service schedule and cost?

service schedule and cost?

Now that deliveries have started, does anyone know about the official service/maintenance schedule or fee? Also, I'm thinking questions about the manual must now be known--Is it in book form or only on the screen?

jerry3 | June 29, 2012

There is nothing official yet. It's assumed that 1) There will be an annual service and 2) It will not be more than the $600 for the Roadster's annual service. After that it is just speculation (I've heard rumors saying as low as $200)

jerry3 | June 29, 2012

So far the manual is just on the screen.

stevenmaifert | June 30, 2012

jerry3 - I hope those rumors are true. Maybe a Roadster owner could comment on what they get for that $600. I'm assuming a tire rotation and a diagnostic check, but what else to justify $600?

jerry3 | June 30, 2012

Well, there will be software updates similar to the ones on an iPhone. It costs money do develop them, even though they are "free". Also there is tracking so that they will be able to tell you when something goes wrong before you are stranded (hopefully).

But, in my opinion, the biggest advantage is that you will be able to maintain a relationship with the person who actually services your car. The one thing that has ruined the Prius experience for me is the service:

- Having to bring a measured amount of your own oil so that they don't overfil

- Having to have additional instrumentation so that you can check the coolant temperature after a coolant change because they didn't properly bleed the system

- Having an alignment that wears half the tread off the tires in a few weeks

- Having the car go off to a black-box to be serviced by who-knows-who

does not make for a particularly happy owner--even though the car has otherwise been great.

Brian H | July 1, 2012

TM has made worrying noises about cross-training with Toyota service personnel, etc. I wonder if either company wants the PR disaster that is likely to result.

jerry3 | July 1, 2012


I certainly hope that good judgement will prevail. If I have to go to a Toyota dealer to service my Model S, it will be a big incentive to not purchase. I actually had a "Certified Prius Technician" that did not know how to start the Prius, so I have little faith in Toyota's training system. Also, the way Toyota works dealer certifications is that once a dealer has a mechanic that is Prius certified the dealer certification is good forever. So if the certified Prius technician leaves, the dealer is still certified for the Prius even if the staff isn't qualified to work on it. And when your car goes into the black-box there is no assurance that the Prius trained person is actually doing the work on it.

I can't see any good coming from having Toyota doing service for Tesla.

stephen.kamichik | July 1, 2012

I will not bring my model S to Toyota for service.

Slindell | July 1, 2012

Jeery3 and others: I have driven Prius' for over the last 10 years, and have had excellent Toyota service on both coasts and in England.

You should take your business to another dealer.

bsimoes | July 1, 2012

Slindell--me too and me too, well not England, nor both coasts, but absolutely great service!

DallasTxModelS | July 1, 2012

I think the cross training of Toyota mechanics is for Toyota to service the RAV4 EV with Tesla battery. Not for Toyota to service Telsa's vehicles.

Brian H | July 1, 2012

I don't think it was specified, and the temptation would be great to "take advantage" of the connection. It should be firmly resisted, IMO.

bsimoes | July 2, 2012

Personally, I'm happy with Toyota service, and it would relieve me greatly to know that I would have two places, each within an hour's drive of where I live, to get it serviced. This car would be a novelty for those guys, and I'm sure that they would treat it with kid gloves...and like Tesla is always saying, it doesn't really require maintanence. If that's the case, and they just need to plug it in to some machine, I don't have a problem with that. It beats having to figure out how to get it to a destination some six and a half hours a way, or pay for ranger service upwards of $1,000 to meet warrantee requirements!

mklcolvin | July 2, 2012

I don't know... I've had the oil overfill problem, just like jerry3 (thought I was the only one). I really don't get the feeling of personalized service whenever I'm at my local Toyota dealership. I like the idea of having a place to service my vehicle only minutes away, but not if they're going to trash my baby!

MandL | July 2, 2012

I suspect it will be very difficult to overfill the oil on a Model S. Washer fluid maybe...

Sudre_ | July 2, 2012

Over filling the battery coolant might be an issue tho. Putting the wrong fluid in could be a bigger issue. Forgetting to put the fluid in all together would be the worst.
The car will be under warranty so it would not hurt to try Toyota out and just see if they can handle it. You can usually get a pretty good idea if they are honest after a few visits. Problem is there will be no where to take to car for a second opinion.
If Toyota does become a service location I will just try the one in South County rather than the one next to me. I already know they suck.

stephen.kamichik | July 2, 2012

I think the coolant in the model S never has to be changed.

jerry3 | July 2, 2012


I have tried all seven Toyota dealers within 50 miles of me. They all are sub-par. Based on the comments in the Yahoo Prius groups that I follow, although there are a handful of good dealers, most group members have the same experience that I have had.

EdG | July 2, 2012

If all of your dealers are sub-par, perhaps you should drive to Lake Wobegon where, I've heard, everyone is above average.

Slindell | July 2, 2012

EdG: Public Radio called, they want their joke back.

Brian H | July 3, 2012

Wrong. It's only the children! By adulthood, they regress to the average, sadly.

Roblab | July 3, 2012

It's the dealership - parts - service model, which Tesla thinks needs changing. And about time.

We have had our Prius returned to us with NO oil in it, and once with one tire inflated to 60 lbs. They denied everything. I have started taking the Prius to a local mechanic, who knows more than the average "technician" and always seems to get it right. Yes, he has the diagnostic tools and the skills to run them.

jerry3 | July 3, 2012


Agreed. Basically the dealers are as bad as the Prius is good.

WolfenHawke | July 4, 2012

We have had superior service at GM for our Volt. Taken in twice. Once we got a flat. Second time we dad a rattle after 8k miles. Both times the service was superior. We were kept up to date by our Volt adviser as well as our service manager. Love the car, and the service.

The Tesla and the Volt will be a great pair for us. I wouldn't mind taking the Tesla into GM, if they were trained technically.

Timo | July 4, 2012

I have similar experience with roblab. I used to take my car to "certified [insert car model] service", but after a guy in that failed to fix a slightly wrong camper issue after about five times with plenty of excuses and too much money a local car mechanic (a friend of mine) just plain asked me if he could check it (I was picking up some accessories there with my car). He took the car in, goes under it, after around 5 minutes goes out and says it is now fixed. Was too embarrassed to take any fee from that fix. "too easy" he said.

After that I was regular there.

Tesla cars are a bit different in that anything related to drivetrain just has to be fixed using their service, no-one else simply has any knowledge about what to do with it. It will change over time, but it takes a while.

BYT | July 4, 2012

That brings up a question! What if something punctures the battery under the car and it slowly leaks coolant? Are there indicators to let the driver know the batteries are running hot and are unable to get cooled?

Teoatawki | July 5, 2012

The car protects itself. If the batteries are overheating, you will be warned, and the car will shut down rather than allow damage to the battery pack.

Mark E | July 5, 2012

As long as the temp sensor doesn't rely on having coolant. In a conventional engine the temp sensor actually measures the coolant temp. If all of the coolant is gone the engine will seize before the gauge registers.

Brian H | July 5, 2012

A good non-dealer mechanic is a treasure.

Not directly related, but decades ago took my Civic to Samson Motors in Vancouver with electric problems (lights kept blowing, etc.) After several hours, Ken, owner/mechanic, told me he couldn't find the cause, and would only charge me $1 for the mast fuse on the battery he'd replaced. Sent me to a Georgia Electric, a specialist. Told me the car was a rebuild after an accident, and the alternator was a Toyota 90A instead of a Honda 60A, so was burning things out. Replaced it for $150.

Sampson Motors moved, but still open, and I send people there any chance I get; their experiences are similar. High competence, scrupulously honest pricing.

Brian H | July 5, 2012

typo: master fuse

foto | July 5, 2012

BrianH, shouldn't that be "electrical" problems?

Brian H | July 5, 2012

a handful of one, five of the other.

Electric (adj.)
1. Of, relating to, produced by, operated with, or utilising electricity; electrical.

foto | July 6, 2012

Learn't something. Thanks