Tesla Model 3 service schedules and maintenance

4 min read

Tesla model 3 service schedule

All cars need to be serviced. They’re perishable things made with components that will inevitably fail or run out one day. The Tesla Model 3 is no exception, although it has a slightly unusual service schedule.

I’ve put this article together to explain how to approach the Tesla Model 3 service schedule. You’ll find all the information in your owner’s manual, which I’ve used to illustrate this page. Note that all the facts I’ve found are based on the 2023.2 Tesla Model 3 owner’s manual.

If you own an older (or indeed newer) Model 3, your owner’s manual may give you completely different advice. On that note, always read your owner’s manual before operating your Model 3. This blog post is intended to be read alongside it, not replace it!

Is there a Tesla service schedule for the Model 3?

tesla service centre
Source: YouTube (Ryan’s Model Y)

There is a service schedule for the Tesla Model 3, although it’s not quite standard. Tesla recommends getting your Model 3 serviced ‘as needed’. In my opinion, that’s too ambiguous. Most daily drivers don’t know what ‘as needed’ really means, so it opens a whole can of worms.

Was there anything wrong with the traditional mileage-based approach besides being a little bothersome? Anyway, regardless, that’s what the owner’s manual says. Any of the following signs might mean it’s time for a service. Note that these are my suggestions:

  • Uneven tire wear or general tire wear and damage
  • Any warning lights, messages, or icons
  • The brakes don’t work so well
  • The steering wheel feels unusual
  • The high-voltage battery stops functioning efficiently
  • Any unusual symptoms
  • Etc

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list. At the first sign that anything – anything at all – is wrong, go straight to a Tesla service partner. The company also utilizes mobile mechanics, which you might like to consider.

What is the Tesla Model 3 service schedule?

Although Tesla goes on its ‘as needed’ approach, the owner’s manual does recommend a few regular checks. These include the following:

  • Every 6,250 miles (or once the tread lowers 1.5 mm or 1/16”), rotate the tires.
  • Every 12,500 miles, clean and lubricate the brake calipers.
    • Officially, this only applies to you if you live in a wintery area where salt is used on the road, such as Canada and the northern states.
  • Every two years, replace the cabin air filter and check the brake fluid.
    • If the brake fluid needs replacing, get that done.
  • Every six years, replace the A/C desiccant bag.

Of course, owning and running your Tesla Model 3 requires much more detail than mentioned above. As I said, don’t be afraid to take your car to a service partner whenever anything feels wrong.

My personal opinion is that a service is needed at least every year. This prevents more minor problems from building up into more significant issues and saves you lots of money in the long run.

How do you book a Tesla Model 3 service?

The most straightforward way to book a service is through the Tesla app on your smartphone. Open the app and follow the instructions to book a service.

  1. Schedule the service. Here, you’ll also need to upload as much information as possible, including:
    • Photos of damage or requested repairs/inspections
    • Information about driving style
    • Weather and road conditions
    • Any general observations
  2. Use the app to keep track of the upcoming service.
    • Once the service starts, you’ll also receive live updates here. These include cost estimates and notifications of the service progression.
  3. Get a notification when the service is complete.
    • You can now pick your Model 3 back up.

Do you need to use a Tesla service partner?

For Teslas, I’m afraid you do. Most manufacturers require this, but they won’t insist on it for basic maintenance items (such as windshield wipers or brake pads). Tesla does insist on this. Any damage caused by non-certified work won’t be covered by the warranty. That’s rough.

On that same note, you shouldn’t ever have the high-voltage battery opened by anyone outside of Tesla, including for a coolant assessment. Again, any resultant damage voids the warranty in that particular area.

How do you maintain a Tesla Model 3?

Like any car, maintaining a Tesla Model 3 requires some effort on your part. However, regular maintenance means less damage and fewer costs in the future.

Daily checks for your Tesla Model 3

Here are a few things for you to check daily:

  • The high-voltage battery charge level
  • Warning lights and messages
  • Look for software updates
  • Any leaks underneath the car
  • Check the seat belts, brakes, lights, horn, and windshield wipers/washer jets work
  • Double-check the tire pressures
  • Remove any large corrosive deposits on the paint (such as bird poo, tree resin, etc.)

Most manufacturers usually group most of these checks in a weekly maintenance inspection. However, Tesla suggests doing it every day, and I’m not going to disagree! Do what they say!

To help with the above, I suggest washing your car every week and having a friend or family on hand to help you check the lights. It’s much easier that way.

If you notice anything unusual, go straight to a Tesla service provider (as long as it’s safe to drive). If not, you’ll need a call-out Tesla mechanic or to hire a flatbed truck to tow you.

Monthly maintenance for your Tesla Model 3

Each month, conduct the following checks:

  • Inspect the washer fluid level and top it up to full
  • Check the air conditioning is working properly
  • Note that this also powers the battery coolant. If you hear it working after the car’s off, it’s usually nothing to worry about.

It might also be a good idea to check the condition of the lead-acid 12-Volt battery. For this, you’ll need a multimeter or battery tester.

The Tesla Model 3 has a service schedule, although it’s somewhat ambiguous. In short, go to a Tesla service provider as soon as you notice anything wrong. Ideally, go before anything fails or you notice any symptoms. That’s honestly the best way to save money!

All the information I’ve discussed in this article is based on the Tesla Model 3 owner’s manual. Read it before attempting any routine maintenance yourself. You’ll find a copy below.

Tesla model 3 service schedule


How often do Tesla Model 3 need servicing?

Tesla Model 3s typically require servicing less frequently than traditional internal combustion engine vehicles. The recommended service interval for routine maintenance is about once a year or every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, although it can vary based on your driving habits and the specific Tesla model. Some components may require more frequent checks.

Does the Tesla Model 3 require a lot of maintenance?

In general, Tesla Model 3s have fewer moving parts and require less maintenance compared to traditional gas-powered vehicles. They do not have oil changes or exhaust systems, which reduces maintenance. However, they may still require periodic servicing for items like brakes, tires, HVAC systems, and general inspections. While the maintenance is not extensive, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to keep the vehicle in optimal condition.

How often do Teslas have to be serviced?

The service frequency for Teslas, including the Model 3, varies depending on factors like usage and local conditions. As a general guideline, Tesla recommends service approximately once a year or every 12,000 to 15,000 miles for standard maintenance. However, it’s essential to follow the specific service schedule outlined in the owner’s manual or Tesla’s guidance.

What is the annual maintenance cost for a Tesla?

The annual maintenance cost for a Tesla, such as the Model 3, is typically lower compared to traditional vehicles because of the reduced need for items like oil changes. However, maintenance costs can still vary depending on factors such as local labor rates and the specific services required. Annual maintenance costs might range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the extent of the service and any warranty coverage. It’s advisable to budget for routine maintenance and consult Tesla’s official service information for accurate pricing.

By Ben Kitchen Ben is a qualified car mechanic with experience working in the industry. He now works as an automotive author, writing about all things vehicle-related. He’s excited about the potential held by electric cars of all shapes, sizes, and types.

Ben Kitchen Ben is a qualified car mechanic with experience working in the industry. He now works as an automotive author, writing about all things vehicle-related. He’s excited about the potential held by electric cars of all shapes, sizes, and types.

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