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Potential 500e Buyer
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Thread: Potential 500e Buyer

  1. #1
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    Potential 500e Buyer

    Hey everyone, I am looking into getting an electric car as a second car. I realized my lifestyle doesn't allow for a full time electric one, I was looking into getting a used 500e, for the price it seems like a great buy.

    Question is, what should I look out for? Any years I should stay away from? Any advice and guidance is much appreciated!

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    I think "great buy" is a huge understatement. More like the deal of the century!

    All years are mechanically identical, but note that while the drive battery warranty is 8yr/100k, at least*, the bumper-to-bumper warranty is only 4 years, HOWEVER there seems to be a good, low-priced mechanical/electrical/hydraulic warranty, extending to 10yr/100k, from Mercury Insurance, IF you purchase with low enough miles & sufficient remaining factory warranty.

    Look out for a cracked orange plastic charge port inside the filler cap, & check the pins are straight, if not, you might consider getting them to knock off the thousand dollars or whatever the dealers charge, but then install your own $150 kit. Make sure it charges from the stock charger and level 2 (test-drive to a public charger, if needed). Make sure it has 2 keys, both of which will start the car when the other one is well out of transponder range. If not, get $500 off, since it's about $380 for a new key, & you do NOT want to get stuck with only one or when you lose it you're in for an even bigger bill.

    *I read somewhere that CA legally requires more, 10 years, I think, but that doesn't make sense since this car was originally ONLY for Ca.
    Last edited by ElectricTireShredder; 10-22-2020 at 06:42 PM.

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    A used 500e is a bargain as a second car. I had a 2015 with 30k miles but upgraded to a 2017 with 12k miles because I wanted the touchscreen. Touchscreen came out in 2016, backup camera came out in 2018 (don't think you can buy those used yet) but other than that and the optional sunroof all 500e models are equipped the same.

    Newer is better for battery life. You'll want 2 key fobs because otherwise you'll need to go to a Fiat dealership to get one programmed. Make sure the door handles aren't loose and that the power windows don't make any clicking (weak spots in the 500 build quality).

    My 2015 had wheel locks but my 2017 doesn't so make sure you have the wheel keys if it has locks. Make sure you like the feel of the friction brakes. It does regenerative braking until about 8mph when the friction brakes kick in. The brake transition was more noticeable in my 2015 and in a couple 2017s I test drove.

    I'm pretty sure they changed the tuning of how fast it is off the line to reduce wear on the cv joints. I can still spin the tires on my 2017 but have to push the pedal more off the line to do it.

    Make sure it charges at level 1 and level 2 and that the charging pins look good. The 12v battery from the factory only lasts 3-4 years so if its original plan on replacing it for about $100. Because you don't have to crank the engine, you don't get the warning of a weak crank to let you know the battery is dying until the car just doesn't turn on or acts weird. Fortunately they're easy to change yourself and it's the same battery as a gas 500.

    I love my 500e. I get about 60 miles of range on the highway and about 100 miles around town. I keep a forward facing Graco Nautilus 65 carseat behind the passenger seat for my toddler and its so nice to be able to sit in the car til he sleeps without worrying about burning tons of gas. Its great for groceries and commuting to work too. I took the rear headrests off to fit the car seat better and so that the seat behind the driver stays totally folded flat all the time.

    The instant heat is awesome in the winter. I'm in Utah with snow and have like half the range if I crank the heat up when its snowing but its so nice to not have to wait for the engine to heat up after work.
    Last edited by Nolij; 10-23-2020 at 12:06 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nolij View Post

    1) Newer is better for battery life...

    2) Make sure you like the feel of the friction brakes...

    3) The 12v battery from the factory only lasts 3-4 years...

    4) I took the rear headrests off to fit the car seat better and so that the seat behind the driver stays totally folded flat all the time.
    1) Newer IS better, although maybe not better than lower miles, however more & more evidence keeps coming in as we track our Fiats over time, & the drive battery's life seems to be proving quite robust, with nearly no user being able to detect any loss even with pretty high mileage.

    2) On all models at 6-7mph the transition from regeneration to friction braking gradually becomes detectable/tolerable/irritating, but it only costs $70 to fix.

    3) Some users have had the factory 12V battery fail in as few as 23 months, so once it's that old it's wise to have AAA or carry a $40 jumpstarter (& keep it charged up). Many users have seen a 12v warning a half-day or so before total failure, but others have not. If you want your 12V to last longer, open the hood when charging, to let out the heat of the onboard charger that's right next to the 12V. I did that & mine lasted 5+ years.

    4) I took the rear headrests off for visibility, but I believe the trick for fully flat rear seat folding is just to put the rear headrest up a notch or 2, & then flip the front seat forward, so the rear headrest still clears to flop it down.

    One more thing to check, that just came up recently, is the locking filler door. When you stick your finger in & open it there should be a RING on the door, right by wherre your finger was. Some users have pried theirs open when locked, breaking the ring, even though there's a release pull-cord right inside the hatch.
    Last edited by ElectricTireShredder; 10-24-2020 at 06:38 PM.

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    Oh awesome, I didn't know there was a fix for the brake transition. What do you do to fix it or is there a link to instructions?

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    I didn't see the simple instructions in a search of this forum, so I posted them here:

    http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/showt...895#post865895

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    There where some changes you might consider:
    2016+ has a nice integrated GPS larger LCD screen
    2018 Has backup camera

    The flat tire repair kit has an expiration date, look at the canister, if it's expired maybe get them to discount you a few bucks.
    Look for rebates locally. I bought mine last month and got $1000 back from the Monterey bay power utilities (even though it was used car)
    PGE has $800 rebate but only if your car hasn't gotten it from them from a previous owner.

    If you get a 2017+ There's a good chance it might still have the original warranty.

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to handel For This Useful Post:

    ElectricTireShredder (11-18-2020)

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    Just got a 2017 a couple of months ago. Warranty good until Sept 2021. Not bad...battery warranty is 8/100k. No rebate from pge since previous owner already processed the VIN.

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