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Request for advice on buying a used Roadster in Japan

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by kokoro, Jan 11, 2017.

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  1. kokoro

    kokoro Member

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    Hello all,

    I am new to the forums and did a search and found some information but felt motivated to ask this question in the hopes of gathering more info. My apologies, in advance, if I've overlooked a valuable post.

    I have been a Tesla fan from the beginning (actually pre-tesla (tZero & AC Propulsion fan), bought Tesla stock back when it was in the $20s etc. etc.

    I live in Japan and just came across a 2010 Roadster Sport at a car dealer (Lotus dealer). It has 14,000 miles (23,000 km) on it. Has had the suspension, brake calipers, wheels, and tires changed (forgot the suspension brand, Brembo calipers, BBS wheels, Potenza rubber) at considerable expense. This was apparently done for esthetics and to lower the car. Excessive in my opinion but the suspension is adjustable so it can be raised.

    I rode in the car today and it was awesome (as Roadsters are). I couldn't find anything wrong with the car on casual inspection but as it's out of warranty I want to gather as much information as possible (mainly about the battery and PEM) to make sure I'm not going to need to replace the battery the week after I buy it.

    My main question(s) is - does anyone have advice as to how I can get a good idea of the 'health' of the battery? I did notice that the touch screen displays something like 157 km (don't remember the exact number) but the instrument panel estimated range was 67 kilometers (not fully charged). I read a bunch here on the forums about the difference between the two and am not sure if I have it clear in my head after reading or not. My assumption is the touch screen is a figure based solely upon the charge in the battery and the figure on the instrument panel (speedometer) incorporates more data (driving behavior etc.) but that assumption conflicts with some information I've read here.

    If I take this to the Tesla service center here in Japan (there is only one and it happens to be relatively close to the Lotus dealer) are they able to get detailed diagnostics on the battery? (for a price, I assume)

    This seems like a deal that is too good to pass up but that's exactly what has me worried. The rep at the dealer clearly knew very little about the car as I had to show him how to set the timer to charge the car during non-peak hours here in Japan. :-(

    Down the road I would consider the 3.0 battery upgrade but not for a few years, at least.

    Thanks, in advance, for any comments, advice, or even criticism. :)

    Peace

    Jason

    P.S. For reference, the last three digits of the VIN are 830
     
  2. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    #2 dhrivnak, Jan 11, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
    The touch screen VDS and the range on the odometer should match or at least they do in my 1.5. Now the speedometer display will show one of three numbers. Trip odomometer, odometer and range.

    The VDS can be toggled between ideal range (based on 60mph on a level road with no heat and air) and estimated range based on power consumed over last 40 miles.

    The easiest check is to get them to fully charge and if the ideal range is 170 miles or 274 km or greater you should be good.
     
  3. Stefan T

    Stefan T Member

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    not 170km that's bad but 170 miles is good that and that's 272 km
     
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  4. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    The OP said the car was not fully charged when he saw it.

    @kokoro, I strongly recommend that if you are serious about purchasing the car you persuade the current owner to take it to the Tesla Service Center so you can pay for an inspection. No matter what the selling price is, an inspection is a very small percentage of the amount that you are looking at spending to buy it and it will give you as much information as possible.

    At the very least you need to get documentation from the owner of everything that has been done to the car, and have the owner do a Range Charge and then look at the range numbers within a few hours after the charge is completed. Also, talk to the Service Center and see if they are aware of the car and if they will tell you anything about it without seeing it (I don't know what Japanese law allows them to tell you, if anything).

    If you search this forum you can find similar threads on what to look for when buying a used Roadster.

    Good luck.
     
  5. Habious

    Habious Member

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    Neither range number is perfect.

    The "Ideal Miles" is what you MIGHT get, but probably won't...but maybe could.

    The "Estimated Miles" is what you DID get the last 40 miles but, is no barometer for what you WILL get in your next 40 miles.

    If the car has been on several "spirited" test drives, the Estimated Miles will look pretty bad.

    But, if take the car on a 160 mile road-trip, with the cruise set at 60 MPH, and the Estimated Miles and the Ideal Miles will come close to reading the same.

    A fully-charged "Ideal Miles" reading (see note below) will give you some idea of battery status but, most people feel that the best number to look at when talking about a specific battery's health is the "CAC" (calculated average capacity). This is a number that the car internally calculates, over the life of the car, and adjusts as the battery charges and discharges over time.

    In order to get the CAC, you need to pull the logs (which are retrieved via USB)...not sure if a car dealership would let you do that.


    "fully charged ideal miles" - charging the car completely in Standard charge mode, and letting the car sit overnight before looking at the number. A "Range charge" will give you a much bigger number, and also, the car will give you a slightly high number right after charging is complete, but will settle down over the course of several hours.
     
  6. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    @kokoro, if you can get access to the car such that you can download the logs that will give you valuable insight into its condition. Attached are instructions on how to do that. Then go to this page for information on how to analyze the logs VMS Log Parser for Tesla Roadster . It takes some effort to understand the process and what it tells you. I do not claim to be an expert. Keep in mind that the Roadster was designed a decade ago and the interface is not very sophisticated by today's standards. However, one does have access to much more detailed information than is available in Tesla's current cars.
     

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  7. supersnoop

    supersnoop Tesla Roadster #334

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    The number you need to find out is the CAC. You can get it from the logs or from the debug screen on the VDS. It's the best, consistent measure of battery health. The ideal range at full charge can vary based on the current at which the car was charged, so it won't always be a good indication of battery health.
     
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  8. kokoro

    kokoro Member

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    Thank you all very much for the helpful advice and information. I will contact the dealer and see if I can:

    1. Get the logs (this will be fun for me even if I don't end up buying the car) :)
    2. See if I can get the car checked by the Tesla service center (I'm willing to pay)

    I forgot to mention the price of this car ($32,000). This seems to be too good to be true which is the reason for my 'caution' sensor kicking in. :)

    Also, the vehicle is reported to display around 300 km on the VDS after being charged (not sure if that's immediately after though).
     
  9. kokoro

    kokoro Member

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    Couldn't edit so I'm replying to myself here. Adding a photo for fun.

    Side.jpg
     
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  10. ViviV

    ViviV Member

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    @supersnoop How do you get to the "debug" screen?
     
  11. supersnoop

    supersnoop Tesla Roadster #334

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    How much to Roadster's usually sell for in Japan? That's about half the price I'd expect in the USA. I wouldn't hesitate; I'd show up with a deposit and take the car to Tesla tomorrow for an inspection. The only thing that seems off to me is the single-DIN radio.
     
  12. supersnoop

    supersnoop Tesla Roadster #334

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    Tap the VDS 5+ times and it will prompt you for a secret code. The forum seems adverse to disseminating the code because you can do some real damage if you hit the wrong buttons on the diagnostic screens.
     
  13. ViviV

    ViviV Member

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    Yikes...I won't try that. When I have some free time I'll play around with the data log file and parser just for fun. For now I will assume my battery is ok because it charges on standard to 189-191 miles (and OVMS percentage also calculates to 190 ideal miles), from what I have read in the forum this is good.
     
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  14. supersnoop

    supersnoop Tesla Roadster #334

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    You can view the CAC through the OVMS app. That's a better measure the charged up miles.
     
  15. kokoro

    kokoro Member

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    It is a single DIN Alpine radio. How did you know? Maybe I should head that way this weekend...I'm just not impulsive enough to commit that amount of money without solid information.
     
  16. ViviV

    ViviV Member

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    Thanks-I hadn't noticed that it was hiding in "vehicle info"! Much easier than the other log method! It is 151.03. @supersnoop can you point me to a guide on how to interpret CAC? and while we are at it, any suggestions on where to find info on how to interpret/use the PEM, motor, and battery temps from OVMS? I ignore them because they don't seem to correlate to anything.
     
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  17. supersnoop

    supersnoop Tesla Roadster #334

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    I used the picture you posted to find the ad via google image search.

    Sometimes a deal has so much potential you have to jump in without all the information, but with a solid exit strategy. There's not a whole lot that could make a 2.5 that cheap. The worst case, as I see it, would be if the battery is damaged, in which case you pay to replace it with a 3.0 battery and sell the car for more than you paid. While there's risk in any deal, it's more than offset by the price, in my opinion.
     
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  18. DeedWest

    DeedWest 2010 Roadster 2.0 - VIN 523

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    That does sound like a ridiculously good deal for a 2.5. I wouldn't worry too much about the non double-DIN option, as some 2.5's didn't opt for the Infotainment package. It's a great option to have, since it requires some surgery to get double-DIN, but not the end of the world. Especially if this car really IS selling for $32,000 and doesn't have any major problems.

    I agree with @supersnoop. Some of the best cars, you have to hide before they're bought. See about placing a refundable deposit to take it off of the market, and then pursue having Tesla check out the service history & battery health. Best of luck!
     
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  19. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    That is a very healthy CAC. I think a brand new battery is 155 and am 8 year old model like mine is 140. At 140 CAC I get about 172 ideal miles with a standard charge. Add about 40 more for a range charge.
     
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  20. supersnoop

    supersnoop Tesla Roadster #334

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    Brand new, theoretical maximum is 160. I received a "refurbished" pack and got it just over 155.

    Page 7 has some great information: https://survey.pluginamerica.org/tesla-roadster/PIA-Roadster-Battery-Study.pdf
     
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