If you want to ditch gas-powered vehicles in favor of an electric car, you may be wondering about Tesla maintenance costs. Never buying gas again holds an appeal, but the average cost to repair one of Elon Musk’s electric vehicles may have you reconsidering your purchase.

In this article, we’ll give an overview of the Tesla maintenance costs you’ll likely run into. Expect to learn about manufacturer recommended services, common repairs, and recommendations for lowering your Tesla maintenance bill with one of the best extended car warranty companies.

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    How Much Does Tesla Maintenance Cost?

    According to RepairPal, the average Tesla maintenance cost is $832 per year. That compares to an average of $652 per year for all car models sold in the United States. Depending on which services your Tesla needs, you may end up spending much more than the average car owner on yearly maintenance needs.

    As of 2021, Tesla remains a new kid on the block in the automotive space. Due to this, little data is available concerning Tesla’s overall reliability and its average cost of ownership. Complicating matters further is the fact that Tesla models lack many components usually found in cars with internal combustion engines.

    Because so many Tesla vehicle parts are unique and difficult to find, expect to spend more than your average driver on Tesla maintenance costs. On top of this, luxury car brands like Tesla tend to charge premium prices for their vehicle parts.

    Tesla Average Reliability

    Though not much information exists yet about the overall reliability of Tesla models, early results aren’t encouraging. In the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Vehicle Dependability StudySM, Tesla ranked 30th of 33 car brands for overall reliability. That’s better than only Jaguar, Alfa Romeo, and Land Rover among all automakers across the country.

    J.D. Power reported an average of 176 mechanical issues per 100 Tesla vehicles, compared to an industry average of 121 issues. The organization notes, though, that it doesn’t rank the electric car brand with other major automakers because it doesn’t meet the study’s criteria.

    What can be known is that Tesla models break down relatively regularly and that Tesla maintenance costs are pretty steep. If you’re concerned about the potential for unexpected and costly repairs in the future, you might want to consider one of the industry’s most reputable extended car warranty companies.

    Tesla Service Schedule And Common Repairs

    Tesla had a recommended maintenance schedule (similar to other car manufacturers) until recently. In 2019, the company pivoted from encouraging yearly inspections to suggesting maintenance on an as-needed basis.

    Tesla’s recommended maintenance schedule is basic and generally says that drivers should take care of issues on an as-needed basis. The following parts are specifically outlined and should be calculated into your Tesla maintenance costs:

    Tesla Maintenance Item

    Maintenance Schedule

    Cabin air filter

    Every 2-3 years depending on model

    High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter

    Every 3 years

    Tire rotation and wheel alignment

    Every 6,250 miles

    Brake fluid test

    Every 2 years

    Air conditioning service

    Every 3-6 years depending on model

    Winter care

    (brake caliper cleaning and lubricating)

    Every year or after 12,500 miles

    in cold-weather regions

    Though these are the only items listed in the Tesla maintenance schedule, remain on the lookout for other issues. You may need to perform other routine needs such as replacing wiper blades at certain points in your Tesla’s life.

    Tesla Warranty Coverage

    Each new car from Tesla comes with a standard factory warranty, and the company offers an extended warranty plan as well as coverage for certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles. These warranties cover the repair or replacement of various parts that fail within a certain time period.

    New Vehicle Limited Warranty

    The Tesla new vehicle limited warranty comes with three primary types of protection: the basic vehicle limited warranty, the supplemental restraint system limited warranty, and the battery and drive unit limited warranty.

    Each new Tesla receives 4 years/50,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper warranty protection under the basic vehicle limited warranty. The supplemental restraint system limited warranty offers 5 years/60,000 miles of coverage for your car’s seat belts and air bags.

    The battery and drive unit limited warranty is somewhat similar to most vehicles’ powertrain warranty plans. It lasts longer and varies a bit by Tesla model, as seen below:

    Tesla Model

    Coverage Term

    Model S

    Model X

    8 years/150,000 miles

    Model 3 Long Range

    Model 3 Performance

    Model Y Long Range

    Model Y Performance

    8 years/120,000 miles

    Model 3 Standard Range

    8 years/100,000 miles

    Used Vehicle Limited Warranty

    If you purchase a used car from Tesla, it will be covered by the remainder of the basic vehicle limited warranty. Once that expires, the used vehicle limited warranty offers additional protection against Tesla maintenance costs for 1 year/10,000 miles. If the basic vehicle limited warranty has already expired, Tesla used car warranty coverage begins on the day of vehicle delivery.

    Tesla car warranty coverage can also be transferred to subsequent owners at no cost. Just log into your Tesla account and shift ownership to the new buyer.

    Standard Tech Features

    One futuristic part about owning a Tesla is that diagnostics can be performed remotely by mobile service technicians, so you’re less likely to need to take your vehicle to a physical location. Tesla vehicles also receive high-tech software updates “over the air.”

    Customers can make appointments at Tesla Service Centers via the Tesla app. Other features of the app allow Tesla owners to check the status of their cars’ supercharging in real time, lock or unlock doors, find nearby Tesla superchargers, and summon vehicles that have Autopilot capabilities.

    The Tesla app has an average of 3.7 out of 5.0 stars on the Apple App Store and 3.3 out of 5.0 stars from Google Play. Many users rate the company’s app as somewhat buggy and needlessly confusing.

    Tesla Extended Warranty Coverage

    Tesla does offer an extended service agreement for its Tesla Model X and Model S vehicles. Drivers can purchase Tesla extended warranties up to 30 days/1,000 miles past the expiration of their new vehicle limited warranties.

    Tesla gives motorists a $500 discount when they buy extended warranty coverage during the first 180 days of owning their vehicles. If you’re interested in lowering your Tesla maintenance cost through an extended warranty, check out the plan details below:

    Tesla Vehicle

    Extended Warranty Term

    Price

    Within First 180 Days

    Price

    After 180 Days

    Model S

    2 years/25,000 miles

    $2,100

    $2,600

    Model S

    4 years/50,000 miles

    $4,250

    $4,750

    Model X

    2 years/25,000 miles

    $2,400

    $2,900

    Model X

    4 years/50,000 miles

    $4,800

    $5,300

    These are some pretty steep extended warranty prices, but remember that luxury brands such as BMW and Tesla usually have higher going rates. With one of these options, you’ll get access to genuine Tesla parts and receive service from technicians who specialize in Teslas.

    The deductible for all Tesla extended warranties is $200 per visit to the repair shop. Regardless of the total cost of your car’s issues, you’ll pay  this rate.

    Third-Party Tesla Extended Warranties

    If buying directly from Tesla doesn’t seem like the right option for you, independent warranty providers may be able to help. Here are a few perks that come with choosing a plan from one of the most reputable extended car warranty companies:

    • Greater flexibility: Tesla maintenance costs can only be covered by two plans from the automaker itself, lasting for 2 years/25,000 miles or 4 years/50,000 miles. These options are also only available on two models and come with standardized pricing. Third-party extended warranties offer flexible plan lengths, pricing, and coverage amounts.
    • Lower total costs: You’ll likely pay much less for a third-party Tesla extended warranty than for one of the automaker’s plans. If you’re unsure about spending thousands to cover Tesla maintenance costs, an independent warranty might be right for you.
    • Ability to purchase whenever: With Tesla, you’re only able to purchase coverage during the first few years of ownership. You’ll find much more generous time frames and mileage limits when you buy an aftermarket extended warranty.
    • Large network of repair shops: Under automaker warranty plans, you’re required to have service done at a company dealership. Tesla dealers aren’t exactly everywhere, so it may be a bit difficult to get your car to the repair facility. Using third-party warranty companies doesn’t lead to this issue.

    Since Tesla maintenance costs and needs are somewhat unique, you may find that certain extended warranty providers won’t cover your vehicle.

    Top Recommendations For Extended Car Warranties

    If you’re in the market for a third-party extended warranty, check out plans from CarShield and CARCHEX. It’s critical that you place your Tesla maintenance costs into the hands of a trustworthy provider that offers both efficient service and cost-effective plans.

    CARCHEX: Best For Used Cars

    With five vehicle protection plans that stretch from nearly complete coverage down to a basic powertrain warranty, CARCHEX has options for all needs and budgets. Even better, CARCHEX reviews testify to its legitimacy as an extended warranty provider, as seen by its accreditation and A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

    CarShield: Best Value

    Few extended warranty companies can match the affordability offered by CarShield, our choice for the Best Value provider. CarShield reviews praise the company for its comprehensive coverage plans and flexible, month-to-month payment choices.

    If you’d like to see how these two extended warranty providers match up, find the details in our complete CarShield vs. CARCHEX article.

    Frequently Asked Questions: Tesla Maintenance Cost

    • Do Teslas need a lot of maintenance?

      Electric vehicles like Teslas don’t require oil changes, emission checks, or components such as spark plugs. Tesla owners are still on the hook for brake pads and tire rotations, but overall, Tesla vehicles don’t require as much maintenance as gas cars. Tesla repair costs tend to be higher than the industry average, though.

    • Are Teslas expensive to fix?

      Yes, Tesla vehicles are quite expensive to fix. According to RepairPal, the average yearly Tesla maintenance cost is about $832 per year. The average among all car brands was a much lower $652 per year. Teslas also have the third-worst reliability score among all automakers.

    • Is owning a Tesla expensive?

      Teslas are quite expensive to purchase, and their upkeep costs are above the industry norm as well. You’ll save money by avoiding the fuel costs associated with gasoline cars, receiving electric vehicle tax credits, and not having to deal with certain routine maintenance costs.

    *Data accurate at time of publication.