It has already been a few years since the Xiaomi M365 was first introduced to the market. With each new riding season, more and more used Xiaomi M365s are becoming available for purchase on the second-hand markets in the US, Europe, Australia and elsewhere.
Having used Xiaomi M365s for years now, I decided to write this post for those of you looking to purchase a second-hand M365 or M365 Pro, but not knowing what exactly to look for in terms of potential flaws.
Should You Be Buying a Used Xiaomi M365?
Whether you will be looking at buying a used Xiaomi M365 will ultimately depend on your personal situation. There is no right or wrong answer to this question, so I will not be discussing that in too much detail.
Having said that, let me share some of my observations. Used Xiaomi M365s are available for purchase at 20-50% discount off of the original price. The vast majority are listed at around 20-30% off. Occasionally you may run into a decent M365 being sold at 50% off, but that is rare.
Used Xiaomi M365s have held a steady value of 20-30% off the original price and this trend doesn’t appear to be changing.
Without going into the intricate details of what could go wrong with a used Xiaomi M365, just keep in mind one thing – the single most expensive spare part (and one that will ultimately need replacement) is the rechargeable battery.
A brand new rechargeable battery replacement generally costs 20-30% of the value of a brand new M365.
The one thing that I want you to be aware of, before you go out and purchase a used Xiaomi M365, is that while you can get a second-hand M365 for 30% less than a brand new one; the rechargeable battery on that used e-scooter may need replacement sooner than you think.
However, as I mentioned earlier, everyone’s situation is different and some of you may decide to buy a used M365, which is perfectly fine.
Used Xiaomi M365: Checklist
Before you meet with the seller, download a mobile application for the M365. There is a dozen of them available, I happen to be using one called m365 tools by Peretti. It is one of the most popular apps for the M365 and it will provide you with plenty of valuable information about the specific model you are eyeing to buy.
Once you are near the M365 that you are considering purchasing, turn on your smartphone’s Location and Bluetooth, then turn on the M365 and run the app. The app will soon connect to the Xiaomi M365.
The app will provide you with a ton of data about that particular M365.
Specifically, look for the following things:
- Mileometer: this is the total distance the scooter has travelled
- Total riding time
- Warning code: should be “0”
- Error code: should be “0”
- Battery voltage: it should be between 36 and 42 volt. The closer it is to 42 V while fully charged, the better the overall shape of the battery.
- Number of full charges: the lower the number, the better. Li ion batteries, such as the one in the M365, have an estimated lifespan of 500-1,000 charge cycles. Based on my own experience, I can say that one of my batteries started losing charge capacity at around 200 charge cycles. It still works relatively fine, but I don’t get the same range of distance as I used to.
- Battery cells: the battery is composed of 10 units, or cells. Take a look at the voltage of all 10 cells. All 10 voltages should have relatively similar voltage. A difference of 0.005 V is nothing to worry about, but a larger discrepancy, say 0.5 V strongly suggests that the cell is not working properly. This is a common occurrence in used M365s. In practice, it means that the battery will have a somewhat lower capacity.
- Production date
- Serial number: make sure that it matches the number shown on the sticker located on the left side of the deck.
Be sure to test the power switch, because it is prone to water damage. Turn the M365 on and off a few times, then do the same with the front headlight. If you’re not sure how to operate the power switch then watch this short video.
If the power switch is not working properly, then it may be a matter of replacing the circuit board located within the dashboard. It is a quick and easy fix that will take you 10 minutes and cost $20. However, it could be something more complex that will require professional help.
Please note that this applies only to a standard Xiaomi M365. The 365 Pro version is equipped with a waterproof power switch, so the risk of water damage is minimized.
Fold and unfold the scooter a few times. Normally, it should fold and unfold smoothly, without any resistance and without any mechanical noise.
You may notice that the steering column wiggles a bit back and forth. It is a common finding on the Xiaomi M365. If the slack is minimal, then it can be easily fixed by placing a thin spacer inside the folding mechanism.
Bottom of the deck
Place the scooter on the side and look at the cover plate at the bottom of the deck. Chances are it will be scratched, that’s normal. Scratches don’t necessarily mean that someone has been riding crazy. Going over a curb on a sidewalk once or twice is all it takes to scratch the plate.
Besides scratches, look for any cracks within the cover. If there are some, it is possible that water got inside the deck where the battery is located. If I found cracks, I would open the deck and see the the inside looks like. It is not a deal breaker, but has the potential to be one.
The front wheel contains the electric motor. Look closely for any visible cracks which could suggest a history of a fall with potential damage to the motor. Spin the wheel and look for any asymmetry. Since it is directly connected to the motor, the front wheel will not spin as freely as the one in the rear.
Look at the brake disc. Is it smooth or are there grooved lines visible throughout? If it’s smooth than that’s the way it should be. If you notice circular markings on the disc, it may mean that the brake pads need replacing or the caliper is malfunctioning. No big deal, just something to consider.
Lift the back end of the M365 and spin the rear wheel. The wheel should freely spin for about 45 seconds. If it stops after 10 or 20 seconds, then there may be a problem with misaligned brake disc and caliper. Listen for any rubbing sounds, watch the wheel and the brake disc spin – neither should wobble. If you hear rubbing sound or the brake disc wobbles a bit, it’s not a deal breaker, but you should plan on spending a few bucks on new caliper, brake pads or brake disc – it could be any one of these or all three. All of these problems can be easily and relatively quickly fixed at home by anyone with basic manual skills.
If you notice any scratch marks on the rims, it’s most likely due to the fact the someone has been changing the tire in the past. Changing tire on the Xiaomi M365 can be relatively difficult and requires some manual skills. It’s not uncommon to accidentally scratch the rim during the process.
Obviously, the nicer the thread on a tire, the better. But I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Replacement tires for the Xiaomi M365 are relatively inexpensive. The most challenging and time-consuming task is to install them on the rim. It’s doable, just keep in mind that it may take you and hour, or even two to complete.
Many consider the rear light a design flaw. That’s because it’s prone to malfunction.
Press the brake handle, as you’re doing so, the rear light should start blinking – that’s normal and means that the light works fine. In case the rear light does not work, you should know that it is a relatively simple fix that will cost you under $20 to fix if you do it yourself.
Take it for a ride
Press the throttle and feel the scooter accelerate. It should do so smoothly, at a steady pace and without any jerking. You may hear a low volume hissing sound as you’re cruising. This is a normal sound that the M365 makes. Nothing to worry about.
Test the brakes – are there any sounds while the brake is applied? Normally there shouldn’t be any screeching sound.
As you are holding the steering handle, move it back and forth. Does it wiggle too much? If so, then you may need to place a spacer inside the folding mechanism (as I mentioned earlier).
Hold the steering handles straight. Does the scooter go straight as well or does it turn slightly one way? If it sways one way, it is likely that the previous owner fell and that caused the steering column to misalign. It is an easy fix, but may take you about 30 minutes to complete.
There are many things that can go wrong with a used Xiaomi M365. I have tried to cover by far the most common issues to look for when buying a used M365. Most of these issues will also apply to the Xiaomi M365 Pro.
The M365 does have a number of circuit boards that can get damaged. Finding the specific problem and fixing it can be time consuming. Fortunately, when any of these issues arise, they are not hidden, the scooter will act funny, which should be an immediate “red flag” for any potential buyer.
On a positive note, the Xiaomi M365 is a very popular electric scooter with plenty of reasonably-priced, aftermarket spare parts to chose from.
I hope this helps some of you…