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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I am about to get myself a Karma, but I constantly get scared by others. My main concern is the battery life, and the immense cost if something really goes wrong with it.

The car I am looking at has covered 100000kms (Kilometers), has always been serviced well, and was first registered 06/2012. According to the seller (...) the battery still does its job as it did on the first day.

How afraid should I be that something is/goes wrong with the battery pack? Is it an almost general problem, or is it a rare problem?

I need your help to reassure me :)

best regards,

Koen, Europe
 

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@koen_audenaert, I don't think you need much reassuring, and sounds to me like your heart is already set on buying a Karma. But if you still want reassurance, we need to know more precisely where you are located in Europe.

With the Karma, the buy/no buy decision usually depends more heavily on where the nearest service center is located than the condition of the car. That is because you can get at least some reassurance about the car's potential pitfalls by having a full pre-purchase inspection done, including measuring the voltage levels of each of the individual modules in the battery to make sure that the battery is properly balanced, among other things. Also, if something does go wrong, if you have a service center nearby, the problem may be expensive to solve, but it can be solved.

So, two questions:

1) Where are you located in Europe, and is there a dealer nearby; and
2) Have you read this post and the linked thread?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Fabulist. Thank you for your reply! Yes, I have read the buyer's advice, and that has already been really helpful. The VIN of the car is in the 1800's. So it is quite a late one. I live in Belgium, but the nearest service center with good references people told me about is in Holland, approx 140km from where we live. The car has been serviced by them too over the past years...
 

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Hi Fabulist. Thank you for your reply! Yes, I have read the buyer's advice, and that has already been really helpful. The VIN of the car is in the 1800's. So it is quite a late one. I live in Belgium, but the nearest service center with good references people told me about is in Holland, approx 140km from where we live. The car has been serviced by them too over the past years...
That sounds reassuring. Do you plan to have the same service center continue to maintain the Karma? 140KM (Apx. 87 Miles for US), is not ideal, but it is not too bad. When I lived on the US East Coast, the nearest service center @FiskerPhilly's shop, was more than 4 times that distance from me, and I still managed to get my car worked on and maintained. Just make sure you have an unlimited tow/transport policy on your insurance, or with the Belgian equivalent of the ADAC (or AAA in US), and you should be all set.

Since you are concerned about the battery, if not already done, it would be helpful to have the service center generate a module-by-module printout of the battery to make sure the battery is properly balanced and that there are no weak modules. It also critical that your car's software version is either 520 or 535. Version 530 included some changes to the battery balancing program that my cause problems, which is why FA released 535 shortly afterwards. If your car is running 530, you need to update to 535 immediately.

Also, make sure the RDM is inspected for leaks or other known issues.


That should get you a long way towards being confident about the car, but as in all things in life, there are no guarantees with a Karma, and part of the excitement of owning one is the uncertainty and risk.

Enjoy ....
 

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Dear Koen, as Belgian fellow happy to give you some further guidance with my personal experience. I bought my Fisker in August of last year and have driven over 15.000km (took the car from 63 to 78k km) without real issues. Kroymans took the car to 535, and a number of error-messages I had prior haven't re-emerged. Invest in a small OBDI tool to read (and erase codes). (Any CEL warning (for the smallest re-occuring issue) vanishes your Speedometer which is annoying). Couldn't agree more with Fab : part of the reward & excitement is keeping this special species on the road. Give me a call at your convenience. I am based in Brussels.
 

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The ownership and enjoyment of Fisker Karma is a co-dependant relationship. You need to be in-tune with the vehicle's special needs. It has been said before on this Forum that each Karma is like a snowflake. Mine has been very reliable, and I am soon to have put 10,000 miles on it in a short period of 8 months when this summer comes to a close. Having a good service center is absolutely necessary. But, on the ownership side of things I take a few additional steps which I feel help the car operate through its design. 1. When starting the car, wait for it to boot up completely before hitting the AGREE button on the touchscreen, then departing. 2. Do not jump into SPORT mode with a cold engine and accelerate hard! I have a LEMUR BLUEDRIVER Scanner which I use with my iPhone to tell me the exact engine RPM, but more importantly the temperature. I let the engine warm up to at least 170*F before doing any hard acceleration. (I know....I know......I'm too careful). 3. Use the Climate control and A/C as normally, but shut the system OFF before getting to your destination and turning off vehicle. My vehicle doesn't like its A/C system being left on at the time of power down. When I do, it will not re-activate 80% of the time. 4. Drive the car as normal, but use SPORT mode to maintain about 8 miles of charge so that you can use Stealth mode to get you the rest of the way home. Taper down engine load to allow the cooling system to do its job. This allows the engine to cool off and use its series of cooling fans to get its temperature down (and cool the batteries and invertors.). Driving hard and parking a hot engine and then immediately turning it all off....can't be good. I always allow the main engine cooling fan to shut off during my final few miles, so I can park the car with less thermal load on the components. When I would arrive home with a hot engine, the car's computer would run the cooling fan wildly loud until the system was down in temperature. I found the sound unpleasant, and now don't have to deal with it. I run 535, and the software doesn't warm up the engine during a cold morning, as would a Chevy Volt. When you turn on Sport....it's turning on a cold engin. And lastly, 5. When you arrive home and turn off the car....wait 50 seconds or so for the computers to shut off (And Park/Neutral/Drive pyramid to go dark) before plugging in your charging cable. Listen for the series of clicks and contactor clunks to happen in their harmonious order before walking away. Plugging in too early while the computers are in mid-shut-down..... has created weird faults and errors with my car.

These are just 5 steps to make >MY< car reliable. Each is different. But I think these steps can't hurt anybody. I could write a volume simply on how to drive the car and juggle the SPORT/STEALTH/HILL modes to make the car more efficient.....but also how to drive it for acceleration and hill climbing power. The Karma is an engineering marvel...no matter what skeptics/haters/automotive press may say. It was ahead of its time. I love how mine drives, and the sounds it makes in SPORT mode when passing other cars (sometimes 2 or 3 cars at a time!). The Karma is an EXPERIENCE wrapped in a gorgeous body. There. Now I need to go to sleep myself! Welcome to the Forums!
 

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Hello Koen, here another Fiskerowner from Belgium ! I bought my Fisker in june 2016 in the Netherlands. Before I agreed to the actual deal, I had the car checked by Kroymans in Hilversum. They gave me a very detailed and afterwards correct report on the state of the car. In the past year I did not have any unexpected issues or costs. The mecanic at Kroymans, Robert, is top !
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just fantastic how much all this information helps. I went to check the car out another time yesterday, with lots of new information in hand. That was also the first time my wife joined me to have a look at it. Decision expected later today or tomorrow! Will keep you posted.
 

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Congratulations Koen ! I wish you all the luck and a lot of fun with your Fisker.
Btw, I am going to check on mine ... It looks as if you stole mine ;)
 

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Hey Kriskarmann,

You can count me in for that Belgian Fisker meeting ! I am sure mvp2 will attend too.
Koen, are you in ?

Gtz,

Hans
 

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Hello to my fellows, seems this topic is full of belgians so, as I'm one of yours, I will need some advice regarding your experiences.
My name is Salim, I live in Brussels, and looking for a Karma. Read all what's on the forums and in classified used cars around. I bet the best is to choose one that is already known and fixed by Kroymans Holland.
Anybody knows a Karma for sale around my location with this kind of pedigree?
I would be quite eager to see yours if you have time.
I'm used to "demanding mistresses" as I already own a TVR, a Carver One... But a bit tired of bad surprises...!
[email protected] 0475759933
Thanks!

Dear all FK seekers and owners,
I'm very close to buying FK VIN#1518 from
Garage HOUMAN in Hombeek, Belgium
Their advertising is on "leparking.fr" 14000Km - 50K€
I tried it today on the road, no apparent bugs. Kroymans seems to have solved navigation lately. I am still waiting to have their complete file servicing this car. It's originated from Germany.
Your comments and recommandations are most welcome before I make the jump...
Soon rejoining you!
Salim
 

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Salim, @skaiss, Welcome to the forum and to the joy and excitement of shopping for, and owning, a Fisker Karma. If you have not yet read the Buyer’s Checklist, please take a look before committing to the purchase. If you are buying from an established dealer who will continue to support the car, you should be OK, but it’s better to have the car checked out first than trying to get it repaired later.

Best of luck.
 
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