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Used Model S 5 years old; 120K miles $30K - pros and cons & would you buy it?

thegruf

Active Member
Mar 24, 2015
2,319
2,117
indeterminate
Okay we are maybe looking ahead a couple of years
I believe this is important (and for Tesla) to consider as the Pro/Cons of purchasing a vehicle of this age directly impact on its rate of depreciation/cost of ownership and ultimately the reputation of the Company.
A good opportunity for some direct owner feedback about what is important to the particular type of owners currently buying these vehicles.

Assume it is say an S85 in good condition with all the options, but now out of general warranty, but does include the 8yr infinite mileage drivetrain warranty.

Pros:
If it doesn't go wrong it could be an amazing buy for cheap motoring

Cons:
If it does go wrong ...!
 

RobStark

Well-Known Member
Jul 2, 2013
11,118
58,562
Los Angeles, USA
Infinite mile powertrain warranty guarantees your battery pack against defects in workmanship but not regular degradation. Warranty does not define where degradation becomes defect and packs/modules become replaceable for free under warranty.

As time goes on we will see how Tesla deals with issue as well as cost for replacing/upgrading battery packs.

My guesstimate is that powertrain failures were a manufacturing issue not a engineering issue and long term reliability will be good.

Battery pack degradation will be low, Tesla will treat owners fairly, and cost to replace battery packs will be a mildly positive surprise to 95%+ of owners. There will always be those demanding something for nothing but most will be happy with battery replacement prices.

If so $30k should be a steal.
 
For the 1st gen stuff, I would be hesitant. Out of warranty might mean a few 1000s here and there for repairs on the car itself, but once the 8 years is up, I would see a great depreciation. Until tesla is clear on the cost of replacement of the drive train including labor and such, I would think the cost there is very high. As for as I know, there has not been an out of warranty drivetrain replacement, so that is the big unknown. Some here have said it will cost thousands for a replacement out of warranty quoted from the SC. But who knows... maybe tesla figures out all the issues and can truly make a 1 million miles + RELIABLE drivetrain. So far, I don't see it yet.
 

David99

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jan 31, 2014
4,914
7,382
Nomad (mostly US)
I think there was one where the warranty didn't apply because it was used for a commercial business and it cost the owner $17k.

That is absolutely ridiculous. An ICE is a much more complex machine than an electric motor and replacing an engine on a conventional car is far less. People have quoted Elon saying he doesn't believe service should be a profit maker. Makes no sense.

I'm on my 4th drive unit and the noise is coming back again and again. Every 15k miles. Obviously Tesla can't fix it. There is no way I'm keeping this car beyond the drive train warranty and paying $17 every 15,000 miles.
 

TomServo

Active Member
Apr 10, 2014
2,058
1,435
Belleville IL
That is absolutely ridiculous. An ICE is a much more complex machine than an electric motor and replacing an engine on a conventional car is far less. People have quoted Elon saying he doesn't believe service should be a profit maker. Makes no sense.

I'm on my 4th drive unit and the noise is coming back again and again. Every 15k miles. Obviously Tesla can't fix it. There is no way I'm keeping this car beyond the drive train warranty and paying $17 every 15,000 miles.

Aside from the noise, are folks getting stranded due to a noisy drive unit? I'm in the market for a CPO and these are the kinds of info I need. Thanks.
 
...
I'm on my 4th drive unit and the noise is coming back again and again. Every 15k miles. Obviously Tesla can't fix it. There is no way I'm keeping this car beyond the drive train warranty and paying $17 every 15,000 miles.

Did you try contacting [email protected] about that? Something else might be happening which is causing the failures.
 

yobigd20

Well-Known Member
Oct 28, 2012
5,929
540
Skaneateles, NY
Used Model S 5 years old; 120K miles $30K - pros and cons & would you buy it?

I'm on my 4th drive unit and the noise is coming back again and again. Every 15k miles. Obviously Tesla can't fix it. There is no way I'm keeping this car beyond the drive train warranty and paying $17 every 15,000 miles.

I'm with you in this one. I'm on my 4th DU myself too also getting the noise every 15k miles or so. But I trust that before 8 years runs out Tesla will fix this issue and hopefully one of these DU swaps will be final. The last version I know of is "P" so they've got at least 16 versions already...(they seem to be incrementing the letter per following service report drive unit swap line items). This at least indicates they are actively working on improvements trying to "make the drive unit last a million miles" (those are Elon's words).
 
I'm with you in this one. I'm on my 4th DU myself too also getting the noise every 15k miles or so. But I trust that before 8 years runs out Tesla will fix this issue and hopefully one of these DU swaps will be final. The last version I know of is "P" so they've got at least 16 versions already...(they seem to be incrementing the letter per following service report drive unit swap line items). This at least indicates they are actively working on improvements trying to "make the drive unit last a million miles" (those are Elon's words).


Are these DU issues typically found in the vehicles made in 2012? Gen 1's? Or do we just suspect this since they have been on the road a lot longer than the 2013-2015 units?
 
I think I bought one of the CPO with the highest miles (~50k) in May 2015 for $68k, a 2013 P85 with about 75% of the options. easier to say what it doesn't have: rear seats, cold weather package, extended leather. It's got Pano, 21" gray turbines, interior light package, chrome trunk/frunk inserts, CF W/CF wing, premium audio, alacantara head liner.

And i can tell you that even with high miles, the car feels brand new and i could care less about the ~7-9% capacity loss i had at purchase.

So sure, go ahead and buy a high mileage MS, even over 100k miles. So few moving parts to wear, I think it's a steal to get.
 

jaguar36

Active Member
Apr 10, 2014
2,148
1,961
NJ
I think I bought one of the CPO with the highest miles (~50k) in May 2015 for $68k, a 2013 P85 with about 75% of the options. easier to say what it doesn't have: rear seats, cold weather package, extended leather. It's got Pano, 21" gray turbines, interior light package, chrome trunk/frunk inserts, CF W/CF wing, premium audio, alacantara head liner.

And i can tell you that even with high miles, the car feels brand new and i could care less about the ~7-9% capacity loss i had at purchase.

So sure, go ahead and buy a high mileage MS, even over 100k miles. So few moving parts to wear, I think it's a steal to get.

I think you got a great deal too, but wow, 8% capacity loss after just 2 years? I was told when buying the car that 1% would be considered normal.

Despite the much touted fewer moving parts, so far it seems the cost of recommended maintenance is way higher than an ICE, and repairs are just as bad if not worse.
 

eloder

Active Member
Mar 12, 2015
1,214
1,427
Ohio, USA
I think you got a great deal too, but wow, 8% capacity loss after just 2 years? I was told when buying the car that 1% would be considered normal.

Despite the much touted fewer moving parts, so far it seems the cost of recommended maintenance is way higher than an ICE, and repairs are just as bad if not worse.

It's more accurate to compare Tesla repair costs with a high-end ICE, where those costs become more similar.

Econo-EVs like the Leaf and smart ED have extremely little maintenance and low repair frequencies and costs.
 

ThosEM

Space Weatherman
Dec 13, 2013
870
324
Annapolis, MD
This may be a bit discursive, but for comparison, my 25 year old daughter just picked up a 2006 Mercury Mariner Hybrid SUV (like a Ford Escape) with 198,000 miles on it, for $3200. It is top of the line and loaded with leather seats, navigation, sun/moon roof, etc. and would have been about $35k new. It is still remarkably clean and good looking, with everything working. Apparently, this car is used a lot by Taxi companies and has proven to go the distance for them, not that this was one of them. About the only attention it needed was a new 12V battery and a couple of tie rod joints or bushings.

So why can't Tesla make a simple electric one speed direct drivetrain do as well or better than a complex hybrid with simultaneous electric and ICE drive and a 1-2 kWh battery). I really hope they work through the trouble-prone items such as the 12 V battery and the drive unit.
 

thegruf

Active Member
Mar 24, 2015
2,319
2,117
indeterminate
That is absolutely ridiculous. An ICE is a much more complex machine than an electric motor and replacing an engine on a conventional car is far less. People have quoted Elon saying he doesn't believe service should be a profit maker. Makes no sense.

I'm on my 4th drive unit and the noise is coming back again and again. Every 15k miles. Obviously Tesla can't fix it. There is no way I'm keeping this car beyond the drive train warranty and paying $17 every 15,000 miles.

I somehow doubt if you took eg a 500hp V8 S Class into a dealer for a replacement engine you would get it done for "far less than $17K".
Guessing but MB would probably take you for $35K?

One point here is that with so few moving parts the motors should be readily reconditionable for little money.
This is where the savings should appear in time.
£17K for a new one; £5K for a service exchange fitted seems about fair to me (with a minimum 3year warranty on the replacement part!)
 

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