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Tesla vehicles don’t require as much maintenance as a gas car does, but there are still some things to keep in mind. Let’s talk about what your Tesla needs and how much it’ll cost from Ji’s experience owning 6 Teslas. 

What maintenance does a Tesla need?  

There’s no engine, so that slims down your car maintenance checklist quite a bit. There’s no need for oil changes, fuel filters, spark plugs, etc. It doesn’t require annual maintenance or regular fluid changes. Tesla used to do annual inspections before they realized how little Teslas actually need maintenance. Now Tesla recommends to go in for service on an as-needed basis. 

We’ve compiled what Tesla recommends for maintenance and what we’ve experienced in a simple one-page maintenance checklist. Download the PDP below.

Do I have to go to Tesla service or can I go anywhere?

The easiest and most efficient way to get service done is to schedule maintenance services in your app. They have mobile service, OTA updates and remote diagnostics, as well as regular shop visits. Once you schedule, they will review and let you know what the best course of action is. You can also go to Tesla-approved shops. This means that not all shops have access to your Tesla diagnostics and so they won’t be able to see everything in order to help you. Tesla does state, “If you choose to take your vehicle to a non-Tesla shop for maintenance or repairs, coverage under your warranty could be affected if any problems occur.”

You also have roadside assistance available within the Tesla app. I’ve personally noticed that it can be spotty depending on your location. If you don’t have a service center around you, that might indicate you won’t receive roadside assistance in a timely manner. So, it’s hit or miss.

About how much does it cost yearly? 

Some years I only spend $50 on an air filter and some years I spend $200 on a 12 volt battery. Your highest ticket item should be your tires, so during those years that they need to be replaced, you’ll spend a bit more. However, when your Tesla is under warranty, you’ll spend less on odd and end things. Like once, my actuator went out on my 2017 Model X when it was out of warranty. They fixed it via mobile service for around $180. Another example is my Model 3 skid plate was ripped twice due to water and was replaced under warranty. 

What do I need in my car for maintenance purposes?

You need jack pads to lift your car properly so you don’t damage the high voltage battery pack. Teslas don’t come with a spare, so having a tire inflator can really help out in a pinch.

Can I jump a car with my 12v or vice versa? 

No, Tesla says this can damage the high voltage battery pack. Definitely steer clear of jumping off cars with your Tesla. On the other hand, if your Tesla dies, the only way to open the frunk is to remove the tow hook and attach jumper cables to the two wires there. So, it’s not a bad idea to have jumper cables just in case.