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Impeccably maintained multi-coat red 2013 S85—58,100 miles (warning---long)

PhilDavid

Active Member
May 22, 2018
2,552
1,842
Philadelphia
Suggestions??

I Agree with @Plan B . Use Only Used Tesla as a last resort after you have exhausted free sites, cars.com, and TMC.

I believe a listing on cars.com is significantly less and it will be picked up by many other sites as well.

If anyone is remotely interested in this car, please PM the OP your best offer. Hopefully this will lead to at least some communication for the discussion of a reasonable offer.

GLWS! Beautiful car and someone will be very lucky to buy it.
 

JPP

Active Member
Feb 4, 2013
3,062
1,289
SF Bay Area, CA
I Agree with @Plan B . Use Only Used Tesla as a last resort after you have exhausted free sites, cars.com, and TMC.

I believe a listing on cars.com is significantly less and it will be picked up by many other sites as well.

If anyone is remotely interested in this car, please PM the OP your best offer. Hopefully this will lead to at least some communication for the discussion of a reasonable offer.

GLWS! Beautiful car and someone will be very lucky to buy it.

Thanks for the advice and help--greatly appreciated.
 

IslandHydro

Member
Oct 24, 2018
211
132
Washington State
Hello All,

I am considering buying a Model 3 or used S85D, so I'm browsing the forums looking to get educated on Teslas. Coming from Audi's & VW, I found the list of repairs at the beginning of this post to be rather alarming! Is this typical / normal? I know Tesla's are getting a rep for not being terribly reliable, but that's a heck of a lot gone wrong. One other question if you all don't mind humoring a noob: I understand the S85D got a performance upgrade via software. I'm finding some vague discussions of some versions getting the upgrade, and others not. Can anyone provide any dates / models that did or didn't get the upgrade?

Thanks,
Doug
 

PhilDavid

Active Member
May 22, 2018
2,552
1,842
Philadelphia
Just make you you own the car under warranty. We would never want to own ours out of warranty so if you buy from a private party, make sure you buy the car with the Tesla ESA/warranty.

I have a feeling Tesla reliability numbers will continue to improve but that's not the case for older Model S vehicles that were made a while ago. Would you want to own a high end European premium car out of warranty? It is a gamble so the same is true and not so different with a Tesla.
 

IslandHydro

Member
Oct 24, 2018
211
132
Washington State
Thanks for the reply PhilDavid; I fully agree that if I go the Tesla route, a warrantied car is a must. But I live on an island, and getting to a TMC shop for repairs will be a hassle. I walk to work so the car won't see a lot of miles, mostly just a weekend fun machine. I've had my sights set on a Golf R to replace my S4, but my nephew just bought a Model 3 (long range, two motors) and he let me drive it, what a kick! So ever since I've been researching Teslas.

I have a large dog, who goes most places I do, thus the S vs 3. She's young now so could probably pull off the squat / slide in from the back, but that would get hard as she gets older. Given the low miles I will put on the car, it seems like a 2 or 3 year old, relatively low mileage S would be just the ticket, but if it breaks down every few months, the appeal would be lost soon enough. Sorry to hijack this thread, but the list of repairs caught my attention...
 

JPP

Active Member
Feb 4, 2013
3,062
1,289
SF Bay Area, CA
Hello All,

I am considering buying a Model 3 or used S85D, so I'm browsing the forums looking to get educated on Teslas. Coming from Audi's & VW, I found the list of repairs at the beginning of this post to be rather alarming! Is this typical / normal? I know Tesla's are getting a rep for not being terribly reliable, but that's a heck of a lot gone wrong. One other question if you all don't mind humoring a noob: I understand the S85D got a performance upgrade via software. I'm finding some vague discussions of some versions getting the upgrade, and others not. Can anyone provide any dates / models that did or didn't get the upgrade?

Thanks,
Doug

You have to remember that, before the Model S, Tesla really had not designed or made a car on its own. The Model S was the first true production car it fully designed. Many of the components were designed from a clean sheet of paper, and only some were taken from the Mercedes parts bin (door switches, steering wheel). The list of fixes you see in my listing is really a set of early production parts that needed to get beaten up in the real world. Essentially all of these have been re-engineered (some multiple times like the door handles). My car never broke down. I was never stranded. And I was personally always well supported by Tesla. As Tesla has learned from mistakes/failures (and successes), it has become a more mature car company. My new Model 3 is a result of this, with many systems simplified (like the door handles), or completely rethought (like a 12V electrical system without fuses or fuseboxes). As folks have noted, maybe stick with a car with some warranty left, and maybe also get the Extended Service Plan/Warranty. YMMV.
 

bomquito

Member
Nov 17, 2017
310
112
So-Cal
Very well put. Thank you for the info!
You have to remember that, before the Model S, Tesla really had not designed or made a car on its own. The Model S was the first true production car it fully designed. Many of the components were designed from a clean sheet of paper, and only some were taken from the Mercedes parts bin (door switches, steering wheel). The list of fixes you see in my listing is really a set of early production parts that needed to get beaten up in the real world. Essentially all of these have been re-engineered (some multiple times like the door handles). My car never broke down. I was never stranded. And I was personally always well supported by Tesla. As Tesla has learned from mistakes/failures (and successes), it has become a more mature car company. My new Model 3 is a result of this, with many systems simplified (like the door handles), or completely rethought (like a 12V electrical system without fuses or fuseboxes). As folks have noted, maybe stick with a car with some warranty left, and maybe also get the Extended Service Plan/Warranty. YMMV.
 

JPP

Active Member
Feb 4, 2013
3,062
1,289
SF Bay Area, CA
Very well put. Thank you for the info!

Just some perspective...let's examine a pretty basic component of a car, the door handle and latch system. Toyota, Mercedes and other long established automakers have designed, engineered, tested, produced, and repaired these systems for years and years. Mature, well understood. No real surprises, and they can evolve/modify the system with a certain level of confidence based upon the collective wisdom and data they have accumulated. Elon tells his Model S designers and engineers (many with no automotive legacy) that they have a clean sheet of paper, but that he wants exterior door handles that automatically extend and retract. So the engineer sits down at his desk/computer:

If the handle needs to move in and out, what is the actuator? Solenoid? Motor?
If the handle is extending/moving out, then how does the handle open the latch? Probably can't be a mechanical linkage like other auto marks. So you need an electrical system with an electrical latch.
But you want a mechanical backup to be able to open the door from the inside if the power fails or the electrical system fails.
So you need a 'dual' electromechanical system. In the S, the latches for the front doors are in the doors, and the inside handle has an switch to open the door but also a release cable for the mechanical release. FWIW, for the back doors, the latch is on the C-pillar (not the door itself like other auto manufacturers), and there is a release cable from a point under the seat bolster.
OK, so maybe you have figured out that you want a motor to drive the door handle in and out. Direct drive? Stepper motor? Gears? How big? Torque needed? Number of cycles before it fails (MTBF)?
If you use a motor, how do you set the handle extend/retract limits? Stepper motor--count pulses. Otherwise you need limit switches or something to stop the motor actuator from running.
OK, so the handle extends. How to actuate the door latch? In the S, the engineer has a microswitch that is activated when you insert your hand into the handle and pull a bit. How do you calibrate this switch? How much force? And you need a spring mechanism to retract the handle off of the microswitch when you let go (and also retract the handle when the motor is de-energized).
Do you need a micro controller to handle all of this? You need power and wiring through the door pillar and into the door. You need a CANBUS setup so that lock/unlock can be controlled centrally.
OK, so now you need to package this all up, keep it clean and dry, especially inside the door where it will get exposed to moisture.

Have I lost you yet? So with the Model S, those of us with older builds have the early revisions of this door handle/latch system. There were/are several failure modes. Early systems had a wire running to the microswitch that was routed in a way that the wire flexed over and over every time the door handle extended or retracted, and the wire broke. Early systems had a cast metal pivot gear attached to the mechanism, and this metal can become fatigued and fail, so that the door handle won't extend (the spring keeps it retracted), and the motor keeps running. A few folks have seen the reduction gear attached to the motor shaft itself fail. A number of folks have the 'phantom opening' event, where if you put the S into Park and the handles extend, one handle extends just a bit further than it is supposed to, and it hits the microswitch and the door pops open.

So in the 2013 S85 I just sold, I had 2 or 3 door handles either replaced (this was done early on), or repaired (now pretty common). My wife's 2015 S70D has had 3 repaired, last one today (failed yesterday, and the Ranger came out today with his repair kit with a new pivot gear, new weathertight seal, etc--20 minute repair). There are newer revisions/builds of the handles, however I do not know the current failure rate. Note that the Model X and 3 do not have this system. They do have flush handles, but a different way to accomplish the same end---to open the door.

There is a learning curve. Maybe the engineer began designing the handle/latch system in 2010 for the original 2012 Model S release (Signature cars). Did the engineer/Tesla actually run a suite of destructive tests to beat up the handle until it failed? Not a whole lot of time to have real world testing (maybe 6 years). Remember, Elon said that 'building cars is hard'. There have not been too many new car manufacturers in business (...still in business) lately. Lots to learn.
 
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Reactions: Vern Padgett

IslandHydro

Member
Oct 24, 2018
211
132
Washington State
Thanks everyone for the input, quite helpful! I'm really quite enthused about getting an S, seems like a car that is too good to be true (uh oh, lol). I totally get that Teslas are in there infancy; but in many ways that lack of history has allowed them to go where no cars have gone before (cue star trek music). Finances only allow for somewhat more than I was planning on spending on a new Golf R, so I'm looking at CPO's. Gotta have's so far are: 85D or 90D (not P, it'd get me in trouble), tech, ultra audio, 4yr/50k. Fortunately there seem to be quite a few out there that meet this criteria and I'm not in a hurry. If I end up with a 2015 or 16, is it reasonable to assume that most of the bugs would have been worked out, or am I looking at something that'll need work regularly? If so, I live on an island, about an hour and a half away from the nearest service center (Seattle); will I be looking at always bringing the car there, or do they have options? Thanks again, fun stuff!
 

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