Annual maintenance based on 12 months of ownership or on miles driven?

Annual maintenance based on 12 months of ownership or on miles driven?

I bought the 4 year service plan plus extension, so I am covered for 8 years/100,000 miles. The way the plan is written, you have to have your annual maintenance performed at 1 year or 12,500 miles, whichever comes first. I took delivery at the end of January 2013, and I am now at 12,500 miles.

Some time ago, I remember seeing a lot of discussion around Tesla deciding to lift the mileage restriction and allowing owners to delay annual service until the end of 12 months of ownership regardless of miles driven. Thus an 8 year plan would last for 8 years rather than 5 or 6, you would have service performed once every 12 months, and Tesla's cost would be the same since they are servicing the car the same number of times (8). This seems to make a lot of sense.

Has anyone gotten confirmation that you can wait to have your Model S serviced until the end of 12 months of ownership regardless of miles driven without forfeiting one of your prepaid service intervals? If so, I would love to see that confirmation since at this rate my 8 year plan will only last for 6.


jat | 1 November, 2013

I don't recall that, and I just scheduled mine -- it turned out to be a bit problematic among all the trips I am making to get between 11500 and 13500 miles, but they were accommodating. So, I don't think the mileage requirement has been lifted or they would have just said bring it in whenever.

I don't mind paying for an extra service out of pocket -- presumably, when they set the mileage limit there were things they wanted to check that wear based on mileage and I am happy to have them check it at the time they believe is best rather than worry about saving an extra $600 visit on an $80k car.

Thrak | 1 November, 2013

I just called service yesterday and they said 12,500 miles or one year - whichever comes first. Which is what the service agreement says as well. Too bad for me, I am on pace for about 25K miles per year.

They also recommended a half way point courtesy tire rotation in between service visits.

AmpedRealtor | 1 November, 2013

Per the extended service agreement:

Service within 1,000 miles and/or 30 days of Tesla’s recommended intervals shall be considered compliant with the terms of this Vehicle ESA.

So you must have your service within 1,000 miles of hitting 12,500 or 30 days of hitting your anniversary, whichever occurs first. So there is a little leeway.


A lot is said in these forums about what Tesla will or will not honor, but ultimately you must rely on what is written in your agreement because that is what you actually agreed to. If a Tesla employee verbally tells you that you can ignore the mileage restriction, ask them to give that to you in writing because it contradicts the service agreement written language. If they do not back up the verbal statement in writing, even via an email, then I would probably default to the written language to be safe.

Better safe than sorry.

Alex K | 1 November, 2013

Yes, "Whichever comes first". But in my case, by the time 12,500 miles rolled around and I made an appointment, my actual milage was about 15,000 miles and into about 9 months of ownership when my car was actually serviced.

Brian H | 1 November, 2013

So, your next service will be your +10K 18mo service!? Plus your 2 mid-period rotations? Don't do both rotations at the same time; they'll cancel.


smd | 2 November, 2013

I emailed ownership about this a few months ago and got an email confirmation that the mileage stipulation has been lifted.


Hi Jim,

Thank you for contacting Tesla Motors. [redacted] here with the Ownership Experience team. You are correct, the mileage stipulations have been removed. You are free to bring in your vehicle once per year, regardless of mileage with your 4-year plan. If you have any other questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to reach out to me directly at [redacted].



Alex K | 2 November, 2013

@smd | NOVEMBER 2, 2013: I emailed ownership about this a few months ago and got an email confirmation that the mileage stipulation has been lifted.

It would have been nice if they emailed all of us.

info | 3 November, 2013

I initially bought the extended service plan and then realized that I would be using the one year service every 6 or 7 months. When I called, I was specifically told that it could not be used on a one year basis. I cancelled the service agreement. I bought the extended warranty coverage just before the price hike.

I originally paid $3,800 for a service plan and extended warranty. When I had to purchase the extended warranty it cost $2,500. Had they let me bring the car in for service every year, I would have kept the service plan. I'm going to see if they will honor the original contract for an additional $1,300. I will let you know if this is possible.

AmpedRealtor | 3 November, 2013

I am going to email Ownership as well and get this in writing, thank you.

Tâm | 3 November, 2013


This is good news indeed because I have driven more than 25,000 miles in 10 months and that's not even a year yet.

By the old mileage standard, in 20 months, I'll run out of my 50,000 mile coverage and that's not even 2 years which is much less than 4 years by the new annual standard with no mileage penalty (pretty much like unlimited mile 85kWh battery warranty spirit.)

I welcome the new annual standard without mileage cap because it dispels the myth that EV owners are petrified of driving and only ICE has driving range freedom.

Brian H | 3 November, 2013

Petrified of driving? More like driven to drive! Heh.

JstACarGuy | 3 November, 2013

When Ownership says "regardless of mileage", does that mean we now have 8 years unlimited miles? I average 40k miles per year in my ICE, and am looking forward to doing more then that when I get my Model S in December.

Robert22 | 3 November, 2013

Selective notification is becoming a major problem. [redacted], as aTesla representative, can you please tell me why informational emails/ notifications/ etc. are not being sent to owners immediately when service agreement policies change, when extended warranty prices change, and when physical parts of the car are upgraded, etc. ? I shouldn't need to hit the forums every night to find out what I need to do to keep my car current. I visited a service center recently and was shocked at the number of policies and procedures that have changed since my purchase that I have not been notified about. Disseminating this information to owners promptly isn' science and should be a priority.

KendallPB | 5 November, 2013

@Robert22: smd quoted an e-mail from [redacted]; that was not an actual posting from [redacted]. ;-) But yes, they should communicate this better to owners--and, methinks, to Service Centers.

@smd: Thanks so much for posting that e-mail; I knew they'd changed something with relaxing the milage limitations, but over time forgot just what the details were. Good to know I can wait for 12 months and won't have to "use up" my service visits too quickly. Mind you, I was okay with the fact that I'm driving the car more than I'd expected, and would've run through the visits in closer to three years . . . but I'd really rather go once a year, and it doesn't seem like the car will need it more often than that. You probably quoted that e-mail back when you got it and I didn't make a note of this; I'm bookmarking this thread now! ;-)

procarl | 24 September, 2014

Just to make sure that no one is being mislead on this subject: My information, from several sources and levels within Tesla, is that the mileage stipulations (12,500 intervals) have not been lifted and are still in force---as they have always been, and as they are outlined in the Service Agreement.

Gadfly | 24 September, 2014

procari is correct. My SC just confirmed this. I contacted Ownership and they refused to answer - referred me to the SC. I read them the email that smd received, and SC told me that was a mistake and was dead wrong.

As for Aamped's advice to "READ YOUR WARRANTY! READ YOUR SERVICE AGREEMENTS!" I never received any documentation whatsoever for the 4 year plan. I have requested same with no success.

Gadfly | 24 September, 2014

Just found the Agreement under My Tesla.

AmpedRealtor | 24 September, 2014

There is some contradictory information coming from Tesla.

For instance, I received an email from Ownership stating that the mileage restriction has been lifted. Would such an email from Tesla constitute a written amendment to my warranty terms? I don't know the legal angle on that.

Gadfly, I go to the same service center as you do. I just forwarded to Nicholas the email I received from Ownership in November stating that there is no mileage restriction, and asked for clarification. If I get one, I will follow up.

AmpedRealtor | 24 September, 2014

I forwarded the email I received from [redacted]Tesla Ownership saying that the mileage restriction has been lifted. Here is the official response from the Service Manager at Tesla Scottsdale Service:

Please take a moment to review the links below directly from our website as well as the screen shot attached. The annual inspection is recommended to occur every 12,500 miles or 1x a year whichever comes first. It is not required as part of your warranty. If you have the prepaid maintenance plan then it would need to follow these requirements.

The e-mail you referenced is incorrect and unfortunately we don’t have a way to retract the statement.

There would not be any amendment to your warranty terms unless outlined directly in your warranty booklet or other more formal means than e-mail.

If I choose not to service my Model S, will this void my warranty or Resale Value Guarantee?
It is highly recommended that you service your Model S once a year or every 12,500 miles (20,000 km). If you do not follow this recommendation, your New Vehicle Limited Warranty will not be affected. If you are financing your Model S through Tesla Financing, you will only be eligible for the full Resale Value Guarantee if your Model S is brought in for service per the above recommended timeline.

plusplusjames | 24 September, 2014

I took delivery in March 2014 and had my 12,000 service in late July (2014). Any questions?

avanti5010 | 24 September, 2014

I don't think the number of months is fair. Suppose you drive about 4000-5000 per year or less. If you don't pay for the yearly plan, it looks like you will not get the full resale value guarantee from Tesla. I was unaware of that condition. So I will have to pay $2400 to get full resale value at the end of 4 years even if the car has only 15,000-20,000 miles on it.

Service should be based on mileage, not time. What needs to be serviced if it isn't being driven -especially in an EV? That's like saying your electric fan needs servicing every year to be warranted.
This is and ICE manufacturer trick, too, but it has no bearing on resale value.
I could have saved interest, also, if I did not use Tesla financing.

Strike one against Tesla for this!

sklancha | 24 September, 2014

I explicitly talked to my local Tesla service station about this. I will probably hit the 12,500 mile marker within the week, and I've only had my car since May. With a few scheduled distance trips coming up (and working on a few extra's just because...) I anticipate 32-36k miles by Fabio's first birthday. That would be up to 3 "annual" services, at $600 a pop, if I have it done by mileage standards. Nobody at the service station considered this a reasonable expectation. They recommended I come in for my next tire rotation at the 12,5k mark, but didn't see any reason to bring the car in more than once a year for the annual.

They also said that they don't have ANY high mileage customers that bring it in that frequently, though some do prefer to at least do the first annual when the initial mileage marker hits... We don't have the right to buy any warranty or extended service plans here in Florida (a whole other interesting phenomenon- restrict our rights, then ICE dealerships say THEY can provide better service..l), so these visits would be at my expense.

I am all for pampering my baby, and making sure he is in good health, but I just can't see spending 1800/year to maintain a (now theoretically) low maintenance car.


jackhub | 24 September, 2014

I'm on the other end of this issue. They picked mine up after 12 months and I had only 6700 miles on it!

romainiacWV | 24 September, 2014

I was also verbally told that this was lifted or at least inferred that the policy would be loosely enforced. . This is through the Columbus SC. It's a weird they have a milage aspect to it, especially that it's not tied to warranty Just make it an "annual service" and problem is solved. I guess I can see issues in cases where it is tied to the buy back offer. If that is the issue , see different terms for those in that situation.

Captain_Zap | 25 September, 2014

Getting anything in writing from Ownership or Sales will not change things. It is the contract that counts.

We got it in writing that our lighted sun visors were coming.

jordanrichard | 25 September, 2014

I didn't buy the service agreement and I also didn't finance my car through Tesla.

I have had my car sine this past Mar and already have 12,000 mile son her. I asked my service center about this subject and was told to bring it in at the 1 year mark.

As time goes by, I expect Tesla to make refinements to their service intervals/requirements. Just as they changed the warranty on the drive unit.

Pungoteague_Dave | 26 September, 2014

It isn't the contract that counts. It is Tesla's actions, which so far show complete flexibility on this question. I have had the "annual" every 12.5k miles PLUS interim inspections when asking about warranty issues. In that case annuals are nearly unlimited. It is all in how you ask.

Captain_Zap | 26 September, 2014

I've had interim inspections for questions regarding how the car is performing and some service too. But I wondered if that is included only if you have the four year plan.

Bighorn | 26 September, 2014

Everyone is treated like royalty regardless of their service plan, especially over warranty issues.

Brian H | 26 September, 2014

With the surge in production being planned, every analysis opportunity related to build quality is gold.

brent | 26 September, 2014

I want one. I will have one.

fakeer | 23 January, 2015

Clearly, the vision and design is from Silicon Valley but the warranty was worked on by a lowlife piece of crap lawyer from Detroit.

The general outrage may seem unjustified for just $600/yr for a $100K car. But we despise it so much because it does two horrible things:

(a) it destroys the vision of a maintenance free worry free machine that we expect for paying all that money upfront. what we are saying by shelling out 3 times the cash of our normal car-buying limit is "don't f'ing ever bring up mandatory maintenance to me for the next 8 yrs"

(b) it reeks of every sleaze-ball nickel and diming corporate tactic that's the bane of our existence

It was all going great until they f'ed it up with checkmates in the warranty.

Brian H | 23 January, 2015

Whatta load.

stevenmaifert | 24 January, 2015

"We are comfortable making the annual checkup entirely optional... However, even if you never bring in the car, your warranty is still valid."

Yea, a car company that will still honor their warranty even if you never perform any maintenance is pretty outrageous. Troll on!

Webcrawler | 24 January, 2015

I am doing it every year regardless of milage. I think 12,000 miles is WAY too soon for this vehicle... | 24 January, 2015

I use the annual service (as I have with all my prior cars). The Model S is still affected by potholes, wear and tear on tires, suspension, steering rack, and many other key parts of the car that keep it drivable.

I prefer to know that all these parts are working as intended and have not worn down to an unsafe point. I also prefer to be a responsible person who is not going to hurt someone else due to negligence.

Some owners also like to do this kind of work themselves, which is great.

And some people may not care about their car and just drive until their car (ICE or EV) dies on the road. I just hope they don't crash into me when it happens.

SCCRENDO | 25 January, 2015

Missed the prepay deadline. Did my first two services at 12,500 (6 months) and 25000 (10 months). Didn't do much at the services but it coincided with them doing other stuff. Lots of early teething issues. It's now nearly a year since my last service and will bring it on to coincide with my next tire rotation. Have over 50000 miles now and my next tire rotation is due in 2000-3000 miles (about 4-6) weeks. After my last service I was told once a year is fine. The tire rotations seem to be more important.

AmpedRealtor | 25 January, 2015

Dear Mr. [AmpedRealtor]:

Any customer who has paid for a 4-year service plan is entitled to 4 “annual service” visits. The customer can elect to bring the car whenever they desire: we recommend every year or every 12,500 miles (whichever comes first), but the customer are free to do whatever they essentially desire. They can bring the car every 18 months or every 6 months. In the end, they will receive the 4 “annual service” they have paid for. I hope this clarifies the situation.

Many thanks for your continued support. Best regards,

Jerome Guillen I VP, WW sales and service I

Brian H | 25 January, 2015

The MS makes people drive too much! That increases tire wear which reduces how much they save by driving so much. Unfair! Write Jerome to complain, and make him happy.

procarl | 25 January, 2015

I couldn't be more weary of revisiting this topic, but the memo cited by Amped Realtor makes the benchmark of mileage completely irrelevant on prepaid service. It is a direct contradiction of both the existing service agreement and the current advice of several service centers, plus Ownership.

Why can't Tesla speak with one voice on this? Is Jerome's word the final one? Does this supercede and/or modify our signed agreements? The best I can make of this hodgepodge is that we are each invited to interpret as we see fit. A strange and disconcerting way to run a business.

hpjtv | 25 January, 2015

What about tire rotations? Is that included in the service plan? I assume one is included with the "annual" inspection but what if you drive a lot and need more? I already have 6000 miles in just 5 weeks. At the rate I'm going, I will need at least 3-5 rotations a year. I get free lifetime tire rotations with the shop I got my tires from but would rather Tesla do the work since the shop nearly ruined my battery pack lifting the car. I just don't have time to sit there and show them the proper procedures. I've emailed my local service center about this and am waiting for a reply. If they say no, I will rotate tires myself and forgo the service plan and take it in for service every 2 years as I don't really think it saves you any money.

SCCRENDO | 25 January, 2015

First one is free. I did my second one with an annual service. They told me that they charge $150 at Costa Mesa. Have done 2 services there and had multiple visits for other stuff that tire rotations were done with those visits. My last few tire rotations were pure tire rotations and they didn't charge me. Perhaps they don't charge. Perhaps they know me well.

TaoJones | 25 January, 2015

I would expect to not pay for tire rotations/balancing/TPMS resets for as long as the original tires are on the car.

Now, given that a set of tires could quite possibly not last a year, multiple opportunities for future goodwill will exist. Guess I'll have to comparison shop when the time comes, but would prefer to keep things simple and to not incur additional risk.

stevenmaifert | 26 January, 2015

@procarl - I agree. If Tesla reps are going to make statements in blogs and memos that essentially modify the terms and conditions of our warranties and service contracts, those documents need to get changed. It's all to our benefit, but not being a lawyer, I wonder if a blog post modification is legally binding.

AmpedRealtor | 26 January, 2015

I get my tires rotated every 5,000 miles - or whatever the interval is - and before Tesla rotates them, they ask me if I have the pre-paid service. I say yes and they say great, tire rotations are included. As a side note, everyone who bought the pre-paid service received a written agreement specifying tire rotations among other services. Those who pay at the door don't have the benefit of a service contract like those who pre-paid. I have an actual written document which I can reference that outlines my benefits and what is included.

Here is a link to the pre-paid service contract that only purchasers of the pre-paid service received:

procarl | 26 January, 2015


"I have an actual written document which I can reference that outlines my benefits and what is included"

Uh, not quite. An addendum to the written document needs to be added, to wit: ...subject to the latest Tesla Motors Forum entry or individual letter to any owner stating otherwise.

stevenmaifert | 26 January, 2015

AR - I see, per the agreement, that tire rotation is part of the regularly scheduled 12,500 mile (or one year) maintenance inspection but I couldn't find where the agreement specified complementary rotation in between. Maybe the San Diego Service Center didn't get "the memo", but the last time I checked, they wanted $30 to rotate, and $60 to rotate and balance in between my service contract maintenance intervals.

Rocky_H | 26 January, 2015

+1 procarl. For a VP to give an assurance contradictory to the wording of a contract to a particular owner, but for the company to still not update the documentation or give an addendum to the contracts is...take your pick: Loosey-goosey, disorganized, unreliable...?

AmpedRealtor | 26 January, 2015

@ procarl,

I was referencing tire rotations in the comment that you quoted, not Jerome's email.

Regarding tire rotations, it was the service center that told me that those who bought pre-paid service plans also received tire rotations every 5,000 miles. In fact, mine were rotated about 1,000 miles ago at no charge because I had the pre-paid service. My first rotation was done at 7,500 miles due to lack of tire wear, 2nd was done at 13,000 miles during annual service, the third was done at 18,500 miles. All no charge because I bought the pre-paid service plan.

Grinnin'.VA | 26 January, 2015

@ fakeer | January 23, 2015

The general outrage may seem unjustified for just $600/yr for a $100K car.

I suspect that the outrage is triggered by disappointment that it isn't "free forever".