Real cost of maintenance...

ummgood

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#1
I have constantly seen how people justify the cost of Tesla's by stating that there are fuel and maintenance savings over an ICE car. While I have never owned a luxury brand I have owned several american and Japanese brands of cars over the years. I would venture to say that most of them have very reasonable maintenance costs.

With that said I have seen the maintenance schedule for the Model S and compared to my current two Japanese cars it appears to be MORE expensive to maintain the Model S. I could see compared to maybe an Audi, Mercedes, or BMW they might be slightly less expensive to maintain but not necessarily compared to all ICE cars.

The reason I bring this up is I saw someone discussing buying a Honda Accord on another forum vs a Model 3 and someone commented that the Model 3 was closer in price due to the reduced maintenance cost and fuel costs. So are EV's truly less cost to maintain or is that just a false presumption being tossed around on EV forums? It seems to me like the cost is the same or more than some ICE cars and less than some cars that are known to be expensive to maintain. So is it reasonable to say that EV's as a whole are cheaper because of the cost of maintenance compared to ICE?
 

garsh

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#2
Can you post a link to the maintenance schedule that you saw for Tesla?
 

NRG4All

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#3
I have constantly seen how people justify the cost of Tesla's by stating that there are fuel and maintenance savings over an ICE car. While I have never owned a luxury brand I have owned several american and Japanese brands of cars over the years. I would venture to say that most of them have very reasonable maintenance costs.

With that said I have seen the maintenance schedule for the Model S and compared to my current two Japanese cars it appears to be MORE expensive to maintain the Model S. I could see compared to maybe an Audi, Mercedes, or BMW they might be slightly less expensive to maintain but not necessarily compared to all ICE cars.

The reason I bring this up is I saw someone discussing buying a Honda Accord on another forum vs a Model 3 and someone commented that the Model 3 was closer in price due to the reduced maintenance cost and fuel costs. So are EV's truly less cost to maintain or is that just a false presumption being tossed around on EV forums? It seems to me like the cost is the same or more than some ICE cars and less than some cars that are known to be expensive to maintain. So is it reasonable to say that EV's as a whole are cheaper because of the cost of maintenance compared to ICE?
A while back when I test drove a Model S, I asked what the annual maintenance was. The rep said that it cost $600 per year. Apparently after seeing my frown, she countered by saying that if you skipped the annual maintenance that it wouldn't void the warranty. Maybe things have changed but after having two Nissan LEAFs (2 consecutive three year leases), I think the LEAF comes out on top. The only time we had to take the car to the dealer was for some updates which never cost us a cent. We are signed up for a Model 3 and I'd be interested to know if it has an annual fee and if so, what that covers.
 

Petra

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#4
EV maintenance being cheaper isn't really a myth, just look at the Leaf... that car costs next to nothing to maintain. Tesla, on the other hand, is a different matter entirely. The S/X maintenance schedule and costs can be found here: https://www.tesla.com/support/maintenance-plans

At present, Tesla hasn't announced what the suggested maintenance will be like for the Model 3.
 

ummgood

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#6
EV maintenance being cheaper isn't really a myth, just look at the Leaf... that car costs next to nothing to maintain. Tesla, on the other hand, is a different matter entirely. The S/X maintenance schedule and costs can be found here: https://www.tesla.com/support/maintenance-plans

At present, Tesla hasn't announced what the suggested maintenance will be like for the Model 3.
Maybe the Leaf is cheaper but I constantly see people justifying the Model 3 saying it is cheaper to maintain than an ICE. After seeing the Model S maintenance plans I would think it would cost more to run.

Yes you can skip on the maintenance and get away with it but how that effects long term reliability has yet to be proven.
 

SoFlaModel3

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#7
We’ve had this discussion before on here.

It seems like general consensus is electric vehicles absolutely require less maintenance and thus are cheaper to maintain (in theory).

However if you follow Tesla’s recommended schedule and bring the car to Tesla, the service (mostly inspections) is actually quite expensive and in line with German ICE vehicles.

Frankly I have not planned for nor considered maintenance savings in my budget.

Fuel savings yes, but definitely not maintenance savings.
 
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4701

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#8
Tesla's price for maintenance is not on par with what is actually done. Even compared to German car brands.
First of all, BMW has all inclusive maintenance for 5 years and 100 000km, defect warranty 200 000km.
It's integrated into purchase price. A real way to prove "we are not earning on servicing" - what Tesla says.
Secondly, Tesla's A/C desiccant bag replacement - appears to be BS. Others don't do it, neither should Tesla. Ever.
Majority of "servicing" is actually checking for problems. German cars and Tesla. It doesn't have to be done
by Tesla. Especially now when training manuals are available.
EV maintenance being cheaper isn't really a myth, just look at the Leaf.
150-250€ per year. Mostly same stuff as Model S/X btw (except rotation - we don't do that, key battery, wiper blades).
 

Petra

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#9
150-250€ per year. Mostly same stuff as Model S/X btw (except rotation - we don't do that, key battery, wiper blades).
Eh? I had a Leaf for three years before I got my Model S and took it in annually... Standard annual service was little more than a battery checkup and general inspection--all I ever had to pay for was one brake fluid flush.
 

eye.surgeon

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#10
Many people including myself skip every other Model S service because it's unnecessary in reality. So I've had my Model S 3 years and have had it serviced one time for $600, and it happened to be the same month that PG&E sent me a $500 check for having a EV, so I counted that as a wash.
 

garsh

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#12
For my Leaf, I took it in annually for the state inspection & Nissan't battery inspection. My dealership offers lifetime free state inspections for new car purchases, and Nissan offered free battery inspections for the first three years, so it was really inexpensive.

I do the little bit of regular maintenance myself:
  • Replace windshield wipers
  • Replace cabin air filter
  • Rotate tires
  • Swap summer/winter wheels & tires
I'm at 86,000 miles now. I have had some non-regular work done:
  • Replaced the Leaf's wimpy meep-meep "city" horn with a Wolo two-tone myself.
  • I replaced a rear-door lock actuator that failed - bought replacement off of ebay & did it myself.
  • I finally paid $100 to have the brake fluid flushed & replaced.
  • I paid my $100 insurance deductible to get a new windshield this month when it developed a crack.
  • I pay to get new tires mounted & balanced when necessary.
So, and electric car *can* be very inexpensive to maintain. But not if you pay Tesla and follow their recommendations. ;)
 
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4701

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#13
How about brake work? Calipers are not good on Nissan vehicles and cleaning/lubricating them annually helps.
Though in dry&clean winter I guess that is not a big deal anyway.

Also, who does:
__ Axle & suspension parts
__ Brake lines & cables
__ Brake pads & rotors
__ Drive shaft boots
Front suspension ball joints
__ Reduction gear oil
__ Steering gear and linkage
__ Steering linkage ball joints

Most of them are safety-preventative - aka they are not expected to fail often but if they do that may end up worse if not noticed.

It's time to change coolant soon. Properties are not as good as when it was good (corrosion inhibitors run out).
As I plan to keep my Leaf for long time, I will ask to replace reduction gear oil next year or so (volutary job, it is not on the list).
I've seen what comes out of old Leaf's. It doesn't look good. Magnets are full on metal powder as well (first year wear mostly/likely).
 

garsh

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#14
How about brake work? Calipers are not good on Nissan vehicles and cleaning/lubricating them annually helps.
I'm still on the original pads. I'll probably replace the pads next year. No problems with the calipers.
 

scaots

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#15
The regular maintenance is pretty limited and I would probably only go to Tesla every other year to check everything. I am a little concerned about anything breaking beyond warranty. There is a lot of technology and new parts on the vehicle and may get expensive if pieces start to fail sooner than expected. Reports of Model S out of warranty service to fix things seem on the expensive side and comparable to luxury cars. Long term it will be cheaper than ICE and should be reliable for far more miles, and due to that should have good resale value.
 

MelindaV

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#16
Maybe the Leaf is cheaper but I constantly see people justifying the Model 3 saying it is cheaper to maintain than an ICE. After seeing the Model S maintenance plans I would think it would cost more to run.

Yes you can skip on the maintenance and get away with it but how that effects long term reliability has yet to be proven.
it will vary widely depending on what someone pays for electricity at home vs fuel.
My signature tracks what I've spent in gas (in the car I mostly drive - so if anything it's missing out on some fuel purchases), the miles and days since reserving the Model 3 and what those same miles would have cost powered by electricity at my home's rate. as of November 1st, it works out to an annual savings of $1,172 (and I've not included oil changes, ICE related repairs, etc). So if the Tesla recommended maintenance is $600/year I still would be saving minimum $500/year.
 

MelindaV

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#17
The regular maintenance is pretty limited and I would probably only go to Tesla every other year to check everything. I am a little concerned about anything breaking beyond warranty. There is a lot of technology and new parts on the vehicle and may get expensive if pieces start to fail sooner than expected. Reports of Model S out of warranty service to fix things seem on the expensive side and comparable to luxury cars. Long term it will be cheaper than ICE and should be reliable for far more miles, and due to that should have good resale value.
Tesla service has also been known to be very generous with free repairs and replacement parts well beyond what is stated in the maintenance plans.
There are numerous stories of someone dropping off their car for the annual maintenance without noticing there were any issues and the tech discovered a motor was not running efficiently and replaced it.
I don't think you would EVER hear of BMW doing that when you dropped the car off for an oil change and tire rotation.
 

BigBri

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#18
I'd probably be skipping most of the suggested maintenance. If I followed what Hyundai was suggested on my Sonata it'd be in the thousands every year. They wanted to replace all my (working) spark plugs with new ones at over $700 just because their regular maintenance suggested it. I'm in a leased Leaf now and plan to only get the battery load test and whatever warranty work is needed.
 

John

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#19
Some people like to keep on the manufacturer's suggested maintenance schedule and pay what is asked for a feeling of security, others are comfortable doing some stuff themselves and have learned to diagnose certain conditions (like tire wear) and only pay when necessary.

For instance, once you buy tires at Costco, they rotate them any time you want for free. If you don't see uneven tire wear or feel a steering pull, no need to do an alignment. Air filters are easy and cheap to do yourself, as are fluids and wipers. From owning regen cars, I expect there to be no brake maintenance. Since our family is a DIY family (the kids are taught to change their air filters and wipers and maintain their tire pressures, for instance), I'm budgeting for just tires, at least for the first 5 years, and that's not insubstantial, especially with sport wheels. Maybe I'll pay for a tranny fluid service to make sure that's wearing smoothly. Maybe.
 
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4701

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#20
From owning regen cars, I expect there to be no brake maintenance.
Actually brakes that are hardly used get stuck more often.
Brake pads/discs wear less, though calipers (depending on design and climate) will still need cleaning and lubrication. It's not like EV's are fine with crappy friction brakes. Brake fluid cares little what type of vehicle it is used on. It just gets bad. 3-4 years.
Coolant - similar story. 4-5 years.