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Risk Management of Buying AP1 Model S

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Good Evening All,

BLUF: what to look for before buying - specifically the HV battery.

All values are CAD/kilometres, live in Ontario.

Currently drive a base 2017 Bolt 230k odometer, 25k on battery capacity estimated at 61kwh. Our only car, family of 5 with 3 small kids. Possibly one or 2 more in the next 5 years. Prior to this had 2018 leaf, which we traded in. Currently, (Leaf purchase, upgrade to bolt, gas savings) cashflow is at - $7k, with a sale of the bolt on top of that.

Possibility of selling bolt for ~17k to interested buyer.

I have found a 2015 S85D with AP1 for $20k (subject to negotiation) , 203k kilometers. November 2015 manufacture. Carfax looks good, one owner. In 2018 had $5800 worth of work done for "minor to moderate damage, Damage to rear, Damage to right rear"

Context, only 4 cheaper used model S's are avalible in Canada, one with a serverly degraded battery, one needs new RDU, final two are 2014s RWD one with AP one without.
Points/thoughts
1- 2015 - seems that opinion is 15 - 16 were a better / reasonably good quality.
2- AP1 - I gather for what it is meant to do (highway /rural roads) does a great job. Also summon and parallel park. Should also reduce chance of getting into at fault accidents.
3- SDUx2- from what I have looked at vast majority of drive unit failures have been with LDU, have only found a few instances of SDUs failing.
4 - Coil Springs - cheaper in maintenance vs air.
5-Xenon headlights - seems more reliable than newer LED.
6- Pano Roof- not having a sunroof would be more reliable of course. Based on manufacturing date, this would be the updated pano roof, how are they with leaking /DIY fixing?
7 - 19in wheels - better mpg, less risk for flats.
8 - I believe no unlimited supercharging. Can I assume if I take it to a supercharger I will be able to verify? Any way to verify in the drivers seat? While I would really like this, I charge for $0.04 at home and would need to fast charge less going from 61 kwh to high 70s kWh total battery capacity.
9 - No cold weather package
10- No premium package
11 - Leather seats.
12- Rear jumpseats, not included. Will find a set and add them after. Does Elons advice with regards to AC settings work? Not as concerned about heating (blankets etc). Right now looking at around $1500.
12 - Further depreciation: according to autotrader.ca would be buying the model s for just above wholesale, while selling Bolt EV for almost retail value. Tesla should be worth more down the road?
13 - MCU 1. If I find a used MCU2, and I swap then myself, it that it? Or does something special need to be done?

14 - To me that leaves only the HV battery as the unknown.

A) I know that I can see the battery tag through the passenger side wheel well.
B) I am also aware that through the service menu, I should be able to see both internal and external isolation.
C) I have read that there are possible issues with water intrusion, anything to look out for, with the above isolation test help with that.
D) I will have Scan My Tesla with the proper adapter, bought both.
E) Can I leverage this to get a feel for the battery pack health? I know I can get a kWh capacity for the pack. I heard CAC can be helpful, what am I looking for in tems of values?
F) Can I tell (if so how) if the battery has ever been replaced?

Looking to perform a test drive this week. Of course will make sure all door handles sunroof works as well. If it checks out will also have independent pre purchase car inspection done.

Am I missing something? It seems like going with small motors, less fancy options (besides the pano roof), leaves only the HV battery. As I go over in the above, can I get enough insight on it before purchase?

Thoughts?

Thanks!
 
I bought a 2015 85D with 306K miles last year and have put 40K on since June. I'll address what I can...



I believe there were changes around June/July of 2015 for the better. Mine seems to be built right about that time and I'm thinking that it appears mine has the updated battery and sunroof at that time.



AP1 is good for multi lane highway. Rural roads it can be ok if you're paying attention and know what it does. As in, if the turn is too tight it may go slightly over the line. And if there's a slight rise in the road where there is a section that it can't see the lines ahead it will suddenly pull the steering wheel towards the ditch.



Yes, SDUs seem good. That's why I didn't go performance model.



That should be a Gen 2 sunroof so should be ok. Mine is sticky(needs help to close) and seems difficult to find the places to clean to get better. Only draining problem I had was one of the hoses came loose which I will attribute to me working in that corner to hook up trailer lights. Once I figured out, it wasn't too bad to get put back in, there's just very little resistance to hold the hose on in the first place.



Coil springs should be cheaper but I went for the air. I wanted the ability to raise the car. So far I've only had to spend about $100 for a used compressor that was pretty simple to replace. Not having driven coil springs I can't say how those ride or handle speed bumps, etc where mine will scrape if but raised...



Mine came with 21" wheels which look great and really I didn't have much noticeable difference in handling or range, etc. But even with a new set of tires I rotated at 7K and got a vibration I couldn't get rid of. So I've been using sets of 19s I bought used. Tires are much cheaper/easy to find anyway.



Mine has premium and leather gen2 seats. They are fine but the leather is starting to show it's age/cracking a bit.



I don't have rear jump seats. They look like an interesting concept to me but definitely seem like something only for little kids to both climb in and fit in there and at that point I can't imagine much of she storage space beyond the frunk which is not a lot.



The unlimited supercharging is iffy at best. Not sure I'm Canada but I'm the US it seems best you can do is hope everything shows no cost, the owner never swapped it to a new car and that Tesla never bought it. Then hopefully it stays...



Not sure on any EV resale down the road. Teslas are definitely dropping. I think one site is emailing me that my car is worth $7500.



Yes the HID lights so far I've spent about $15 off Amazon for a pair to replace one that was intermittently showing an error.



MCU2 upgrade requires a few special things so that's dealer only unless you really want to get crazy hacking(maybe). I believe that's about $2500 down here if you keep fm radio and put some tax on. I haven't done it yet. So far I just have the runny glue on my instrument cluster and it's just laggy at times on the main screen.



Yes the battery tag should tell you what year it was made and if it's been remanufactured. If starts with T15(assuming 2015) and doesn't end with R# then it's likely original



If it's MCU1 I don't think you'll find any battery info unless there are errors. Mine doesn't have anything like the others I've seen posted. I think the only real option would be to get the adapter cable, obd connector and app to run scan my Tesla. Though that adapter is specific to when the car was made...



I think the biggest thing youd be looking for is the cell imbalance, total capacity, charge cycles, etc... Mine I think is around .3mv and solidly in the "not great" category for imbalance. And is down any 20% in capacity to about 60kwh usable and has seen around 2300 cycles...

That said there still doesn't seem to be any real warning as to when the battery decides it's just done and then you need to spend more than I have for each of my last 2 cars just to get a used battery.





Otherwise, I'll say in general if you can fix things yourself and or a reasonably priced independent mechanic it's not too bad but if you're going to Tesla for everything you'll definitely want a reserve. So far off the top of my head on mine besides what I mentioned.... Door handle, window regulator, speaker, 3 or 4 different sets of the control arms on the suspension(I think that leaves another 2 or 3 to need replacement...)

And at the moment I need to do the lower steering u joint and the charge port cover...



Basically, I'll say it's a great car but definitely be aware of what you might be getting into. The scale of funds required to start and continue with this car are on an entirely different level than my Prius with over 300K miles or my Subarus with over 200K miles on them...



Levi
 
@livesmith ,

Thanks for your detailed response.

AP1 is good for multi lane highway. Rural roads it can be ok if you're paying attention and know what it does. As in, if the turn is too tight it may go slightly over the line. And if there's a slight rise in the road where there is a section that it can't see the lines ahead it will suddenly pull the steering wheel towards the ditch.

I saw some of the videos with the hills, thanks for pointing that out. If you are in stop and go city traffic, does it work there? Or not worth bothering?

The unlimited supercharging is iffy at best. Not sure I'm Canada but I'm the US it seems best you can do is hope everything shows no cost, the owner never swapped it to a new car and that Tesla never bought it. Then hopefully it stays...

Car is single owner and was traded in to a third party dealership. So possibly transfered to new car then. So if I take it to supercharger before I buy it, obviously it won't be on my Tesla account. How to tell which account its under? For super charging you just plug it in and then if payment is required it comes off your account right? Where would look regarding cost, if any for the session?

MCU2 upgrade requires a few special things so that's dealer only unless you really want to get crazy hacking(maybe). I believe that's about $2500 down here if you keep fm radio and put some tax on. I haven't done it yet. So far I just have the runny glue on my instrument cluster and it's just laggy at times on the main screen.

Ah, so I can't just buy a used mcu2 and plug it in?
Though that adapter is specific to when the car was made...
I bought both 😁
I think the biggest thing youd be looking for is the cell imbalance, total capacity, charge cycles, etc...
Am I looking for imbalance with a module or am I comparing the different modules? For the 85kwh battery, initially they were81.5kwh capacity initially right? After 200k km's what would a healthy range be? Like mid to high 70s?

Also there is a 100 kWh battery at 96% SOH that just became available for 22k CAD, waiting to see what price will be with "my" battery trade in.

Also wasn't tracking the control arms, they aren't that expensive are they?
 
I have made some notes on things to look out for: Buying a used Model S:
David,

This is Awsome!

I was not aware of your method of confirming SC01, very concise.
Lots of great battery info, as the model S I am looking at was built in November 2015 and is around 119000 VIN, seems like I should be good on the battery, unless there is a refurb? Also what is the delineation from the gen 1 to gen 2 battery?

Thanks!
 
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Good Day,

Test drive the Model S today. Brought to Tesla for inspection

Errors displayed in service menu shown.

The trunk latch states that it is open even when the trunk was closed. Manual lift gate.
Is this typically fixed by Trunk Latch Problem
Park assist alert was on
Active louver assembly left needs replacing.

Most importantly, auto pilot would not engage, I had pictures of all the cars around me, however I got a cruise control unavalible message when trying to activate.

Is it the trunk being open that is causing autopilot not to engage?

What does parking assist actually do?

Also based on label attached, I believe it is the original battery?

Brought both adapters and was able to plug into the diagnostic port, however my obd2 reader didn't work with scan my Tesla, so unable to get any battery info.
 

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David,

This is Awsome!

I was not aware of your method of confirming SC01, very concise.
Lots of great battery info, as the model S I am looking at was built in November 2015 and is around 119000 VIN, seems like I should be good on the battery, unless there is a refurb? Also what is the delineation from the gen 1 to gen 2 battery?

Thanks!
Glad you liked it, hope it helps. The easy way to spot the difference between gen 1 and 2 HV batteries is the location of the pyro fuse cover. If you can see it on the underside of the HV battery behind the offside front wheel then you have gen 2. Gen 1 and 1.5 have the pyro fuse cover on the topside where it is prone to rusting and requires dropping of the HV battery to change it.

I would recommend your posting a photo of the battery label here so that we can check its age and whether or not it has been remanufactured. Good luck with your research and keep us posted!
 
Parking assist gives you the grey-yellow-orange-red visualization of obstacles front and back. Also shows you when you're getting close to medians/guardrails if there's no shoulder.

Thanks!
To clarify, the parking sensors are not required for autopilot to work?
How about summon? Does it use the parking sensors or the autopilot ultrasonic sensors?

Thanks
 
Ummm, I think they are also required. If a parking sensor is misaligned you will probably get an "Autopilot not available, might be available next drive" error.

I think there is just one kind of sensor for both autopilot and parking on these older cars, and they are ultrasonic of course.
 
Tesla Autopilot uses all the sensors available (US sensor’s are in use with parking as well with summon) for Autosteer to work. If one of them has error then you can’t use the system. Quite annoying, but as noter earlier it will be restored with your next drive if no failure - meaning after parking and exiting you can get it back. Also car’s without cold weather package can be used in winter, I use it everyday.

6346059E-0217-4407-B9E0-23CF93AEF0D2.jpeg
 
Good Afternoon All,

Ended up having an incompatible OBD reader, so was unable to get any battery info. Car ended up being sold before I could check it again.

Potentially looking at an August 2015 70D for a bit more money, but also no issues. Will see how that turns out. It does have the cold weather and premium package, with a solid roof.

One positive note is I got the jumpseats for $400 CAD.

Thanks
 
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The official jumpseat addon when buying the car new came with an extra piece of bumper protection to make your small children in less of a crumple zone. There's a video on youtube showing how to install it but you might want to look into that before putting kids back there.
 
Good Evening All,

BLUF: what to look for before buying - specifically the HV battery.

All values are CAD/kilometres, live in Ontario.

Currently drive a base 2017 Bolt 230k odometer, 25k on battery capacity estimated at 61kwh. Our only car, family of 5 with 3 small kids. Possibly one or 2 more in the next 5 years. Prior to this had 2018 leaf, which we traded in. Currently, (Leaf purchase, upgrade to bolt, gas savings) cashflow is at - $7k, with a sale of the bolt on top of that.

Possibility of selling bolt for ~17k to interested buyer.

I have found a 2015 S85D with AP1 for $20k (subject to negotiation) , 203k kilometers. November 2015 manufacture. Carfax looks good, one owner. In 2018 had $5800 worth of work done for "minor to moderate damage, Damage to rear, Damage to right rear"

Context, only 4 cheaper used model S's are avalible in Canada, one with a serverly degraded battery, one needs new RDU, final two are 2014s RWD one with AP one without.
Points/thoughts
1- 2015 - seems that opinion is 15 - 16 were a better / reasonably good quality.
2- AP1 - I gather for what it is meant to do (highway /rural roads) does a great job. Also summon and parallel park. Should also reduce chance of getting into at fault accidents.
3- SDUx2- from what I have looked at vast majority of drive unit failures have been with LDU, have only found a few instances of SDUs failing.
4 - Coil Springs - cheaper in maintenance vs air.
5-Xenon headlights - seems more reliable than newer LED.
6- Pano Roof- not having a sunroof would be more reliable of course. Based on manufacturing date, this would be the updated pano roof, how are they with leaking /DIY fixing?
7 - 19in wheels - better mpg, less risk for flats.
8 - I believe no unlimited supercharging. Can I assume if I take it to a supercharger I will be able to verify? Any way to verify in the drivers seat? While I would really like this, I charge for $0.04 at home and would need to fast charge less going from 61 kwh to high 70s kWh total battery capacity.
9 - No cold weather package
10- No premium package
11 - Leather seats.
12- Rear jumpseats, not included. Will find a set and add them after. Does Elons advice with regards to AC settings work? Not as concerned about heating (blankets etc). Right now looking at around $1500.
12 - Further depreciation: according to autotrader.ca would be buying the model s for just above wholesale, while selling Bolt EV for almost retail value. Tesla should be worth more down the road?
13 - MCU 1. If I find a used MCU2, and I swap then myself, it that it? Or does something special need to be done?

14 - To me that leaves only the HV battery as the unknown.

A) I know that I can see the battery tag through the passenger side wheel well.
B) I am also aware that through the service menu, I should be able to see both internal and external isolation.
C) I have read that there are possible issues with water intrusion, anything to look out for, with the above isolation test help with that.
D) I will have Scan My Tesla with the proper adapter, bought both.
E) Can I leverage this to get a feel for the battery pack health? I know I can get a kWh capacity for the pack. I heard CAC can be helpful, what am I looking for in tems of values?
F) Can I tell (if so how) if the battery has ever been replaced?

Looking to perform a test drive this week. Of course will make sure all door handles sunroof works as well. If it checks out will also have independent pre purchase car inspection done.

Am I missing something? It seems like going with small motors, less fancy options (besides the pano roof), leaves only the HV battery. As I go over in the above, can I get enough insight on it before purchase?

Thoughts?

Thanks!
Really any S is good, I love the S myself and my friend has a 2020 Long Range EU Model S. Although your's may not be the greatest out of all them it still sounds like a good one. You can see if the car has free unlimited supercharging by checking VIN, Below is a chart consiting of diffrent option codes for the superhcarger for the S & X.

SC01Unlimited Free Supercharging EnabledTransfers to the next owner via private sale
SC04Pay Per Use Supercharging
SC05Unlimited Free Supercharging Currently EnabledNot transferable to the next owner
SC06Time Bound Unlimited Free Supercharging

SC06 is predictably a referral prize.