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Discussion Starter #1
Hi -

I've been following the prices for awhile from here in Arizona, USA, both as quoted directly from Tesla and in the general market. However, I've belatedly realized that I can ask some questions here in this forum. I'm looking at primarily used 2012-2015 Model S above 60 kWh, or a used Model 3. For purposes of this thread, the questions are mainly about the Model S. Note that I might buy 60 kWh, but I'm a bit far away from things and probably want more (and taking into account degradation). It will be my only vehicle, and there is not much public charge infrastructure around.

  • I was reading something about motor replacement. Can anyone say how much money is motor replacement if I have to do it out of warranty?
  • If I buy from some party other than Tesla itself, instead of buying directly from Tesla, will I be less likely to get decent repair service when the time comes? Note if something is out of warranty, then I expect to pay, but that still leaves open the question of getting the actual work done.
  • Is there any thinking around whether the supply of vehicles being sold by Tesla itself would reduce as the price guarantee program fades further into the background (and I may be badly misunderstanding something here, but just wondering).
  • under what circumstances should I worry about whether Tesla would cut me off from accessing the superchargers? Only if the vehicle has been in some way totaled?
  • are there known issues to watch out for with the 2012 Signature vehicles?
  • If I have to replace a pack out of warranty, has Tesla issued clear parts and installation pricing?
  • I am in Arizona and have experienced battery degradation on a Leaf and now (to a degree) on a Volt. Are there strong views as to the degree one should worry about this on the old Model S's? Does it depend where they have lived?
 

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I’ll try and have a go at answering, albeit from a UK perspective:
  1. Motor replacement probably won’t be required - they last a long time. The only thing that might crop up is a leak in the drive pack which requires a fix or replacement. However this may be covered under the drivetrain warranty.
  2. It doesn’t matter who you buy the car from, Tesla will still treat you the same from a service perspective.
  3. Not sure about supply of vehicles from Tesla, but in the long run it will probably increase as they get their shit together.
  4. I wouldn’t worry about Supercharger access - other than where a vehicle has been written off or stolen. So best to check this before buying.
  5. Personally I’d steer clear of the early cars, unless it’s a good price and been well maintained. The quality improved quite a bit from 2015 onwards, and I’d look at the facelift cars with AP1 as a minimum.
  6. You shouldn’t need to replace a battery pack due to degradation, although I believe any manufacturing defects are covered in the drivetrain warranty.
  7. Teslas are much less prone to heat damage due to having active cooling. There doesn’t seem to be much difference between cars driven in hot and cold climates.
 

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I think I'd disagree slightly on the battery - batterygate is causing a lot of the original 85 batteries to have their capcity cut through software - not all by any means - but there seems to be some issue going on thats linked to the risk of fire. The later battery from 4 years ago, the 90, had problems early on too, with some early degradation.

I think sweet spot are late 2015 or 2016 cars under 50k miles - you get some warranty left, you get unlimited free supercharging, they have AP1 which has always been pretty robust, and the Model 3 has hurt residuals making them more affordable. You can go cheaper but the cars are continuously updated so a 2016 car will have quite a lot of small changes compared to a car from a year or so earlier before the AP hardware started.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sure, I just wonder if Tesla would replace a battery on those cars for a reason other than catastrophic failure. But if you're happy with 180 v 220 miles, and a lot will be, then you're ok, its just a question of your expectations.
Thanks, I'm going to prioritize larger kWh because under 200 real-world highway miles is possibly going to be a disappointment for me (60 miles from closest DCFC), though I may settle. I'll assume some standard battery degradation, and err on the side of assuming some added degradation because of the somewhat unusual heat levels. (I do know that liquid/active-cooled batteries hold up better under present tech, and that Teslas have some good reputation in that regard, but for this purchase I'm going to have to carry out more discussions and research, including with other Southern-Arizona drivers, before I get more comfortable on the matter.)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This is part of the reason for my question:

Two-Thirds of Earliest Tesla Drivetrains To Need Replacement In 60,000 Miles, Owner Data Suggests
Matthew Klippenstein MATTHEW KLIPPENSTEIN DECEMBER 9, 2015
 

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This is part of the reason for my question:

Two-Thirds of Earliest Tesla Drivetrains To Need Replacement In 60,000 Miles, Owner Data Suggests
Matthew Klippenstein MATTHEW KLIPPENSTEIN DECEMBER 9, 2015
When I first got mine Tesla were replacing drive trains all the time, from memory it was an oil issue which they now recommend changing periodically and a general over zealous approach to swapping. Motor swaps now are pretty rare. I'd not be worried on that front, only picking a car with a healthy battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
When I first got mine Tesla were replacing drive trains all the time, from memory it was an oil issue which they now recommend changing periodically and a general over zealous approach to swapping. Motor swaps now are pretty rare. I'd not be worried on that front, only picking a car with a healthy battery.
Ok thanks. This and other points seem good to know, glad I have finally turned to this forum on these matters.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi -
another related question:
are there any known issues as to buying one of the original (1000?) Model S 2012 Signature models? Other than their age and gen1 early-tech status, they seem to be available for under $40k here and there.
 

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Hi -
another related question:
are there any known issues as to buying one of the original (1000?) Model S 2012 Signature models? Other than their age and gen1 early-tech status, they seem to be available for under $40k here and there.
A Pack batteries top off at 90kW charging, regardless of speed of Supercharger.
 

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Hi -
another related question:
are there any known issues as to buying one of the original (1000?) Model S 2012 Signature models? Other than their age and gen1 early-tech status, they seem to be available for under $40k here and there.
I think some would say they're great cars althought here have a been a million tweaks since they were made and things becoming options or standard.

I imagine most of the issues have been sorted out or repaired, notably 12v was a frequent failure, you rarely hear of it now as I think they've upped the battery side or changed the software, not a massively expensive failure if it happens. Door handle failures were notorious, there's a kit now to fix the two failure modes, one was the cog that pushed the handle out used to break, and the other is a mircoswitch that released the door when the handle was pulled, these can still fail but rather than pay $1000 for a new handle you might be able to get a repair done much cheaper. The motors and battery have been talked about, there is a bit of concern over the 85 battery and whats happenin, but even in the worst instance the car should still be good for 160+ mile range. The screen was upgraded to a higher resolution after 2012 and on pre AP cars which a 2012 will be, the graphics are still a bit old school.

I've assumed you're in the US as you quoted $, theres a lot more choice at 40k than a 2012 car.

 

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Discussion Starter #13
I think some would say they're great cars althought here have a been a million tweaks since they were made and things becoming options or standard.

I imagine most of the issues have been sorted out or repaired, notably 12v was a frequent failure, you rarely hear of it now as I think they've upped the battery side or changed the software, not a massively expensive failure if it happens. Door handle failures were notorious, there's a kit now to fix the two failure modes, one was the cog that pushed the handle out used to break, and the other is a mircoswitch that released the door when the handle was pulled, these can still fail but rather than pay $1000 for a new handle you might be able to get a repair done much cheaper. The motors and battery have been talked about, there is a bit of concern over the 85 battery and whats happenin, but even in the worst instance the car should still be good for 160+ mile range. The screen was upgraded to a higher resolution after 2012 and on pre AP cars which a 2012 will be, the graphics are still a bit old school.

I've assumed you're in the US as you quoted $, theres a lot more choice at 40k than a 2012 car.

Thanks, all good to know.

On the comment about concern for the batteries, and worst-case 160 mile range comment, the frustrating thing is that while this may be common knowledge amongst some, it is exactly the sort of reason I asked, it is not something I really knew for certain (but I did suspect), and it's likely that 160 miles would not be acceptable for me, unless the up-front price is too enticing..

On that one tesla info sales page, yes, that's a great link. Assuming I want more than 200 real-world miles of range remaining, I think this narrows down my options pretty quickly, under $40k. Basically, I've stayed away from considering used 60 kWh model S.
 

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For what it's worth... My car is a little younger than 2012 Signature Model S... (It's a 2013 S85 with 118k miles...)

My range charge went from 265 to 243 in the Summer at the moment.

90% charge is at 223...

Actual range closer to 210 miles with the latest FW update...

Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter #15
For what it's worth... My car is a little younger than 2012 Signature Model S... (It's a 2013 S85 with 118k miles...)

My range charge went from 265 to 243 in the Summer at the moment.

90% charge is at 223...

Actual range closer to 210 miles with the latest FW update...

Dennis
Thanks, for my used vehicle search, helpful to know.

It's hard to know how much of this (if any) is recent, but I'll have to study these charts and find out if they reflect the recent updates.

 

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Thanks, for my used vehicle search, helpful to know.

It's hard to know how much of this (if any) is recent, but I'll have to study these charts and find out if they reflect the recent updates.

Thanks for the reminder...

I haven’t updated my entries.

For what it’s worth, my data is included there. There is also a Dutch study that is available

Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the reminder...

I haven’t updated my entries.

For what it’s worth, my data is included there. There is also a Dutch study that is available

Dennis
Thanks Dennis, do you have a link to the Dutch study?

Also:

- I was one of the Arizona drivers who experienced some distressing levels of degradation on a Nissan Leaf and attended the town hall, though I didn't have as much at stake as some other folks did.

I know, it was air cooled, I'm not trying to argue it was the same thing as the Teslas.

- On the other hand, I just spoke to a knowledgeable Arizona person who has repaired Teslas and they gave me a more locally-oriented more conservative estimate of what I should expect in a 2012-2013 Model S that has spent its life here (60 kWh maybe 150-160 miles, 85 kWh maybe 200 miles or a bit above). Those numbers are from memory and may be a bit off, but I think that was approximately what they said. So, I mentioned to him that it was good to have those estimates because they had some local aspect, but also because I appreciated the straight answers. So, I think taking both his testimonials and yours' and others, I can build up my understanding of whether, or to what extent, there is a local aspect, and whether there is maybe a high end and low end of what I should expect, and I could in effect better manage my own expectations
 

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Thanks Dennis, do you have a link to the Dutch study?

Also:

- I was one of the Arizona drivers who experienced some distressing levels of degradation on a Nissan Leaf and attended the town hall, though I didn't have as much at stake as some other folks did.

I know, it was air cooled, I'm not trying to argue it was the same thing as the Teslas.

- On the other hand, I just spoke to a knowledgeable Arizona person who has repaired Teslas and they gave me a more locally-oriented more conservative estimate of what I should expect in a 2012-2013 Model S that has spent its life here (60 kWh maybe 150-160 miles, 85 kWh maybe 200 miles or a bit above). Those numbers are from memory and may be a bit off, but I think that was approximately what they said. So, I mentioned to him that it was good to have those estimates because they had some local aspect, but also because I appreciated the straight answers. So, I think taking both his testimonials and yours' and others, I can build up my understanding of whether, or to what extent, there is a local aspect, and whether there is maybe a high end and low end of what I should expect, and I could in effect better manage my own expectations
Just google a quick battery study netherlands ev tesla - https://electrek.co/2016/11/01/tesla-battery-degradation/

As for Arizona service... Gruber Motors in Phoenix is an independent shop that is working on my wife's Roadster, but they're also working on S and others, especially after warranty work.

Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter #19
From 1.5 years ago, I'm thinking I've seen this before, but it sure does hit the spot for me, just to add to some overall background perspective on going into buying a used Tesla with both eyes wide open, if I do it.

Tesla: The real cost of being out of warranty
581,127 views
Mar 1, 2018
 
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