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Roadster annual service price increased to $720

Discussion in 'Roadster: Technical' started by Stuart, Apr 24, 2014.

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  1. Stuart

    Stuart Roadster#326, ModelS#1409

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    #1 Stuart, Apr 24, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
    For the first four years I owned my Roadster I dutifully took it in for its annual service every year because it was still under warranty, and it seemed smart to get it serviced because I didn’t want warranty repairs denied because of lack of required service. The annual service cost $600.

    Now that it’s out of warranty and due for its fifth year annual service, the price has gone up to $720. I asked for a breakdown of what Tesla does for that price, and got a list that included checking a bunch of things like transmission fluid. I didn’t even know a Roadster had transmission fluid.

    One of the selling points of electric vehicles is that they don’t need oil changes, replacement of spark plugs, oil filters, air filters, timing belts, and the like. My Volvo needs all those things, and the annual service costs about $200. What is Tesla really doing for $720?

    It seems to me that the best case scenario is that for $720 Tesla looks at my Roadster and tells me everything is fine and I didn’t really need to bring it in. The worst case scenario is that they look at it and then call me back saying that they recommend repairs (like battery pack sheet replacements) that cost even more.

    At this stage I’m inclined to just keep driving my Roadster until I notice something obviously wrong with it, and then ask how much Tesla will charge to fix it.

    What do other Roadster owners do about this? Pay Tesla $720 a year for peace of mind, or believe the mantra that electric vehicles don’t have consumable parts that need regular replacement?
     
  2. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    #2 wiztecy, Apr 24, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
    Yes the Roadster has a Borg Warner gearbox that requires gear-oil, so Tesla was not steering you wrong. As for the increase in price, you have the right to ask why did the price increase as well as if you're getting any additional service for that increase. However when looking at annual service cost, Tesla is still staying below the average maintenance service cost for a high performance vehicle. If you have owned, or know someone who's owned a Porsche its well over 1k.

    As for what I do, I've always maintained my own vehicle and that's never going to change since I offer the best service my vehicle can have for the very reason that I'm also the driver and loving owner of it. So with that I did my own annual maintenance.

    As for skipping out on it, if you have a 2.0/2.5 Roadster you're asking for high cost repairs in the future doing that. Burnt out PEM is the main thing due to it being plugged and dirty that limits the airflow and then begins burning out the unit. As for a 1.5 (which it appears you have), you may be able to go 2 years without it. But that's based upon what I saw on my PEM and my environmental conditions. Also the 1.5 PEM runs way cleaner since the pickup is high not low like the 2.x's which vacuum up all the dust and debris kicked up from the rear wheels.

    Lastly if you're not a person who's mechanically and electrically inclined, going to Tesla or even Dieschwerks (since you're in San Jose) for annual service is the route you'll need to take. I've been working on motorcycles, cars, tractors since I've been 12 so its second nature to me. I also work in high tech with hardware / electrical engineers and also worked as an electrician for some time, so I'm more familiar with this stuff than the average person.

    To summarize, the most important maintenance the Roadster can have is to ensure the PEM and Motor heat sinks are properly cleaned and waiting for something to break or show sign of degradation is not the right path you want to take. It won't save you money in the long run.
     
  3. augkuo

    augkuo Member

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    I think Dennis should open up "Wizwerks" ;)
     
  4. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    But I also thought the single speed gearbox had synthetic oil good for the life of the car. Similar to the differential on many cars they simply require very little servicing.
     
  5. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    I've owned an NSX for many years and have never spent close to that for annual service.
     
  6. Stuart

    Stuart Roadster#326, ModelS#1409

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    List of service items

    I did ask what Tesla does for $720, and this is the list they sent:

    • Transmission - Inspect for leaks and fluid level and torque
    • Motor - Inspect shroud, clean insulator ring, clean motor fan, visually inspect motor engine
    • Battery Pack - check torque of mounting hardware, gasket, cooling system, perform battery monitor test, check cooling level fluid
    • HVAC - inspect the condenser and lines. Clean if needed
    • Brakes - check operation of brake, adjust if necessary, inspect brake pads and discs, hoses, pipes, hydraulic units,
    • Steering suspension, inspecting wheels/tires, check tire pressure
    • Checking the body, wipers, chassis frame, perform a vehicle test drive, clean vehicle
    I drive the Roadster less now that I have a Model S too. Since last year’s service, I’ve only put 2066 miles on the Roadster, and it’s spent the whole year parked indoors in my garage. That makes the service cost work out to about 35¢/mile (compared to the 3¢/mile electricity cost).
     
  7. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    And how much has TSLA made for us in the past year/years? Gotta give a little back now and then.
    --
     
  8. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Since the car is no longer in warranty can you go on mileage instead of time or is there a certain amount of time you should take it in anyway? For example every 2 years regardless of how many miles or 10,000 miles if you hit that before 2 years.
     
  9. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    As part of that service don't they have to remove a number of components to clean out the fans and cooling system? My understanding was that it takes several hours of work, like at least half a day?
     
  10. jbadger

    jbadger Roadster #506

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    I had mine done about a month ago for $600, so the change must have been recent or possibly only at some service centers?

    I believe the price is probably going up as they have fewer people who know about Roadsters now so it takes the guy more time to read through the manuals and figure things out.
     
  11. Slackjaw

    Slackjaw Member

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    My Roadster just went in for the 36,000 mile service last week (before the 3-year ownership threshold). So my comments:


    • It cost me $600 although they had warned me beforehand that my 12v battery might need replacing (apparently it did not).
    • They did clean out a lot of junk from the vehicle's intestines. They removed and returned to me a rock about the size of a plum which "had got lodged up in there". As it happens I know exactly where this rock came from, since it is a genetic match to an incomplete driveway I use a lot. Previously I've had other goodies returned to me and once extracted a small plastic vodka bottle from the cavity behind the rear wheels.
    • At the same time, I paid for the additional $5K extended service agreement just because personally I know that without that, I will drive the car less and enjoy it less. But it was not without some wringing of hands, and I did not buy the extended battery warranty. Gotta draw the line somewhere.
    • There's a clear message that the Roadsters are getting harder to maintain only because fewer service guys have the expertise to look at them (as mentioned already). However, the service experience was still good and I was warned ahead of time that it might take a while... In the event my car was retuend to me about 36 hours after being collected.
    • I think putting a car on a truck and having a guy drive the truck 50 miles (the so-called "valet service") costs Tesla Motors a fair bit, although I don't know how much, maybe $100 each way? Just guessing.

    I'm not particularly defending or criticising Tesla Motors. I do think that although the Model S may be cheap to own and maintain, the Roadster is not, especially if you want to drive it a lot...
     
  12. user497

    user497 Member

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    I just had my service done today in NY and it was just $600 (plus tax). They said it would take between 4-5 hours and sure enough it took just over 4 hours. I think part of that time is running diagnostics and recharging the AC so I don't have a good sense for how long they are actively working on it. They also hand washed (I think) the roadster. I've had my car 4 years and it is also out of warranty. Fortunately, nothing needed to be fixed this year!
     
  13. strider

    strider Active Member

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    So I agree w/ dsm. Since the PEM can't get dirty if you're not driving it I would base it on mileage and not time. It's a good idea to have the brake fluid flushed every 2 years but yeah, with that little driving I would stretch it out to every 2 years easily. Let me know if you don't know how to reset the service indicator and we can meet for a coffee and I'll show you.
     
  14. Chickenlittle

    Chickenlittle Active Member

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    Cheaper than my daughters Hyundai élantra which costs that for a 30k service never mind routine oil changes to boot and we had to deliver and pick up the car
     
  15. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    Last time I did the annual service they called me to say I needed to flush the brake fluid and it was not included in the fee. Also, the annual service has always been optional for the Roadster, even when under warranty. Firmware updates are supposedly not free and not covered under warranty but included in the annual service.

    I never minded paying $600 because it seemed like they did 600 worth of work. The last time they did my car it took almost 6 hrs. Will I pay 720? Not sure, but probably yes for piece of mind.
     
  16. djp

    djp Roadster 2.0 VIN939

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    I had mine done earlier this month.

    Total labour and miscellaneous parts: $586.32

    Replacement wiper blade: $57.31

    Replacement key fob battery: $6.37

    Total: $650 CAD

    They also updated the firmware for free. I think it's a fair price for dismantling and cleaning out the PEM and the general inspection. And getting a Model S loaner for the day makes it worth it on it's own!
     
  17. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    You can't really compare a low volume production high end sports car to EV's in general. Exotic cars often require exotic maintenance. I'd guess the Roadster service is rather inexpensive compared to similar ICE vehicles.
     
  18. Vger

    Vger Active Member

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    Having owned a Ferrari 360 Modena prior to my EV enlightenment, I can certainly confirm this. Service cost was never less than $1,000, and several times much more!
     
  19. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    I'm about to encounter the same problem with my MS. @46k miles and almost out of warranty and they're pressuring me to pay $4000 for extended warranty for this supposed "low-no-maintenance" vehicle. I've had mine in for service a few times now and everything is being billed as "warranty" not service. When I ask about the cost to fix the display or drive unit if something malfunctions they quoted with $6k and ~$16-18k. It seems they dont do "repairs" but instead just replace with brand new unit. IMO these vehicles are starting to look like the highest cost of maintenance of any vehicle I know of.... if I ever get hit with one of these bills I'll probably have to sell my MS and go back to an ICE car that is much cheaper to maintain.
     
  20. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    #20 JRP3, Apr 26, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014
    For as much as you drive you'd probably save more money buying the extended warranty and driving the MS instead of paying for gas in an ICE, assuming a similar class vehicle as the MS.

    Not that I'm suggesting the cost of the extended warranty is reasonable, or the quoted prices for repairs/replacements. They should be able to offer all of those for much less. No reason a faulty drive unit could not be repaired very cheaply instead of being replaced.
     

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