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Tesla Maintenance

Learn more about Tesla maintenance guidelines, costs, recommended scheduled services, where to get services, and protection plans.

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04/25/2024 12:00 AM

The Gist:

  • Overall, you can expect Tesla maintenance costs of around $4,160 for the first five years of ownership.
  • Unlike other manufacturers, Tesla does not require any maintenance items for their vehicles and only recommends select services on an as-needed basis.
  • Repair costs for Tesla vehicles are usually more expensive than EVs and gas-powered cars, so you should consider an extended car warranty.

In this article, we’ll give an overview of the Tesla maintenance costs you’ll likely run into, manufacturer-recommended services, and information about where to get your Tesla serviced. Our team will also provide recommendations for lowering your Tesla maintenance bill with one of the best extended car warranty companies.

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Tesla Maintenance Cost

According to RepairPal, the average Tesla maintenance cost is $832 per year. That is higher than the average of $652 per year for all car models sold in the United States. Depending on which services your Tesla needs, you may end up spending much more than the average car owner on yearly maintenance.

Tesla Maintenance Costs

Below are Tesla maintenance costs by model:

Tesla ModelAverage Maintenance Costs
Tesla Model 3$3,587
Tesla Model S$4,566
Tesla Model Y$4,732
Tesla Model X$5,723

*All estimates are based on information from Caredge for 10 years of ownership.

Is Tesla Maintenance Expensive?

Tesla cars are $180 more expensive annually compared to the average maintenance costs of all major vehicle brands. Because so many Tesla vehicle parts are unique and difficult to find, expect to spend more than your average driver on Tesla maintenance and repairs. On top of this, luxury car brands like Tesla usually charge premium prices for their vehicle parts.

Tesla Repair Costs

During your Tesla vehicle ownership, repair costs average around $5,552. Compared to other EVs, Tesla costs $1,078 more over their lifetime. However, the costs for repairs will vary widely depending on your vehicle’s model and your driving habits.

Below are some repair costs for a Tesla owner to put this into perspective:

Repair ItemCost of repairs
Aero Shield Replacement$427.16
Superbottle replacement$672.75
PTC/cabin heater$1,148
Tire replacement$799**

*All repair costs were for a Tesla Model 3 Long Range which was driven for 90,000 miles.

**This is the average replacement cost from 3 tire replacements by the owner. Note that the owner bought cheaper discount tires for his first two sets, so the costs may be different for your situation.

Tesla Maintenance Cost Comparison

Below you will find comparisons of Tesla’s maintenance costs to major automakers:

Major AutomakerAverage Annual Repair Costs
Land Rover$1,174

Tesla Maintenance Cost vs. Gas Cars

Tesla owners will spend more on maintenance and repairs than they will on gas over the life of the car, but the cost of owning an electric car is less than gas vehicles overall. EVs like Tesla cost an average of $849 annually which is $68 cheaper than getting maintenance on gas cars. However, this depends on your driving habits and the model of your electric car.

What Maintenance Does a Tesla Need?

All Tesla vehicles really don’t need annual maintenance and can be done on an as-needed basis. However, the company does recommend certain maintenance items to ensure your Tesla is in top working condition. Below are some daily recommendations for Tesla owners to check daily:

The company recommends checking your washer fluid and the status of your air conditioning system monthly. You can run diagnostics for most of these checks from the touchscreen console or through your Tesla app.

How Much Maintenance Does a Tesla Need?

Your Tesla should only need maintenance every two to three years for most services, based on the automaker’s recommendations. However, each vehicle is different, and depending on your model and driving habits, more or less maintenance may be needed.

Tesla Maintenance Schedule

Tesla’s recommended maintenance schedule is basic and generally says that drivers should take care of issues as they arise. The following parts are specifically outlined for recommended maintenance for all Tesla model 3, model X, model S, and Model Y vehicles:

Tesla Maintenance ItemMaintenance Schedule
Cabin air filterEvery 2-3 years, depending on model
High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filterEvery 3 years
Tire rotation and wheel alignmentEvery 6,250 miles
Brake fluid testEvery 2 years
Air conditioning serviceEvery 3-6 years, depending on model
Winter care (brake caliper cleaning and lubricating)Every year or after 12,500 miles in cold-weather regions

Though these are the only items listed in the Tesla maintenance schedule, remain on the lookout for other issues. At certain points of your Tesla’s life, you may need to perform other routine needs, such as replacing wiper blades.

Tesla Model Owners Manual

All Tesla vehicles are equipped with an owner’s manual within your touchscreen manual app. You can also access an online version of it through their website: Below we’ve linked the online owner manuals for each:

Where Can I Get My Tesla Serviced?

You can only get your Tesla serviced at maintenance locations that are certified by the company. This can include automaker-specific service locations or certified repair shops that joined their program. All service centers near you can be located either by searching on your Tesla app or looking online on their website.

Tesla Service Centers

Customers can make appointments at Tesla Service Centers via the Tesla app. One futuristic part about owning a Tesla is that service technicians can perform diagnostics remotely, so you’re less likely to have to take your vehicle to a dealer or repair shop for service. Tesla also delivers high-tech software updates via WiFi and the company’s vast satellite system.

Other features of Tesla’s app allow Tesla owners to check the status of their cars’ supercharging in real time, lock or unlock doors, find nearby Tesla superchargers, and summon vehicles that have proprietary Autopilot capabilities.

Tesla Recalls

All maintenance, repairs, and replacements related to recalls are completely free of charge when done at a certified Tesla repair center. You’ll typically receive notice of the recall through your app or the mail. If you would like to check whether your car still needs recall servicing a complete list is on their website or you can look up the status by VIN online.

Tesla Maintenance Plan

You can buy Tesla prepaid maintenance plans for either 3 years/37,500 miles or 4 years/50,000 miles. These plans will cover all routine maintenance items recommended in the automaker’s schedule. However, you will not be covered if you choose to get maintenance outside of the routine coverages or recommendations.

Tesla Maintenance Plan Cost

According to cost data from Inside EVs, Tesla maintenance plans can cost anywhere from $1,550 to $2,750. However, the price you will have to pay varies depending on the vehicle model, the drive type, and the age of your car.

Is The Tesla Maintenance Plan Worth It?

If you can afford the up-front cost, it is definitely worth considering purchasing a Tesla maintenance plan. Typically the costs of singular service appointments tend to be higher than the overall cost of a prepaid maintenance plan, but this can depend on the service center. However, if you don’t plan on driving your vehicle often or for a long time, it isn’t a good idea to purchase.

Tesla Maintenance: Do You Need Additional Coverage?

If your vehicle is under a factory warranty, you will not need additional coverage for your Tesla. However, if your coverage plan has expired and your vehicle’s repair costs are high, you should consider an extended warranty. In addition to the repair costs we’ve already provided, we’ll break down Tesla’s reliability ratings and factory warranty coverage for new and CPO vehicles.

Tesla Reliability

Although little information exists about the overall reliability of Tesla models, early results aren’t encouraging. In the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study℠, Tesla unofficially ranked 28th out of 32 car brands for overall reliability. The automaker was technically ineligible for ranking because it doesn’t share certain owner information with J.D. Power. However, the study indicated 242 problems per 100 Tesla vehicles, significantly above the industry average of 186.

What can be known is that Tesla models break down relatively regularly and that Tesla maintenance costs are pretty steep. If you’re concerned about the potential for unexpected and costly repairs in the future, you might want to consider one of the industry’s most reputable extended car warranty companies.

Tesla Warranty Coverage

Each new car from Tesla comes with a standard factory warranty, and the company offers an extended warranty plan as well as coverage for certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles. These warranties cover the repair or replacement of various parts that fail within a certain time period.

New Vehicle Limited Warranty

The Tesla new vehicle limited warranty comes with three primary types of protection: the basic vehicle limited warranty, the supplemental restraint system limited warranty, and the battery and drive unit limited warranty.

Under the basic vehicle limited warranty, each new Tesla receives 4 years/50,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper warranty protection. The supplemental restraint system limited warranty offers 5 years/60,000 miles of coverage for your car’s seat belts and airbags. 

The battery and drive unit limited warranty is somewhat similar to most vehicles’ powertrain warranty plans. It lasts longer and varies a bit by Tesla model, as seen below:

Tesla ModelCoverage Term
Model S
Model X
8 years/150,000 miles
Model 3 Long Range
Model 3 Performance
Model Y Long Range
Model Y Performance
8 years/120,000 miles
Model 3 Standard Range8 years/100,000 miles

Used Vehicle Limited Warranty

If you purchase a used car from Tesla, it will be covered by the remainder of the basic vehicle limited warranty. Once that expires, the used vehicle limited warranty offers additional protection against Tesla maintenance costs for 1 year/10,000 miles. If the basic vehicle limited warranty has already expired, Tesla used car warranty coverage begins on the day of vehicle delivery.

Tesla car warranty coverage can also be transferred to subsequent owners at no cost. Just log into your Tesla account and shift ownership to the new buyer.

Tesla Maintenance and Repairs: Extended Coverage Options

If you want to protect your Tesla vehicle for a long period of time, you should consider buying an extended warranty. Below we’ll detail the manufacturer’s extended warranty plan option in addition to our recommendations.

Tesla Extended Service Contract

Tesla’s extended warranty plan, known as the Tesla Extended Service Agreement (ESA), extends certain factory warranty coverage for up to 2 years or 25,000 miles and is available for all Tesla models. This coverage is exclusionary, which means it covers most vehicle components except for a short list of exclusions. You must purchase a Tesla ESA before your factory warranty coverage expires.

What Does the Tesla Extended Warranty Not Cover?

A Tesla ESA does not cover lithium-ion batteries or drive units, as they have their own separate warranty terms. The following situations and types of damage are also excluded from the Tesla ESA:

  • Damage caused by unauthorized repairs
  • Damage from misuse or lack of recommended maintenance
  • Vehicles with altered odometers
  • Damage to covered parts by non-covered parts
  • Failure to take the vehicle to a Tesla service center when a covered issue arises
  • Routine Maintenance items
  • Wear and tear issues
  • Damages that environmental or accident-related

Read more: What does a car warranty cover?

Tesla Extended Warranty Cost

Tesla lists extended service agreement prices on its website, which is a welcome change from other automakers. The company sells plans directly to consumers, so the prices are the same all over the country. Here’s a look at how much a Tesla ESA costs for each of its models, with all plans requiring a $100 deductible:

  • Model S: $3,100.00
  • Model X: $3,500.00
  • Model 3: $1,800.00
  • Model Y: $2,000.00

Top Third-Party Tesla Extended Car Warranties

In our review of car warranty companies, we found that Endurance, Olive, and Carshield offer the best extended warranties for Tesla vehicles. Each of these companies has a good balance of affordable costs, plenty of coverage options, and top-of-line benefits. You can compare each in our reviews below:

Benefits of Third-Party Tesla Extended Warranties

If buying directly from Tesla doesn’t seem like the right option for you, independent warranty providers may be able to help. Here are a few perks that come with choosing a vehicle service contract from one of the most reputable extended car warranty companies:

  • Greater flexibility: Tesla extended warranty plans last 2 years/25,000 miles and come with standardized pricing. Third-party extended warranties offer flexible plan lengths, pricing, and coverage amounts.
  • Lower total costs: You’ll likely pay much less for a third-party Tesla extended warranty than for one of the automaker’s plans. If you’re unsure about spending thousands to cover Tesla maintenance costs, an independent warranty might be right for you.
  • Ability to purchase whenever: With Tesla, you’re only able to purchase coverage during the first few years of ownership. You’ll find much more generous time frames and mileage limits when you buy an aftermarket extended warranty.
  • Large network of repair shops: Under automaker warranty plans, you’re required to have service done at a company dealership. Tesla dealers aren’t exactly everywhere, so it may be a bit difficult to get your car to the repair facility. Using third-party warranty companies doesn’t lead to this issue.

Since Tesla maintenance costs and needs are somewhat unique, you may find that certain extended warranty providers won’t cover your vehicle. However, we recommend comparing as many extended warranty quotes as possible to get the best deal. We also recommend looking at mechanical breakdown insurance plans which are similar to warranties, but come at lower prices.

Below you will find reviews for other providers if you don’t find what you need with our top three recommendations:

Tesla Car Maintenance: Our Take

Overall, Tesla car maintenance costs tend to be higher than standard vehicles in the industry and have high repair costs should your vehicle break down. However, if you do not drive your vehicle often or have a more reliable model, you may not have to pay as high of a price. Even so, it is a good idea to compare vehicle protection plans if you want to keep your car for a long time.

Maintenance on Tesla: FAQ

Below you will find frequently asked questions about Tesla maintenance and repairs:

How much does Tesla maintenance cost?

Tesla maintenance costs an average of $4,160 or around $832 a year over five years of ownership. However, this cost will vary depending on the vehicle model, specifications, and your driving habits.

What kind of maintenance does a Tesla need?

A Tesla car needs routine maintenance items to check brake fluids, filters, tires, and air conditioning as recommended by the automaker. Unlike gas-powered vehicles, a Tesla car does not need oil changes or many of the other services required for engines since it works on a battery. However, EVs are still complex machines, so be sure to check your diagnostics through your touchscreen system and Tesla app to keep tabs on your vehicle.

What maintenance is required for a Tesla?

No annual maintenance is required for Tesla vehicles and you can get service whenever you feel it is necessary. The automaker offers some general maintenance guidelines for your vehicle, but otherwise recommends going to a service center on an as-needed basis.

How often should I get maintenance on my Tesla?

For most services, going in for maintenance yearly will typically be enough to keep your Tesla in good shape if you don’t drive it often. However, watch your vehicle’s diagnostics through your touchscreen system and Tesla app to see if additional maintenance is needed before that period.

How expensive is Tesla maintenance?

Tesla maintenance is one of the most expensive in the industry among most vehicles and sits at around $832 annually, which is much more expensive than the average of $652. Compared to other EVs, Tesla’s fall on the more expensive side.

How We Rate Warranty Providers

Our review process aims to deliver consistent and unbiased assessments of extended auto warranty providers. While there are multiple qualities that make a warranty company successful, our review team focuses on those we believe are the most important for consumers:

  • Reputation: An extended warranty company must be able to meet its claims obligations. Companies with a strong rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a long history of reliable service score well in this category. We also evaluate the availability and transparency of each company’s contracts and whether each provider offers a money-back guarantee.
  • Coverage: Our team of experts looks at the number of extended warranty plans available, as well as term limits, exclusions, and added benefits like roadside assistance. Ratings also take into account the availability of maintenance coverage.
  • Cost: Cost can be difficult to compare between providers because so many factors impact vehicle service contract pricing. To determine our cost score, we perform a secret shopper analysis for a variety of vehicles and plans and consider available deductibles.
  • Customer Experience: We listen to real customer sales calls and comb through reviews on sites like the BBB to learn about customer experiences. Warranty companies with a low volume of complaints score well in this area. We also consider the availability of mobile apps and chat features.

*Data accurate at time of writing.

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