Do Teslas Leak Oil? Here’s What’s Happening (Explained)

According to J.D. Power, there is an average of 176 mechanical faults per 100 Tesla units.

There have been complaints concerning fluid leaks, water, and oil in some units.

Let’s dive deeper.

Do Teslas Leak Oil?

If you observe a poof of fluid under your Tesla after parking, your unit is probably leaking – and it can be oil. Even though the Tesla cars don’t use engine oil there are oil used to lubricate gears, bearings, and differentials.

There should be no cause for alarm if the puddle under your Tesla is tiny; it could be moisture from the air conditioner.

However, if the fluid is gel-like and smells weird, it could be a critical fluid in your unit’s system. The leaking fluid can be the battery coolant, brake fluid, or oil.

Read more here about oil changes on Teslas.

How Come I See Oil Spill Below my Tesla when Parked?

You’ll most likely identify a leak in your Tesla unit when parked. The first step to determining if it is oil or not is checking its color.

The good thing about electric vehicles leaks is that not many fluids are featured in their build.

To identify where the leak is and which fluid it is, you should place a cloth or paper towel under your car when parked. After some time, check the fluid’s color and position to identify the problem.

Here are the different types of fluids found in your Tesla, how they look, and their function;

Power Steering Fluid

The power steering fluid helps with vehicle control. It is orange, and most individuals confuse it with motor oil.

It could be the steering fluid leaking if you notice stiff steering when making turns on your Tesla.

Brake Fluid

Brake fluid is very oily and has a yellow, brownish color. You should conclude it is a brake fluid leak if your brakes become less responsive or observe a strong, pungent odor.

Coolant

If it is a coolant leak, your Tesla should warn you of overheating. The fluid is typically green/yellow and very watery.

Water

The leaking fluid may be condensed moisture from the air conditioner. You can conclude water leaks if you observe water collecting and dripping, leaving colorless and odorless leak spots.

Read more about water leaking issues among Tesla models.

Where Can Oil Leak from on a Tesla?

In most units, oil leaks from the rear or your Tesla’s belly, in the center pan between your rear wheels. You may notice oil drops every time you park your car after a long drive. Both your front and rear drive units have oil for lubrication.

The configuration lacks a drain plug, making it more susceptible to oil leaks after a few thousand kilometers. Instead, a fill plug allows you to drain the oil filter. It would be wise to contact the Tesla service center before taking the car on the road.

You can also observe oil drops under your car if there is a leak in your axle seal. Improper axle installation and removal are the primary reasons behind this complication. Lucky for you, your warranty covers the replacement fee.

What Can Cause a Tesla to Leak Oil?

After driving this long on the road, the oil filter is more likely to start leaking because of excess dirt. Although electric cars do not require frequent oil changes, replacing the filter components will help eliminate the leak.

Most Teslas begin to show traces of oil leaks after covering 100,000 miles.

Do Teslas Need Oil Change?

Electric vehicles like Tesla also use oils, but not in the same sense as traditional vehicles. Tesla units use oil to lubricate and cool the gear and other components in the drive unit.

The oil proves practical in removing heat from the rotor and stator.

However, these actions will degrade the oil and make it less effective in lubricating the moving parts. Several consumers report hearing a noise from their vehicles when driving an oil-leaking Tesla. You might need to consider replacing the oil and the filter to restore optimal functioning.

How Common Are These Issues among Tesla Models?

Despite Tesla not being the most reliable EV, it is not common for oil leaking issues to occur in their models. There are other issues like lane assist complications and poor body fitment reported by hundreds of users.

Luckily, the Tesla service team has a mobile unit offering door-to-door fix sessions.

How Do You Know If It’s a Serious Matter That Needs Attention?

The first sign the oil leak in your Tesla is serious is if you can hear noises coming from underneath your car when driving. Since there is less oil for lubrication, some relatively-dry moving parts will result in a noisy drive.

It would help to avoid driving your Tesla in this state.

Another sign the oil leak in your Tesla needs professional attention is when you observe large pools of oil after parking. It would be best to contact the Tesla service center when you notice the small oil drops instead of waiting for the issue to grow.

Troubleshooting an Oil Leak in Your Tesla

1) Determine the Nature of the Leak

Unlike internal combustion vehicles, EVs have fewer fluids. It makes it easy to determine the nature of the leak by observing the present fluid.

2) Identify the Source of the Leak

After determining the nature of the leak, you’ll have to troubleshoot the source of the leak. If it is a minor issue, you can handle it without involving the Tesla service center. Here is how to handle the different leaks;

Excess water dripping off your car is not a cause of alarm, especially on those hot days. A clear and no-scent liquid will confirm it is water.

Coolant leaks are also common in electric vehicles. Although it is not a severe issue, you should consider professional services to guarantee optimal temperature regulation.

You can identify leaking brake fluid by checking for a yellowish color in the oil spots. You must have your Tesla checked to avoid complications with the hydraulic pressure system.

3) Determine the Correct Action

The most practical approach is considering a professional to address the Tesla oil leak. The Tesla service center has a team equipped with all the skills and expertise to diagnose your car and advise on the corrective measures to take.

However, if you can solve the issue yourself, contacting professional service providers is no need. You will get to save money and time significantly by handling the repairs at home.

It would help to note that fixing the issue at home does not eliminate the fact that you need a professional diagnosis.

Tesla mobile services exist to make repair work easy for the customer. This module involves having the technician come to you instead of you coming to the auto shop. According to Tesla, they can execute 80% of repairs outside a service center.

Conclusion

The most practical solution to oil leaks in your Tesla is contacting the Tesla service center. Their team of professionals will help identify the nature and source of the leak and help provide a reasonable solution.

Sources

https://www.tesla.com/service

https://www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/2021-us-vehicle-dependability-study-vds

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