Check Out This In-Depth Tesla Service And Maintenance “How To”

JUN 16 2018 BY EVANNEX 5


Posted on June 09, 2018 by Iqtidar Ali

As electric vehicle adoption is increasing by the day, it’s important for Tesla (and other EV) owners to know what’s involved in servicing and maintaining an electric car. Compared to traditional gas-powered vehicles, EVs have a low cost of maintenance and require fewer visits to the service center for routine maintenance.

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Posted by Iqtidar Ali. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: A look at a Tesla Service Center (Image: Tesla)

The reason for less maintenance is primarily due to the absence of an internal combustion engine (ICE) which requires frequent oil changes, air filter replacement, spark plug replacement, etc. Electric vehicles also use ‘regenerative braking‘ to return energy back to the batteries resulting in less wear of the brake pads and discs.

Tesla vehicle maintenance mostly includes wheel alignment monitoring, tire condition inspection, replacement of key fob batteries, windshield wipers and cabin air filter. The recommended time to visit a Tesla Service Center for your vehicle maintenance is 12,500 miles or one year — whichever comes first.

Above: A look at Tesla maintenance plans (Note: details vary over time so be sure to consult Tesla for the most up-to-date information)

Tesla has prepaid maintenance plans for Model S/X that you can buy for up to 4 years/50,000 miles that include all the serviceable parts (inspection and replacement) including brake fluid replacement (2 years / 25,000 miles) and battery pack coolant fluid replacement at 4 years / 50,000 miles (see the full chart above, check Tesla’s support for more info).

Although it’s not recommended, if you have the time and resources to manage your own Tesla maintenance, you can watch the following step-by-step video by James and Kate to guide you on how to check and service your Tesla.

Above: The Youtube team of James and Kate take you through the process of servicing your Tesla Model S (Youtube: James and Kate)

An advantage of servicing any EV is that your hands won’t get too dirty because EVs lack multiple oils and a complex drivetrain setup. The first thing to check on your Tesla S/3/X would be that all of the lights are working properly — they should be — these cars are equipped with LED lights with a longer life compared to regular bulbs.

Next are tires. Tires are one of the most important parts when it comes to your safety on the road. Tesla recommends checking your tires every 6,250 miles (10,000 km) if they need to be rotated. Be sure to check the tread depth and tire pressure as well.

Above: The tire pressure and loading information label can be found at the center door pillar and is visible when the driver’s door is open; Note: Tesla recommends following the instructions on the label even if it differs from the ratings stamped on the tire.

Next, when checking and cleaning the windshield wipers on your Tesla vehicle, you should put the wipers in ‘Service Mode’ from the touchscreen by going to ‘Settings > Service & Reset‘ (see below) for easy maintenance of the wipers.

Above: Where to activate the Service Mode to check your windshield wipers (Image: James and Kate)

From the same interface, you can put your vehicle in ‘Tow Mode’ to release the Parking Brake of your Tesla for checking the tires.

If you have the capability to lift-up your vehicle, you can perform a thorough check on body parts like the drive unit, suspension, and reduction gear which can be accessed from under the vehicle (see above video on how to change reduction gear oil).

Tesla’s Model 3 Owner’s Manual recommends the following checklist of daily and monthly checkups you can perform on your vehicle for longevity and optimal performance (these can also be applied to any Tesla).

Daily Checks

  • Check the Battery’s charge level, displayed on the touchscreen or mobile app.
  • Check the condition and pressure of each tire.
  • Check the operation of the brakes, including the parking brake.
  • Check the operation of the seat belts.
  • Look for abnormal fluid deposits underneath Model 3 that might indicate a leak. It is normal for a small pool of water to form (caused by the air conditioning system’s dehumidifying process).

Monthly Checks

  • Check the mileage to determine if the tires need to be rotated (every 6,250 miles (10,000 km)), and check the condition and pressure of each tire.
  • Check windshield washer fluid level and top up if necessary.
  • Check that the air conditioning system is operating correctly.
  • Important: Contact Tesla immediately if you notice any significant or sudden drop in fluid levels or uneven tire wear.


Editor’s Note: Please welcome Iqtidar Ali who’ll be contributing to the EVANNEX Blog. Ali is also editor and lead writer for X Auto — an automotive site with an emphasis on news surrounding electric vehicles and Tesla.

*InsideEVs Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

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5 Comments on "Check Out This In-Depth Tesla Service And Maintenance “How To”"

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Nicely done and quite through.

Watch out for those “fiddly clips” 🙂

Generally, you’ll want to unplug the transmission filler plug first before unplugging the drain plug. In the event that the filler plug is seized, at least you won’t have a dry transmission.

I really wish these EV blogs would quit emphasizing how ‘Zero Maintenance’ EV’s are. I fell for that line before I actually owned them – although I will say the BOLT ev seems to be as little maintenance as I’ve seen – mainly because all the coolants which – per warranty requirements SHOULD be changed every 5 years – in practice I don’t think they really have to be changed that often since they never get that hot like they do in an ICE. But Brake Fluids still require maintenance to prevent internal rusting of the brakes – but the brakes themselves should last longer since they are used much less.

But modern cars IN GENERAL are all pretty much low maintenance – even in a Cheap Chevy Cruze you don’t have to change the coolant until 150,000 miles. And the plugs at 50,000 to 100,000 miles depending on the car.

What a change from cars of old. Even oil changes are getting few and far between what with semi-synthetic oils being almost universally used.

Much improved over 3000 mile oil changes, and 10,000 mile plug and point tune ups.

Wow, the last 4 years of my Honda CR-V maintenance has cost me $0. I received free oil changes for the 1st 36K miles with the purchase of the vehicle, and that is all that I’ve ever needed to do. They need to improve on this less maintenance cost for electric vehicles promise!