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Do Teslas Need Oil Change? Tesla Maintenance

  • Auto Refinance
  • Natasha Young
  • 5 minutes

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What makes EVs like Tesla more appealing is their low-cost maintenance. But are you aware that they also need some routine maintenance involving oil changes? You may wonder, “Does a Tesla need oil change?”. Well, we’ve got you covered.  

Does Tesla Use Oil?  

Yes, but Tesla doesn’t use oil for its engine. Other parts under the hood require lubrication for smooth functioning. For instance, the drive unit that includes the AC induction propulsion motor needs oil. Also, your Tesla car has oil in its gearbox, which is also known as the differential.  

do tesla need oil change

What Fluids Does Tesla Use? 

Although Teslas and other electric vehicles (EVs) generally require less maintenance than gasoline and diesel vehicles, you cannot completely neglect their maintenance. Teslas still need regular maintenance to keep them running at their best. Here are some of the fluid and maintenance requirements for Tesla cars. 

Brake Fluid 

Tesla and other electric vehicles still have many similarities with traditional fuel-powered cars. Both cars still use brake fluid in their hydraulic brake systems.  

Even though brake fluids are in a closed system, they can still absorb moisture. Moisture enters the system through tiny holes in the rubber hoses, loose seals, or open fluid caps. Water build-up can damage the metal in your braking system and make the system less effective.  

Over time, brake fluid loses its effectiveness. And your brakes will not be as quick to respond, which can lead to accidents. If a Tesla owner prioritizes safety, you should regularly check the brake fluid. Tesla recommends having your brake fluid checked every two years. 

Also read: What Happens If You Put Gas in a Tesla?

Transmission Fluid 

Most EVs don’t use transmission. But cars like Tesla Model S, X, and 3 have gears in the front and rear motors. Which means you will need transmission fluid. 

In a Tesla, even though it uses a different transmission type, gearbox fluid is still vital for smooth functioning. Tesla recommends a transmission fluid change every 12,500 miles. 

Also read: Do Electric Cars Have a Transmission?

Windshield Washer Fluid 

You might believe water is sufficient for cleaning windshields, but you need a windshield washer fluid to clean effectively. It is especially important if you drive in regions below zero temperatures as it contains antifreeze properties.  

If your windshield is not getting squeaky clean, it could mean you are low on windshield washer fluid. And adding windshield washer fluid at home is easy. You will only need to cover the cost of materials and follow a few easy steps. To fill the reservoir, open the hood and locate it on the maintenance panel. Fill it up! It’s that easy.  

Also read: Tesla Roadside Assistance: How Does It Work?

Tesla 4 dashboard


The type of coolant used in Tesla vehicles can vary slightly, and it serves different purposes. Tesla models utilize G48 coolant to prevent the battery cells from overheating. The fluid is based on ethylene glycol. 

Not only does it regulate the temperature in the battery cells, but it also prevents corrosion. When selecting a G48 coolant, it is recommended to choose one that contains organic corrosion inhibitors and is specifically approved for use in Tesla vehicles. 

Most newer Tesla models do not need coolant replacements because they are designed similarly not to require oil changes. It is recommended to check the coolant of Tesla vehicles every few years. To find the specific instructions for your car, refer to the owner’s manual. 

Also read: Tesla Monthly Payment : What You Need to Know


Although grease is not classified as an oil, it is still worth noting. Tesla vehicles utilize grease in various areas to extend the durability of certain components. 

Grease can be found on the handles, latches, hinges, drive axle, and windshield wiper. Grease helps keep these parts lubricated and functioning effectively. If you feel friction in any of these areas, your Tesla might need grease. 

Also read : How to Open a Tesla Door: Navigate with Ease

Do Teslas Need an Oil Change? 

In short, yes and no. Tesla does not need oil changes like any cars that have internal combustion engines. They run on electric motors instead of gas or diesel engines, so no engine oil change is necessary. However, some fluids are necessary, as certain moving and spinning parts of a Tesla do need lubrication. 

Also read : Do Electric Cars Use Oil? Know All about It 

How Often Does a Tesla Need Oil Change? 

If you own a Tesla Model S or Model X made before 2021, your electric vehicle’s drive units may not have an oil filter. For these Tesla models, changing the oil inside the motor every 100,000 miles is recommended. 

If you have a 2021 or newer Model S/X, or a Model 3/Y, the lubricant in your electric motor will last for more than 100,000 miles. It is because Tesla has added an oil filter to their newer drive units, which helps maintain the quality of the lubricant in the long run.  

The Tesla’s gearbox also needs a specific type of oil. According to Tesla, it is recommended to replace this oil once during the first year of ownership, again during the fifth year, and once more during the ninth year. If you don’t get an oil change, it could lead to gearbox failure, which would cause issues with how the vehicle drives. 

The cost of replacing the filter is estimated to be between $25 and $40 while changing the transmission oil is expected to cost around $150 to $200. 

Also read : Are Teslas Really Worth It? Things You Should Know

Tesla car with Tesla logo on the background

Will My Tesla Require Frequent Repairs? 

Suppose you stick to a regular maintenance schedule for your Tesla, which includes tasks like rotating and replacing tires, checking brake fluid, servicing the air conditioning unit, and replacing filters. In that case, your Tesla will likely need very few, if any, major repairs in the future. 

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