Tesla Model S Owners & Service Manuals

Tesla Model S: Refrigerant evacuation and recharging

The HVAC and battery coolant circuits are sealed to prevent the discharge of refrigerant. The refrigerant must be recovered before any removal of system components using the recommended equipment.

Two ports are provided on the HVAC system and are accessible under the hood.

Warning: Ensure that all safety precautions have been taken and the HVAC and battery circuits have been placed in service mode (see below) prior to any attempts to evacuate the system.

High pressure remote charging port

This port is fitted onto the pipe directing the high pressure refrigerant gas from the compressor to the condenser. It can be accessed under hood from the RH side of the vehicle adjacent to the RH suspension shock tower strut brace. A Schraeder valve forms the port in the pipe allowing the connection of charging/discharging equipment for servicing purposes. The connection is a 16 mm quick coupler. The valve is fitted with a screw-on cap to prevent seepage of refrigerant through the valve and also to exclude dirt.

Low pressure remote charging port

This pipe leads back from the evaporator. It can be accessed under hood, from the RH side of the vehicle adjacent to the HP Schraeder valve. It forms a port at the top of the pipe which allows the connection of recovery/charging equipment for servicing purposes. The connection is a 13mm quick coupler. The valve is fitted with a screw-on cap to prevent seepage of refrigerant through the valve and also to exclude dirt.

HVAC system service mode

The vehicle uses two separate circuits, one circuit for the evaporator situated in the HVAC assembly for the cabin environment, and an additional circuit for the battery heat exchanger.

Both of these circuits have solenoid valves controlled by the thermal controller module. During A/C evacuation and recharge it is important to open these solenoids manually (service mode). This will ensure that all refrigerant is removed and replaced from both circuits during evacuating and recharge of the system.

Warning: HVAC service mode must be initiated using Toolbox before any evacuation and recharge procedures are performed. Refer to Service Manual procedure 18200102.

With the vehicle in service mode, the refrigerant can be recovered or recharged. The HVAC system will stay in service mode until the mode is exited using Toolbox or the laptop is disconnected from the vehicle.

Warning: It is important that the key remains in the vehicle during evacuation or recharge. If it is removed, service mode will be disabled, thus closing the solenoids, which means that there is a risk that the HVAC lines may not be fully evacuated or filled during recharge.

Note: When in service mode, all normal HVAC system operation is disabled apart from operation of the battery coolant pump.

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