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The main difference between an electric car and an internal combustion-powered car is that the former requires less maintenance. But it is also important to note that low maintenance does not mean no maintenance. Electric car enthusiasts often ask the question: Do Teslas need oil changes? In this post, we will try to find an answer to this question. 

First of all, it should be clarified that a Tesla car does not have a traditional oiling system. But electric motors and other things need lubrication, and that is why your car may need oil changes. 

As a rule of thumb, oil does not stay put; it migrates elsewhere. This migration reduces the level of oil. Electronic sensors are used to check the level of oil. But these sensors are complicated and expensive. Using a dipstick is an easier solution to the problem. 

No oil changes needed in the traditional sense

Tesla has planned to make oil changes a thing of the past, but car dealers have not welcomed the plan. As a result, powerful car dealer associations are doing what they can to keep Tesla’s direct sales model out of the scenario. So far, one state (New Jersey) has banned Tesla stores. 

If you know the issue only superficially, you will find it hard to fathom the fear of car dealers. Some models of Tesla (Such as Model S) are selling like crazy. To understand the fear of the dealers, you have to dig a little deeper. 

Why are car dealer associations so worried? They are worried simply because Tesla wants to create a new world where you will rarely have to take your car to a repair shop. 

Tesla has a striking way to stop the dealer service department. The company says that its Model S is like a mobile app. If you pay attention, you will find that the statement is not just metaphorical. 

Tesla cars rely heavily on their software. The cars are connected to the internet, and can diagnose their own problems. Just like a computer or smartphone, it can download software updates.

You will not have to take your car to a mechanic when the car can fix its own issues. Let’s go back to the question again: Do Teslas need oil changes? No, they don’t,  at least not in the traditional sense.

Less maintenance

A mechanic will not be able to charge you for an oil change, simply because the car does not require oil changes. Most traditional mechanics do not know hot fix the issues of Tesla cars, because cars use highly advanced technology. 

But there is a good side, too. The car has no internal combustion engine, and that is why there is not many things to fix. If you remove the outer shell of a Tesla car, the car will look like a cell phone. 

The car has a big battery that runs it’s parts. It has no air filters, no spark plugs, no timing belts and no fuel pumps. In short, your car does not require to be taken for regular maintenance simply because the car does not have parts that require maintenance. 

That means, you do not have to spend much for the maintenance of a Tesla car. Do Teslas need oil changes? Now you know the answer. Tesla cars do not have oil to be changed. 

Scheduled maintenance is recommended

You will still have to bring your car for maintenance. An inspection is recommended once every 12,500 miles. Tesla has service plans that include replacement of windshield wipers, brake pads and other parts. Your car will be remotely monitored by the company, and you will be informed when there is any issue. 

Tesla alone can fix your car, and you may find pitfalls with this arrangement. But the good thing about this plan is that the company has flat rates for maintenance. You do not have to pay for every fix separately. Better yet, according to the conditions, getting your car serviced does not void the warranty. 

You might think that Tesla will not keep all these promises. Yet, Model S is often recommended as the best overall car. 

Dealers are terrified of all the promises Tesla is making. Owning a car has some costly headaches, and Tesla seems determined to cure those headaches. Once Tesla delivers the services as promised, buyers will ask dealers some important questions. 

It is clear that business owners do not want these headaches gone because these headaches earn them lots of money. Do Teslas need oil changes? They don’t, and they save many other maintenance costs. Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Tesla, strongly believes that the direct selling model of the company will not only survive but also flourish. 

Wrapping it up: Do Teslas need oil changes?

The Ev’s of Tesla cars use some fluids. Over time, due to air humidity, temperature cycles, and frictions, these fluids degrade. The same thing happens with tires, bearings, struts, wiper blades and bushings.

Mechanical parts require replacements when they fail. Fluid degradation is not an exception. They include coolant, brakes, drivetrain, oil or liquid.

They are usually regarded as lifetime fluids. But manufacture defined lifetime is not the same as a vehicle’s actual lifetime. BMW cars, for example, come with “Lifetime” gearbox oil.

Oil changes are not recommended. But the fact is, after 60,000 miles, oil gets contaminated. This problem may lead to gearbox total failure. The whole transmission has a prolonged lifetime if oil is changed.

Degradation of fluids

This is not necessarily true when it comes to compressor oil. System lifetime will not be prolonged if oil is changed. In the schedule, Tesla Model S is supposed to have dryer replacement. But that is not very reasonable.

Over time, coolant also degrades. In the first few years, fluid will be excellent. But as the warranty runs out, fluid will no longer be “fine”. It happens once the car has run around 60,000 miles. Then you have to change the protecting chemicals to prolong the life of your car.

Air humidity is the main reason why brake fluid degrades over time. It works excellently for the first couple of years. It serves for another two years. But after that the fluid is not good enough. When the fluid is contaminated, it contaminates other components. Air humidity and wear in the gear are the main reasons why drivetrain oil degrades.

Thermal cycles also lead to this issue. In the beginning, the degradation is pretty fast. There will be lots of contamination in the first year. However, that initial contamination is taken care of by the drivetrain oil filter.

But, over time, the oil will certainly degrade, making an oil change necessary. Let’s tackle the question again: Do Teslas need oil changes? Yes, but that oil is not for a combustion engine, because electric cars do not have such combustion engines.

Final thoughts

Although Tesla cars do not have internal combustion engines, they still need oil changes. Brake fluids degrade first and coolant fluids degrade later. So, these two types of fluids should be changed. But that is not the case with compressors. To sum it up, yes, Tesla cars need oil changes.

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