Full electric cars like Teslas have been gaining traction in recent years, a trend that doesn’t show signs of stopping. From 2020 to 2021, sales of electric vehicles doubled. As many Americans switch to all-electric vehicles, they are inquiring about the kinds of regular maintenance their new cars need. These are the answers we will provide here. The good news is that if you buy an electric car like a Tesla, you can say goodbye to oil changes.
Do Teslas Need Oil Changes?
Teslas and other electric vehicles do not have engines that operate the same way as traditional automobiles, so they don’t need regular oil changes. They’ll need some regular maintenance like tire rotations and air filter replacements, but they don’t have “engines” and don’t need engine oil.
You don’t need an oil change, but there are still plenty of things that you should keep an eye on to take the best possible care of your car.
What Kind of Maintenance Does My Tesla Need?
Tesla recommends taking your vehicle to one of their service stations or booking a mobile visit from a technician for most work. They also offer DIY guides if you want to learn how to perform minor services on your own Tesla.
Whether your car is electric or runs on gas, tire rotations remain the same. You should get a tire rotation every 5,000-8,000 miles.
The good news is- if you live in a snowy or icy state- you can easily perform this maintenance each season when you decide to put on your winter tires.
Cabin Air Filter
Your cabin air filter is a function of your air conditioning and heating, not your engine, so the maintenance remains the same for electric cars. You should change your cabin air filter between every 15,000 and 30,000 miles.
There are a few different aspects of brake maintenance that you need to perform regularly on your Tesla. First, you should have your brakes lubricated every 12 months. If you live in a cold area, you should have them lubricated every 12,500 miles.
In addition to lubrication, you should have your brake fluids checked for contamination every two years.
Wiper blades on Teslas should get replaced as needed. You can tell that your wiper blades need to get replaced whenever you notice streaks on your windshield or if they are making squeaking or dragging noises.
You should also top off your windshield washer fluid as needed.
How Long Will My Tesla Battery Last?
Elon Musk has stated that Tesla batteries should last between 300,000 and 500,000 miles. For the average American, this should be roughly 20 to 35 years.
If this estimate is accurate, Teslas will have a much longer road lifespan than other electric cars. Most electric car batteries are only estimated to last around 200,000 miles or 17 years.
What Are The Most Common Issues With Tesla Vehicles?
While regular maintenance on Teslas is lower than in gas-powered vehicles, there are some issues you should watch out for to ensure the safety of your car.
The most common problems that Teslas have are:
Teslas have had several issues crop up regarding their autopilot. A few hundred users have reported “phantom braking,” where the Tesla brakes without reason while moving.
If you notice phantom braking in your car, turn off all autopilot functions, including the Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance, and immediately report the issue to Tesla.
Failed Power Steering System
Around 15 thousand Tesla Model Xs have gotten recalled due to power steering concerns. These vehicles reportedly had an issue wherein the bolts between the power steering mortar and gear housing would deteriorate.
When these bolts broke, they caused the power steering in the vehicle to fail. While failed power steering is a serious problem, it does not make the car unusable. The car’s steering does not break with the power steering, just the motor that assists the driver in steering brakes.
The result of a failed power steering system is primarily that the car becomes difficult to steer. If you have a failed power steering system or are driving a recalled Tesla Model X, take your vehicle for maintenance immediately.
Vampire Battery Drain
Vampire battery drain is a term used to describe a phenomenon where Tesla vehicles experience battery drain while parked.
Some battery drain is expected while the car is not in use, as the vehicle uses energy to keep systems running in the background, including security features (such as sentry mode) and maintenance of battery temperatures.
While some battery drain may be expected, some users have reported losing up to 30% of their Tesla’s charge over a month while the vehicle was not in use.
Vampire battery drain can get minimized by turning off any apps that check on or ping your car. These apps can drain your battery by repeatedly “waking up” your vehicle when it is not in use.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Tesla maintenance and upkeep.
Do Teslas require yearly maintenance?
According to Tesla, they do not need regular yearly maintenance.
Do Teslas need a lot of maintenance?
No, Teslas need far less maintenance than regular pass-powered or hybrid vehicles. The most frequent maintenance you will have to perform on your Tesla is a tire rotation, which only needs to be performed every 5 to 8 thousand miles.
What kind of oil does a Tesla use?
Teslas use a synthetic oil called Pentosin ATF 9. However, you will not need to purchase any new oil for your car because Tesla oil does not come in contact with air or other contaminants.
Teslas do not need oil changes, but they do need other kinds of regular maintenance. You should still check your tires and get tire rotations, and you will need to replace your windshield wipers and refill windshield fluid as needed. You can get this done at any of the many Tesla service centers.
Teslas require much less maintenance than other non-battery vehicles, but you should remain vigilant about potential problems. In particular, you should monitor your car’s autopilot features, battery drain, and power steering system.