Do I need drive unit fluid service

Do I need drive unit fluid service

Took my MS in last month for the first annual service. Since then, they've changed the service plan to add drive unit(s) fluid service at the first visit. That was not done for me during my visit.

I called my local service center to see if I should bring mine in for this, and he says since Feb 2 the drive units are "slightly" different so they need this fluid service, but mine does not.

Huh? Anyone talked with Tesla service who got a different answer?

jordanrichard | February 21, 2017

I am due for my 3rd annual service at the end of next month. I figured I will wait until then to see what is up with this DU fluid change bit. I am a bit skeptical about the answer your were given.

JAD | February 21, 2017

If you read the maintenance agreement, it does show a drive unit(s) fluid change for the first service only and the AWD versions are $75 more than RWD. Is that the differential fluid? I was not aware of other fluids in the drive unit. Most people did not have this done without issue, so I would not worry too much, just take services advice and note the response.

carlk | February 21, 2017

I'm not going to worry about this. Tesla has no reason to ignore any necessary drive unit maintenance. After all Tesla is the one who's responsible for the DU for 8 years and unlimited miles.

rxlawdude | February 21, 2017

I'm still convinced this one-time-only fluid service is related to getting manufacturing contaminants out after the car's been broken in.
This may be more compelling for high mileage (>20,000 miles/year) owners to do the fluid change at 12,500 miles, rather than skipping or deferring.

Tropopause | February 21, 2017


The way I read it on the Tesla website, the services repeat beginning with the fifth year.

"The specified operations repeat after year 4. For example, we perform “Year 1” operations in year 5 and “Year 2” operations in year 6."

rxlawdude | February 21, 2017

Thanks for pointing that out. But a fluid change at 12.5K miles (look at the schedule for other fluids) seems, um, interesting.

Made in CA | February 21, 2017

@jordanrichard +1

I have not spoken to Tesla but I also seriously doubt they changed drive units as of Feb 2. In some of my previous cars they would call for a gear fluid change at year one. It used to be pretty routine.

I plan on having it done at the next annual service for both of our cars.

jordanrichard | February 21, 2017

What is even more interesting is that the gear reduction box is sort of differental but never have Iheard of a differental needing a fluid change every 5 years.

Tropopause | February 21, 2017

Also note there is no price difference between Year 1 and 3 (for RWD) despite the additional drive unit oil change on Year 1.

Solarwind | February 21, 2017

On our first year service they wanted to do 2nd year scheduled service because we had 24000 miles. The second year scheduled service included changing brake fluid and gear fluid. A side story here is after picking up our car late in the day we returned to our hotel about 13 miles away. The next morning we drove to a museum about 5 miles from the SCenter , where we got a call from the SC. Where are you, don't move you car we are sending a tow truck. It seem the mechanic drained the oil went home expecting to fill in the morning and no car.

We are scheduled for service again next month and they wanted to do the 4th year service because we are at 45K, changing fluids again. I convinced them I wanted the cheaper 3rd year service as I think brake fluid and to a lessor degree gear oil is more time related then mileage related. I have a little apprehension about not changing gear oil because of the 20 miles of dry operation, but have had no problem or unusual noises to worry about.

Tropopause | February 22, 2017

Yikes! Since there are no combustion by-products, I don't see the need to change the gear oil every 37,500 miles- it's clean oil.

vpoz | February 22, 2017

I just had my first service, fluid changed.. not certain but the "D" jet engine noise, esp with range mode sort of seems to be less noticeable.

Tropopause | February 22, 2017

Maybe they used jet oil! ;)

rxlawdude | February 22, 2017

TeslaGlide? :)

AmpedRealtor | February 23, 2017

I seem to get new drive units at those intervals, so I guess my oil is fresh... lol

Tropopause | February 23, 2017

Haha, Amped. There's more than one way to skin a cat.