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 and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

I might be buying a Roadster this week. What do I need to know?

Discussion in 'Roadster 2008-2012' started by asimo3089, Jun 22, 2020.

  1. asimo3089

    asimo3089 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2016
    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    I've been looking for a fun two seater sports car to drive and I'm thinking a Roadster would be the ultimate move. You get the instant power with a tiny low lotus based body. No turbo lag or oil changes. These are things I love with my Performance Model S.

    The problem is I don't even know what questions to ask or I'd search this forum for more information. What am I potentially getting myself into? I'm looking at 2.5 (and possibly 3.0) options. The CAC looks good on the vehicle I'm looking at but that's all I know.

    1. I live in Arizona. Is this thing going to cool itself if it's too hot while parked or do I need to park this thing in an air conditioned garage?

    2. Does Tesla even service these things? Are they reliable?
    2b. Obviously this thing is out of warranty. What's the worst that could happen?

    3. I have a Tesla Wall Connector at home for my Model S. Are there adapters out there so I can plug into the same device? Should I ditch the Wall Connector for something that does both if that's possible?

    4. Is there any safety information out there? I found this vague video with Martin. He never gets into numbers.

    5. What am I potentially getting myself into? Are there questions I should be asking? I'm practically walking into this blind!

    I appreciate any and all replies! I'm sure it gets tedious dealing with new owners here.
     
  2. im4uttx

    im4uttx Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2019
    Messages:
    280
    Location:
    Spicewood, TX
    There are a few threads here you should be able to search to find some good info, but I'll answer what I can...and others will likely also join in..
    1) Heat can be a problem, and the roadster will sacrifice cabin cooling for battery cooling, so have to be careful with that. Usually not terrible, but you may have minutes of cool/warm air instead of cold if it is hot out. Don't need an air conditioned garage, but it isn't going to cool itself like the newer Teslas can.
    2) Yes, Tesla still services it. There are age related issues that can be resolved (Gruber in AZ should be your friend if you do buy). Worst that can happen is generally the battery failing, but if the CAC is good in the one you're looking at, you should be fine. Eventually, Tesla is probably going to release the battery update. The PEM can be repaired by Gruber, as well as most anything else that fails.
    3) Yes, there are adapters available from @hcsharp for both J1772 (JR) and model S (SR) to roadster. The SR is the one you would want with the Tesla WC.
    4) Not sure what numbers you're looking for for safety. One good thing is the instant torque gets you out of most issues VERY quickly, but it's a small car, so visibility to other drivers is the usual accident cause, imo...other than just not being in control of all that torque.
    5) First, the roadster is a HECK of a lot of fun to drive. It's not built for top end speed (tops out at about 125MPH by design, I think), and is not faster than the newer Teslas in 0-60, but there is so much power and quickness...find out when the PEM was last serviced if possible. Being in AZ, you might be able to have Gruber look at it, but that is likely not required. CAC being good (verify it by log if possible) or at least in the VDS screen.

    You're doing the best you can do by asking here...this is the BEST site for knowledge of this roadster, period...other than the guys that are actually repairing them.
     
    • Love x 1
  3. AEdennis

    AEdennis Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    2,643

    You're in luck...

    @petergrub is in Arizona and is a reliable 3rd party service provider for Tesla Roadsters...

    Home | Gruber Motors

    We've had them work on my wife's Roadster when it developed an issue with a brick in the battery pack... Tesla doesn't repair those anymore, and only offers a $30k replacement, and the orders are out of stock and waiting to be available to order.

    I'm a happy customer.

    You're at the right place to read about Roadster ownership, so YMMV.
     
    • Like x 1
  4. animorph

    animorph Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2016
    Messages:
    2,002
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    If you have a specific Roadster in mind let the forum know the last four digits of the VIN or post a link of the sale ad. Someone may know some history of the car or be able to weigh in on the value.
     
  5. asimo3089

    asimo3089 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2016
    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    >Isn't going to cool itself like other Teslas can

    Am I an idiot if I keep this thing parked outside for any long periods? It gets to be 100+ in the summer time here. I've noticed on my S that the fans will run to keep the battery cool even when the car is "off".

    I basically don't want to become infamous in the roadster community for being the guy that killed a perfectly good roadster.
     
  6. asimo3089

    asimo3089 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2016
    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    I've heard of Gruber. I can't believe roadster owners have such a great mechanic to rely on. He's truly a hero keeping these cars running.
     
  7. gregd

    gregd Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Messages:
    2,412
    Location:
    CM98
    I believe there are other Roadsters in Arizona, and the summers here in California's central valley can easily top 100 also. Not fatal, but the car's definitely not as happy as if it were in, say, the SF Bay Area.

    My garage is not air conditioned, but it is surrounded by house on 3 sides (top, back, one side), and stays cool enough that the car can sleep comfortably if I let the charging cool the battery enough (under 30C / 86F). I had a 30 minute commute, and would try to charge the car at work if I could, so that would pull down the temps as well. Never had a problem with the battery overheating even if I didn't. It was just better for the commute home (uphill, freeway) to start with a full, cool battery, otherwise I'd sometimes have a few minutes of warm(er) cabin when the A/C switched to the battery.

    Just be sure to have a 240v charger that you can leave the car plugged into. It likes to top itself up about daily, and will not cool the battery from shore power on the "granny cord".
     
    • Love x 2
  8. asimo3089

    asimo3089 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2016
    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Exactly the type of info I'm looking for before making this purchase. That's great the car will top itself off daily and manage itself when plugged in.
     
  9. Bunnak

    Bunnak Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2018
    Messages:
    426
    Location:
    Irvine, CA, USA
    We have owners in Texas @DeedWest where the heat hasn't caused any issues. You're lucky to have Gruber Motor Company @racevpr and @petergrub in your backyard. I would give them a call, they will gladly give you a tour of their facility and while there you can see the roadsters in person.
     
    • Love x 1
  10. CAR3NUT

    CAR3NUT Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2019
    Messages:
    172
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    @asimo3089, I also live in Tucson, bought my Roadster this past December. Love the car, it is a blast to drive (coming from owning 6 Porsche's that is saying a lot). Mine is parked in my climate controlled garage, temp in the summer is set at 83, not the coldest but it seems to be happy at that temp. I installed a split AC system in my garage two years ago, very reasonable cost, around $1,800.00 and have solar panels on the roof. I have visited Gurber shop in Phx. and Pete is the best should we ever need his help. I generally use my UMC which came with my M3 and the Sharp CanSR to charge the car after I have driven it, and after it stops charging I switch over to the 110V 12amp charge cord to maintain charge, which is does automatically each day.
     
    • Love x 1
  11. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    4,227
    Location:
    NE Tennessee
    Well hopefully welcome to the family.

    1. I live in Arizona. Is this thing going to cool itself if it's too hot while parked or do I need to park this thing in an air conditioned garage? Yes if you keep it plugged into 240V as it will run the AC while it charges if the battery is too warm.

    2. Does Tesla even service these things? Are they reliable? Yes, just had my charge port light ring replaced last month by a ranger. Not an issue.
    2b. Obviously this thing is out of warranty. What's the worst that could happen? The battery as that is the most expensive and nearly impossible for an owner to work on. Trouble should be minimized if you have the newer 3.0 battery.

    3. I have a Tesla Wall Connector at home for my Model S. Are there adapters out there so I can plug into the same device? Should I ditch the Wall Connector for something that does both if that's possible? Yes and I am selling mine with one.

    4. Is there any safety information out there? I found this vague video with Martin. He never gets into numbers. There have been a few spectacular wrecks with Roadsters and to my surprise in every case I am aware of the driver/and/or passenger was able to walk away.

    And here is another Roadster for your consideration.

    Roadster 1.5/3.0 for Sale
     
    • Love x 1

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


    SUPPORT TMC