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Annual Maintenance Costs

There was a thread started on the Tesla Forum boards regarding what the maintenance fee would be per year for the Model S. I called a couple stores today and was surprised to find out they still don't know what the maintenance fee was or if there was any at all. One store said it would be $300/year and the other store said $1200/year because you needed 2 checkups per year. I was under the assumption that the upkeep and repair of the Model S would be far lower than an ICE car, so am surprised/confused that the maintenance fee would be anything above $200-$300 per year. at $500+, that seems like a premium to normal maintenance costs of an ICE, not a discount. Does anybody know what the yearly maintenance fee is going to be if anything at all? Thanks

Interesting article on how parts shops fear their business would be in jeopardy if Electric and Hybrids became more mainstream.

Mechanic's Worry: Electric Car Brakes Will Ruin My Business

What if the $600/year service is declined?

From the FTC site:

Do I have to use the dealer for repairs and maintenance to keep my warranty in effect?

No. An independent mechanic, a retail chain shop, or even you yourself can do routine maintenance and repairs on your vehicle. In fact, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which is enforced by the FTC, makes it illegal for manufacturers or dealers to claim that your warranty is void or to deny coverage under your warranty simply because someone other than the dealer did the work.

That said, there may be certain situations where a repair may not be covered. For example, if you or your mechanic replaced a belt improperly and your engine is damaged as a result, your manufacturer or dealer may deny responsibility for fixing the engine under the warranty.

However, according to the FTC, the manufacturer or dealer must be able to demonstrate that it was the improper belt replacement — rather than some other defect — that caused the damage to your engine. The warranty would still be in effect for other parts of your car.

Now, Tesla can offer a $600/year package that includes Tesla Ranger roadside assistance (per mile fees apply), OTA software updates, enabling the smartphone app features, access to the Tesla app store when it's available, and Supercharger access (charging fees apply), and they can make this the default option when you purchase the car.

However, I can't see that they can legally compel you to spend an additional $600/year (or more) to check your car's fluids or void your warranty. That's exactly the kind of treatment Magnuson-Moss was enacted to stamp out.

Just catching up to this in the Punch List thread, Rod and Barbara shared this:

Although Tesla does not require you to perform all maintenance service or repairs at a Tesla Service Center or Tesla authorized repair facility, this New Vehicle Limited Warranty may be voided or coverage may be excluded due to lack of or improper maintenance, service or repairs. Tesla Service Center and Tesla authorized repair facilities have special training, expertise, tools and supplies with respect to your vehicle and, in certain cases, may employ the only persons or be the only facilities authorized or certified to work on certain parts of you vehicle. Tesla strongly recommends that you have all maintenance, service and repairs done at a Tesla Service Center or Tesla authorized repair facility in order to avoid voiding, or having coverage excluded under, this New Vehicle Limited Warranty.”

So to answer the Magnuson-Moos compliance question, the warranty does not require routine maintenance doesn't need to be performed through a Tesla Service Center. As to my question about what are the consequences of opting out of the $600/year service plan, it will probably be answered when we get an answer to item #3 on the punch list, which is getting the cost of the service in writing.

For comparison my 2004 Prius has cost $9,916.87 for maintenance (106 months 139,286 miles). However that includes four sets of tires and I've replaced things as maintenance items that many people wouldn't replace until they actually failed (water pumps, etc.) That works out to $1,122.66 per year.

I expect tires for the Model S will be more than $500 per year. So the Model S will cost more for maintenance than the Prius--but not horribly more.

I agree with EdG. TM is a start - up and has to build and maintain an expensive service infrastructure. TM does not have hundreds of thousands of cars on the road that can support a service staff on a daily basis. If you really want TM to survive, you have to be willing to help build the infrastructure that other manufacturers have built over the past 100 years. So you pay more the first three years, less after that.

Do you really think BMW and others don’t build the cost of the 36/36 free maintenance into the price of their cars? Take a close look at “every other car,” they are an amalgamation (the parts bin) of recycled: chassis, power trains, electronics, accessories, etc. Don’t be fooled by new sheet metal, many of these cars are ‘the same old-same old.” A clean sheet of paper design has none of this and it is expensive to re-invent the wheel. IMO, the “S” is a bargain for the first and only 21st Century car in the world. By the way, most car dealerships would mark up the “S” an additional $25K for a hot new car that isn’t readily available.

Jerry - don't forget parts and labor. Add brakes, any electronics that break out of warranty, battery modules that fail out of warranty, etc.

Petero - As a wild-eyed idealist I care about the fact that TM is a startup. As a consumer I don't care. As a member of corporate America, lack of reuse is just a weakness (don't confuse innovation for value creation).

Tesla needs to think about how they want to make their money going forward, because what they set up today will impact the company going forward. If they create service as a major revenue source for S, it will always be a major component of the business. If they build out an unnecessarily expensive service network, it will rule the company from the inside just as dealerships rule legacy automakers from the outside. Particularly if they don't offer fair value for service, then it will be particularly hard to let go of.

For the Roadster crowd, they could charge whatever they like. As noted earlier in this thread, $600/year to turn off the CEL works for them. Even for the S crowd $600/yr won't ultimately matter much. But S owners will be the people telling stories to prospective GenIII owners. "Drives great but maintenance feels like a rip-off" is not going to be a great story.

There's time to tell a story about maintenence costs being fair. Thus far I've heard rumor of maybe $200/yr of infotainment updates and $50-$100/yr of "N points inspection". What else?

I recall from the posts of Roadster owner posts that the annual maintence fee includes a lot more than checking the coolant level and the state of the battery. What are the opinions from Roadster owners on the value?

As a super low mileage driver, any sort of yearly fee is out of line. I put less than 5,000 miles a year on my car so I almost never need maintenance.

I don't like the idea of being forced to pay $600/yr for annual maintenance when I drive less than 8,000 miles a year and I hardly ever go to the dealer for a major service. My other concern is what if Tesla decides to increase the maintenance fee a year or two down the road. Would some of you still be happy paying $800-$1000/yr for service?

it all comes down to what's included with a compulsory (as allowed by local laws) service agreement.

to compete with the big boys (eg. bmw's ultimate service) i think Tesla should consider including service for the first 1-4 years for "free" or for a nominal fee (some would say $50 bucks a month is nominal while others on this forum clearly feel its overpriced).

if Tesla's $50/month ($600/year) service plan includes ISP service, software upgrades, and replacement of wear and tear items such as brake pads (minimal wear when using regen) then perhaps that fee is justified? The ISP service could also be "free" or included for a few months like XM or On Star to allow customers some time to test functionality in their geographic region. I know, i'm a dreamer...

at this time do we have any idea if the $600 is inclusive of ISP or not? I don't think so. Time to chill out I think.

For a little perspective... i purchased a 5 year service policy for an S-works road bicycle for $150. A pretty awesome deal. i know its not a fair comparison but my point is Tesla has an opportunity to really provide a great value add for the customer in the same way with its customers.

here's what's included for the bike...

"Our 5-Year Service Policy Covers, free of charge:

Full "tune-ups," complete description of which can be obtained in any of our service departments. Generally, "tune-ups" cover all basic maintenance of the bicycle, including: Gear adjustments, brake adjustments, wheel truing and tensioning, bearing adjustments, safety checks, drivetrain lubrication, pivot point lubrication, tightening and inspection of all bolts and fasteners.
Wheel truing, tensioning, dishing, and inspection.
Derailleur adjustments, tuning, inspection, and lubrication.
Adjustment of non-fixed bearings, including headset, bottom bracket, hubs, and pedals.
Labor charges for replacement of brake cables and derailleur cables (NOT housing).
Labor charge for replacement of brake pads.
Labor charge for replacement of chain.
Lubrication of pivot points and drivetrain."

I know a bike costing 6k is a lot simpler than a 50-100k automobile but I for one hope/expect Tesla to provide a real value-add with their service offering. If $600/year includes ISP and "routine maintenance" with an up-charge for Ranger service then I think Tesla is being more than fair. Until they announce the pricing and details lets give them the benefit of the doubt.

More perspective... I'm currently paying about $600/year for a service agreement on an Advantex septic system (a fancy one that converts black water into drip irrigation). I think $600/year for the model S is justified, again it just comes down to what's included. details details

@Electric Machete;

They are telling you up front what the annual costs of maintenance will be.

Are they? Where? I haven't seen anything definite in options and pricing or in design studio.

If there is "fixed annual maintenance fee" any you are not told about it, it is betrayal and dishonesty. If Roadster would not have that nobody would even ask about it and it would come as surprise to all of us. Now that we know about this we can guestimate that there might be such a extra hidden cost in Model S as well, but that's all we can do until Tesla tells us if there is and how much it will be.

That's the aggravating part, not the sum itself.

I asked if this was definite and had been made public. I was told that it was official but a formal announcement had not yet been made. I mentioned that I would be posting that information here and there was no objection from my configuration specialist, who I might add has been diligent in obtaining answers to many of my questions that have been posited around this forum in recent months: The seat memory, etc, functions are not stored in the key fob but on the touchscreen. Individual tire pressure readouts will be available. The cargo shelf will be made of stiff leather, or a leather coated marerial?, which is foldable into sections. The center console option will be an additional cost accessory as has been mentioned and should be available "soon". I would like the car to be as "done" as possible prior to delivery given the current lack of a nearby service center, so factory installation of the visor lights, cargo shelf, CCI, etc. is highly preferred. I was told I had a pretty good shot at my car arriving in November with these items.

Oh....and for those springing for the paint armor. Although Tesla will not install film over the entire hood, aftermarket patterns will be available that include the full hood template. One can elect to omit the partial hood film and go with an aftermarket solution if so desired. Forgot to ask if that would reduce the price but I doubt it.

It may be nice if Tesla charge the new car 4000$ more as a warranty/maintenance fee which will keep the warranty active for 8 year and included services. This will end to 500 $ per year for services, but will be included, so no one will matter.
From day 1 we will buy an "all included" car with no hidden cost compare to any ICE car which have many hidden cost over the years.
It looks like the 600$ maintenance fee, is more an "extended warranty fee" to me as the maintenance should be minimal.

on the other side, depending of how long servicing the car is, could be a reasonnable price if the mechanics work a full day on your car and replace parts for free. How it is for roadster?

It seems that many informations are missing at that time to evaluate if it's too much or not.

Yes, the "included" approach is a good idea. It puts more of an up-front "price barrier" there, so would have to be excused/sold on the basis of the "included" service (I'm also one of those who despises the use of the word "free", so beloved of marketers and hucksters).

Or, believe it or not, TM could even offer it as a choice; prepaid included service, or pay-as-you-go. That would be the totally transparent way to go.

@BrianH +1 "Or, believe it or not, TM could even offer it as a choice; prepaid included service, or pay-as-you-go. That would be the totally transparent way to go."

We are all big kids (at least those of us with drivers licenses) here. I plan on pre-paying for the maintenance and taking the discount. That way "service is included" in my price :)

Tesla has special tools that only allows them to maintain these vehicles (i.e. ability to reset the Service light & Battery leak check). There is not a single independent Tesla shop in the universe. There has to be a law against monopoly of service, no?

BMW can offer 4 years free service because they build a quality product that does not break down and requires little service during this time period. When purchasing a BMW you are already paying a premium based off the reputation of the brand. It is also a very good way to get the owners into the store and build a positive relationship. They can also ensure that the cars will have proper maintenance the first few years which helps BMW keep a reputation of a quality manufacturer.

I believe Tesla is also building a quality product which due to the lack of moving parts is a far simpler piece of equipment. They too should be able to offer 4 years no maintenance as part of the initial cost of the car.

They are building a new brand name from the ground up. What they do with the model s and how they execute the support of this new brand is very very critical. We early adapters feedback to family and friends will be critical to building the reputation of the brand.

In my eyes they already made a huge mistake by not compensating early depositors P and Sig in any way (at least publicly thus far). I was a Sig holder and downgraded do to the premium price and the take it or leave it audited of Tesla. It would have been nice if they were show some level of appreciation to people who plunked down $40k for 2 years or more. For many of us this is a substatial amount of money.

I do all of my own work, so I'm not that worried. And basicaly, we're talking about standard stuff. Checking parts wear like brakes, fluid levels, ect. Regardign your warranty, yeah, it's still intact (unless you screw it up). There are many stories of people putting oil in the radiator or the reverse. So, I guess if you put windshield washer fluid in your battery coolant resevour, you're gonna be SOL if your battery dies.

I think if you break it down and charge $100 per hour for a service, you will have to justify what you did for 6 HOURS on a TESLA that doesn't have a fraction of the stuff that an ICE has and needs for service. Have we ever thought......perhaps seeing actual cars, driven by actual consumers, in actual daily use, may determine a little of what might be required. I really think we will have to stay tuned for actual use patterns. I know that I am not paying to have the antenna sharpened or the muffler bearing re-packed. Kidding of course.

Did I just read above that the key fob had no memory? That is very sad news! I'm 6’8 and my wife is 5’3 so I'd rather not have to get into the car with the settings different and requiring me to change them on the touch screen each time. Not to mention they don't have automatic raising and lowering of the steering wheel so I'll have a hard time getting in. The key fob should be much smarter than my 03 infinity.

Nick K. If $600 annual service charges (hopefully less) is a problem, perhaps you shouldn’t get an “S.” I do not see many, new, BMW, MB, Audi, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Porsche, and Fiskers at Pep Boys, Sears, or Tony's having their computer systems and software updated and checking the transmission, etc. I am not trying to be mean spirited. Other than Tesla, who else is trained to repair and update Tesla’s software and systems? While $600 will seem like a lot of money in the first three years I will hazard a guess, the service and repair charges on German luxury cars will far exceed Tesla’s in years 4-10+.

Murraypetera. I use to work at a BMW dealership. New BMWs were always /often coming in for something to be adjusted. Our dealership had 6 reps that handled only the free loaner/rental cars! The free 36/36 is a powerful and much needed sales tool that is especially attractive to people that lease. BMW makes a quality car, that is a great drive, but... BMW drivers can be very forgiving when it costs them zero, no matter how many times they have to bring in the car. They sing a different song in the subsequent years.

Saw it mentioned previously in this thread, and I was told the same thing today. $600 per year, or $1899 pre-paid for 4 years.

I've completed my mvpa and there was no mention of this option. When does tesla give you the option of prepaying the service? At delivery? Later?

I guess it's just annoying that on one hand, Tesla is claiming that it is a maintenance-free car, but on the other, we are required to spend $600. Yes, I drive a Toyota Prius-Jerry, it sounds like you got a lemon, because I pay less than $100 a year and that is for two oil changes, etc. I'm not including seasonal tire swaps, because that will also be an added on fee to the Tesla.

It is also frustrating, because I believe Elon stated that by selling only 8,000 cars they would be "flush," so that makes me think that there is quite a profit margin on each car.
If they average 20,000 cars a year x $600, I think that comes out to 12 million dollars a year. I'm sorry, but that is some expensive software, because we all know that installing software is neither time-consuming or difficult. That just leaves the idea of licensing, etc., but $12 million???

Duh. The key fob ID is identified with its owner in the car's own memory. Unless you use the wrong fob, you're fine.

You're paying for human hours, mostly. That includes the whole enchilada; Service Rangers aren't switched off and stacked in the corner unpaid when not in use.

@murraypetra "BMW can offer 4 years free service because they build a quality product that does not break down and requires little service during this time period. When purchasing a BMW you are already paying a premium based off the reputation of the brand. It is also a very good way to get the owners into the store and build a positive relationship."

I currently own a BMW 5-series that is five years old. I made considerable use of the 3-year warranty on consumables (wipers, oil, fluids), software upgrades (many) and some unexpected items (battery replacement, engine valve recall, one bad tire, etc.) so feel strongly that it was a major selling point to me in choosing BMW. I'm disappointed that Tesla did not choose to include the same.

However I believe that BMW's "master plan" is to encourage owners to sell (or lease return) their cars after 3 years and buy new to avoid "scary" expensive out of warranty maintenance. (In the past two years I've replaced all four brakes, transmission pan leak, new tires, etc.) so those costs are real.

In my case tho the games changed with Model-S. As much as I like other brands, there is ONLY ONE TESLA and I'm up for playing the changed game. With a big grin, not letting the small stuff bother me. Time will tell if thats a good strategy, but for now its my plan!

Brianh, Robert 22 just said the seat memory was not stored in the key fob, but in the touch screen. Has this already been veriified as otherwise? Has anyone used it?

"because we all know that installing software is neither time-consuming or difficult."

Perhaps the younger generation "know"s this. Some of us older folk know that's not always been the case.

One point I have not seen explored is the time for a maintenance visit. The Roadster seems to need three hours (and my next visit will be five because of some needed updates, no add'l charge). So part of that cost has to be all that time. What are they doing? Its not all in the manual for the DIY's. There certainly is some specialized, probably proprietary stuff. An ICE basic oil change and a 26 point check is an hour and less than 100 bucks. For the Tesla, is the brake fluid/coolant flush included when it is time for those or is that extra? ICE vehicles have the stepped 7.5K, 15K, 30K, 60K with different items and add'l cost. The Tesla model is flat.

So what do you think happens if the alarm goes off and you just skip the maint for another year, still checking fluid levels and such?

Sounds like the maintainability is not well integrated yet. They need to review and learn and feed it back into the design. For Gen III it seems to me that things need to be streamlined/automated so that its lower cost includes lower Maint costs also. Plenty of time to engineer that in.

Do you think Tesla will offer a free loaner car while our cars are being serviced, like BMW, Lexus and other brand so?

I would take a roadster for the day..... or even a Gen III!

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