service plan & inspection: important information

service plan & inspection: important information

Reluctantly, I decided to purchase the prepaid services, and for 100,000 miles/8 years. After only 5 1/2 months I took the car in for the inspection with 13,500 miles. I requested a loaner and was given a beautiful loaded P85. I asked if they could take their time. Tesla said no problem. After 2 days I decided to call and check on my car. Well after doing the service and some minor upgrades, the car is still not done. A leaky seal which would have eventually caused the rear drive to run out of whatever the seal holds in, was discovered and the part has been ordered. In the case of my car, this service prevented a major problem in the future. Also, I am enjoying the loaner, and told them to keep my car as long as needed, since my car is only a 60kwh. I am now really glad that I purchased the service and also am a believer in the loaner program.
IMO, this is the best service ever. Hope this info is useful to some.

tobi_ger | 1 agosto 2013

It's great to hear that they take good care of your MS while you can enjoy the loaner.
As to the item they are working on: it sounds that that would still be covered by warranty in any case, independent of service, doesn't it?

Cindy I II III | 1 agosto 2013

Thank you for sharing! Unless someone posts a good reason against it that is more compelling, I'll definitely purchase it.

jamestily | 1 agosto 2013

Yes, the item would be covered under warranty, but it must be discovered first.
On the other hand, technically, if lack of service causes a small warranty problem to become huge, is that covered, I do not know.

JD1 | 1 agosto 2013

Glad you had a great service experience. I am still waiting for mine. My car is 5 days old and there is a problem with the radio. The troubleshooting over the phone did not work, so I was told to bring it in for service (I live in Bay Area and Fremont is closest service location).

The shock I received was that the first available appointment is Aug 30 (the Friday before Labor Day) and more than 4 weeks from now. Pretty disappointing to pay $100k for a car and have to wait so long for service. I appreciate that the car runs without the fix, so mechanical service items would take precedence, but this is way out of the norm for a $100k car anywhere else.

DouglasR | 1 agosto 2013

Even if the problem is covered by warranty, would you rather get your car back after having a seal is replaced, preventing any further damage, or after the seal failed, the fluid covered your garage floor, gears clashed, bearings wore down from metal-on-metal friction, and your car got stuck in the middle of a busy freeway?

jamestily | 1 agosto 2013

DouglasR: Agree, sooner is better than later.

AmpedRealtor | 1 agosto 2013

Better safe than sorry

201w77 | 1 agosto 2013

A service plan designed to catch issues and keep them from turning into larger ones only benefits Tesla- as they must handle the repairs of ALL issues (irregardless of scale) during the first four year warranty period.

I plan to purchase one time service ($600) in year 3 of ownership. The SC will review/inspect & repair everything and ensure the car is in perfect condition just as my comprehensive bumper-to-bumper warranty is set to expire. No matter how big a small problem manifests into during the 1st four years of ownership, you are already covered!

jjaeger | 1 agosto 2013

What a crock 201w77.

negarholger | 1 agosto 2013

@201w77 - my last ICE had 4 broken windshields due to pebbles in the first year and of course none was covered by warranty. You deserve at least 40 broken windshields in your first 4 years.

Brian H | 1 agosto 2013

That's what you get for ordering a car near so many others that the service centers are overwhelmed. The only solution is to move and take your car with you.


JoeFee | 1 agosto 2013

I’m fortunate to own a Sig Performance so when my car went in for service the SC gave me a roadster as a loaner…lots of fun but I was glad to get my P85 back!!!

Tâm | 1 agosto 2013

I don't think there is a right or wrong answer in pre-paying a service plan or not.

That's why Elon is so confident that whether you pre-pay or not, your car's warranty is covered.

201w77 has a point.

It's pretty much like whether you want to pre-pay for your dental insurance or not.

Some prefer preventive dental office visits. Some prefer to suffer a debilitating toothache before visiting a dentist.

Each has their own logical reasons. As long as you know what you got into :)

negarholger | 1 agosto 2013

@Tam - that is not the point. Have your car checked at least once a year by a profesional. How would you feel if United Airlines changed its policy and only check its plane just before Boings warranty expires? Would you feel good flying United? Mr 201w77 uses public roads and therefore has the obligation to maintain his vehicle. If he kills some because his breaks don't work for some undetected manufacturing defect then it solely his fault not have his vehicle checked. Mr. Lazy and cheap can drive on Jupiter all day lond, but on planet Earth he needs to live up to his responsibilities.

Mark Z | 1 agosto 2013

I may have missed the IPO, but I didn't miss paying for 8 years of service and the warranty extension. Every time the Model S is serviced, Tesla finds or repairs/adjust things that I would have never known about. They know what needs to be done and they fix it. Your safety is worth far more than all the Tesla stock on the planet. Spend a little and have your Model S checked yearly as originally recommended.

ChristianG | 2 agosto 2013

@markZ while it's good that they find these things, that's a bit scary for a car that doesn't have much that needs servicing.

negarholger | 2 agosto 2013

@ChristianG - my last ICE from first year production by a large German automaker had about 50 recalls in the first 2 years.
On my MS for example they exchanged the DC-to-DC converter - not a safety issue, just a preventive measure... could save the cost of a flatbed in the future.

201w77 | 21 agosto 2013

All 40 broken windows you feel I "deserve" would not be repaired under the service plan either! Difference between us...I love Tesla ...but you are "brainwashed" by them. Love how you take other folks "to task" for voicing their opinion. Grow up!!

J.T. | 21 agosto 2013

@Kleist It's a good thing for us morons who don't believe it's worth it to spend $600.00, or even $475.00, a year on a car with so few parts to service that Tesla has manufactured a car with so many imperfections that we have to take it into the service center a couple of times a year anyway.

I had the seat latch recall.
Twice in service for window noise.
Taking it in a week from Monday for driver's door and hatch alignment.
Having the radio antenna checked for proper grounding.
Maybe they'll push me the 5.0 update while I'm there.

So, Kleist, it's all good. I just hope for everyone's sake that nothing goes wrong in your car in month 11 that causes an unsafe condition. I'm sure that can't happen if you had your car serviced regularly.

J.T. | 21 agosto 2013

@kleist Don't know where you live but in NY we are required to have an annual state inspection. They check brakes (not breaks), headlights, tires, steering, windshield wipers and a few other things to insure we aren't a menace. Without emission test (Tesla is exempt) we pay $10.00. Doesn't every state require this? If so, what are you talking about?

I am 3146 | 21 agosto 2013

The annual service/12,500 checks more than the state minimum. Also, if you didn't pay for the service plans and you have air suspension (just one example) and it fails, Tesla will cover the repair under the service plan. The vehicle warranty does not cover normal wear and tear items. The air suspension is considered one such item among others. In my opinion, a little up front money to save a lot of money down the road is well worth it. Again, it is all the amount of risk that you are wiling to take.

Mathew98 | 21 agosto 2013

@JT - NJ doesn't require inspections/emission tests for EV's. I'm assuming some other states have similar exemptions.

There's a faction of cautious owners who will follow the service schedule to the T and there is other faction who will perform inspection at random intervals.

There's no right or wrong schedule to follow for fellow MS owners. The warranty will be active regardless which interval you choose.

Owners should take the car for "annual" inspections at the local SC whenever you feel it is the right time to do so.

Let's agree to disagree and move on to the next topic...

J.T. | 21 agosto 2013

@Mathew98 I have no problem with your position or your feeling about mine, but there are certain people on this forum who feel that anyone who doesn't follow the proscribed services are stupid and irresponsible, and they don't mince words. And, though all the allegations about my intelligence and responsibility might be accurate, I will still take offense. I don't hold you as one of those people. After I answer Iam3146 I will not speak on this topic again.

@ I am 3146 What you're saying is impossible. According to Ted Merendino, a Tesla product engineer, the only difference between getting the 4 year service plan and paying as you go is that you save $500 over 4 years if you have the car serviced once a year. Paying ahead of time gets nothing extra in the way of service, coverage, priority or perks.

So, if my air suspension is acting up and I bring my car in for a yearly service and pay my $600.00 I'm good to go for everything you're getting. BUT, if I choose to take it in after 16 months instead of 12 months 3 times then I'm just as covered as you are with one less trip to service.

mikefa | 21 agosto 2013

All cars should have routine annual maintenance. The $1900 prepaid Service Warranty is for 4 years or 50,000 miles whichever occurs first. If a Model S owner such as jamestily@comca who puts in high mileage at 13,500 miles in less than 6 months or approx. 27,000 miles in a year... then it may be more feasible to just pay the $600 for each year of service because the $1900 prepaid service contract would be good for only 2 years in his case.

SamO | 21 agosto 2013


I don't want to start a fresh fight over service vs warranty. I think your position is clear and cogent.

I remember 12-24 months ago, Tesla's big pitch included that the car had over 1000 fewer moving parts. They stated that service costs would be a smaller part of car ownership.

When annual service costs were announced there was quite a bit of consternation that the cost of service was significantly more than other luxury automakers.

A good argument was made that Lexus, MB, BMW service STARTED cheap, and then the add-ons really got you.

Both sides made good points.

Then Elon came out and said YOU DON'T NEED A SERVICE PLAN TO MAINTAIN WARRANTY. The car won't need much and as long as you didn't "use a blowtorch on the battery" just drive the car and bring it in when needed.

There is no free rider problem here. Some people want the security of frequent checks. Others are comfortable having an "official" check every few years.

TM can remotely check most of the electronics onboard. Visual inspection will ensure most other systems are operational.

AmpedRealtor | 21 agosto 2013

@ 201w77,

"I plan to purchase one time service ($600) in year 3 of ownership. The SC will review/inspect & repair everything and ensure the car is in perfect condition just as my comprehensive bumper-to-bumper warranty is set to expire. No matter how big a small problem manifests into during the 1st four years of ownership, you are already covered!"

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you may want to rethink your strategy. Per the same extended service agreement, under exclusions:

"... any damage or malfunction directly or indirectly caused by, due to or resulting from any maintenance not performed as required pursuant to the scheduled intervals specified in the owners documentation for Your Vehicle will not be covered under this Agreement."

201w77 | 21 agosto 2013


Good point/catch. This does provide me pause. I guess I have to figure out how this reconciles with Elon's statement that forgoing a service plan will not negate the warranty. I will speak with a service tech and ponder this more. Thanks for weighing in.

GeekEV | 21 agosto 2013

@AmpedRealtor, @201w77 - I'm no lawyer, but the section that Amped quoted is in the service agreement NOT the warranty agreement. If you didn't get the service plan, it doesn't apply to you. All it seems to be saying is that if you HAVE the service agreement but don't follow their recommended service intervals they won't honor the agreement. But since they agreement doesn't seem to confer any benefit other than saving some money (compared to paying separately for the same service) - who cares? The only real net impact of that clause, IMHO, would be to say that since it covers 4 annual or 12,500 mile service checks (whichever comes first), don't expect to drive 25,000 miles a year but only go in once a year and still expect to get service in years 3 & 4. You'd have exceeded the required 12,500 mile x 4 service intervals... In the end, we're all just guessing unless Tesla is a bit more transparent on how these things all interact now that they relaxed the warranty requirements.

Bob W | 21 agosto 2013

Did Tesla ever say that $600 per service visit was a fixed number that would never change? It seems quite likely that the cost per service visit will go up annually, maybe $650 next year, $700 in year three, etc. They already raised the price of the 4-year extended warranty (8 years total) from $2,500 to $4,000 because "service costs have been higher than anticipated." (A lot of little stuff has had issues, rear seat belts, rear windows, roof creaks, axle bolts, AM/FM reception, etc., each one costing labor time).

So I think the best reason to pre-pay for a service plan is to lock in a fixed price for a known cost. It seems quite likely that they'll be charging more than $600/visit 7 years from now. They don't want to make money on service, but they don't want to lose money on it either.

AmpedRealtor | 21 agosto 2013

GeekEV and others...

Here is the reciprocal language from the warranty, you might want to take note:

"Although Tesla does not require you to perform all service or repairs at a Tesla Service Center or
Tesla authorized repair facility, this New Vehicle Limited Warranty may be voided or coverage may
be excluded due to improper maintenance, service or repairs. Tesla Service Centers and Tesla
authorized repair facilities have special training, expertise, tools and supplies with respect to your
vehicle and, in certain cases, may employ the only persons or be the only facilities authorized or
certified to work on certain parts of your vehicle. Tesla strongly recommends that you have all
maintenance, service and repairs done at a Tesla Service Center or Tesla authorized repair facility in
order to avoid voiding, or having coverage excluded under, this New Vehicle Limited Warranty."

I'm not an attorney, but if I were to combine the above statement from the warranty with the statements from the service plan, I think I'll have my car serviced annually by Tesla.

201w77 | 21 agosto 2013

I'd love to buy both... the service agreement & the extended 4 yr. warranty. Unfortunately, I won't be in the position to buy both as most of my "discretionary money" went to my MS. We are all in different financial positions and we each must make cost-benefit decisions that reflect our individual situation and feelings.

I do feel more compelled recently to buy the extended warranty. I feel like a $4k investment in the extended 4yr warranty is more logical (for me) than a $1900 investment for the service agreement. The coverage & benefits that come from an extended warranty are indisputable and significant. (I dont think the same can be said for the service agreement- as evidenced buy the differing opinions on this thread.) I'm just not convinced that the cost-to-benefit ratio of the service agreement is as strong as the extended warranty.

howardc64 | 6 novembre 2013

Anyone know what seal we are talking about? my MS85 had a 6k mile check up and the service folks said at 12k miles, they do wiper blades, rotate tries and check a seal in the back. Is there some particular seal in the back the is prone to high failure on this car?

I'm in Bellevue WA in case the OPs car is near me and seen by the same service folks.