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Alarming amounts of cold weather vampire drain

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by voip-ninja, Feb 12, 2019 at 7:13 AM.

  1. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Give me some sugar baby

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    I drove my car home yesterday afternoon and parked it in the garage with 49% battery at about 445pm. Outside temps were 38F. The garage is unheated but is attached to the home on two sides and doesn't typically dip below freezing (garage floor will have water puddled but no ice).

    Last night it got down to 20F outside. When I turned the car on this morning at 645AM to heat the cabin the battery was down to 44%.

    So my car lost 5% battery in a little over 12 hours in an unheated garage where the temps hovered close to freezing but didn't go below freezing that I am aware of.

    I don't plug my car in at home because I get free charging at work.

    I am a bit concerned about the amount of vampire loss I am seeing with my vehicle.
     
  2. Whosyourbaba

    Whosyourbaba Member

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    Normal I would say, the colder it is, the more vampire drain. I live in Chicago with unheated garage with open vents and I lose around that much when I'm not plugged in overnight. During polar vortex I kept it plugged in 120 and just maintained my level without any charging (12 hours plugged in). If you have a regular outlet in the garage, it's better to plug it in when it's cold out.
     
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  3. McFlurri

    McFlurri Member

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    Careful.. prepare yourself for the flood of people that will say " this is FUD.. your exaggerating, duuuhh.. you should have known this... somehow... idiot"
     
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  4. Petrlol

    Petrlol Member

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    I agree, if you don't want to pay much for home charging, at least plug it into 110 to stop the drain.
     
  5. jsmay311

    jsmay311 Member

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    I’ve also seen dishearteningly high vampire drain this winter. I’d guesstimate ~3x higher than during warmer temps. Correspondingly, my wall-to-wheels efficiency has taken a big hit (well beyond the screen efficiency drop).

    My big question is, why?

    Is the car staying awake more or performing operations that it doesn’t do it warm temperatures? Or is it just a result of a cold battery?

    If it’s the latter, why doesn’t all of difference show up in the “snowflake” / “blue bar” part of the battery display?
     
  6. diamond.g

    diamond.g Active Member

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    From what I have seen online the car actually warms the cameras even when you are not in the car. That is probably not helping, along with it potentially downloading updates or uploading data (assuming you have data sharing turned on).
     
  7. chronopc

    chronopc Active Member

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    5% is a crazy amount of drain. I'm seeing about 2% right now and the weather has been pretty cold.
     
  8. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Supporting Member

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    Did you have the snowflake icon when you fired it up this morning? If so, then the % you are seeing is the available %, not the actual %. It will rise (or drop more slowly) as the battery warms. I'm also in Colorado with a garage attached on two sides, and do not typically see 5% loss (as opposed to artificial temporary drop due to snowflaking) in a night, regardless of temp.
     
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  9. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Give me some sugar baby

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    Yes, it had the snowflake icon. I drove 10 miles to work in 30F temps and when I arrived the battery was down to 40% and the snowflake icon was gone when I began to charge it.
     
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  10. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Give me some sugar baby

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    My hypothesis is that as part of cold weather updates Tesla is being more aggressive about warming the battery when it gets cold compared to what they might have originally planned.

    It's quite a lot of drain though. I can see someone parking the car in a freezing airport parking lot for a week with 2/3 of the battery and returning to find the battery is nearly depleted.
     
  11. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Supporting Member

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    So your overnight loss was < 5%, then. Total drain for an overnight rest, plus preheating the cabin, plus 10-mile drive the next morning is 9%. That doesn't sound too far off to me. Short trips in cold weather, especially combined with preconditioning the cabin, are brutal. Important to note that this level of usage would significantly improve on longer trips.
     
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  12. StellarRat

    StellarRat Member

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    Is that really vampire drain or battery cooling reducing the available power? Your battery undoubtedly got much colder in the garage with no heat over night. Since the car is not plugged in it really has no way to compensate for the temperature dropping. I did a little experiment this morning and turned on my climate control about 45 mins before I left for work while the car was plugged in. I GAINED 10 miles of range from the amount I started with because the battery was warmed up.
     
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  13. intelligator

    intelligator Member

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    I had similar overnight. Drove for about two hours before I parked in garage. To my surprise, with outside temps at 34F, I got on average 260 wh/mi on a dual motor LR. I parked at 160 miles, 14 hours later, it is at 154. That didn't happen the previous days the car sat idle. At most, I'd lose just over .5 mile, typically, less where there isn't a change in mile/percent left. The only change was that added a trial of TeslaFi. I've since ended that trial, revoked key and all. Will watch it overnight to see if that changes any.
     
  14. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Give me some sugar baby

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    I didn't really "preheat the cabin". I turned climate control on for a whopping 10 minutes before starting my drive. The energy display for my drive showed usage of about 450 w/mile which is a ton and which does not include the usage that the car had when it was parked.

    It's still returning higher MPG than any ICE car I could have chosen but it's a very very far cry from Tesla's advertised efficiency #s and cold weather owners will want to account for a number of things such as substantially higher electric usage during cold weather months, more brake usage since you won't get the "lifetime brake pads" that Elon cheekily tweets about when your car has limited regen for 1/2 of the year.... etc.

    I still like my car but I don't love it. Between the buzzes and rattles that come and go, the super high vampire drain, the lackluster ability of the car to heat the cabin, the TPMS sensors that don't understand altitude changes.... this car is okay but I'm hoping that BMW knocks it out of the park when they release their I4 so I can get a car engineered by people that understand the challenges of living in a cold weather climate.
     
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  15. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Supporting Member

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    Available energy. #petpeeve
     
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  16. StellarRat

    StellarRat Member

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    No, I don't think that's it. I think the battery just got a lot colder sitting in your garage.
     
  17. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Give me some sugar baby

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    It is possible that the car was alive most of the night staging for a FW update. I would have to check logs on my UTM to find out if it was awake all night.
     
  18. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Give me some sugar baby

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    There have been plenty of nights in the past where the temps were similar and I didn't see this degree of battery loss.
     
  19. StellarRat

    StellarRat Member

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    Maybe, but the only way to know for sure is it somehow measure the battery temp when you arrive home vs. when you get ready to leave the morning. I'd just plug it in at night or plug it in at least in the morning to warm it up.
     
  20. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Supporting Member

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    You keep expanding your scope here. :) Yes, EVs are less efficient in the cold, as are ICE vehicles. EVs take a bigger hit because they're starting from a higher efficiency 'standard' and they don't give off oodles of waste heat with which to heat the cabin & battery.

    The 'lifetime brake pad' comment is a bit of a non-sequitur: even with significantly reduced regen, you are putting far less wear on the brake pads. For example, a Prius's regen is much more comparable to a fully-nerfed 3's regen capability, yet my old Prius had like-new brake pads when I sold it at 140k miles.

    Bummer about your rattling. Not sure what you mean about lackluster ability to heat the cabin and the TPMS sensors. My car heats up more quickly than any car I've owned previously, and is perfectly comfortable once it does. I've only driven it in temps down to a few F below zero, though. What's the TPMS issue?
     
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