Model 3

Long-term Ownership Issues?

Am new to Tesla and recently purchased a 2021 MY. Since the Model 3 has been on the road for several years now with some presumably high mileage vehicles out there, I’m curious to know what some of the long term use issues owners have experienced besides replacing tires, servicing brakes, etc. Thank you in advance.


  • nothing but tires and washer fluids here
  • I have two 3s for 2 years and zero long term issues. Cost of ownership has been far cheaper than any vehicle I’ve ever owned.
  • At 64k miles, we've replaced tires, topped off washer fluid, and replaced wiper blades.
  • 12 months ownership, only 8k miles, one tire rotation and washer fluid only. This has the hallmark so far of being the lowest running cost per mile for any vehicle I have owned!
  • Over the year ownership 11+k mil es. Zero out of pocket expenses on maintenance or repairs.
  • Well, to be fair: if you're looking to the Model 3, you're only talking about 2-3 years of ownership for anybody. If you wanted longer terms, you might want to try over in the Model S forum where they've been around for somewhere around 8-9 years.
  • 2 1/4 years here just over 105,000 miles. Tires, windshield wipers, and window washer fluid. Thats it.....
  • Excessive grinning syndrome.
  • 3yrs 70k miles.

    Nothing significant. Only thing I’d add to your list is cabin air filter replacement, and the occasional cleaning of ac system.

    Oh, you may want to reboot the car after software updates. Bah, such a hassle/s
  • After 33,500 miles and 2 years of ownership, I've replaced tires and added windshield wiper fluid. It's probably about time I replaced the cabin air filter though.
  • Silly me totally forgot about air filter. Lol yeah that was only expense.
  • July 2018 LR RWD with 40,000 miles. So far one cabin filter replacement, charge port door replaced last month, tires at 5/32 so replace in Spring with one rotation, alignment is from factory. Add air to tires and washer fluid as needed. That’s it. My wife’s 2015 Prius maintenance runs $200-$400 every 4 months. 50,000 miles seems to be the magic number where maintenance of the Prius starts to feel painful particularly in comparison to the 3.
  • A fan site like this will likely get skewed answers.

    If I projected the five major services the car required in first two year to next two years, looking at $3k above and beyond consumables like tires, wipers and filters in next two years. More than the Subaru's 3rd and 4th years and the Subaru had less than $3k in first two years. In fairness, Subaru is top rated for reliability and low maintenance costs.

    We do know that Tesla service revenue has grown exponentially as cars have come out of warranty and it becomes service revenue vs. warranty cost. Long lines at the service center with 20-30 day waits for service issues even those that disable the car.
  • Advice not to listen to biggest Troll on this forum since 2016.
  • 35k miles. I just recently replaced the wiper blades for the heck of it. That’s it.
  • I’ll add to the chorus. 44K miles, 7/2018 build. Tires and cabin air filters (which didn’t really need replacing) and that’s it for maintenance costs. Not even washer fluid yet. Least expensive, maintenance free car I’ve owned.
  • We have a January 2018 Model 3 with 94K miles. Went to service once when it was new because of a little wind noise, the replaced the black plastic triangle at the front of the driver's window.
    That quieted it down and we haven't been to the service center since -- except to help with deliveries during a crunch or to ask questions on behalf of friends thinking about buying a Tesla.
  • Almost three years, 33000 miles.
    Replaced tires and wiper blades. Replaced air cleaner twice. Had the alignment checked at 7500 as recommended, although the SC discouraged it.
    Insurance paid $10k to rebuild the front end after someone turned left in front of me. The shop did an excellent job, nobody would even be able to tell.

    Spent $30 and a Saturday to install a 12v port in the console for extra usb charging. Spent an afternoon running a USB cable into the glovebox to store my memory stick.

    In the last couple of months, I’ve noticed a rattle under the dash on the passenger side. I’m pretty sure it’s the USB cable I installed, but haven’t got down there to make sure.

    And that’s about it.
  • Let's see. Picked up M3 in 9/2018. 26,000 miles. So far:
    1. Warranty repair, shorted wiring harness, they replaced the 12V battery at the same time in 3/2019. Replaced power port pins at the same time, service bulletin. Gone for a week.
    2. Windshield hit by rock from dump truck, had to be replaced in 5/2019. Insurance paid all but the deductible.
    3. Passenger's side front door handle wouldn't open on unlock. Ranger applied what appeared to be WD-40, 4/2020, fixed.
    4. Personally replaced air filter, 6/2020. No biggie. Half an hour with me following the directions on a Youtube video; next time it'll be 10 or 15 minutes.
    5. Tires replaced due to wear at 24,000 in 11/2020. Had AAA (where it was done) do a wheel alignment on general principles, no change in how it drives.
    6. Car currently has malfunctioning power port flap; intermittently won't open and/or close, especially when it's cold. Ranger came and took a look at it two weeks ago, said they had to order a new mechanism. To be replaced this coming Friday, no charge. (Ranger stated that some early flap mechanisms would slip a gear and start doing this, box with gears isn't repairable, so they have to replace the whole mechanism.)
    Kind of stunning, with the windshield wipers: We're still on the originals, although it looks like they're close to needing replacement. That's 2 1/2 winters, not bad.
    Cost of driving the thing around is superb: The house has solar panels on the roof that generate more energy than is needed to run the house and, apparently, us driving the car around. So, cost of energy for local trips is zero, or near zero. Superchargers, that's different.
  • > @FISHEV said:
    > We do know that Tesla service revenue has grown exponentially as cars have come out of warranty and it becomes service revenue vs. warranty cost. Long lines at the service center with 20-30 day waits for service issues even those that disable the car.

    20-30 day waits for service issues are rare. I recently lost power assist in the steering. The original appointment was for 30 days out. After leaving a message on my local service center's answering machine requesting a sooner appointment they immediately made arrangements for my car to come in.

    They offered a flatbed, but I chose to drive it in because of the difficulties a flatbed would have getting in and out of our property, i.e., I would have had to drive it to meet up with a flatbed on a local road anyway, so I decided to drive it to the SC without power assist.

    They had a loaner M3 waiting for me. They originally ordered a complete new steering unit, but in the end repaired it by changing out one of the control modules.

    Concern: Customer states: Complete loss of power steering. Tried powering down procedure but it didn’t help. Did scroll
    wheel reboot that didn’t help either. I was able to drive home but the steering was very stiff.

    Verified customer concern. Diagnosed and Replaced Front Body Controller Module. Verified Proper Operation.
    Correction: General Diagnosis
    Correction: Module - Body Controller - Front (RWD) (Remove & Replace)
    Parts Replaced or Added
    Part Quantity
  • @Tronguy, I see a lot of people with solar stating that since the system generates more energy than needed to run the house charging an EV is free or close to free. Don't you have net metering? In other words aren't you paid for what you put back on the grid?

    The reason I ask is because we are in the same situation, but with net metering we get paid/credited dollar for dollar (our retail cost) for every kWh pushed to the grid. Under those circumstances charging my M3 costs me because were I not charging the car I would be getting paid by the electric company for every kWh needed to charge the car.

    That said, by my calculations charging costs me just under $0.02 per mile driven.
  • Thank you to all that have taken the time to post your information and experiences. This has been valuable to a new Tesla owner.
  • My long-term ownership issue: when I drive someone else’s ICE car I usually turn on the windshield wipers when I try to put the car in drive. I also fail to turn off the car and I walk away without locking it.
  • @gmr6415: Yes, the SO and I have Net Metering. The way the rules work in NJ is that when the settle-up day hits once a year, we get paid wholesale rates for the energy delivered to the power company; if we have to pay, then, or at any time during the year when the running balance dips below zero, then we pay retail.
    Which I roughly figure is fair. Power companies pay wholesale rates to providers of power, take in retail rates from the customers of the power grid, and the difference pays for infrastructure maintenance and growth, as necessary, plug paying off capital investments.
    Now, having said all that: Before Tesla, the SO and I had 2-3 MW-hr excess energy at the end of every year, so we'd get paid between $60-$100 by the power company. With the Tesla, that'd dropped to near-zero, for around 6,000 miles of usage. So, we lose $0.01 - $0.02 per kW-hr that the Tesla uses, but that's a heck of a lot less than paying $0.12 to $0.14 per kW-hr direct, which is what people without solar panels do.
  • > @gmr6415 said: > 20-30 day waits for service issues are rare. I recently lost power assist in the steering. The original appointment was for 30 days out."

    Which confirms the 20-30 days out.

    Tesla service centers are packed, that is a long term ownership issue.
Sign In or Register to comment.