Questions on reliability and range loss

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Thread: Questions on reliability and range loss

  1. #1
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    Questions on reliability and range loss

    I'm thinking about buying a used 500e ('13 or '14). I currently have a Chevy Volt which has been incredibly reliable, but it's a second car now so stepping down in cost and up in electric range is tempting. My only concern boils down to two points: 1) Reliability, and 2) Battery degradation. Both I consider to be strong points of the Volt (and EV cars in general, minus degradation on the Leaf). It seems that the reliability issues stem from typical poor FCA quality control. Some 500e's are fine, some have issues. In that sense, a higher mileage example is tempting since that's a sort of indicator that it was at least reliable enough to get some good use. But that increases chances of battery degradation as well.

    Would you have any misgivings about buying a used '13 or '14 with 25-35k miles (looking around $6000-$6500)? For those with higher mileage cars (35k+), what kind of range are you still able to get?

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    I would have zero issue with buying a used 500e with ~35k miles. I know it's only one instance but my 500e has had zero problems or issues. The only thing I have ever done is replace the tires. Other than that it is just plug it in and drive.

    As for battery degradation, one thing that the 500e has going for it is it has a controlled battery. Meaning that it has cooling/heating to keep the battery at an optimal temperature unlike the first gen Leaf battery where it is strictly air cooled. A down side is that the 500e doesn't have an on board degradation monitor like the Leaf does so it's tough to tell right off the condition of the battery. That being said I have never heard here or on several other sites of anyone loosing notable capacity. I'm at 24k miles and still have the same range as I did when new. Again, only a one car review but most seem to be pretty similar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by G0to60 View Post
    I would have zero issue with buying a used 500e with ~35k miles. I know it's only one instance but my 500e has had zero problems or issues. The only thing I have ever done is replace the tires. Other than that it is just plug it in and drive.

    As for battery degradation, one thing that the 500e has going for it is it has a controlled battery. Meaning that it has cooling/heating to keep the battery at an optimal temperature unlike the first gen Leaf battery where
    it is strictly air cooled. A down side is that the 500e doesn't have an on board degradation monitor like the Leaf does so it's tough to tell right off the condition of the battery. That being said I have never heard here or on several other sites of anyone loosing notable capacity. I'm at 24k miles and still have the same range as I did when new. Again, only a one car review but most seem to be pretty similar.
    Thanks! Yes, the active thermal management (volt has it as well) makes me like the 500e over the Leaf .. Plus it's smaller and looks WAY cooler Glad yours is working out.

    I'm actually in Hillsboro OR right near you. I know it sounds like you haven't had any issues - but any experience with Tonkin Fiat? I've read that some dealers don't service the 500e (they sell them, so I'd assume they'll service as well).

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    MiniTsla (06-08-2017)

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    Tonkin is now the only Fiat dealer in the Portland area. They just bought the dealership I got mine from (McLoughlin Auto) in Milwaukie and it does service the 500e. I've never been back though I need to as I have a service bulletin that I need to get fixed (software I think).

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    I bought my 500e, and have taken it in for software updates, from Tonkin on Canyon. No complaints except they don't really have a waiting room, just two(?) tables in a corner of the showroom. They share the building with Alfa and there is signage to visit the coffee bar in the Alfa showroom so you at least get a good cup of coffee! The two times I've been in for updates, things went well and was done before their estimate.

    mine is a low mileage (12K) 2015. I'm retired and the 500e has been my only car from the past year. Just putter around Beaverton, Hillsboro, Tigard: perfect!

    craig

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    Keep in mind the cell phone app ONLY works for the first three years. Might not be a problem/concern if you never had the app. In the first place. Also, the Tom-Tom GPS unit on 2015 and older 500e plug into the top of the dash and blocks my vision when attached. I think I've had the GPS attached twice in 2½ years. Again, not a problem if you don't use the ($$$ updates) GPS.

    All in all, a fun car and I might lease another one next March.

    Craig

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    You can also mod the GPS cradle to be a phone mount/charger if you never use it. I never use the dash mount GPS either. My phone does a much better job especially when there's traffic.

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    Yeah, I didn't bother paying for service after the Onstar app expired. And I don't really care about the GPS mount, I'll probably just use my phone

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    Questions on reliability and range loss

    I agree, battery degradation seems to be a non-issue with the 500e thus far.
    Rest comfortably knowing that Bosch, not FCA, developed the EV drivetrain on the car
    Last edited by robbobster; 06-07-2017 at 02:17 PM.
    2016 500e
    Granito Lucente
    15" Team Dynamics Pro Race 1.2 wheels
    205/50-15 Kumho PA31 tires
    Abarth front springs and Abarth/Koni struts
    500 Madness rear lowering springs with Koni yellows, Energy bumpstops
    ST rear swaybar

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    Mine is at 60K and the range is almost the same as when new, and I charge twice daily, at each end of my 35 mile commute.
    Fiat 500e Sport, VW TDI Sportwagen, Pontiac Solstice GXP, BMW 335i Convertible, Ducati 900 SS/CR

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