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Talk me off the ledge...

Looking at buying a used S 100D, there are two 2018s (one is 65k, the other 69k) I'm considering. The first is red w/black interior, carbon fiber, sunroof and "updated" 2018 interior trim i.e. dark graphite trim w/updated vanity mirrors (9/18 build), and they also wrapped the exterior trim in black. It has 58k miles, AP FSD computer and CF spoiler, sharp looking. The second is metallic silver (!), glass roof w/tan interior and dark oak trim, but silver trim and reg. vanity mirrors ((2/18 build), but only 39k and AP "2.5 computer". On paper, the red model has the newer MCU (Atom vs. Tegra) but a sunroof, which caused enough issues that they removed them entirely. And I was told the silver one cost more because of the lower mileage, which at this point really doesn't matter tbh as it's out of warranty anyways, and many here feel mileage isn't as much of a concern for EVs in general. And even though I'm as perplexed as many as to why they got rid of silver as an option, as a Tesla aficionado it kinda screams "old" since they stopped offering it 4 years ago yet there have been very few cosmetic changes to the S, although some would argue it is rarer simply because they no longer offer it. What I mean is, unless you know everything about an S, it's very hard to tell the difference between a 2016+ and a 2021 but silver to many indicates "older S".

But here's where I'm torn/concerned. Both are out of warranty, and it seems based on the opinions/experiences here that one of two things happens: little if any issues beyond battery, MCU or drive unit. The second and that worries me more is the known quality issues that you can either live with, try to fix yourself or pay out the nose for. Does anyone know the costs to have mobile ranger service out of warranty come to your home? I know it sounds cheap but it's gonna pain me to see $70k come out of my account, then keep spending more and more money just to keep it running. Or worse, be forced to live with a bunch of small quality issues on a 4 y.o. vehicle esp. because I keep my cars in excellent shape cosmetically.
 
Get XCare and don’t worry about it. Yes, mobile service will still come to you for work however you are paying out of pocket for the repair. There isn’t an additional charge for them to come out; they just did my camera upgrade at my house two days ago.

My MS is a ‘17 100D with 80k and no real issues to speak of. 100% charge still has 300 miles and there aren’t any squeaks, rattles or so forth to speak of. Overall reliable and no notable things to speak of.
 

vcor

Tech Specialist
Nov 29, 2012
571
332
California
Model S/X manufactured after 1-March-2018 has MCU2 as standard. Prior to that, it was MCU1, a bit slower but the issue is the eMMC may fail in MCU1 (a use issue). MCU1 eMMC is under a special 8-year warranty so perhaps you may not care. Still, if you buy a car with MCU1, I'd budget for an MCU2 upgrade at $1750 installed that replaces the MCU and both displays. There is another $500 if you want to keep FM radio (which is a digital unit, rather than MCU1's analog radio that doesn't work with MCU2).

For those years, both cars have HW2.5 with the newest cameras.

The battery and drive unit on both cars are still in warranty. It is an 8-year/125K miles for those cars.

Here are the dates of various major hardware/MCU changes if you end up considering different cars: Autopilot, Processors and Hardware – MCU & HW Demystified – TeslaTap
 

aesculus

Still Trying to Figure This All Out
May 31, 2015
4,967
2,892
Northern California
This actually may be the best plan for buying a Tesla. Get a car that is about 3-5 years old, check all the service history, look over the cars fit and finish and have the battery and range assessed. If it all passes you have a good one and should be confident in the purchase. Buying new seems to be a huge risk.
 

David29

Active Member
Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,483
2,131
DEDHAM, MA
I sympathize with the OP's dilemma! This sort of question has been answered many times, and if you look through the similar threads, you will find a variety of answers, depending upon who saw the thread and chose to respond. Some will say to pick this car, some will say the opposite, and some will say to buy a new Model 3 instead. It is difficult to generalize about the experience of Model S owners, all we really have is anecdotal information (and maybe Consumer reports). And it is very difficult to know what possible failures might be lurking for any particular car. Used cars are inherently a bit of a chance purchase. The EV industry is not yet at the point where there are many independent shops that have the expertise to do a good assessment of a car's condition, at least to my knowledge. When i have bought used cars in the past, I always brought the car to a mechanic to have it checked first, and often to a dealer. I do not know if tesla is willing to do used car inspections like that -- i should hope so, if the seller would allow it.
Good luck on your choice!
 
This actually may be the best plan for buying a Tesla. Get a car that is about 3-5 years old, check all the service history, look over the cars fit and finish and have the battery and range assessed. If it all passes you have a good one and should be confident in the purchase. Buying new seems to be a huge risk.
Thanks so much, although my understanding is that unless you own the vehicle Tesla isn't too helpful to either 3rd party dealers or potential private owner purchases with regards to sharing those service records.
 
This actually may be the best plan for buying a Tesla. Get a car that is about 3-5 years old, check all the service history, look over the cars fit and finish and have the battery and range assessed. If it all passes you have a good one and should be confident in the purchase. Buying new seems to be a huge risk.
A few years ago I bought a NEW Model 3 and found zero defects. It drives great and the price was right. So, then I bought a NEW Model S. I did NOT get my panties in a bunch about anything, but just picked up the car and drove it home. It too had zero defects and drives like a dream, quiet, smooth, roomy, with the trunk and frunk big enough to carry almost anything, including an eight-foot tree. Personally, all this paranoia about fit and finish, battery range remaining, etc, is wasted energy. 99 percent of buyers don't fret and worry about these non-issues and have great experiences. Probably more than 99 percent. To paraphrase you, "Buying new" seems to be the way to go. You won't be sorry, and you'll have no issues.

Prove me wrong. You might find an edge case, but Tesla will take care of those. You could say that buying a Honda or Ford or Volkswagen has risk involved, too, and they do. And the company will make it right. Sounds like you're just trying to stir up trouble where there isn't any.
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
8,353
7,870
MA, NH
Model S/X manufactured after 1-March-2018 has MCU2 as standard. Prior to that, it was MCU1, a bit slower but the issue is the eMMC may fail in MCU1 (a use issue). MCU1 eMMC is under a special 8-year warranty so perhaps you may not care. Still, if you buy a car with MCU1, I'd budget for an MCU2 upgrade at $1750 installed that replaces the MCU and both displays. There is another $500 if you want to keep FM radio (which is a digital unit, rather than MCU1's analog radio that doesn't work with MCU2).

For those years, both cars have HW2.5 with the newest cameras.

The battery and drive unit on both cars are still in warranty. It is an 8-year/125K miles for those cars.

Here are the dates of various major hardware/MCU changes if you end up considering different cars: Autopilot, Processors and Hardware – MCU & HW Demystified – TeslaTap
Should be unlimited miles for that vintage.
Today it’s 150K miles for S/X.
 
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@BulldogsRus - I own a June 2016 build MS90D, AP1 with pano sunroof. I do have the old coil suspension, not air suspension. I actually have been out of the 4 yr/50k mile warranty since Sept 2019, so going on 3 years. I have not been driving my car as much since going out of warranty, but am at about 69k miles. Mine is a single use case, not trying to say it's representative, but here is my out of warranty experience if it helps you any.

Total repair costs total about $660. That's for repair of both door handles on the driver's side (one a total replacement, the other a rebuild just replace the paddle gear) plus just a couple months ago the replacement of the 12V battery. Breakdown of the $660 is roughly $295 for one full handle mechanism replacement, $155 for handle rebuild for paddle gear replacement, and $215 for the 12V battery replacement. For reference, my 12V battery was about 4.5 years old (was replaced during warranty at about 1 yr 8 mo. mark).

I did just have the windshield replaced due to stone impact/large crack developing. While that was about $1160 total done by Tesla, my net cost was the $100 deductible of my insurance. I didn't include that in my repair cost above as this is something that in my mind has nothing to due with long term durability of the car, but something that can happen to any car and falls in the "stuff happens" category. I also did elect last December to have the MCU1 replaced with MCU2 upgrade. I don't consider that a maintenance/repair cost, but a discretionary upgrade like choosing to get new wheels, add a dash cam, or any other discretionary type of item.

The headlights on my vintage are prone to the LED eyebrow yellowing/fading. I actually had 3 replaced during warranty and my passenger side light has started to yellow from the outside corner. That's a pretty expensive replacement ($1700-1800 last time I checked). I do not consider that a functional failure, but cosmetic, and personally just going to let it go for now. Maybe in a couple years if I decide to keep the car I might have it replaced, but for now, not worth the money in my book. Spending that amount for MCU2 upgrade was a much better use of money in my opinion.

You'll notice there has been no mention of any repair or issue with my pano sunroof. I did have a 'creak' develop while the car was under warranty. That was addressed by wrapping some additional felt tape around the metal tab that's in the center of the front edge of the sliding panel. I did purchase the pre-paid annual maintenance plan when I first purchased my car. A part of that was Tesla cleaning and lubricating the tracks at each of the 1 yr or 12,500 annual maintenance checks. I've not done that for the past 3 years but probably will ask them to do that the next time I have the car in for any reason. I consider that a preventative maintenance type of item. I'm also pondering likely in the next 6-9 months having Tesla clean/lubricate the brake calipers. That's something that is recommended if you live in a colder climate with high use of road chemicals. I'm in more a transitional weather zone in south-central Indiana, and again, after 6+ years figure might be a good use of money versus having a caliper lock up, destroy both a brake pad and rotor, which would be a much more costly repair.

Again, just a sample of 1, but just sharing my experience if it helps you any. I thought especially my experience with the pano roof might be of interest to you as none of the others have commented about that item in their posts. Good luck with your decision, whatever that might be, and I hope you enjoy your Model S if you should decide to get one.
 
@BulldogsRus - I own a June 2016 build MS90D, AP1 with pano sunroof. I do have the old coil suspension, not air suspension. I actually have been out of the 4 yr/50k mile warranty since Sept 2019, so going on 3 years. I have not been driving my car as much since going out of warranty, but am at about 69k miles. Mine is a single use case, not trying to say it's representative, but here is my out of warranty experience if it helps you any.

Total repair costs total about $660. That's for repair of both door handles on the driver's side (one a total replacement, the other a rebuild just replace the paddle gear) plus just a couple months ago the replacement of the 12V battery. Breakdown of the $660 is roughly $295 for one full handle mechanism replacement, $155 for handle rebuild for paddle gear replacement, and $215 for the 12V battery replacement. For reference, my 12V battery was about 4.5 years old (was replaced during warranty at about 1 yr 8 mo. mark).

I did just have the windshield replaced due to stone impact/large crack developing. While that was about $1160 total done by Tesla, my net cost was the $100 deductible of my insurance. I didn't include that in my repair cost above as this is something that in my mind has nothing to due with long term durability of the car, but something that can happen to any car and falls in the "stuff happens" category. I also did elect last December to have the MCU1 replaced with MCU2 upgrade. I don't consider that a maintenance/repair cost, but a discretionary upgrade like choosing to get new wheels, add a dash cam, or any other discretionary type of item.

The headlights on my vintage are prone to the LED eyebrow yellowing/fading. I actually had 3 replaced during warranty and my passenger side light has started to yellow from the outside corner. That's a pretty expensive replacement ($1700-1800 last time I checked). I do not consider that a functional failure, but cosmetic, and personally just going to let it go for now. Maybe in a couple years if I decide to keep the car I might have it replaced, but for now, not worth the money in my book. Spending that amount for MCU2 upgrade was a much better use of money in my opinion.

You'll notice there has been no mention of any repair or issue with my pano sunroof. I did have a 'creak' develop while the car was under warranty. That was addressed by wrapping some additional felt tape around the metal tab that's in the center of the front edge of the sliding panel. I did purchase the pre-paid annual maintenance plan when I first purchased my car. A part of that was Tesla cleaning and lubricating the tracks at each of the 1 yr or 12,500 annual maintenance checks. I've not done that for the past 3 years but probably will ask them to do that the next time I have the car in for any reason. I consider that a preventative maintenance type of item. I'm also pondering likely in the next 6-9 months having Tesla clean/lubricate the brake calipers. That's something that is recommended if you live in a colder climate with high use of road chemicals. I'm in more a transitional weather zone in south-central Indiana, and again, after 6+ years figure might be a good use of money versus having a caliper lock up, destroy both a brake pad and rotor, which would be a much more costly repair.

Again, just a sample of 1, but just sharing my experience if it helps you any. I thought especially my experience with the pano roof might be of interest to you as none of the others have commented about that item in their posts. Good luck with your decision, whatever that might be, and I hope you enjoy your Model S if you should decide to get one.
Thank you so much for the well-detailed experience!
 

KArnold

Active Member
May 21, 2017
1,123
1,280
Columbus OH
I've only had 1 issue on my '17 100D - heater went out in the middle of winter. In doing research it was likely just an HV fuse but not accessible. Had it fixed at Tesla for $1200. But have the "free with FSD" AP3 computer and paid for the MCU2 upgrade. Otherwise perfect after 60k miles.

I'd encourage getting the car you like better. Then gamble - will you won't have more in out-of-pocket costs that exceed X-Care premiums?
 
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I just purchased a 2018 100D from Florida. It's my first Tesla, so I'd say it's worth it so far, especially with Xcare extended warranty and 4 years remaining on the battery warranty.

Considering where the re-sale values maintain on 8 year old Tesla's, I've even considered the possibility of upgrading again in 4 years.
 
A few years ago I bought a NEW Model 3 and found zero defects. It drives great and the price was right. So, then I bought a NEW Model S. I did NOT get my panties in a bunch about anything, but just picked up the car and drove it home. It too had zero defects and drives like a dream, quiet, smooth, roomy, with the trunk and frunk big enough to carry almost anything, including an eight-foot tree. Personally, all this paranoia about fit and finish, battery range remaining, etc, is wasted energy. 99 percent of buyers don't fret and worry about these non-issues and have great experiences. Probably more than 99 percent. To paraphrase you, "Buying new" seems to be the way to go. You won't be sorry, and you'll have no issues.

Prove me wrong. You might find an edge case, but Tesla will take care of those. You could say that buying a Honda or Ford or Volkswagen has risk involved, too, and they do. And the company will make it right. Sounds like you're just trying to stir up trouble where there isn't any.
👍
 
You will want the newer MCU2. So, if you choose the Sliver car with the older MCU, you will have to spend $2000 for the upgrade. Also, the Silver paint color is coming back!
You'll have to spend $2,000 for the upgrade? Since when do you have to? I've been driving these cars for years now and not one has been MCU2. Not only have not had to pay $2k to upgrade I haven't even felt the need to at all. You may want to but that's a completely different scenario than have to.
 

2101Guy

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
4,299
6,518
USA
When I had my 2017 S and I went to FSD ($3k or $4k at the time, since it was from EAP upgrade), my MCU1 became unusable. Lag, delays, freezing, reboots, navigation directions would come late/after passing exits, voice commands rarely worked as they would time out, etc. As SOON as I went to MCU2? Car was perfect. All issues fixed.

So yeah while I guess I didnt HAVE to upgrade to MCU2...it sure made my life with the car 1000% better..
 

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