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2017 vs. 2021? New Battery Pack or New Car--Is This a Tough Decision?

tps5352

Member
Supporting Member
Oct 30, 2019
601
400
Bay-Delta Region, California, USA
An acquaintance owns a 2017 Model S 75 and would like to increase range.
  • Lives in an area with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters--no snow or ice.
  • Lifetime supercharging; no FSD.
  • Currently gets about 230 miles on a full charge.
  • Car is in good shape.
  • Tesla would offer $20,000 (for trade-in); aftermarket car trader, $30,000.
A Tesla mobile service tech said he could (a) buy a another car or (b) upgrade the battery pack, say to a 100, (for $10,000?--that seems low). The tech also mentioned that the drive train could be replaced/upgraded for $25,000. (Maybe to dual motors?)

$35,000 is a lot but significantly less than the cost of a new(er) Model S. (The 2021 Model S Long Range is ~$100,000 but has a claimed 400-mile range.) So I don't automatically dismiss the question out of hand. Isn't it worth at least exploring?

The issue of upgrading an existing vehicle or replacing it is probably as old (or older) than cars themselves. Why upgrade an existing Model S? I dunno; maybe to:
  1. Save money, yet still get improved range and acceleration.
  2. Retain the free supercharging.
  3. Keep the round steering wheel, portrait-oriented touch screen, and steering-column control stalks.
  4. Avoid a potential wait in ordering a new car.
  5. Stick with "the devil you know." I.e., hold onto a proven, trustworthy vehicle rather than risk a (potentially problematic) new purchase?
But clearly a new Tesla will have improved safety components, computer, batteries, motors, suspension, electrical components, and many other features.

So I suggested that he follow up at the local service center(s). Actually pin down the details (true cost, warranties, repair time, etc.) while also checking out the new cars. Meanwhile, my question to the more fair-minded and experienced among you:

Has anyone upgraded an older Model S? What was your experience, good or bad? What would you recommend? Feel free to pm (private message) me.

2017 Gray Model S.jpg(2017) or2021 Gray Model S.jpg(2021)?​
 
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ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
7,323
14,312
California
He was recently told by a Tesla mobile service tech that the aging battery pack could be replaced and the range improved for $10,000. (That seems low, correct? See Tesla Battery Replacement Cost Explained) The tech also recommended a new drive train for $25,000. (Does that include the motor or motors?) He is also aware that (for more) he can upgrade the onboard computer hardware and software. (What is the promised warranty on a battery upgrade?)

None of this makes any sense at all. I expect there is a lot lost in translation here.

There is no "drive train upgrade" for $25k. The drive unit(s) in a 2017 are still covered under warranty until 2025. Others have successfully purchased new 90kwh batteries, but the cost has ben widely reported to be ~$22k, not $10k.
 
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Electric700

Active Member
May 21, 2013
1,760
437
Florida, United States
...
  • Assume that, other than an aging battery pack, it is in otherwise good shape. He has had no major issues with it...
Then why not just leave everything alone and save $35,000? The car should still have a valid warranty on the battery and drivetrain? 8 years, 150,000+ miles for the Model S 75 I believe? You can also get the extended warranty to cover everything else.

If you are going to spend $35k then may be just go with either a new Model S or another option such as a Model Y.
 
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tps5352

Member
Supporting Member
Oct 30, 2019
601
400
Bay-Delta Region, California, USA
None of this makes any sense at all. I expect there is a lot lost in translation here.

There is no "drive train upgrade" for $25k. The drive unit(s) in a 2017 are still covered under warranty until 2025. Others have successfully purchased new 90kwh batteries, but the cost has ben widely reported to be ~$22k, not $10k.

Sorry. Just reporting how and what I was told. I thought that $10,000 seemed low, also. Warranty info is interesting. Need to ask about that.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
7,083
8,703
Boise, ID
The premise of this thread and the questions are kind of insane. Do people normally just go do tens of thousands of dollars in unnecessary repairs of things that aren't broken on their cars?
 

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