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Advice: Used Roadster

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by pace charging, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. pace charging

    pace charging Member

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    I've been seeing a lot of used roadsters for sale online lately.
    While I would love to get an S with kids and large dog I think I need to stick to my gas guzzler (for now), but I would love to get a roadster for zipping around town as a second car?
    Now that they've been out a few years anyone have any good feedback about their where and tear with a few years of use?
     
  2. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    #2 ChadS, Nov 7, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
    Too bad there aren't enough that Consumer Reports can get some data on the Roadster. Online anecdotes (like the one I am giving) are subject to self-selection, and with small numbers it doesn't take many exceptionally happy or upset people (both more likely to post than people in the middle) to throw the numbers off.

    But I've had my Roadster for over 4 years and over 40k miles. Works great. I've taken it in to the shop for annual inspections, one wiring recall a few years ago, and new tires. At one inspection I asked them to fix a couple of squeaks and rattles. The only thing that has ever really not worked was my car not working with Chargepoint stations a few years ago (other Roadsters did). Hard to fault Tesla too much though as the car was released before the J1772 standard was finalized so Tesla couldn't do any testing, and they did fix my car for free.

    I've met a lot of owners, and while not everybody has been trouble-free, they really do love the cars. They are a ton of fun to drive. The batteries seem to be holding up very well. Of the ones that have sold, by far the most common reason is to get a Model S. I can't think of anybody I know that has sold a Roadster and gotten a different sports car.

    I wrote up some impressions on the Roadster (and the Model S) HERE.
     
  3. augkuo

    augkuo Member

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    The most important is the health of the battery - as the dealer/owner what the fully charged range/standard mode mileage is (take picture). If it's a savvy owner, ask for the CAC value (documented elsewhere) - anything above 150 is pretty good.

    Exterior issues - some people have seen their headlights "peel" - kind of like the plastic coating flaking off due to UV exposure
    some cars aren't water tight (leaks in trunk, etc.) so I guess you'd have to do a real world test with lots of water (car wash?) - the softtop can be tightened easily but fixing getting water into the trunk is more involved

    Interior issues - make sure the tire pressure monitor works ok, drive it around for awhile over bumps, etc.
    radio reception might be poor and there's a service bulletin for that
    HVAC knobs are prone to pop off, make sure they're in securely


    I wouldn't buy anything over the phone/internet unless it's a CPO Tesla or still under warranty (extended). I had gotten mine over the internet and it still had 2 years left on the warranty and I was in the service center a lot (although I
    did do a lot of different upgrades). Test drive one and see if you like the seating (a bit of a yoga move to get in and out), no power steering, creaks and squeaks (no engine noise to drown them out!), and limited cargo capacity. If your
    fun factor outweighs these then definitely get it!

    Enjoy!



     
  4. Pantera Dude

    Pantera Dude Member

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    I bought my 2008 Roadster a year ago and the biggest problem I've had is the charge timer quit working so I have to start charging it manually. It has 34K miles on it now. The thought of the battery failing is spooky! The car is a lot of fun to drive and it is WAY cool not having to buy gas. It feels like I can drive it as hard as I want while costing me nothing to do it. I know that's not true but it feels that way. To get that kind of acceleration in anything else you'll be buying a lot of "costly gasoline." (Kramer from Seinfeld):biggrin:
     
  5. AltPowr

    AltPowr Member

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    I'm sure I can't be the only one, but I purchased a Model S first, then a Roadster second. I test drove new Roadsters back in 2010, but fully loaded at $140K to $160K, I just couldn't pull the trigger and ended up buying a new Lotus Evora for $80K. I put a deposit down for a Model S in June 2010, then enjoyed my Evora for a few years with the intention of selling it when the Model S arrived. The main reason for looking at the Roadster and the Evora was that I wanted something you don't see at every stoplight. Fast forward to December 2012, I sell my Evora, and my Model S is delivered, as planned.

    However, things did not work out as I thought. The Model S was to be "my car", however I work at home and my wife drives about 45 minutes to work every day, in traffic. So she drove it a few days, using the carpool lane, and cutting her drive time to and from work in half. And it didn't cost any gas. Several months down the road, I find the only time I get to "borrow" my car is on the weekends. So I gave up my Lotus and ended up with the other older, leftover car. Doesn't seem right. Luckily my wife agreed.

    I knew I wanted another sports car, and started the hunt. Would really like to get a Roadster, but I remember them priced at $140K to $160K. To my surprise the prices dropped drastically - mainly because Tesla took so many in on trade, added 3 year warranties, and started selling them like hot cakes. I corresponded with the Tesla CPO guy for a few months - discussing all of the CPO cars as soon as they came in, before they hit the website or ebay. Nothing would match up - I wanted a 2.5, certain colors, certain options. I ended up running across an extremely well kept Electric Blue 2.5 right here on the forum, across the country, and bought it. Luckily I was on a business trip and stopped by to test drive and meet the owner before deciding on the purchase.

    I have had the Roadster now for almost 2 months, and love it. When I purchased it I made sure to purchase one that was still within the factory warranty. I know it's a big investment of $12,500, but that was a requirement that I set before looking. So I went into Tesla and paid the bill, and now I know I have worry free driving for 3 years / 36K miles. You get the same with the CPO cars. So all is well - I have my sports car, my wife has the Model S, and we are both driving electric - which I actually had never thought I would do. Like many of us, I'm a car guy - restoring my 69 Camaro and 65 Mustang right now - can't give up the muscle cars. But things have changed for me pretty drastically. I still read all of the magazines - Car & Driver, Road & Track, AutoWeek, Automobile, etc. But, when I see a cool new car, like the Jaguar F-type, I read about it, but would never buy it - it's not electric. I also go to the San Francisco auto show every year at Thanksgiving to see all of the new cars for the year. This year, I may not go, I'm really not interested in anything else at all.

    So if you can get a nice Roadster, get it - you will love it. But beware, it could change your outlook on cars completely. I'm desperate to get on the list for the Tesla Roadster replacement, supercar, or whatever it will be a few years down the road. That may be the only car I can replace my Roadster with. If you put a Ferrari 458 in front of me, or an Aventador, or anything else of that caliber, I would love to drive it around for a few weeks, but I would rather own my Roadster. And to top that off, I see those much more often then Roadsters, at least here in the Bay Area.
     
  6. Owner

    Owner Active Member

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    I had one for four years and about 40K miles. Any 'issues' I had were very minor like bad radio reception. Trivial really. I have had more problems with the Model S in comparison. I have been blogging all the time too, so you can see the full rundown of everything here: Tesla Owner | Life in the green fast lane
     
  7. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Some of us have stopped that too. I will look at them i the dentist office now or glance through them at the store but same thing, as cool as some of the new cars look they just are not electric.

    Pace, you should decide where you want a 1.5.or 2.5 sport before you get too far. I love my 1.5 and the used prices are better if that's important.
     
  8. Botbldr45

    Botbldr45 Member

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    Pace,
    I bought an AudiTT roadster back in 2004 when the Tesla Roadster was just a sifi dream on the Internet. The Audi became my love. It was the best car I had ever driven. It was fast, nimble and the roar of the engine was like music. When the turbo clicked in at about 2500 rpm it was like injecting nitro into a race car. I was on top of the world. Couldn't have it all the time cause it was in the shop a bit .... But ALL sports cars spend time in the shop ..... right?

    I bought my 2.5 #992 about two years and 29500 miles ago. One week after my purchase I gave the Audi to my sister..... I knew I would never drive it again. After one test drive the Audi became slow, embarrassingly slow off the line and obnoxiously loud! I can be in the worse mood ever and a few blocks in #992 and I am smiling. I bought it its own iPod which I keep plugged in for tunes and I have no problem with Sirius Radio so music is on every second. I don't use the other radio stations so have no complaints about reception. There are blogs out on repositioning the antenna wires if you like (Pantera Dude) did one for his radio I think.

    I go in for regular service, got a few upgrades and CF pieces ...... Only problem has been the TPMS which got fixed by Tesla Service in two hours. The Roadster defies description! I stopped looking at cars they way I used to. It's like flying a firefly through a herd of dinosaurs. I am very careful in traffic because #992 can do stuff ICERs don't expect......... Although getting on the freeway is always fun cause you can match and traffic speed in under 4seconds.

    The Tesla program for used Roadsters seems solid and gives you your warranty. Repairs could get very pricey without a warranty. Even though I have had no problems I will get the extended warranties when mine expired. There are those who have had isolated incidents of breakdown ( read the Roadster Forum). Read the Forum for battery care tips and techniques.....very important.

    If you get your Roadster your driving experience will change forever. I'm 66, I figured out how to get in and out of #992 easily (first challenge....:)) I have driven a lot of cars in my life. The ONLY way I will trade #992 in is on the next Roadster from Tesla ...... And I may not even be able to do that! Unless the new one can fly or has laser cannons!:scared:
     
  9. tvuolo

    tvuolo Member

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    Wow, guys! Great testimonials! Like Pace, I've been considering a Roadster since I saw the CPO Roadsters fall into my price range over the summer. They're a bit high, now, but with all the positive experiences that people have given, I'm going to stretch this spring and pull the trigger. I absolutely LOVE my BMW 3-series convertible, and I hate to get rid of it. But with comments like Botbldr's, how can I say no? :smile:

    If anyone has a Roadster in the Denver / Boulder area in Colorado and would like to give me a ride, I'd love to experience one before I buy. I'd be happy to meet you and buy you coffee or lunch some day. The big thing for me is that I've heard the 1.5 seats are uncomfortable. I'd be using this as my Spring through Fall daily driver (my wife thinks it will be my weekend car - ha!). I commute 30 miles per day taking about 90 minutes, and that's a long time on uncomfortable seats.

    On a side note… I test drove the Model S a few weeks after I drove a Ferrari 360 through the mountains. I was way more impressed with my 30 minute Model S test drive than with the Ferrari. If I hadn't taken that darned test drive, I would still be pursuing my childhood dream of owning a Ferrari (yeah I watched Magnum PI as a kid). Now I have Tesla on my mind and I can't even get excited about the thought of owning a Ferrari. It just seems like so much work.
     
  10. Botbldr45

    Botbldr45 Member

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    2.5 seats are not bad for a sports car .... I must admit that I do have my adjustable suspension set to second softest ride though. That does make a difference on bridge expansion joints or Colorado frost heaves ...:)
     
  11. Bsmithaudio

    Bsmithaudio New Member

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    I just acquired my CPO roadster #700 last week, it's been absolutely amazing to drive and like others have said I'm hooked on it. It just goes like nothing else I've ever driven.

    Tvuolo, I have a 2.0 and the seats aren't bad at all. They're no s-class seats, but then this is a sports car. The biggest problem most people have is getting in and out though after a week I've gotten pretty good at it. You do have to be aware that it's a hand built sports car and there are little oddities like when you close the trunk pressing carefully on each side as opposed to just slamming it down. But when you compare it to an Aston Martin which is the other car I was looking at when I got the tesla, you realize that as exotic cars go, the tesla just has way fewer places for things to go wrong. And, the acceleration will put a smile on your face every time you step on it!

    Best of luck with the hunt, and definitely contact the cpo department as they have some cars not yet listed that might fit you perfectly like 700 did for me :)
     
  12. PokerBroker

    PokerBroker Member

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    IMO the CPO program is hard to beat... I purchased #105 a little over 3 months ago and have put over 5000 miles on it since. I got mine sub-60k with only 17,000 miles on it and with the 36mo/36,000mi warranty including the battery it just can't be beat. If you are really interested and looking for a lower cost Roadster you need to email the CPO group and ask about their CURRENT inventory or cars that are INCOMING. They do not keep up with their inventory on the teslamotors.com page OR ebay. The sub-$60k Roadsters get snagged before they ever make it online. I wouldn't buy a 1.5 from a private party for anything more than $50k.
     
  13. Pantera Dude

    Pantera Dude Member

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    I wasn't very happy with the seats in my 1.5 when I bought it a year ago. Not much cushion in the seat bottom and not as much lateral support as I would like. I'm 6'2" and 175 pounds so I'm thin. If I was 6'2" and 250 I might fit just fine. After a year, I'm no longer thinking about replacing the seats. I don't even notice any problem with them any more. If I was autocrossing every weekend I might replace them. If you do buy a 1.5, I would say give yourself 6 months before replacing the seats, you might just get used to them. Plus they are probably lighter than anything you will replace them with. That additional weight could easily cost you two or three hundredths of a second in that 0-60 time.:biggrin:
     
  14. Botbldr45

    Botbldr45 Member

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    ..................and if you are playing with a humiliated 35 yr old Porsche owner that fraction of a second might be valuable, especially if he sneaks up on you and gets the drop on ya ..... you can still make him red in the face ................ but fractions help.:biggrin:
     

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