Tesla Approved Body Shop sign

How to Find a Body Shop for Your EV, Including Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid

As a Tesla owner, you can’t take your car to just any repair shop. Repairing a luxury electric vehicle is a specialized skill that requires different equipment, tools, and knowledge than what’s needed to service a traditional gasoline engine car. That’s why today we are sharing our secrets on selecting a certified Tesla repair facility, deciphering the Tesla right-to-repair law, and diving into EV repair costs, all based on our many years of experience in this highly specialized industry. 

To learn how we can help with your Tesla, Rivian, or Lucid repairs, please call us at (760) 433-5050 or email us to learn more.

Where do you repair a Tesla?

Tesla repair shop

If you were in an accident and need your Tesla to be repaired, or if your car needs routine maintenance, you’ll naturally research who can repair Tesla cars. You can find an authorized Tesla repair shop in your region on the Tesla-Approved Body Shop Network. Here at Chris Amato’s Body Werks, we are proud to be a Tesla-Approved Body Shop and we go through rigorous training and assessments to maintain this prestigious certification every year. This certification means we have access to the vehicle’s diagnostics as well as manuals and up-to-date servicing information on Tesla’s online portal. We have the specific knowledge and experience needed to repair your EV.

Tesla service center

If you search your online map for Tesla repair, you might find only Tesla-owned service centers. Tesla owns its service centers just like other dealers do. They, of course, have full access to software diagnostics and original Tesla parts. In many cases, going back to the dealer for auto body repair or general maintenance can be the most expensive option. Some Tesla-owned facilities report wait times up to 3 weeks to just get an appointment! In the US, Tesla owns only 120 service centers, which is not enough to service the 200,000 Teslas bought in 2020 alone. 

A better option is to connect with a certified Tesla repair center like Chris Amato’s Body Werks, located in Oceanside Industrial Park, at 3018 San Luis Rey Rd, Oceanside, California.

How long does it take to repair a Tesla?

Most auto repair facilities are not certified to work on Teslas. The network of Tesla-approved body shops is still growing and unfortunately, you may find it hard to locate a competent Tesla repair center near you. When you do find a shop, sometimes they employ just one or two technicians who are Tesla-certified which means you might wait for months to get your car back. Compared to traditional vehicles that can be serviced almost anywhere within a week or two, this is inconvenient.

At Chris Amato’s Body Werks, all of our technicians are certified to complete Tesla repairs, so our customers can get their cars back faster. Tesla happens to make its car parts to order, just like their vehicles, so finding inventory for replacement parts can be very difficult. Because we are a Tesla-certified body shop, we have access to parts needed for repairs. 

How does Tesla repair cars?

Your Tesla does not require the same kind of annual maintenance traditional engines require, such as oil changes, spark plugs, emission checks, or fuel filters. Even wear on the brakes is significantly reduced because of regenerative energy. 

Maintenance to keep in mind on your luxury electric vehicle: 

  • Air filters keep out industrial fallout, pollen and road dust from your cabin and should be replaced every 2-3 years
  • Wheel alignment, tire rotation, and balancing should be done every 6,250 miles, or when your tread depth difference is 2/32” or greater, whichever comes first
  • Tesla recommends replacing your air conditioning desiccant bag every 3-6 years depending on the model, and replacing your High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter every 3 years

As an authorized Tesla repair facility, we are intimately familiar with each maintenance aspect of your luxury electric vehicle and we are experienced in major repairs too.

Tesla right to repair law

Tesla does not sell its vehicles to dealerships like other car manufacturers and the company owns its retail and service centers. Because of this, an independent auto body shop often doesn’t have access to the diagnostics information they need to correctly repair Teslas. The company provided a solution for this in 2012 in the form of an online portal with diagnostics access, but the portal is only available to certified Tesla repair shops in the United States. Chris Amato’s Body Werks has been an authorized Tesla repair facility and Tesla auto body shop for almost 10 years.

A right to repair law mandates automakers to provide independent auto shops with all tools and diagnostics needed to repair vehicles. This law was only passed in Massachusetts and does not take effect until 2022. No right to repair law is yet in force nationwide.

Today, only authorized and certified Tesla repair facilities have access to the proprietary information needed to correctly repair the vehicle. That’s why, as a Tesla owner, you should only take your vehicle for repairs to a Tesla-approved center. 

Are Teslas expensive to repair?

Tesla repair costs

Overall, Tesla’s costs for repairs can end up being much lower than costs to maintain gasoline engine cars because a Tesla doesn’t need the same oil changes, spark plugs, or regular fluid checks. Although a one-time repair on the luxury vehicle may seem high due to certified technician labor costs, over the life of the vehicle you will likely save thousands of dollars in maintenance costs compared to a traditional gas engine car. To ensure the longevity of your vehicle, bring your luxury electric vehicle for check-ups to a competent and authorized repair facility. 

Tesla rim repair

When purchasing new wheels for your Tesla, you can find a package on their website that includes sensors and tires for your model. In select body shops, you can also purchase custom rims, specifically designed and fitted to your car. Keep in mind that most Tesla service centers will not rotate your tires or balance them if you have aftermarket rims. If you happen to damage your Tesla rim or tire, even if it is an aftermarket or custom model, we can repair it for you like a certified and authorized Tesla repair facility. 

Rivian and Lucid EV Repair

What if you have a different luxury electric vehicle that needs repairs? Similar to Tesla, Lucid Motors is building a network of its own service centers along with certified collision repair facilities. Rivian is providing service via repair centers and mobile vans that can come to you if you don’t live near one of their service center locations (Tesla also offers mobile service to some customers.)

To learn how we can help with your Tesla, Rivian, or Lucid repairs, please call us at (760) 433-5050 or email us to learn more.

Written by: Sonya Gankina

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