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About to buy a roadster

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by stoneskid, May 28, 2016.

  1. stoneskid

    stoneskid Member

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    I'm seriously considering getting a 1.5. I currently own my second model S. After all the problems with my 2013 I'm hesitant to buy a 2008 vehicle with no warranty. It has 20k on it and seems to be in amazing 100% functioning order. My questions are, what should I look into when buying a used roadster and what type of common problems do or will the 2008 have?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I bought my Roadster in 2014, less than a year after I bought my Model S. I have no regrets. The Roadster is an amazing, incredibly fun car to drive. But you have to appreciate that the Roadster is a far less sophisticated car than the S, it's totally different except you get the same rush when you mash the Go Pedal.

    Owning a Roadster means potentially facing some very big repair bills if the battery fails or the PEM fails. That is unlikely, but certainly possible. That is the reality. Major parts are very expensive and some parts are becoming difficult to get (there is a active thread about that right now).

    You asked for specifics about the 1.5 compared to later versions, this has been discussed endlessly and I recommend you search TMC and find those threads.

    When buying a used Roadster I think it is very important to be able to access the vehicle logs and check the CAC, it is the best measure of the health of the battery. It's easy to do if you have access to the car. If the seller won't let you do it, I would be concerned.

    You could pay to have Tesla inspect the car.
     
  3. AEdennis

    AEdennis Active Member

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    @ecarfan gives great advice. A couple of things to add...

    1) find out when the last time the previous owner had the car serviced. It has a countdown for each year.

    2) get the logs by plugging in a USB stick and run the apps (check for instructions around here)

    3) if you want to share the VIN, @TEG can pull up the info he has on that vehicle. (he's the Roadster whisperer).
     
  4. gregd

    gregd Member

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    Also contact a Service Center and talk to them about the car. When I was buying my Roadster they were able to pull up the car (need the VIN, of course), and review its repair history (at least as far as Tesla's service was concerned). Not foolproof, but good for peace of mind.

    I also endorse the earlier suggestions to get the vehicle logs and pick through them. USB stick with a directory named "VehicleLogs" (watch the upper case letters). Stick it in the USB slot under the dash (not sure exactly where this is on the 1.5). Wait for the blinking to stop; takes a few minutes for the 8-ish mb file to download. Besides the battery health, you can also get an idea of other systems, especially the various fans. I ended up with a bit of PEM repair work to do that, in hindsight, were in evidence in the logs (error codes 1144, 1146) going back some 6 months.

    Also in hindsight, I'd still have bought the car! Just nice to know what I was getting into...
     
  5. Dean412

    Dean412 Member

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    Stoneskid,
    there are two Roadsters for sell on AutoTrader, I believe they are both 2010 2.5 models , one is an orange sport and the other is fusion red,
     
  6. supersnoop

    supersnoop Tesla Roadster #334

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    There are still some Roadster's with a few months of the CPO warranty remaining, and I'm told the warranty can be extended on those cars.

    I had my car listed for sale before she got hit on the side. She's almost back to perfect, but I'm not sure if I'm going to list her again once the shop is finished.
     
  7. slcasner

    slcasner Member

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    The USB stick needs to be formatted FAT16 and hence it needs to be 2GB or less capacity. The directory VehicleLogs needs to be at the top level. The USB slot is in the space under the center console in the 1.5; I believe that is the same for all versions. The file that is written is 12MB.
     
  8. gregd

    gregd Member

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    Ok, so the 2gb limit must be a 1.5 thing. My 4gig stick works fine in my 2.0; presume it was formatted FAT32, but I haven't checked.

    Under the center console is where my USB jack is too. Top of the stick goes towards the passenger side (it's hard to see under there, and you never get the orientation right the first time!).
     
  9. AEdennis

    AEdennis Active Member

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    Mine is acting up. Tried FAT, FAT32 1GB drives and 1 FAT32 2GB drive. Including a couple that worked before.
     
  10. simonog

    simonog Member

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    Bought my 2011 roadster second hand from Tesla last year.

    Came with 37 month warranty.

    Total delight to drive though I would echo @ecarfan: pretty basic car with lovely handling.

    Two accessories I've found enhance the experience: OVMS box to allow online access from my mobile phone: and one of @hcsharp's CAN connectors to allow me to charge from third party Type 2 chargers.
     
  11. slcasner

    slcasner Member

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    It occurs to me that there could also be a limited set of drivers for the different kinds of interface chips in the memory stick, so that only some chip types are supported. But that would not explain a change from working to not-working.
     
  12. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Yes, OVMS is wonderful since you can access info about your car through the smartphone app. See the "OVMS Technical Discussion" thread.

    And Henry Sharp's adapters are super cool. One allows you to charge from a J1722 equipped charger (the most common kind of EV charger plug) and the other allows you to charge from a Tesla HPWC charger cable. Really nice to have!
     
  13. shrink

    shrink Member

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    The stock headlights are the worst thing about the Roadster. Check if the car has the Xenon upgrade. If not, just be aware that it costs a ridiculous $2600 to upgrade. However, if you are handy with cars, many owners here have installed 3rd party HID's for much less.
     
  14. AEdennis

    AEdennis Active Member

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    I know... Weird. Finally found some 2gb ones and tried in FAT and FAT32. All same error (asks me to reinsert card).
     
  15. gregd

    gregd Member

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    You may need to reboot something; I've had the auto-mount process hang on my Linux box in the past. Though, if it's recognizing that the flash drive is there, that doesn't sound like a hang... {shrug}
     
  16. slcasner

    slcasner Member

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    Good point. Your comment reminds me of an instance years ago when I couldn't get the download to work and a reboot of the VMS fixed the problem.
     
  17. AEdennis

    AEdennis Active Member

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    Thanks guys... Since we're probably driving off early tomorrow to go to the Annual meeting, and the Roadster is still in the CPO warranty period and I'm not "one to void warranties", I'll just drive by the Service Center to have them do this... But I did a search to see how to do this and found this thread.
     
  18. Tex EV

    Tex EV Member

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    I bought my car a month ago and the Service Center was unwilling to do this without the current owner on the line. Called multiple times and spoke to multiple people... this is apparently a new policy.

    Also be aware that when you buy the car, the SC will not touch it until it's in your name in their system. Start the transfer process asap, as it can take a while (two weeks in my case).
     
  19. gregd

    gregd Member

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    Actually I was kind of surprised that they shared the information with me. Delighted, yes, but surprised. Oh, well... This is probably for the best, given the state of security and privacy issues.
     
  20. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    I'm also really interested in getting a Roadster when the kids all move out and a two seater will be fine. So I have also been looking at used ones since we can import them into Canada. This one caught my eye but I see now it's been removed from Ebay:

    Tesla: Roadster Base Convertible 2-Door
    This Roadster was just serviced by Tesla receiving a new high voltage battery that comes with a 12 month/12,000 mile warranty.
    Mileage:Only 5,250!

    It looked like a pretty good deal to me, if it all checked out.
     

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