To follow Tesla's service recommendations, or not.

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#1
but I don't believe Tesla ever suggests changing that.
Drive unit (reduction gear) oil replacement after run-in period:

I personally would recommend changing drive unit fluid once every 4-5 years (if vehicle is used daily). This oil is not in airtight system and air moisture (with pollutants) will, over time, degrade oil. Especially in not so Californian weather. This also applies to ICE vehicle manual gearboxes, differential etc.
There are big fans mounted to the back of the radiators:
These things on the left and right are AC system condensers. Glycol radiator is only in the middle and it does NOT have active cooling. Applies to S/X. Model 3 has condenser and glycol rad stacked and both can enjoy fan based air movement. That MIGHT be one of the reasons why Model S/X overheat in "track" driving scenarios. AC system can't extract more than 10-20kW of heat. And main glycol radiator hardly has any airflow when travelling not that fast for not long enough.


As of right now, Model 3 is extremely incapable in generating any meaningful amount of heat with stationary driveunit. I hope it is software based problem, but I'm not pleased with this situation (Tesla let this basic problem slip through even though removing glycol heater was conscious decision). Last winter, Model 3 owners have been stuck at SC for an hour (and even some more) as their battery was somewhat (5-10 degrees maybe?) below freezing (water freezing, not battery) until battery started to take ANY charge. This means drive unit heat production is ridiculous. I hoped for no less than 10-15kW. But it appears to be 10x less.
Can we be sure that it's just the motor (stator/rotor) that actually heats up? How about inverter electronics?
That MUST be solved before Canada/EU/Norway. Otherwise #FrozenGate
 

MGallo

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#2
Drive unit (reduction gear) oil replacement after run-in period:

I personally would recommend changing drive unit fluid once every 4-5 years (if vehicle is used daily). This oil is not in airtight system and air moisture (with pollutants) will, over time, degrade oil. Especially in not so Californian weather. This also applies to ICE vehicle manual gearboxes, differential etc.

These things on the left and right are AC system condensers. Glycol radiator is only in the middle and it does NOT have active cooling. Applies to S/X. Model 3 has condenser and glycol rad stacked and both can enjoy fan based air movement. That MIGHT be one of the reasons why Model S/X overheat in "track" driving scenarios. AC system can't extract more than 10-20kW of heat. And main glycol radiator hardly has any airflow when travelling not that fast for not long enough.


As of right now, Model 3 is extremely incapable in generating any meaningful amount of heat with stationary driveunit. I hope it is software based problem, but I'm not pleased with this situation (Tesla let this basic problem slip through even though removing glycol heater was conscious decision). Last winter, Model 3 owners have been stuck at SC for an hour (and even some more) as their battery was somewhat (5-10 degrees maybe?) below freezing (water freezing, not battery) until battery started to take ANY charge. This means drive unit heat production is ridiculous. I hoped for no less than 10-15kW. But it appears to be 10x less.
Can we be sure that it's just the motor (stator/rotor) that actually heats up? How about inverter electronics?
That MUST be solved before Canada/EU/Norway. Otherwise #FrozenGate
That looks to be for S/X since it mentions key fob battery replacement. What does that chart look like for the 3?
 
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#3
That looks to be for S/X since it mentions key fob battery replacement. What does that chart look like for the 3?
No chart available yet.
AC desiccant bag - remove that. Nonsense, incl for Model S/X. Nobody does that.
Brake fluid, glycol fluid, cabin filter - same story. Though actually brake fluid will reliably last for 3-4 years, glycol fluid
will also last for 4-5 years with minimal degradation. Cabin filter will not last for more than 2 years.
Due to Model 3 having oil filter, I bet they will not have drivetrain oil replacement after run-in period.
Though, again, I would recommend changing after years of use. Including filter.

It’s gong to be 106 there and stinking hot most of the 5 hours down there (down I5). This whole side of the family will be seeing her for the first time so I am anticipating giving lots of rides. Do I need to be concerned about anything? Did I mention it’s gong to be hotter than a human (or M3) should have to endure?
Battery chemistry Tesla uses is absolutely fine with 106F ambient. Worst that can happen is SuperCharging speed reduction.
I would not use All-Season tires in that hot weather and definitely would not push them hard if already mounted. They will likely be extremely soft on pavement that will likely be no less than 160F.
 

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#4
No chart available yet.
AC desiccant bag - remove that. Nonsense, incl for Model S/X. Nobody does that.
Brake fluid, glycol fluid, cabin filter - same story. Though actually brake fluid will reliably last for 3-4 years, glycol fluid
will also last for 4-5 years with minimal degradation. Cabin filter will not last for more than 2 years.
Due to Model 3 having oil filter, I bet they will not have drivetrain oil replacement after run-in period.
Though, again, I would recommend changing after years of use. Including filter.


Battery chemistry Tesla uses is absolutely fine with 106F ambient. Worst that can happen is SuperCharging speed reduction.
I would not use All-Season tires in that hot weather and definitely would not push them hard if already mounted. They will likely be extremely soft on pavement that will likely be no less than 160F.
Thanks for the info. I have OEM tires.
 

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#6
No chart available yet.
AC desiccant bag - remove that. Nonsense, incl for Model S/X. Nobody does that.
Brake fluid, glycol fluid, cabin filter - same story. Though actually brake fluid will reliably last for 3-4 years, glycol fluid
will also last for 4-5 years with minimal degradation. Cabin filter will not last for more than 2 years.
Due to Model 3 having oil filter, I bet they will not have drivetrain oil replacement after run-in period.
Though, again, I would recommend changing after years of use. Including filter.
The Model 3 owners manual has a page on required maintenance. It is very minimal, even more so than Models S&X. Besides the usual "as needed" wiper fluid fills, tire pressure and rotations, checking proper operation of lights, brakes, climate control, cabin air filter, all it mentions for regularly scheduled service is:

• Brake fluid. Every 2 years or 25,000 miles (40,000 km), whichever comes first.
• Battery coolant. Every 4 years or 50,000 miles (80,000 km), whichever comes first.

That's it! I will not be replacing the drive oil any more often than recommended (which is never) unless new information comes to light indicating it's a good idea. I don't expect that to happen in normal usage. This is a very short list and it's obvious that Tesla is not trying to use regular service to drive additional revenue.

Enjoy your low-maintenance all-electric car!
 
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I will not be replacing the drive oil any more often than recommended (which is never) unless new information comes to light indicating it's a good idea. I don't expect that to happen in normal usage. This is a very short list and it's obvious that Tesla is not trying to use regular service to drive additional revenue.
BMW also state that automatic transmission oil is filled for lifetime.
Literally, if you read service manual in case of transmission repair, worker must collect drained oil and refill transmission with the same fluid
even if vehicle is 10 years old.
But pretty much all transmissions fail between 10-20 years of use, so about 180-250 000 km.
Some of it is natural wear, but huge part is due to oil getting too darn dirty.
And "lifetime" ends with 200 000km, as soon as warranty runs out. Then you should scrap the car and get a new one.
Why. There is a solution. Change transmission fluid every 100 000 - 150 000 km to get almost twice the normal lifetime. (so 1-2 changes until the actual end of the vehicle).
Tesla can state that there is no need to change oil but I've seen oil that is poured out of reduction gear.
Even without chemical analysis, it is clearly contaminated.

So don't take factory recommendation extremely blindly. Note that in case of S/X one should change AC desiccant. WTF.
 
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PNWmisty

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#8
BMW also state that automatic transmission oil is filled for lifetime.
Literally, if you read service manual in case of transmission repair, worker must collect drained oil and refill transmission with the same fluid even if vehicle is 10 years old.
Do you think there might be a reason why a repaired transmission is refilled with the same oil?

Hint: It's not because the transmission failure was caused by oil that was no longer lubricating well. It's also not because BMW is reluctant to have to charge you for a few quarts of new transmission fluid.

That is in a multi-speed transmission that is constantly shifting gears right? And mated to a hot engine that regularly runs over 200F. And that has friction plates? And that doesn't have an oil filter, right?

But pretty much all transmissions fail between 10-20 years of use, so about 180-250 000 km.
The Model 3 doesn't have a multi-speed transmission.

There are no friction plates so there is no friction material in the gear oil. It's a simple reduction gear. Just because you found a video on-line of someone draining the gear oil on a Nissan Leaf doesn't mean it's a good idea or that it's required. I can show you an endless stream of YouTube videos of people doing stupid things. And a visual inspection of the oil cannot appraise of the lubricating quality of the oil. Color is not an indicator. Nissan recommends only inspecting the exterior of the gear case for signs of oil leakage. It never needs to be opened or replaced.



Tesla can state that there is no need to change oil but I've seen oil that is poured out of reduction gear. Even without chemical analysis, it is clearly contaminated.
That is definitely a possibility with some reduction gears depending upon the design, application and use conditions. But you can't tell by looking at it whether it's lost its lubricating qualities. If the car was driven through deep flood waters I imagine some water could enter the case by flooding in the breather which might contaminate the oil but, short of that, or new information from Tesla, I won't be replacing the gear oil.

So don't take factory recommendation extremely blindly.
I'm not taking it blindly, I've been around the block a few times and would only change it if there was information indicating it was a good idea. So far, I haven't seen any.
 
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And that has friction plates? And that doesn't have an oil filter, right?
Automatic transmissions have oil filter, like Model 3.
Question, why does Model 3 have an oil filter?
Do you think there might be a reason why a repaired transmission is refilled with the same oil?
Complicated. First of all, there is a lot of oil (7-13 liters), therefore cost. Then there is also adaptation (oil changes frictional parameters over time and gearbox adaptation is required). And of course, there is "no reason to change", as it will happily run for until it's dead. One will not rebuild transmission on a vehicle that is 10 years old. Too expensive (depending on the market). Therefore we can sell you a new vehicle etc.
The Model 3 doesn't have a multi-speed transmission.
Therefore oil serves no purpose as there is nothing that wears down? Is that what you want to tell us? There is always friction. Reduction gear efficiency is somewhere between 96-98%. That is a lot of waste and friction. And even heat in case of powerful Tesla's.
Color is not an indicator.
Yes it is. Transparency and color are major indicators of contamination. Contamination is major indicator of degradation.
if there was information indicating it was a good idea. So far, I haven't seen any.
There will not be any if nobody replaces nor make any tests. Modern EV's are less than 7 years old. That is a third of vehicle's lifetime. There is no need to invent a bicycle. Like I already mentioned, oil replacement in manual transmission and differential is pretty much the same as oil change in reduction gear (plus differential, as EV's also have that). Not extremely mandatory but it WILL prolong lifetime. Tesla is far from good at making drivetrains. GiGANTIC portion of those have failed. Including lubrication problems. Soo.. no. And.. Model 3 doesn't have exceptional drivetrain warranty.

Also, there is "a need to tell everybody that EV's do not need service". Which is not true.
Like forum users already mentioned. "I was surprised I have to change brake fluid."
"Now I'm surprised I have to change coolant."
And now everybody is surprised that they shall also replace reduction gear oil (or oils, in case of dual motor).
If nothing is done for 5-6 years, likely Tesla will run absolutely fine. On the surface.
There are more and more "preventable service" that COULD be done. Something that will very likely fail if not done ever.
For example desiccant for air suspension compressor (at intake). It will saturate with moisture, depending on the climate, within 5-15 years. And freeze in winter OR corrode something in the system.
It can be dried up in the oven for example. Or just refilled with new desiccant. But it's not what Tesla (and other manufacturers) want you to even consider. The less customers know, the better they sleep.
Tesla is very young. They don't have experience with these things. Oil filter on Model 3 is a patch. It actually works with run-in wear period.

I do know that majority of wear happens during the first year and much less after that. But it always happens. And degraded oil accelerates wear. Therefore not changing it is not wise though it likely doesn't reduce vehicle value when sold years later.
It is NOT A LOT TO ASK to change brake coolant and reduction gear fluids once every half decade:neutral:

PS: coolant has less "wear/degradation" than reduction gear. It actually is (usually) in airtight system.
 
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PNWmisty

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#11
Also, there is "a need to tell everybody that EV's do not need service". Which is not true.
Tesla does not tell customers their products don't need service. In fact, Tesla specifies a gear oil replacement schedule for the earlier Models but the Model 3 has a different reduction gear, it is a lifetime unit.


PS: coolant has less "wear/degradation" than reduction gear. It actually is (usually) in airtight system.
No, coolant is water and glycol based and has corrosion inhibitors to prevent corrosion, it is different from gear oil which doesn't degrade significantly when used in a sealed system that prevents the entry of contaminants. While the coolant could likely function just fine for a decade or more, Tesla instructs to replace it every 4 years (which proves Tesla is not trying to claim zero maintenance just to keep their customers ignorant but happy).

When Tesla says the gear oil doesn't need regular replacement I believe them as long as there is no contradictory information leading me to believe otherwise. At this time, there isn't any reason to doubt this. Tesla intends to be a dominant manufacturer of EV's for decades. Drive units failing en masse outside of the warranty period would seriously threaten that goal.
 
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#12
To remove the little bit
Using word "little" hints on emotions and soothing. These things (contaminants) are not measured in emotions.
it is a lifetime unit.
Exactly what BMW says. Tesla had one fluid change on S/X and "lifetime" on Model 3. Aka "up to the end of warranty". Exactly the same as with many auto transmissions.
No, coolant is water and glycol based and has corrosion inhibitors to prevent corrosion, it is different from gear oil which doesn't degrade significantly when used in a sealed system that prevents the entry of contaminants.
You state exactly the opposite I said. Glycol loop can be airtight and reduction gear can NOT be airtight. PS: there are inhibitors in reduction gear fluid which DO run out the same way they run out with glycol mix.
 

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#13
Tesla had one fluid change on S/X and "lifetime" on Model 3. Aka "up to the end of warranty".
It sounds like you are saying Tesla purposefully recommends less maintenance than the cars should get so they fail once the warranty is expired and need rebuilding/replacing.

I'm not buying that. And you haven't supplied any supporting evidence that they need reduction gear flush/refill. Only innuendo.
 
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And nobody supplied any evidence that there is no need for reduction gear flush after 10 years.
So it's a tie.
 

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Using word "little" hints on emotions and soothing.
No, it's simply concise. But since you wish instead to twist my words to have a different meaning, allow me to be more precise:
  1. Tesla originally included a drive unit fluid replacement for S at 12,500 miles.
  2. Tesla does not recommend any drive unit fluid replacement thereafter.
  3. I concluded this was to remove metal shavings introduced during the break-in period.
  1. The addition of a filter in the Model 3's drive unit should remove these contaminants from the fluid.
  2. Tesla does not recommend any drive unit fluid replacement for the 3.
  3. Therefore, I conclude that the addition of the filter allows the system to stay sealed and not require maintenance.
 
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But Model 3 has a filter. Replaceable filter. And it is likely available as a part. Even automatic transmission oil filter is "hard to replace".
 

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#17
And nobody supplied any evidence that there is no need for reduction gear flush after 10 years.
So it's a tie.
Oh no! A tie! What to do?:confused:

Oh, I have an idea, I'll just follow the manufacturer's recommendation! :cool:Which is what I said I was going to do in the first place:

I will not be replacing the drive oil any more often than recommended (which is never) unless new information comes to light indicating it's a good idea. I don't expect that to happen in normal usage.
 
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I'll just follow the manufacturer's recommendation!
'
Don't forget to replace AC desiccant if you get S/X. And recommend everybody else to do the same. Because.. well, Tesla recommends and you blindly follow. Should I do the same with Auto transmission of all BMW's? Manufacturer strongly recommends NOT to change. Should I listen them? Or you start comparing internal construction of these two mechanisms?
 

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#20
You can't let this go, can you?

You can change it in your Model 3 if you want. I'm not changing it in mine without evidence it's needed. Oh, wait, you don't even own a Model 3? According to your profile, you have a Leaf. Even though Nissan doesn't recommend changing the reduction gear oil in a Leaf, no matter how many miles it has on it, you can change yours as much as you like. Maybe if you do it every spring your Leaf will last forever. ;)