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Fear of the 100,000 miles milestone...in a Tesla

Does the 100K miles milestone apply to a Tesla, like it does to ICE cars?

  • Yes

    Votes: 12 16.0%
  • No

    Votes: 63 84.0%

  • Total voters
    75

Atlantan

Inactive Member
Jun 8, 2016
248
157
Gwinnett County
So we all know there is this generally know fear of cars with over 100K miles. True, mechanical parts fail over time, but if maintained well (within the laws of diminishing returns) cars in general these days should and do last well over the 100,000 miles mark.

How about Tesla's with over 100,000 miles... sure the battery will degrade resulting in relatively lower range, the Drive Unit is rated for way above 100K miles. Door handles and MCU need replacement (cost/warrant expiration/resale valuation are some other topics) but the main question for community response is...

Does the 100K miles milestone apply to a Tesla, like it does to ICE cars?

Cheers

Disclosure: I don't keep cars very long, have gone through too many to list.
 
Last edited:

RobStark

Well-Known Member
Jul 2, 2013
10,643
55,291
Los Angeles, USA
My main concerns with high mileage ICEv

1) Transmission failure.

2) Repairing air conditioning failure. It can be very expensive to repair HVAC failure because it is difficult to access all the parts in front of the ICE/transmission but behind the firewall.

3) Replacing catalytic converter.
___________________________________________________________________________

None of these are a concern with BEV.

I think the chances are infinitely small you will have severe degradation quickly in a Tesla.

Repairing replacing a Model S handle is not cheap but won't break the bank.

Brakes and suspension also will not break the bank.

My biggest concern is replacing the 17" touchscreen. Back in the day it was a $5k item to replace. Don't know if it has gotten cheaper.

If I owned an X I would worry about future Falcon Wing Door repair and parts replacement.
 

IdaX

Member
Dec 27, 2016
429
526
Moscow, Idaho
Actually, yah, at some level in that the extended warranty can be bought to go out to 100,000, but beyond that you're on your own for repair costs. Sure there's no transmission to be replaced, but drive units and MCUs can add up.
 

FlyinLow

Enjoy the journey
Feb 5, 2018
335
328
29036
I've taken on this challenge. I bought a well cared for 2014 MS 85 with 115,000 miles on it. I've put 3,000 trouble free miles on it in a month and plan on driving it a lot. My wife dared me to test Elon's claim that these are 1M mile cars.

Before I bought the car I went through the service records with the original owner. He had gotten all the records from Tesla so we could discuss. It seems Tesla went through some growing pains on drive units, door handles, and battery cooling system. Not an issue on this car after the known trouble items were replaced.

Door handles can be fixed with inexpensive micro switches and other small parts. Well documented.

I'll keep a windshield shade up while parked in warmer months. I have always done this with my cars to keep the interior looking new and much cooler. The MCU and touchscreen will likely be in good shape for many years to come.

I also went for a car that I knew would have the best chance to last. Coil suspension, body color roof, textile seats, 19" wheels, non-performance, lifetime super charging. I plan for this car to be our daily driver for the long term. My new tires are warranted by the manufacturer for 50k miles as long as I rotate them regularly (every 5k mi).

I was able to capitalize a little on the old fear that 100k miles is some kind of taboo and got the car for what I would probably have paid for a base Model 3 after a couple options ($42.5k). Very reasonable for a car with AP1 and less than 3% battery degradation, or so I'm told by the TMC community. Some have paid less, but this car and owner gave me confidence in buying a private party used vehicle with 4.5 years left on the battery/power train warranty.

Let's see how this works out! I expect there will be some expenses down the road, but my guess is that by 200k miles I'll still be happy with my investment.
 

RobStark

Well-Known Member
Jul 2, 2013
10,643
55,291
Los Angeles, USA
Actually, yah, at some level in that the extended warranty can be bought to go out to 100,000, but beyond that you're on your own for repair costs. Sure there's no transmission to be replaced, but drive units and MCUs can add up.

Drive units were an early manufacture problem. They were underfilled with lubricant.

I don't expect it to be a problem going forward.

I don't expect MCUs to be a problem either.

I expect replacement for either to be outliers.
 
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SabrToothSqrl

Active Member
Dec 5, 2014
3,802
3,120
PA
This must be an (older) person thing... I've always kept my cars until at least 200k, but anyone older than me thinks they are shot at 100k.. I have no idea why? Is that some magic number that the car explodes at? I'm at 135,000 on my Tahoe... will it implode? Sold our Mazda with 185,000 and as far as I could tell, everything on it worked just fine (just don't need 4 cars lol)! My last Tahoe was sold with 265,000 on it. Everything worked except the power mirrors and A/C...
 
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RobStark

Well-Known Member
Jul 2, 2013
10,643
55,291
Los Angeles, USA
This must be an (older) person thing... I've always kept my cars until at least 200k, but anyone older than me thinks they are shot at 100k.. I have no idea why? Is that some magic number that the car explodes at? I'm at 135,000 on my Tahoe... will it implode? Sold our Mazda with 185,000 and as far as I could tell, everything on it worked just fine (just don't need 4 cars lol)! My last Tahoe was sold with 265,000 on it. Everything worked except the power mirrors and A/C...

A GM,Ford, or Chrysler vehicle made in the 70s or 80s was a money pit after ~100k miles.

If you don't work on your own cars buying parts from Autozone or junkyard, they could get rather expensive to fix so many people would rather just sell them.

With the exception of some Chryslers, just about any reasonably well maintained vehicle made in the new Millenia will last 200k. A well maintained vehicle 300k.

They key being well maintained. Most used cars for sale don't have maintenance records.

But perception lags reality. Many people want to get rid of a vehicle before its value falls of a cliff. That is usually 85k-90k miles. Except for Honda,Toyota and Lexus. And now Tesla.

The least expensive Model S in America right now on cars.com is $36k. In Atlanta. In Southern California it is $46k.

BTW Many people in warm weather States consider a car without functioning AC a non functioning car.
 

Az_Rael

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jan 26, 2016
5,646
8,829
Palmdale, CA
I don't expect MCUs to be a problem either

Based on the MCU replacement threads here, I expect those to be a pretty common issue, especially on the early cars. There have been reports by folks who have taken the MCUs apart that the type of memory Tesla used has a limited number of read/write cycles before it fails. The memory is also soldered on and not easily replaceable. The early cars had significant amounts of logging as Tesla monitored the early fleet for issues, so those cars basically had their “time” burned up quicker than later cars. One of the things wk057 does for his small fleet of salvage cars he supports is to disable the logging to extend the life of the MCU.

Also, I don’t know that they have solved the screen bubble issue, but at least they can do a reduced cost fix for that one now.
 
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jelloslug

Active Member
Jul 21, 2015
4,728
6,073
Greenville, SC
This must be an (older) person thing... I've always kept my cars until at least 200k, but anyone older than me thinks they are shot at 100k.. I have no idea why? Is that some magic number that the car explodes at? I'm at 135,000 on my Tahoe... will it implode? Sold our Mazda with 185,000 and as far as I could tell, everything on it worked just fine (just don't need 4 cars lol)! My last Tahoe was sold with 265,000 on it. Everything worked except the power mirrors and A/C...
Remember when cars did not even have a 100k digit on the odometer? That's how much faith that the manufacturers had in their cars. Like you said, on a car made in the last 20 years or so, I would not consider it "worn out" until it hits 200k miles.
 

BigD0g

Active Member
Jan 12, 2017
2,019
4,385
Somewhere
I don't expect MCUs to be a problem either.

Sorry, I completely disagree, given the read / write cycles on the nand flash and the heat of the unit (older units) seems somewhat better with newer units, your going to need a new MCU eventually, it's just a matter of when. It's well documented across these forums.
 
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tomas

Out of warranty...
Supporting Member
Oct 22, 2012
4,299
3,918
Santa Barbara/New York
back in the day, the 100k mi fear was about the drivetrain. Because the labor to do engine overhaul (cylinders, rings, valves) was mythical... often more than the car was worth.

You just don’t hear about that anymore. The issue today with old ICE car is getting nibbled to death. HVAC, electrical components such as power windows, boards and controllers, yes computers, exhaust system, transmission...

EVs have fewer mechanical components, but still many of these problem areas. I feel routine maintenance is far LESS with EV (sealed and simple drivetrain, low brake wear...) but I expect old age problems to be similar. Witness what I’ve had to have fixed in last month on 40k, 5.5 year old S under extended warranty: MCU screen, cabin heater, battery heater, tire pressure sensors... those would be post warranty “nibbles”. Some of which I probably would not bother fixing in post warranty car (MCU bubbles annoying, but probably not worth it. Same with intermittent tire pressure warnings).

Another note: the car does not look or feel any different than the day I took delivery. Except for multiple features added by software updates. Still blows me away and turns heads. Should make those nibbles less painful!!
 
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RobStark

Well-Known Member
Jul 2, 2013
10,643
55,291
Los Angeles, USA
Sorry, I completely disagree, given the read / write cycles on the nand flash and the heat of the unit (older units) seems somewhat better with newer units, your going to need a new MCU eventually, it's just a matter of when. It's well documented across these forums.

I completely disagree.

These forums are not a valid scientific sample.

I have been a member of a dedicated forum for my car since there were forums.

And each and every single car had at least one grenade ready to blow according to said forum.

It somehow never happened to me.
 

brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
8,058
6,553
Austin, TX
Remember when cars did not even have a 100k digit on the odometer? That's how much faith that the manufacturers had in their cars. Like you said, on a car made in the last 20 years or so, I would not consider it "worn out" until it hits 200k miles.

Good point! I was thinking about this on our spring break road trip. I don't think it was as easy to drive as far back in those days. Roads not as good, driving comfort no where near as good. Think of the difference in driving 800 miles in a modern car vs a 1960-70s car.

I think everything on my old ford was replaced by 50k miles. At least once.

Edit: I don't think the 100k miles applies to any car anymore. It is a nice excuse to get a new car. We have 155k on one car, 147k on the other, and 19k on the Model S. Not going to invest significantly in the high mileage cars, but I think they will keep going for a while.
 
Last edited:

jelloslug

Active Member
Jul 21, 2015
4,728
6,073
Greenville, SC
Good point! I was thinking about this on our spring break road trip. I don't think it was as easy to drive as far back in those days. Roads not as good, driving comfort no where near as good. Think of the difference in driving 800 miles in a modern car vs a 1960-70s car.

I think everything on my old ford was replaced by 50k miles. At least once.
I have a book of pictures of old car wrecks through time. One picture that stood out was a photo of a car hauler hauling scraped cars. The caption read that the picture was from 1959 and all the rusted out, worn out cars were just 3 or 4 years old. None of them were really damaged, they were just worn out to the point of being scrapped in just a few years.
 
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AviP

Member
Feb 8, 2018
202
151
New Canaan, CT
The fear comes from ignorance, not fact. These days, cars are much more reliable than they used to be. I have a 2007 Ram 1500 at 90K and a 2013 Subaru Outback at 95K. Both are in perfect running condition. Ram is very rusty underneath. Besides that, I expect them to go upto 200K. I used to have a PT Cruiser that went 140K before it got rear-ended. Very minor problems along the way with all of them. The Ram is a workhorse for my yard and is a keeper. The Subaru will go to one of the kids. Wife will get the M3 when SRs get delivered.

I'd be more worried about battery failures with the M3 beyond 8 years.
 
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brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
8,058
6,553
Austin, TX
I have a book of pictures of old car wrecks through time. One picture that stood out was a photo of a car hauler hauling scraped cars. The caption read that the picture was from 1959 and all the rusted out, worn out cars were just 3 or 4 years old. None of them were really damaged, they were just worn out to the point of being scrapped in just a few years.
I forgot about that rust thing. Yup, Ford had new floorboards welded in as one of the "repairs" (along with motor, transmission, and all the "electronics"). I think frame rust finally killed the car.
 

jelloslug

Active Member
Jul 21, 2015
4,728
6,073
Greenville, SC
The fear comes from ignorance, not fact. These days, cars are much more reliable than they used to be. I have a 2007 Ram 1500 at 90K and a 2013 Subaru Outback at 95K. Both are in perfect running condition. Ram is very rusty underneath. Besides that, I expect them to go upto 200K. I used to have a PT Cruiser that went 140K before it got rear-ended. Very minor problems along the way with all of them. The Ram is a workhorse for my yard and is a keeper. The Subaru will go to one of the kids. Wife will get the M3 when SRs get delivered.

I'd be more worried about battery failures with the M3 beyond 8 years.
My wife's Neon that she had years ago had 231k miles on it when we sold it. Her Prius has 165k on it now with no unscheduled maintenance at all, though it's starting to show that it needs a new gas tank.
 

KidDoc

Member
Aug 6, 2014
348
428
College Station, TX
The problem with an aging Tesla is the crazy $175/hr shop fees and the fact that their go to response to any problem is to replace the item. This is true of door handles, brake lights, MCU, etc. That is fine when warranty covers it but is painful once out of warranty. I really don't see how they are going to maintain $175/hr fees with Model 3 owners.
 
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Cheburashka

Active Member
Jan 29, 2018
2,471
3,142
Los Gatos, CA
100K is not a milestone for a modern ICE. I would say most cars today (excluding German cars) would run to 200K easily.

The fact that we even are having this conversation doesn't inspire much confidence in Tesla's longevity. I have not seen much evidence of these cars running to 200K or more without serious major issues.
 

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