10 Common Tesla Repairs That Could Cost You a Fortune

SAVING & SPENDING - HOME & AUTO
If you dream of owning a Tesla, prepare for the sticker shock of these costly repairs.
Updated May 8, 2024
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For many drivers, Teslas are the pinnacle of automotive excellence. Whether it’s the innovative technical features or the reduced environmental impact, there are several reasons people are drawn to these electric vehicles.

However, Teslas require maintenance like any other car, and some of the fixes are costly enough to jeopardize your financial fitness. Before investing in a Tesla, make sure you're prepared for the cost of these common repairs.

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Battery

grigvovan/Adobe tesla battery cells

Teslas are entirely electric and run on lithium-ion battery packs. These batteries generally start degrading after about 10 to 20 years, depending on climate, use of the car, and other factors.

Depending on the model, a Tesla battery replacement could cost anywhere from $13,000 to $20,000, including the cost of labor, according to a J.D. Power estimate.

Touch-screen

Sergey Kohl/Adobe suv tesla model x dashboard

A large touch-screen is another attractive feature of a Tesla. However, you should be ready to shell out a chunk of change if it needs to be replaced.

In some cases, this might be covered by warranty. But if it’s not, repairs may cost around $1,400. If you want an upgrade replacement for your current screen, expect it to cost around $2,250, including labor costs.

Air suspension

chaiko/Adobe  plug-in electric car chassis

There are plenty of reasons your Tesla’s air suspension might need to be replaced, but general wear and tear usually leads to necessary maintenance after 50,000 to 70,000 miles.

Depending on the model of your Tesla, repairs or replacement could cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000, including parts and labor.

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Drive unit

Tada Images/Adobe tesla plaid drive unit

Drive units convert the electrical energy of a battery into the mechanical energy that puts your Tesla’s wheels into motion. Teslas have drive units that are covered by a four-year or 50,000-mile warranty.

Once that warranty elapses, expect a pricey repair of anywhere from $1,200 to $3,500. The priciest repairs could involve replacing the drive unit bearing.

Windshield

VP/Adobe tesla model y

Most windshield damage requires a fix, and Teslas are no exception. The manufacturer recommends taking your car to Tesla Service to ensure that the proper glass is used and that sensors mounted behind the windshield are recalibrated.

There have been reports that some insurance companies refuse to work with Tesla Service, meaning you might have to pay out of pocket. Replacement can cost anywhere from $575 to $2,300.

Tires

VP/Adobe black tire wheel

On most cars, replacing a tire is one of the more common and inexpensive car maintenance issues. However, Tesla uses special tires to accommodate for the weight and design of its vehicles. As such, replacements are pricier and more complicated.

The cost will depend on your model and local rates, but Reddit user Brother-Shreb was quoted $400 per tire, while user JackS15 paid $318 per tire.

Heater

Moose/Adobe tesla logo on the back of a car trunk.

Some Tesla models' heat valves malfunctioned so often that many cars did not heat up in cold weather. So, the manufacturer issued a recall.

Of course, the recall took care of the problem at no cost to drivers. But when a heater control valve fails, you can expect to pay around $500 for a replacement. Other heater issues could cost anywhere from roughly $100 to $1,400.

Autopilot

scharfsinn86/Adobe self driving car on a road

One of the major draws of a Tesla is its self-driving feature, also known as Autopilot. However, this is all based on software and technology updates, which could prove problematic if you have an older model.

Reddit user scringe13 reported that their Autopilot stopped working after a software update. Tesla Service said the computer was faulty and needed to be replaced, at an estimated cost of $2,600.

Charging port

logoboom/Adobe electric cars charging

With added features come inevitable added complications. While electric vehicles are great in many regards, they also have their own set of unique issues — such as problems with the charging port.

If the port malfunctions, your car becomes unusable since you can’t get it charged. Repairs are often replacements, which can cost around $500 without the cost of parts. However, this may be covered under your warranty.

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Door handle

myndziakvideo/Adobe door of tesla model s

Part of Tesla’s sleek design is the elimination of traditional door handles. The handles extend when you get close and automatically retract once you enter the vehicle.

But in some cases, these handles might not extend, retract, or unlock. This issue is more common with older and out-of-warranty models, so repair costs may have to come out of the driver’s pocket. The part might cost around $500, plus an hour of labor.

Bottom line

uflypro/Adobe man uses the phone

Teslas are popular with car enthusiasts, and for good reason. They’re visually sleek, energy-efficient, eco-friendly, and technologically advanced.

However, each unique feature of the car comes with its own possible malfunction, which can result in costly repairs that make it difficult to save more on things like car insurance.

Remember that a Tesla warranty won’t last forever, and neither will the car. So before you buy, prepare for some potentially costly repairs.

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Author Details

Lucy Clark Lucy Clark has considerable experience writing about real estate, as well as homes and gardens, home value, and more. She is savvy and resourceful, and she aims to ensure others can be, as well.

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