The maintenance cost of a Tesla and other electric vehicles are different to the cost of cars with combustion engines. An electric motor consists of much fewer parts than a combustion engine. This means less complexity, thus less maintenance effort and ultimately saves money.
Other vehicle components such as chassis, tires, brake fluid, air conditioning or interior air filters are naturally just as exposed to wear and tear as in vehicles with combustion engines. Only the brake discs and pads last longer in electric vehicles and need to be replaced less frequently, as the use of recuperation means that the brakes are less stressed.
No more intervals for Tesla maintenance
Tesla announced at the end of March 2019 that the recommended annual maintenance service will be abolished. Practical experience has apparently shown that no annual service is necessary. On the Tesla website it now only says
Does my car require an annual maintenance service?
Your Tesla does not require annual maintenance and regular fluid changes. Please check your Owner’s Manual for latest maintenance recommendations for your Tesla.
Even though Tesla no longer offers maintenance plans, the company recommends that certain regular maintenance work and checks be carried out. These include cab air and HEPA filters, tyres and brake fluid, and the air conditioning system. You can find more about this at Teslarati.
Until the end of March 2019, Tesla had published the following service intervals and maintenance cost. So if you schedule some individual service, you can roughly estimate the cost with this table.
Service and warranty
Omission of maintenance service during the warranty period does not result in loss of warranty for a Tesla. Quote on the Tesla website:
If I choose not to service my Tesla car, will this void my warranty?
Your New Vehicle Limited Warranty or Used Vehicle Limited Warranty will not be affected if recommended service is not performed. However, coverage under your Extended Service Agreement may be affected if the recommended service is not performed. See the Tesla Extended Service Plan Terms and Conditions for further details.
Do-it-yourself Tesla Maintenance instructions
Tesla has also published some instructions for smaller do-it-yourself maintenance tasks on the Internet.
Tesla Maintenance Mobile Service
Tesla now also offers a mobile ranger service. If you live far away from a service center, a mobile technician will be offered to you on site, depending on availability and technical feasibility of the repair.
Cars from Tesla now automatically pre-order spare parts
Tesla’s cars now seem to monitor themselves and automatically order spare parts as needed, which are delivered to the preferred service centre. The following photo shows the report of a defective current transformer on a Model 3, an “unexpected condition” was detected, followed by the indication that the required spare part had already been shipped to the car owners preferred service centre. An appointment for installation can be made via app or website. A great feature that probably generates less work for Tesla as well.
Does the Tesla Service have a bad reputation?
Recently, in the summer of 2019, one often reads about the bad service Tesla apparently has. Elon Musk also admitted in spring 2019 that Tesla is currently in “service hell”. The number of vehicles delivered in a short time is simply enormous. It is therefore understandable that the service centers must first deal with this new situation.
In the meantime, however, a lot has obviously changed. I collected the following quotes in Tesla groups on Facebook between 9/1/19 and 9/11/19. Tesla owners share their current experiences with the service:
Hello, everybody. Now I have to say something about this alleged service desert near Tesla. I, for one, cannot confirm that. Today I was with my MS to the service (change air filter and brake fluid) and had a few smaller defects repaired on that occasion. My conclusion: everything done to my satisfaction. Very good communication and very friendly, helpful and competent staff at SeC Munich Feldkirchen. Also the appointment via app worked out right away. So thanks again to the team of Tesla Munich.
This morning autopilot error, at 12:00 pm service appointment booked with the remote diagnosis and please keep me informed, 16:00 SMS, the remote diagnosis is running and I will be informed about the results.
We will see what comes out, but so far top service
Today the ranger service was at my house! Top service from a competent mechanic and all defects were repaired! Thanks #teslaberlin #teslaranger
Talking about #service hell: On 02.09 tailgate of the chargeport broken off, service appointment booked in the app (SeC Luxembourg). Fastest possible service date for 16.09.
On 03.09. in the morning a mail from Tesla with the request for photos of the damage. During the lunch break I took photos and sent them to you. Hardly an hour later I received the cost estimate with the request for approval so that the spare parts can be ordered.
On my request for an earlier date than the 16th came 10 minutes later by mail and via the app then the proposal for the 09th of September!
Accepted and then today: Nice staff, good coffee, pleasant waiting room, interesting conversations with other Tesla customers and a great service… within a little more than 2 hours the repair was done…
When I wanted to pay directly on site, I was told: “you don’t have to, here is a copy, if it is ok with you, I will send you the invoice by mail and you can pay by bank transfer”.
Service, my ass… This is all simple and great!
High praise to the Tesla service. Perfectly arranged appointments and perfect communication. It seems to work after all. Is it only with me?
In the last few days and weeks, the Tesla Service has had to deal with massive criticism from all sides. Poor or no availability, no or only sluggish communication. Eternally long waiting times for an appointment. Often only those who are dissatisfied and have something to criticize get in touch. Those who are doing well take it for granted and do not talk about it.
My current service request was perfectly accepted and communicated, which I would like to mention here with this video, so that the social media don’t get the impression that everything is always just bad at Tesla.
I was just in Tesla SC Berlin/Schönefeld to adjust the headlights. Top service and everyone is super friendly and attentive!
Whoever analyses the table with the former Tesla maintenance cost will find that in the past not much really had to be done during the annual inspection. This also coincides with the fact that electric motors require much less maintenance than combustion engines. Compared to the listed tasks, the prices are pretty high. Since omitting services does not lead to a loss of warranty, each customer can decide for himself how often he wants to bring his vehicle to the service. However, certain work and checks must still be carried out regularly. Details can be found here on the Tesla website.
The fact is: compared to comparable petrol and diesel models, a Tesla saves you a lot of money on maintenance cost. Of course you should not be completely dazzled by this, because repairs are quite expensive at Tesla. A small example from our own experience: Replacing a single key fob battery (Model S and Model X) costs an impressive 14 USD at the Service Center. And that for a simple button cell that can be changed in two minutes. So I prefer to buy my batteries at Amazon… 🙂
You’re new to Tesla? Then you will find here a short overview of Tesla vehicles.