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Things to look out for with 30-50k miles on the clock?

Honestly, just ensure the battery is looking healthy. Other than that, just the normal wear parts is what I'd look at. Tires, suspension, bushings, etc.

My Roadster has lived its entire life in California, so there's no salty roads to worry about that do some wear from corrosion underneath. If its been used on salty road I'd have the undercarriage, braking and suspension components looked over closely. With a higher mileage car that means more time to oxidize things if in that harsh environment.

Check for loose HVAC knobs, how the steering is (but nobody's really complained about loose steering over time).

If you're really going to use the car for performance / cornering, have the shocks looked at to see if they need to be replaced/rebuilt to suit your needs.

If anything was amiss with the electronics, those tend to shake their way out of the Roadster early on. Higher mileage Roadsters appear to season and be very reliable. Speaking personally from 55k.
 

gregd

Active Member
Dec 31, 2014
2,626
1,852
CM98
Options and Accessories.

In hind sight, I got really lucky with my 2.0, as it already has the upgraded headlights, dual-PEM fans, 2.5 CF front piece, Mobile Charger, etc., and probably a few things I don't even realize he did. I spent about $5k over the cost of the car itself to get a glass top, adapter for the Mobile Charger to match my house's plugs, Henry's CAN-JR adapter, and a few repairs for stuff the prior owner probably didn't run into (milder climate there). The repairs were for the TPM sensors, 12v battery, and some PEM cooling issues (air leaks and a yearly service, about 6 months early, due to ingested stuff in the PEM).

The car was otherwise pretty good shape, with about 28k miles on it. 10 months later, it now has about 32k on it, and nothing but smiles in the past 4 months.
 

ChadS

Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
3,434
2,880
Redmond, WA
I've got 52k on mine. Tires need replacing the most. After about 6 years the TPMS batteries tend to go. The HVAC knobs and PEM fans have already been mentioned (though I haven't had a problem with those). Soft top cables break.

If it's US VIN 501 to 72x, ask if there has been any battery work. I have heard a rumor that VINs in that range had an internal riveting problem that tends to show up over time, and that a good many were fixed under warranty. Mine was fixed out of warranty; that's been the only other issue I've had. Of course other VINs may have other issues that I've not heard rumors about. The one surprise I heard from Tesla after that issue is that you shouldn't regularly charge on 120V as it's more likely to encounter that type of problem.

Still love the car! And for the number of years I have had it, there really have been very few problems. As others have said miles isn't a huge deal (though obviously it does affect suspension, brakes, etc); checking battery condition is instead the most important thing. It's hard to tell the real condition just from the CAC or where it charges to; though that likely sets a good lower bound. As long as seller does not pull a trick like charging in Range mode and then switching to Standard mode and letting you think it's a Standard charge.
 
checking battery condition is instead the most important thing. It's hard to tell the real condition just from the CAC or where it charges to; though that likely sets a good lower bound. As long as seller does not pull a trick like charging in Range mode and then switching to Standard mode and letting you think it's a Standard charge.
What's the best thing to ask sellers to do so I can check the battery condition?
 

ChadS

Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
3,434
2,880
Redmond, WA
There is quite a bit of variance. My 2010 with 52k had 184 miles in standard mode today; and I think range mode is somewhere around 232.

You can also check the CAC which is supposedly slightly more reliable than checking miles; but it's harder to get and there are problems with relying on that as well. Search for "cac" in the Roadster forum and you should find a few threads. New, the CAC was probably around 160. Tomsax did a great survey for Plug In America that you can find HERE. It explains different ways of checking the battery and how Roadsters typically behave with various miles on them. It also has a nice scatter plot of battery states for cars that participated in the survey.

You didn't mention what versions (1.5, 2.0, 2.5) you are looking at. Frankly the differences are not very large, and there were pros and cons to the various changes. Everybody seems to love the version they have the best, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. Later versions are obviously newer and tend to have better resale value; of course from your perspective, that means the older versions may be more of a bargain. Right now the availability of replacement batteries for 1.5 is in question since the 3.0 battery upgrade doesn't apply to them, and there is a rumor that Tesla is out of old batteries for the 1.5 (well, that's more than a rumor; some owners on these forums have been waiting for one for a while). There is a rumor that Tesla is working to make the 3.0 upgrade work with 1.5 Roadsters. Even if they fail at that, I am sure they will come up with something - they are legally required to provide something for owners that bought the battery replacement option, at least; though they could still make it difficult or expensive for others. A 2.x might be a safer choice; but you might want to take a gamble on the uncertainty and maybe a 1.5 would be cheaper right now.
 
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supersnoop

Tesla Roadster #334
Mar 24, 2014
1,111
222
Pflugerville
Battery version, electronics, road noise, fit and finish (interior and exterior), warranty, use or abuse.
I think this advice applies to the Model S, not the Roadster. There are no "versions" of the battery, and the only electronics difference is the stereo. Road noise may vary if the car comes with a hard top.

Two easy checks are the ideal miles after STD charge and ideal miles after Range charge. For 50,000 miles anything north of 165 standard ideal miles and 210 ideal miles in range mode is good.

This is not an accurate way to measure battery health because the miles can vary depending how the car is charged. My car will reach 183 miles when charged at 240V/30A, but it will reach 190 miles at 120V/12A. The CAC is the most accurate measure of battery health. If you can't get that, then at least check how the car was charged to reach the "full charge" miles.
 
This is not an accurate way to measure battery health because the miles can vary depending how the car is charged. My car will reach 183 miles when charged at 240V/30A, but it will reach 190 miles at 120V/12A. The CAC is the most accurate measure of battery health. If you can't get that, then at least check how the car was charged to reach the "full charge" miles.

I agree on the fact that there are too many "user" variables in play when using the ideal mile charge values as an indicator. Its a rough estimate. Variables can include pack balancing, another variable is when the reading was taken... (i.e.: Readings are always falsely high right after the charge, pack needs to balance for at least 30 - 60 mins before a more accurate measure can be taken). However it can be a fairly good metric if the pack is 100% balanced and a range mode charge is peformed where the ideal miles is pulled immediately after it stopped. But the majority of owners might not know what/where to get that info, so it falls back to not being the best either.
 

augkuo

Active Member
Supporting Member
Apr 24, 2011
1,033
3,013
Berkeley
I agree with most people's opinions here - also getting a well-used roadster is probably better than getting a garage queen. My first roadster only had 500 miles on it and it had a lot of problems because the
previous owner didn't drive it enough to notice them - leaks in the trunk, major rattles, whacked out sensors, etc. and although everything was covered under warranty, the car was constantly in the shop.
 

AEdennis

Active Member
Jul 23, 2013
2,719
948
I agree with most people's opinions here - also getting a well-used roadster is probably better than getting a garage queen. My first roadster only had 500 miles on it and it had a lot of problems because the
previous owner didn't drive it enough to notice them - leaks in the trunk, major rattles, whacked out sensors, etc. and although everything was covered under warranty, the car was constantly in the shop.

Ours had 2200 miles when we bought it CPO... And the PEM died the first day... 16000 miles later, (at the two year annual (for us, 7 for the car) we had to get another PEM.
 
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ChadS

Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
3,434
2,880
Redmond, WA
If you want info on a specific car that's not in your area, feel free to ask here. I'd be willing to check out one in the Seattle area for you (who knows, I might even know the owner), and I know others have done similar things in the past.

Also, once you have the VIN, you can ask your service center about the history. They used to be happy to say when it was last serviced, if it has any major problems they know about, etc. Lately some people say they aren't giving out this information for privacy reasons - even after you buy it. But I would imagine that depends on who you ask, so it's worth trying.
 

CHG-ON

Still in love after all these miles
I think this advice applies to the Model S, not the Roadster. There are no "versions" of the battery, and the only electronics difference is the stereo. Road noise may vary if the car comes with a hard top.

Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realize I had moved to the Roadster thread.

Mods: can you remove my post? Too late for me to edit.
 

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