Having driven a gas-powered vehicle at some point in your life, you know all about the regular oil changes that are vital to keeping a conventional vehicle’s engine running smoothly.
But now that you’ve turned your attention to an electric vehicle such as Tesla, you’re wondering if it too will require oil changes.
So, do electric vehicles like Teslas need oil changes?
Teslas do not require traditional oil changes because they do not have an internal combustion engine. Having an electric motor, Teslas rely on grease rather than engine oil for lubrication. Grease, unlike oil, barely degrades over time, allowing for less attention and longer trips.
Once you start driving your Tesla, you will no longer have to worry about pulling out a dipstick and checking your car’s oil level.
However, your Tesla is not completely without a bit of oil.
But rather than having it within an engine, your Tesla has oil in its gearbox, also referred to as the differential.
But don’t worry, this oil usually does not need to be changed.
What Maintenance Do Teslas Need Instead Of Oil Changes?
Now that you realize your Tesla does not require traditional oil changes, you may be assuming you are off the hook regarding regular maintenance tasks. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
No matter what type of vehicle you drive, there are certain maintenance tasks that must still be performed on a regular schedule to keep your car in excellent condition.
For starters, pay attention to your Tesla’s tires.
Just like standard vehicles, your Tesla’s tires will need to be rotated on a regular basis, usually every 10,000-12,000 miles.
Also, most Tesla owners replace their tires on average every six years.
If there is any fluid in your Tesla that may need to be replaced at some point, it’s the brake fluid.
According to Tesla, brake fluid should be checked every two years for contamination and replaced if needed.
Filters also need to be replaced on your Tesla every two or three years.
The carbon air filter should be replaced every 24 months since it tends to become clogged with dust and pollen.
As for the HEPA filter, expect to change it every 36 months.
Should you live in a cold-weather climate, have your brake calipers cleaned and lubricated once annually or after 12,500 miles, whichever comes first.
Finally, have your air conditioning serviced regularly.
Model S should be serviced every two years, Model X every four years, and Model 3 every six years.
How Often Do Tesla’s Need to be Serviced?
To keep your Tesla in great shape while on the road, it should of course be serviced regularly.
However, this will also depend on a variety of factors, such as the types of roads on which you drive the most, whether or not you drive your Tesla primarily in warm or cold weather, and how many miles you drive per year.
Having learned of the various maintenance tasks that need to be done to your Tesla on a regular basis, you may think you will be busy performing these tasks yourself.
While you can if you follow instructions in your owner’s manual and are comfortable performing automotive maintenance tasks, the good news is that all maintenance can be easily taken care of by technicians at a Tesla service center.
To begin with, if you are experiencing any unexpected problems while driving your Tesla, you should take it to an authorized service center as soon as possible.
In many instances, all it will take is a minor repair to get you back on the road.
However, by ignoring problems when they begin, a small problem can grow much larger and more expensive than you anticipated.
Generally, remember that your Tesla’s tires should be aligned every 12,000 miles and changed every five or six years, while the brake pads should also be checked for potential wear, although this rarely happens.
To stay cool on a warm summer day, get your air conditioning serviced every two to six years, depending on the type of Tesla you own.
Last but not least, check your brake fluid every two years and top it off or replace it if it’s contaminated, and change your Tesla’s air filters every two or three years.
Do Any Electric Cars Need Oil Changes?
Since your Tesla does not require any oil changes, you might wonder if there are any electric vehicles on the road today that do require oil changes.
The answer is no, since electric vehicles have motors, rather than engines+ that rely on internal combustion from gas and oil.
In a standard internal combustion engine, there are valves, pistons, and other parts that constantly move, thus requiring oil to keep them lubricated.
However, since your Tesla and other electric vehicles have completely different drivetrains that rely on electric motors and batteries, practically no oil is required for electric vehicles.
Will My Tesla Need Many Repairs?
If you follow a regular maintenance schedule with your Tesla in terms of tire rotation and replacement, checking brake fluid, servicing your air conditioning unit, and replacing various filters, chances are your Tesla will require few if any major repairs along the way.
However, remember that you will still need to be a careful driver and make sure you don’t put your Tesla under unnecessary strain.
For example, if you have a tendency to floor it when accelerating, this can put extra strain on your brakes, which over time could damage the brake pads or other related parts.
Though you can leave the dipstick and rag behind once you begin driving your Tesla, don’t toss your vehicle maintenance schedule aside as well.
By keeping your Tesla properly serviced, you should have an electric vehicle that will keep you driving down the highway for many years.