Here's what you find when you take apart a Tesla
- For its latest episode, Business Insider's podcast 'Household Name' interviewed Rich Benoit, a Massachusetts man who buys salvaged Teslas and repairs them until their like new.
- He shared what you'll find if you look under the hood.
- In short: It's different every time.
So you'd like to know what's inside a Tesla - inside the car that has made electric vehicles sexy and made the company's CEO, Elon Musk, a cult hero.
There's one man in Massachusetts who can tell you. His name's Rich Benoit, and he buys salvaged Teslas and fixes them using parts from "donor cars."
Benoit is completely self taught because, of course, what he's doing is against the rules. Tesla has said that only Tesla repair shops can fix Tesla cars. But Benoit doesn't seem worried about that.
And, in an episode of Business Insider's podcast 'Household Name,' he made it clear that he's not intimidated by what's under the hood of a Tesla either, even though the company won't sell him parts. His wife's car, for example, is a Tesla he revived after it was completely flooded.
Listen to the full episode about Rich Benoit here:
"I said to myself, you know, what? Well, it's flood how hard can that be? It's gotta be a piece of cake," he said on the podcast. "You... throw some rice in it and you call it a day like a cell phone. I dropped my cell phone in the toilet before I know I know it works. You just need more rice….that's all ya need."
This is how he came to be familiar with what you'll find if you happen to take apart a Tesla Model S or X.
"Consistency isn't really Tesla's strong point," he said. "Every car I've taken apart has been different, very different. They may use different screws on one car, different sound deadening in another car. Some cars will have no sound deadening. Some cars might be missing a blatant panel, but that's definitely not their strong suit.
"Most of the door handles are a big thing," he continued. "It's the one of the most frequently used parts of the car. You have to get in the car to drive it obviously and that was a huge pain point."
Tesla customers have given the company's service centers choppy reviews. Demand for repairs is high, and the company has yet to build the centers to meet that demand. Still, Benoit - and anyone who might want to repair a Tesla - is working against the company's wishes.
So it's unclear how long their tinkering will continue.
(If you are a Tesla employee or customer who has a story to share about a car or experience with the company, give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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