20,000 Mile & Up Owners: Have you NOT needed repair work on your Model S?

20,000 Mile & Up Owners: Have you NOT needed repair work on your Model S?

I am wondering, for those with 20,000 miles or more (if you have less, no need to respond) on your Model S, have you NOT needed to take your Model S in for anything other than the annual service?

I am wondering if there are cars out there that have ran perfectly fine without needing new drive units, 12v batteries, or other non-annual service work done to their cars. It seems these cars require more servicing than traditional cars the more I read, and it is a bit worrisome to me. I am really looking forward to this car, I just really don't want to have it at the service center all the time or worry my wife will be stranded somewhere. There are people who have had 5-8 drive units replaced in 30K miles.. Kind of defeats the purpose of not needing to spend time at a gas station or do oil changes when the car is breaking down every 5K miles.

So, how many of you had a perfectly fine experience in the 20K miles of ownership? Chill my anxiety here for me please as we take delivery in 3 weeks!


oc_p85d | 02/09/2014

I hate to say this, but I am at 22,300 and I have had 3 drive units replaced, handles wouldn't open, and have been inconvenienced many times with servicing this car. But overall its been 1500 miles since my last servicing, and knock on wood, hopefully I won't have further problems as I love this car. But I do see your point.. from what I have read thus far on the forums and various news outlets, these cars do require more servicing than most ICE cars from manufacturers that have been in the game for over 50 years. Guess its to be expected though, as Tesla is technically in the 'beta' phase of the company in reality. No regrets though.

EVino | 02/09/2014


I'm new in these forums and I've seen a few of your posts. I can't quite believe that you've purchased a Tesla given the the angle of of your comments. The common thread of your posts lead with a negative proposition, then you ask the audience to "discuss amongst yourselves." It's not even an open-ended question. I mean, it's a subtly disguised MO, so I want to know how a short got us convinced that you've bought a Tesla?

Drakester347 | 02/09/2014

That's the same thing I am worried about. I just sold my 2011 Hyundai Sonata with 108,000 miles and it was never in for anything other than standard service. The only thing that went wrong with the car was the amp that powers the radio went out. I only had to change the front brake pads once... it was pretty much maintenance free.

To go from that to anything less will be disappointing. Even my car before that, Benz CLS, had pretty much no issues in 4 years.

Chunky Jr. | 02/09/2014

I know you've said 20k miles, but thought I'd throw my 2 cents in...

I've had my car (P85, VIN 7xxx) for 18 months and have a little over 12K miles. The only major problem I have had is a rear window that refused to roll back up, and Tesla fixed that the same day, while I waited (maybe an hour). I also did one annual service where they replaced the 12V battery and a few other things. A minor problem is that a door handle won't extend when pushed, and they said to bring it in to get fixed but I haven't bothered yet.

Maybe I'm just lucky, or perhaps there are more people like me and you only read about the problems.

dglauz | 02/09/2014

TSLA500: s/he has posted in private thread and clams to be receiving car in 3 weeks.

KPG: Any car with 20k+ miles will be about a year or more old and will have been for some service, at least to get the under armor. When going in for that service about 10 other things will be corrected that the owner did not know needed to be addressed. For me that included changing the 12V and other thins I do not recall.

27000 mi.

Captain_Zap | 02/09/2014

Welcome aboard challenge_max.

When did you get your car and what's your VIN?
Which version of the car do you have?

Captain_Zap | 02/09/2014


Didn't you say you already have a Tesla and you are waiting on a second?


Private thread posting is not necessarily proof that someone is an owner. Price of admission is cheap.

johncrab | 02/09/2014

Treating this as the hypothetical it is, look at the numbers. 50k cars on the road versus the number of actual problems discussed here is an overwhelming ratio. Contrast this to any Volt forum which runs for pages of line item threads with dozens of pages under each. Statistically we can conclude that the Model S is a pretty damn good car and that support is totally off the hook.

EVino | 02/09/2014

It's good to sit in front of Tradestation and skim the dips on an up day, accumulate, wait, then post another wag-the-dog question hoping to sway just for that fraction of a second. Brilliant. The price to pay though is the soul, as it slowly erodes genuineness.

johncrab | 02/09/2014

@tsla500 - I think you have nailed it but the loaded question does point to statistics which disprove the intent.

Kpg81 | 02/09/2014

Yes I originally had a Model X on reserve, but decided to lease the Model S until the X is available. This would allow me to get the newer technology in 3 years while getting the gas savings benefit now. My sticker is $94Kish and if I was to buy, would be $102,500 after tax + license.

My lease through Tesla allows me to buy the car for $46,700 at the end of the 3 year lease. This is a win/win as I can buy it with the depreciation factored in, or if the resale value at the end of 36 months is higher, say around $60K, I can buy it for $46,700 outright and flip it at $60K and take the $13.3K difference and apply towards the downpayment of the Model X. Trust me, my CPA and I discussed buying vs. leasing with my LLC and leasing was the clear winner in my particular situation.

Another reason for leasing as I expect resale values to potentially tank upon the release of the Model X and with a potential battery upgrade and center screen console hardware upgrade- its emerging technology like an iPhone/iPad, any significant upgrade will hurt the resale value and my lease protects me.

Anyway- I love how the car looks, drives, doesn't take gas, etc- the only thing I am not fond of is the interior compared to my S550 but I love everything else about it. The problem would be if this thing requires frequent visits to service- I just see so many people with service center visits its a bit crazy. I hope I get a good one - I just want to hear of someone who has had the car for 20K+ miles and has NEVER needed to visit the service center except for annual maintenance as owners I've talked to in person and read online seem to have all needed servicing outside the annual service. I find that pretty disappointing.

SCCRENDO | 02/09/2014

42000 miles. Lots of minor stuff such as windows. B pillar wear, 12V battery replaced proactively at an annual service, UMC charger cable replaced 3.times, 2 coolant pumps, master charger replaced. All that stuff were problems with earlier vins (I'm 77xx). Non issues today. My major issue now is that I'm 3 weeks into a 5-6 wk wait for an auto body repair having been hit by someone going through a red light.

Kpg81 | 02/09/2014

SCCRENDO- Sorry to hear about the accident! Hopefully no bad injuries as a result! One of the great things about the Model S and why I want my wife driving it with my kids is the great safety rating on the car. May I ask for your feedback on how well it handled the accident, structurally?

Heinz | 02/09/2014

P023XX. 30,000 miles. B-Pillar wear replaced, visor mirror covers replaced. New tires at 25K. That's it, other than the things that Tesla did because they decided to, all minor.

jordanrichard | 02/09/2014

kpg1981, you asked a straight forward question, but unfortunately there is no straight forward answer. Meaning, the answers you do get, will be skewed by the fact that there may not have been an actual problem in the first place. People hear an unusual noise, they take it in. So in that respect, yes the car went in for service. However, if that noise turned out to be normal, then really it didn't need service.

Also, there are about 50,000 of these on the road and there are what, about 100 if not less people on this forum. I am not a satiation but I will venture to guess that one can't apply what is said here to the whole fleet of MS on the road.

Velo1 | 02/09/2014

Just under 20k miles, 20 months of ownership. Besides annual services, I have had 3 12-V batteries replaced, right-rear door handle would not extend, but Tesla serviced all these issues in my driveway, as I work from home, and I never really was inconvenienced more than a few minutes each time. Very pleased with the service center (Denver).

terryd | 02/09/2014

Had my car for 1 year 7700 miles getting 12v battery replaced tomorrow thought that was way to soon.

Kpg81 | 02/09/2014

@velo1 does seem the 12v batteries need changing a little too often, but that is great news about them fixing it in your driveway! I do not mind that at all.

@terryd agreed it is too soon but they will probably replace very quickly without going to the service center potentially so that is good news.

jacobimm | 02/09/2014

I took delivery of my P85 in October 2013. I have almost 24,000 on the odometer. Had the annual service done around 14,000 miles when they also installed the underbody titanium braces and a bunch of software updates. They also replaced an oil seal to correct a leak I did not know about. That's it. No other maintenance issues. The car works like a dream!

Kpg81 | 02/09/2014

Thats good jacob! But- whats this oil seal and leak about? Maybe for brake fluid ?

jordanrichard | 02/09/2014

Perhaps this seal was for the speed gear reduction. Which is essentially a differential unit. | 02/09/2014


Perhaps you should disclose that you are shorting the stock when you start these threads.

As for my experience, had a drive unit replaced ~10K miles. Currently at 33K miles with nothing other than regular maintenance.


Captain_Zap | 02/09/2014


Did they change the leasing program? If so, I'm not finding the program that you mention.

krissu | 02/09/2014

Just 20000 miles, brake discs, pads, TPMS sensor, rear lights replaced. In general times cheaper cars need times less service under warranty. Still Tesla is real beginner in automotive industry and I could expect it. After decade should start to match mainstream and after two decades premium.

oildeathspiral | 02/09/2014


It seems like most of the problems can be taken care of at your leisure and don't make the car undriveable or unsafe. I suspect if you add up the time spent getting to a gas station, filling up, getting your oil changed etc. over 20,000 miles, the latest production MS' will save you a lot of time let alone what you'll save on gas.

BTW at least in the case of BMW, you'd need to 2 oil changes by 20,000 miles:

"BMW has changed its long time recommended oil change mileage intervals for all 2014 models and beyond. The changes apply to all vehicles produced from July 2013 on.

Previously, BMW recommended a 15,000 mile / 24 month Condition Based Service interval, but as of July 2013, the new basic interval will be every 10,000 miles / 12 months. This applies to both gasoline and diesel models."

tes-s | 02/09/2014

13 months and 28,500 miles. Had a flat, been in for annual service, and they have taken care of non-critical things (service bulletins, noises) for me.

Been in for service two times; had a nice MS loaner each time. Less than the 4 times an ICE would have been in for regular service.

robgoodin | 02/09/2014

My Tesla arrived May 2013, just under 20k daily driver only issue ran into road hazard and had to replace tire. 16 months have not taken in for annual servicing only for free tire rotations at which time they perform normal recall upgrades. Florida does not allow service contracts for Tesla yet.

deeptesla | 02/09/2014

+1 @tes-s

16 months and 25000 mies. Had to take in for a window repair and B-pillar issue. The rest has been taken care of as service bulletins.

I loved the experience of owning this car that after 6 weeks of test driving other ICE cars ending up picking up a second Model S

Kpg81 | 02/09/2014

Definitely feeling better about this ! Good feedback!

Omar- Please read my stock trading thread, I was only short TSLA for 1 day or so- I have made 300-400 trades on TSLA in 3 years or so, with 90% being to the long side! I am not currently holding any positions long or short in TSLA. I have profited on TSLA over $100K since trading the stock.

Anyway back to the thread- I am glad to hear positive feedback thus far on this thread. I assumed most people start threads to complain and rarely do I see threads where people give positive info on service history.

Kpg81 | 02/09/2014

It seems that there still hasn't been a single poster that has had the car that has not required some type of servicing (other than annual) - albeit they were small issues, I am just wondering if there has been any cars not needing a single servicing besides recommend annual stuff. Theres gotta be a couple out there.

Dcp9142 | 02/09/2014

26k. Replace magnet on charge door. Replace charge cable. Plug in connector for passenger seat controls.

jd3tm | 02/09/2014

Sig 692, ~26000 miles and counting.

Not a single major fix required. I take it in once a year and have gotten several "updates" but not because I needed anything done to address a problem or concern of mine.

I'm sure some of these "updates" could have turned into problems, maybe.

In fact, my biggest thought problem at the moment is that I don't have a regular reminder to get my tires rotated!!! Whereas my Prius Engine light comes on regularly to get oil change, etc. and I have them rotate tires at that time; but, for MS, I actually have to identify a scheme to remind me to get tires rotated. Any ideas???


YSTP4GAS | 02/09/2014

Got my car June 2013. P85+ 35,000 miles so far. On third set of rear tires, getting all 4 changed in two weeks. I had two minor issues:
one was a warning when I parked that the car might not start, which they said was a faulty link between the battery and the drive. I was never stranded because of this. The other was a "thump" when backing up and turning the wheel. They said there was a bolt that had to be replaced in one of the steering linkages, but once they fixed it that was all.

Tire wear with the P85+ is an issue. Because I drive so much I am considering changing to different rims. Any high mileage driver with a P85+ should be willing to put all their gas savings into tires....

Considering changing my plates to ISTP4TIRES

David Trushin | 02/09/2014

I've had my car a little over a year and have had the following:

12V battery replaced within a few weeks of delivery, 2 recalls, glove compartment wouldn't open, replaced electronics on dash.

Oh and a tire rotation and two oil changes.

Obviously not my Model S.

The thing is, I never bring my Model S in for service. If it needs something, they come and pick it up and deliver it back to me. A far cry from the 4 hours I spent today sitting in the waiting room waiting for an oil change and various other troubleshooting.

Dwatson102 | 02/09/2014

If you own the car and it is totally trouble free why would you waste your time in a forum when you could be out living your life?

Gotta wonder?

Dwatson102 | 02/09/2014

What am I doing here?

Captain_Zap | 02/09/2014


You should fill out Nicks tire survey.

Thomas N. | 02/09/2014

One year with zero problems. Only 10,000 miles, however. Always starts, extremely reliable and comfortable. Three trips from Orange County to the Bay Area, one trip to San Luis Obispo, one trip to Palm Springs, two trips to San Diego. Zero issues supercharging and road-tripping.

kpg - I'm still going to figure out where I know you from. I see from another of your posts that you're in Orange County. Same as me. The multiple exotic $200K+ cars, the stormtrooper white/black cars, the attitude displayed on the forum. I know you. Either in person, business or from another enthusiast forum. I was active in Bimmer forums for a year and have always been on Rennlist for Porsches.

Do you work in High Tech? Perhaps network security? I've got somebody in mind that might be you.

David15 | 02/09/2014

25,000 miles and a year and a half of trouble free driving. Only one warranty service so far, nothing else.

Kpg81 | 02/09/2014

Awesome guys!

@Thomas - dude you might know me based on what you are saying.. but now I am afraid I don't know who you are so I don't want to divulge too many details but honestly you could be right...

Thomas N. | 02/09/2014

I know who you are then. No worries.

Chunky Jr. | 02/09/2014

I have had my MS for 18 months and brought it into service 2 times - once for the window thing, and again for an annual service.

My Acura TL I brought into service about every 4 months for oil changes and scheduled A or B services, so over 18 months I would have brought it in about 5 times. Many times when I brought it in, there was some kind of warranty or other little thing that got fixed beyond the original service intent.

So from my standpoint, the Model S is twice as reliable as my Acura TL if the metric is how many times the car has to go into service.

If you compare costs, the Model S is at least 2x less expensive over the 18 months. One annual service for about $450 vs 4 or 5 routine services that were anywhere from $100-$250 each.

Thomas N. | 02/09/2014

How about getting your car smoked every two years? I hated that so much. You couldn't make an appt so you'd just have to bring it in and wait in a line and pay $75. We still have an ICE and I did it a couple months ago and hated it.

Oil changes. I forgot about those. At first we did the Jiffy Lube thing but then I had too many friends that had issues with Jiffy Lube and there was that little scandal a few years back with them where they didn't even change the oil but charged you anyway.

So I elected to take it to the dealer and then you'd have to wait, even with an appt, sometimes for a couple of hours. There was not any 30-minute oil change option when I was taking it in. And then you'd pay $100 for the privilege.

I don't trust any mechanics. This is based on a longgggg line of issues I've had in different cities over my lifetime dealing with them. If you change the oil yourself, great. If your brother-in-law is the most awesome mechanic ever and does your work for cost, great. That hasn't been my epxerience, however.

So taking my car in two times a year is a joke. It's so easy and I really trust Tesla when they have my car.

pbazar | 02/09/2014

September 19 2013 S 85 no service need

Thomas N. | 02/09/2014

hah hah! smoked = smogged.

I assure you my P85 has NOT been getting smoked every two years!

ElectricSteve | 02/09/2014

As i'm close to delivery i cannot tell from personal experience yet. But what i can tell you that i've been driving luxury cars from the German "big three" and each and every one, regardless of brand or model, has seen their share of repairs. From massive faillures to small nags. Sometimes i hardly had any problems at all, with other models i saw the inside of the workshop way too often.

In short, from what i read here about issues, great and small, they seem to be as common as with ICE cars from the big three (who *should* be less problematic by now as they have been around for a looong time).

Tesla is neither worse or better i think. The general consensus however is that Tesla's service is way better, stands like a rock. The German big three have always treated me like "bend over and take it like a man" where as Tesla treats their customers as "customers".

prints-r | 02/09/2014

I've had my S for 19 months, driven from New Mexico to Maine and back and then back to Maine again. I had an annual service (the service truck came to me in Maine from Boston) where they did replace the 12V battery because the earlier models weren't as good as the replacements. They "fixed" about 10 different things that I didn't know needed fixing (preventative).
The first time I tried to Supercharge, the car would not allow it. That was really the only issue I've had. That was fixed, and this year when I drove from New Mexico to Maine I used nothing but superchargers ! Other than that, no issues except a replacement charging cable once, and I've replaced the rear tires at about 21,000 miles.
It is a pleasure to drive !
In a couple of weeks I'm driving back to New Mexico using a combination of Superchargers and HPWC (I hope). There is now a network of HPWC installed in Hotels.

I hope this reassures you. Enjoy !

ParklandFLMike | 02/09/2014

I think it is not fair to compare Tesla’s, a car company that has been on the block only 11 years and it’s on its first major production car (A cutting edge car that has no equal), to other car companies that have been around 100 years. GM, Ford, BMW, Mercedes, they have had a century to figure out their technology, designs, and what is the best outside vendors to source parts from for reliability, etc.

I wonder how reliable these other manufactures first production models were.

I probably have no right to even post in this thread since I don’t have any personal experience with the reliability, as my car P85+, Vin 50298, is expected to go into production any day now.
I can tell you that I owned a 2007 BMW M3 that had transmission issues and would stall on me in the middle of a left hand turn and they got it fixed. Then later on I had issues with the transmission making a clunking noise. This is similar to what people are complaining about with the Model S.

You would think after 100 years, BMW would have it figured out how to make a perfect car, but they haven’t. You would think after GM making ignition switches for 100 years, they too would have it figured out by now.

My point is if people are waiting on the side lines for Tesla to make the perfect car with zero maintenance, they are going to be waiting a long time.

To me, what is important and what you should focus on, is what Tesla service is like when something does go wrong and if you have been on these forums more than a week you know that no other car company can match Tesla in this area.

When Elon announced extending the warranty on the drive units to infinite miles and 8 years after me personally having the experience of BMW telling me I had to deal with the noise and it was on my dime to fix it, I became a Tesla customer for life.

Besides what other car can you buy today that can be powered from the sun and have supercar performance?

Kpg81 | 02/09/2014

@ParklandFLMike excellent response. That is exactly why I have been wanting a Tesla. We all assume there will be issues (I just hope not frequent every 5K mile issues like some!) but honestly, the service is what counts and Tesla seems to have that part nailed. I actually hate having to purchase and deal with dealerships so that was the best part thus far. But yes, the warranty addition of the drive unit was huge and it really is unbelievable that there is an 8 year/infinite mile warranty on main components like the battery and drive unit- now when my Model S comes out of warranty and we have the option to buy it will definitely factor into consideration. Their lease terms are great too.. Sticker is $94K and buyout at end of 36 month lease is $46,700. Considering if I bought it tax and license would be $102,500 I think thats awesome- and I would still have 5 years of warranty left!

JAD | 02/09/2014

My car has been flawless after 5k miles. I understand you wanting 20k examples, but remember that sample is also the least reliable early models. They are much better now.