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Local Model S for sale

Happyahab

Member
May 4, 2021
5
0
North Carolina
Hi, first time poster. I've driven electric for 10 years and I'm looking to get my first Tesla. I found a used 2013 model S that has 30,000 miles. Couple of questions stood out to me after the test drive.

1. Other than the obvious why does it have such low miles, anything else stand out in terms of I need to be careful of this or that? Dealer does not have much information on previous owner (s)

2. I'm familiar with the sound of an electric engine when you floor the pedal but this particular model S had a secondary whine that I could hear. For much of the test drive I'd floor it, let it get to about 50 mph and the secondary whine would kick in and quickly go away. I'd let off the gas and floor it again, rinse and repeat. Here's an audio recording and you'll notice after the initial electric motor wind up there's this secondary sound almost like screeching tires.

 

Happyahab

Member
May 4, 2021
5
0
North Carolina
Forgot to add some qualifying information on the car in question

It's an S 60
Premium connectivity
Air suspension (which seemed to go up and down pretty noiselessly while parked)
Retractable panoramic sunroof
MCU1 that was starting to have the bubbling glue issues
 

David29

Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,218
1,838
DEDHAM, MA
S60 has the smallest battery that Tesla offered and correspondingly the least range. You may find it does not have enough range for your purposes, so think carefully about that.
Also, the 60 kWh cars did not inherently come with lifetime free Supercharging. It was available as an option. I am not sure if or how you could check if that feature was purchased for this car.
The low mileage is quite surprising after 8 years. You might have a truly low mileage car, which would be great. Any hints from upholstery condition, brake pedal wear, brake condition, paint condition, lack or presence of rattles, etc.?
As for the whine, I have no suggestions. My 2015 S70D has a little whine, but I understood that the single motor units like the S60 were quieter, so there may be a looming issue with the motor or elsewhere in the drive train. This car could be on the hairy edge of the end of the original 8-year warranty on the battery and drive train, or could be past it.
You might see if a nearby Tesla service center (if there is one near you) would give you a pre-purchase inspection, if the seller would agree. I'd also be careful to have the underbody and suspension, brakes, and so on checked for wear and corrosion by someone knowledgeable, particularly in case the car was exposed to road salt. I know North Carolina has mild winters, but the car could have come from somewhere else.
 
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Crutonius

Member
Sep 12, 2020
162
145
Salt Lake City, Utah
My advice is to steer clear of that one. It sounds perverse but a Tesla with such low miles from that year is a bad thing. There's a lot of problems that year that probably haven't had a chance to show up.

Additionally, I have a 60 and it's whisper quiet. If it's making a whine then the drive unit is probably about to fail.
 

SoCal Buzz

Supporting Member
Oct 9, 2018
472
380
Orange County, CA, USA
Hi, first time poster. I've driven electric for 10 years and I'm looking to get my first Tesla. I found a used 2013 model S that has 30,000 miles. Couple of questions stood out to me after the test drive.

1. Other than the obvious why does it have such low miles, anything else stand out in terms of I need to be careful of this or that? Dealer does not have much information on previous owner (s)

2. I'm familiar with the sound of an electric engine when you floor the pedal but this particular model S had a secondary whine that I could hear. For much of the test drive I'd floor it, let it get to about 50 mph and the secondary whine would kick in and quickly go away. I'd let off the gas and floor it again, rinse and repeat. Here's an audio recording and you'll notice after the initial electric motor wind up there's this secondary sound almost like screeching tires.

The whine is likely known issue with metal bearings in the original motors. Tesla repaired these under warranty by swapping with refurb. motors that have ceramic bearings, and are not subject to the pitting from high magnetic field over time. If out of warranty, then cost would be significant to replace. I would personally stay away from the 60 and try to find an 85, along with understanding that the MCU upgrade will be required (if not done already).
 
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Happyahab

Member
May 4, 2021
5
0
North Carolina
Thank you all for the feedback. I'm curious about the general feeling of staying away from the 60 though. Is it purely because of the lower range or is there something about the 60 kilowatt hour batteries and the overall build of the 2013 that was inferior?
 

Crutonius

Member
Sep 12, 2020
162
145
Salt Lake City, Utah
Thank you all for the feedback. I'm curious about the general feeling of staying away from the 60 though. Is it purely because of the lower range or is there something about the 60 kilowatt hour batteries and the overall build of the 2013 that was inferior?

I'm not aware of a technical problem specific to the 60. For whatever reason it has a lower mileage warranty than every other battery. But that's not necessarily indicative of a design flaw.

With regards to range I guess it comes down to how much road trips you're expecting to do. For me there isn't a scenario in town where the 60 isn't more than adequate. But if I had to make long road trips regularly then the higher capacity would be quite a bit more appealing.
 

Wol747

Member
Aug 26, 2017
847
356
Tea Gardens
As SoCalBuzz said, if it's one with metal ballbearings I would steer clear of it.
The very high magnetic fields in the vicinity of the gears induce arcing in the ballbearings with consequent wear. It's difficult to tell from the audio but it seems more than a hint of a grinding sound there.
There is a magnetic swarf collector in the gearbox, but I imagine we'd be talking of a Tesla inspection since the box lubrication would have to be changed I guess.
Wouldn't touch it myself.
 

2101Guy

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
1,559
1,372
USA
Early model, smallest pack (which surely has degraded some over time and like all packs, will lose some range in cold temps, further limiting range), no warranty. I'd pass as I'm almost certain going to a early 75D would be overall, a better value.
 

whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,560
7,887
Seattle area, WA
2013 S60 is an early model. Given the low volume production on those, even the month of 2013 makes the difference (Jan 2013 car will be different than Nov 2013, for example you will get automatic folding mirrors with the latter, among other improvements, but most importantly it will tell you when the 8 year battery/drive unit warranty ends). As others have said, check if the car had supercharging enabled. It's not FREE supercharging you are worried about here, but ANY supercharging and DC charging (e.g. ChaDeMo) was an option on the S60 in 2013 (I know, I had one). It used to cost $2,500 to enable the supercharging+DC and $2,000 to enable just DC charging. It was a remote enable option, where a technician logged in remotely and enabled it (again, I went through it myself), unless the car started its life as an S40 and was upgraded to S60, then supercharging was much more expensive to enable as it required new hardware to be installed (met one person who upgraded their S40 to S60, then got a shocker how much to enable supercharging).

As far as quality, I have to admit that the 2013 S60 required the least Tesla service visits in the 2 years I owned it, as compared to the subsequent 3 Model S I bought. Of course 2013 today is an 8 year old car, and Tesla parts and service has been going downhill, especially for older cars, so it might help if you how how to fix some stuff yourself (like door handles for example).
 

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