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Karma Enthusiast
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone, I live in Atlanta, but am not limiting my search to Atlanta. A few questions to you experts. There is a service shop here and I have read a lot, but could use some help please.

How do I tell if the 530 update was completed? Will the screen say 530 or will it have a build number I need to know? Also, I have no idea where on the software screen to look for it, I just know to look for 530.

Would I get CSP funds if I buy a Karma that needs updating?

If I buy an EcoChic, should I spray suede leather protectant on it, like Kiwi brand?

Does it require 91, 89, or 87 octane?
When the car runs on gas it charges the batteries back up? How long does that take?

How long are your tires lasting?

Is there anywhere to get after market parts? (to customize)

Thank you!
 

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How do I tell if the 530 update was completed? Will the screen say 530 or will it have a build number I need to know? Also, I have no idea where on the software screen to look for it, I just know to look for 530.
Ans: This one I don't know. I haven't seen anything that's a dead giveaway on this version. 520 cut the shutdown time from 2 min to 45 seconds. That was obvious.

Would I get CSP funds if I buy a Karma that needs updating?
Ans: No. But, there is a 2-year extended warranty available for $4500 that is available to buy from Karma Automotive thru 4/30. Also, some folks like @FiskerPhilly have certified/warranted used Karmas available.

If I buy an EcoChic, should I spray suede leather protectant on it, like Kiwi brand?
Ans: Don't know this one, either. I have an Eco-Sport with leather.

Does it require 91, 89, or 87 octane?
When the car runs on gas it charges the batteries back up? How long does that take?
Ans: It takes Premium gas. But, you probably won't use much. The stock Karma does not let the engine/generator charge the battery back up. It simply maintains it where it is (and only if your EV miles are below 27 -- it will let the car drain to there even in Sport mode though at ~half rate). There is an after-market product called a TOM unit that can allow modes that let the engine charge the battery back up even while standing still. But, not many cars would have this. It's described in several postings on this site.

How long are your tires lasting?
Ans: 13-15K miles. They'll last longer if you're diligent about keeping them properly inflated. The car is heavy and wears the tires quickly.

Is there anywhere to get after market parts? (to customize)
Ans: Not a lot, but @PowerSource is the company that makes the TOM unit and they are working on some other projects that sound promising.
 

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I am the original owner of a Glacier Tri-tone EcoChic. It is my daily driver, and I have roughly 16,700 miles on it. I did not spray any protectant on the fabric (though I believe the dealer did just prior to delivery). The Alcantara 'eco-suede' around the steering wheel has worn a bit and now looks smooth (but doesn't look bad---just doesn't look brand new), and there is some slight wear/smoothness to the edge of the center console where I rest my arm, along with some slight wear to the door handle on the driver's side. The key word here is 'slight'. I've been very, very pleased with the interior of the car. I once spilled coffee infused milk foam from a macchiato on the silvery/grey fabric of the interior. It cleaned right up with a white cloth and some club soda with no stain at all. The EcoChic interior is one of my favorite things about the car---it's very, very comfortable!
 

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Jomak,

I'm in Atlanta as well (there's quite a few running around the ATL) and I'd be happy to talk to you about the car or maybe even meet up for a show-and-tell. I'm an original owner and the Karma has been my daily driver to more than four years now. There's a lot you can learn about the car beforehand, much of which you can find on this thread:

http://www.fiskerbuzz.com/forums/13-fisker-karma/4473-fisker-karma-buyers-checklist.html

The 530 software was just released so I expect very few cars for sale have it yet; you'll probably end up with a car on 520, the previous version, and need to get it upgraded. The new Karma Automotive management have said several times they would make sure that all owners would have a path to upgrade at no cost. I have yet to have 530 installed myself.

Good Luck!

Brent
 

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Karma Enthusiast
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Jomak,

I'm in Atlanta as well (there's quite a few running around the ATL) and I'd be happy to talk to you about the car or maybe even meet up for a show-and-tell. I'm an original owner and the Karma has been my daily driver to more than four years now. There's a lot you can learn about the car beforehand, much of which you can find on this thread:

http://www.fiskerbuzz.com/forums/13-fisker-karma/4473-fisker-karma-buyers-checklist.html

The 530 software was just released so I expect very few cars for sale have it yet; you'll probably end up with a car on 520, the previous version, and need to get it upgraded. The new Karma Automotive management have said several times they would make sure that all owners would have a path to upgrade at no cost. I have yet to have 530 installed myself.

Good Luck!

Brent
PM sent! Thank you so much Brent, that is so kind!
 

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Deep Ocean in ATL
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Brent, I have 530 installed. It eliminated the low speed "growl" from the motors and RDM. Also, I drove for the first time with the ICE on for an extended time last weekend, and the ICE behaved "better". That is, it was smoother and tended not to race as much and thus seemed quieter. I will have an opportunity to drive again at high speed this coming weekend and will confirm this impression. The "range" gauge is definitely smoother -- but I haven't hit the Magic 120 miles of range yet. I may test this weekend. Typically, I have don't disconnect the charger in the morning until I head out. If I open the doors or trunk and "wake" up the car, which causes the 12 volt battery to charge, the time is VERY short (the level II charger kicks on). So the 12 trickle system is working well. There is a click when pressing the Park button. I assume that is the parking pawl dropping in place to protect the RDM. Overall, my impression is the car operate much smoother. Looking forward to the next time at Coffee and Cars -- Maybe after the pollen season. I should have my Tesla X SUV by then.... he said hopefully.
 

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I agree that the range gauge is better! I did see mine lock at 100 twice and then jump to the low 80's after 15-20 minutes, but that's way better than it used to be which would lock at 180 for an hour of driving.
 

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One more question, it was glossed over in one of my earlier threads but I just wanted to double-check..

Do you still have to wait for the car to turn completely off before plugging it in?
It's no longer strictly necessary, but many of us, myself included, follow that procedure as a best practice. With BL520, the sleep time was reduced from 2 minutes to 45 seconds, which makes it even easier to do this.
 

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Karma Enthusiast
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It's no longer strictly necessary, but many of us, myself included, follow that procedure as a best practice. With BL520, the sleep time was reduced from 2 minutes to 45 seconds, which makes it even easier to do this.
I don't own a Karma yet....are you saying you have to wait 45 seconds after you turn the car off to charge it (based on procedure)?
 

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Deep Ocean in ATL
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@ Jomak. sorry. I mis spoke. it is Caffeine and Octane lol. Here is the website. I am not planning to be there this coming weekend as yet.

http://caffeineandoctane.com/

with 520 update and 530, you do not have to wait. The reference is to the original software, you had to wait for the car to sleep to plug in to avoid a system fault. This was corrected with later software update. Even so, the car now "sleeps" in about 25 seconds, but the need to wait is past.
 

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There used to be a bug in the car before the 520 (we're now on 530) software update that could allow a fan to turn on and stay on if you plugged in before the car went to sleep. Other people sometimes reported the car not charging. So, the conventional wisdom was to wait to plug it in. The sleep time used to be 2 minutes. With 520, that time dropped to 45 seconds. I think many of us, as a course of habit, wait until the car sleeps before plugging in just to be safe. But, there are some people who say they never wait, and don't have problems. I just wait, it's not hard. I usually walk around with Showtime cleaner & a rag and keep my car shiny for something to do while I wait.
 

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When they first released the Karma it used to recharge the battery with the proper use of braking, Sport & Hill Mode. For example, I would take prospects on test drives and leave the dealership with 22 miles of range and return with 27. Fisker changed it on us without notice fairly early on in 2012.
 

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When they first released the Karma it used to recharge the battery with the proper use of braking, Sport & Hill Mode. For example, I would take prospects on test drives and leave the dealership with 22 miles of range and return with 27. Fisker changed it on us without notice fairly early on in 2012.
I regularly "recapture" Stealth miles while in Sport Mode. You can do it if you religiously use Hill Mode to downshift for maximum Regen braking every time you stop. I like to try to keep my car holding at 27 Stealth miles when on a long trip. If I slip and let it (or decide to let it) drop a few miles below that, it's possible to see the Stealth miles pop back up 1 above where you initially locked in Sport Mode following a hill or a stop after a long cruise. When I see that, I quickly turn off Sport Mode & immediately back on to lock in that new "level". After cruising a while, the ICE has done it's job bringing the battery back up from the last acceleration. At those times, a hill or stoplight or off ramp or traffic slow down can allow the Regen system to put enough charge into your battery to get it 1 Stealth Mile higher than it was when you engaged Sport Mode. So, flip the Sport Mode paddle off & on in rapid succession, and it will memorize this new level.

Why? As @PowerSource has taught us -- the Karma performs best above 50% SOC. If you have 27 Stealth miles showing, your battery should be around 60% SOC. Giving you the best acceleration to pass on the highway. I wait until I'm close to home and back on city streets to turn off Sport & use my last 27 Stealth miles to still come home near empty and burn as little gas as possible ... but, while maintaining my full performance capacity while on the open road.

It may sound like a lot of work (it's really not when you get into the habit of glancing at your range as often as you check your speed), but to me it makes driving less boring. I keep fairly constant track of my EV range. It's part of the unique experience of driving the Karma. (Or, I'm a huge nerd -- you decide).
 

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Deep Ocean in ATL
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When they first released the Karma it used to recharge the battery with the proper use of braking, Sport & Hill Mode. For example, I would take prospects on test drives and leave the dealership with 22 miles of range and return with 27. Fisker changed it on us without notice fairly early on in 2012.
Hello Greg.... hope all is well in MA. I see Jamin from time to time at Classic.. Car is running great after 4 years.. Best Wishes
 
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