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Tesla: The real out of warranty costs

Canuck

Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2013
6,125
5,781
South Surrey, BC
I've had mine four years and my service center experience has been nothing short of exceptional. The car has also been rock solid. I'm knocking wood now that it's out of warranty so if costly repairs hit me I'll report back.

I'm coming from a only owning Japanese cars so I'm pretty shocked about how poorly my model S is put together.

The only Japanese car I've owned is my Nissan Leaf and mine has required a lot more service than my Tesla. To top it off, I was just quoted $1,200 to upgrade from 2G to 3G. Tesla charged me $500 to go from 3G to LTE.
 
I find this hard to believe or you got a lemon. My Leaf along with pretty much all of the “original” 2011and early adopters had zero issues with the car (especially here in SoCal which was the largest first batch of deliveries). Even after we hacked and modified the car to crazy levels they never dropped a beat!

Unlike the S and their flaky drivetrain and CAN bus system. How many motors and revisions has Tesla gone through?

Leafs are pushing 150-200k and still dead quiet. How many 1st gen S/Rav motors can even hit 30k without screaming and whining?

My Rav is at 60k and on its 3rd motor. Lol
 
I've had mine four years and my service center experience has been nothing short of exceptional. The car has also been rock solid. I'm knocking wood now that it's out of warranty so if costly repairs hit me I'll report back.



The only Japanese car I've owned is my Nissan Leaf and mine has required a lot more service than my Tesla. To top it off, I was just quoted $1,200 to upgrade from 2G to 3G. Tesla charged me $500 to go from 3G to LTE.
You should try a different dealership. Nissan is supposed to charge $199 for 2014 and older, and free for 2015 model year Leafs. It was a royal pain in the butt to get it done from my experience before I sold the vehicle.
Nissan offers 2G Leaf owners a $199 3G upgrade, with just 24 days left
 
I know this topic has been beaten to death but I used some examples from this forum and wanted to thank the contributing members.



TL DW - its expensive, and buy the newest car you can afford. Preferably dual motor.

Thanks for sharing the video. This just reaffirmes what I had gathered about out of warranty repair costs being very expensive. I will never own a Tesla out of warranty. Also saw this other video recently and though the Model X has the FWD and some other components a bunch of issues on the video could just as easily have happened on a Model S.

The list of issues on this video is crazy. Imagine if those repairs were out of warranty...

 
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Also saw this other video recently and though the Model X has the FWD and some other components a bunch of issues on the video could just as easily have happened on a Model S.

The list of issues on this video is crazy. Imagine if those repairs were out of warranty...

Haven't had a chance to what the video on the OP nor rewatch Bjorn's video (I think I watched it long ago), but for the Model X, Edmunds sure had lots of trouble with theirs. See 2016 Tesla Model X Long-Term Road Test - Wrap-Up under Maintenance & Repairs.

We learned something about Tesla maintenance from owning a Model S: There can be a lot of it. The general theme will feel familiar. During 20 months of ownership, our Model X went in for service seven times, spent 19 days out of commission, and had a total of 32 issues addressed.

A few things about the following chart are worth noting. We paid $0 to maintain our Model X while we owned it; several of the repairs were performed without our knowledge (the tech found an issue and fixed it on the spot, for example), and firmware updates were ongoing. Some occurred at the Tesla garage and others over the air. This chart only includes those requiring a trip to Tesla to remedy a concern. Here's the list...
 
Mine is now out of warranty and I was hoping it wouldn't require much work but my hopes have not been consistent with reality. In the last year I paid $1000 for a busted seal in the roof liner, have bugs in my tail lights, and now have a door handle that pops out but doesn't open the door. Door handle estimate $700, lights replaced $1000 they don't offer to fix it is always just replace. I recently purchased an extended warranty through Car Shield for $5200 that extends it 4 years and 48,000 miles so until 113,000 miles and maximum of $15,000 in repairs so I'll see how things go with that service.

The $175/hr shop fee is just crazy. Add to that the fact that Tesla refuses to sell repair manuals to independent shops and Musk's statement that the service centers will never be profit centers just rings sadly hollow. I don't see how Model 3 owners are going to stomach shop fees 2x what they are used to with normal cars in that price range.

I love the car and would buy it again but I would buy the extended warranty at the end of the standard, that was a gamble I made and lost.
 

ChadS

Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
3,481
2,933
Redmond, WA
Tesla can clearly do better on repair costs. But having owned a Roadster out of warranty for 4 years, and a Model S for 3, the extended warranty prices were nowhere near justified by the modest expenses that I had.

Which, really, should not be a surprise - there are a LOT of people in my shoes. Tesla is not selling extended warranties to lose money. They know average repair costs better than anybody, and they set their warranty prices accordingly. The extended warranty is just insurance. Most people will not need it (not the full amount, anyway). A few people (lucky or unlucky, depending on whether they got the warranty) will have expensive repairs and for them an extended warranty will be worth it. Too bad there is no way to know which camp you are in until it is too late to decide whether or not to buy the warranty.

A lot of people get peace of mind from buying an extended warranty. That is great, I absolutely do not want to discourage you (and by getting the money up front, it helps Tesla too; plus customers stay happier with their cars when something does go wrong). But it's not a sure bet that you will come out better financially by buying one, no matter how many anecdotes people post. Investing the warranty cost is a better financial bet (though also not a sure thing, nothing about the future is).
 
Just a data point. I have owned 2 Model S, a 3, and our daughter has an X. Body work is done by our local body shop, and I understand one of the men there has worked on Teslas. As far as warranty work, after the door handle replacement on our Signature S 5 1/2 years ago, there has been nothing. I do not go to a Service Center except for owner gatherings. I don't pay for any service or warranty plan. Daughter whanged front tire and broke something, but it gets fixed at local body shop.

You folk with all the problems I would guess are in the vast minority. All the Tesla owners around here (Northern CA) hardly have problems enough to mention. I myself have accrued over 150,000 miles on Tesla, no problems other than a screen reboot as needed. Both the Ss were/are out of warranty. Never went to Service.

Interesting that my local body shop has access to the repair manuals, too.

Just the other side of the coin.
 
I find this hard to believe or you got a lemon. My Leaf along with pretty much all of the “original” 2011and early adopters had zero issues with the car (especially here in SoCal which was the largest first batch of deliveries). Even after we hacked and modified the car to crazy levels they never dropped a beat!

Unlike the S and their flaky drivetrain and CAN bus system. How many motors and revisions has Tesla gone through?

Leafs are pushing 150-200k and still dead quiet. How many 1st gen S/Rav motors can even hit 30k without screaming and whining?

My Rav is at 60k and on its 3rd motor. Lol
My Leaf was shipped with a defective rear defroster and a damaged door panel. After that, the onboard charger was replaced twice and finally a software upgrade fixed the charging issues. The AC died in the middle of a heat wave and the dashboard required constant cleaning or it would turn sticky. It was still better than the i3 I had though and my Model S has been better than both of them.
 
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Mine is now out of warranty and I was hoping it wouldn't require much work but my hopes have not been consistent with reality. In the last year I paid $1000 for a busted seal in the roof liner, have bugs in my tail lights, and now have a door handle that pops out but doesn't open the door. Door handle estimate $700, lights replaced $1000 they don't offer to fix it is always just replace. I recently purchased an extended warranty through Car Shield for $5200 that extends it 4 years and 48,000 miles so until 113,000 miles and maximum of $15,000 in repairs so I'll see how things go with that service.

The $175/hr shop fee is just crazy. Add to that the fact that Tesla refuses to sell repair manuals to independent shops and Musk's statement that the service centers will never be profit centers just rings sadly hollow. I don't see how Model 3 owners are going to stomach shop fees 2x what they are used to with normal cars in that price range.

I love the car and would buy it again but I would buy the extended warranty at the end of the standard, that was a gamble I made and lost.
I’ve come to notice many of the problems people note, which come to a significant cost, are things that can be DIY with a few good tools, and Youtube. Door assembly’s do not seem to be rocket science, nor do taking apart a taillight, and cleaning it. Some people do their own wrapping on headlights and taillights. I’m not saying it’s still something Tesla shouldn’t be addressing at a different way. Some things can’t be as easy DIY, like motors and battery, but I think the car gets a bad rap of “oh doorhandles are stuck, time to fork over 700$, rather than look at alternatives”.
 
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I’ve come to notice many of the problems people note, which come to a significant cost, are things that can be DIY with a few good tools, and Youtube. Door assembly’s do not seem to be rocket science, nor do taking apart a taillight, and cleaning it. Some people do their own wrapping on headlights and taillights. I’m not saying it’s still something Tesla shouldn’t be addressing at a different way. Some things can’t be as easy DIY, like motors and battery, but I think the car gets a bad rap of “oh doorhandles are stuck, time to fork over 700$, rather than look at alternatives”.

The point is I shouldn't have to look at youtube, buy new tools, and spend hours of my free time for minor repairs. I have a job and skillset already I should not have to learn new skills and upgrade my garage due to a car company's unwillingness to sell their repair manuals to independent shops and insist on replacing instead of repairing any and every part when something goes wrong.
 

AmpedRealtor

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2013
6,433
4,166
Phoenix, AZ
I’ve come to notice many of the problems people note, which come to a significant cost, are things that can be DIY with a few good tools, and Youtube. Door assembly’s do not seem to be rocket science, nor do taking apart a taillight, and cleaning it. Some people do their own wrapping on headlights and taillights. I’m not saying it’s still something Tesla shouldn’t be addressing at a different way. Some things can’t be as easy DIY, like motors and battery, but I think the car gets a bad rap of “oh doorhandles are stuck, time to fork over 700$, rather than look at alternatives”.
Good luck taking apart a Tesla tail light. They aren't made to be taken apart, that's why Tesla always replaces them. My understanding is that you can't take them apart without actually breaking them apart.
 
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Reactions: xanatos and KidDoc
Who is this guy in the video that doesn't even know that CPOs come with a warranty? Twice now he has proposed hypotheticals where someone who buys a CPO will be on the hook for repairs a month or a year later. That's simply not true, as CPOs come with a full bumper-to-bumper warranty.
Remember, there are two CPO warranty tiers now...
 

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