$600 Annual Service Charge Seems unfair

$600 Annual Service Charge Seems unfair

I would please like an explanation of why this fee is so high. Tesla prides itself of a having a low maintenance car, that we'll save so much money from switching to electric, and free super charging, just to name a few but it seems like it’s making up for that difference in this fee.
I called the service center and the fee covers: Fill up window washer fluid, change brakes, rotate tires, replace wipers, update software, State inspection, maybe something else but I can't recall.
Some of these services can be done by any qualify mechanic or even myself for little cost. I understand the Inspection has to be done by a certify Tesla mechanics to maybe find issues no one else can. But to charge to change a wiper or brakes, change small things that may not be needed annually or at that time and that can done professionally by anyone then charge $600 seems unfair.
I been supporting Tesla and Model S for 3 years and would like to lease soon but fees like this seem sketchy and maybe not worth switching if things are not clear or is reasonable.
I thank you for reading my concern and look forward towards your reply.

Josue Lugo

josue3424 | 28 novembre 2015

Well sir or miss DTsea,
I was so caught up in the excitement that this was an oversight. This is not whining, it's a logical question I asked. What else do u have to say? Just because it's been like that "since day one" makes it fair??

DTsea | 28 novembre 2015

Ok... well you can prepay $1800 for 4 seevices. Thats what i did.

If too expensive dont pay?

tes-s | 28 novembre 2015

Service every two years / 24,000 miles if you like. Cuts the cost in half.

tmaz | 28 novembre 2015

The service is really unnecessary. I am a hug mileage driver (34k in 9 month) and have not had a service performed yet. No major issues yet that software hasn't fixed. I plan to perform the 48,000 mile service to have them perform a thorough inspection before the warranty is up. If your car is working fine, I suggest spacing out the services.

Sudre_ | 28 novembre 2015

I don't think the annual service is required.
You could do it biannually.

If you bought the added extended service contract you may be required to do the annual service to maintain that policy.

I did a little checking around and places like Firestone and such will do a free general vehicle inspection (not for a Tesla). I wonder if places like that would consider getting certified by Tesla now that owners are coming out of warranty.

Since Tesla is currently the only place that can do it I guess the price is fair. I personally agree with josue. I've always thought the inspections were expensive at 600. I bought the pre-paid plan just to reduce that cost a little.

areber | 28 novembre 2015

Don't know why folks are dumping on Josue. It's a reasonable question, particularly in light of a recent thread over why "regular" car dealers don't like to sell their own EVs. The reason typically given is that these dealerships are used to making their money off of service and EVs don't need enough service.

So if Teslas are in principle (though perhaps not in fact -- see recent Consumer Reports) low-maintenance vehicles and the company's revenue stream comes mainly from sales then it's reasonable to ask why the high maintenance charge? | 28 novembre 2015

I bought the prepaid plan to reduce the cost ($475 each). I like the idea of a Tesla service technician spending several hours checking out the "innards" of my $120k+ vehicle annually. I certainly would not take it to Firestone! I can just imagine the damage done by someone there attempting to jack up the car with their jack pressing against the battery. Tesla's annual service cost in no more than BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Infiniti, etc.

Land of Texas | 28 novembre 2015

I am doing it about everything 15,000 miles so I can get 3 in within the warranty. After that I will switch to every 20,000 miles. The $600 is based on an hourly rate of $175 for the techs. This is higher than a lot of the other car companies which run around $100 per hour. That being said, when we bought the car, we all knew it was $600 so this is not a surprise. I drive 30,000 per year so as you can imagine my annual maintenance is higher than most but really it is less than my last car since I always took it in to the dealer and I used to do it every 5000 miles. You just need to decide how often you need to do the maintenance to feel comfortable that there will be no issues. Besides the warranty will not be impacted in any case.

josue3424 | 28 novembre 2015

Its not the price that completely matters, more like the self respect I or most people have not to just throw money away for something that does not seem fair, or lack explanation. Weather its $1, $600, 0r $80k plus it all has a value and needs a good reason to be spent properly. Just because someone can charge a high price for services or offer discounts for a 4,6,12 or wow maybe a 100 years that may not be needed makes it fair?? Yes I understand cabin filters, brake fluids, battery for an example need to be change every few years or more then the fee will make sense for those times maybe cause of labor. But every year or whatever discount plan choose still seems unfair for service not needed.

Again... Fill up window washer fluid, change brakes, rotate tires, replace wipers, update software, State inspection, But to charge to change a wiper or brakes, change small things that may not be needed annually or at that time and that can done professionally by anyone then charge $600 seems unfair.

tezzla.SoCal | 28 novembre 2015

@josue3424 - I agree, it's excessive. I usually keep my cars for 2-3 years, pre-paying for 4 years doesn't work for me either.

redacted | 28 novembre 2015

1. the word is probably unreasonable rather than unfair. Unfair would be if Tesla had you over the barrel for the $600. Unreasonable would be if they don't give you your money's worth.

2. I have heard the Tesla techs go over the car extensively when in. That can take time.

3. It may include tire rotations or switching to snows if you bought them from Tesla. So far they've switched mine for free.

josue3424 | 28 novembre 2015

Thanks to those who provided a positive feedback. I've learned a lot I appreciated that so much.

SeattleSid | 28 novembre 2015

Having just had my 2nd annual service, I found myself thinking the $600, while not cheap, wasn't all that out of bounds. They checked lots of stuff, including a road test, found a couple of things I hadn't been aware of, ie a condenser fan being extra noisy, and a click in the steering, both of which they fixed/replaced. And I'm reassured by the thoroughness of the exam and the fact that, basically, they declared the patient in good health.

Bighorn | 28 novembre 2015

I'm a very frugal guy and both annual services seemed like a bargain given all the work they did. Granted, some of the work was service bulletins I could have gotten done for free. They do a lot of work gratis and deserve to get paid once in awhile.
The minimal list of windshield wipers etc is a gross misrepresentation of what is actually done.

negarholger | 28 novembre 2015

Mercedes S class 4 year / 40,000 miles pre-paid service plan is $1,875. So I don't think the Tesla pricing is excessive.

I am past my 2nd annual service and scheduled for the next tire rotation. The work that was performed during the service and tire rotations was well worth the money - absolutely no complains here. (note: 12.5k miles a year)

negarholger | 28 novembre 2015

"deserve to get paid once in awhile."

I feel the same... got my tires from TM and now the LTE upgrade. The biggest service they can do for me is being around in 10-15 years.

SCCRENDO | 28 novembre 2015

Have done 3 annual services. Gives me piece of mind. A lot cheaper than my Lexus services.

Ian90D | 28 novembre 2015

Re pre-paid services for high mileage drivers... Before buying I called service and was told that it's 1yr or 20,000km whichever comes first. Since then it's changed to "Four year prepaid service, $2,000 One inspection per year, up to 80,000 kilometres".

Since I put on 40k per year, pre-paid is a loss (I'd only be allowed 2 services) even if I was willing to bring the car in twice a year. I'm better to pay the $650 (Loonies) and hoping every 18 months will be OK. I have no idea why they don't offer pre-paid service unlimited mileage, given the current unlimited warranty.

SoCal Buzz | 28 novembre 2015

I agree that on the surface $600 for excatly what is prescribed sounds high. But then I consider the value I get from proactive work during the annual service including a full system check, firmware upgrades, miscellaneous enhancements, etc. In my own case this includes some new carpets with fasteners, the titanium shield, a new piston for liftgate, and next week in year 2 service a drive unit replacement for the milling noise.

Given the investment in the car, annual service seems like a reasonable approach to maintenance. And so long as Tesla keeps going the extra mile to upgrade and make the car better, I will drive away happy.

vlad22 | 28 novembre 2015

Please stop b****ing about the $600.00 service. You paid $100k plus for a luxury vehicle. The service is much more then wiper blades and a hug. Tesla does so many things for free for so many people. This is a machine like any other. I am in the automotive industry. Still elected to have the 1 year service done. Wiper blades, yes, cabin filter yes. The 5 hours the tech spent past that point (till 9pm) at my shop resealing my sunroof, changing my charge port, replacing bolts in my power steering rack.... Thats service. No other company does this. My sincere thank you to tesla and the entire Vancouver service team. Companies of much higher statue and less vehicles delivered (take note aston martin) could learn a lesson from tesla.

Mathew98 | 28 novembre 2015

What does Ford or Toyota charge for 15K, 30K and 60K service? How about Lexus, Maserati, BMW, or MB?

It's the average cost of service for 4 years. Initial year may not need as much service as later years.

teslagiddy | 28 novembre 2015

In addition to OP's list the service also includes air filters, key fob batteries, wheel balance (more than just rotation), alignment check and a check of all electrical and mechanical operation. Not sure if this makes it worth $600, but I did my first one on schedule at 12,500 miles. I'll probably space it out a little in the future, maybe every 25,000 (that would make it once a year for me).

SCCRENDO | 28 novembre 2015

My suggestion. If $600 is high. Just skip the services. For example Your 12V battery may not fail. If it does they could always tow you in for a new one.

ir | 28 novembre 2015

There was a great Reddit AMA with a former Tesla service advisor:

"The 1 year service is a joke. We torque your wheels, top off the pressures, and check and perform an alignment as needed. The 2 year service is worth it because you should get a brake fluid flush, AC recharge, and some other goodies."

"It's an insane deal. 600 bucks gets you an ac recharge, brake flush, alignment, brake pads and rotors if need be. That's a steal anywhere."

"My 60k on the bmw was $2500 alone. Not to mention all the other services."

"Both are worth it. My 60k on the bmw was $2500 alone. Not to mention all the other services."

ROCDOC | 29 novembre 2015

I would gladly pay the $600 for the service, but since Tesla changed their valet policy and I live a few hundred miles from a SC, I would have to pay close to $900 additionally to get the service, for a grand total of $1500. Yes, I could drive it myself to the SC, but that would mean a few days away from work, making the endeavor more expensive.

SbMD | 29 novembre 2015

@josue - to add to the points above, it makes more sense if you live in an area where cars take more of a beating, or if you put significant wear on your car. As mentioned above, they will inspect the car and if there is anything that looks like it needs to be fixed or replaced, they will do so under warranty; the service visit ends up being more of a pre-emptive strike for such issues, as it were.

I live in the Northeast, so my cars tend to see more wear and tear with the weather and roads, so I decided to get the 4-year package and save some money that way. Even at $600, depending on the above, it may be a good idea at 1- or 2-years. Compared to the maintenance cost of my ICE cars, it is still far less than I would spend.

Ted_Denney | 29 novembre 2015

Tesla from what I read basically tears down your car and puts it back together in perfect working order, so tight and as new. Anything they find that is wrong or not to spec they remove and replace and all for the princely sum of $600 regardless of what they find. Seems a bargain to me. As a side the Tesla is in the same catigory as $300k cars in terms of the design and drivers experience so, 1/3rd the price of a Bentely.

jordanrichard | 29 novembre 2015

I too was in the "$600!!!,you have go to be kidding me" camp.
One time I was at the service center, I saw a car on the lift with it's wheels off bumper covers off, and the frunk liner out of the car. I asked what happened to that car. Their response was that the car was in for its annual service. They literally take the car apart, inspect it, repair/replace anything out of spec, and put the car back together. Here in the Northeast, what they look for with regard to the bumpers is any signs of corrosion on the bolts that hold the steel bumpers to the aluminum supports. If any is found, they replace the bolts. What other company goes to such lengths....?

They don't replace the brake pads unless they are down to their wear limit. I too drive more than usual and at my 1st annual service I had 23,500 miles on the car. They measured my brake pads and they had only wore down 1 mm. They said based on that, my pads will last about 150,000 miles.

Here is the other thing you get or rather don't get for that $600. Unlike any traditional service center, you don't get the usual "....oh BTW, your yada yada yada needs to be replaced and that will cost you $$$$$" $600 plus tax covers whatever they find and have to fix, except tires.

So, Tesla needs to explain more on their website as to what exactly ones gets for that $600 because presently their site does a gross injustice to what is done.

DTsea | 29 novembre 2015


If you prepay and trade in the car with unused service checks then Tesla refunds you for the unused ones.

Redmiata98 | 29 novembre 2015

DTsea, was that a statement or a question? If a statement, please provide reference as I am in the process of trading mine in for an X. Also, what info might you have on the extended warranty reimbursement?

SUN 2 DRV | 29 novembre 2015

"Fair" is irrelevant. It's their asking price. It's fair as long as they tell you what the price is up front.

If it has Value to you then buy it, if not then don't.

AmpedRealtor | 29 novembre 2015

@ josue3424,

There is no requirement for this annual service to be performed by Tesla. Indeed, the major service intervals where fluids are changed are mentioned in the owner's manual. You can just stick to those if you wish. You can also have your own mechanic perform the same inspections as Tesla, or do it yourself.

NV4NV | 29 novembre 2015

When you pay $600, you aren't just paying for parts and labor. You are paying for the specialized expertise of the Tesla mechanics who are trained at great expense and possess the knowledge necessary to service your Model S properly - something that would be lacking at your local Jiffy Lube.

carlk | 29 novembre 2015

$600 is fair. What is not fair is they won't even do it for me unless if I also buy a $100000 car.

Bluesday Afternoon | 29 novembre 2015



JLC | 29 novembre 2015

@ vlad22

"Please stop bitching about the $600.00 service. You paid $100k plus for a luxury vehicle. The service is much more then wiper blades and a hug. Tesla does so many things for free for so many people. This is a machine like any other. I am in the automotive industry. Still elected to have the 1 year service done. Wiper blades, yes, cabin filter yes. The 5 hours the tech spent past that point (till 9pm) at my shop resealing my sunroof, changing my charge port, replacing bolts in my power steering rack.... Thats service. No other company does this. My sincere thank you to tesla and the entire Vancouver service team. Companies of much higher statue and less vehicles delivered (take note aston martin) could learn a lesson from tesla.?

No, what you are describing is warranty work, not yearly service. Every company does this; however, probably not as often as Tesla as most car brands have mature design/manufacturing processes and less things going wrong. Not that this is a knock against Tesla; they appear to be doing a great and proactive job for such a young company.

AmpedRealtor | 29 novembre 2015

@ vlad22,

The 5 hours the tech spent past that point (till 9pm) at my shop resealing my sunroof, changing my charge port, replacing bolts in my power steering rack....

That's all warranty work that would have been done and 100% covered at no charge to you even without spending $600 for an annual inspection. You're getting confused.

Sudre_ | 29 novembre 2015

Compared to an ICE over 5 years

Brake fluid flush $90............x1
tune up $300.....................x1
brake pads $150..................x1
radiator flush and fill $95......x1
transmission fluid change $130...x1
A/C inspection $20...............x1
oil change $35...................x8 $280
belt replacements $60............x1
timing belt replacement $350.....x1
tire rotation $30................x8 $240
fuel filter change $100..........x1
coolant hose replacement $100....x1
transaxle fluid change $150......x1
air filter change $20............x8 $160
Emissions inspection $24.........x2 $28
Oxygen sensor replacement $80....x1
Car 12 volt battery $100.........x1
windshield wiper replacement $30.x3 $90

Averaged out over 4 years is $486

So I guess Tesla's yearly service charge is reasonable compared to a car at Jiffy Lube, Firestone or similar. AS was mentioned in a previous post, I don't think I'd take any car in this price range to one of those places.

I also did not really go with the recommended service schedule. I went with when my wife managed to get her car serviced over a five year period and searched for current pricing with Google.
In Missouri cars get emission tested every two years and get two year plates.

I think the only thing that brings home josue's point is the, "An electric car is cheaper to own", statement from people and Elon. For some with higher electric costs it's really about the same over all.

For me it is considerably cheaper because of the fuel cost difference.... even with gas prices this low.

So I may have stated that the $600 is high. I guess it's not compared to an ICE. The catch for me is this isn't an ICE. It's supposed to be cheaper than owning an ICE not equal. The next catch then is, is it cheaper than vehicles in it's class. Listening to owners here it appears it is a lot cheaper when compared to it's equal ICE.

Someone want to take the ICE maintenance list above and price it up with a Lexus other 5 years?

Dwdnjck@ca | 29 novembre 2015

BMW charged me $2700 for brakes while the car was supposed to have "free service" for the first 36000 miles because brakes were a "wear item".

vlad22 | 29 novembre 2015

@JLC @Amped I am not confused. I understand that this is all warranty work. The point i am making is that this was all looked after at the time of the appointment. Some of the diagnostics and replacements were performed without me asking for it. The fact that the tech stayed so late and had brought along the anticipated parts required blew me away. No other car company does this or provides this level of service. The $600.00 would be a service call charge or a transport fee for some other car companies to get your vehicle to their service centre.

fskohler | 29 novembre 2015

My BMW was $1,000 if nothing was wrong and $2,000 if something needed replaced and that was on their "normal" maintenance schedule.

Our Lexus 400 had 60,000 miles and the "tech" said, "Even though not required the service manager is suggesting changing the transmission fluid." I said "ok". Ten minutes later, "We found the threads were stripped on the transmission pan and will need to be replaced at $450." Question, " How did the threats get stripped?" Answer,"Well the car is five years old has 60,000 miles."

I was born at night, but not last night. This dealer had serviced the car from new. If the treads were stripped one of their people had done the stripping. After 30 minutes of arguing the offer was "You pay for part we will pay the labor." Agreed, but this will be the last time we come here for service.

Dealers need to make money. Service is their milk cow. Knowing my Tesla is covered for a mere $600 is like having an insurance policy. I didn't need to jump out of my chair if I hear a long, low whistle from a mechanic who is under my car.

Haggy | 30 novembre 2015

Sudre_ You can't include the 12v battery because it's not covered by the annual service. If it needs to be changed under warranty, that would compare with any other car. You should also assume that a car in a comparable class would use synthetic motor oil and the oil change would cost substantially more.

fskohler - Once my brother was in for service and the mechanic was being equally dishonest. My brother said he'd sue them. They told him to go ahead. It was funny how they reacted when they paperwork showed up. Suddenly, it was all a big misunderstanding and they intended to take care of it from the beginning.

I don't know when it happened, but it's easy to take these things to small claims court. It's easier to file a complaint with the BBB and flood review sites with details of the experience. Also manufacturers often have a special phone number for dealing with these issues.

DTsea | 30 novembre 2015

Redmiata98, I didnt buy extended warranty.

The Tesla store people told me that at trade in I would be refunded for unused annual inspections.

notblueclk | 30 novembre 2015

@Redmiata98 - I'm in the process of trading in my 70D for a P90D. I was told that I would be reimbursed for both the unused service plan and extended warranty at trade-in

jordanrichard | 30 novembre 2015

If one wants to skip the annual service you can because it won't affect any warranty items.

The battery pack and drive unit are service free items except the coolant change at the 4 yr mark. The next coolant change would be at the 8 yr mark, by which point the pack's warranty will have expired. So the ONLY thing one has to do keep the warranty in play, is 1 battery coolant change.

Though, and considering the torque forces the mechanical bits go through, having all the bolts checked for proper tightness/torque is probably a good thing.

damonmath | 30 novembre 2015

For comparison:

2010 E350 - $450 for (A) service which is basically an oil change. $1150 for (B) service which includes additional fluids, transmission, brakes, etc... but does not include additional parts such as the cabin filter, air filter, broken out of warranty parts.

That is fairly expensive for a v6 with no turbos, no excessive wear, or actual engine damage.

I chose the prepaid on my Tesla to reduce the price to $475, which is only $25 more than an oil change at Mercedes Benz.

f3rretus | 30 novembre 2015

josue3424 - When was the last time you had brakes done for cheap? On a nissan sentra maybe? The Tesla Model S is no sentra. $600/year works out to $50/month. I spend more than that on Starbucks every month. IMO, $600 seems reasonable.

AmpedRealtor | 30 novembre 2015

@ Haggy,

You can't include the 12v battery because it's not covered by the annual service.

Actually the 12v is covered the the annual service. I just looked at my prepaid service agreement and it says it covers wear-tear items excluding battery and tires. It defines "battery" as the high-voltate Li-Ion battery, which is the traction pack. It does not refer to the 12v, so that should be covered under "wear-tear" items. Here is the actual language:

The regularly scheduled maintenance inspections shall include the following (subject to change by Tesla at any time and without notice, in its sole discretion):
• Vehicle inspection;
• Replacement or repair at the time of inspection of normal maintenance items and wear and tear
parts, excluding the Battery and tires;
• Wheel alignment; and
• Tire rotation.

From the definitions on the previous page: "'Battery' means the Vehicle’s high voltage lithium-ion battery."

It would seem, from the above, that the 12v is covered.

renwo S alset | 30 novembre 2015

Just had mine done, 6 pages of items serviced by a tech who spent all day Friday, lots of new parts listed, gave me me a P85D for friday, saturday and Sunday, took it back monday morning. I would call $600 cheap. Jeez, just renting a $135k car would have cost me that much.

g8rcb | 30 novembre 2015

if you prepay for the annual, are there rules saying the annual must be done in 12 months? In other words you buy the "4 pack" for $1875 (or whatever it is) and instead take it every 2 years (last a total of 8)