tesla maintenance cost

What Will Tesla Maintenance Cost You In 2021?

  • Tesla maintenance costs are low for the industry and very low for luxury models.
  • Tesla offers a factory warranty for all models and an extended service agreement for Model S and Model X.
  • Extended car warranties or prepaid maintenance plans can help reduce your annual Tesla maintenance costs.

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Self-driving cars are the future of the automobile industry, which is why many drivers are attracted to Teslas. But with all of that advanced technology, how much does Tesla maintenance cost?

In this article, we’ll explain Tesla’s recommended maintenance schedules and how much it costs to maintain and repair certain vehicle parts. We’ll also explain how you can make Tesla car servicing as seamless and affordable as possible with a plan from one of the best extended car warranty companies, CarShield. To see how much a CarShield plan would cost for your Tesla, click below for a free quote.

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How Much Does Tesla Maintenance Cost?

Tesla maintenance costs during the first year of ownership are extremely low. Because Teslas are electric vehicles, there’s no need for many standard maintenance services, like oil changes, spark plug replacements, fuel filter replacements, or emissions checks. Other repairs will need to be completed as your Tesla ages, and typically your car will notify you through remote diagnostics when maintenance is needed.

When reading customer reviews and forums, we found that the most common maintenance services your Tesla will need within the first year are a tire rotation, replacement of windshield washer fluids, and replacement of the cabin air filter. Here are the average Tesla maintenance costs associated with these services, according to customer reports:

Tesla Maintenance Service Average Tesla Maintenance Cost
Tire rotation $35 to $100
Windshield wiper blade replacement $20 to $50
Cabin air filter replacement $60 to $200
 

Getting your tires rotated is relatively inexpensive, but if you’re looking to save money, many drivers have taught themselves to service their car at home, based on Tesla forums. However, there is always an added risk if you decide to not put your car in the hands of a professional.

Recommended Tesla Service Schedule and Common Repairs

Rather than have set maintenance schedules like most manufacturers, Tesla recommends having your vehicle serviced on an as-needed basis. This means that your Tesla maintenance cost one year may be much higher or lower than the next, depending on what you need to have serviced.

While Tesla does not have required maintenance schedules, it does recommend intervals at which you should consider certain services:

  • Tire rotation, balance, and wheel alignment: Every 6,250 miles
  • Full service inspection: Every 1 year
  • Brake caliper replacement: Every 1 year or 12,600 miles for winter care
  • Brake system flush: Every 2 years
  • Cabin air filter replacement: Every 2 years
  • High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter replacement: Every 3 years
  • Air conditioning service: Varies between models. Model S needs service every 2 years, Model X and Y need service every 4 years, and Model 3 needs service every 6 years.

Upkeep is important to ensure your car is running like new. Smart drivers are always paying attention to over-the-air software updates and remote diagnostics, as well as making use of Tesla technicians for inspections and services. 

Tesla Mobile Maintenance Unit

Since Teslas have fewer moving parts than your traditional combustion vehicle, there aren’t many service centers around the country. To make services more convenient, when you need your tires rotated or your filters changed, a Tesla Mobile Service unit can come directly to you.

You can use your Tesla app to schedule a Mobile Service visit at a time that is convenient for you. Based on Tesla’s online forums, many basic services performed by the unit are free of charge, so taking advantage of this option can bring down your annual Tesla maintenance cost. If you prefer to bring your car into the shop for service, your app can also help locate the closest Tesla Service Center. 

Tesla Maintenance Cost With A Factory Warranty

When budgeting for Tesla maintenance costs, you’ll want to take into consideration unexpected repairs as well as routine services. Every new Tesla comes with a factory warranty that promises to repair or replace defects in materials or workmanship for the first few years of your vehicle’s life. Here is a breakdown of Tesla factory warranty coverage:

Tesla Warranty Coverage Model Term
Basic Vehicle Limited Warranty All Tesla models 4 years/50,000 miles
Battery and Drive Unit Tesla Model S and Model X 8 years/150,000 miles
Battery and Drive Unit Tesla Model 3 and Model Y
(Standard Range)
8 years/100,000 miles
Battery and Drive Unit Tesla Model 3 and Model Y
(Long Range)
8 years/120,000 miles
Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) All Tesla models 5 years/60,000 miles
Body Rust All Tesla Models 12 years/unlimited miles
 

The Basic Vehicle Limited Warranty is the most comprehensive, as it covers most Tesla vehicle parts. The Battery and Drive Unit Limited Warranty is Tesla’s version of a powertrain warranty. For all models, there is a minimum 70% retention of battery capacity over this warranty period. 

Tesla Extended Service Agreement

The manufacturer’s factory warranty coverage is quite lengthy, but once it expires, you’ll be stuck paying all Tesla maintenance costs on your own. To offset repair costs, Tesla offers an Extended Service Agreement (ESA) for Model S and Model X vehicles. (If you own a Model Y or Model 3, you’ll need to consider an aftermarket warranty from an independent provider.) 

After your Basic Vehicle Limited Warranty expires, you can choose either two or four years of additional coverage through the ESA program. The battery and drive unit is not included in these agreements, as it will still be covered by its own warranty during this period. 

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Plans must be purchased within 30 days or 1,000 miles of the expiration of the factory warranty. Typically, Tesla owners purchase an ESA within the first 180 days of delivery, because it can save them $500 on the extended coverage plan.

Below is the cost of an ESA for a Florida resident purchasing a Model S. You should also be prepared to pay a $200 deductible for any repair or part replacement.

Tesla
Extended Warranty Terms
Cost If Purchased
Within 180 Days Of Delivery
Cost If Purchased
180 Days After Delivery
2 years/25,000 miles $2,100 $2,600
4 years/50,000 miles $4,250 $4,750
 

While these prices are higher than the average extended warranty, you’re gaining peace of mind that your Tesla is protected in the event of an expensive repair of a complex part, and if a breakdown does happen, your Tesla maintenance cost budget won’t take that big of a hit. You can purchase any maintenance, warranty, or service agreement directly from Tesla through the app or at your nearest service center. 

Reducing Tesla Maintenance Costs With Third-Party Coverage

The best third-party extended warranties cover nearly everything that a Tesla warranty includes and more. However, not all aftermarket warranty companies offer coverage for electric vehicles, so it’s important to shop around for different quotes and prices.

Weighing the pros and cons of extended car warranties is an important step in the process of protecting your Tesla.

Third-Party Tesla Warranty Pros Third-Party Tesla Warranty Cons
Typically four to six comprehensive plans to choose from, compared to Tesla’s two plans Only certain warranty companies cover electric vehicles and luxury brands
Only bumper-to-bumper coverage is needed, as there are no powertrain parts in an electric vehicle Plans are not specific to Teslas and may not be available for all models
Offer lower prices and zero-interest payment plans that can help you budget for unexpected Tesla maintenance costs
 

If you plan on trading in your Tesla or upgrading to a newer model before your factory warranty expires, you likely don’t need extended coverage. However, if you intend to drive your vehicle long-term, you should consider purchasing an aftermarket warranty to help with Tesla maintenance costs.

Recommendations for Extended Auto Warranties

Searching for extended warranty plans for your Tesla vehicle may be difficult because not all companies cover luxury brands and electric vehicles. However, one reputable extended car warranty company, CarShield, does offer plans for Tesla models.

CarShield: Most Affordable for Tesla Owners

If you’re looking for an industry-leading warranty company that offers extended warranties for Tesla drivers, CarShield is a great option. In total, CarShield offers six levels of warranty coverage, but these are the four that may be best for your Tesla:

  • Diamond: Bumper-to-bumper coverage that’s best for new cars
  • Platinum: Stated-component coverage that’s best for high-mileage vehicles
  • Gold: Enhanced powertrain coverage that’s best for drivers of unreliable vehicles
  • Aluminum: Specialty plan that’s best for cars with high-tech components, such as Teslas

CarShield has been in business for 16 years and is available in all states except California. The company currently holds a 4.5-star rating from our review team and a 4.1 out of 5.0-star customer rating from Trustpilot, a credible review website.

All plans for self-driving and electric cars from CarShield come with roadside assistance, towing, and rental car reimbursement. These additional services are a great safety net if your Model X runs out of power before reaching a supercharger.

If you want to learn more about extended warranty coverage from this provider, our detailed CarShield review can help you get started. Or, to see right away how much a CarShield plan would cost for your Tesla, click below for a free quote.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does Tesla maintenance cost?

Your total Tesla maintenance cost will depend on which model you drive. Within the first year, you will likely have to pay for tire rotations, new windshield wiper blades, and a replacement cabin air filter, which may cost around $350 total. 

How long do Tesla batteries last?

Tesla’s high-voltage battery capacities do decline over time with normal use. If your battery capacity dips below a 70% retention within your first eight years of vehicle ownership, Tesla will cover a replacement under the Battery and Drive Unit Limited Warranty. 

Do Teslas require a lot of maintenance?

No, Teslas do not require a lot of maintenance compared to a gas car, which helps keep your Tesla maintenance costs low. This is because these vehicles have only a fraction of the moving parts that a gas-powered internal combustion engine vehicle has.