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Tesla Model 3 with 100,000 miles shows extreme low cost and minimal battery degradation

Today we take a look at one of the first Tesla Model 3 cars with 100,000 miles, and the owner’s experience with service, maintenance, and battery degradation.

There are quite a few high-mileage Tesla vehicles out there.

I have a Tesla Model X with over 400,000 miles on it.

But there are not that many Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, which are Tesla’s latest-generation vehicles, with 6-figure mileage yet.

Kazi Imam has one of the first Model 3s with more than 100,000 miles, and he talked to Electrek about his experience with the electric car to date.

He put 100,000 miles on the 2018 Model 3 Long Range in just over two years:

Imam told Electrek that he was quite impressed by the cost of ownership of the Model 3.

Over 100,000 miles, which would take the average driver six years to travel, the Model 3 only cost him $4,732.11 including the cost of electricity:

I was astonished at the low cost of maintenance and service for the car. The total cost of electricity was $2,985. Total maintenance and service cost was $1,741.11, so the total cost of ownership was $4732.11.

Tires made up most of that maintenance and service cost.

Imam gave us a breakdown on all the services performed by Tesla on the Model 3 over time.

The air filter had to be replaced:

At 36,000 miles, the HVAC system started giving that musky odor and I had to get the air filters replaced and the evaporator cleaned, which was $136.50.

This is a common issue with many owners reporting a “mildew smell” that has something to do with the way the air is circulated.

Tesla is said to have fixed the issue through a software update to better circulate the air automatically, but some owners still have to replace the air filter.

Alternatively, owners can also replace the air filter themselves if they don’t want to pay Tesla to do it.

You can buy air filter replacements on Amazon for a fraction of the price and Tesla has an easy do-it-yourself guide to replace the filter.

Tires, as for most electric cars, are the biggest maintenance and service costs for Tesla vehicles. It’s no different for Imam’s Model 3:

I got the tires replaced at around 45,000 miles from Costco tires which was $1,200, as they also offer lifetime free rotations.

More recently, he did a little more maintenance:

At 95,000 miles, the wiper blades were changed, wheel alignment, and brake bleed was done for $410.61.

He also gave us a breakdown of things that Tesla replaced and fixed under warranty or goodwill.

Impressively, it was nothing until over 50,000 miles on the Model 3:

  • At 51,000 miles, the wooden trim dashboard started to peel and that was replaced under warranty.
  • At 63,000 miles, the passenger window started to squeak whenever it was used, so the window seal had to be replaced, which was also covered under warranty.
  • At 71,000 miles, the car had a front left safety restraint fault error, which was fixed under goodwill.
  • At 93,000 miles, the driver’s headrest looked worn out and was replaced for free as well.
  • Tesla also installed a missing breather on top of the HV battery and replaced the charge port insulator pins with updated parts under warranty service. 

As for fuel costs, a comparable vehicle, like the BMW 3 Series, would have easily cost over $8,000 in gas over the same mileage.

The Tesla Model 3 cost Imam less than $3,000 in electricity.

The battery degradation was also minimal on the Model 3 over 100,000 miles.

Imam told Electrek:

The battery degradation appears to be minimal as I currently get 305 at 100%, but it does fluctuate from time to time.

This is a roughly 5% degradation over two years and 100,000 miles, but that number of cycles would normally be achieved over 5-6 years on average.

Overall, the owner says that he is impressed with the electric vehicle:

All in all, I am impressed with Tesla’s service, especially with them replacing things for free when I was well past my warranty period. I was always provided a loaner Tesla vehicle as well.

He says that the car still drives as new.

If you have a high-mileage electric vehicle, let us know about your experience in the comment section below.

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