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2015 Tesla Model S 85D. First time buyer. What to llok for?

nokianich

New Member
Sep 6, 2021
1
0
Philadelphia PA
Hello,

My brother is looking for to buy a 2015 model S 85D with 60.000 miles for $40K. What to look for and check on that car? I have Chevy Bolt and know something about EVs in general but I heard Teslas have some issues. Could you give some suggestions? Thank you
 

PCMc

Member
Jul 1, 2016
325
289
Columbus, IN
A few things you might want to confirm specification wise. One is whether autopilot was purchased and activated. All cars had the hardware but activation of AP1 functionality was $2500 option at time of purchase.

Second is whether the MCU, or center main screen processing unit has been upgraded to MCU2. That brings faster screen response or loading maps plus the ability to stream video. If the MCU has not been replaced, you should look for any signs of bubbles around the edges of the main screen or the instrument panel. That is indication the glue around the edge is breaking down. That's typically also a good indication that the car has not been upgraded to MCU2 as that upgrade includes replacement of both the main screen and instrument panel.

One way to confirm the MCU version and AP1 is to go into controls > software screen. If Autopilot is activiated below the VIN you should see an entry that say Highway Autopilot with note of included package. If you click on the 'Additional Vehicle Information' link below the VIN it will pull up a screen and you will see an entry that will tell you if it has the base vs premium audio system, and then which Infotainment processor. If it says NVIDIA TEGRA then it is still MCU1. I believe MCU2 will say something like Intel ATOM.

You also should ask about what the peak supercharging rates the car currently gets. Some earlier 85 battery packs have had supercharging speed significantly reduced/throttled by Tesla to protect against further battery deterioration. That may not be important if you don't plan to do much for long range travel but only drive it locally and charge at home.
 

JimmyB

Member
Sep 7, 2014
202
129
Washington, DC
Some 2015s will have the flatter gen1.5 seats, some will have more bolstered “Next Gen” seats. There were a plethora of other options at the time - air suspension, panoramic (opening) sunroof, different interior colour and trim options, hifi sound, sub-zero, 21” or 19” wheels etc etc etc. Ideally get the seller to pull the option string so you can decode everything the car left the factory with. Looking at the “additional information” screen in the software menu will also provide a lot of info. Check (or extrapolate) range at full charge, too. If you know, or are nearby, someone with the ‘Scan My Tesla’ app you can get an in-depth look at battery health, supercharging history etc.

Many of the “issues” people ascribe to the early Model S will either likely have been sorted by now (door handles) or didn’t apply to the 85D (rear drive units). If the car is being sold privately you can ask the seller to retrieve service docs etc from their account. If it’s being sold by a dealer, or has passed through Tesla’s hands in any way since (roughly) H2 2019, it will likely lose, or already have lost, its free supercharging if that’s important to you.
 

AustinP

Active Member
Apr 6, 2015
1,344
1,080
Belgium
about supercharging speed for 85: there seems to be a consensus that it has been limited for all 85 (and old 60 and 70) batteries.
it does not prevent me from road trips but it is indeed way slower that before 2019 (when Tesla sent a sw update to limit the suc speed).
the initial charge curve was 0-25% at 118kW, then from 25% to 100% slowly reducing. Sum of kW and %SoC around 150.
since 2019, that sum is around 100 from 0 to 100%. In practice adds about 50% of charge time.
You might want to ask if the car has the second charger, which double charge speed from AC charging (public chargers). (Note: SuC speed is DC charging and is the same whether you have or not the second AC charger).
 

AustinP

Active Member
Apr 6, 2015
1,344
1,080
Belgium
Some 85s are not throttled. My 2014 p85+ is one of the lucky ones. Peak charge rate this summer was 128kw.
Are you sure ?
It’s true that if I start supercharging with a warm battery below 10%, I’ll also see it climb to 128kW or so, but within a second or two it will decrease dramatically to 90kW or less, matching the “rule” kW + % = +/-100~110.
So when battery is at 15%, it will be at 85kW and decreases by 1kW for each 1% of battery added.
 

JimmyB

Member
Sep 7, 2014
202
129
Washington, DC
You might want to ask if the car has the second charger, which double charge speed from AC charging (public chargers). (Note: SuC speed is DC charging and is the same whether you have or not the second AC charger).
The majority of public chargers won't even get close to 40A; I've yet to encounter a public charger for which the second charger would make any difference. Maybe the occasional HPWC 'Destination Charger'?

I do like charging at 80A at home, though :)
 

Plasmid_Boy

Member
Feb 13, 2020
255
187
Indiana
Are you sure ?
It’s true that if I start supercharging with a warm battery below 10%, I’ll also see it climb to 128kW or so, but within a second or two it will decrease dramatically to 90kW or less, matching the “rule” kW + % = +/-100~110.
So when battery is at 15%, it will be at 85kW and decreases by 1kW for each 1% of battery added.
I will pay closer attention next time I supercharge to see if it’s within the 100-110 range. In one of the pictures I captured this summer, it dropped to 127kw after adding 2 miles.
 

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