a new web portal.
The new catalog contains listings for the original 2012–2016 “nosecone” Model S, the current Model S, the Model X, the Model 3, and even the original Roadster. Many manufacturers have similar parts catalogs, but many are still limited to access by dealers or approved shops even though the volume of these manufacturers has spawned entire industries for repair manuals and the exact type of schematics as those released by Tesla today.
The challenge these manuals present is that, by Tesla’s own admission, Tesla’s vehicles evolve and change every week as new changes are pushed into production. This is a definite bonus for customers buying Teslas, as they can buy a car confidently knowing that they are always getting the best Tesla available. The downside is that changes could come down the pipe the following week that would make the vehicles sold for the same price the previous week all of a sudden dated. This happened when the first- and second-generation Autopilot hardware were rolled out, as well as with numerous smaller updates over the years.
Translating that amount of change into a parts catalog is sure to leave many people confused about which part is the right part — since the door handles, window motors, and Autopilot computer, and other parts evolve from week to week within the same vehicle. Tesla must design its components with backward and forward compatibility in mind, but adding a VIN lookup to the parts catalog would surely help nonetheless.
The catalog is split into two different access levels — one for the general public and one for those with a login, presumably those would be approved body shops and repair facilities. Even with the default access that’s available to the general public, layouts can be pulled up that show all of the components of each vehicle in great detail. However, many of the parts require calling Tesla for purchase.
The catalog also includes Tesla’s official tools, charging adapters, badging, and other miscellaneous components in its vehicles.
Tesla has been widely criticized for its hesitation to sell parts to owners of salvaged and heavily modified vehicles, but this is understandable since an incorrectly modified car, battery, or charging system could easily result in a fire or other calamity that would quickly become a PR nightmare and could also harm people. While the new parts catalog does not resolve this issue or guarantee the availability or access to parts, it is a step in the right direction as Tesla continues to adapt its business for mainstream consumers.
One thing we know for sure about Tesla is that we should not expect it to do business the way everyone else does. In fact, that might be the guiding rule to live by — expect the unexpected.