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What Fluids are Needed for the Model S?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Francis Lau, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. Francis Lau

    Francis Lau P-1456

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    I was told all my Model S needs is windshield wiper fluid. I read somewhere that the gearbox has sealed in oil rated for 15 years. Are there other fluids that needs topping or replacing? Brake fluids? Battery cooling fluids? Anyone knows?
     
  2. Ceilidh

    Ceilidh Member

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    Nothing else anyone other than Tesla services. They do the brake fluid and battery coolant checks with the annual service AFAIK.

    Cheers
     
  3. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    That's correct. The only thing you are responsible for is the windshield washer fluid and making sure your car meets the maintenance schedule. People are impressed when you show people there is no oil for you to check.
     
  4. Mike_Schlechter

    Mike_Schlechter Model S - P457

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    If you pop off the plastic at the rear of the frunk you will see the brake futile well as well as a coolant well (I think), but you really only need to worry about the washer fluid, as others has said.

    I suppose if you do a brake job yourself the brake fluid would need doing, but that is one thing I'm personally not doing in my 4700lb golf cart.
     
  5. elreydetodo

    elreydetodo #14,427

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    Are you sure about there being a brake fluid well in the frunk area? This car has pneumatic brakes - it's stopped by compressed air. The e-brake is electrically actuated. AFAIK there is no brake fluid involved at all.

    To my knowledge the only two fluids in the car are washer fluid and a gear fluid similar to transmission fluid that is changed every 120k miles.
     
  6. FredTMC

    FredTMC Model S VIN #4925

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    There is battery pack cooling liquid and A/C coolant.
     
  7. DrComputer

    DrComputer Member

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    I'm pretty sure the brakes are hydrolic and require brake fluid just like the Roadster. They use an electric pressurization system.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
     
  8. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Umm... there is an air suspension option. But I'm pretty sure the Model S has standard hydraulic brakes. When I drove it, it didn't sound like a bus. There is of course an electric pump for the brake booster.
     
  9. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    If you pop the top trim panel that covers the fuse boxes, you will see a standard hydraulic brake fluid reservoir marked with DOT 3, I believe. There is also a coolant fill bottle. As noted, the only cap visible without this panel removed is the windshield washer fluid.
     
  10. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I always check my brake fluid when checking my ICE's other fluid levels, and assumed I'd want to do this on the Model S as well. As brake linings wear, it is sometimes necessary to "top off" brake fluid. Odd that they would "hide" this reservoir.
     
  11. Darren

    Darren Member

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    Yeah, standard hydraulic brakes. You can see the brake fluid lines going into the calipers.

    There is an additional caliper on the rear wheels, which I'm guessing are for regen. Those may not be hydraulic.
     
  12. Ceilidh

    Ceilidh Member

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    Be careful if you fill the fluids behind the panel. I think that in the owner's manual it says that if anyone other than Tesla employees do that it voids your warranty, if I am not mistaken.

    Cheers.
     
  13. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Man, too much guessing going on here. The second set of calipers are electrically actuated and are used for the parking brake. Regen of course happens within the motor.
     
  14. William13

    William13 Member

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    I talked with the engineer who built the brakes. Hydraulic but connected in an X pattern rather than standard front versus back.

    The DS said the warranty is voided if we do anything other than add washer fluid or change wheels/tires. She specifically said not to add brake fluid.
     
  15. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    No, the motor does the regen. You're looking at the electrically actuated parking brake.

    Likely wear on the pads will be very slow due to use of regen braking, and they can check the brake fluid level once a year.
     
  16. Darren

    Darren Member

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    I apologize. The function of the extra calipers on the rear brakes was just a guess. I've never owned a car with an electronic e-brake, so I assumed it was similar to how a manual e-brake works (within the rotor).
     
  17. olanmills

    olanmills Member

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    I'm also assuming there's a cabin air filter. Is that accessible/replaceable by owners?

    Also, I'm sure the A/C system has some sort of refrigerent, right? Though it should need any replacing unless you have a leak or some other unexpected problem.
     
  18. efxjim

    efxjim Member

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    The cabin air filter is located in the upper left of the frunk. Remove the top panel and locate the hole the air is being sucked into. There is a filter that can be unclipped and removed in that hole. The brakes are vacuum boosted (electric vacuum pump) standard hydraulic brakes with ABS. The extra rear actuator is the electrically driven parking/e brake.
     
  19. jamesp

    jamesp Member

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    I'm presuming the Australian supplement will negate that - it's illegal to restrict warranty in Australia on the basis of using a qualified third party mechanic for standard services (especially fluids). I am surprised they get away with it in the US and Canada?
     
  20. derekt75

    derekt75 Member

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    It's illegal in the US, too. The Magnuson Moss Act prohibits "tie-in sales provisions". If someone properly puts factory equivalent brake fluid into their car and Tesla tells them their warranty is invalid, it's a lawsuit waiting to happen.
     

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