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Questions about buying a used 2013 Model S

Discussion in 'Model S' started by ElectricMonkey, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. ElectricMonkey

    Joined:
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    Carlsbad CA
    My Nissan Leaf Lease expires in July of next year, so I'm putting some thought into a used Model S to replace it. Specifically, I'm looking at the inventory on:
    Pre-Owned Model S | Tesla
    because they come with a warranty. There are alot of 2013 85kWh Model S's available there, and some have pretty low mileage. I'm hoping the price comes down further in the next few months, but even if it does, I still have some concerns about reliability, so I figured I'd start a thread specifically about the prospect of buying used directly from Tesla and my concerns, and see what people think.

    I have a number of questions that nobody seemed to answer when I emailed Tesla sales. I'm not surprised. Their priority is probably new car sales. I suppose I'll call them on the phone when I get closer to July, but for now, maybe I can get some answers from actual owners.

    For starters, in general, how reliable would you expect a 2013 Model S with like 25K miles and that's Tesla certified to be?

    With the Tesla warranty that they offer for the used cars, does the customer automatically get use of a loaner vehicle when their car is in for maintenance? Are there rules for loaner use? Is there any costs to the customer associated with a loaner car? Do the loaners in California have carpool lane stickers?

    I understand that the drive unit is a big issue with the Model S, and it sounds expensive. Once the car falls out of warranty, what is the total replacement cost of a drive unit?

    I've seen reports of an excessive tire wear issue due to a manufacturing flaw that effects wheel alignment. Is there a solution to this issue for used Model S vehicles? Would the Tesla inventory of used cars have the fix?

    What's the deal with the lack of front license plates? Does it block a sensor/camera, or is it just a looks thing? Does the car even come with front license plate mounting hardware?
     
  2. Akikiki

    Akikiki A'-Lo-HA ! y'all

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    I've been reading this and the TM forum for over four years. I think the answers to most of your questions you raise here and others you are going to have are on these two forums. But you should sit down and read - do your homework. There is years of content on these two forums.

    You say that you understand things like some issues with the drive unit and have read reports about excessive tire wear. Didn't that info or report address all both the issues and the authors' conclusions? Do your homework, please. Not only will you get the answers to your first questions, but you will learn so much more about the car. Good luck.
     
    • Like x 1
  3. ElectricMonkey

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    Thanks Akikita. I'll wait for the responses from those insightful people you refer to.
     
  4. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I have an early 2013 S85 with about 75,000 miles. It drives and feels like new, and other than options I don't have (weren't available), newer loaner cars I've driven don't feel any better to me.

    Now I did have a lot of the "early adopter" problems like door handles, drive units and so forth, but Tesla has been excellent at fixing any issues that come up. Any car you're looking at, either through Tesla or even a private sale, has likely had all upgrades and repairs already performed. And remember, the powertrain (drive unit, inverter and battery) on an 85 are covered for unlimited miles / 8 years and it is transferrable.
     
  5. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    There's a lot of questions there, so I reformatted with numbers to more easily address them.
    1. I'd say about average reliability. They have lots of small issues, and a few larger ones. The good news is that the previous owner probably got them all fixed, so it's likely a reasonably trouble-free car at this point.
    2. Loaners are given to all owners if they're available. They're free, you just let them scan your license and sign the agreement not to damage it. The majority do not have carpool stickers, in my experience. The bad news is, in CA, getting a loaner is pretty rare. I'd say about 25% of my service visits have had me in a loaner. The rest you get shuttled off to a rental car place. Tesla covers the cost, which is nice, but adds another 30 minutes to the drop-off and probably ends up with you in a Chrysler 300 or a Chevy Equinox (both actual rentals I've received) or something.
    3. There's relatively little good information on this. My replacement invoice was without prices, but was told it was a roughly $15k operation. But this was when they were just replacing them left and right with new ones to get them back for analysis. I think there are a few fixes they can perform now, and remanufactured ones are an option. Maybe I'd estimate half that at this point? Maybe someone has a recent invoice with prices.
    4. I don't believe there's a flaw. Many of the early examples were aligned poorly right from the factory, and that hurt. Additionally, as with any other vehicle, lowering due to weight or active suspension will increase camber due to the suspension geometry. The more time you spend on low, the worse your wear will be. That said, the low setting isn't as low as it used to be, which helps. Finally, the tires on the 21" wheels are aggressive with a soft compound. They are going to wear relatively fast even if you baby them.
    5. It does come with front mount hardware. As of 2013, Tesla only installed them from the factory upon request. And even then, it might not do it (I requested the bracket be installed and they didn't do it). It harms aerodynamics and people don't like how they look, so many just never got installed. I'm sure they'll put it on there for you for free when you buy. It only takes a few minutes, but does require permanently modifying the nosecone.
    Hope that helped.
     
    • Like x 1
  6. ElectricMonkey

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    great replies. Thank you!
     
  7. ElectricMonkey

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    I have to say, I'm a little troubled by the fact that Tesla sales didn't respond to my questions. Just the fact that I emailed them with questions got me on their SPAM list, and yet the only way to get a human being to respond is to ask other owners on the forums.

    Is this an indication of the level of support you get once you're an owner?
     
  8. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    Well, if you buy you'll probably find that communication is not Tesla's forte. I am not terribly surprised answers submitted via email went without response.

    Unfortunately you're kind of in a bit of a dead zone without a showroom/SC close by. I'd just call the San Diego-UTC showroom and ask them directly. The actual sales associates are more likely to help than whoever it is you emailed.
     
  9. flipb

    flipb Member

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    Annandale, VA
    I got a CPO Model S 60kwh in September. Loving it so far. There are a few spots where it clearly shows wear, but mechanically is very sound. The Pano Roof leaked the first time I took it into a carwash, so I plan to complain about that and get the seal replaced under warranty. My only other complaint is that the rear-view camera seems to go blank once in a while -- it comes back on its own, or by restarting the touchscreen. (I guess that's another item I'll bring up when it's due for service.)

    Also of note, battery capacity seemed about 5% degraded before I took delivery. It already had over 41,000 miles, so I think that's relatively inline with others' experience, and I've read that battery capacity tends to plateau after that initial loss.

    I do love to drive it, and I sold my other Daily Driver, so I depend on it every day. No regrets.

    Oh, and despite the fact that it was previously registered in a state that requires front plates, it didn't have the bracket. My SC installed one, which includes drilling into the nosecone. It's a very low profile bracket and is completely hidden behind the plate.
     
  10. ElectricMonkey

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    flipb, thanks for the reply. That's good to know that you're enjoying a used one.

    I'm curious if the rear-view camera issue is simply that it's dirty. I've had that happen before, where a rear-view camera in another car would turn itself off if the lens got dirty.
     
  11. ElectricMonkey

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    Gizmotoy, I wasn't aware that there's a UTC showroom. Thanks. That's close enough to work that I may go check it out at lunchtime at some point.
     
  12. cyr0nk0r

    cyr0nk0r Member

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    As a side note. I LOVE my MS. It is so much fun to drive and I have no regrets. It is a bit of a stretch financially for me right now, but I can grow into the payments as I get some raises in the future. Overall, even with the little hiccups here and there, I have nothing bad to say about the car or my experiences dealing with Tesla.
     
  13. tdjvfr

    tdjvfr Member

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    I purchased an early P85 from private party with 18k miles. They had purchased the extended warranty also. The only complaint I had was some water was getting into the right tail light when I washed it. Tesla replaced both rear housings covered under the original manufacture warranty. Another time, I scraped my 21in rim on a curb. Brought it to them to fix at my cost. When I dropped it off they mentioned that they wanted to replace my drive unit and some pyro fuse. All covered under warranty. I had no complaints with my original drive unit. Everything seemed ok with me. I can tell you that I love my car. It's amazing. I would have no problems purchasing another used Tesla. I would however ensure it has an extended warranty. I'm sure out of warranty cost will be higher then expected. Purchasing used saved my lots of money.

    I also have air suspension. I drive in the standard setting. My tires have worn normally. If you drive at low setting a lot you will have more uneven wear.
     
  14. demundus

    demundus Member

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    @ElectricMonkey

    I am in Oceanside, and bought a used 2013 with 50k miles on it. It drives just fine, although I've had two engine swaps (under warranty). You will find, unfortunately, that the san diego service center is a nightmare in terms of being overloaded. Its a fine car, just be extra sure you get the history on it, especially the service history. Do whatever it takes to understand exactly whats been done to the car before you take ownership.

    The UTC sales staff (or any sales staff) will be mostly unhelpful, as they deal with aspiring Tesla owners in the hundreds per day asking tons of questions. This forum is your best bet, as are the legacy owners like myself and @mknox and others.

    Edit: saw you were going CPO, should be fine with the CPo warranty as well. even more "insurance" for the buck. Just try to maximize your spend for the car, ie; I wish i would have waited 6 more months to buy my car, as I would have got an AP1 car for about what I paid for my non AP car. Do your research and don't fall in love too quickly, there are alot of teslas that will hit the market soon in favor of AP2.

    editx2: i dont know your budget, but my biggest blindside was insurance... do your research!!
     
  15. SarahsDad

    SarahsDad Member

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    Agree w posters above - I have a mid-'13 P85+. I also had the usual early issues (new battery, new drive unit) within the first year, no issues since, still looks and drives like new...
     
  16. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    #16 Az_Rael, Nov 8, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
    Call the Buena Park store. They are the CPO hub for the area. I called them and asked to be put in touch with a CPO adviser who was very helpful (Aaron Class). I had also emailed first and got no response from the fellow I emailed.

    Edit: you dont have to take delivery at Buena park. I am taking delivery of my 2013 CPO at Burbank
     
  17. Lu Ann

    Lu Ann Member

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    I took delivery of 2013 CPO P85 in September of this year. It had 17K miles on it and it was in pristine condition. I do have a small water leak when it rains hard in the smaller driver's window. I have not felt it necessary to take the car in for service once yet. (We don't get much rain here in the desert!)

    I am very happy with my purchase and it is a pleasure to drive.
     
  18. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I have an early '13 with 78K miles on it. No drivetrain issues, no leaks, wind noise from the triangle window was fixed after delivery. One onboard charger was replaced. The 12V battery has also been replaced. Basically this car is as reliable as any other car I've owned, and more reliable than some.
     
  19. gene

    gene Supporting Member

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    Like others, I have an early 2013 with 70,000 miles. A few problems early on which were happily taken care of. All has been well for a really long time. The car still drives just like new. Recently during my last service I was loaned a P85D with AP. There really was nothing about it that made it feel better to me than my car except the new luxurious seats. Damn, I do wish I could have the new seats!
     
  20. CLLACAB

    CLLACAB Member

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    I purchased a CPO with 19K miles, now has 30K. I noted a number of cosmetic items when I picked it up. We documented them all and tesla resolved all of them. The car has performed flawlessly. No squeaks or rattles.
     

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