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Long term issues, reliability, concerns? Lease or finance?

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by KAnder04, Dec 8, 2019.

  1. KAnder04

    KAnder04 Member

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    The lease on my current car runs out in May, and I’m seriously considering making the switch to EV and going with a Tesla. Probably going with the Model 3 Performance, but I’m curious if anyone that bought a Model 3 a few years ago has had any long-term issues, or heard of any other owners (Model S, etc.) that have had any common issues. What about any issues selling it? Does it hold it’s value pretty well?

    I’m currently debating between leasing or financing a new Model 3 Performance. I’m leaning towards financing it through a credit union, but I’m worried about the technology, battery performance, reliability, and re-sale value if I own it for 5-7 years. Like iOS updates to older iPhones, will the Tesla software upgrades over time make the performance of the car’s computer and battery deteriorate? Has anybody heard of this happening? I’m also worried about them upgrading the car’s internal computing power, which will then prevent us long term owners from reaping the rewards of cool software updates in the future.

    What about the re-sale and/or trade-in value? Does it hold up over time? Have any of y’all had an issue selling your cars or getting a fair trade-in value?

    I’d also like to get XPEL Stealth or some other form of PPF to my car, and maybe customize it a little bit, but I obviously don’t want to put too much money into a leased vehicle. However I’m not crazy about the current paint options available, so I’d like something that protects the paint from damage (for when I turn the car in) and also makes it look better (I’d really love a sharp, matte metallic silver, like the Mercedes designo Selenite Grey Magno). But how difficult/expensive is it to remove a good PPF (like XPEL) at the end of the lease?

    Besides all of the concerns stated above, another thing that makes me consider leasing the vehicle is so I can re-evaluate the state of electric vehicles in 3 1/2 years. I’d imagine the electric vehicles from Tesla (and all the other luxury brands) will be far superior to where we are at the moment.

    Any thoughts, suggestions, recommendations? Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. tvad

    tvad Member

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    Great questions.

    Have you searched or perused the existing threads? Many address your concerns.
     
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  3. tpoltron

    tpoltron Member

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    Just do, most never regret it. We never want to suffer a gas car again.
     
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  4. jkdman123

    jkdman123 Member

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    #4 jkdman123, Dec 8, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
    Just understand that if you lease a Model 3, you will have no option to buy the vehicle at the depreciated price after the lease is up. They’re using the leased Model 3s to start up the robotaxi fleet.

    As for the fear that updates will hurt the computer performance, the comparison to iOS isn’t valid. First of all, the battery will deteriorate because of usage and because it’s a battery. Secondly, iPhones run many 3rd party apps and those apps are tuned to work with the latest iPhone hardware, which improves every year (processor, RAM, etc). The tech in most Teslas is not as dynamic as that, and doesn’t need to be given that 99% of what runs on the computer is made by Tesla itself.

    What you may see instead is that older cars with earlier tech may not get as many software based improvements as later models. But at worst the performance should generally stay the same since the basic tasks required to operate the car shouldn’t change.
     
  5. KAnder04

    KAnder04 Member

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    Thanks for the feedback! Please keep them coming.
     
  6. jjrandorin

    jjrandorin Another BMW convert

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    No one has owned a model 3 "long term". I think the oldest model 3s are late 2017.
    No one has had a model 3 "long term", so no one can give you feedback on that. Model S and X have held up pretty well, and I am not touching at ALL the " what is the resale value in 5-7 years" because no one knows. I personally dont get the "what is this car going to be worth in 7 years when I sell it" worries myself.

    So far they have held up well (just check all the people complaining about how much used model 3s are. We dont know what will happen "long term" with the phase out of the tax credit and other competition in the next few years. What we do know right now is, nothing on the market right now gives the combination of range, responsive driving, and overall speed of a model 3. Its currently the only car that you can buy that is faster than most cars in its class, AND cheaper to drive than most cars in its class.

    I had a co worker ask me this past friday "now that you have had your car a year, how are you feeling, would you do it again?" I answered, "in a heartbeat, best car I have owned, and I have had several BMWs over the years.".

    Im still excited about getting in my car every morning on my commute to work, and love the fact that they keep adding stuff to it via OTA updates. At some point the main computer will be out of date so will not get updates etc (reading about model S owners who have had their cars 4-5 years tells me this, so does looking at current phone cycles... this car is like a big, drivable phone).

    Still, I am very happy with it, and dont really care about "what its worth in 5-7 years", which seems to be a lot of the focus of your questioning, so I cant help you with that.
     
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  7. C141medic

    C141medic Active Member

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    Any other EV I’d say lease all the way. With Tesla there are no lease subsidies so leasing is not favorable in that regard. Business leasing may be more favorable in terms of financials.
     
  8. ZappCatt

    ZappCatt Member

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    I had those same questions 3 years ago, and went with a lease. All of the EV's still had the full Tax credit, so having the govt pay for 1/3 or more of my car payments(7500 fed and 1500 state(CA), and there not being a clear leader in the mass produced EV market made leasing a no brainer.

    Now, 3 years later, GM has more or less given up on EV's( The Bolt was supposed to be followed by at least 3 more EV's in the next 18 months, and they have made minor to no improvements in that time) the Model 3 has only gotten better and cheaper. The Leaf has floundered. There are now more EV's entering the market but none of them are "can't miss" or game changers over the Model 3.

    Since you are interested in a Performance, I would say that purchasing it would be the best option for you. The power is amazing, and thus easy to drive up the miles, thus making a lease less attractive.

    Tesla's are holding their value amazingly well, even more so when you realize the 2016 Model S entry level cars which are going for $40,000 4 years after they were new, have VERY old hardware for autopilot and are not able to perform Full Self Driving.

    A model 3 purchased now has a drastically more powerful computer and more cameras which will handle all of the currently envisioned Tesla Full Autonomous driving.
     
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  9. ljkelley

    ljkelley Member

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    I thought about trading in my 2018 Tesla Model 3 after some reliability issues. I got offered approx $40k for a car I paid $55k for. I have owned less than year.

    My car has had scratches/swirls from day one. Tesla at delivery promised to fix but other than doing some buffing, they have not fixed it. I'm still in communication with service and they claim the ordered me a new hood but I'll believe it when I see it.

    In addition to the cosmetic, I had my power steering fail. They had to replace some parts. The car was dangerous to drive for over a month and then was in the shop for two weeks.

    Honestly I would look at the alternatives that are coming out from Volvo, Mercedes etc...

    I know this is just purely my perspective, but I've owned several BMW and Mercedes, and they don't the best ratings (usually due to the cost of repairs) and I have never had an in warranty repair. My Tesla didn't last a year, but there is strong attachment from most buyers because of the awesome nature of the electric car. So it seemed that everyone else at the service center had a very forgiving attitude even if their car had been in several times.

    I don't mind teething issues, I know they were ramping up the build numbers when I bought mine and were a relatively new manufacture. I expect better customer service for my issues and can't believe i'm still asking to get my paint fixed a year later.

    I guess Elon Musk did sell me on a electric car and I'll probably eventually trade it in for a Volvo or Mercedes. So for that I'm thankful.
     
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  10. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

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    Model X has NOT been good from a reliability POV. Fortunately, the 3 doesn't have some of the problem systems (e.g. motorized front doors and rear "falcon wing doors").

    Every single year that CR has had sufficient reliability data for the X, it has been in the bottom 10.
    10 Least Reliable Cars
    https://web.archive.org/web/20181229020755/https://www.consumerreports.org/car-reliability-owner-satisfaction/10-least-reliable-cars/
    10 Least Reliable Cars
    https://web.archive.org/web/20170101002409/http://www.consumerreports.org/car-reliability/10-least-reliable-cars/
     
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  11. Proflig8tor

    Proflig8tor Member

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    #11 Proflig8tor, Dec 9, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
    Good and bad:
    + The convenience of home charging can not be over-stated. Having to go to a gas station for our other cars is such a drag now.
    + Silent smooth power is a luxury.
    + most fun I've ever had in a car (and I've had great cars from Porsche, Mercedes, BMW, Mazda, Ford and Chevrolet).
    + getting updates which improve the car's performance OTA means I've got a better car than I paid for
    + Kids and neighbors love it. You can hoon around in silence, nobody minds. We have a 4 year old and a 9 year old. Every kid knows what a Tesla is and if you are a parent, Tesla ownership makes you an instant rock star :) Maybe they realize you're saving the planet for them, but it is probably the fact it has video games and entertainment.
    + autopilot is really useful and limits fatigue.
    + handling and suspension tuning is better than reviews would indicate (MHO the SR+ on 19's is a sweet spot). Traction on eco-friendly all seasons is better than our E350 Sport or my GTI on summer tires. Reminds me a lot of later model 911's.
    + reliability has been perfect in the first 8,000 miles. We DO NOT baby the thing.
    + my experience with "service" has been awesome. Had one software update hang. Scheduled a service visit, got a text reply, they pushed the update to the car; done in minutes. I could have lived without the update but was eager to get 5% more power.
    + seats are super comfy.
    + Just MHO, the design is absolutely stunning and just gets better looking.
    + Got a couple of calls to follow up on satisfaction with the car (see below). Despite what we read on the forums, my experience was that Tesla folks follow up better than other manufacturers.

    - Paint on mine from the factory was laughably poor. It looks like the work of my kid's pre-school class. The car was delivered with dirt in the paint, uneven coverage, scratches and chips. The delivery center hit it with a buffer in some places which left burn marks. Your average buyer would probably not notice, but I used to restore cars for a living.m Will say that once delivered and protected the paint has held up well. This is my wife's daily driver so I am not sure I care. I am thinking I will pull it apart after our model Y arrives, reassemble and repaint it myself. I just saw a new Lexus SUV that was terrible. Lexus used to be astonishingly good. Tesla's later production builds are steadily improving. The best-built car we've bought lately (Tesla, Mercedes) has been my VW GTI from a Mexican factory.

    Bottom line: After the M3 we've ordered a Model Y and a Cyber Truck. So yeah, we love the thing and have confidence in the company.
     
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  12. Sandiegodoug

    Sandiegodoug Member

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    I have a 1/18 model 3, has been perfect. Wife has a 6/17 x, also been basically perfect. Own both cars, plan to keep at least 10 years.
     
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  13. srs5694

    srs5694 Active Member

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    The Model 3 was introduced in 2017. Production that year was very limited, and as it was the first year of the car, reliability of those first samples would not be representative of later production. What's more, any anecdotes you hear will be just that -- anecdotes. To properly evaluate reliability of cars in the long term, you need survey data. JD Power, Consumer Reports, and some others do this. CR recently upgraded the Model 3's predicted reliability to Average (3 on a 5-point scale), from Below Average (2 on the 5-point scale). It looks like Model 3 reliability suffered about a year ago as Tesla ramped up production, but then it improved beginning a few months ago as they fixed production problems. This tracks with anecdotal reports of delivery-time problems like paint flaws, which are a common complaint (both anecdotally and in CR's data). CR requires an Average or better reliability rating to recommend a vehicle, so this bump was enough to put the Model 3 on their Recommended list. I haven't been following the JD Powers ratings recently, so I don't know where the Model 3 stands with them.

    The Model S, which has been out longer, has switched several times between Average and Below Average reliability. As with many cars, reliability tends to dip when the manufacturer makes a major change and then improves as they iron out the kinks. As Tesla doesn't make its changes in batches with model year changes, as other manufacturers do, the Model S's reliability has gone up and down at random times. The Model X is much more mechanically complex and has suffered in reliability as a result. There have been problems with complex features like the rear doors, for instance. The Model 3 is much simpler than the X, and even than the S.

    So far the Model 3 seems to be holding its value pretty well, from what I've heard. As to 3 or 5 years from now, I can't say -- my crystal ball isn't working at the moment, I'm afraid.

    One big advantage of Teslas is that they keep improving because of software updates. Model 3s sold a year ago now have features like Sentry Mode and true one-pedal driving that they did not have at release. Tesla is promising true full self-driving in a year or so, but I'm skeptical it'll be quite as good as Tesla is suggesting. Still, a Model 3 bought today is likely to have, in five years, features that will more-or-less match the features of another car bought in five years' time.

    Battery degradation is not a big deal. Most EVs do lose a little range in the first year or so of ownership, but then the rate of degradation slows down. I don't recall the exact figures, but the expected range loss in ten years is likely to be noticeable, but not crippling -- maybe 10% or so, if I had to guess at an expected figure, with half of that drop happening in the first year. The same is true of many other EVs, too; however, Nissan Leafs have air-cooled batteries, and those tend to degrade more with time. Many early Leafs have lost 20-30%, or sometimes even more, range in under a decade. All that said, as with any product you buy, you may end up with a bum sample that degrades faster than is typical. This is especially true if you stress the battery by driving a lot more than average, by frequently going through extreme discharge cycles (draining it to 10% and then charging to 100%, say), or by making heavy use of Superchargers. The best practice is to charge to 80% or 90% on a daily basis (you can set the top charge using the car's screen or the Tesla app) and to avoid deep discharges. Normally, plugging in every night will take care of this.

    So far, the opposite has been true, at least for the most part; Tesla has added features to as many cars as possible, rather than take them away. That said, there are limits on what's possible based on the hardware in the car. The earliest Model Ss lack the hardware necessary for the latest versions of Autopilot, for instance, so they don't get those features. One issue regarding batteries is that Tesla has reduced the maximum charge rate of some Model S and X cars with 75kWh and 90kWh battery packs, as detailed in this YouTube video. This issue affects only cars with those battery packs, though, so it looks like something that's done to prevent bigger problems, not Tesla being malicious.

    All that said, we are trusting Tesla to continue with the same policies going forward. A change in management could, in principle, result in Tesla demanding payment for new features, or refusing to offer them on current cars in the hopes of generating new sales, even when existing cars could handle the new features. So far this doesn't seem to be happening, but that's no guarantee of future behavior by Tesla. One partial exception to this rule: The "Full Self-Driving" (FSD) package keeps going up in price, and Tesla has warned that it will increase in price even more in the future. If you buy it now, you're guaranteed to get whatever FSD features Tesla releases in the future; but if you wait, you may end up paying more for the same FSD features. In a way, this is the opposite of your concern; but if you don't buy FSD right now, you may end up paying more in the long run if you decide to buy the package later.

    I'm skeptical that other manufacturers will have anything better than what Tesla is offering today in 3.5 years, at least in terms of the EV-specific features. You might prefer the future Ford Foo or Hyundai Bar over today's Model 3 because of things like seat comfort, cargo-hauling capacity, or price; but Tesla is far enough ahead of the competition today in terms of range, charging speed, and software that it's likely to take at least the 3.5 years you mention for other automakers to catch up to where Tesla is today. That said, in 3.5 years, Tesla will have released the Model Y and the Cybertruck, and they may well have made changes to existing products -- perhaps increased range, even faster DC fast charging speed, better computers, etc. This sort of improvement is common in all high-tech areas, though; you must decide whether to jump in now or wait for the next new thing that's expected in just a few months. In 3.5 years, there will be developments just over the horizon, too. If you always wait for the next new thing, you'll never buy anything, since something better will always be on the horizon.
     
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  14. ZappCatt

    ZappCatt Member

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    While the FSD package has increased in price, and Elon has stated it will drastically increase in the future, at least so far, they have clearly signalled when the price change would take place, so anyone on the fence could purchase at the current price.

    As he mentioned, that is historical information, and the next change COULD come without warning.
     
  15. SoccerMan94043

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    Based on past history of both the Model S and 3, you can guarantee Tesla will devalue the car; from new hardware like AP 1.5, 2.0, 2.5 and now 3.0, facade changes and lowering prices to make quarter results, Tesla is consistently chasing quarterly revenue and provides deals. This will eventually work against the value of your car.

    I wish a lease was an option when I purchased mine, but that wasn't in place yet (I missed it by a few months). Having bought and sold a Model S, it didn't hold the value anticipated by everyone here and was harder to sell than others thought as well (I know not apples to apples with the 3).

    I'm starting to look at cars exactly like phones or computers which need replacing more often. For an additional 1K to 2K (the likely difference between buy and lease) it's a pretty good safety net and you'll get to compare and buy something better relatively soon.

    If you can afford it, I don't see a major downside to the current lease and lots of upside.
     
  16. texas_star_TM3

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    maybe - can we start with FSD first before going ALL THE WAY of RoboTaxis driving without drivers autonomously thru cities? lol. Tesla will DEFINITELY re-sell lease returns and not hold them in inventory (and on their balance sheet) for the year that RobotTaxis will be ready for prime-time. Hint: as long as bright sunlight disables the cameras ("blindspot detection limited") - fully autonomous RoboTaxis ain't ready
     
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  17. ZappCatt

    ZappCatt Member

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    Exactly. I am waiting to receive my "non-purchasable" M3 for a lease.... but having driven a FSD enabled Tesla at my local store, and driving on the local roads, we are a LONG, LONG, LONG way from a autonomous taxi service, and even once they get the hardware/software down perfect(LOL), they still have to figure out infrastructure. The App, the people to charge them, the people to clean them, the people to deal with issues from a clients perspective or the police, the people to deal with crashed/dented/dinged cars, the people to deal with insurance when there are accidents, etc.

    Right now they are still struggling to get cars to people who have ordered, and they expect to launch 2-4 more models in the same time period.
     
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  18. ZappCatt

    ZappCatt Member

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    or cold causes them to fog up "autopilot disabled" or rain or...or...
     
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  19. shrspeedblade

    shrspeedblade Rideshare Monkey

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    77k miles- many of them hard miles- and 1.5 years later all i have to say:

    It will be the best car you've ever owned! What the hell are you waiting for?
     
  20. KAnder04

    KAnder04 Member

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    10-4. Thanks.
    Yea, as far as long-term ownership, I was talking more about anyone on here that has owned a Model S for 5+ years or if you’ve talked to someone that has. Sorry for any confusion.
     

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