Frequency of service

Frequency of service

I'm on the verge of ordering a P85 and have been flipping through the forum to try to get a sense of how truly "service free" a Tesla really is compared to, say a Lexus or BMW or Mercedes. I know the Model S hasn't been on the road that long, but I was wondering if folks would be willing to post how many miles they've put on their S and how many trips they've made to the service center.


J.T. | 28 giugno 2013

Can't speak directly to that but considering they just jacked the price of the extended warranty 60% with no warning I'm guessing it's a lot more than even Tesla first thought it would be.

geekydon | 28 giugno 2013

The Tesla Annual Service Checklist is very sparse. They replace brake fluid and coolant and replace something called "Transmission" fluid at 12 years or 150K miles. They inspect a bunch of body parts (pano roof, etc.) and replace wipers and key fob battery. Replace air filters in HVAC system. Check lots of chassis and underbody stuff. Replace brake pads if necessary.

Not very much for an annual.

shao | 28 giugno 2013

What I really want to get a sense of is whether or not an annual check up is all I'm signing up for, or if it's the sort of thing that will become an annoying time sink.

Also, curious about what kind of problems folks are calling service for - are they "cosmetic" or integral to driving the car. I absolutely cannot afford to be unexpectedly stranded.

My head might explode if I drop 100K on a car and I still end up dealing with service all the time.


RonaldA | 28 giugno 2013

I have a three year old Roadster sport. I've had 3 annual services, and other than tires which on the roadster are very soft and wear quickly, I've had no need to bring the car in otherwise.

hademarco | 28 giugno 2013

I'm on 5 months and 6000 miles and no visit yet to service station. Just expenses associated with keeping her beautiful: washes, polish, etc. I do have a creaky pano roof and condensation in reflectors which Tesla have fixed for cars on the line. I'll make an appointment for those shortly. The car runs fine, so I have the luxury findign a time for the service appointment for whenever they have a loaner car for me.

lammersc | 28 giugno 2013


I had a right rear wheel bearing burn out at about 1,500 miles. The service center replaced the bearing, after ordering it, and a delay of about a week to get the part. Since it has been repaired, I think it was a manufacturing defect, which they have since resolved. The cost to me was $0, as it was covered under warranty, and they offered me a replacement car during this period. I also had a problem with the door handle on the passenger side, but this was resolved also when the car was serviced for the wheel bearing problem. They delivered the car to me when it was finished. The service department in Houston was excellent. I have had no further problems with the vehicle, and now have 5,500 miles on the car.

tobi_ger | 28 giugno 2013

donlyle / shao:
As you can find in several other current threads, the service team also applies smaller tweaks/improvements for so called bulletins, that will/should improve upon your driving experience and are certainly more than just wipers.

stevenmaifert | 28 giugno 2013

Two warranty repairs in six months.

pimp-boy | 28 giugno 2013

If you pay for the service plan, they rotate your tires at 6k (which you can do yourself). But if you download the checklist, it's all inspections for the most part.

stevenmaifert | 28 giugno 2013

@icsyung - Do you have a source reference for that? I bought the 4+4 service plan, yet the San Diego Service Center told me it would be $30 to rotate and $60 to rotate and balance between the 12.5k miles service intervals.

KendallPB | 28 giugno 2013

I'd also read the 6K rotation was included, and mentioned that when I was getting a tire replaced the other day. The nice guy did not contradict me, so I think that's correct--in fact, he offered to make an appointment since they didn't have time to do it right then. He even went out to check how my tires were looking so far--mostly even wear, but he made an appointment for me anyway. If it cost extra, he should've said something right then. . . .

I vaguely recall it's just the INITIAL 6K rotation that's included--not EVERY 6K...@icsyung, is that your understanding, too?

AmpedRealtor | 28 giugno 2013

I've read that what you get for the $600 service isn't really worth the $600. That's a lot of money to pay for inspections, tire rotation, new wiper blades and a new air filter. Also, you don't need to buy the service option in order to receive updates per the service bulletins. I don't know why people keep implying that is a perk of the annual service - I'm sorry, but it's not. If you take your car to a service center for warranty work, they should also inspect your vehicle and apply any service bulletins that are in effect.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, I haven't taken delivery yet, but you don't need to pay for the service plan in order to get service bulletins and inspections under warranty.

Sudre_ | 28 giugno 2013

+1 AmpedRealtor

I purchased the service plan for piece of mind. Most everything mentioned here is all warrantied stuff that would get done without the service plan... including software updates.

If you feel safe driving your car for years on end, mile after mile, without anyone qualified looking at your vehicle to make sure everything is in working order then don't get it.

AmpedRealtor | 28 giugno 2013

HOWEVER, I would like to add that since we are spending so much money on the car, what's another $600 per year to have peace of mind when we are paying next to nothing to fuel the car, no oil changes, break pads that will go on forever, etc.? So I can see how it makes sense.

J.T. | 28 giugno 2013


The money you're saving on the day to day operation of the car is just that, savings. It isn't savings if you rationalize it away by spending it needlessly on something else.

One more tip, you are never playing with the house's money. It's always your money.

AmpedRealtor | 28 giugno 2013


shao | 28 giugno 2013

Thanks for the comments. Would still be interested in hearing more responses a la
stevenmaifert - miles on car and number of stops into service center...


Mireille '&... | 29 giugno 2013

Almost 6 months & 14,000 miles
One tire rotation
Scheduling second tire rotation

Zero gas :)

ir | 29 giugno 2013

4 months, 4000 miles, 2 trips to service:

1) Fit and finish tweaks on chrome trim and scratches after flagging them at delivery.
2) Replace flaky Tire Pressure Monitoring System, which is a common defect in "older" Model S.

No critical repairs so far, knock on wood....

bobinfla | 29 giugno 2013

Almost 5 months and 9000 miles. In the service center a number of times, but for nothing but "silly" things: adjust windshield squirter, replace bad charge cable, put the P85 badge on, pick up the nice floor mats to replace the thin cheesy originals, replace & reprogram lost key fob. Nothing major or dealing with actual driving issues, they're just such a great group of folks I feel compelled to stop in and visit every couple of weeks.

john.m.hennessey | 29 giugno 2013

7 Months, 15K miles. Cracked windshield replaced. Steering clicking sound at very low speeds resolved. If the car wasn't so quiet I probably wouldn't have noticed. Other issues resolved over the air, what is better than that? I do have a list of issues and concerns with an upcoming appointment, but nothing stopping me from driving. Pano roof creaking, staying in line at higher speeds (possibly 21" tire wear), dent in the hood (that really hurt), defogging fan upgrade, key's plastic broke, tire pressure false alarms, rear door unlocks unexpectedly, P85 badge. Still the best car I've ever owned. Happier than I was with my Lexus or Audi. I'm VIN 646 so I may have issues that others have not and you should not expect coming off the line now. I just learned about requesting improved floor mats and tire pressure gauge, so thanks.

cybrown | 29 giugno 2013

Tire pressure gauge? What's this now?

sq1mike | 29 giugno 2013

4 months, 5000 miles. Been in for one warranty repair - pano roof mechanism broke. They fixed that and changed the floor mats, all in about 4 hours. Great service! The only thing that has me scratching my head is that the wife turned down a Roadster loaned because it was "too small". Sheesh. I'll take the car in for service next time...

sq1mike | 29 giugno 2013


Sudre_ | 29 giugno 2013

This is starting to look like a great thread for a writer at the NYT to pick up. I can see the subject now, "Model S owners have to constantly take their cars into the service center as reported on the Tesla forum."

john.m.hennessey | 29 giugno 2013

@Cybrown I've routinely receive false tire pressure warnings presumably due to a faulty tire pressure "sensor".

AmpedRealtor | 29 giugno 2013

@ Sudre_, why are you afraid of the truth?

pimp-boy | 29 giugno 2013


There was no "official" document stating they will rotate at 6k miles, but i was told at the Menlo Park site that they will do it as part of the maintenance.

In the work order, rather than stating "warranty" or maintenance work, they state "Goodwill."

The guy that originally picked up the phone said it was a separate charge, I told them to ask their supervisor, and he said.. "yes... sorry, it's included."

AmpedRealtor | 29 giugno 2013


Bighorn | 29 giugno 2013

You took the word right out of my mouth. Flagged.

jjaeger | 29 giugno 2013

6 months and 8000+ miles. Been to the service center twice, neither for warranty work. First was a nail I picked up (slow leak) - easy peasy. Second was at 7K miles for a rotation before my recent trip from N. CA to LA. Was completed at N/C, I assume per the service agreement.

Have a few very small items I want them to look at - but am fine with waiting for my 12K service this fall for that to happen. Figure the dust will settle on a few of these items by then. Most miles I've driven in 6 months in 30 years, and most fun every day. 'nuff said.

shao | 29 giugno 2013

Thanks everyone for the info. Very helpful. I really liked the pano roof when I went to the showroom, but became worried after joining this forum - has this issue been resolved?

SCCRENDO | 29 giugno 2013

2 months 6000 miles. Just had my tires rotated for free. Creaky pano but can wait for first service. Also had issue with tire sensor warning. 2 visits. First they adjusted the tire pressures second time replaced a sensor 6 weeks ago. Problem has not reoccurred since