Service Question from Minneapolis

Service Question from Minneapolis

I'm considering reserving an S but I wonder how others are thinking about service. I live in Minneapolis and the nearest service or showroom currently appears to be in Chicago. Paying a buck a mile doesn't sound favorable, and neither does trailering my car to Chicago (411 miles away)if I have a problem.

So I have a couple of service questions;

Does anyone know of what regular maintence is expected? (beyond tires, brakes, etc.) Since I've never owned an electric car I don't know what to expect. But I do know that with most first year cars there are generally one or two annoying things that need to be fixed (electric mirrors not working, dash electronics issues). Literally 100's of little things that could go wrong in the first year of production, any of which I'd normally just bring to the dealer to have them fix. Then of course there could be recalls that will need attention. Again Chicago is 411 miles away.

Will local shops be certified to work on Tesla's if there is a motor or battery issue? or recall?

How are others justifying the needs for service if they aren't near a Tesla service/showroom hub?


Bonus question: how the heck do you search previous posts on this forum?

Timo | 10. August 2011

Google it. use to restrict search to these forums.

VolkerP | 11. August 2011


the anxiety of a first year's car model is with all of us reservation holders. Tesla's statement on this is: we've learned a tremendous lot from the Roadster and we will get it right the first time.

Service expected is once per year or every 12k miles.
Surely Tesla has to vastly expand its service network. They announced to separate the shiny stores (inner city, pedestrian traffic areas, high rent) from service points (perimeter, easy to reach, low rent) where vehicle owners can bring their car in. I expect the drive train specific issues to be dealt with by Tesla service only - at least for the next years.

David M. | 11. August 2011

@Granto - Great question. You should take a look at some of the Roadster Forums and see what maintenance issues are likely to occur in the first year. I am expecting at least 3 to 4 visits to a Tesla Service Center the first year for nuisance stuff. After the first year, probably one trip per year (for software updates and diagnostics).

Here's the good news. Tesla currently has only about 11 stores in the USA. It's nearly impossible to deliver 5,000 vehicles in 6 months (2011), from 11 stores. Some of those stores would be delivering more than 200 vehicles per month. It would be double that volume in 2013. Their current stores don't have the space or the staff to handle it. Bottom line - Tesla will need to open many more stores in the USA, for both vehicle delivery and service.

There is a very good chance that a store will open closer to you before you take delivery. Fortunately, you are in a big city, where it's likely there will be other Tesla owners. Conversely, if you were in North Dakota - hmmmm.

Sparrow | 11. August 2011

I have some experience with long distance Tesla repairs. I live in Atlanta and the closest service center is almost 700 miles away in South Florida. First, if the item in question is a warranty item, you won't be paying the $1 per mile. Mine was an air conditioning issue and the ranger they sent was not able to fix it at my home so they hired a transport company and shipped it to Florida for repair and then shipped it back all on their dime.

Since I had them do annual maintenance at the same time I did not pay for mileage for that either. Generally, for annual maintenance they are going to try to lineup the 6 or 7 Tesla owners here in Atlanta and I would guess next year we would split the mileage fee.

Of course when the S sedan comes, I'm hoping they will find a way to have a service center here in Atlanta and I won't have this issue.

GrantO | 11. August 2011

Thank you very much for your thoughts on this subject. I agree with the logic and scenarios the folks replying to my post are seeing happen for the service examples.

Since I believe there will be many S owners in Minneapolis, I do believe my worries are overstated. I will post in the Roadster section to see how things have been handled in Minneapolis to date. I'm sure there are a few driving around here!

Best Regards,

Vawlkus | 12. August 2011

Tesla has to take things slowly: they lack the cash to be everywhere all at once!.

First they put sales & service centers at strategic places, then they add in the Rangers deploying from those centers. As their cash flow increase, they add more sales/service centers inbetween existing centers, reducing the Rangers need to roam to serve customers. By the end of it, there's a Tesla center within driving distance for everyone. It just takes time.

Brian H | 13. August 2011

But it's exponential! In a good way.