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Finally at point to purchase a used Model S...Need advice!

May 30, 2018
27
33
Denver
Good morning/afternoon/evening Tesla family! It's been over two years since I introduced myself and said I was thinking about getting a Tesla. Well, the time has come and I'm in the market for a used Model S, either 2016 or 2017, with AP2/FSD. So, I've done research via EV-CPO (thanks!) and have also looked local.

Here's the three cars I'm between and I need advice.

First up, from a local dealer:

Used 2016 Tesla Model S 60D for Sale in DENVER CO 80204 Levi's Auto Sales

Pretty good price on a 60D IMO, and I am fairly certain I could get it uncorked and upgraded to 75D. Am I accurate in thinking this to be true?

Second at bat, another local dealer:

2016 Tesla Model S 75D

75D that just had its windshield replaced (non-accident) and needing re-calibrated by Tesla (scheduled next week).

Finally, from Tesla's own site:

2016 Model S | Tesla

More miles than the others, but seemingly solid price. Don't like that I can't see pictures of it anymore and Tesla won't even give you any pictures even after callback.

In short, obviously the least-expensive one grabs my eye and, as I mentioned, the potential to upgrade and uncork it seems to me to make this one a steal (pending one-site review, of course). The second option I discussed with the dealership and he confirmed everything is 100% on it and that he was willing to drop the price tag $1000, he just needed to get it serviced so Autopilot functions again (due to windshield replacement). The white model from Tesla themselves I'm very interested in because of their warranty but I can't seem to shake that dropping the initial $500 on a car that I can't see or drive until day of delivery is a real sticking point for me.

Has anyone here purchased a sight-unseen used Model S from Tesla? Is it worth the 'risk' of not driving it beforehand? Or should I stick with a dealership? I've been trying to find one via private sale but no luck.

Any and all feedback appreciated! I hope to be joining your ranks soon!
 
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AMPd

Active Member
Nov 27, 2012
4,325
3,462
Northern California
You’ve probably already considered this but just in case you haven’t, I would not even consider a 60, (unless you’re 100% certain it can be upgraded to 75) especially seeing as how you’re in Denver and the winters can be quite chilly. Cold weather does a great job of sucking up range.

If I were in your shoes I’d get the 90d from Tesla.
 
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May 30, 2018
27
33
Denver
Just found out that the Tesla is not currently offering to unlock 60D to 75D, which is odd. But that was the answer straight from the horse's mouth, so I suppose that narrows my results down to two.
 

cybergates

Member
Feb 14, 2017
515
213
So Cal
the 2016 model year is an interesting one for the S. Mine is a late (nov) Build so it has Autopilot 2 which is what I wanted (but I didn't know all these subtle differences before buying or at least it was very confusing and had to ask a lot of questions). Mid-2016's have the newer nose cones and can be confusing but still have AP1 and early 2016 have the old nose cone and AP1. I think the pics look like they show side blinker and pillar cameras so it looks like the cars you've chosen are all AP2 FSD capable cars. I think you already know all this but in case we have any newbies on the forum. :)
 
May 30, 2018
27
33
Denver
the 2016 model year is an interesting one for the S. Mine is a late (nov) Build so it has Autopilot 2 which is what I wanted (but I didn't know all these subtle differences before buying or at least it was very confusing and had to ask a lot of questions). Mid-2016's have the newer nose cones and can be confusing but still have AP1 and early 2016 have the old nose cone and AP1. I think the pics look like they show side blinker and pillar cameras so it looks like the cars you've chosen are all AP2 FSD capable cars. I think you already know all this but in case we have any newbies on the forum. :)

Yep, I'm exclusively looking for AP2, which all three cars have. I'm sad the 60D doesn't have the ability to upgrade the battery to 75D but that doesn't mean that if I purchased it Tesla wouldn't (re)unlock the ability to purchase it in the future.

That said, the other two options are solid. The 90D I just hesitate on just because I hate the fact that I can't see this vehicle until delivery day. Why in the world did Tesla remove real pics from their used cars???
 

roblab

Active Member
Jul 15, 2008
3,371
2,424
Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
You’ve probably already considered this but just in case you haven’t, I would not even consider a 60, (unless you’re 100% certain it can be upgraded to 75) especially seeing as how you’re in Denver and the winters can be quite chilly. Cold weather does a great job of sucking up range.

If I were in your shoes I’d get the 90d from Tesla.

YES! Best car in that year. Go for range, always, and the 4WD makes chains unnecessary for most light snow. I loved my 90D, and highly recommend one.
 

SilverGS

Active Member
Nov 3, 2016
1,442
745
Ontario
YES! Best car in that year. Go for range, always, and the 4WD makes chains unnecessary for most light snow. I loved my 90D, and highly recommend one.
Even in heavy snow with good winter tires, the Model S AWD cars handle like champs! The heavy and even distribution (over both axles) of the weight of the battery ensures amazing traction regardless of road condition.
 

dannycamps

Member
Apr 8, 2019
667
610
Northeast USA
Range is king. Go for the most range you can for the money. If you click on the color name link on EV-CPO, you can still (for now) see the pics of the cars. I assume this functionality will stop working at some point in the future.

The second car you picked is interesting. What I noticed in the picture is that it appears to have FSD (Nav on Autopilot option on screen), the MCU display is yellowing, the seats are the base(?) multi-pattern fabric.
 
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May 30, 2018
27
33
Denver
I wound up going with the 75D. Good price negotiated, good trade, and I know that Tesla will fix the yellowing on the screen with their UV tool. As a bonus not mentioned, the car comes with the subzero/cold weather package and lifetime premium connectivity. It seemingly does NOT have FSD as the dealer showed me on the app it was available for purchase, so I'm not sure why it showed the Nav on Autopilot.

Now I just need to get it scheduled for an MCU1->MCU2 upgrade and a HW2.0->HW3.0 upgrade. :)
 
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Ostrichsak

Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
3,278
3,218
Colorado, USA
I wound up going with the 75D. Good price negotiated, good trade, and I know that Tesla will fix the yellowing on the screen with their UV tool. As a bonus not mentioned, the car comes with the subzero/cold weather package and lifetime premium connectivity. It seemingly does NOT have FSD as the dealer showed me on the app it was available for purchase, so I'm not sure why it showed the Nav on Autopilot.

Now I just need to get it scheduled for an MCU1->MCU2 upgrade and a HW2.0->HW3.0 upgrade. :)
That car will NOT have FUSC or Free Premium data. This is well-known around the forum if you do some searching that 3rd party dealer sold cars will lose both of these if they previously had them for the original owner. If it has either one at the time of deliver Tesla will catch it during a random audit and remove it. If they don't, it's best to not ever mention it again and just be thankful each day that it remains knowing that it's a ticking time bomb that could inexplicably go off at any moment.
 
May 30, 2018
27
33
Denver
That car will NOT have FUSC or Free Premium data. This is well-known around the forum if you do some searching that 3rd party dealer sold cars will lose both of these if they previously had them for the original owner. If it has either one at the time of deliver Tesla will catch it during a random audit and remove it. If they don't, it's best to not ever mention it again and just be thankful each day that it remains knowing that it's a ticking time bomb that could inexplicably go off at any moment.

Thanks for your reply. I never said it did have FUSC and you are correct it stating it won't have it since Tesla has basically done away with it anyways. I did say it had premium data. Guess we'll see if I keep it or lose the premium connectivity
 

brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
7,693
6,224
Austin, TX
That car will NOT have FUSC or Free Premium data. This is well-known around the forum if you do some searching that 3rd party dealer sold cars will lose both of these if they previously had them for the original owner. If it has either one at the time of deliver Tesla will catch it during a random audit and remove it. If they don't, it's best to not ever mention it again and just be thankful each day that it remains knowing that it's a ticking time bomb that could inexplicably go off at any moment.

I do not believe that to be true. The way a car loses those features is if it goes through Tesla (for example a trade in to Tesla that they send to auction). They could also remove the back seats or break the windows since they own the car at the time.
 

Ostrichsak

Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
3,278
3,218
Colorado, USA
Thanks for your reply. I never said it did have FUSC and you are correct it stating it won't have it since Tesla has basically done away with it anyways. I did say it had premium data. Guess we'll see if I keep it or lose the premium connectivity
I never said you did. Those two tend to go hand-in-hand though so I was reiterating for anyone else reading. You did say it had Free Premium data though and what i"m saying is that if it does now, it won't for long.
 

Ostrichsak

Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
3,278
3,218
Colorado, USA
I do not believe that to be true. The way a car loses those features is if it goes through Tesla (for example a trade in to Tesla that they send to auction). They could also remove the back seats or break the windows since they own the car at the time.
You were right in that when Tesla first started stripping these features there were "for life" it was with cars they took in on trade and resold. Shortly thereafter they also modified this to include cars sold by 3rd party dealerships. How they're able to legally do this w/o creating a new contract/agreement between Tesla and the new buyer is beyond me. Like all things though, until they are sued, they will continue bending rules that suit them until they get their hands slapped.

Don't take my word for it though. You're welcome to search this forum and Google though on this topic as it is widely known now and has been for most of this year. I would gladly entertain any proof to the contrary because I think what Tesla is doing as it pertains to this topic specifically is incredibly immoral at best and illegal at worst.

As of this post, the ONLY way to get FUSC and Premium Data is to buy a car that had it from a private party seller. All other ways are total crap shoots as you are essentially relying on Tesla to forget or miss something that is costing them money and hitting their bottom line each quarter. Best of luck with that.
 

brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
7,693
6,224
Austin, TX
@Ostrichsak I have not noticed any examples in the past that were not somehow purchased at auction from Tesla.

The only thing I know they documented is the inability to purchase the extended service agreement if a car went through 3rd party.
 

cduzz

Member
Jun 6, 2019
371
415
boston ma
You were right in that when Tesla first started stripping these features there were "for life" it was with cars they took in on trade and resold. Shortly thereafter they also modified this to include cars sold by 3rd party dealerships. How they're able to legally do this w/o creating a new contract/agreement between Tesla and the new buyer is beyond me. Like all things though, until they are sued, they will continue bending rules that suit them until they get their hands slapped.

Don't take my word for it though. You're welcome to search this forum and Google though on this topic as it is widely known now and has been for most of this year. I would gladly entertain any proof to the contrary because I think what Tesla is doing as it pertains to this topic specifically is incredibly immoral at best and illegal at worst.

As of this post, the ONLY way to get FUSC and Premium Data is to buy a car that had it from a private party seller. All other ways are total crap shoots as you are essentially relying on Tesla to forget or miss something that is costing them money and hitting their bottom line each quarter. Best of luck with that.


One can easily imagine tesla paying the auction houses $300 per car to strip them of their FUSC / Premium Data. I imagine that if you read through their public SEC disclosures you might even find how much they're spending to do this...

It is super shady and sketchy that you can't just ask tesla or the car what it is and what it has and get a real answer.

And -- if you're buying from the original owner, they'd better have solid evidence to back up that they've got FUSC / premium data, and even with that I wouldn't be surprised if tesla "accidentally" removes it on some or all ownership transfers.

Craptillionaires don't become craptillionaires by leaving money on the table...
 

BigNick

Disaffected Member
Dec 3, 2017
1,052
1,281
Pennsylvania, USA
I wound up going with the 75D. Good price negotiated, good trade, and I know that Tesla will fix the yellowing on the screen with their UV tool. As a bonus not mentioned, the car comes with the subzero/cold weather package and lifetime premium connectivity. It seemingly does NOT have FSD as the dealer showed me on the app it was available for purchase, so I'm not sure why it showed the Nav on Autopilot.

Now I just need to get it scheduled for an MCU1->MCU2 upgrade and a HW2.0->HW3.0 upgrade. :)
I'm in PA and one of the things I looked for in my car was Subzero. Steering wheel takes forever to warm up without it in the winter (probably because it's so thick) and if you have rear-seat passengers, they'll be happy too even if you have to turn their heat on for them (no controls in the back for heated rear seats.)

You are likely to lose the connectivity eventually, but it's only $10/month which is WAY cheaper than NoStar from GM. That policy was changed in January 2020. The table describing used cars is near the bottom of the page: Connectivity

Tesla's Supercharging page doesn't mention FUSC transferability policy: Supercharging

The cars aren't perfect by any means, but highly enjoyable to drive and even the 75D is very likely to be quicker than the car you're replacing.

I'd also recommend getting either TM-Spy or ScanMyTesla if you want to know more about the "innards" of your car and battery pack. (Search the forums, I'm too lazy to track the links down.)
 

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