The “Power Reduced Front Motor Temporarily Disabled error” shows that your vehicle is intentionally slowing down to save energy and has temporarily incapacitated the front motor.
Your car slows down as the energy is transferred from the front motor. It is not a common problem. The car still drives but there is a noticeable small loss of power.
Your autopilot will be turned off. You will feel like you are driving in chill mode rather that standard mode. In chill mode your Tesla’s acceleration is limited. It’s slower and the G force is less compared to standard mode. You focus on saving energy while in Chill Mode.
Why Does My Tesla Say ‘From Motor Reduced’?
The “Power Reduced Front Motor Temporarily Disabled”, ‘front motor reduced’ or a D1a_138 error is an alert that occurs when your car’s computer deliberately senses a problem due to:
- unexplained reasons,
- a false warning,
- inactivated safety features,
- a motor fault,
- a software bug,
- extreme climate controls,
- a failed front drive unit,
- a defective oil pump,
- an electrical issue,
- or a firmware bug
- Unexplained reasons
How to Fix ‘Power Reduced Front Motor Temporarily Disabled’ Tesla
The uniting thread across online Tesla user forums or in the Tesla support chats is that this is not a common problem. You will discover that this is an unexpected and unique occurrence. It is a temporary, transient problem often referred to as a gremlin by software aficionados. It is often a one-time event.
Your front motor is fine. The commonest solution that has worked for many and could work for you is simply to get in and out of your car.
To do this you can use any of the five methods for locking and unlocking a Tesla. These are:
1. Physical Key Card
The Tesla key card resembles a black credit card and comes as a pair in a bifold wallet. You can keep in a safe space for emergencies or you can give it to a person you trust. You can use the second card for daily access to car.
The key card is a standard accessory in all Teslas and contains a chip that enables you to pair it with your car and allows you to lock and unlock car.
It communicates using radio frequency identification signals to authenticate the unique codes for your particular car. You can set it up to communicate with your car at the Tesla Delivery center.
To unlock or lock your car.
- Walk up to your car
- Hold it in the pillar between the front and back seat of your car
- When the side mirror folds back, your car door is locked
- When the side mirror unfolds, your car door is unlocked
2. Key Fob
The physical key fob is shaped like your Tesla model and does not come as a standard accessory in any Tesla and are bought at the Tesla store for $175. You need to set it up to pair with your car at a Tesla delivery center.
3. Bluetooth enabled smartphone
The most common way to lock and unlock your Tesla Model X, Y, S, or 3 is to use your smartphone’s blue tooth’s connection. To do this:
- walk close to your car
- car software picks up Bluetooth connection
- open car handle
- Side mirrors spread out and open
- car unlocks
To lock your Tesla:
- Walk away from your electrical vehicle
- At 10 or 20ft Bluetooth disconnects
- Side mirrors flatten and close
- Car locks
Tesla can only sense your Bluetooth connection if your smartphone is in your hand, front pocket or front of the body. You can also have the phone app on to establish a better Bluetooth connection.
3. Tesla smartphone app
You can lock and unlock your car doors remotely from the Tesla phone app with Wi-Fi or cellular data. To do this follow these steps:
- Open app
- Choose Quick Controls
- Click the padlock icon (car locks or unlocks)
- Tap on the Remote Start button at the bottom of page(car locks or unlocks)
- Third party keys
Many manufacturers have created rings that can replace the key card or key fob. An example is the ceramic COLMO RFID Smart Ring Key Fob Replacement that comes in Man and Woman sizes.
For Emergency unlocking, you could borrow someone else’s smartphone, download app and start car from there; or call Roadside assistance: or reactivate a dead phone with a portable phone charger.
1. False warning
The second cause for the Power Reduced Front Motor Temporarily Disabled alert on your car’s touchscreen is, that this is an indication that your car’s software system has a bug which keeps bringing up a false warning.
It is a known bootup issue to Tesla technicians. The remedy a technician would give you is to allow your car to turn off, get out and get back in the vehicle. This will fix it.
If the messages keep flashing on your car’s touchscreen as you drive you should park, walk away from the car, allow it to lock, “turn off” then get back and drive away.
You will see that the warning will disappear the next time you start driving.
To access and control lock settings
- Go to Quick Controls
- Scroll down to Lock
- Turn OFF Unlock on Park
- Toggle ON Walk Away Door Lock
- Turn ON lock confirmation sound for doors and windows
- Turn ON notifications for open doors and windows
- Turn ON or OFF child locks on doors and windows
All these lock settings allow your car to register that you have unlocked, walked away and locked away. They refresh the software system and the bug simply disappears.
2. Inactivated safety features
Your car’s safety may not have been fortified. Try to power cycle your car using the security settings and safety features and see whether the alert will go away,
- Go to Controls
- Go to Safety
- Power Off for three minutes
- then Power On
If you are really worried you can schedule an appointment through the Tesla mobile app for general maintenance or flag it as a Safety issue.
You can also take it personally to the service center. The service center allows an opening in their schedule for emergency fixes, and especially anything safety related takes priority.
3. Problems with motor
You could be experiencing difficulties due to a defective motor. It could be a sensitive motor. This means that the dynamics in your motor systems are influenced by changes in perturbations (complex movements within large objects affected by multiple forces and parameter variations (changes in either space, time, mass or charge) within your motor system.
You may need a new motor. The service center will replace the motor with a new one if you are still covered under the warranty. It may take a week or two for the service center to fix this part. You will get a loaner in the meantime.
You should be aware that new Teslas have a warranty of up to four years or 50000 miles; used Teslas have a warranty of the remainder of the four years or remainder of the 50,000 miles depending on when they were purchased, while used Teslas whose warranty period has elapsed at the time of purchase have a warranty of one year or 10,000 miles from time of purchase.
4. Software issue
This could also be a software problem that can be fixed by pushing a new update over the air
False alarm on the software side protecting the motor. You could wait for a software update will fix it or reboot your car. To be on the safe side make a bug report on the support platforms.
- Climate controls issue
You may have across some Tesla users who noticed that the “Power Reduced Front Motor Temporarily Disabled” warning appeared after putting air conditioning on high for over fifteen minutes or after a full defrost right after a snowstorm.
This is because the car’s power was being limited by onboard software to conserve the remaining low energy in the battery as the vehicle’s systems are being heated and cooled.
In short, the motor was running to produce heat or to cool systems and got stuck in that state.
To remove this error, you can put it in park with climate OFF and get out and then go back into driver’s seat.
It could also be a problem with the vehicle’s cooling pump. You may need to take your vehicle to the Tesla service center for them to replace a faulty super manifold for the cooling system or put in new coolant and repair the alignment in the Front Drive unit.
5. Failed front drive unit
You may also need to take to the service center if it is not a climate or software issue. The technician will check the wiring harness from front drive unit to front body controller for damaged or soft-set connector. If none is found he will perform inspections for connectors and connector pins. The Tesla Service should run a full diagnostic.
If there is a problem or he notices an internal issue with the front drive unit or module he may remove and replace the front body controller and then perform an extended drive test. As he does this, he will observe whether the alerts are still present.
6. Oil pump issue
A faulty oil pump or connector to the oil pump could reduce power to the motor to prevent the motor from being damaged from high temperatures without a working pump.
This is also a service center issue. In some case you will see the technician looking at the connector to the oil pump or the vehicle oil pump itself.
Your technician will diagnose the reason for the limp mode in the drive unit by checking the oil levels, removing the oil pump and oil filter, and then draining and measuring the gear box fluid.
You should note that when your technician is checking these he is confirming whether the oil levels are correct and whether there are any metal shavings in the oil pump.
Once this is done, the technician should refill the driver unit to specifications including draining and filling the gear fluid, installing a new filter or replacing it
7. Electrical issue
A failed front power unit could cause a D1a_138 error. These alerts can be present for a front drive inverter fault or a failed diode test.
The technician will a perform diode and isolation test on front drive. Diodes protect other vehicle apparatus from current spikes, which may damage components and the electrical system causing your Tesla to stop working, leading to delays and disruption. The diodes are striped tubular parts, that ensure current flows in a single direction. If your vehicle front drive unit fails the diode test, the tech replaced the front drive unit and aligned the vehicle
The technician will also check the power, ground and resistance for the front the driver unit and the oil pump. He will execute a low voltage and high voltage circuit integrity.
8. Firmware defect
Power Reduced Front Motor Temporarily Disabled was a past firmware issue that has been resolved with Firmware 2021. 1. 44. 30.6. It is a known issue in Firmware 2022. 8. 3. 5
Tesla service technicians confirm that it is known firmware bug and your car is functioning normally. It could be a sensor issue. To resolve this try resetting and power cycle
Some solutions for this error include contacting Tesla support to have them remotely check your logs; opening a service request for a virtual diagnostic; or calling roadside assist to take a look at remotely or pull logs from the car.
Roadside Assistance helps you to set an appointment with the closest service center and can assist you with a tow if it is not safe to drive home. Tap the T on the touchscreen and their phone number appears on the screen.
You can also go to service center. Roadside Assistance can get you slotted into service center faster if they cannot take care of you over the air
If you wish to go the DIY rout, try a soft reboot then a hard reboot. Do a screen reboot or full shutdown and error will go away. If a hard reboot doesn’t fix this warning, then take your Tesla to the service center.