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Buying a Roadster now - what to be aware of?

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by alexvirital, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. alexvirital

    alexvirital Member

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    Finally got my father on the EV bandwagon... but he wants the convertible, because, well, of course he does.

    Anything to watch out for with used Roadsters? I haven't done a ton of research yet, but I know the charging is substantially different. What work usually needs to be performed when taking over a pre-loved Roadster, and is that usually through Tesla or third-party shops?
     
  2. Msjulie

    Msjulie Member

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    Read up here as much as you can - I'm a recent Roadster owner and found lots of good info here... i was lucky I was able to get most of the service history for my car but since it came from a distance away, I do have to deal with replacing the rear tires very soon (barely legal)
     
  3. augkuo

    augkuo Member

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  4. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I would say that there is no "typical" service or repairs that need to be performed when someone buys a used Roadster.

    There are no third-party shops that I would trust to do any Roadster drivetrain work. Shops that are experienced with the Lotus Elise should be capable of handling brake/suspension work.

    The Roadster is a very unusual car, and personally I think it would be nuts to buy one without driving one first. I don't know how old your dad is, but be aware that it is not an easy car to enter and exit. These threads may be of interest:

    How does a roadster drive
    Model S vs. Roadster
     
  5. glight2000

    glight2000 Member

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    Read the fine print in the advertisements. Mine was dipped in something called "Spanish Fly," which I thought was some kind of urban myth from 1980s frathouse comedies. It turns out it's a real thing. And, it's overrated. I thought I'd have all the young hotties on me with the roadster. Ok, I'll be the first to admit that that part is AWESOME, but they are not very common in the general population. The higher base rate of retired lunch ladies begging to crawl across the hood like Tawny Kitaen from the Whitesnake video is no bueno. Unless your dad is interested in fighting off retired lunch ladies with an occasional young hottie mixed in once or twice a week, skip the roadster.
     
  6. tvuolo

    tvuolo Member

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    Isn't that all of us? ;-)
     
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  7. Chickenlittle

    Chickenlittle Active Member

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    i am a previous roadster owner who still loves the car but had to sell because of medical condition. i would urge you to test drive a roadster first. It is very different from an S or X. it is not just a convertible tesla. extremely different experience. Some like it but some dont. when i first was looking for it, I contacted tesla CPO program and they gave me the same advise. The differences in experience are too many to list. you do not want to do a lot of research before trying this. of course, after doing this you may be willing to pay more for the car. I was lucky with mine but remember you will be buying a car at least 5 years old and will require higher maintenance cost than a new S or X. So you must know what your getting into and really love it since they can approach the cost of a new S or X
     
  8. Habious

    Habious Member

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    Agreed with what everyone said here...you can't "seriously consider" a Roadster until you've actually sat in one (and verified that you, in point of fact, can actually get in and out of the damn thing)...only then can you "seriously consider" a Roadster.

    I've told quite a few people "You know you have an interesting car when there are YouTube videos showing you the best techniques for getting in and out of it".

    I tell EVERYONE who rides in my car, before they get in...I tell them "It sits VERY low to the ground". And they all say the same thing, "Oh, OK".

    Then they climb in, and everyone, without fail, says something along the lines of "Oh my God, it's so low!"

    And I'm like "Yes, I just told you that!"

    Hearing about, reading about it, researching it...it just is no substitute for actually getting in one and taking it around the block (even if you're just a passenger).

    Find someone local who's got one; I'd be willing to bet that they'd be happy to take your dad for a spin around the block. Have him get in and out (both as a passenger, and as a driver). Have him get in and out of it with the top ON. That, my friend, is an experience!

    I took my 81 year old mother for a drive in my Roadster once. Once. Took 2 of us to get her in...and 3 of us to get her out.
     
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  9. Habious

    Habious Member

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    Oh crap!

    I just looked at your location!

    You're local!

    When I get my Roadster back from the shop, I'll take him for a ride (if you want).

    PM me if you're interested.
     
  10. glight2000

    glight2000 Member

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    I've been there too!

    In addition to the dexterity required to get in and out of the car, your father will need to be able to stand for long periods of time. I find myself standing in the garage staring at the roadster.
     
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  11. bolosky

    bolosky Member

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    Being close to replacing the rear tires is true even if you have brand new rear tires. :) Without a doubt, I spend more on tires than on electricity.

    The main thing to check in a used Roadster is the condition of the battery. How many miles does it show at full range charge? Other than that, there's not all that much that wears out.

    You also have to be prepared to talk with strangers in parking lots all the time. My experience is that it's usually neither babes nor lunch ladies so much as guys who are into cars. I'm pretty much always happy to talk about my car, so it's not a problem for me, it's just part of the Roadster experience.

    And yes, getting in and out can be a challenge. On the other hand, I managed with a pretty bad knee injury last year that meant that I couldn't bend my left knee for a few weeks. The opening in the door is smaller than the distance from my hip to my foot with my knee straight, so I had to get in by sitting down with my legs sticking out the door, hoisting myself over into the passenger's seat (while not destroying the parking brake), rotating my legs in, then hoisting myself back into the driver's seat. Then reversing the procedure to get out. I really happy when my leg started working again. :)

    And I also have to agree with everyone else: don't buy a Roadster without driving one. It's a very different experience from pretty much every other car, and it's not for everyone. (OTOH, I guess I paid for mine before I'd driven or even sat in one, but that was the early days when they just weren't around. And I was pretty sure I'd like it, which I did.)
     
  12. efxjim

    efxjim Member

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    The Roadster is "Raw" fun, the S is refined fun.
     
  13. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    This is risky advice. It often results in a broken accelerator pedal when you get back in your existing car. Many of my friends who test drove my Roadster complain that they step on the gas until the cows come home but it doesn't do anything anymore. They claim I broke it and I don't know what to say.
     
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  14. gregd

    gregd Member

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    Ditto all of the above, especially actually getting in behind the wheel if he's either very tall or very short. The driver's seat moves forward and back, on a slight incline to the front, and that's it for adjustment. I'm 5'4" and need to pull it nearly all the way forward to be comfortable. Folks who are very tall have written that it's hard to see the instrument cluster because the steering wheel does not adjust.

    Besides checking the battery range (capacity), I recommend pulling the logs and taking a look at the event log. I found out later that there were a couple of things that needed to get taken care of (latent issues). Wouldn't have changed my decision to buy the car, just going in with my eyes fully open.

    It's not a car you get into. You put it on. Then it becomes part of you, and the driving experience is nothing like you've had before.
     
  15. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    That sums it up nicely.

    I just hope that ten years from now I am still able to "put on" my Roadster. While my pant waist size has been the same for a couple of decades, a decade from now my flexibility may not be the same!

    Though to be honest, ten years from now when most new cars come with full autonomous driving capability the Roadster is going to seem like an anachronism. But then, so will I... ;)
     
  16. Chickenlittle

    Chickenlittle Active Member

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    i still remember first time i drove my car. had to adjust the passenger side mirror no problem just reached out the passenger window while sitting in the drivers seat and adjusted it. that conveys the size of the car
     
  17. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I had exactly the same experience. First time I test drove a Roadster, a CPO car they had at the Palo Alto showroom location, I reached out the passenger window and pushed the mirror out as far as it would go. I'm 6'2" and don't think someone a bit shorter than me could do that, at least not while belted in.

    Never done that in any other car I owned. Of course all the more recent cars I have owned have power mirrors. But not the Roadster!
     
  18. Habious

    Habious Member

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    I tell people that the car "seats one, comfortably".

    Also, I often point out that the cupholder allows you to conveniently carry a beverage...OR a passenger.
     
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  19. pgwoosley

    pgwoosley Member

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    Importance of Tire Replacement Choices
    If you need to replace tires (probably rear) shortly after acquiring a Roadster, plan out your tire strategy carefully. When I purchased my Roadster, I had to replace the rear tires to get it to pass inspection. I made the choice that I did not need either of the two expensive, fast-wearing Yokohama lines specified and picked a different Yokohama line. When I finally needed to replace the front tires, I found out that the particular Yokohama line I picked for the rear did not have a tire anywhere near the size required for the front wheels. I ended up driving on different brand tires, front and rear, for several thousand miles. It worked well, but I would refer the same brand on all 4 wheels.)

    Read the threads on tires for your variation of Roadster.
     
  20. gregd

    gregd Member

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    Different front and rear brands aren't a problem, at least for the 2.x Roadsters. I've had Yoko AD07's on the front, and Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3's on the rear since I got the car nearly 2 years ago. Still wearing well after ~12k miles.

    As noted, there are significant differences between the 1.5 and 2.x Roadsters with regard to tires. The 1.5's are much more fussy about tire size.
     

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