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2018 model maintenance costs

I have a 2018 Model S and I'm scheduling my second 2 year service. The first time I paid $750 for
  1. Replace wipers
  2. Battery key fob replacement
  3. Cabin filter replacement
  4. Receiver dryer and desiccant
  5. Tire rotation
  6. Four wheel alignment
  7. Check front and rear suspension torque
  8. Brake fluid check
Now they want $1200 for this
  1. Replace wipers
  2. Battery key fob replacement
  3. Cabin filter replacement
  4. Receiver dryer and desiccant
  5. Tire rotation
  6. Four wheel alignment
  7. Brake fluid bleed
  8. Clean and lubricate brake calipers
So everything's the same except for the last two items. I live in the South and drive on salted roads for maybe 1 day a year. Is it really necessary to do the brake caliper service? And is it normal now to automatically bleed the brake fluid instead of just testing it like before and correct if needed?
 
From Tesla's website ... Car Maintenance

Winter Care
Tesla recommends cleaning and lubricating all brake calipers every 12 months or 12,500 mi for cars in cold weather regions.

It's up to you to decide whether Charlotte qualifies as a "cold weather region". Living in southern Indiana I've never had this done on my 2016 Model S and 69k miles. I have been debating maybe getting this done next spring, but so far no indications of problems not having done this.
 
From Tesla's website ... Car Maintenance

Winter Care
Tesla recommends cleaning and lubricating all brake calipers every 12 months or 12,500 mi for cars in cold weather regions.

It's up to you to decide whether Charlotte qualifies as a "cold weather region". Living in southern Indiana I've never had this done on my 2016 Model S and 69k miles. I have been debating maybe getting this done next spring, but so far no indications of problems not having done this.
That's good to hear about your experience. The cost of the service is why I'm debating what's needed, plus Tesla has modified the recommended service over the years which makes me question if what they're recommending now could get modified again and if it's really needed now.

What about the replacing the desiccant bag for A/C service, have you been doing that according to the maintenance schedule? I've read other posts here and some people think it's crazy to do anything to the A/C system unless you're having an issue. Others didn't follow the schedule when it was annual and did it every other year and never saw an issue.
 
That's good to hear about your experience. The cost of the service is why I'm debating what's needed, plus Tesla has modified the recommended service over the years which makes me question if what they're recommending now could get modified again and if it's really needed now.

What about the replacing the desiccant bag for A/C service, have you been doing that according to the maintenance schedule? I've read other posts here and some people think it's crazy to do anything to the A/C system unless you're having an issue. Others didn't follow the schedule when it was annual and did it every other year and never saw an issue.
You will always find people at a wide spectrum on how closely they follow the recommended maintenance schedule for any vehicle. That's not just Tesla. Most cars for many years would actually recommend brake fluid to be replace roughly every 3 years but I'll be honest I had vehicles where I never intentionally changed the brake fluid over 8-10 year periods without issues.

I'd have to go back and do quite a bit of digging to be certain, but my memory is that the recommendation for the brake caliper cleaning/lubrication in cold climates exposed to high levels of road chemicals actually was added around 2017. I base that on recalling it was maybe about a year or so after I purchased my MS90D at the of June 2016.

The maintenance schedule on the Model S actually has not changed that much for probably the past 3 years, with the last major change being made in mid 2019 from memory. In the early days, say up through about 2018 Tesla was really just building this experience of real vehicle repair history and adjusted schedules as they learned. I think at this point it is unlikely we'll see significant changes to the recommended service intervals on 2013-2021 Model S. They have sufficient service/warranty/repair history by now that these are likely stable.

I did make the choice to purchase what was an 4-yr prepaid maintenance plan when I purchased my car in mid-2016. At that time there was quite a bit more maintenance recommended, including items like replacing the battery coolant after 4 years, replacing brake fluid every 2 years (not just a fluid test, replace if needed like today) etc. The AC desiccant bag was replaced as a part of that at year 2 and year 4 service. My year 4 service was actually performed in Sept 2019 due to hitting the 50k mile mark in less than 4 years (the maintenance events were 1 yr or 12,500 mile intervals). I have not replaced it in the 3 years since that time. However, one caveat ... my usage pattern changed significantly in late 2019 when I started an overseas work assignment where I'm away from my car for about 9 months of the year. So while I drove 50,000 miles in first 3 yr 2 mo, I've only driving a total of 19,000 miles in the past 2 yr 9 mo. That's where I've started to debate when my next service event will be for things like cabin air filters, AC desiccant bag, etc. I think I'm leaning toward sometime over the next year. Some of that's tied to my overseas assignment likely will end sometime in the next 12 months with me returning to the US no later than Sept 2023. I'm leaning toward that being when I'll likely think of doing a variety of proactive maintenance items, combined with decisions on how much longer I may current car versus possibly replace it with something newer.

So a lot of individual factors that go into decision on maintenance. Sorry for not providing a more prescriptive answer, but that's where you'll need to decide where you fall on the spectrum of rigid adherence to the recommended maintenance schedule based upon your personal use case, financial condition, and risk tolerance.

Enjoy your car.
 
I have a 2018 Model S and I'm scheduling my second 2 year service. The first time I paid $750 for
  1. Replace wipers
  2. Battery key fob replacement
  3. Cabin filter replacement
  4. Receiver dryer and desiccant
  5. Tire rotation
  6. Four wheel alignment
  7. Check front and rear suspension torque
  8. Brake fluid check
Now they want $1200 for this
  1. Replace wipers
  2. Battery key fob replacement
  3. Cabin filter replacement
  4. Receiver dryer and desiccant
  5. Tire rotation
  6. Four wheel alignment
  7. Brake fluid bleed
  8. Clean and lubricate brake calipers
So everything's the same except for the last two items. I live in the South and drive on salted roads for maybe 1 day a year. Is it really necessary to do the brake caliper service? And is it normal now to automatically bleed the brake fluid instead of just testing it like before and correct if needed?

Zzhumphreyt,
Your call, but you are on a forum full of DIY'ers. Maybe you can use this forum, and try to tackle most of these items yourself, in the vein of "If you teach a man to fish..."

Let me quickly run down your $1,200 list

Replace wipers
Very simple. They simply snap in place.

Battery key fob replacement
Buy the replacement batteries on Amazon (CR2032 batteries, 4 batteries costs $6). Done. Keep a battery or two in glove box, so your not stranded.

Cabin filter replacement
Simple. Remove middle frunk large plastic piece, remove air filter cover. Done.

Receiver dryer and desiccant
I did pay the SC to do this work. Your choice. My bill was $332 in December 2021.

Tire rotation, Four wheel alignment
I suggest you buy the "lifetime alignment" from Firestone. I paid $200 in June, 2020. When you're there, you can get the tires rotated.

Brake fluid bleed
Look at my post (#14) in this link on how to bleed the brakes yourself.

Clean and lubricate brake calipers
Your call here. I used to live in a salty, snowy area, and never did this. Just drive your car around the block every so often....


Cost comparison
Wipers - $10
Battery for fob - $1.50
Air filter ~ $25?
AC service - $400
Alignment - $200, lifetime
Bleed brakes - bleeder kit and adapter ~ $100
Calipers - I'd pass, $0

$736.50 vs. $1,200, a savings of $463.50 (38% savings)
...and you're set to bleed your brakes and align your car for the duration that you own the car.

Brian
 
Thank you both for your insights. Actually, the fact that this place is full of DIYers is why I asked here.

I'll have to call Firestone tomorrow about the alignment. I called a few local mechanics and they both said they couldn't align a Tesla. If I can get the alignment at Firestone I think I'll just keep the A/C service and testing the brakes (I'm not quite the DIYer you are Brian, lol).

I really do love this car and will probably drive it until it dies. But I'll admit all the savings from lack of oil changes and such seems to evaporate when you do need service. I really wish more mechanics could work on Tesla's.
 
It saddens me that I am getting more and more unable to get down on the garage floor and jack up the car to do a lot of this work. It's just too hard at nearly eighty. BUT I've gone years and over a hundred thousand miles and never done any of this work. I'd say that most of this doesn't need to be done until the car has over 100,000 miles on it. I've had four Teslas and have never done any of this "required maintenance", partly because I live in CA, but also partly because the car just doesn't need it.
 
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Following-up on this as I got service done today. I decided to only do the following:
  1. Cabin filter replacement
  2. Receiver dryer and desiccant
  3. Brake fluid check
I'm going to Firestone for the alignment, thanks for the heads-up on this! I asked Tesla to only check the brake fluid rather than outright replace it and they determined it didn't need to be changed. Overall cost was $360. I'll still pay the cost of the alignment but at least it'll only be once with the Firestone lifetime option.
 
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which are most critical? We can pick and choose what to do and
1)hepa filter..220.00

2) brake fluid check 19.50

3)filter-particulate-2nd gen remove and replace?19.50+ 8.80 part.

4) reciever dryer and desiccant(add refirgerant part if needed)(remove and replace) 321.75 + 2.30 for cap(reciever and dryer) and $1.78 for desaccant bag/?

5) tire rotation-65.00
6) 4 wheel allignment-274.85
7)wiper blades -19.50 labor and 28$ x 2.
8)fob battery


We have no issues with tire wear unevenness...and air conditioner is freezing cold and strong...fob i can do..when needed...brake fluid check may be a good thing... rotaiom discount tires does free... and never use the bio setting so heppa may be ok...but what is #3 and 4 on the list?? any opinions
 

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