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Am I the only one with recent Climate Control problems?

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by finout, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. finout

    finout Member

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    Has anyone had recent issues with Climate Control like this: I've had my Model S since December 2012. There were no problems with climate control for almost exactly one year. Then, starting at the end of December 2013, (after the 5.8.4 release, I believe) my cc started misbehaving.

    I've submitted some interesting pictures and videos I've taken, as well as iPhone screen shots, to my service guys, of the bad behavior: heating up well beyond the temp I set it at. For example, I have a screenshot showing the CC set to 70F, the interior cabin temp at 78F, with "red" (heating) coming from the vents. I also have provided pics and vids of numerous cases - both video of the car showing the climate screen on the interface, and screenshots of the Model S app - where I set the climate control to 70F and it eventually climbs to 80F because the heat stays on.

    I brought the car in for annual service 2 weeks after this started happening, expecting they would fix it. And yes, they looked at the climate problem. They acknowledged it - "yep, that's a problem." And gave me the car back with no solution - only a promise to try to figure it out eventually. That was over two months ago now.

    And I should say that I did have a work-around that worked for a while: if I set the temp to 66F, it -often- ends up hovering around 70F.

    Recently has stopped working reliably. Now, usually, 66F goes one of two ways:
    • Cabin temp stays at 66F ("working" as designed - so it's cold in the car)
    • Cabin temp climbs to upper 70s, getting as hot as 80F (everyone sweating, having to put the windows down when it's 30F outside).

    So basically now, I'm constantly futzing around with the climate control settings - like I'm back to driving the 1981 Chevy Citation I had when I first got my drivers license (with the classic red/blue slider that controlled the heating and cooling).
    But seriously - I haven't driven a car with this kind of problem in over 20 years.

    I do recognize that Colorado can present a unique challenge for warming/cooling a car. For example, on a cold day (25F outside) the car may still need to be cooled because the sun is baking the inside (despite having the windows tinted as dark as the law allows). But my Model S got it right for the first year - until something went awry in December. It seems like either my car has a hardware defect, or there is a firmware bug.

    So my questions to all of you are:
    Has anyone else experienced this climate control behavior? If so, have you presented it to Tesla, and what did they say? (i.e. is this just my car, or is it more widespread)
    Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to escalate this within Tesla? So far, they don't seem interested in solving it for me despite their admittance that it is behaving inappropriately. (i.e. how should I escalate this)

    Thanks in advance for any feedback or suggestions.
     
  2. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

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    We have experienced climate control issues in neither our 85 nor 60.
    MN winter here.
     
  3. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    Yes, auto climate control isn't great, at least not on the older Model S's ... newer models apparently have an improved temperature sensor assembly.
    My car always overshoots the heat setting when I first turn it on -- though I usually don't notice it because I pre-heat the car so it settles to the correct temp by the time I get in the car.
    Changes were made to climate control (though I think earlier than 5.8.4) which overall helped, but does cause this overshooting behavior. I still also often have to manually adjust the fan so it stays above 4 when it's really cold out on those longer trips.
    I've not brought it up with Tesla for a while now -- I've sort of accepted it because it doesn't affect me most of the time since I usually pre-heat the car.
     
  4. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

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    I have VIN 3737 and we leave everything set to auto and temp 72 in Seattle winters. No issues.
     
  5. bhuwan

    bhuwan Active Member

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    pre-heat for the 5 min commute?!?!??!?!?! >:)
     
  6. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    I haven't noted what you describe -- but rather that it would get to the set temp and then turn off for quite a while, allowing the car to become much colder before it comes back on. And the temp seems to be only measured up front - as rear passangers have noted that it is always cold in back. I haven't called Tesla about it yet -- it's on my TODO list...
     
  7. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    I thought that setting the temperature on the CC set the temperature of the air exiting the air vents, not that the car would maintain the set temperature as the interior cabin temperature.
     
  8. finout

    finout Member

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    No, it's definitely a thermostat-type system: that setting is a target temperature. Thermodynamic rules require that you have to put hotter air out the vents than the target temp (if it's colder in the car) and colder air out the vents than the target temp if it's hotter in the car.

    I'm starting to escalate this within Tesla, because I've lost my trivial work-around (set it to 4 degrees colder than I want it).
     
  9. Hank42

    Hank42 Member

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    I had a 1980 Chevy Citation as well, and I feel your pain. (It overheated a lot, 4 cyl 2.5)

    I also have poor performance with my climate control. I had sort of the opposite problem - I'd have to set the CC to 70+ to get it to spin the fans up enough to distribute the heat. I mentioned this in passing to a service tech at my annual service and he must have changed the bias setting, because now when I set it to 68, the fans come on at 8 and it gets toasty fast, but way too toasty. I'd say he must have "done me a favor" and overcompensated.
    The location of the temper sensor is extremely poor and can be influenced by the heat sink of the center console - thus skewing the CC's ability to properly regulate the temp. It would be really nice if we could get access to that bias control someday, or there were some documented process of calibrating it. It's not worth taking it in for service. So for now, I over-ride the CC manually. It is an annoying thing however. I am curious to see how the effects of this bias adjustments will impact the Air conditioning in the summer. I can only imagine it will result in a service appointment because "my air conditioning doesn't get cold"
     
  10. finout

    finout Member

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    Update: Tesla has asked me to gather more data without using the app. Apparently, the temp sensor used by the API is different from the climate control temp sensor.

    Apparently, to Tesla engineers, this makes them think that the only reason I was complaining about the temperature was because the app showed it as hot. They did not believe that I was actually hot. They basically told the tech "well sometimes the sensor that the App uses shows the temperature as hotter than it is. Therefore, the customer must not be hot, only the sensor."

    ARRRGGGGHHH. At least I have a regional service manager calling me now to research the problem further.
     
  11. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    Oi. Yeah, I've *measured* the temperatures in the car. It's not good. That and I know the difference between 68 and 80 degrees. :) Let me know if I can help ...
     
  12. teslasguy

    teslasguy MSP P#1117

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    I have similar issues. Set to 67 and sometimes gets to upper 70s, other times it gets cold and I look down to see that my temp setting has mysteriously changed to 65. Sometimes the fan gets "stuck" on a higher number and I lower the temp to get it to drop to more normal speed.
     
  13. tezco

    tezco Sig P85

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    My Sig tends to run hot all of the time in the winter. Haven't noticed it so much in the summer. Fortunately I haven't experienced the hot and cold thing.
     
  14. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    My big beef with the HVAC is that, in Auto, it sets itself to Recirculate when heating in the cold weather. This is a HUGE no-no as it creates horrible window fogging issues and I'm surprised Tesla has let this slip by for so long without fixing. Further, whenever I use the app to initiate heating, it over-rides my settings and goes back to Recirculate and stays there when I get back into the car.

    As long as I remember to manually over-ride the Auto settings and switch to outside air, I have absolutely zero window fogging issues... even in temps down below zero F and in damp slushy conditions. If I forget, I am soon reminded of it as my windows all start to fog up. I then switch to outside air, bump the fan up for a bit and the fogging clears up.
     
  15. finout

    finout Member

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    Bumping this thread, because the problem is back now that I've had a cold day to drive on. 37 degrees outside this morning, and 10 minutes into my drive it was over 77 in the car with the temp set to 70. See pic:
    hot-tesla.jpg

    Now that I've talked to the regional service manager, who promised that they would work on a fix, and none has come, I think I need to start escalating. Suggestions?
     
  16. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    But that's not where the car's temperature sensor is located. It's underneath the arm rests.
     
  17. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Yes but if he has the HVAC set to 70 and a temperature measurement in that location shows 77, something is wrong.
     
  18. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    The arm rests where the cup holder are, not the arm rests on the door. Newer cars have some holes around where the USB ports are and a fan to give a more instant temperature reading.

    Here's one way to address the problem: If you normally use the fahrenheit scale, set the temperature to metric and move the control up and down until you are comfortable. Those of the metric persuasion can do the opposite.
     
  19. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I just keep mine at 67 and it seems to feel like 72 used to in my old car.
     
  20. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    Similiar here, I keep mine at 68 and feel the temperature is about right. I normally like ~72
     

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