TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Any advice for a new roadster purchase?

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by Mark David, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. Mark David

    Mark David New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    new york
    We are interested in a roadster purchase and will actually be considering an offer when we visit the owner (and car) Tuesday (two days). Being new to Tesla and an EV, we could use any advice on what to actually look for with the car in order to minimize any bad decisions. We were directed to this forum from a Tesla employee who respects the threads they've read over the years.

    The Roadster is a well cared for, v1.5 (early VIN 100-150) with low miles (<4500). We're considering the private sale. If it doesn't look good, we'll likely focus on the CPO program benefits if nothing else comes up in our area.

    We would appreciate any items to specifically look for, any upgrades that should have been completed, any items that should/could be included with, or any specifics on problem areas that only a Roadster owner might pick up on.

    Many thanks!
     
  2. adiggs

    adiggs Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,352
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    As an indicator of the health of the battery, how many "Ideal Miles" does the car charge to in Standard Mode? Just because it's fun, there are four (4) different numbers that you can get and this is one of them.

    You can get two different numbers when the car is set to Standard Model and two other numbers when the car is in Range Mode. In Range Mode, the ~10% of the battery that is hidden away from you in Standard Mode as an emergency reserve gets shown to you. In our Roadster, we go from ~180 Ideal Miles in Standard Mode to ~206 Ideal Miles in Range Mode without actually adding to the charge on the car at all.

    The car will also report Estimated Miles, both directly as an option on the Vehicle Display on the center console, as well as on the dashboard readout near the odometer. Estimated Miles is an indication of how far the car has calculated you can drive based on your recent driving history (I believe it's based on the last 30 miles). As I've driven my Roadster more, I find myself ignoring the Estimated Miles more and more, and relying on the Ideal Miles instead (the Estimated Miles fluctuates too much based on whether I was recently driving uphill, downhill, or whatever - after a 3300 mile road trip, I'm confident that I can hit close enough to the Ideal Miles that it's the number I find most reliable, where the Estimated Miles can be misleadingly optimistic or pessimistic).


    Given the age of the car you describe (4500 miles), I expect that car is on the original rear tires and is 1-3k miles away from needing a new set of rear tires. The front tires are probably good for 15k+ miles, but the rears go like candy :) Expect that you'll have a $5-600 rear tire bill (I think that was about what we spent for the adv08's) in that car's near future, and that the Roadster goes through rear tires at a phenomenal pace (5-8k miles?).

    Last comment is that the car is freaky fun to drive. We've made it our primary and daily driver, whether for going to work, or grocery shopping. It can be entertaining getting all of the groceries into the car, but it's worth it.

    Enjoy!
     
  3. Mark David

    Mark David New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    new york
    Thanks for the advice - printed for future reference!
     
  4. Botbldr45

    Botbldr45 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Messages:
    513
    Location:
    Sedona, Az
    Way cool ........good for you.
    +1 on adiggs comments!

    The higher up the version numbers you go the better. 1.5 with low milage is good.................2.5 better.
    Take it out for test drive...........You don't need to floor it and give yourself whiplash to learn anything about the car that you don't already know. ITS FUN< FUN< FUN!!

    I would accelerate gradually and get up to about 55 - 60 mph... then take your foot off of the accelerator and look, or have someone look at the regen number on the dash display. It should almost max out on the gague for a second or so. Regen braking is important on the roadster since the regular brakes are not the greatest..... no problem but you will learn how to deal with that.......NO tailgating an SUV or truck. The regen efficiency seems to vary a little but it IS important for mileage potentials.
    If you have a chance to drive it on back roads put it on cruse control at about 45-50 mph and watch the temperature bar readout....PEM bars can go to last green square, battery should stay well below that and motor should stay one or two blocks below that. If anything goes into the red or yellow check out CPO.

    Realize that you WILL have to buy the extended warranty from TESLA on the car since the 1.5 is probably our of warrenty....... go to website and check out prices for general warranty and battery warranty then add that to his asking price to see if it compares to CPO that have those warranties included. Unless you are an inside trader on Wall Street you don't want to own without warranty extension. That's my opinion but others on the Forum disagree.

    Even in the heat we have had on the East Coast I always have the radio on and the AC on. Never any problem with that on milage or temperature readings. I have had mine for almost two years, 26000miles, still charge to 185 "ideal Miles", use it every day for everything I do. Gave my Audi TT to my sister cause it was too slow and too loud. You will love this car. You will have to do Yoga or Taiji to stay limber enough to get in and out of it though :)

    Just my opinion ....................... good luck ....................you will love it!!!
     
  5. augkuo

    augkuo Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Messages:
    549
    Location:
    Berkeley

    Definitly check the warranty status - the 1.5 Roadster came with a 4 year warranty so it may be out of warranty now. If it's out of warranty, check to see if the car got the cooling system upgrade - see pictures on post #19 -

    http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/5331-Cooling-system-improvement

    Basically a shroud (the black plastic thing) was placed over the radiator (silver metal thing) to force air evenly on it by the fans.

    Any chargers/connectors should be working - plug it into the car and wall, turn up the amperage to maximum wait a couple of minutes and make sure the charge port blinks orange.

    The car should come with an owner's manual, 2 keys, soft-top and case, tool-kit, 120V charging cable and tire-repair kit (just a "spray can"). Anything else would be extra like a hard-top, 240V charger, etc. If the car has the hard-top on, take it off to make sure the soft-top is in good condition (no broken pins, cable, etc.) by putting it on. You'll also see the condition of the carbon-fiber roll bar with the hard top covers up.

    Good luck!
     
  6. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    CA CA
    Rooty (#500) was the very last 1.5 delivered and went out of time warranty last month.
     
  7. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    2,150
    Location:
    NE Tennessee
    Actually i am not sure the 2.5 is "better" just different. The PEM, fans and connectors in the 1.5 is more robust. They also came with the lighter forged wheels. You also get the carbon fiber interior and trunk.

    But the 2.5 came standard with sound proofing and have a better instrument cluster.

    Warranty is not a must if you are willing to self insure. On the average you will come out ahead.

    Finally one can cut rear tire cost in half by moving to Continental DWS extreme contact. Search the Roadster threads for copious information.

    I have a 1.5 and show about 178 ideal standard miles.
     
  8. augkuo

    augkuo Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Messages:
    549
    Location:
    Berkeley
    The 2.0/2.5 Roadsters got a new PEM and motor to have better cooling for longer "spirited" drives so in that respect, I think that's better -


     
  9. bobinfla

    bobinfla S-Vin 4086 Rdstr-Vin 0019

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Messages:
    182
    Location:
    Land O'Lakes
    Thanks for helping out another newbie. I wasn't aware of the cooling system upgrade, but I now see that I don't have it. And yes, Florida is hot in July! Definitely will be making a call to the SC to see about getting this done.
     
  10. Jackyche

    Jackyche Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    Messages:
    319
    Location:
    Seattle
    Actually mine is a 1.5 and warranty till Sept 30th of this year.

    VP32. Born on Feb 2009. Sold to first owner on September. Thus 4 year warranty from that point on.

    12,500 miles. Charges to 187 ideal miles (using 120v). Charges to 183 miles (using 240v, 30amps).

     
  11. PokerBroker

    PokerBroker Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    Messages:
    523
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    I am currently going through the CPO Roadster process (expecting delivery in about a week) and wouldn't even consider a private party 1.5 Roadster unless is was $40K or less. Tesla has Roadsters ranging from mid-$50s on up and it is impossible to beat their 37mo/37,000mi warranty INCLUDING the battery. Tesla has not been able to keep up their website or even ebay with the CPO Roadsters and had MANY available when I chose mine (even though there were only 3 on their website and none on ebay at the time). I would highly recommend reaching out to Kevin Yu - [email protected] to see what they have available. There is still much we don't know about how these batteries age (they are only 5 yrs old!), the warranty on the battery and rest of the system put me way over the top... I purchased a 1.5 with 17,000mi for mid $50s with the warranty.
     
  12. Mark David

    Mark David New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    new york
    Thank you everyone ... just sitting down with the post for a brief moment ... it looks like there is some great info for us to bring to a car meeting.

    Of immediate interest: how do you 'test' the charge miles, is ideal or range preferred, what is 'ideal' for both, and what amount would indicate a 'problem' we need to be aware of (again, early 1.5 with <4500 miles)?

    Great input, thanks for all the sage perspectives ...
     
  13. ipdamages

    ipdamages Roadster Sports 835 & 972

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Messages:
    308
    Location:
    Southern California
    The problem with testing range miles is that after charging finishes the range drops for a couple hours as the battery settles, so the most relevant metric is easily gamed by a seller - just say that the range miles of 225 is after settling, when in fact it is before settling.

    This is also somewhat of an issue in the ideal miles metric, but less so. To maximize ideal miles, charge at 110v instead of 220v, and look at the figure right after charging ends. In my 972 Roadster I get 187 ideal miles on a 110v charge, but it settles by about 3-4 miles. I get about 3-4 miles less at 220v.

    And then you can really game the system by charging in range mode, which allows you to charge the battery to its full capacity, and then switch the screen to normal driving mode, and it will likely show ideal miles of more than 200 in "standard mode." This is because when one is in range mode it allows the battery to charge higher, and it assumes and forces more conservative driving. So a range mode range of 225 miles might drop to 200 just by toggling to standard mode since it removes the limitation on how much power you can use and is assumes more aggressive driving.

    So how is one to test all of this?

    The best method is to get the vehicle logs and run them through a parser and look at the CAC value. But that isn't very reasonable.

    So I suggest having the owner charge the car in standard mode at either 110v or 220v, which would be disclosed to you, and then look at the range after the charge ends. If it is immediately after the charge ends, fine. You know you are looking at it prior to settling. If it has been a few hours, understand it is a post-settling figure. Then post here what you find and people will chime in. I'd say if it is over 180 at 220v after settling, that's great. Over 175 is fine. Less than that isn't so great for a car with so few miles.

    But my much bigger suggestion is to look at a CPO. It will make whatever you are considering look like a bad decision. Battery warranty. Bumper to bumper warranty. Refurbished to basically new. That's worth $10K right there, easy. In my opinion third party is not a viable option until the CPOs are gone, and they are definitely not gone yet (in spite of the misinformation). So email [email protected] and tell them what you seek.

    That said, check out this car. Drive it. See if it is for you. The car isn't for everyone. But if it is priced at $40K or higher, and you like the driving experience, you should seriously consider the CPOs.
     
  14. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    2,150
    Location:
    NE Tennessee
    #14 dhrivnak, Jul 23, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013
    I would not hesitate to buy private and that is exactly what I did. While the warranty is nice, knowing the history and saving on taxes and shipping can be significant as well.
     
  15. ipdamages

    ipdamages Roadster Sports 835 & 972

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Messages:
    308
    Location:
    Southern California
    Yes, but Dave, you are game for more tinkering and electrical engineering than most. I mean, I don't know many people who rip apart their Roadster interior for sound deadening on their own (even with Henry as their partner in crime). And of course, there were no CPOs when you bought your car.

    Also, most CPO buyers aren't paying for shipping.

    And the price of a battery warranty for a Roadster owner wanting to buy it is $7,500 (or so I recall). That is a $3,500 charge to a CPO buyer, so a nice discount there.

    And free/included bumper-to-bumper 37/37.

    And free tires if the tires aren't at 60% tread.

    And everything else fixed/refurbed.

    And you are buying it from Tesla, so I'm fine to have Tesla as my seller rather than Mr. Private Party. For example, my wife's stereo is acting up, so she is taking it in next week. No questions asked other than "When can you bring it in?"

    But at the right price, I agree, it becomes attractive. I just think that is a very low price if there is a CPO available in the combo one seeks. Once the CPOs are gone, then it's a different world, but IMO this is a once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity.

    And finally, I'm not sure if you pay tax on the warranties. Perhaps someone else who is in the process knows.
     
  16. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    CA CA
    That would be a fluke. Admittedly there are a few of these floating around.
     
  17. PokerBroker

    PokerBroker Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    Messages:
    523
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    CPO purchases now include the battery warranty at no additional itemized charge.
     
  18. andy-sf

    andy-sf Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    San Francisco
    How is it that you save on sales tax by buying private?
     
  19. shrink

    shrink Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Messages:
    556
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I don't know the laws in CA, but here in AZ and I assume some other states, when you buy a car from a private party, there is no sales tax collected or owed. With a car at this price point, the savings can indeed be significant. It is an excellent point and something to consider.
     
  20. Andrew Wolfe

    Andrew Wolfe Roadster 472 - S 440

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    Messages:
    573
    Location:
    Los Gatos, CA
    That is very unusual. The 4 states I've lived in have all required paying sales tax on a private sale. I expect most states do.
     

Share This Page