Tesla’s vehicle reliability makes way for as-needed service, no annual maintenance needed

Tesla will no longer be offering an extended maintenance plan in favor of specific service recommendations on an as-needed basis.

Having analyzed billions of miles of real-world driving data from its worldwide fleet of vehicles, combined with internal engineering studies on vehicle reliability, durability, and safety, the electric carmaker found that there was less of a need for customers to bring their vehicles in for annual service when, in many instances, the vehicle did not require maintenance like a traditional gasoline car would.

In place of an annual maintenance checklist, Tesla owners will only need to bring their cars in for service when there’s a service need on a specific component at a specific interval. This will enable cars to stay on roads for longer periods of time.

Along with reducing servicing requirements for Model S, Model 3, and Model X vehicles, this change will effectively end the purchase of optional 3 and 4-year Maintenance Plans.

The all-electric car maker originally recommended a multi-point inspection every 12 months or 12,500 miles, but long-term data has now demonstrated most of the items are unnecessary thanks to advantages to electric vehicles.

The annual scheduled maintenance previously recommended included a bumper to bumper, roof to wheel inspection. Vehicle logs and alerts were examined, consumables such as wiper blades, key fob batteries, and air filters were inspected, among other common vehicle inspection items.

Under Tesla’s maintenance recommendations, the following are now suggested:

  • Cabin Air Filter
  • High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Filter
  • Tire Rotation, Balance and Wheel Alignment
  • Brake Fluid Test
  • Air Conditioning Service
  • Winter Care

According to the Frequently Asked Questions section of Tesla’s Car Maintenance page:

Does my car require an annual maintenance service?
Your Tesla does not require annual maintenance and regular fluid changes. Please check your Owner’s Manual for latest maintenance recommendations for your Tesla.

Do I have to take my car to a Tesla Service Center?
With over-the-air software updates, remote diagnostics and the support of our Mobile Service technicians, the need to visit a Service Center is reduced. If your car does require service, you can schedule a service appointment in the 
Tesla app or your Tesla Account. If you choose to take your car to a non-Tesla shop for maintenance or repairs, coverage under your warranty could be affected if any problems occur.

Updating manufacturer maintenance recommendations with the customer in mind are one of the ways Tesla has demonstrated its commitment to improving its service experience. Owners have noted areas needing improvement in the electric vehicle manufacturer’s service recently, although their vehicles are well-loved in general.

Tesla has taken note of this weak spot and has been rolling out initiatives to improve its customer experience including opening in-house body shops and live status updates while their vehicles are being serviced. Similarly, because all of Tesla’s vehicles are connected, vehicle service logs are used to troubleshoot and identify customer concerns before a car is brought in for service.

As the $35,000 Model 3 Standard Range continues its roll out and the coming Model Y expected to be even more popular drawing near, shoring up the service side of Tesla’s ownership experience is a step in the right direction. Eliminating unnecessary check ups could have a positive impact on customer wait time thanks to freer service center schedules; regardless, keeping customers in their cars rather than waiting to be inside them is a good place to be overall.

Tesla’s vehicle reliability makes way for as-needed service, no annual maintenance needed
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