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Buying a Used Model S - Tips/Advice?

I will be buying a used Model S in the nearish future. Im on the EVCPO website everyday just to get a feel for pricing.

I know a ton about the Model S because I've been obsessed with them since they came out. It is the coolest car ever made.

One of my obsessions has me watching this guys YouTube channel "RichRebuilds." In general he bashes Teslas a lot, but I enjoy his point of view, and he's entertaining. He gives a perspective that I don't normally see as a Tesla fan. Anyway, he has/is rebuilding salvaged Teslas. The reason I mention him is because I heard him say not to buy a model S built before 2015 because of the build quality compared to vehicles built after 2015. No idea how true that is, but I have no other frame of reference, so I will take his word for it?

I know what features I have to have (Smart Air, Pano Roof, Dual motors, HiFi, ideally P85D.) So does anyone have any advice as to which model/year/features I should stick or or stay away from while I do my search?
 

HankLloydRight

No Roads
Supporting Member
Jan 18, 2014
13,366
11,781
Connecticut
I'm also a big fan of Cargu---err, I mean Rich Rebuilds.

I've owned two Model Ss, a 2013 P85+ and now a 2014 P85D. While he's correct that build quality is always improving, especially comparing a 2013 to say a 2015 or 16, that does not mean build quality is bad on the earlier cars.

I've had ZERO build quality problems with both my cars. But when I get into my friend's S70 from 2016, you can definitely feel big improvements in build quality.

But I wouldn't trade my 2014 P85D for any other Model S out there.

Additionally, I thought the pano/sunroof was a deal breaker, but I've come to realize I like the idea of a sunroof, but I really don't use it that much, and if I were to order now, I'd get the all-glass roof. But if it's between the solid roof and pano, go for pano.

As long as you get to feel/experience any car you are considering in person, I don't think there's any model/year/features you should stay away from.

Good luck in your search!
 
I'm also a big fan of Cargu---err, I mean Rich Rebuilds.

I've owned two Model Ss, a 2013 P85+ and now a 2014 P85D. While he's correct that build quality is always improving, especially comparing a 2013 to say a 2015 or 16, that does not mean build quality is bad on the earlier cars.

I've had ZERO build quality problems with both my cars. But when I get into my friend's S70 from 2016, you can definitely feel big improvements in build quality.

But I wouldn't trade my 2014 P85D for any other Model S out there.

Additionally, I thought the pano/sunroof was a deal breaker, but I've come to realize I like the idea of a sunroof, but I really don't use it that much, and if I were to order now, I'd get the all-glass roof. But if it's between the solid roof and pano, go for pano.

As long as you get to feel/experience any car you are considering in person, I don't think there's any model/year/features you should stay away from.

Good luck in your search!

Thanks for the advice. If I add 2014 it opens up a good amount of inventory. I need the Pano because I listen to satellite radio 90% of the time in the car.

I would like to have autopilot 1.0, so that limits the model year a little bit as well. But its not a deal breaker if I can find a good price on one w/o it.
 
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mknox

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
10,103
1,894
Toronto, ON
I recently sold my Feb 2013 build Model S 85 with 100,000 miles on it. I love my new X, but still miss the S. It was an awesome car. I had lots of the early adopter failures (door handles, drive units etc.) but Tesla was wonderful at getting me fixed up every time. When I sold the car it looked like new, drove like new and felt as solid and confident on the road as any newer loaner I had driven. If the car has been lovingly maintained by the owner and by Tesla, as mine was, I would have no qualms at all in recommending an older S.
 
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I'm in exactly the same position as exaccord! I've finally decided to make the leap. I have a friend who has a 2017 S 75, and the autopilot is one of the coolest things I've ever seen.

I'm looking for something a bit on the newer side. Anything with an AP2.0 would be great. I'd prefer a 90, but realistically a 75 is more in the budget. :)
 

eye.surgeon

Active Member
Nov 18, 2014
1,368
2,354
California
I'm in exactly the same position as exaccord! I've finally decided to make the leap. I have a friend who has a 2017 S 75, and the autopilot is one of the coolest things I've ever seen.

I'm looking for something a bit on the newer side. Anything with an AP2.0 would be great. I'd prefer a 90, but realistically a 75 is more in the budget. :)
Consider the cost/benefit of limiting yourself to AP 2.0. There is considerable question as to whether 2.0 has even reached parity with 1.0.
 
Additionally, I thought the pano/sunroof was a deal breaker, but I've come to realize I like the idea of a sunroof, but I really don't use it that much, and if I were to order now, I'd get the all-glass roof. But if it's between the solid roof and pano, go for pano.

Heh. I feel the same way. I've had sunroofs in cars forever and do enjoy the 5 days a year I get to open it and enjoy the bliss of perfect weather and somehow I would feel suffocating if the option was not there to open the sunroof. Not having a functional sunroof is one of the biggest issues I have with the Model X.

You will find that most 2014 and 2015 vehicles have superior build quality compared to 2012 and 2013 cars.

This is where you should start at for more granular changes that have been made...

Model S - Options by Year - Tesla Motors Club Wiki
 
Consider the cost/benefit of limiting yourself to AP 2.0. There is considerable question as to whether 2.0 has even reached parity with 1.0.

Yes.... that's what I understand. But AP2.0 seems like it should be supported and improve for some time. But AP1.0 is probably an orphan product? I don't think Mobile EYE and Tesla are working together anymore?
 
Heh. I feel the same way. I've had sunroofs in cars forever and do enjoy the 5 days a year I get to open it and enjoy the bliss of perfect weather and somehow I would feel suffocating if the option was not there to open the sunroof. Not having a functional sunroof is one of the biggest issues I have with the Model X.

You will find that most 2014 and 2015 vehicles have superior build quality compared to 2012 and 2013 cars.

This is where you should start at for more granular changes that have been made...

Model S - Options by Year - Tesla Motors Club Wiki

Thank you for the link, Im sure I will spend way too much time looking at that and not working today :) But serisouly thanks, this is what I love about this community. And on the sunroof, if they had the option to have satellite radio with the glass roof, I would be ok with it.
 
I currently have my MS85 up for sale, switching to the M3. Its a December 2013 and had not driven it much for the last two weeks due to work.

Got in it today an first thing I thought was car still feels good and solid. I don't think you can go wrong with any model year the difference is how much you pay. Even one with 100K on it is solid.
 
Thank you for the link, Im sure I will spend way too much time looking at that and not working today :) But serisouly thanks, this is what I love about this community. And on the sunroof, if they had the option to have satellite radio with the glass roof, I would be ok with it.

You are welcome. Though you might regret not being able to open the roof the 5 days a year when you wish you could do that :p

Tesla redesigned the sunroof sometime in the middle of 2015 BTW. The newer roof design has the roof rack mounts centered along the roof rail.
 

mambro

Member
Supporting Member
Mar 13, 2018
128
71
McKinney, TX
...I thought the pano/sunroof was a deal breaker, but I've come to realize I like the idea of a sunroof, but I really don't use it that much, and if I were to order now, I'd get the all-glass roof. But if it's between the solid roof and pano, go for pano.
I have been sifting various used car sites and it seems MANY dealers that have cars in on trade or bought at auction don't describe them like they know what they actually have. Is there a way to tell from some exterior or interior pictures (aside from the MCU settings for opening the roof) if the roof is all-glass or if it is a pano?
 
I didn't know about the backlist when I bought Used. What's on the Tesla site and ev-cpo is not every Used Tesla that they have. They keep the numbers down to increase demand on the artificially limited supply. However, you have to talk to an actual person to find out what's on the back list. If you show up at a sales center, they're not going to want to talk about that. You have to find a good Used advisor. You might even find something close, put your $1000 down, wait a few days for the email from your designated OA and then give them a call. Don't email, don't leave messages, get ahold of them. Ask them if they have anything else with this option or without that one. You'd need to do this *before* the car gets moved to your delivery center. It's a bit risky but ...

I put $1000 down and then paid cash for a car I never drove or even saw in person. After a few days, I did get 10 photos which showed curb rash on the passenger's side but an otherwise clean car. Delivery was uneventful. I knew the car had an outstanding recall. Over the next week I realized it needed the chargeport replaced and it's in the shop right now getting this a few other things taken care of (LTE upgrade, ...). What I did get for that risk was a 4-year 50,000 mile warranty.

If you are buying Used from Tesla, it helps to keep the basic valuation that Tesla uses for pricing Used in mind (as mentioned in Owning Model S):

$1/mile and $1k for each month​

They'll subtract that from the Maroney sticker price. in reality, it's probably more complex than this but that's a start.
After they list if no one takes, they'll drop the price a bit. But they don't negotiate which is fine by me.

The pano roof is necessary if you want a roof rack (or sat radio). The regular sound system is already outstanding.
I can't imagine being able to appreciate the hifi version but then you might.

If you buy Used or Inventory, you will be trading off options+miles unless you buy something fully suited and then pay accordingly.

I have a pre-facelift RWD and I love the huge frunk space. But otherwise, dual motors is the way to go.
You get better performance, better range and better tire wear. It's just the way to go.
 
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HankLloydRight

No Roads
Supporting Member
Jan 18, 2014
13,366
11,781
Connecticut
Is there a way to tell from some exterior or interior pictures (aside from the MCU settings for opening the roof) if the roof is all-glass or if it is a pano?

You need hi-res or close-up shots, but the pano roof has four little flaps for a roof rack. See the photos below.

images

upload_2018-5-25_17-31-33.jpeg

maxresdefault.jpg
 

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