Tesla Maintenance Costs?

Tesla Maintenance Costs?

In addition to obvious tire and brakes & lube maintenance, what type of service schedule and related costs can I expect after purchasing a Model 3?

Nexxus | June 21, 2017

Wind shield wipers and fluid. Your second annual service will run about $600 but they will look over the entire vehicle and correct anything that is wrong under warranty.

eeb9 | June 21, 2017

For those who already own a Tesla - do they have a pre-paid maintenance option?

tstolz | June 21, 2017

Just tires for me and windshield washer fluid. Brakes and lube not so much ... you don't use your brakes that much due to regenerative braking and there is nothing to 'lube'. Cabin air filter I guess ... I used Tesla service when I came off warranty but not since ... nothing to do.

dsvick | June 21, 2017
Iwantmy3 | June 21, 2017

This is one of the questions I have also had. EVs are supposed to be relatively low maintenance and cheap to maintain compared to ICE cars. However, when I look at the maintenance plan costs, they are much higher than what I pay to maintain my cars.

How do I reconcile these numbers with low maintenance costs?
Is it recommended to NOT get the maintenance plan?

dsvick | June 21, 2017

I think the general consensus is that the plans for the Model 3 will be less expensive. Tesla said they didn't want the service centers to be a profit maker but I'm also sure they didn't want them to lose money either. So, with limited maintenance customers, the cost per customer is higher. With the number of 3's coming out they should be able to charge less and still break even or even make some for expansion.

Iwantmy3 | June 21, 2017

Are there model S owners here that have not gotten the service plan? What is their experience?

SCCRENDO | June 21, 2017

I never got the service plan but pay as I go. Do services annually which works out at $450 ever 28000 miles for me. Services are not mandatory but I recommend them for piece of mind. Have had 5. Did my first 2 at 12500 mile intervals and Tesla told me I didn't need them more often than once a year. Have more than 119000 miles in my good as new classic model S 85

Rocky_H | June 21, 2017

I didn't buy a plan because I'm only doing services on the even numbered years. Several people do that.

PhillyGal | June 21, 2017

@Rocky - SAME!

We spend $0 in the first year of ownership.
$600 in the second (year 2 maintenance) and got WAY MORE than that out of what Tesla decided to replace on our car just as a preliminary measure.

No oil changes, emissions testing.
Far fewer brakes - because there are technically two sets, the ones you'd change regularly are expected to last 100,000 miles.

SCCRENDO | June 21, 2017

Correction. It is $600 per service. You can decrease costs to $475 by buying the plan.

High Plains Drifter | June 21, 2017

Don't forget your initial set up cost for a home charging solution. Annual service cost about $600. Annual car detailing expenses depends on the owner.

jordanrichard | June 21, 2017

When are people going to realize that the "maintenance plans" are optional. Meaning those related costs are not required. Whereas skipping oil changes/ transmission fluid changes are not an option on an ICE.

Brakes? What brakes. Based on the minimal wear on my brakes after 80,000 miles, I was told that my pads will last upwards of 300,000 miles.

Now obviously none of us has seen the maintenance/service book for the Model 3, but on the Model S you have 4 things that need to be done. Every 5K, rotate your tires, every 2 years flush/replace brake fluid, every 4 years flush/replace battery coolant and finally, every 12 years, change the ATF in the gear reduction "box".

Oh if your Model S or X was made after Feb 2017, at the I year mark they want the ATF changed out in the gear reduction box and I believe every 5 years after that.

MN_EV_Driver | June 21, 2017

18 month owner of the S. $0.
Granted any car with 25K miles should not be in the shop much.

@High Plains Drifter yes the home charging solution, good point. I suppose that was around $50 for the cable and breaker and outlet (50 amp).

Rocky_H | June 21, 2017

They changed the prices of the annual services last year because of realizing this aspect how the even numbered years have actual things that need to be done, whereas the odd numbered years are feel good checkups.
$400, $700, $400, $900.
So the total cost works out similarly if you do all four, but it's hard on the people who were planning to just do two at $600 each.

Pkalhan | June 21, 2017

I am not sure, but for those who plan on getting the extended warranty, isn't meeting every maintenance appointment necessary to keeping the warranty valid? I thought for sure someone said that in another thread.

ReD eXiLe ms us | June 21, 2017

Pkalhan: Nope. When Tesla changed their Warranty to allow for 'Infinite Miles' with 85 kWh battery packs and higher, it was retroactive. They removed a prior expectation of regular service/maintenance. I believe that requirement was only in place for those cars that were purchased as part of a 'Guaranteed Buback' program. And that program was ended some time in 2015, three years after it began.

TheChad | June 21, 2017

EV maintenance is a pittance compared to petrol operated vehicles.

Pkalhan | June 21, 2017

gotcha, thanks Red

carlk | June 21, 2017

Like jordanrichard said the Tesla maintenance plan is optional. Even for ICE car the company can not deny your warranty service unless the issue is directly related to a missing recommended maintenance item. They can not say, for example, that they will not cover you wheel fall off because you did not do the scheduled oil change.

Pkalhan | June 21, 2017

Just and FYI...I found this on the Tesla Website...

If I choose not to service my Tesla vehicle, will this void my warranty or Resale Value Guarantee?

It is highly recommended that you service your Tesla vehicle every 12 months or 12,500 miles (20,000 km), whichever occurs first. If you do not follow this recommendation, your New Vehicle Limited Warranty will not be affected. During the agreement period of the Extended Service Agreement, your coverage may be affected if recommended service is not performed. See the Extended Service Agreement Terms and Conditions for further details. If you are financing your Tesla vehicle through Tesla Financing, you will only be eligible for the full Resale Value Guarantee if your Tesla vehicle is brought in for service per the above recommended timeline.

It does look like the extended warranty can be effected if the recommended service is not performed. Just something to think about.

jordanrichard | June 21, 2017

Go 4 years or 50,000 miles in an ICE car without an oil change and see if they will still honor the warranty.

Rocky_H | June 22, 2017

@Pkalhan, Quote: "I am not sure, but for those who plan on getting the extended warranty, isn't meeting every maintenance appointment necessary to keeping the warranty valid? I thought for sure someone said that in another thread."

Yes, that is absolutely true, and I don't know why @Red Sage gave you a wrong answer. I read through the text of the extended warranty when they refined the wording of it several months ago, and it does specifically require you to get all of those recommended annual services. That is another big part of the reason that adds up to it being much more expensive and why I'm not getting it. In addition to just the price of buying it being higher, that's another $800 worth of services I would have to do that I wasn't going to, just to have the warranty in effect.

jordanrichard | June 22, 2017

"... just to have the warranty in effect.", that would apply to the extended warranty.

hmgolds | June 22, 2017

Looking at the services performed, I find that $475 (or $600) a bit excessive. Part of that is a result of paying $110 per hour (the Minneapolis rate) for services such as cabin air filter replacement, wiper replacement, and tire rotation, and other "semi-skilled" services. As opposed to the skilled services they provide.

An ICE vehicle is no better. Take a look at their "regular" services. My Hyundai dealer charges $60 to replace the cabin air filter. A price Tony Soprano would be embarrassed to charge. But most people have no clue how easy it is and pay that price.

carlk | June 22, 2017

Well you have too understand service is what supports dealership not commission from selling the car. Tesla is different. Elon has said from the beginning Tesla does not want to make money from service.

carlk | June 22, 2017

Well you have too understand service is what supports dealership not commission from selling the car. Tesla is different. Elon has said from the beginning Tesla does not want to make money from service.

Rocky_H | June 22, 2017

@jordanrichard, Ah, right, I forgot to make that distinction. They have said that skipping service will not affect the initial 4 year warranty, but that has not been said for the extended one.

Frank99 | June 22, 2017

The question is whether the service needs to be performed by a Tesla Service Center. Frankly, rotating tires, changing filters, flushing brake fluid, even changing ATF in the gearbox are trivial things for the mechanic on the corner to do, and only slightly less trivial for the mechanically incliined. As long as the service is performed on schedule, there shouldn't be a warranty issue.

Now, the thing you can't get at the corner mechanic are those things that Tesla Service Centers silently do to your car - make sure the software is up to date, recalibrate things that are out of calibration, check for known issues and fix them, replace thingamajiggies that are working just fine but have a high failure rate in other cars, etc.

rajalucy | June 22, 2017

Depend I have WRX and i change my oil brakes and tire at BJs with free tire rotation and cost is way less.
twice oil change per year that cost me around 50 per change (amsoil member)
no more then $200 per year

ReD eXiLe ms us | June 22, 2017

Rocky_H: I remember responding to a post that used the words "...keeping the warranty valid..." I took that to mean the standard issue warranty that comes with the car when you buy one. Also, Tesla does not, due to legal issues in some States, offer an 'extended warranty' for sale. They instead have an 'Extended Service Agreement' that fulfills similar actions for repair above and beyond the original purchase warranty, but with different terms.

Iwantmy3 | June 23, 2017

When I look at the list of services being performed and the prices associated with them, they seem quite high. The only two services that look essential to the well being of the car are the Drive units fluid service after one year and the battery coolant replacement after four years. The rest seem trivial (windshield wiper replacement) or unnecessary (cabin air filter replacement - I have never done/had that done on a car yet). I am hard pressed to see why I would need to take it in in years 2 & 3.

JAD | June 23, 2017

Also remember you are basing your costs on the Model S/X costs, which are ~$100k, cars. Compare those costs to other ~$100k cars, not Subaru and Hyundai costs. An oil change on my Porsche is $450, my F150 is $50.

The Model 3 is much simpler and will therefore be much cheaper to maintain the the S/X.

jordanrichard | June 23, 2017

Iwantmy3, what list of items done at each service are you looking at? Don't go by what Tesla lists on their site, it is much more extensive than that.

For those of us that have "Classic" MS's, the original driver's side wiper arm/blade would leave a wide streak right in our line of sight. At one of my annual services, they replaced both wiper arms with an updated design. They also replaced one of the jump posts behind the nose cone. There are other things that have been replaced without my asking, during my service visits.

Don't get me wrong, I definitely questioned the annual service costs, based on what the website listed. So much so that I didn't buy the pre-paid service plan. However after learning what they really do/go through and check, I decided to get the annual services done. Though I do it by date, meaning on the anniversary of getting my, not by miles.

Rocky_H | June 23, 2017

@Red Sage, Quote: "Rocky_H: I remember responding to a post that used the words "...keeping the warranty valid..." I took that to mean the standard issue warranty that comes with the car when you buy one."

I don't know what comment you thought you were reading then. Here was the exact wording of that question:

"for those who plan on getting the __EXTENDED__ warranty, isn't meeting every maintenance appointment necessary to keeping the warranty valid?"

Wow, it's almost like it used the word "extended" right there in the wording.

ReD eXiLe ms us | June 23, 2017

Rocky_H: As I noted before, as I read the text, it seemed that Palkhan was asking about two different things. To me 'plan on getting' is not the same as the warranty that comes with the car. Perhaps I am incorrect. But from my perspective, it would not be necessary to get all of the regular maintenance/service appointments prior to the beginning of the time frame for the Extended Service Agreement. Only during it.

Rocky_H | June 23, 2017

Hmm, OK, I'll retract half my snark, OK? I read it a couple more times, and I guess I can see how it could be taken that way although it doesn't seem like the natural first impression.

ReD eXiLe ms us | June 23, 2017

Rocky_H: Yeah... I could have been sleepy, tired, or half passed out on my other reply. But yeah, I tend to read things differently than other people do. That's why I often try to get clarification from someone if I'm confused. But at the time, considering where the commas are in his original query, I thought he was speaking of them separately. Because that which is obvious is not always so...

PhillyGal | June 23, 2017

Any corner shop may be able to change tires or perform a state inspection....

but I don't trust just any corner shop to place my beloved Tesla on their lift if they have no experience in doing so.

Pkalhan | June 23, 2017

Just an FYI, I was talking about keeping the extended warranty valid :)

I did enjoy the back and forth though.

Bluesday Afternoon | June 23, 2017

Who is this Red Sage character Rocky_H quoted? ;-)

Rocky_H | June 23, 2017

@Simply Red, Reincarnation is alive and well on this board. (pun intended)

OROCHIzc | October 9, 2018


Correction. Tesla's labor cost is $175/hour instead of $110. At least in Dallas Area.

calvin940 | October 9, 2018


hmgolds said "paying $110 per hour (the Minneapolis rate)".

How are you correcting the rate when he already identified it was the Minneapolis rate?

OROCHIzc | October 9, 2018


My bad! Browse through too fast

Correction on my own post. The Labor cost in Dallas area is $175/hour, $110/hour in Minneapolis.

mattykolej | December 4, 2018

That’s too expensive for me. Unfortunately, I could afford it only in the case if winning the lottery, LOL. Whereas gambling is not my cup of tea. Nevertheless, I like to read about it. For example, I find such article very amusing

007bond | December 4, 2018

In NJ many of the tire and lube places have signs out "Free Oil CHanges" then in small print "for Teslas only" I had to chuckle.

The Blue Meanie | December 4, 2018

Does anyone know how often the gear oil needs to be changed? I have dual motor so there are also two oil filters to change.

N8778204151 | December 4, 2018

My first service at 11k miles, checked everything and did rotation, 227.50, Tesla Buena Park CA.

virusu9610 | December 30, 2018

Wow, so many interesting mentions. I didn't think that so many things should be taken into account. Well, that all means that I have to quit my favorite betting if I want to maintain my car. Anyway, it's worth it.