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Should I Buy a Used 2013-2014 Tesla Model S?

Tesla over MB every day of the week by a long shot. That's a poor comparison because European luxury cars don't last long at all anymore. They're money pits! Far less can go wrong with a Tesla and Tesla's have proven to be able to last much longer than any European vehicle with fewer problems, although it is a small sample size right now. There were a lot of naysayers when the first Prius came out and they've all been proven wrong about battery life. As a matter of fact the Prius is one of the most reliable cars on the road today and EV's will prove to be even more reliable. Refurbished Prius batteries have a very good track record for reliability. Sure the occasional one doesn't hold up but most do.

You're going to judge Gruber's work based on one person's experience? Or do you pull that out as an example to try and prove a weak argument against an out of warranty Tesla?

I warn people all the time about the cost of ownership of any European vehicle but I jumped at the chance to purchase a 150k mile Tesla.
There's a huge difference between Toyota and Tesla regarding quality control. Not even close.
 
Cheapest I've seen in these here forums was $12K for a 75KW battery:

I'd be interested in the cost of an 90KW battery that Gubber seems to imply Tesla will "Upgrade" anyone with a 40 thru 85 KW Battery. Inside EVs says it's $14K battery and (oddly) $2k Install.

I think it's also worth noting in the ICE vs. Electric motor swaps how quickly an electric motor can be replaced compared to an ICE engine. I have a distant family member that needed an engine replacement in an Audi and the cost was about $10K and 3 months when it was all said and done.
 
That’s been the plan to find a Model 3 around that price mark. It is seeming impossible however, haha. I do agree with the electronics and them slowing down I hadn’t thought much about that.
I recently bought model s 2014 model and quite happy with it. Don't think too much as you won't find any new teslas with the price range your budget in and model s is much satisfying car than model 3.
 
You definitely do not want a 2013 or a 2014, not because the technology is old but rather the warranty on the most expensive part of the vehicle is coming to an end.

I know many do not like to hear this but at this time these vehicles really are throwaways after the warranty period.
Let’s say you buy a used 2013 for 30k, in a year the battery fails, you’re now stuck with a 20k+ bill to repair your expensive paperweight.
It wouldn’t be this way if the battery didn’t cost so much but it does.
Paying double the price to barely afford to enjoy model 3 is also not pleasant. I would say go with your budget and enjoy the car. Most tesals won't have any issues and battery life will outlast the body. Who knows in couple years Tesla battery prices and 3rd party battery upgrade options will be lower than ever.
 
Listen to the naysayers with a grain of salt, a big grain of salt. There is some wisdom in what they're saying but their overall advice to simply not consider an out of warranty Tesla is WRONG! To say they're throw away cars after the warranty runs out is foolish. If that's the case then when your warranty runs out let me know and I'll come take the car off your hands!!! Of course they're the ones trying to get $30k for their out of warranty model S. If you want the latest greatest updates and tech then get a newer one. If you want to experience a wonderful EV but can't afford $40k plus then the older model S is a fantastic option, but it's not for everyone.

I would not purchase a pre-2015 with low miles. This is counter to what you'd normally look for in a used vehicle but a low mileage older model S has a greater risk of needing the battery or drive unit replaced because it probably still has the original equipment. With low mileage the original equipment hasn't been sufficiently used to know if it's faulty. A high mileage S would have had the problem parts replaced and if not, then they weren't problem parts to begin with. My 2013 model S has 150k on it and has had the drive unit replaced but it still has the original battery which has only lost about 10-11% capacity. Electric motors last a long time and batteries can be reconditioned which can greatly extend their usefulness. Gruber can take that $20k battery replacement down to a $5k repair. All electric motors can be rebuilt. I'm sure someone will step in to fill that need. The main problem with the drive unit is the bearings and coolant leaking. Both of those problems can be fixed.

$27k for a 2012-2014 is too much. I've seen them in the low 20's which is much more reasonable. Mine was even less. I don't need AP or FSD and if I had it I would hardly ever have the need for it. Yes I'm missing other very nice features but the newer vehicles are simply out of my price range, so for me, it's accept a few less features in order to get to drive a model S! I love this one. I've wanted a model S for a long time. It is so much fun to drive.

I do have unlimited free supercharging which really isn't a big deal but it's nice to have. I also have lifetime 4g data which is really nice. I upgraded my MCU in order to take full advantage of the free premium connectivity.

I drive less than 10k/yr so it'll take me more than 5 years to get to 200k and EVs can last much longer than that! Even if you drive a lot a 100k mile plus model S still has a LOT of life left in it. I'm getting 30+ miles for $1 of electricity so it's much cheaper than gas. I know I'll have repairs that I'll have to pay for but at the price I paid for my model S I'll accept that cost because I get to drive a model S! Insurance is much less on an older model S.

Don't let the doom and gloom naysayers scare you away from an older model S. Let them spend $50k on one with a warranty while you get a $20k model S. That $30k difference can more than pay for any repairs that might come up and if your battery does need replacing (not common) you can have it repaired or sell your car for at least half of what you paid for it. You'll loose less money over the life of you car than the person that buys a $50k vehicle with a warranty.

Don't give up on getting a model S. The model S is much nicer than the model 3. Use the battery and drive unit cost along with the expiring warranty as bargaining chips to get the price you want. That potential cost of repairs makes the older model S worth $20k, not $30k. The value of all non-Japan luxury cars drops like a rock after the warranty expires and it's because of the cost of repairs.

Stay away from a low mileage model S unless the drive unit was replaced after 2015, ceramic bearings vs steel. I'd also be weary of a low mileage original battery. It also seems like the 90 batteries degrade more than quickly than the 85's do.
Aloha and thank you for all this information keeps me decide because I have my eye on a 2013 model S and I was trying to get more informed about the replacement cost of things I only have one question which I couldn’t find in your reading what determines high mileage the 2013 model S I’m looking at has 53,000 miles
 
Listen to the naysayers with a grain of salt, a big grain of salt. There is some wisdom in what they're saying but their overall advice to simply not consider an out of warranty Tesla is WRONG! To say they're throw away cars after the warranty runs out is foolish. If that's the case then when your warranty runs out let me know and I'll come take the car off your hands!!! Of course they're the ones trying to get $30k for their out of warranty model S. If you want the latest greatest updates and tech then get a newer one. If you want to experience a wonderful EV but can't afford $40k plus then the older model S is a fantastic option, but it's not for everyone.

I would not purchase a pre-2015 with low miles. This is counter to what you'd normally look for in a used vehicle but a low mileage older model S has a greater risk of needing the battery or drive unit replaced because it probably still has the original equipment. With low mileage the original equipment hasn't been sufficiently used to know if it's faulty. A high mileage S would have had the problem parts replaced and if not, then they weren't problem parts to begin with. My 2013 model S has 150k on it and has had the drive unit replaced but it still has the original battery which has only lost about 10-11% capacity. Electric motors last a long time and batteries can be reconditioned which can greatly extend their usefulness. Gruber can take that $20k battery replacement down to a $5k repair. All electric motors can be rebuilt. I'm sure someone will step in to fill that need. The main problem with the drive unit is the bearings and coolant leaking. Both of those problems can be fixed.

$27k for a 2012-2014 is too much. I've seen them in the low 20's which is much more reasonable. Mine was even less. I don't need AP or FSD and if I had it I would hardly ever have the need for it. Yes I'm missing other very nice features but the newer vehicles are simply out of my price range, so for me, it's accept a few less features in order to get to drive a model S! I love this one. I've wanted a model S for a long time. It is so much fun to drive.

I do have unlimited free supercharging which really isn't a big deal but it's nice to have. I also have lifetime 4g data which is really nice. I upgraded my MCU in order to take full advantage of the free premium connectivity.

I drive less than 10k/yr so it'll take me more than 5 years to get to 200k and EVs can last much longer than that! Even if you drive a lot a 100k mile plus model S still has a LOT of life left in it. I'm getting 30+ miles for $1 of electricity so it's much cheaper than gas. I know I'll have repairs that I'll have to pay for but at the price I paid for my model S I'll accept that cost because I get to drive a model S! Insurance is much less on an older model S.

Don't let the doom and gloom naysayers scare you away from an older model S. Let them spend $50k on one with a warranty while you get a $20k model S. That $30k difference can more than pay for any repairs that might come up and if your battery does need replacing (not common) you can have it repaired or sell your car for at least half of what you paid for it. You'll loose less money over the life of you car than the person that buys a $50k vehicle with a warranty.

Don't give up on getting a model S. The model S is much nicer than the model 3. Use the battery and drive unit cost along with the expiring warranty as bargaining chips to get the price you want. That potential cost of repairs makes the older model S worth $20k, not $30k. The value of all non-Japan luxury cars drops like a rock after the warranty expires and it's because of the cost of repairs.

Stay away from a low mileage model S unless the drive unit was replaced after 2015, ceramic bearings vs steel. I'd also be weary of a low mileage original battery. It also seems like the 90 batteries degrade more than quickly than the 85's do.
Look like you just offended a Tesla fan boy here. Man, he wrote a book to counter your argument 😆
 
So far I've had a 2013 ms for about 2 years. Little things have gone wrong. Nothing that would require a flat bed to save me.

My car payments are about $400. Insurance is $50. At 24 months = 10800

A new MS has payments that are I think $1500. I don't know what insurance is. I've heard some people say $250 a month. So if I had a new MS I would have put in $42000 by now.

If the battery and the electric motor both failed tomorrow and I went with Tesla to fix it as opposed to some cheaper options then I'm still ahead by $6000.

It is a gamble but there's a good chance that you'll come out ahead depending on how much you care about the newer things in a MS.
 
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So far I've had a 2013 ms for about 2 years. Little things have gone wrong. Nothing that would require a flat bed to save me.

My car payments are about $400. Insurance is $50. At 24 months = 10800

A new MS has payments that are I think $1500. I don't know what insurance is. I've heard some people say $250 a month. So if I had a new MS I would have put in $42000 by now.

If the battery and the electric motor both failed tomorrow and I went with Tesla to fix it as opposed to some cheaper options then I'm still ahead by $6000.

It is a gamble but there's a good chance that you'll come out ahead depending on how much you care about the newer things in a MS.
Interesting take, but most people considering a used $30k Model S will likely be cross shopping against other models and brands, not a $100k new Model S.
 
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mswlogo

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Aug 27, 2018
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This is not about Tesla, but as a rule of thumb, do NOT buy an old, out of warranty luxury car that was expensive (say 80+k) when new but now only cost 20 something k. The sweet spot for used luxury cars is 3-6 years old, in terms of price, features, and cost of maintenance/repairs.

I assume you generally keep you cars for a long time. If you were to buy a new car for say 27k, I presume you will keep it for many years so your per year cost is pretty low. However if you buy that old luxury car for 27k, you WILL need to fix something major over your ownership period (probably multiple things). This will increase with age and mileage. The fact is you may end up spending as much, maybe more on the car than if you bought a 3 year old car after adding in the cost of repairs. You most definitely won't be able to drive the car for another 10 years, unlike a new 27k car.
Right.

One way to look at is. It’s a $100K car and “cost of ownership” is more or less the same through out its life if you average it all out. Cost of the car on the front end but cost of maintenance on the back end. You are inheriting the back end. The end the original owner didn’t even want to deal with !!

If someone that can afford $100K did lose a motor or battery at year 8.5 it wouldn’t break the bank. But if it’s a stretch for someone normally budgeting $30K for a car a $20k repair is a big set back.

You might get lucky, you might not.

Someone mentioned in a similar thread that you can purchase a 3rd party warranty for 2 years for $2k on some of those old cars. These companies can statistically absorb the failure rate. Someone that can afford $100K can absorb it too. But can someone on a $30k budget absorb it, if they are unlucky.

Choose wisely.

Check with one of these 3rd party warranties if the car your interested in would qualify.

You are paying peak prices for these old cars right now too.
 

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