Service Centers and the Model 3 impending flood...

Service Centers and the Model 3 impending flood...

I've frequented the Model S forum and have heard that many people are seeing extended wait times for their annual service. This has got me thinking about Tesla's strategy when they ramp up production on the Model 3 - and how they are going to manage an order of magnitude more cars to service. Has there been any discussion of this that I've missed and what is the strategy? I'm also in a state that won't allow Tesla to sell direct, so I'll be driving across state lines for service - so this is a 'watch item' for me. Any rumors or facts out there on this?

Red Sage ca us | September 16, 2016

You could try checking the progress at this link:

makobill | September 16, 2016

Thanks Red Sage! I've used it for supercharger research and forgot service centers was part of the tool! Ironically, they have a service center 'coming soon' to OKC! Made my Friday afternoon... :)

Red Sage ca us | September 16, 2016

Cool. Glad to help. It was very hard for me to not presume the worst and treat your request as a genuine query. Nice to know that worked out.

makobill | September 16, 2016

No hate here or attempts to sour the Tesla image. I want nothing but success for them. Genuine question, and a great response, thanks!

jordanrichard | September 16, 2016

makobill, on Tesla knows what their plans are. I can only assume they will hire more people at their service's centers to handle the increase in business.

As for the waiting times for service, most if not all of these stories are from CA. As I am sure you are aware, nearly 50% of Tesla's sold in the states, are in CA.

AlMc | September 17, 2016

@makobill: Your question is valid/fair. One other consideration is that the model 3 is being designed to be in need of much less service. There is *rumor* that one part of the design team was assigned the particular job of making it virtually maintenance free.

In addition the first ones off the line will go to employees who should have access to quick fix staff as they will essentially be beta testing the cars so the ones we all get should be *problem/QC* free.

Personally, I am not worried about the service aspect when the model 3 arrives.

My concern is more delivering 10x the number of cars than each center is delivering now in about 18-24 months. I am sure that TM can find a way around this and it will be interesting to see what the solution will be.

jdanielp | September 17, 2016

Good to see that a Service Centre is on its way to Scotland (and near Edinburgh no less), after I asked about it and was promised that one would be on its way when ordering a Model 3, but I'm somewhat concerned that there is no longer any indication of any additional Superchargers in the country, which will be desperately needed. At one point in the past the map indicated that Inverness and Aberdeen would be getting Superchargers (although ideally more would be required, especially up in the Highlands), but they are no longer marked, just some Desination Charging.

roberts | September 17, 2016

Having only ever owned a gasoline powered car, I am unclear as to what maintenance service will disappear with my model 3, and what new types of maintenance (if any) will be required. Also, I am almost certain that I will live quite far away (200km) from a tesla service center and am wondering which aspects of service would require an actual visit to a tesla service center. Could some service be performed by my local mechanic?

JeffreyR | September 17, 2016

The list is very long. Try TFES or volkerize to see many posts on "differences between ICEV and BEV" or "maintenance savings for EV" yourself.

Think frunk contents vs. under hood contents. Also brakes are not used bc. re-gen. Remember EV drivetrain has handful of moving parts.

Haggy | September 17, 2016

In the past two years I've seen wait times get shorter in Fremont. They added more bays and switched to several shifts. Also, reliability has been increasing.

Even though the Model 3 will be new, it's not as if Tesla started from scratch. Everything they learned with the Model S and X will make the 3 more reliable. For example, they won't start off with a less than optimal bearing design and then switch to ceramic bearings after the 3 has been out for a year. So it's not as if you should expect the first batch of Model 3 cars to have bearing issues.

firetree_99 | September 17, 2016

Shouldnt be a big problem as service can be done in other garage shops.

Red Sage ca us | September 17, 2016

roberts: Think of all the stuff that is in an ICE:

Now think of all the things you DON'T have to do to maintain them any longer with an EV.

bernard.holbrook | September 17, 2016

@Red Sage- Good post with the expanded engine. A picture like that is worth a thousand words in explaining a question like @Robert's.

JeffreyR | September 17, 2016

+1 I was thinking of the very same shot. The satirical article that I saw w/ it is a fun read too.

JeffreyR | September 17, 2016

Also during first Reveal Elon spoke about dramatically increaseing Superchargers, destination chargers, and Service Centers.

AlMc | September 18, 2016

@JeffreyR; Yes, EM *spoke* of them. Now we need to *see* them ;)

cephellow | September 18, 2016

I think the OP makes an excellent point.
The anti-competitive push by GM/dealers and others to prevent Tesla from opening showrooms and service centers in many states Is a concern of EM's beyond the sales of new cars. It will be used as a fear-marketing tool against Tesla and the model 3. The GM CEO douchette has already used this angle with the Bolt at CES reveal.
The ranger program has been reinstated as a fall back, due to the slow progress in getting states to yield on this. I am hoping that there will be some Federal ruling based on interstate commerce to quash the rather corrupt state legislators who are doing the bidding of the dealer's associations.
The next fallback may be that Tesla will openly publish or provide reasonable subscription fees to model 3 service manuals and diagnostics software in all 50 states, and certify independent shops (beyond body shops) for repair, while creating some Amazon-Prime like parts distribution. (I would like this since I'd rather work on my own car anyway.)

cephellow | September 18, 2016

that is just the engine, those 7,8,9, and 10 speed transmissions probably has just as many or more parts.....

Red Sage ca us | September 18, 2016

cephellow: Yup. I think that the few people who know more about a car than adding gasoline are mostly only aware on a sort of peripheral manner of the maintenance that is due on components other than the engine itself. My Aunt Margaret once said that her kids used to think that a car ran on gasoline alone... So they killed a Mazda or two by not adding oil, or water, or checking fluid levels at all -- EVER. I figure it is purposeful ignorance of that sort that keeps thousands of automotive repair shops in Los Angeles in business.

bj | September 19, 2016

@Red Sage ca us - great pic! Have you ever seen a figure for the percentage of moving parts for an EV compared to an ICE? I've been looking but never found a reliable figure. Let's (for argument's sake) say an EV drivetrain had only 10% the moving parts of an ICE - what a compelling stat that would be. 90% less things that can break or go wrong.

It'd be great if someone has a reliable source of info on this.

Red Sage ca us | September 19, 2016

bj: The issue really is where you begin counting. Is it a Wankel rotary engine, turbine engine, horizontally opposed, inline, V-formation, W-formation piston engine...? Is it turbocharged, supercharged, naturally aspirated...? Does it use the squeeze juice by way of Nitrous Oxide injection? Is it pushrod, crank in block, single, dual or quad overhead cams...? One cylinder, two cylinders, three, four, five, six, eight, ten, twelve, or sixteen...? How many valves per cylinder: two, three, four, or five...? Does it use a carburetor, direct fuel injection, electronic fuel injection, variable valve timing and lift with computer control...? The parts can multiply quite a bit based upon the intended design of an ICE. And in any case, an electric motor will always win.

bj | September 19, 2016

@Red Sage ca us - easy, pick the worst case of most moving parts and make the comparison against that :)

Of course an EV drivetrain will always win, but it's nice to know by how much! Then we can say "up to X% fewer moving parts"!!!

JeffreyR | September 19, 2016

The EV motor and reduction gearbox have a handful of moving parts. So percentages may not be necessary. Say "handful vs. hundreds of moving parts." In other words a couple of orders of magnitude.

One may hear the counter-argument that the battery is equally as complex vs. a gas tank. Which is basically true, but ignores the fact that fuel pump and other parts of the fuel system need maintenance and often fail (clogged fuel filter anyone). It also ignores the 8-year/unlimited-mile warranty on the Tesla drivetrain, including battery.

Tesla manufactures their battery cost effectively w/ excellent power density. They also designed the battery to take up little cabin/storage space, add to handling and driving dynamics, as well as increase crash safety by using it as added structure. The Tesla battery is also temperature-managed so it will charge faster, last longer, and maintain operation even in extreme weather.

EV motor vs. ICE has EV w/ clear efficiency and longevity advantages.
EV battery vs. ICEV fuel system has EV w/ some advantages and some disadvantages.

gekcut | September 19, 2016

Routine maintenance may not result in extended wait times but with the Model 3 being a new vehicle, the probability of recalls is not negligible. A recall affecting a large percentage of the Model 3's may cause significant issues unless the service network is expanded.

Red Sage ca us | September 19, 2016

gekcut: Tesla Motors agrees and has noted as much under 'Risk Factors' in their 10-Q report. Since they know that is a possibility, they are working extra special super duper mega dynamo hard to ensure such issues are at an absolute minimum and stuff. They admit there are things they have not done before and recognize the challenge that presents in reaching their goals.

Red Sage ca us | September 19, 2016

bj: Well, most common among potential competitors to Tesla Model ☰ would probably be the now rather ubiquitous turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engines with double overhead cams and 16 valves. Next would be similarly appointed turbocharged V6 engines with double overhead cams and 24 valves. Least likely would be the return of V8 engines as pictured above with 32 valves.

brando | November 10, 2016

Tony Seba claims Tesla drive train fewer than 20 moving parts. Let me try to count
Rotor, 2 bearings, 3 gears 6 bearings, 2 drive shafts 2 bearings 2 wheel bearings

brando | November 10, 2016

Tony Seba claims Tesla drive train fewer than 20 moving parts. Let me try to count
Rotor, 2 bearings, 3 gears 6 bearings, 2 drive shafts 2 bearings 2 wheel bearings

cb500r | November 10, 2016

You've forgotten the 4 wheels + steering. :-)

dave.m.mcdonough | November 11, 2016

I expect most of the business will be from people getting in fender benders and whatnot.

Haggy | November 15, 2016

Technically, all the parts move. If not, the car would never go anywhere. If you count the rotation of the earth, or the movement of planets and galaxies, then you'd still have to say that the whole car moves. What people are talking about is relative movement of parts with respect to other parts in ways that generate friction through direct contact. With the motor itself, that means bearings.

jordanrichard | November 16, 2016

brando, though the rotor is a moving part, it makes no contact with anything. When people discuss about moving parts, they are really speaking about parts that get wear and tear. So, in the motor it's self, that would be 2 bearings. Though if you really want to split hairs, then you would have to count each ball bearing in the bearing.

With that said and when speaking to non-car/mechanical minded people, I simply tell them there are 4 moving parts. The rotor, and 3 gears in the gear reduction "box". 6 if you want to count the half axles.

There are just that many spinning parts on the outside of an engine, never mind the internals parts.

To start counting the wheels is just asinine because the point to discussing the simplicity of a Tesla is to point out the differences between it and an ICE car.