90,000 Miles On My Tesla Mannequin 3 — Upkeep Prices Larger Than Anticipated

I’m an enormous EV and Tesla fanboy. I do know that in principal EVs are a lot much less complicated than automobiles with inside combustion engines. An inside combustion engine (ICE) substitute price is ~$7000. It’s rather more complicated than an electrical motor. As well as, ICE automobiles have very complicated transmissions (substitute price ~$5000). You even have exhaust and emission management techniques, which EVs would not have, radiator/cooling techniques, and so forth., and so forth., and so forth. An EV has a really costly battery, however I’m treating mine with child gloves and hope it’s going to final over 10 years. My Mannequin 3 Lengthy Vary was warrantied fully for 50,000 miles. The drive system and battery guarantee will run out at 130,000 miles. The quite a few comparisons I’ve seen estimate upkeep prices for EVs to be a lot decrease than for ICE automobiles. Nonetheless, the heavy EV battery causes tires to wear down extra rapidly than for an ICE automobile, so that’s an elevated price for EV upkeep.

Mary, Zuni, my e-bike, and our Tesla Mannequin 3 with a motorcycle rack in Zion Nationwide Park, Utah. January 10, 2022. Photograph by Fritz Hasler.

Itemized Restore & Upkeep Prices for Our Tesla Mannequin 3 Lengthy Vary

In simply over 90,000 miles, the entire price of the tires and out-of-warranty repairs for my Mannequin 3 have been $5,441.42. See itemized prices beneath. That is rather more than I anticipated. I’ve had the upkeep points detailed within the following paragraphs. Conveniently, I used to be in a position to get hold of the dates, mileage, and actual price of my Tesla repairs from the Tesla app on my cellphone. Not conveniently, it seems to return solely 2 years.

1) I’ve wanted to interchange the tires 3 times (the third set ought to take me to 120,000 miles) for $578.93 + $565.44 + $1,252.23 = $2,395.60 Observe: The primary two units of tires had been bought in a hole-in-the-wall tire retailer within the Wisconsin Northwoods close to Rhinelander. The third set was bought at a Les Schwab tire retailer in Orem, Utah, the place I arrived with a completely flat proper rear tire. I had no alternative to buy tires and didn’t notice how rather more I had paid for that 3rd set.

2) There was constant squeaking and Tesla carried out the next: “Reseal Left Entrance Higher Management Arm Ball Joint.” This occurred when the mileage was underneath 50,000, so it was coated underneath the guarantee. (Observe: I don’t have the precise date and mileage as a result of this is without doubt one of the older repairs that are now not given underneath service historical past within the Tesla app on my cellular phone.)

3) ~April 2020 and April 2021: 4-wheel alignment twice = ~$280

4) ~October 2021/~53,000 miles: take away and change rear aero defend = ~$427.13

5) November 3, 2021/54,131 miles: “Reseal Proper Entrance Higher Management Arm Ball Joint” (for squeaking once more) = $49

6) November 3, 2021/54,131 miles: 4-wheel alignment = $90.75

7) July 22, 2022/73,149 miles: Take away and change Superbottle (battery and drive system cooling valve) as a result of automobile wouldn’t go over 50 mph = $672.75. Observe: this has been changed by the Octovalve on newer Mannequin 3s.

8) February 2, 2023/88,705 miles: Take away and change entrance aero defend (underneath automobile fiber apron) = $427.13.

9) February 20, 2023/90,029 miles: Take away and change PTC/cabin heater (automobile wouldn’t go into drive) = $1,148.00 (Observe: I perceive that newer Mannequin 3s now have a warmth pump as a substitute of resistance heating. The PTC is now remoted from the drive system, so if the warmth pump fails, it shouldn’t trigger the drive system to freeze up.)

The great: Regardless that I stay solely 4 miles from the Nice Grove, Utah, Tesla showroom and repair middle, a distant service technician was despatched to my home to make the restore.

The dangerous: Sadly, the “bushing bracket — stabilizer bar” with the threaded holes was broken, so the brand new aero shied couldn’t be put in. I needed to go to the Nice Grove Tesla service middle to have the “bushing bracket — stabilizer bar” eliminated and changed so the restore may very well be accomplished. Additionally, once I first had squeaking from the left entrance suspension, Tesla despatched a cell repairman to my residence in Saint George, Utah. He was in a position to diagnose the issue however not repair it. I had it mounted later on the Tesla service middle in downtown Salt Lake Metropolis underneath the guarantee.

When the Superbottle failed, the automobile gave me warnings and I used to be unable to drive at greater than 50 mph. When the PTC (cabin heater) failed, the automobile gave me the warning that after I turned off my automobile, it won’t be capable of begin once more. I drove on to my neighborhood Tesla service middle and put the automobile in park. Once I tried to place the automobile in drive to enter the service storage, it refused. The Tesla service technician had to make use of his helpful automobile lifting system to tug the automobile into the service bay.

Primarily, I had two costly repairs for objects which had been “not a part of the drive system.” Nonetheless, they brought about the drive system to fail. Additionally, I managed to peel off two components of the undercar fiberboard aero defend. The primary occasion occurred once I hit 12” of water that I didn’t see in a flash flood at 40 mph. The second occasion occurred once I drove my automobile out of the Brighton ski resort car parking zone in 6” of packed snow.

Tesla Mobile Repair Technician

Tesla cell restore technician jacking up my automobile and holding the brand new entrance aero defend in my driveway. January 26, 2023. Photograph by Fritz Hasler.

It appears to me that Tesla ought to have mounted totally free the 2 objects that brought about my drive system to fail because the drive system was nonetheless underneath guarantee. Additionally, the fiberboard aero shields underneath the automobile will not be very sturdy. The truth is, when the entrance undercar aero defend failed, it was changed by a brand new plastic model which is supposedly extra sturdy.

Tesla Mannequin 3 Lengthy Vary Restore & Upkeep Value Summation

  • 3 units of tires: $578.93 + $565.44 + $1,252.23 = $2,395.60
  • Change rear aero defend: ~$427.16
  • 4-wheel alignment × 3: $370.75
  • Change Superbottle (battery and drive system cooling valve): $672.75
  • Change PTC (the cabin heater failure brought about the drive system to freeze up): $1,148
  • Change entrance aero defend: $427.16
  • Whole: $5,441.42

Out-of-Guarantee Tesla Mannequin 3 Service & Upkeep Prices vs. Prolonged Guarantee

I virtually universally keep away from shopping for prolonged warranties on merchandise that I purchase. That features the ~10 cars I’ve owned over time. I assume that I’ll get monetary savings by self-warranty. Within the circumstances the place the product, like a automobile battery or automobile tires, comes with a guaranty, I’ve by no means collected on one. I’ve not too long ago been deluged with adverts from Automotive Protect making an attempt to promote me an prolonged service guarantee on my automobile. I acquired a quote from Automotive Protect simply now. They need $220/month, or $2640/yr, with a $100 deductible for every incident. If I had bought a Automotive Protect coverage once I went over 50,000 miles in November 2021, I’d have paid 14 × $220 = $3000 by now. My restore prices over that interval have been $2247, much less $300 in hypothetical deductibles could be $1947. Subsequently, it has been cheaper to this point to go with no Automotive Protect coverage.

I’ve informed myself that my EV will probably be so dependable {that a} Automotive Protect coverage could be a waste of cash. Nonetheless, I’m not unaware of the flowery pc, show display, and electronics in my Tesla, in addition to the electrical seats and home windows, stereo system, and so forth. and so forth. and so forth. There are many issues within the automobile that might fail … and now I’m studying about failure modes of issues I by no means thought of. For now, I’m forward and I’m holding my breath and hoping for the very best for the longer term.

Please add your experiences with repairs in your Tesla automobiles within the feedback part beneath.


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