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Annual Service - is the "hardware upgrade" dream finally dead?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by paco3791, Oct 8, 2014.

  1. paco3791

    paco3791 TMC OG

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    I didn't purchase a service contract when I bought my loaner car, mostly because I couldn't afford it at the time. But I had thought I might get the annual service done anyway and just paying the $600 12-18 months down the road when I was in a better financial position, in the hopes that I would get access to some of the few benefits (improved resale value?, Hardware upgrades!!!). However, now that my one year anniversary is upon me, while I could certainly now afford to pay for the annual service, I'm hesitating. I think with the upcoming announcement on 10/9, and all the discussion over the new steering wheel and "potential" Adaptive Cruise Control hardware on newer cars, and the fact that it's been all but confirmed that these upgrades won't be able to be retrofitted to older cars, we have to put the final nail in the coffin of the "hardware upgrades with service agreement" idea.

    If "hardware upgrades" are no longer one of the benefits of the service agreement then what leg does it have left to stand on? The "service" that is actually done has always been of minimal value (wipers?, brakes???), so is there some other benefit to paying $450-$600 a year that I'm missing? What effect, if any, do you think having had annual service done will have on resale value? Appreciate others opinions.
     
  2. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

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    Hardware means a lot of things. I've had various TSBs upgrade small bits here and there, though I think that generally falls under the warranty?

    I never expected major hardware enhancements to fall under the service category. Smaller things would, such as having my venting improved for cold weather window defogging. That's a "upon request" item when I had it serviced, though in my case they offered it rather than my asking for it.
     
  3. paco3791

    paco3791 TMC OG

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    Yeah I've had all of those things you mention done without having a service agreement, so no added value there. Only way I can see the service agreement adding value is if it were to outlast my warranty somehow, but getting the extended warranty makes more sense in that case right? at one year I have almost 25k miles so I'm going to blow through my original warranty pretty quickly, but even the extended warranty has lost some value with the extension of the battery warranty to cover the whole drive train now, still strongly considering the extended warranty, though that decision can wait until I'm approaching the end of the original warranty period.
     
  4. loganss

    loganss Spaceman

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    I'm at 42,000 miles and have only had an annual service done once. And the only reason I did that was because of a fender bender and wanting Tesla to scrub over the car before a long road trip. It's a good thing I did because there was a hairline crack somewhere that the collision center missed. Outside of a situation like this the service is way too overpriced. Even after paying the money for 1 annual service I walked away thinking "Is this it?". I didn't even get something fancy afterwards telling me all the many things that were done. I'm not sure when the next time I'll get one is. Maybe 2016

    I've gotten all of the TSB under warranty. Not sure if after my car is out of warranty if the service plan will cover the TSBs.
     
  5. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    I had a free hardware upgrade which now allows my Model S to obliterate leftover pieces of bricks and alternators on the road...
     
  6. Chickenlittle

    Chickenlittle Active Member

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    You are kidding? For 600 dollars you want all new features that cost thousands. Adaptive cruise, collision avoidance parking assist? The annual service gets you alignment, tire rotation and check of car. And brakes. To me a bargain.
     
  7. paco3791

    paco3791 TMC OG

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    Meh, "wanted" may be the right word here, but it's probably a little strong, "hoped in vain" is probably more accurate, and fair enough on the tire rotation and alignment, I have no problem letting my local tire shop handle that stuff but that's a personal preference. It was part of the original wording of the service contract that "hardware upgrades" would be included, even if you only payed annually. It was always fuzzy on what "hardware upgrades" really meant. Some hoped, probably in vain, that this meant access to new features. I'm just trying to see if we all think that that dream is, in fact, finally dead as a door nail.
     
  8. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

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    Again, that is under warranty and is not a hardware upgrade though the service plan.


    Sorry, but IMO, a performance inspection, replacement of key fob batteries and windshield wipers does not equal even close to $600. Brakes hardly ever need replacement on the MS and tire rotations are provided under "goodwill" not the service plan.
     
  9. ChrisPDX

    ChrisPDX Member

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    OK, that gave me a good laugh.

    As for the OP, I've never paid the $600 or got the service contract. However they've applied all TSBs (what I assume they originally meant by "hardware upgrades") and rotated my tires (even though I just did it myself a month earlier thinking they wouldn't do it) while I was in for warranty work. The only thing I can think of that they didn't provide were new wiper blades and a cabin air filter which they sell for $100. My car drives straight and has even tire wear, so no alignment is needed. But if I did need it, a local tire shop can do it for less then $100. About the only time this might make sense is after 4 years when the coolant flush is due. That's probably the only time I'll go there and shell out $600.
     
  10. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Member

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    I don't think the service ever included any significant hardware upgrades, that was always warranty work. The Annual service is the biggest anti-selling point for me. Particularly with the claim of less service than an ICE and the lack of DIYability on the Tesla. So far on my 80,000 mile 6 year old BMW, all I've spent on service is $100 or so for some oil and filters.

    I can't decide if the Annual inspection is a money grab for Tesla, or if they really do spend 6 hours looking over the car.
     
  11. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    Most luxury car dealers offer a fairly expensive annual service. I remember the first time I took my Land Rover in for this service. They basically changed the oil and filters and "checked" a bunch of stuff... cost $950 plus $45 to replace a side marker light bulb. I was appalled.
    After that, I didn't bother to have dealer service, just routine maintenance.
     
  12. Right_Said_Fred

    Right_Said_Fred Model S - Sig. 283 EU

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    If I don't bring in my Tesla for service, I get to keep my warranty. If I don't bring in my Volt for service, I will lose the warranty (and the engine will eventually have oil issues).
     
  13. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    To answer the OP, yes, I think "hardware upgrades" was something they thought they would be able to offer (who can predict the future???), but never really considered what that meant.

    I have a 15xxx VIN without the front air vents, but I haven't had my car in the winter yet, so is that upgrade something I'll need in the Northeast for winter? I drove a loaner with those new vents, and the reflection on the windscreen was VERY distracting, so I wonder how much people think they're required for winter driving?

    But for people who did plop down 4 or 8 years of "service" (like me), I'd like to see reduced labor costs for some of the more involved upgrades, like the folding side mirrors -- charge me for the parts, but maybe install them for free under "hardware upgrades". I'd also like to get fog lights as a "hardware upgrade", and I'm willing to pay for the parts.

    But I don't see TM even offering that for "hardware upgrades", so yeah,I think it'd dead, Jim.
     
  14. tomanik

    tomanik Member

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    Found the vents make a big difference in the ability of the car to keep the front windshield and driver side window clear during the cold prairie winters.
     
  15. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    I've had mine in CT during the winter and never felt the need for the vent upgrade. YMMV. I'd run through the winter without and see what happens. Worst case is you start scraping with a credit card, call for service the next day and have a story to tell.

    Hardware upgrades was never clear. I had hoped it would be an upgrade to new generation parts such as a 4G chipset, etc, but clearly I never thought it through clearly and I'd say that Tesla didn't either.
     
  16. cataber

    cataber Member

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    At what VIN (approx) did they swap the vents? It is just starting to get cooler in the mornings here and since this is the first autumn since I got mine, I have noticed the defroster doesn't work the same as my old Honda Accord. Just wondering what my reference point should be...
     
  17. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    #17 Canuck, Oct 8, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2014
    I paid $2,000Can for the service plan for 4 years. That's $500 per year or $41 per month. I couldn't get half a tank of gas for that (Canadian priced gas anyway). To me that's a very small price to pay for the "piece of mind" that nothing will escape my novice eye when it come to this advanced piece of machinery. I sure hope nothing wrong is noticed during inspection, and I end up paying far too much for new wipers and a tire rotation, but catching small problems before they get bigger, or happen out of warranty, is worth it to me, even if it's only in my head.

    Edit: oops! I didn't mean "piece of mind"... I meant "peace" bother, like a hippy would say... ;)
     
  18. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    That's pretty much how I justified it too at US$475/year ($40/month). Pretty cheap "insurance" to have them go over the car top to bottom and do any TSBs and anything else it might need. No other ICE car I've owned over it's life has had service that inexpensive on a per-year basis, including oil changes, brake repairs, water pumps, fuel pumps, exhaust repairs, radiator flushes, brake flushes, air cleaners, belts, hoses, power steering repairs, etc. For instance, I've had two BMWs long term -- a 1995 3-Series and a 2002 M5. Both of which could go years without going into the shop, but when they did, it was thousands of dollars for needed maintenance/repairs, like tune-ups, clutches, brakes, steering hoses, water pumps, etc. So $475/year is cheap.

    I also bought the 8 year service plan with an eye towards resale value down the road. I don't think I'll keep the 2013 MS for 8 years (can you say "D", anyone???), and if I sell it, it's a nice extra for the buyer over maybe some other MSs for sale.
     
  19. paco3791

    paco3791 TMC OG

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    This is a fair argument, the only part where it falls down for me is mileage limit alongside the years, which some will blow through quickly (present company included), but YMMV... literally. but as someone noted before I suppose I can just take it in at 50k before the warranty runs out without the need to pay for every year between now and then since I didn't pay up front.
     
  20. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    I'm just doing the annual method (~25k miles for my Model S). Maintaining a car is something that you should do. I might space it out a little once I am outside of the warranty (8 years now though).
     

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