Schorschi

What to watch for when buying used?

Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:27 pm

So, I'm in the market for a used Chevy Spark EV.

I have EV experience in the form of a leased 2014 smart ED that I'm returning this June. Love the vehicle, love the throttle response, the acceleration, just everything.

I'm considering getting a Spark EV with the fast charge option only as my next vehicle.

Problem is, this vehicle is rare in Florida.

Carmax has none listed in the state. Closest from them is in Texas. The rest are pretty much all in CA. They cost $1000 in transfer fee from CA just to get to Florida. Yikes

There is a shady used car dealer near Miami, some 200 miles from where I live that has three 2014 Spark EV, only one of which appears to have the fast-charge option (and isn't even on their lot yet, still in transfer from CA).

Another option is some dealers up north along the east coast. I'm going on a road trip to Ohio in May and could swing by in Maryland, the only east coast state which ever sold the Spark EV. Driving the vehicle to Florida would be an adventure in itself, as the network of CCS chargers isn't quite contiguous between Maryland and Florida for an 82-mile range car.

I'm still unsure about the difference between the 2014 and 2015 model years. I realize the battery capacity shrunk from 2014 to 2015, but the economy improved too at the same time for a net zero difference. Gear ratio changed. Unclear on what that did to performance, economy or range. Which one is the better model? If I'm worried about battery replacability in the future should I look at the 2015+ model years only, since the company that made the batteries for the 2014 model is no longer?

All in all, what are some good tips for checking out a used Spark EV? What should I look out for? How can I estimate the battery's capacity?

evboy
Posts: 196
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:05 am

Re: What to watch for when buying used?

Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:18 pm

i did a search on autotrader for u. the best deal i found is a 2016 4900 miles 12,900. if u can talk them down to 12k plus 1k for shipping its a good deal. http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale ... ode1=SPARK

btw, dont buy from carmax. they are overpriced. autotrader has better deals if u stick to reputable large dealers like i did. 2014 4100 miles 9k. still cant find a deal like that now. i could probably sell mine for 10k right now. remember, u have the upper hand. nobody wants these cars. we know how great these cars are but other people dont, so negotiate like nobody wants them. these cars on autotrader dont sell. they r always lowering their prices. get your cash in order and make a buy right now for 11800/12k offer. they want to move these cars. not have them sit forever.

SparkSS
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:51 pm

Re: What to watch for when buying used?

Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:31 pm

Hello all. I'm sort of in the same situation. I've been contemplating picking up an off-lease 2014 for a while now. Prices are all over the place, but there appear to be some bargains out there.

Still a bit up in the air. I have some concerns about heat vs battery life (Phoenix area), range (Spark only vs 2 cars), quality (my 2 previous Chevy's weren't overly impressive, and fit (moving downscale in size, trim, and performance).

In spite of the concerns, from all I've read and seen, the Spark EV should be fun, economical, and adequate for almost all my current driving needs.

I plan to check in from time to time with questions and comments.

BEEMAN
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:43 am
Location: Oklahoma City, OK

Re: What to watch for when buying used?

Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:45 am

Keep in mind that the battery is covered for 8 year 100,00 miles. If you have a 2014 A123 battery and it fails they will put a 2016 Spark EV universal pack made by LG using Gen 2 Volt Cells into the vehicle. I would not worry about battery life. If it fails a brand new pack will be put in the vehicle. They will also change the gearing on the Spark and rear suspension so it will basically become a 2015-2016 Spark EV.
2014 Nissan Leaf SL
Leased from 2014-2017

2015 Spark EV
Black Granite, 2LT, DCFC
Purchased Jan 2017

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1154
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: What to watch for when buying used?

Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:15 pm

BEEMAN wrote:Keep in mind that the battery is covered for 8 year 100,00 miles. If you have a 2014 A123 battery and it fails they will put a 2016 Spark EV universal pack made by LG using Gen 2 Volt Cells into the vehicle. I would not worry about battery life. If it fails a brand new pack will be put in the vehicle. They will also change the gearing on the Spark and rear suspension so it will basically become a 2015-2016 Spark EV.
Can you provide the source of this information? Also, you indicate "fail" as opposed to "degrade beyond the 35% limit". I own a 2014 Spark EV 2LT and, in a few years, I would love to be able to replace my battery with a new battery and update the gearing so the car would perform like my 2015 Spark EV 2LT.

BUT - I, for one, would definitely consider paying to replace the battery pack to extend the useful life of the car. Changing the gear may be too expensive and offer little performance improvement.
Last edited by MrDRMorgan on Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

NORTON
Posts: 1351
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 5:52 am
Location: KC,MO

Re: What to watch for when buying used?

Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:09 pm

And why would they go through the work of breaking open the drive unit to 'change the gearing'?
The drive unit uses and produces power. It shouldn't care about the details of what battery pack is feeding it.
If there are some power differences, a SW change should handle it... It would seem....

And why change the rear suspension? Is there a huge weight difference between model years? If so, changing springs to bring the ride height to stock should handle that.

It is good to know that the 'business end' of both packs remain the same: Big ass DC wires, control/temp wires and the coolant connections. Hopefully these connections are identical.
'14 Spark EV 2LT w/ DCFC. 85k miles.
'17 Bolt Premier w/ It All! 53k miles.
GM needs Modern Troubleshooting tools for Modern EV's.
3 step Trouble Tree, 1st try, nope, 2nd try / cost $800. 3rd try fixed it.

evboy
Posts: 196
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:05 am

Re: What to watch for when buying used?

Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:57 pm

BEEMAN wrote:Keep in mind that the battery is covered for 8 year 100,00 miles. If you have a 2014 A123 battery and it fails they will put a 2016 Spark EV universal pack made by LG using Gen 2 Volt Cells into the vehicle. I would not worry about battery life. If it fails a brand new pack will be put in the vehicle. They will also change the gearing on the Spark and rear suspension so it will basically become a 2015-2016 Spark EV.
where did you come up with that fantasy post. The last time I read something that uplifting, that wasnt true, I read that when I die I go to heaven.

SparkevBlogspot
Posts: 499
Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 12:19 pm

Re: What to watch for when buying used?

Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:31 am

Part of what BEEMAN wrote is only true for 2014 if there are no other options (ie, no more A123 packs, new of used available). I suspect they will replace the pack with something that has at least the warranty capacity (ie, 65% or more). That doesn't have to be new pack, though I don't think Chevy is stocking up on used 2014 packs.

But if there's no more A123, new or used, and they must replace with LG pack like in 2015+, they may have to modify the gearing. That may be due to different power drawn from the battery at different speeds. Either that, or they may simply "detune" the motor controller, thus making the 2014 with tall gear with lower peak torque. Acceleration will suffer.

If Chevy hates you, and they manage to find used A123 with more than 65%, acceleration will still suffer since older batteries have higher internal resistance than new ones. How much it suffers, of course, depends on that particular battery's level of degradation.

Alcalira
Posts: 37
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2015 12:22 pm
Location: Davis, California

Re: What to watch for when buying used?

Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:47 am

The ones at the lot in Doral (I followed your link) all look good to me. I don't know the reputation of that store, but all three cars have clear Carfax reports. They all look like typical 3-year lease cars that led uneventful lives here in California. I've noticed that lots of used EVs wind up on independent used car lots; that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the cars. If you can get out at or below the posted price you got a good deal.

As for quick charge, I think it's worth having. You can't tell from the listings whether or not those cars have it. You'd need to see inside the charge port door. If it has the orange cover over the lower terminals, it's got quick charge. I note that the in-transit car, besides having quick charge, also is white, which is a bonus in Florida, and it's from Santa Barbara, which has a mild climate meaning the car hasn't likely seen much really hot weather.
2018 Chevy Volt Premier, Green Mist
2017 Honda Clarity Hydrogen Fuel Cell, Crystal Black Pearl
2010 Toyota Prius 2, Pearl White

Alcalira
Posts: 37
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2015 12:22 pm
Location: Davis, California

Re: What to watch for when buying used?

Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:53 am

One other thing to keep in mind is the 1LT vs 2LT trim. The granite black one in Doral is a 2LT; the blue one is a 1LT. 1LT has light blue cloth upholstery and a plastic steering wheel; 2LT has dark grey vinyl upholstery (Chevy calls it "leatherette") and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. I think those are the only differences.
2018 Chevy Volt Premier, Green Mist
2017 Honda Clarity Hydrogen Fuel Cell, Crystal Black Pearl
2010 Toyota Prius 2, Pearl White

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