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First service experience - 2020 Model S Performance


Oct 17, 2019
Los Angeles
Hey gang

After finding spots of oil a number of times on my garage floor under the front driver's side wheel, I made an appointment to have my Model S examined. I had suspected the front motor driveshaft was potentially the culprit after reading another member's similar experience. I filled out the request for service in the app, describing the problem, including a photo of said oil, and after a few weeks brought it in when I was told to. Which was last Wednesday morning.

The service process is a little different than I was used to, at say - Porsche - which is the world I am coming from. Basically (and maybe this is common at all Tesla service centers) I got into a line with my car similar to waiting for a ride at Disneyland. A customer service rep took my name, asked me the problem, and said to wait in said line and when I got to the front a service technician would discuss my issue with me.

After maybe 25 minutes or so I got to the front of the line (later upon picking up my car I heard someone very upset that they had waited 90 minutes), described the problem again, and even sent the photo to the service tech (who was super nice) over Airdrop on my iPhone. It was then that I mentioned I had some additional issues I would hoping could be addressed while they had it - most importantly that the car pulls like crazy to the right on acceleration. He said that would require a separate visit, and might either be misalignment or basic torque steer. I explained how the car only pulled under acceleration, and he did a walk around to check tire wear, which he said was even. The car is ~3 months old, BTW.

I'd read online that they no longer give out loaner Teslas and he told me that the car would be ready in 1.5 days and they'd send me a voucher for Ubers. I suspect I could have requested a rental, as there is an Enterprise Rental guy setup there, but figured the Uber credits would be just fine. I just had to cancel a trip from LA to Long Beach for lunch that would have blown through the daily allotment.

Two days later the app informed me that the car wouldn't be ready until the following Monday. Then on Saturday morning the App said it was ready and that issue had been a leak in the air suspension. Parts had been ordered and replaced, but I could not pickup until business hours M-F. I was a little bummed but whatever. However, I didn't automatically receive more Uber credits, nor did I have any knowledge of how to request more. Correspondence seemed to be handled through the app (which is great) and texts that stated not to reply. My wife was away for the weekend, so I used her car, no biggie.

But I started to wonder.

I took an Uber (sans credits) over today to pickup the car. That same line of Teslas was there, but significantly longer. Everyone I dealt with was perfectly nice. I mentioned the Uber credit thing and they told me to send them the receipt for the Uber I took over to pickup the car, and they went to retrieve my car.

When they brought me to it I was a little taken aback. I'd dropped it off completely spotless, and it'd clearly sat out in the dirty LA rain over the weekend. I was bummed, is it too much of an ask to receive a clean car back?

Some settings were changed, and my usb drive removed from the port, but otherwise the inside seemed okay.

I made another appointment from the app, while sitting there, to do the whole thing again in 2 weeks. Kind of annoyed.

Now granted, in the grand scheme of things, there is nothing major to complain about, but I have to say that this experience was far from "premium" (the car is over $100k, which is a premium purchase). There were so many areas where a little more effort, care, and thoughtfulness could have taken my service experience from meh to ah. I know that Tesla is still working out the kinks in a number of areas and I've excepted that part of the price to admission is understanding that they still suck at things like fit, finish, and well, paint. But it seems overall Tesla could step up from mid-range brand to premium if they just had a little more focus on QA along the way.

I'd love to hear other folks' experiences. This was at the Burbank location.

By the way, don't get me wrong. I love the car and only want good things for Tesla.


May 3, 2013
Springfield, Mo.
My service center is Kansas City. And I will have to say my car has never been returned without being washed. My first car was bought in march of 2013 and the service there has always been great. They are much busier now but still good service. In fact they always bend over backwards to help and I call even though the recording says you must schedule through the app. I never do. I alway hit option 3 I think it is once you get to the service menu and they always answer and say it is no problem to call them.


Active Member
Oct 4, 2013
Seattle(ish) WA
I think you got a dud of a service center. Every time I’ve taken my car I’ve been offered either a loaner or a gas rental (only needed it one time)

in regards to fixing the extra stuff. The only time I was told something like that was at year end when they were swamped with deliveries and the mobile tech was at my house the next day to fix the small issue. There’s no way I’d have accepted the crap they fed you.

at my local service center they have an iPad. You check in and then at least sit in their comfy waiting room. (Longest I’ve ever waited to be called to speak to my advisor was 10 minutes tops)

can you try another center?


Dec 23, 2016
Ranch Palos Verdes
honestly, service centers are kinda hit or miss. I use the service center in Torrance and they told me all loaners are gone, at least at that site. Car wasn't returned to me washed either. I think it's fair to say that Tesla service is consistently inconsistent....
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New Member
May 20, 2016
Getting worse here in Melbourne, Australia. The customer lounge area used to have water & some lollies. Now, nothing. Completely empty. Pay your own Uber, no loaners & don’t even do the job properly. Used to be really good but now,


Mar 7, 2019
I have been to the SC four times in the first four months of ownership and each time they pulled out my USB drive. I am sure they don't want customers recording how the Techs work on your car.

I actually prefer that they don't wash my car, less risk of them scratching it.

The folks at the Rocklin, CA SC are awesome and super nice and helpful.
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Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jan 26, 2016
Palmdale, CA
I'd love to hear other folks' experiences. This was at the Burbank location.

Burbank is also one of my local service centers, with Van Nuys being the other. Your service experience was typical in my experience for both locations. Generally it has gone downhill over the years to the point where we are considering other brands for our next purchase.


Apr 8, 2019
Northeast USA
From what others have said, Tesla was very different before the explosion of Model 3 cars started flooding and overloading the service centers.

I just picked up my car today which had the half-shaft/clevis mount repair and the AP 3.0 retrofit performed. Aside from completely mucking up the AP (doesn't work at all - attempting to engage more often than not results in an immediate "take control immediately" and "Cruise Control Disabled" message on the IC - I assume this is somehow software-related) the visit was fine.

Scheduled a follow-up to address the AP issue for next week.


Mar 18, 2019
Ive been to my local SC center 5 or 6 times over the past year. Always receive a dirty car back with hand prints, smudges and dirt. No big deal, but annoying. The BIG deal is that something else is always broken or damaged when I get my car back. My SC guys are really nice and pretty accommodating but I just don't think they take care of the vehicles they are fixing. Still like Tesla, but SC visits has been detering me from putting a deposit down on a cybertruck.

Jan Fiala

Jun 24, 2017
If anything brings Tesla to its knees, it will be the service. I don't mind visiting a service center. But when I do I'm expecting a flawless and quick service because from price point, the car is a premium car.

This is how a new replaced front glass looks like after I got the car from SC.


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Jun 20, 2019
Cedar Park, Tx
I've had great service at the Austin SC. I took my MS in for an A/C problem (wasn't blowing cold) and they gave me a loaner MS while they had my car for a day. They told me they couldn't find anything wrong after diagnosing A/C (but it blows cold now). They told me my car was ready at the end of the day and that I could pick up my car anytime, day or night. I picked my MS up after hours, they had it plugged into the level 2 charger for me and had my key in a nice little packet locked in the trunk.
The Austin SC has been very good whenever I've used them. Plus their Mobile service has been great, too!


Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Nov 16, 2019
Hey gang
This was at the Burbank location.

Tesla is starting to setup service centers that are specific to the high end cars: S & X
Guessing this is only in high population areas, but hopefully these S & X service centers deliver higher quality service, i.e. car wash with service.

> Santa Ana will only schedule Model 3 owners, while Costa Mesa will only schedule Model S and Model X owners.

New service center Orange County - Model 3 only!

Guessing Costa Mesa is a bit far from Burbank, but maybe they will do something similar in other parts of LA area?


Active Member
May 12, 2014
san gabriel valley
ive been going to the burbank SC since i bought my s in 2016. i know pretty much everyone there, and while they are almost always a joy to work with, it is pretty obvious that the white glove service has been LONG gone.

hell i used to only get my S washed when it went in for service. :D
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Active Member
May 12, 2015
Gardena, CA
They need to separate out S/X and 3/Y for service tiers.

The S and X should get loaners and car washes no matter the service needed. This is just expected when one drops a hundred grand on an automobile.

The 3 and Y should have Uber unless the car needs to stay overnight at which point a loaner should be provided. Car washes aren’t as big of a deal to this buyer and could be offered as an up sell.

This isn’t rocket science but, that said, at least they’ve gotten much better about scheduling, appointment management, and parts/repairs wait times. They need a little lipstick on the process for the high end customers and someone to answer the damn phone.

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