Tesla Model S Owners & Service Manuals

Tesla Model S: Gearbox Fluid - Small Rear Drive Unit (Remove and Replace)

Tesla Model S (2012-2024) Service Manual / Rear Drive Unit / Gearbox Fluid - Small Rear Drive Unit (Remove and Replace)

Warning: If the vehicle has air suspension, activate "Jack" mode on the touchscreen before raising and supporting the vehicle.

Drain & Refill

  1. Position the vehicle in preparation for raising it, but do not raise it at this time.
  2. Air suspension vehicles only: Depressurize the rear LH air spring (refer to procedure).
  3. Engage "Tow" mode.
  4. Remove the LH rear wheel (refer to procedure).
  5. Remove the mid aero shield (refer to procedure).
  6. Prepare a drain pan to catch the gearbox fluid.
  7. On the LH side of the gearbox, release the drain plug. Allow the fluid to completely drain, then reinstall the drain plug (torque 28 Nm).

    Drain & Refill

    Caution: Do not attempt to fill the drive unit through the upper plug.

  8. Remove the LH parking brake caliper (refer to procedure).
  9. Release the bolts that secure the following 3 fasteners to the knuckle:
    1. Upper link

      Drain & Refill

    2. Toe link

      Drain & Refill

    3. Shock absorber

      Drain & Refill

  10. Use a driveshaft extractor to release the axle from the drive unit.
  11. Release the axle seal from the drive unit.
  12. Slowly fill the gearbox through the axle opening.

    Caution: If the gearbox is filled too quickly, fluid will spill out onto the drive unit casing.

    Note: Use the fluid specified in General Information > Fluids and Capacities > Fluids .

    Note: Use the amount specified in General Information > Fluids and Capacities > Fluid Capacities .

    Caution: Use exactly the specified amount of transmission fluid. Do not fill to the top of the axle opening.

    Drain & Refill

  13. Inspect the axle seal for damage and replace if necessary.
  14. When installing the driveshaft into the drive unit:
    • Ensure that the opening of the snap ring is facing towards the bottom of the drive unit.
    • Do not damage or displace the drive unit seal.
    • Verify that the driveshaft is fully seated by carefully pushing it into the drive unit until there is an audible "click" from the snap ring.
  15. Reinstall the 3 fasteners to the knuckle. Caution: Do not fully torque the fasteners at this time; they must be torqued when the vehicle is at ride height.
  16. Reinstall the parking brake caliper.
  17. Reinstall the rear LH wheel.
  18. Disengage "Tow" mode.
  19. Air suspension vehicles only: Repressurize the rear LH air spring (refer to procedure).
  20. With the vehicle at ride height, fully torque the 3 fasteners to the knuckle:
    • Upper link (140 Nm)
    • Toe link (130 Nm)
    • Shock absorber (torque 140 Nm)
  21. Reinstall the mid aero shield.

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