Since the battery is the most crucial component of any electric vehicle, pretty much everyone who has driven a Model 3 (or anyone thinking about buying one) has wondered how much a battery replacement could cost in the event that the battery fails. Teslas do have excellent warranty coverage for their battery and drive unit, but as the Model 3 ages, more out-of-warranty replacements are possible.
Costs for replacing the battery pack on a Model 3 include two elements: time billed at the service center (or labor cost) and the price of replacement parts (these include the battery pack and all associated components needed to complete the repair).
In this article, we’ll look at both of these costs, examine indicators of poor battery health, and discuss what you should consider when you are looking to buy a used Model 3.
Let’s start by taking a look at current service center costs for replacing a Tesla Model 3 battery:
Note: if you came here looking for info on the low-voltage 12v battery replacement for the Model 3, skip to the bonus section at the end of the article.
If you’re looking for the battery replacement cost on other Teslas, check out our Tesla battery replacement cost article here.
How Long Does It Take To Replace a Tesla Model 3 Battery Pack?
For an uncomplicated Model 3 battery replacement, a Tesla service center can swap out a Model 3 battery pack in about 3-6 hours. This kind of replacement is for battery packs that are non-functional due to degradation or internal failure within the pack. Most pack replacements will fall into this category.
For a Model 3 battery pack replacement that involves damage to the pack and the parts surrounding it, the time for replacement may vary. First, the service center will need to assess the damage. Next, all the parts that need to be replaced, from the battery pack itself to high-voltage cables and coolant, may need to be ordered. Finally, the repair itself will likely take longer than 8 hours, possibly running over 15 hours depending on the damage involved.
With service center rates hovering around $180-$195 per hour, labor for a Model 3 battery pack replacement could cost anywhere from $550 to $2,900.
How Much Does a Tesla Model 3 Battery Pack Cost?
While battery prices have fallen dramatically over the last decade, supply and demand are keeping the replacement battery price for the Model 3 relatively steady. We’re hopeful that this situation will change as Tesla continues to innovate their battery packs and relies less on outside manufacturers for components.
Model 3 battery sizes range from 50kWh to 82 kWh, and current battery pricing estimates put new Model 3 batteries at around $7,000-$12,000 per pack (new).
Real world examples from the past few years have put that cost even higher, from $12,000-$16,000 per battery pack. At least one invoice that we’ve seen puts the 75kWh replacement pack at about $13,500.
However, not all of the owner-reported numbers have been specific about their Model 3 battery pack price. Many choose to report how much they paid in total for the service center visit and parts.
A refurbished Model 3 pack may be slightly less expensive, but there are very few refurbished packs available for consumer purchase. Tesla does use refurbished packs in warranty repairs for the Model 3, which keeps many of these used battery packs out of circulation.
Our lowest out-of-pocket cost estimate for (uncomplicated) battery pack replacement on the Model 3 is around $13,000-$16,500 ($10,000-$13,500 for the battery, $100 for related parts, and $500 for HV-certified labor).
Can You Replace a Tesla Model 3 Battery Yourself?
Apologies to the gearheads out there, but a DIY high-voltage battery replacement on your Model 3 is probably out of your league. Unless you happen to be an HV-certified tech, you shouldn’t even consider trying to replace a Model 3 Battery yourself.
Some of the hazards of working on a high-voltage battery include:
- Combustion (explosion) and fire
- Chemical exposure
Honestly, it’s best to have all work on a Tesla’s HV battery system done by a certified technician. Not only is a DIY job on the HV system dangerous, but any insurance coverage and/or component warranty eligibility would likely become very difficult to sort out should something go wrong.
How Do I Know if My Tesla Model 3 Battery Needs to Be Replaced?
We do know of a few basic warning signs that mean a Model 3 may need a battery replacement:
- Failure to hold any charge
- Over 30% battery capacity degradation during the warranty period
- A sudden loss of driving range (over 20%)
- Tesla’s in-app notification that something is wrong with the Model 3’s battery
Battery problems (with the exception of degradation) generally include issues that make your Model 3 inoperable, and a visit to the service center will be necessary. These problems don’t often show up slowly, so it is difficult to predict whether or not a specific pack will experience them.
While Tesla’s battery packs have a history of excellent performance over time, it’s worth noting that many used Model 3s are also still within the terms of their original battery warranty. We recommend checking into a Model 3’s eligibility for warranty-covered battery replacement if you are either the owner of a Model 3 or are considering purchasing a used Model 3.
Let’s look at which replacement scenarios Tesla’s Battery and Drive Unit Warranty may cover on the Model 3:
Are Model 3 Battery Replacements Covered Under Warranty?
Tesla covers defects in the Model 3’s high voltage battery and associated parts for 8 years and 100,000 miles (whichever comes first) for the RWD version and 120,000 miles for the Long Range and Performance versions. What this means is that if a part fails, like a high voltage cable or a battery cell, Tesla will cover the cost of repair, labor, and other costs incurred by the need for repair. These other costs can include things like a loaner vehicle or towing expenses.
Battery replacement due to a loss of more than 30% battery capacity over the warranty period is also covered by the Model 3’s battery warranty.
For more information on the Model 3 battery warranty (conditions that void the warranty, failure of the battery warranty to transfer to new owners, etc), be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Tesla Warranty Coverage.
Should I Be Worried About the Batteries in a Used Model 3?
We think the Model 3’s battery record speaks for itself, but you should always be ready to ask some specific questions about past battery performance and current conditions when considering a used EV. After all, the high-voltage battery on a used Model 3 is just as important as any engine in a gas car.
Asking the current owner of a used Model 3 about charging habits and battery health history can help you screen for potential issues. For the best peace of mind, a pre-purchase inspection by a Tesla Service Center (or through a knowledgeable 3rd party like Gruber Motors) can give you top-notch battery health information to factor into your buying decision.
One interesting tidbit of info that might help ease your fears about Tesla battery replacements: most of the time, if the battery does need to be replaced, it’s not due to unexpected degradation. The lithium-ion batteries are holding up even better than predicted, with a loss of only 12% of their original range over 200,000 miles, according to Tesla.
We do recommend prioritizing warrant coverage in your search for a used Model 3, but only because it’s a sensible thing to do in most car-buying scenarios. The cost to replace a Tesla battery, whether it’s for the Model 3 or the Model S, is definitely still high. However, actual Model 3 battery replacements are still few and far between—some estimates put all replacement cases (with or without warranty) at just 1-1.5% of vehicles.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace the 12V Battery in a Tesla Model 3?
The 12V battery in a Tesla Model 3 runs most of the low-voltage systems in the vehicle (think windshield wipers, windows, and touchscreens), and just like in most cars, it does occasionally need to be replaced. Some estimates say replacement of the 12V battery should happen about every 3 years, and most Tesla service centers will sell one to you for about $100.
The Model 3 uses a lead-acid 12V battery (with exceptions, see note below), and Tesla recommends that you replace it with the same make/model: AtlasBX / Hankook 85B24LS 12V 45Ah
Good news for the DIY inclined: unlike the high-voltage battery, you CAN replace the low-voltage battery yourself. For a full set of instructions that includes both the pre- and post-2020 Model 3, see Tesla’s website.
Note: Model 3’s manufactured in Fremont, California after December 2021 come with a lithium ion 12V battery. This battery should last longer than the lead-acid battery (some claims put it at around 15 years of usable life), but it comes at a steep price: over $450 for a replacement.
Where Can I Find a Used Tesla Model 3 With a Good Battery That Doesn’t Need Replacement?
On Find My Electric, of course! If you’re looking for the best selection of used Tesla Model 3s online (most of which are still under the factory battery warranty), check out our used Tesla Model 3 listings and find the perfect Tesla EV for you today!