person driving a tesla

Teslas are incredibly unique cars. That’s one of the many reasons they’re so popular among drivers who can afford them. From the long-range electric battery and sleek design to the innovative technological integration, there are many reasons to love driving a Tesla. 

But because of their uniqueness, maintaining a Tesla is a little different than taking care of a regular gas-powered car, or even a different make of electric car. 

We’re here to break down everything you need to know about Tesla maintenance and upkeep, from battery and tire care to seasonal considerations.

Do Teslas Require Special Maintenance?

How does maintaining a Tesla differ from maintaining a regular gas-powered car? 

In Teslas, batteries and electric motors take the place of traditional engines, fuel systems, and transmissions. This means Teslas don’t require oil changes, fuel filters, emission checks, or spark-plug replacements.

But like other electric and gas-powered vehicles, Teslas still use tires, brakes, suspension systems, and many other components that require maintenance. They also need some unique maintenance due to their innovative designs. For example, Tesla recommends that drivers clean their Autopilot cameras on a weekly basis during wet weather and monthly during the dry season. Tesla owners also need to stay up-to-date on software updates.

What is the Cost of Maintaining a Tesla?

red tesla

Although Tesla consistently states that their vehicles require minimal maintenance, statistics suggest that Teslas are among the most expensive cars to maintain and repair. According to RepairPal, the average annual cost to maintain a Tesla is $832, while a Ford costs $775 and a Toyota costs $441 per year.

As an example, here’s a quick breakdown of the average costs associated with maintenance services of a Tesla Model Y, according to CarTalk:

  • Tire rotation: $65
  • Brake fluid test: $25
  • Brake fluid change: $200
  • Wheel alignment: $275
  • Cabin air filter replacement: $75
  • Wiper blade replacement: $40
  • Full tire replacement: Approximately $2,000

Following the Recommended Tesla Maintenance Schedule

For most things, Tesla advocates doing maintenance on an as-needed basis. However, the company does provide official vehicle maintenance recommendations on their website that can be used as overall guidelines for drivers. 

Here is a breakdown of the vehicle maintenance Tesla recommends:

Battery Care

Tesla batteries are designed to be exceptionally long-lasting, generally capable of traveling between 300,000 and 500,000 miles before needing to be replaced. If your Tesla’s battery system falters or requires maintenance, an alert will appear on your touch screen letting you know to take your vehicle to a trained technician for service.

There are a few things you can do to increase your battery’s lifespan: 

  • Only supercharge when necessary.
  • Limit exposure to extreme temperatures.
  • Maintain recommended tire pressure.
  • Be conservative with acceleration.

Air-Filter Replacement

Cabin air filters help to prevent environmental contaminants from entering the ventilation system. Air filters should be replaced roughly every 2 years. However, filters on newer Model S and Model X vehicles may require less frequent replacement.

 

For Model S, Model X, and Model Y vehicles with HEPA filters, Tesla recommends replacing both the HEPA and carbon filters every 3 years, while they suggest replacing the HEPA filter every 1-2 years in Cybertrucks.

Tires and Wheel Alignment

Worn out or misaligned tires can lead to some serious problems on the road. For Teslas, it’s generally recommended to have your tires rotated and realigned approximately every 6,250 miles. It’s also a good idea to check the tread depth on your tires on a regular basis.

Brake Fluid Tests

For Teslas, brake fluid should be health-checked every 2-4 years to inspect levels and identify and remove contaminants. Brake fluid should typically be replaced on an as-needed basis. Your touch screen should indicate if your brake fluid levels drop too low. If this happens, take your car in as soon as possible.

Air Conditioning Service

Air conditioning service for Teslas involves replacing the desiccant bag. The frequency with which your air conditioning system should be serviced depends on your specific model. Models 3, Y, S, and X typically require AC servicing every 3-4 years, while Cybertruck desiccant bags should be replaced every 8 years.

Seasonal Upkeep

Winter and cold weather maintenance is essential to the health and longevity of your Tesla. You should be sure to have the brakes lubricated once a year and utilize the “defrost” feature to warm up the battery and remove ice and snow from vehicle components. It’s also important to regularly clean your Autopilot camera, especially during wet weather.

Paint Inspection

It’s a good idea to check your Tesla’s paint job regularly so you can correct any small imperfections before they get worse. If you notice small chips or scratches on the exterior of your car, you can generally use a DIY Tesla paint repair kit to fix it. 

You can also extend the vibrancy of your paint with a protective ceramic coating. This helps to prevent fading caused by UV damage and other environmental stressors.

Where To Take Your Tesla for Routine Maintenance

blue tesla

Tesla vehicles offer cutting-edge technology that’s extremely appealing to drivers. But such innovative technology requires specialized maintenance and upkeep. That’s why it’s important to choose a Tesla Service Center for routine maintenance and inspections.

You can also schedule a Tesla Mobile Service appointment to have a trained technician come to you.

Where To Take Your Tesla After a Collision

Routine maintenance is one thing. But what do you do if you get in an accident and you need to get your Tesla repaired?

Teslas are unique cars, and in order to accurately investigate and repair Tesla accident damage, you need a technician with specialized training, experience, and equipment. For any collision damage Tesla’s mobile technicians can’t repair, you can take your car to a Tesla Service Center, a Tesla Collision Center, or a Tesla Approved Collision Center like Mackin’s Auto Body.

Get Reliable, Tesla Approved Collision Repair With Mackin’s Auto Body!

gresham's mackin's auto body

If your Tesla has been damaged in an accident, you need technicians with the specialized training and knowledge to restore your vehicle to its original condition.

 As a Tesla Approved Collision Center in Portland, Mackin’s Auto Body meets the highest standards of Tesla restoration services. With specialized diagnostic and repair equipment, you can rest assured that your Tesla is in good hands.

Contact us today or visit our Tesla repair location to get the specialized service you need.

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts is the Director of Operations at Mackin’s Auto Body, where he has been making an impact since 2018. With a career in collision repair that started in 1999, Chris brings a wealth of experience and dedication to his role. Before stepping into his current position, he served as the Assistant Operations Manager at Mackin’s Auto Body from 2013 to 2017. Chris holds a BA from Northwest Nazarene University. When he’s not ensuring everything runs smoothly at Mackin’s, you can find him skiing down snowy slopes, wake surfing on sunny days, or cheering on his daughter at her soccer games.