Do you plan to do your own repairs on your Model S

Do you plan to do your own repairs on your Model S

I work on my own car, I have never had my car serviced after warranty. I can't wait to work on a car where there is little need of heavy equipment, two guys can left that motor. I bet I can have the whole drive train on the floor in under an hour. There appears to be only 4 bolts holding the drive train, a few hoses and cables. With the simple TM design I will no longer hate working on my car. Yes I hate working on my car, that is one of the main reasons why I will love this EV. I have never once considered the environment in my decision to purchase the model S. I like the simple design, the lack of components. Other car makers are not doing this with their EVs, it is still a mess under the hood, TM design is going to be very hard to improve on. Ten years from now (when failures start)people like myself and that own a Model S will no longer spend there whole weekend working on this EV, like these pieces of crape gasoline cars. I have many tools I have collected over the years and I will not need them for this car. Can you imagine if the motor goes bad in ten years you just replace it. From the looks of it to replace it would take two hours, try that with any car today.

The future is looking good for mankind.
Excuse me now,I need to finish installing the second turbo on my 2001 VW, there goes my day.......

Crow | March 24, 2012

I don't think it would be a good idea for an accountant to work on a $100,000 car so I'll stick to 1040's and let the experts work on my S.

prash.saka | March 24, 2012

Lol Kroneal. I am with you; I am a computer programmer. So, if there is something to mess with the infotainment screen, I am game. For everything else, I will let the experts in.

~ Prash.

Thumper | March 24, 2012

I am a trained auto tech and have done tons of work on a variety of vehicles. I am retired now and don't even change my own oil anymore. My Passat has a large tray under the engine which is difficult to remove without a lift.
About the only jobs I would consider on the S are a brake job and bulb service. Nothing tricky there. Without a full factory manual you are just asking for trouble to do your own repairs.
Even low voltage lighting circuits may be tricky. The auto industry has been considering multiplexing circuits for a long time perhaps Tesla has done it. This would use a circuit board in the back of the car to do the switching for circuits in the rear. then you only need to run a supply wire and a control wire to the back. It reduces weight and saves cost. But you are down to circuit boards for most everything.
Just like carburetor people should stay away from full electronic fuel injection. Those of us without digital and high wattage circuit training specific to the S should avoid going over our depth. IMHO

Jason S | March 24, 2012

My first thought was "what repairs?"

Overall though, what the guys above said. Just replace wipers and any air filters for me. Even bulb service is something I don't even consider doing.

mlascano | March 24, 2012

Are there air filters in the S?

David70 | March 24, 2012

Certainly not until after the warranty runs out, and never without a comprehensive service manual. Buy then I'll be over the age of 77 and so not likely even then.

Discoducky | March 24, 2012

@mlascano, yep, but I hope it's reusable so you can just wash it out, dry it and put it back in.

Does any car company have reusable air filters today? I doubt it.

Funny story: My wife called me from the Honda dealer and said they wanted $95 to change the air filter. I looked it up from my phone on Amazon and it was $5 and dead simple to replace behind the glove box (OEM replacement). Yeah Honda dealers! or just about any dealer for that matter...

petero | March 24, 2012

Just oil changes and ... oops, no oil!

mlascano | March 24, 2012

Thanks Discoducky, great to know.

wbrown01 | March 24, 2012

I know you have checked out web site giving people tips on everything from brake jobs to total engine rebuilds. There will be many people like myself doing there own repairs. There will also be forums for Model S repair tips. I will get the service manual if and when it's available. There is alway talk about how complex autos and computers are, etc. Car get more complex, but the number of people working on car (non-pros) have not declined. There is nothing complex about any of these repairs, but I can see there is a lot of fear of the unknown and folks thinking they can't. He have seen that a lot as a mechanic and do also. Answer this, which car would you rather work on, your current or the model S.

BYT | March 24, 2012

Like Jason I wonder... What repairs? It's the most simple design for a car since the, well, ever! I think that is what makes the Volt and Karma a fail, all that complexity to add gas engine to charge the batts for the electric motor. This is a huge step to avoiding major issues and why Tesla Motors will succeed IMHO.

stephen.kamichik | March 24, 2012

As with my other cars, armed with a shop manual I do most of my own repairs. Since I am an electrical engineer, some routine maintenance/repairs on my model S should be "up my alley".

Teoatawki | March 24, 2012

What work will I do on my own car?

Build/install a console which meets my needs. I hope I can get matching leather/carbon fiber materials from Tesla.

Routine stuff:
Topping fluids
Replace the cabin air filter

Beyond that how much maintenance is really required on such a simple elegant design? As long as the regenerative braking is adequate for the steep hill down to the valley, brake wear should be very close to nil. The cars my wife and daughter drive often have warped rotors.

ckessel | March 25, 2012

Probably not. I can change a cabin air filter or wiper blades, but other items I could work on, like brakes, are handled very economically at places like Les Schwab. If it's something like the windshield wiper motor, nearly anyone can probably do that at a reasonable price.

No one but Tesla will ever work on the engine and battery and probably only Tesla on the air suspension.

What else is there?

bfranks273 | March 25, 2012

Yeah, there probably will be more repairs on the software than the hardware. I'd be interested in looking at the code. I'll do the simplest mechanical stuff, possibly up to brakes. But when you are ready to drop the motor and need a hand, I'd like to be there.

mrporter6 | November 8, 2014

How do we get a service manual? I have always had a service manual


AmpedUP | November 8, 2014

I totally agree with the wbrown01. I think the future of Tesla repair...and that of EVs in general, will be much like that of present-day PC repair. Owners will not only be doing repairs themselves, but swapping out parts for customized versions. Go into any PC store catering to gamers, and you'll find custom cooling, chipsets, power supplies, etc..all intended for installation by the owners themselves.

Mike83 | November 8, 2014

I wash mine, wheels first. Treat leather, vacuum, and clean windshields. That is enough work for me.

sule | November 8, 2014

Simple stuff - yes... but many traditional simple things don't exist in Teslas. No oil changes, for example. No spark plug changes :).

Some other thing became different, perhaps more complex with autopilot. Where are you going to get parts? You know, those that exactly match your car (remember: no model years).

We have not yet gone through the process of standardisation that made all ICE cars essentially look alike. It is possible that we never will. Yes, there are the same components in EVs but they may be packaged/bundled differently and controlled very differently.

Software also gains on importance. Is it only changing the part or do you have to let the computer "know" that you are, first, about to do it, then later tune it correctly?

I am a software+EE guy who was able to do some car work in the past. While I think I know what is involved in Tesla, I simply am not 100% sure and that is not enough.

That said, I do think that small independent shops will eventually have to be able to service Teslas too and that would mean some development in the area...