Shop Manuals

Shop Manuals

I would love to be able to do some of the service on my car myself. Anyone know if there might be shop manuals for us to buy? Judging by the "simpler" approach vs gasoline cars, it seems some of us who are more technically inclined might be able to service our own cars up to a certain extent ofcourse. Engine/motor swaps? rebuild tranny/gear replacement?


Timo | 19. september 2010

Servicing a EV is not a easy task. They are not mechanically complex, but that's where the simplicity ends. You need to know how PEM handles frequencies, input vs output, regen vs acceleration, voltages, currents etc. Swapping motor to different motor is almost certainly not a good thing unless you change it to exactly same kind of motor. Transmission is same kind of deal. You can't swap in other transmission and expect it to work. You can use only transmission made for that car.

It also is high voltage very high current system, so without knowing what you are doing you put yourself in risk of dying.

If you do something to drivetrain you better know details of entire drivetrain, and I believe at least part of it is public knowledge. That is why I don't think there will be any service manual for these. At least not in first five-ten years.

You could do work with brakes, tires, fluids (maybe), some A/C pumps and stuff and some lights. That's about it. In fact I think you don't need to do much else. There is practically nothing that can break.

chenglo1 | 20. september 2010

Everything breaks sooner or later. If man built it, man can fix it. I think given the right precautions in place, some of us true enthusiasts would be able to service their own. Although, i am bright enough to realize that if, mfrs and auto dealers no longer had to service cars, there would be a major monetary crisis occuring. Hence, ofcourse, it will be made difficult for some of us to acquire means necessary to work on our own cars. Quite simply, Tesla really needs to demonstrate that the overall costs of ownership will be less than a car of equal price over a period of time, say 15 years (when quality gas cars i.e. lexus, mercedes start seeing major problems). If i need to shell out 30K at 7 yrs for a new battery pack or pay even 10K for repairs, the gap starts to narrow quite a bit if need exceed simply owning another Lexus or Mid level benz. I am waiting for the S model and may quite possibly put in my down payment in hopes that I will be able to maintain most of the car myself and no longer have to worry about getting ripped off by mechanics and dealerships for repairs. I'd like our host to chime in as far as what maintenance needs are, time table and prices. Then elaborate a little on common repairs. transmission rebuilds? motor replacement? like i said, everything breaks sooner or later...

Vawlkus | 21. september 2010

Just something I'd like to point out:
Transmission rebuilds - not an issue in an electric car. Effectively, the motor is bolted straight to the axle, so what is gonna wear out?

With the AC motors that Tesla's using, there's very little that's going to wear out at all. There's no brushes, or commutor (I think), and so long as the bearings remain sealed (which they almost always do), the motor will not wear out in about 25 or 30 years.

The usual stuff still can wear out: tires, wiper blades, washer fluid, etc, but I'm pretty sure we can all figure out replacement times on those things.

The only real wild card for wear and tear is the battery itself. 7 to 10 years down the road (depending on how you take care of it), it won't quite carry as much charge as it did when it was new (80% of max charge, if my memory serves). It's not junk, it's just not quite as good as new. After 10 years.

I know what I think about that, what do you think?

chenglo1 | 21. september 2010

I think if my Tesla car needed a new $30k battery pack at 10 years I'd be somewhat upset. Then again, this would be similar to spending $80K up front on a new Mercedes S class and drive it for 10 years. The Benz would start to need a lot more attention at that time i.e. timing belts? oil leaks? electrical issues? hmm... be interesting to read about current owners problems...


DartLady S77 | 22. september 2010

At my test drive of the Roadster I was told that todays price for a battery was US$12,000. In 7 - 10 years when we need a battery change, technology and economies of scale (mass production) will have brought the price down and the performance up. Do the math for gas used in the same time frame and the battery is still cheaper to buy than the fuel. ($12,000/10 = $1,200 per year, 7 years = $1,712 per year).

Chenglo, you need to stop trying to find negatives for every part of this car. Get yourself to a test drive and fall in love with the car, the technology, the power, the whole package. Sure things break and/or wear out (on any car) but there is a lot less to go wrong with the Tesla, and the reliability has been engineered into the car. Tesla has gone above and beyond to bring the "right" electric car to market.

Nvbob | 22. september 2010


I was told that replacement was about $30k but when purchasing the Roadster you can purchase a "Battery Replacement Option" for $12k. Is that what you mean?

sbeggs | 16. oktober 2014

Steve just wants to see the schematics and know how our car is put together. He keeps trying to find things to maintain. He just doesn't feel complete without a shop manual, which we have bought with all our cars.