Probable maintenance schedule and cost

Probable maintenance schedule and cost

I believe Model S requires 12000 mile or 1 year service and the cost is around $600. Thoughts on what a service schedule might look like and annual costs?

starke49 | 04. November 2016

I believe Model S requires 12000 mile or 1 year service and the cost is around $600. Thoughts on what a service schedule might look like and annual costs?

Rocky_H | 04. November 2016

No, the Model S definitely does not "require" the service every year. Read the actual manual, and you will see that the actual maintenance items that are scheduled to be done are only on even numbered years. Sure, Tesla thinks that it's a good idea for you to go ahead and get a check-up every year (They would!), but there is not scheduled maintenance on those odd numbered years. It's just to proactively inspect it to see if there are things wrong.

The 2 year service is $700 and the 4 year service is $900, and then the cycle repeats. Odd numbered services, if you want to get them, are $400 because they aren't doing much.

I would expect that the Model 3 would probably be a little bit less.

dd.micsol | 04. November 2016

This is very high maint costs if you think about it. If you get a new ICE you won't do anything but oil changes for the first 3 yrs. So about 5 oil changes or about 150 bucks. Now, Tesla maint isn't cheap, but no gas either, but we all know that. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Tesla purchasers/owners have little to no interest in saving money-it's about saving the Earth/saving human lives/saving other animals/ and stop the oil wars that cost us lives/blood etc. War for oil is mean to the military. End of story.

starke49 | 04. November 2016

Rocky, thanks for the info, I can live with $700 every 2 years but also would expect that to be reduced!
Sweeeeet cannot wait for mine, stood in line the first day and am very close to Tesla Fremont so hopefully within 1 1/2 years I have this discounted green bit of opulence!!

nadurse | 04. November 2016

So @Rocky_H, in those even-year services, what are they actually doing besides rotating tires? Diagnostic checks of which systems? Brakes probably wouldn't need done until 100k miles or later because of regenerative braking. There arent any fluids or coolants to check. I am curious what they tell you when you take it in for these services.

robsurvey16 | 04. November 2016

One thing to note though comparing to ICE is that Tesla's are more comparable to luxury brands. Their annual maintenance costs are much higher. Take Audi for example. They have a four year maintenance plan called Audi Care. It costs (prepaid) around $850. They say that's roughly a 30-40% discount from doing the four services individually.

So $850 / 4= $225 per service visit, for mostly changing oil (yes they do a few other things). And yes even the 2nd and 4th year services may not be truly be mandatory (or you could conceivable do them yourself?) I'd expect the pricing will be less on the Model 3 as well.

Rocky_H | 04. November 2016

@nadurse, Quote: "So @Rocky_H, in those even-year services, what are they actually doing besides rotating tires? Diagnostic checks of which systems?"

I think that is a typo on your part, right? I would think you are asking about the odd numbered years, that I mentioned were not on the scheduled maintenance cycle. They do check quite a lot of things on the odd numbered years, but I couldn't come up with a list of them.

As for the maintenance items on the even numbered years, here's what those are: At the two year, it's changing the brake fluid, which is pretty common for any car. At the 4 year, it's changing the liquid in the battery pack heating/cooling system. Those cycle back and forth, and then I think there's one more that comes somewhere around the 8 or 10 or 12 year point where they change the lubrication oil in the reduction gear case.

Rocky_H | 04. November 2016

@robsurvey, And yes, I concur that the Tesla maintenance services, (even doing only every other year) are a lot more than on our Honda Civic.

Haggy | 04. November 2016

The Model 3 is mechanically simpler than a Model S. Cars in the large luxury segment have higher service fees across the board. The warranty is valid whether you get the scheduled maintenance or not. If you take your car in for service under warranty, you don't have somebody approach you with a piece of paper telling you that you should really have the recommended service while you are there. I have no idea what the cost will be for the Model 3, but Tesla wants to show that their cars have a lower overall cost of operation.

I agree that the service every other year is a good idea. Some people consider the annual service a good idea because it gives piece of mind, is relatively cheap, and they always took their other cars in for annual maintenance. Whether you agree or not, I would say you should unquestionably get the four year service before the warranty expires. That way, if there's anything else wrong aside from what gets done during the service, the inspection will find the problems and they will be fixed at no extra cost. How you feel about the rest is up to you, but I haven't heard an argument against the four year service from anybody.

nadurse | 04. November 2016

Rocky_H thanks for the info!

jordanrichard | 04. November 2016

Every 5,000 miles: Rotate tires
Every 2 years: flush/replace brake fluid
Every 4 years: flush/replace battery coolant
Every 12 years: replace ATF in gear reduction box.

That is IT. That is the maintenance requirements.

Brakes; base on the practical non existent brake pad wear, my pads will last about 300,000 miles.

david.jones24 | 04. November 2016

Here's an honest question:

Do you have to make a trip to a Service Center to rotate the tires with the pre-paid service? Does the service that's pre-paid cover it? I'm quite a long way from a Service Center, so it's a good thing to think through.

Speaking of tires, with the weight of the car being heavier due to battery packs, what does that do to the life of the tires? I've heard the 21" wheels on the MS churn through tires every 10,000 miles or so. Different (larger, heavier) car, but curious about what to expect on that front as well.

Badbot | 05. November 2016

if you want tire life get the smallest wheels you can and run high air pressure.

jordanrichard | 06. November 2016

david.jones24, the reason the 21s have such a low life expectancy, is due to 2 things. The weight of the car and the fact that they are soft summer tires. Strictly summer tires on any car will not last as long as all season tires. I got 36,000 miles from my original set of Michelins (19's). The Model ≡ being presumably a lighter car, should be better on tires.

jleemarlowe | 06. November 2016

dd.micsol, you only change oil in an ICE 5
times per 3 years? And according to your math oil changes are $30.00 each? Interesting.
My experience is quite different.
I change the oil in my vehicle 4 to 5 times annually at a cost of $70.00 per change. Putting my cost at approximately $600.00-$700.00 every two years.
Not terrible different from the service costs associated with the model S

jamilworm | 06. November 2016

@jleemarlowe, it likeley varies by car, but in my last previous car, a Honda Civic, my oil changes were around $30. And I did them around every 10,000 miles. So of course it depends on how much you drive but my numbers pretty much line up with dd.micsol.

dsvick | 07. November 2016

@jamilworm - "it depends on how much you drive but my numbers pretty much line up with dd.micsol."

Mine too, I change mine two or three times a year at about $30 each. This is for a 2010 Corolla.

starke49 | 07. November 2016

Anyone have a rough cost on tires over 50000 miles of use

jordanrichard | 07. November 2016

starke49, that depends on what tires you are looking to buy. I can tell you what it cost me to replace my original set of 19" Michelin Primacys was, but that would be pointless, because we don't know what brand or size tire Tesla will put on the M≡.

robsurvey16 | 07. November 2016

Oil changes are dependent on the type of oil used and whether you go somewhere. My Audi S4 takes 7 quarts of synthetic oil. Doing it myself it costs >$60 (including filter). The dealer charges about $150 for an oil change on that car. Comparing a Civic to a performance luxury car will have vastly different price points. Tesla is aiming for Audi A4/BMW 3-series which puts them more in line with the Audi than the Civic.

Haggy | 07. November 2016

The Michelins come with a treadwear warranty. You'd have to look it up, but make sure to look for the OEM warranty, not the retail one. With 19 inch wheels, the Model S is doing as well as any other car I've owned, or perhaps better.

cb500r | 07. November 2016

Haha, the oil changes are where you identify yourself as cardriver outside Europe.
My Volkswagen has a 300€-service for two years or ~20 000mi (30 000km).
That does not harm the engine in any way.

If it is true that the brake fluid replacement will be 700$, that is ridiculuous. I expected an electric car to be a lot cheaper than an gas car. It will end up in only a visual inspection on this car. Everything else (updates, error code transfer) can be done over the air in advance...
Why 700$?
200$ for coolant or for gear oil sounds similar to my car.

dave.m.mcdonough | 08. November 2016

lol, there's no way. Brakes are the same as any other car.

robsurvey16 | 08. November 2016

Does anyone actually change their brake fluid every 2 years? It's wholly unnecessary imo. The coolant for the batteries, yeah that one is probably legit.

jordanrichard | 08. November 2016

cb500r, no it is not true that s simple brake fluid flush/change cost $700. So don't fret about it. You are not getting the whole story.

robsurvey16, changing the brake fluid every 2 years is not a Tesla thing. Look at the owner's manual for any German car, even going back to the early 70's, you will find this recommendation. Mercedes specifically recommends that the fluid be changed in the Spring time. Brake fluid is hydroscopic, meaning is absorbs moisture from the air. If enough moisture collects, it will effectively lower the brake fluid's boiling point, making it less effective. American car companies never mention this because they try to make their cars appear as maintenance free as possible and of course at the same time accelerate the deterioration of your brake system, so that they can sell you new brake parts .

andy.connor.e | 08. November 2016

The only working liquid in the vehicle is the windshield washer fluid. Nothing else.

dave.m.mcdonough | 08. November 2016

Jordan is right.. it's just that nobody ever does it.

chadacuna | 08. November 2016

What would be the total cost of a Tesla Model 3 if purchased in California for a five year period??
For Lease?
For Loan Lending?
And for Cash?
Great job Tesla for having a forum for everyone's questions to be answered.

cb500r | 08. November 2016

Jordan is right and it is part of standard service plans for all DOT4-type break fluids.
DOT5 is types perform better can last longer.
Just in case, I wouldn't mix DOTs, even if some are compatible.
The result might behave different/worse than the single type.

If you have old brake fluid, it will absorb moisture, right. But it is not only making it less effective. It is able to completely deactivate the brakes, if the water starts to boil. The vapor is far more compressible than liquid. So you are no longer able to generate brake pressure with the pedal. This is not unlikely and happened to me in my past on a motorcycle (mechanical rear break, lucky me). It happens for example after a long drive downhill. Especially if people use the brake pedal to hold the speed instead of impluse braking. What many people doesn't know is that it can also happen after you reached the valley and make a 5 minutes break. The heated brakes will transfer the heat into the liquid, as they are no longer air vented. So the liquid can start boiling and you will end up without brake force in the next curve. It's a automotive test criteria for brakes.

About the 700$, I will ask them before the service about what I will pay for :-)

KP in NPT | 08. November 2016

@david.jones - to answer your earlier question - no you don't have to take your car to the service center to rotate your tires. I have my local tire place do it in between my annual service visits.

jordanrichard | 08. November 2016

Tesla's call for DOT 3 or 4. Meaning it can take either one, which I find surprising. The higher DOT number, the higher boiling point. That does not mean 5 should be used. Use nothing more than what the car manufacturer recommends.

cb500r, there is a long laundry list of things done during the 2nd annual service. I won't list them all, but in addition to the brake fluid change, they service the AC and replace the desiccant. Tesla calls these annual visit "service" when for the most part it is a series of inspections and adjustments as needed.

cb500r | 10. November 2016

@jordanrichard: Thanks for explanation.

About the DOT, you can mix 3 with 4 or 5.1 (was made to be interchangeable).
Don't mix a DOT 5 with one of the others.
If you mix two different DOT, the result can have a lower boiling point the the pure one, same as boiling point of water and salt, but mixed it's lower.

I guess that the Tesla has no need for a very high boiling point due to the support of recuperation downhill and the unlimited battery capacity... except of when you start from a hotel at the mountains peek with full battery.

In addition, heat can be designed out by routing the air stream to the discs or having larger discs. Thinking about a sports car (MS), able for several brake events on a track without overheating, I assume that's the reason why DOT 3 is possible and allowed.
Ok, sorry, enough off-topic for now (was originally about maintenance)

jordanrichard | 11. November 2016

I was very surprised to see it call for either DOT 3 or 4. Usually a car specs one or the other. With the car being as heavy as it is and there are plenty of times where you are relying more on the brakes due to limited re-gen from either cold temps, of the battery is full.