Tesla Undercarriage Damage (The Full Replacement Guide)

Tesla Undercarriage Replacement

If you own a Tesla vehicle of any model and model year, you are very likely to need to replace the undercarriage at some point; and this often happens as early as some months into your ownership of a new Tesla vehicle.

This is because, Tesla undercarriages are made from composite plastic. And, as if that’s not bad enough, the installation is oftentimes done incorrectly. That’s why many Tesla owners experience instances where the Tesla-fitted undercarriage cover comes off when driving through curbs, rough roads, mud, waterlogged areas, and suchlike.

So, if yours already needs replacement a few months into your ownership of the vehicle, just know that it is commonplace with Tesla vehicles.

In this article, I will tell you all you need to know about replacing the undercarriage of your Tesla, including:

  • Full replacement costs
  • Best replacement options
  • Maintenance best practices

Tesla Undercarriage Damage Cost

The cost of replacing your Tesla undercarriage depends largely on what kind of material you replace it with. Tesla undercarriages are made of plastic. Reinforced plastic, yes, but plastic nonetheless.

And, unless you will never have to drive through potholes, snow, rough roads, flooded roads, vegetation, or any other obstacles that could affect the under of your vehicle, then the plastic undercarriage is a good replacement option.

However, if you want to go for a practical option, then you should consider getting a steel or hardened aluminium undercarriage.

But then, if your vehicle is still under warranty, then Tesla could replace the undercarriage for free. However, note that:

  • They will replace it with an undercarriage of the same fiberboard material, howbeit a bit sturdier
  • They will warn you that the same issue is bound to reoccur
  • In many cases, you will be blamed for the damage and shown a line in warranty terms and condition that absolves them of the responsibility of replacing your undercarriage for free. And so you’d have to pay for it, anyway. The good thing is that the newer undercarriages are sturdier even though they are still very susceptible to damage

So, unless you want to continue making these trips to Tesla service centers, you are better off purchasing an undercarriage with better quality.

Whatever the case, I have made a table below detailing the cost of replacing Tesla undercarriage with a Tesla fiberboard, steel, and aluminium undercarriage material.

Note that costs will also differ across locations and the repair shop you choose.

Model Tesla Fiberboard material Hardened Aluminium material Steel material Labor
S 150 – 170 350 – 550 350 – 550 70
X 150 – 170 350 – 550 350 – 550 70
3 150 – 170 350 – 550 350 – 550 70
Y 150 – 170 350 – 550 350 – 550 70

You will find that the price ranges are the same for each material type across the different Tesla models. This is because all models use the same undercarriage configurations, and so what works for one will work for another

Now, if you are going the Tesla composite plastic/fiberboard route, then you are sure of a fixed price for material cost.

But if you are going the aluminium or steel route, you will get vastly different costs from different vendors. But the range I provided pretty much covers them all.

Note that these costs already include VAT, so you don’t need to factor that in.

How Often Does A Tesla Need A Undercarriage Replacement?

The straight answer to this question is, it depends on the material.

For a start, when you first take delivery of your new Tesla, it is likely that the undercarriage will need replacement within a year, unless you only drive on immaculate, flat roads. Otherwise, driving through curbs, snow, water, potholes, and the like will likely tear off the undercarriage of your Tesla; if not completely then badly enough to need a replacement.

So, the question is, what do you replace it with? If you replace it with the same Tesla composite fiber material, then you are likely to need another replacement soon enough. Even honest Tesla technicians will tell you this, as they did me.

But if you go for sturdier materials such as the reinforced aluminium or stainless steel, then you are unlikely to need to replace the undercarriage for years and years to come. The only rub – if you could call it that – is the initial expense of installation which is sometimes more than double that of the Tesla composite fiber.

But if you look at the long term, the reinforced aluminium and steel options are a lot more cost-effective than Tesla’s plastic undercarriage.

So, the bottom line is that how often you need to replace your Tesla undercarriage depends on the undercarriage material. The sturdier the more durable and the less frequently you will need a replacement.

How To Know If Tesla Needs A Undercarriage Replacement

I, for one, realised that something was very wrong with the undercarriage when I started to hear a scraping sound after driving through a rough road. And this is the case with most users. For many others, it’s a flapping sound. When you hear this scraping or flapping sound while driving, it is likely that the undercarriage has come off either partially or almost completely.

So, the question becomes, do you need to replace it or should you go for a repair instead? You see, in most of my Replacement Cost articles on Tesla motor parts, I show you when it’s best to repair and when it’s best to replace. In the case of the undercarriage, you must always replace it completely.

This is because any damage to the composite plastic is permanent. And even if you get a repair job, it’s not going to survive the next uncomfortable ride.

At this point, I would like to point out that the current Tesla undercarriage material is indeed sturdier than the older one. But it still plastic anyway, and could never be compared to reinforced aluminium or steel in terms of durability. So, when replacing keep that in mind.

The bottom line is that any damage to the undercarriage, as long as it is made from composite plastic, will warrant a replacement. What you replace it with is entirely up to you.

How to Get The Tesla Undercarriage Replacement For As Cheap As Possible

Again, it depends on what option you are going for. If you are going the Tesla route, then it is quite cheap, and you can get it done for about $220. And that’s including labor and tax. But that’s because a Tesla service center will only fit your vehicle with the Tesla composite plastic or fiberboard.

So, if you are going the fiberboard/plastic route, I strongly suggest that you go to a Tesla service station and not a local repair shop. You will get the cheapest replacement cost for composite plastic undercarriage at a Tesla service center. And if you’re in luck, you could get them replaced for free under warranty, as many Tesla owners have done.

For aluminium and stainless steel, here are your options for getting cheap replacements:

1. Go to this page on Amazon or any other major retailer like eBay and order the Tesla undercarriage. Then take it to your local repair shop to have them fix it.

Catch – It may not be a good fit for your Tesla

2. Go to your local repair shop and ask them to get you one

Catch – Will be costlier than ordering from Amazon

3. Order from online businesses that specialize in the production and sale of Tesla parts

Catch – This is generally the costliest option, but they are guaranteed to fit and work properly. However, with some research, you will find more affordable options. Just make sure that they have good customer service, in case something doesn’t go well.


Insurers are generally hostile towards Tesla vehicles, especially if you are taking the vehicle to a Tesla service center for the replacement. One big reason for this is the high cost of Tesla parts. However, for an undercarriage, the relatively low cost makes insurance companies more amenable. So, if you have insurance, you are sure to have that taken care of for you.

If you decide to go the aluminium or steel undercarriage option, you may have some explaining to do especially when they are aware that you can get the replacement done for much cheaper at Tesla. But if you can make your case convincingly, you could get some level of coverage for this. Otherwise, you would have to do it all on your own.

In summary:

Tesla composite fiber is the cheapest option especially when done by Tesla technicians. And if you are covered by warranty, you will not even pay for it.

Aluminium and steel undercarriages are costlier, but you can get them for cheap on Amazon. They are costliest if you order from companies that specialize in Tesla parts.

Tesla Undercarriage Maintenance

  1. Whatever material you get, make sure to drive slowly and carefully through uneven roads, snow, flood, curbs, and so on
  2. When you have had to drive through such roads, especially for prolonged periods, examine the undercarriage for any signs of loose fittings. If any, take it to your local repair shop for servicing. Damages to the undercarriage usually start with lose fittings and spaces between the plates. So, keep an eye on that
  3. Sturdier materials need less maintenance. So, yes, go for steel or aluminium undercarriages on your next replacement.
Brady Klinger-Meyers is an experienced writer and marketer with who currently writes for Teslord as well as other popular sites like MakeUseOf and Techzillo. At Teslords, he focuses on general Tesla advice with his interest being accessories and gadgets. Read our Editorial Guidelines and Fact Checking process.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here