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About to purchase first Tesla !?!

Greg63

Member
Jan 10, 2021
36
34
NC
I'm about to purchase a 2013 model S 85 at a really good price. It has 150k on it and it was first delivered in August 2014 with about 7k miles so it must have been a loaner. I believe that should mean that the warranty is good until 8/2022. I know it has the tech package but not sure what other features it has. It looks great except for some minor wear. I have limited information about the car because of the way I'm buying it. I buy it or I don't based on this limited information. I'm getting it as a wholesale vehicle through a dealer so do I loose the free supercharging and premium connectivity?

Being new to Tesla I don't even know what questions to ask never mind know what to look for. Could you please direct me to the information that I need. Has someone put together some educational information to help a newbe get started? I've read some posts and all it's done is let me know I have a LOT of catching up to do.

I'm planning on calling the local Tesla location to see if they offer a service that will check out the vehicle for me as well as tell me what it originally came with and what service has been done to the vehicle. I don't have access to the previous owner.
 

KyleDay

Active Member
Oct 29, 2016
1,165
2,572
AZ
It won’t have autopilot (didn’t come out in 2013 at all). If that’s important to you, as it would be to me, then make sure you’re comfortable with that.
 

Alysashley79

Active Member
Oct 4, 2013
1,199
513
Seattle(ish) WA
2013 only had a few adds...tech package which had the nav/maps and electronic rear hatch.

then there was the cold weather package so you’d have heated seats and heated windshield

then there was the rear jump seats

that’s about it for packages.
 

Greg63

Member
Jan 10, 2021
36
34
NC
Thank you for the replies.

Autopilot would be nice but not high on my want list. I checked and there doesn’t seem to be any heating options beyond the front seats so no cold weather package. I’m aware of the warranty that’s left and that gives me some peace of mind because the battery and motor are my major concerns.

Are there other things I should check for, be concerned about or keep my eye on?
 

AustinP

Active Member
Apr 6, 2015
1,222
970
Belgium
The MCU1 might have been replaced. So it would be interesting for you to know so, as until a year or so, replaced MCU1 came with a 4 year warranty.
As replaced MCU1 tend to also fail soon, if it has a warranty, it can save you some money some day.
 

aerodyne

Active Member
Nov 19, 2018
2,522
2,217
Los Angeles
You will loose FUSC if bought from third party, that is a dealer. Connectivity should be enabled.

Make sure your dealer knows Tesla's.

Get all the car info by searching the VIN on EV CPO.com.

Buying a Tesla with limited info is unwise for an inexperienced buyer. The price is low for a reason. Do you even know the battery state, (Rated Range) or how to check same?
 

Crutonius

Member
Sep 12, 2020
161
144
Salt Lake City, Utah
Tesla won't give you it's service history, which is obnoxious. But they will answer specific questions. They did for me at least. I'd ask them about these items:

Has the drive unit been replaced? Very important. That year had a huge problem with them.

Have the door handles been fixed?

Has the MCU screen/flash been replaced?

Does it have a clean title?

Also if it has a sunroof then check to make sure it works.

Also I'm not sure what price you're looking at but you should seriously consider a 2015 or newer if possible. There's quite a few issues that they shook out in those first few years.

But maybe it's enough of a price difference to make it worth it.
 
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Greg63

Member
Jan 10, 2021
36
34
NC
I am now officially a Tesla owner! I went by Tesla service today and the person I talked to said that when Tesla has me as the owner of the vehicle he will show me the vehicle's history. TPMS light is on but everything else works. Supercharged today to 100%. I know, don't do that unless I have to, but I wanted to see how many miles it would go to, 237 miles. I'm going to track the actual miles. I know it has the first version of the MCU but it's been upgrade to LTE. Does have one sound that sounds kind of like a tire with a screw in the tread. Seems to be coming from the front but not sure.

I would have rather had a 2015 with AP and free supercharging but it would cost a whole lot more.
 
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aerodyne

Active Member
Nov 19, 2018
2,522
2,217
Los Angeles
I am now officially a Tesla owner! I went by Tesla service today and the person I talked to said that when Tesla has me as the owner of the vehicle he will show me the vehicle's history. TPMS light is on but everything else works. Supercharged today to 100%. I know, don't do that unless I have to, but I wanted to see how many miles it would go to, 237 miles. I'm going to track the actual miles. I know it has the first version of the MCU but it's been upgrade to LTE. Does have one sound that sounds kind of like a tire with a screw in the tread. Seems to be coming from the front but not sure.

I would have rather had a 2015 with AP and free supercharging but it would cost a whole lot more.


First, congrats!

Rated Range sounds good after 7 Years and 150k miles. Being able to charge to 100 percent is a good sign, and nothing wrong about doing that occasionally although it is never required for battery health, and the pumps and fans run 100% over 80% SoC due to recent firmware updates.

Know that you will not get that range in highway driving because the range estimate is for combined and also includes 2-4 KwH of unusable lower buffer.

If you ask about the getting an extended warranty, you might be able to pry out prior service records. That's how I did it.

FUSC is great for impressing the heck out of folks new to Tesla, but less than 10% of operating costs.
 
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jrwaters1

Member
Mar 6, 2018
113
147
Trent Woods NC
The car needs to be at a super great price. This car has a lot of miles . At best it is a risky buy. A car is valued at what someone will pay for it. I’ll bet people are not lined up to buy it. With due diligence, it could be a good buy. What do they want for the car? If you are a good mechanic and like to do your own work, the risk would be reduced considerably.
 

domodan

Member
Jul 15, 2020
399
180
UT, United States
The car needs to be at a super great price. This car has a lot of miles . At best it is a risky buy. A car is valued at what someone will pay for it. I’ll bet people are not lined up to buy it. With due diligence, it could be a good buy. What do they want for the car? If you are a good mechanic and like to do your own work, the risk would be reduced considerably.
He already bought it and loves it.

OP - congrats! I’d love to see some pictures of the car and details around what you paid. I like that some of the older cars are becoming affordable for a larger group. People ask me all the time about buying one and I like know what the current floor is.
 

ajbessinger

EV Repair Technician at QC Charge
Sep 2, 2020
55
156
San Marcos California, USA
Check to see if the drive unit has been replaced, and I would HIGHLY reccomend pulling the rotor speed sensor to check for internal coolant leakage (even if it has been replaced). The rotor speed sensor is located on the left hand side of the motor, about an inch to the rear of the left side coolant tube. Large drive units are also prone to destroying bearings, especially if it's still the original drive unit.

Here's an example of what happens when coolant leaks into the motor. Becuase of the extreme corrosion, this motor was seized up solid, and we had to press the rotor out with a 20 ton press.

20201221_162731.jpg


20210113_213841.jpg


20210113_214002.jpg


I rebuild at least 1-2 of these drive units on an almost weekly basis. But in the case of some, they get to the point where they can't be saved...

If you want to try and got for upmost reliability, I'd aim for a 2015 or newer, dual motor non-performance. They do not use the large drive unit that has the bearing and coolant leakage issues. They also have other hardware upgrades such as the DC/DC converter and onboard vehicle charger.
 
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Greg63

Member
Jan 10, 2021
36
34
NC
I went back to Tesla today and he looked through the history. It's had regular maintenance performed at Tesla and the person I was talking to knew the previous owner. It has the original door handles, battery, MCU and screen. The motor was replaced in April of 2016. The sunroof was fixed a couple of times and there are some water stains on the pillar. I put new tires on it today and that noise that I thought was possibly a bad tire turned out to be right. Also had Discount Tire replace the sensors on all 4 wheels and I still have the fault warning.

I'm thinking maybe it might be a good idea to upgrade the MCU since it's eventually going to go bad. I know a recall is coming but everyone is praising the upgrade with the exception of the backup camera at night. Tesla repaired the driver door handle and all handles are working fine so I'll wait on updating them.

I didn't want to mention price because people would probably swear that there has to be something wrong. With 19 months left on the warranty I don't think it's that big a risk. This car has been driven 150k and had very little done to it. I drive maybe 6k/year so this car should last me a long time if I want it to. It looks fantastic for it's age and miles! Battery still charges to 237 miles at 100%. I know I won't get that many miles but it's only 10.5% off of its rating when it was new. With the new tires and an upgraded MCU (with new screen) I'll still have less than $20k in the car. So you can see my risk is very low and I got the car I've wanted for a long time!!! I also like that it's the one with the bigger frunk. I feel like a little kid and it's fun to feel like this. I HAVE A MODEL S and it still looks great!

BTW, if the price wasn't right I would have waited til I could get at least a 2015 model S.
 
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