Do Teslas need oil changes?

Electric vehicles offer numerous benefits over gas-powered cars. First, they are environmentally friendly and provide a smoother, more comfortable driving experience.

Do Teslas need oil changes

They are also reliable since they have minimal maintenance requirements and they do not require traditional engine oil changes.

So, what type of fluids do electric vehicles use for lubrication? Follow along to learn more.

The Main Reason Why Teslas Don’t Need Oil

Tesla EVs do not need engine oil because they have an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine. A standard combustion engine has several moving parts, such as bearings, pistons, gears, and cylinder walls. These components require oil to decrease friction and prevent overheating. Since ICE breaks down the engine oil during combustion, you must change or replace the oil frequently for optimum performance.

In contrast, the electric motor of a Tesla has fewer moving parts than in a standard ICE vehicle, explaining why they don’t need regular engine oil for lubrication. Moreover, electric motors operate differently from internal combustion engines. They do not subject components to extreme movements or burn fluids to form fumes and energy. Instead, the motor converts battery electricity into mechanical energy.

The conversion of electricity to torque and power in an electric vehicle is an intricate process. The electric motor draws direct current from large battery packs beneath the EV near the drive axles. As the DC flows from the electric car battery, it passes through an inverter with copper coils that induces an electromagnetic field. The inverter converts the DC to alternating current through induction to form mechanical energy.

Why Do Internal Combustion Engine Cars Need Oil Changes?

As mentioned above, an internal combustion engine comprises different mechanical parts that require adequate lubrication to decrease friction. Proper lubrication also prevents overheating, permanent damage, and corrosion.

tesla oil changes

Engine oil performs a significant role in lubricating these essential components. However, the fumes and heat from the combustion engine break down the engine oil with time, contaminating and making it inefficient. Failure to replace the oil can result in a bumpy ride and cause irreparable damage.

Despite advances in engine technology and oil chemistry, many automakers recommend changing the oil every 7,500 to 10,000 miles.

Which Tesla Parts Need Oil?

As you already know, Tesla EVs do not require oil changes. However, this doesn’t mean they don’t have parts that need lubricating. Depending on the type of model, your Tesla might need some oil in the gearbox (differential) to ensure smooth transmission.

Teslas use a 1-speed automatic transmission system that works like a gearbox. The differential system comprises a few spinning and moving parts requiring transmission oil to improve efficiency. However, the transmission fluid used in a Tesla is not similar to that used by an ICE vehicle. It uses Pentosin ATF 9, a synthetic oil that does not degrade, explaining why Teslas don’t need oil changes.

Although modern Teslas use regenerative braking systems, older models like Model S still have hydraulic brakes. Regenerative braking does not require brake fluid since it does not have friction-causing components. In contrast, models with hydraulic boost components require brake oil. The brake fluid helps lubricate the brake calipers to reduce friction and ensure efficient braking when transferring force from the pedal. Tesla recommends testing and replacing the brake fluid/oil every two years as needed.

Do Teslas Need Grease?

Even though Teslas might not require oil changes as traditional gas-powered cars, sufficient lubrication is needed to prolong lifespan and ensure the smooth and efficient performance of mechanical components.

Do Teslas Need Grease?

For instance, the electric motor requires a thin layer of grease to reduce heat disputation, decrease friction in the few moving parts, and prevent wear and tear. Teslas use specialty grease for electric motor applications.

Tesla EVs also require grease on the drive axle, latches, handles, windshield wipers, and hinges. This synthetic grease is resistant to high temperatures and does not require replacing.

What Fluids Do Teslas Use?

Aside from differential oil and brake fluid, Teslas require other types of fluids to guarantee optimum performance. These include:

Battery Coolant

Teslas operate via battery technology. The electric motor draws power from the battery pack before converting it into mechanical energy. When driving for an extended period in extreme weather conditions, the battery cells can overheat, lowering your range per charge. Here’s where the significance of a battery coolant comes into play. The coolant regulates the temperature, preventing premature battery degradation. Although you might not require a coolant flush, it’s best to check the fluid levels every few years as part of your EV’s routine maintenance.

Windshield Fluid

Teslas are distinguished for their high safety ratings. The windscreen contributes to these ratings thanks to the wide resin-bonded auto glass windshield. The screen enhances driver visibility. However, you may need to windshield fluid to your Tesla’s reservoir to ensure your safety and to improve your visibility in different weather conditions.

Do Teslas Need Maintenance?

Teslas require routine maintenance to improve durability, reliability, safety, and performance and prevent costly repairs. Maintaining your Tesla can also optimize its resale value if you intend to sell your EV later.

Do Teslas Need Maintenance

Different Tesla models have varying maintenance requirements. It is best to refer to your vehicle’s user manual or check the Tesla app for the latest maintenance recommendations.

What Maintenance Do Teslas Need Instead of Oil Changes?

You can keep your Tesla in top shape with the following maintenance recommendations:

Tire Rotation and Wheel Alignment

Tesla recommends rotating your tires every 6,250 miles to improve traction and stability. Aggressive driving habits can also cause premature tire wear. Rotate the tires if the difference in tread depth is 2/32 inches. You must also balance and align your wheels regularly to improve handling and get the most out of the incorporated steering components.

Cabin Air Filter Replacement

All Teslas have an air filter for preventing dust, debris, pollen, sediments, industrial fallout, and other elements from penetrating the vents. The filter might trap excess particles over time, causing it to become inefficient. Tesla recommends replacing the cabin air filter every 2-3 years, depending on your vehicle model. If your car has a HEPA filter, replace it every three years.

Air Conditioning Service

The A/C desiccant bag will fill up after a while. Replace it every 3-4 years for enhanced efficiency and longevity.

Winter Care

If you reside in cold weather areas, Tesla recommends cleaning and lubricating your vehicle’s brake calipers annually or every 12,500 miles for better braking performance.


Does a Tesla have an oil filter?

Some Teslas, like the Tesla Model Y, Model 3, and Model X, have an oil filter. However, the oil filter is not in the usual location as with traditional ICE vehicles. It is close to the gearbox. Its primary function is maintaining the quality of the differential oil, so you don’t have to take your EV for an oil change.

How often do you need to change your Tesla’s oil filter?

As suggested by Tesla, their vehicles do not require a traditional oil change. However, anything might happen, forcing you to replace the differential oil in the gearbox. In such circumstances, the replacement is on an as-needed basis.

Do I have to take my Tesla to a service center for maintenance?

It depends on the issue you want to fix. Tesla often pushes remote diagnostics and over-the-air software updates to reduce the need to schedule a visit to a service center. The automaker also has Mobile Service technicians that offer the necessary support whenever your car needs servicing.


Maintaining a vehicle can be expensive. If you have a regular gas-powered car, you may have to deal with frequent oil changes and maintenance intervals every few miles. Fortunately, this is not the case with Teslas and other electric vehicles. Aside from common repairs, Teslas do not need oil changes. Moreover, the EV has low maintenance costs since it has few movable parts prone to wear and tear.

About Post Author