Model X

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Gearbox fluid service recommendations

My 2020 Model X long range displayed ‘gearbox fluid service recommended - ok to drive’ after about 5 hours of highway driving (road trip to go skiing). An hour later, the vehicle displayed ‘power reduced - service required’. I took it to the SC where they replaced the oil pump. I resumed my road trip ... an hour later, I received the same ‘gearbox fluid’ warning with the subsequent ‘power reduced’ message. I crawled to the nearest exit and am now getting excellent Wh/m because it’s on the flatbed of a diesel powered truck headed back to the SC. Can anyone help with what’s going on with my X?? I can’t seem to get it to want to leave Nebraska 😁


  • I have same Service recommendation message, in for service this week, will advise.
  • @SkierChick my 2020 X is in SC for this error message, will advise what they find.
  • @SkierChick SC replaced fluid and filter. Error has not returned so far. good luck.
  • Happened to me this time last winter, 2020 MX. went to SC 3-4 times, had it serviced, gearbox replaced, finally determined to just be a software issue, only happened after driving in cold weather. Resolved after one of the updates. Got the message back today after updating overnight. It’s annoying but not anything I’m worried about with the actual car.
  • update: 1 week and no recurrence. All is good.
  • Update on my MX 2020: the SC told me that in extreme cold (mine malfunctioned at 1 degree F) the gearbox fluid becomes more viscous...the increased viscosity causes the oil pump to malfunction...the malfunction is detected by the software and it automatically engages the ‘limp’ mode...which is exactly what happened to me ... twice in one day. The SC replaced my fluid and oil pump and the exact malfunction occurred 90 minutes later. I’m really hoping that Tesla can fix this cold weather problem because I’m an avid skier and my X spends a lot of time in the cold. I really appreciate the Tesla support I’ve received and having this forum to discuss issues with other owners!! Thanks🙂
  • sorry to hear that. My Service Gearbox warning, did not engage 'limp mode' for this specific warning. Agree on forums assisting us owners. I did have a oil pump issue that put me in 'limp mode' last year, but was a faulty pump. - good luck.
  • Initially my car break fluid level was low they said they fixed it but it was back within the hour, following this I had a message about Gearbox fluid low and then that led to power reduce mode. They try to fix it multiple times without any outcome. Now they’re saying it’s a firmware issue. Now the gearbox fluid low is persisting. Now they’re promising that this will be future firmware update. But I am concerned about the safety after driving as it goes to the power reduce mode. During the power reduce mod you cannot drive beyond 55 miles. You are the slowest person on the road. Let me know whether you were issues resolved are still persisting.
  • Thank you for the heads up on the low temperature gear box fluid issue in the 2020 MX's.
    My 2016-11 MX recently over nighted for 3 nights at ski hill near my home at -7'c (14'f) and experienced no problems driving the 10km (6 miles) up hill from the resort to the hill each morning. So it does not appear to be a problem with early MX's. Also I drove that trip at low speed 50kph (30 mph) both ways being conservative on the acceleration due to the cold battery.
    Coming back down the hill, with 8 yellow bars showing on my Energy display, I did not get any "green arc" of regen showing until about 2 km's from the lodge. But this is consistent with slowly warming the HV battery up from a very cold state.
    When we departed the resort for the home I took it "easy" on accelerating to highway speed so as to not over stress the cold battery and over the next 40 km's and a 3,800 foot descent from the mountain down to the nearest TSC, watched regen slowly bring my HV battery up to normal operating temperature just in time to Supercharge for the rest of the trip home.
    Hope they find a fix for this problem soon so you can enjoy your MX more in the winter.
  • @Hugh - I'd not be worried about stressing the battery - it is exceptionally well protected from abuse. It's the charging in the cold that requires the battery to be heated. Draining the battery when cold is not a concern, although there is less energy available. As the battery heats up, while it may be hidden from you, it actually gains usable energy.

    At very low SOC, perhaps below 5% when you stop. If the battery cools, it can drop to 0%, so be careful in cold conditions at lows SOC without charging.
  • Thank you for responding TeslaTap.
    I am very careful to stay within the advised 80-20 charging cycle to the best of my ability to help make my battery last a long time.
    I have only been down below 10% SOC once.
    That scary situation occurred on a hot 26'c summer's day with 14m/s head winds coming out of Ritzville, WA westward to Clu Elum, WA. (80'f and 31 mph winds).
    I departed when the Tesla Route planner screen said I had enough SOC to make it to Clu Elum by 20% SOC.
    I should have "listened" to what ABetterRoutePlanner had advised me and taken it up another 14%.
    Found out the hard way that the Tesla in car Nav planner does not make allowances for headwinds and hot temperatures (and associated AC loads).
    The final 20 miles into Clu Elum was done without AC and driver's side window partly down at 98kph (60mph) and I arrived at 07% SOC.
    ABetterRoutePlanner has not steered me wrong since and I now use it for all of my trip planning.
    Food for thought, Cheers!
  • @SkierChick same problem Happened to me on Feb 11th; nearly the same day! It was bone cold in MN (-15 for a few days) and we set out on our trip home to CA with temps around 0F. After 100 miles and In northern Iowa I got the fluid service error and kept driving. 30 miles later it went into limp
    Mode and said sweet if required. It cost us 2 days on our trip home plus 2 more days stranded by the storms we would have beat if we didn’t have to stop. Tesla did a good job, flatbed 250 miles to KC, replaced the oil pump. It was miserable and scary to be stuck in that weather in the middle of nowhere. It sounds like this is not a random occurrence and our 2020 X models have an issue with cold weather and the oil pump. I am very disappointed and having to hear it from my family and friends about “oil pump hahahah” and “not so reliable after all”. What did they do? I worry it may happen again. Advise is avoid temps at or below 0 F.
  • I live in Vancouver Canada and couple weeks ago it was really cold but I never got any messages of that sort. lol hopefully i never get it.I also have 2020 x
  • After 3 weeks in ‘normal’ winter conditions (temps 6 -30 degrees F) and short distance driving, I’ve had no problems with my gearbox fluid warnings. It may only occur with ‘colder’ winter conditions (temps negative 10 to 6 degrees F) and long distance driving?? I typically drive 600 miles/day on my journey to the mountains, so maybe this is the issue?? I don’t accelerate aggressively, I keep my battery charged at >20% on cold, long distance trips and I travel no faster than 5mph over the posted speed limit (80mph through Nebraska). I’m really hoping that the Tesla engineers recognize this issue and design a ‘fix’ for long distance, cold weather driving other person reported this issue..has anyone else had issues with long distance, cold weather travel?
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