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Used Model 3 - what should I be looking for in the 2021 refresh?

Telstom

Member
Feb 6, 2021
7
1
UK
Hi all,


Enjoying the forum.

I am heading off to look at a used Model 3. It is a late 2020 model, but the 2021 refresh specification built in Fremont. I am obviously very excited but also slightly apprehensive as this will be my first time buying an electric car. The car is being sold through an independent trader who is to my knowledge not an EV specialist.

Questions:
1) Is it possible to check the Service Centre visit history of the car? Does Tesla provide this information to non-owners at request? Is it possible to check this through the car's internal computer\on-screen?

2) Range and battery condition. Can I simply extrapolate to determine the range from the car's current state of charge? When I test drive, should I be aiming for a wh/mile figure, and should the test drive be of duration to determine the battery’s condition? What % range of theoretical maximum are folks on the forum getting with current UK conditions (I am south-southeast based, Oxford).

4) Has Tesla undertaken any updates that I should look out for (IIRC I read some info on a heat pump part needing replacement). Can this be checked via the car?

5) The car appears very clean and tidy in the provided images, but is there anything to gauge how much the previous owner cared for it? Mudflaps maybe? Any stats on-screen?

6) Is the warranty transferrable and would Tesla treat it as a car bought through them? I am slightly concerned that if I run into issues, would it being a 2 owner car that was not bought used from Tesla affect how they treat it. I suspect not, but just want to check.

7) Am I overthinking things and if the car looks and feels okay then I should buy it then and there :)

Lots of questions, so thanks for taking the time to read over, and that hopefully most of them will have a quick answer. Thanks in advance.
 

OliLondon

Member
May 1, 2021
71
79
Greater London
I wouldn’t worry yourself too much about battery life etc, 1. It’s practically a new car at late 2020 and 2. The Tesla warranty carries over which covers you for all of this

I would just check the standard panel gaps, general build quality etc and make sure you are happy with it all - what is the price difference between this and brand new?
 
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Telstom

Member
Feb 6, 2021
7
1
UK
I wouldn’t worry yourself too much about battery life etc, 1. It’s practically a new car at late 2020 and 2. The Tesla warranty carries over which covers you for all of this

I would just check the standard panel gaps, general build quality etc and make sure you are happy with it all - what is the price difference between this and brand new?
That's good to hear. It's about a 10% saving over brand new. There have been a few refresh models coming up, but they were about 5% off a new price (but less mileage - I am looking at one with 8.5k miles on it - and the higher priced ones have been 3k or less). I was debating just going for a new one in September (but I do like to save a few bob as well).
 

Drew57

Active ember
Apr 4, 2020
1,112
1,344
Chester UK
One thing to check on a late 2020 (2021 spec) Fremont Model 3 is a potential paint issue. There have been reports of significant peeling/flaking on sills and around the lower door areas with stone chips causing much greater than expected damage.
 
Last edited:

GeorgeSymonds

Active Member
Mar 16, 2018
1,246
788
UK
Be aware that a 2021 model from earlier in the year won't be the same spec as a one you'd take delivery of today. The heated steering wheel for instance came in later, the door cars will be different, external speaker has only just started shipping, to name 3 differences I can think of. The Fremont cars built from late 2020 are generally as good as the MIC ones so I wouldn't worry about that, its the earlier cars that had real issues.

You can't find much information, there's no service book and even if there was it wouldn;t need a service by now. Tesla will however treat you like you were the first owner (which would by now exclude cosmetic items and things you could have damaged in use). The recalls will just get done whether you or they own it, like the heat pump one if the car was subject to it.

I guess I would be trying to understand why the owner is selling, there is the odd car that has a lot of issues and service visitsand owners give up on them and sell them on (its rare but happens), but then equally, few people sell a new car after 6 months for any reason.

One last point, if you want EAP (or FSD) you may find as we get close to the end of June Tesla will start to listing inventory with one of those at a discount on stock to shift them before the end of the month. Its already happening in continental europe. If you're not interested in EAP or FSD then there's no discount available on new, but check if they have any CPO/Tesla used.. Sites like Tesla-info list all the inventoryu whether Tesla or 3rd parties to make searchign a lot easier
 
Last edited:

Irata

Member
Oct 16, 2020
440
250
UK
Battery wise, you'll be fine. The early UK 2021 models are software locked Panasonic, to match the capacity of the MIC battery. So it has a higher top buffer, it becomes obvious if supercharging to full as it suddenly stops at 100% while still charging relatively fast - as this is actually not 100%.

The key thing to check is the paintwork, everywhere! Look for spots of peeling paint on the bumpers and check the rocker bar very carefully.

It will need it's heat pump sensors changed, if not done already. This is a soft recall by Tesla, ask if it's done and if not can they do it.

Check the rear de-mister stripes, again a common fault to have some gaps during this build date.

And finally these builds often had faulty side cameras, check they are working using the screen.
 

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