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Tesla Maintenance Cost Guide

Tesla maintenance can be low, but the combined cost of maintenance and repairs are high compared to the industry average.

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Brogan Woodburn
By: Brogan Woodburn Senior Writer

Brogan is a Motor1.com Senior Writer based in Central Oregon. He produces in-depth auto product guides on topics spanning from auto warranties and insurance to tips on how to sell a car.

Last Updated 01/15/2024

Motor1 Reviews Team Take:

  • Tesla recommends specific maintenance services on an “as-needed” basis, with its engineers continuously reviewing these recommendations.
  • RepairPal puts the average annual repair cost of a Tesla vehicle at $832, well above the average cost of $652 across all brands.
  • If you want to stretch the warranty coverage on your Tesla vehicle, CarShield is our top pick for a third-party extended warranty provider.

Since Tesla makes fully electric cars, many of the standard maintenance items don’t apply. You never need an oil change, for example, and you don’t have to worry about traditional fuel costs. Tesla maintenance costs are some of the lowest on the market, but the cars still carry a high price tag. To figure out maintenance costs, we looked at driver forums and data from YourMechanic.

That being said, Elon Musk’s Teslas do need specialized care, and some repairs can be very expensive. Third-party extended warranties can help even out the cost of ownership, especially as cars get older. We’ve reviewed many of the most popular providers on the market and singled out the best extended car warranties. Based on our research, the best third-party provider for Tesla is CarShield.

Tesla Maintenance “As Needed”

Like all major car brands, Tesla had a recommended maintenance schedule. The schedule included yearly inspections to make sure everything was going right. But in 2019, the company switched from recommending yearly checkups to only recommending particular services on an as-needed basis.

The website now says that Teslas do not require regular maintenance, and it instead lists a few items that should be changed periodically. This is the main reason why Tesla maintenance costs are on the affordable end.

Tesla made some changes to its Model S and Model X vehicles in 2021 that influenced certain maintenance requirements. We’ll go over current maintenance requirements for all models below:

  • Cabin air filter replacement: The filter should be changed every two years or every three years if it’s a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. For the 2021 and newer S and X models, you only need to replace the standard cabin air filter every three years.
  • Tire rotation: Tesla recommends rotating the tires every 6,250 miles or when the difference in tread depth between tires is 2/32 inches or greater.
  • Brake fluid test: Tesla owners should have the brake fluid tested every four years and replaced as needed. Brake pads don’t need to be replaced as often as on traditional vehicles because Teslas use regenerative braking to reduce wear. However, heavy brake usage due to towing, mountain descents, or driving in hot and humid weather, may require more frequent brake checks.
  • Winter care: Tesla recommends lubricating your car’s brake calipers every 12 months or 12,500 miles if you live in a cold-weather region.
  • Air conditioning service: Tesla recommends servicing the air conditioning and replacing the desiccant bag every two to six years, depending on the model and year. See the table below for details.
Tesla ModelAir Conditioning Service Interval
Model 3 (2017 to 2021)Every 6 years
Model 3 (2021-present)Every 4 years
Model YEvery 4 years
Model S (2012 to 2020)Every 2 years
Model S (2021-present)Every 3 years
Model X (2012 to 2020)Every 4 years
Model X (2021-present)Every 3 years

And that’s it. Tesla owners don’t have to go into the shop on a set schedule. Plus, the Tesla owners app will keep track of the various time limits on these parts and let drivers know when they should book services.

General Tesla Maintenance Cost

Tesla vehicles only have a fraction of the number of moving parts that vehicles with internal combustion engines have. There are no fluids to leak or belts to wear out. You don’t have to worry about spark plugs, oil changes, or emission checks. What we mentioned above is really all that Tesla drivers have to worry about.

Normally, we turn to sites like RepairPal to look at average cost data. But Tesla is a special case – there isn’t a whole lot of data online. We’ll list Tesla maintenance cost amounts we found here, but be aware that these came from forums and are for informational purposes only.

Maintenance ItemCost
Tire rotation$35 to $100
Cabin air filter$60 to $200
Wiper blades$20 to $50
Full service (inspection plus items above)$475+
Brake system flush$100 to $200
AC service$50

Tesla Maintenance Plan Cost

Let’s say you follow the “as-needed” Tesla maintenance schedule for five years. Here’s how the total costs would break down, assuming you go to a Tesla service center for everything and you’re charged the higher amount for each of these items.

1Tire rotation$100
2Full service with A/C$525
3Tire rotation$100
4Full service with brake flush$585
5Tire rotation$100

Your total five-year cost would be $1,410. That makes Tesla maintenance costs pretty low, but there’s a chance real-life prices could be higher, too. Dividing that by five shows that people might spend about $282 per year on average to maintain their Teslas. These costs can also vary by model – a Tesla Model 3 maintenance plan cost might be less than a Model S, for example.

Comparing Tesla Maintenance Cost To Other Brands

As mentioned before, you can’t really make an apples-to-apples comparison between Tesla and other brands. There’s Tesla, and then there are other brands that make electric vehicles, but not exclusively. So we’re going to compare the Model S to other luxury sedans and coupes instead.

CarAverage Annual Repair And Maintenance Costs
Tesla Model S$1,047
Cadillac CTS$663
Chevrolet Corvette$737
Mercedes-Benz E350$788
Audi A6$913
BMW i8$979
Porsche 911$1,072

*Data from RepairPal.

Tesla repair costs are most similar to those of the Porsche 911 and BMW i8. The BMW i8 is also the closest comparison in terms of mechanics, but it’s still a hybrid vehicle with a 3-cylinder turbo engine. The hybrid battery certainly gives it more range, but the car still has high maintenance costs like other BMWs.

Traditional gas cars will just be more expensive to repair and maintain because of the number of moving parts involved. Certain repairs on Teslas can be expensive, but some of that comes from the company’s positioning as a luxury option. One could imagine a world where repairs for budget electric car brands could be very affordable.

Perks Of Tesla Ownership

As we found out, there are some maintenance and repair costs associated with owning a Tesla. However, there are also a few perks to ownership that you won’t find with other brands.

Depending on your state, you can get a state tax credit or rebate when you purchase a new Tesla. For example, Colorado offers a tax credit of up to $5,000 for the purchase or lease of a new electric vehicle. Qualifying residents of the Bay Area in California can get a credit of up to $9,500 for replacing an older internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle with an EV. Different utilities in the state also offer rebates for installing home chargers or purchasing EVs.

Federal tax incentives are always changing. As of late 2023, qualified EVs are eligible for a tax credit of up to $7,500 through the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. As with state incentives, it’s best to keep an eye on Tesla’s federal tax incentives page to stay up to date.

In New Jersey, you don’t have to pay sales tax on a Tesla and you get a discount on some toll prices with EZ-Pass. Check out Tesla’s EV and solar incentives page for complete information on all participating states. Some states don’t give any tax credits or rebates.

Another perk is that you can take advantage of Tesla’s mobile service program. Tesla’s mobile service cost is the same as its standard service cost. There is no surcharge to using mobile services. When you schedule a service in the app, it will let you know if you’re eligible for mobile service or if it would be better for you to go into a shop. Tesla’s website says that the mobile service program is available across the U.S.

What Tesla Owners Can Get From An Extended Warranty

Tesla’s battery and drive unit warranties are pretty long – up to 8 years and 100,000, 120,000, or 150,000 miles depending on the model. However, the basic bumper-to-bumper warranty only lasts for 4 years or 50,000 miles.

An extended warranty can help cover parts of your Tesla from failure or breakdown longer than the standard warranty. It can be a good idea for drivers who want to keep their cars in good shape over the long term. Some third-party warranty providers also specialize in covering high-tech equipment, which is something you’ll need for your Tesla.

The main benefit of an extended warranty is that it can help insulate your wallet from sudden costs. In addition, many people enjoy the peace of mind it brings. Good extended warranty companies should also cover repairs if you go back to the dealer, which many Tesla repairs will require.

What Customers Are Saying

Our team launched a survey in December 2023 to better understand vehicle owners’ experiences with extended warranties from vehicle manufacturers.

One driver with a brand new Tesla Model X reported paying between $3,000 and $4,000 for comprehensive extended warranty coverage from the automaker and indicated that he was pleased with his warranty purchase. “I’m decently satisfied,” he said. “I feel like it’s a bit overpriced, but it’s better safe than sorry. I would [purchase again] because I like how much it covers. It makes me feel safe and assured.”

Our Top Pick For Tesla Extended Warranties

Though there are many options for reputable extended warranty companies, there are also not-so-good warranty companies out there, as well. Our top recommendations all performed well in areas like customer service, coverage options, and cost. Here are some things you can expect from the best extended warranty providers:

  • Low or $0 deductible
  • Pays the repair shop directly
  • Long coverage lengths
  • Can add coverage at any time

In fall 2023, our team surveyed 1,000 people who had purchased extended car warranties. About 21 percent of respondents bought a long-term vehicle protection plan from a third-party provider. As the graphic below shows, CarShield was the most popular choice by a wide margin.

Bar graph depicting the four most popular extended auto warranty companies, as reported by respondents in our 2023 customer survey.

CarShield Extended Warranty

CarShield is the best choice for Tesla owners, as the company covers all Tesla models. In our review, we rated the provider 4.4 out of 5.0 stars. CarShield offers six plans that vary in systems covered. One of the plans covers high-tech and complex systems only, and this could be a good option after the Tesla basic limited warranty expires.

Our research team’s secret shopping efforts found that CarShield warranties cost between $109.99 and $139.99 per month on average. However, you can typically expect to pay more for coverage for luxury and electric vehicles.

CarShield has a 4.1-star rating out of 5.0 from over 43,000 reviews on Trustpilot. It’s the most popular extended warranty company in the industry.

Tesla Maintenance Cost: Conclusion

The average maintenance cost of a Tesla is still coming into focus as more of these innovative vehicles hit U.S. highways. However, you can expect to pay more for Tesla maintenance and repairs than you would for the average car. If you’re a Tesla owner, we recommend comparing quotes from our top-rated extended warranty providers to protect yourself from expensive future repairs.

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Cost: 4.6/5.0
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Customer Service: 4.3/5.0
idée Endurance is our top pick for extended warranties.
  • Best Coverage
  • Maximum Mileage: Up to 200,000 miles
  • Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days for full refund
  • Longest Term: 8 years of coverage
  • Coverage Options: 6 plans including maintenance option
  • Discounts: $300 same-day signup discount, $250 shopping voucher, and others
Plan coverage includes Endurance Elite perks™
Exclusionary plan One-year membership for free
Powertrain plan Tire repair and replacement
Maintenance coverage with Endurance Advantage Key fob replacement
Roadside assistance Total loss protection
Towing Collision discount
Rental car $250 rewards voucher
Trip interruption coverage Endurance Protect app

Tesla Auto Maintenance Cost: FAQ

Here are some common questions about Tesla maintenance costs:

Do Teslas need a lot of maintenance?

No, Teslas don’t need much maintenance compared to standard vehicles. Tesla vehicles have fewer moving parts, and you don’t have to do regular fluid changes or deal with a combustion engine.

Do Teslas break down a lot?

According to owners, Teslas rarely break down. There are fewer systems that are susceptible to mechanical failure. With fewer things that can go wrong, Teslas are generally more reliable than standard vehicles.

How many miles will a Tesla last?

Teslas can outlast even the most well-cared-for Toyota or Honda. According to some owners, Teslas have lasted longer than 400,000 miles before the battery needed to be replaced. With no transmission or combustion engine, the battery is the main thing that dictates the lifespan of the car.


In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of extended auto warranty companies to formulate rankings of the best providers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.

  • Industry Standing: Warranty providers with a history of strong business practices and endorsements from experts receive the highest scores in this category.
  • Coverage: This rating is based on types of extended warranty plans available, coverage terms, and added benefits like roadside assistance.
  • Cost: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of plans and vehicles. Companies with lower prices per year of coverage receive the best scores.
  • Transparency: This score takes into account contract transparency and the availability of a money-back guarantee.
  • Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and perform our own shopper analysis to get a sense of the responsiveness and helpfulness of each warranty company.

*Data accurate at time of publication.