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B-pillar cameras fogging up?

ilyak

Member
Mar 16, 2019
614
729
Walpole, NH
Preface: today was the second time this happened. Low 30s overnight, car in an unheated garage, mid-50s during the day.

I preheated the car with max heat/max defrost for about 10 minutes, then switched to my normal 68F and drove off. After some 10 minutes of driving, an alert comes up: blind spot detection limited. Last time this happened, one of the b-pillar forward-looking cameras has condensation on the inside of the glass that covers it, so I pulled over and got out to take a look. Sure enough, both cameras were fogged up.

When I was in for unrelated service a few weeks ago, I mentioned the first time this happened to the techs. They said this isn’t normal and asked me to make an appointment if it happens again, so I did that and have mobile service coming out in a couple of days (holy cow is mobile service availability better in my parts now - the wait used to be at least couple of weeks!). However, I’m curious if anyone else in a similar climate has this issue regularly. Since it’s both cameras, I don’t think it’s an issue with the seal around them, so I wonder if this is going to be a normal occurrence on days with significant temperature swings.

p.s. it’s a bit hard to see in the photos since the glass is very reflective.
 

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KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,698
3,360
Maine
Preface: today was the second time this happened. Low 30s overnight, car in an unheated garage, mid-50s during the day.

I preheated the car with max heat/max defrost for about 10 minutes, then switched to my normal 68F and drove off. After some 10 minutes of driving, an alert comes up: blind spot detection limited. Last time this happened, one of the b-pillar forward-looking cameras has condensation on the inside of the glass that covers it, so I pulled over and got out to take a look. Sure enough, both cameras were fogged up.

When I was in for unrelated service a few weeks ago, I mentioned the first time this happened to the techs. They said this isn’t normal and asked me to make an appointment if it happens again, so I did that and have mobile service coming out in a couple of days (holy cow is mobile service availability better in my parts now - the wait used to be at least couple of weeks!). However, I’m curious if anyone else in a similar climate has this issue regularly. Since it’s both cameras, I don’t think it’s an issue with the seal around them, so I wonder if this is going to be a normal occurrence on days with significant temperature swings.

p.s. it’s a bit hard to see in the photos since the glass is very reflective.
Happened to me today, too, got the warning. But, only on the right side, as the left side was facing the sunshine as I drove. Eventually, it went away. I didn't get the time to actually look at the cam and condensation, but I just assumed that was the case.

It did do a funny thing though.
IMG_4079.jpeg


No the two cars ahead did not hit each other. I figured that was another by-product of the condensation.
 
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Petrlol

Member
Oct 16, 2018
405
545
Ohio
Same thing happened to me yesterday. It's not sealed so it'll dry out once the heat is on for a bit. I left the climate on for 30min in the garage and it was gone.

That being said, I imagine a few years of condensation coming and going will make the inside of the glass not exactly clear. Not sure how hard it is to get to.
 
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WilliamG

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
3,937
5,167
Seattle, WA
Same thing can happen (as it has to me a few times) with the front facing camera in the windshield. Running the front defrost/AC clears it. I doubt any of these cameras are sealed against this.
 
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ilyak

Member
Mar 16, 2019
614
729
Walpole, NH
Same thing happened to me yesterday. It's not sealed so it'll dry out once the heat is on for a bit. I left the climate on for 30min in the garage and it was gone.

That being said, I imagine a few years of condensation coming and going will make the inside of the glass not exactly clear. Not sure how hard it is to get to.

Same thing can happen (as it has to me a few times) with the front facing camera in the windshield. Running the front defrost/AC clears it. I doubt any of these cameras are sealed against this.

Interesting. When I talked to service, they told me the B-pillar cameras should never get condensation on the inside because they are sealed with moisture-proof materials. I’ll have to see what, if anything, the mobile service does about this.
 

WilliamG

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
3,937
5,167
Seattle, WA
Interesting. When I talked to service, they told me the B-pillar cameras should never get condensation on the inside because they are sealed with moisture-proof materials. I’ll have to see what, if anything, the mobile service does about this.

I’ve heard the complete opposite. I don’t have any concrete evidence either way, but I can’t imagine they’re sealed on the B pillars, and this isn’t the first I’ve read about them steaming up.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,698
3,360
Maine
Yeah, seems an odd thing to say, since I often walk to my car, and notice a little condensation mist on the B-pillar glass. You'd need double-pane glass, like my house, in order to prevent condensation, right?
 

ilyak

Member
Mar 16, 2019
614
729
Walpole, NH
Just a quick update: mobile service confirmed that, as long as it triggers alerts for blind spot monitoring and lane keeping features, condensation on the interior surface of the camera cover glass is not normal. They replaced both b-pillar cameras and covers under warranty today. They also mentioned that Tesla engineers are looking for a long-term solution as the issue has started to come up on a lot of cars.
 

1.21GW

Member
Jul 23, 2018
763
1,210
Michigan
Same.

my autopilot was not available and had a warning on the screen to contact Tesla service if it persists. Once condensation was gone, everything worked well.
 

WilliamG

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
3,937
5,167
Seattle, WA
Just a quick update: mobile service confirmed that, as long as it triggers alerts for blind spot monitoring and lane keeping features, condensation on the interior surface of the camera cover glass is not normal. They replaced both b-pillar cameras and covers under warranty today. They also mentioned that Tesla engineers are looking for a long-term solution as the issue has started to come up on a lot of cars.

I’ll be interested to see if it happens again. Thanks for the update.
 
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CharleyBC

Active Member
Jun 28, 2019
1,438
1,628
Talent, OR
Just a quick update: mobile service confirmed that, as long as it triggers alerts for blind spot monitoring and lane keeping features, condensation on the interior surface of the camera cover glass is not normal. They replaced both b-pillar cameras and covers under warranty today. They also mentioned that Tesla engineers are looking for a long-term solution as the issue has started to come up on a lot of cars.
If Level 5 and Robotaxi are ever going to become real, this’ll have to be fixed. The car would effectively be immobilized if it’s partly blind and has no driver.
 
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WilliamG

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
3,937
5,167
Seattle, WA
If Level 5 and Robotaxi are ever going to become real, this’ll have to be fixed. The car would effectively be immobilized if it’s partly blind and has no driver.

Same goes for the front-facing cameras, and those already have a defrost hardware in front of them so they have no business steaming up!
 

ilyak

Member
Mar 16, 2019
614
729
Walpole, NH
I’ll be interested to see if it happens again. Thanks for the update.
The tech basically said he expects it to happen again, at least over time; replacing the cover is a temporary solution until a better design is in place. According to him, engineering is actively working on a redesign that would provide a better seal between the top portion of the camera enclosure and the glass applique. The parts that were replaced are 1109253-90-F and 109255-90-F. Interestingly, the parts catalog already shows what I think are later revisions for both: 1109253-00-G and 1109255-00-G.
 
Oct 20, 2019
58
45
Fredericton
Mine is doing this as well, waiting to hear back when they're coming to fix it. It seems to be only on the passenger side and almost always whenever I've got a stranger in the car that I'm trying to show how awesome my Tesla is lol.

Eventually, I learned that you can swipe the notification to the left so it sort of hides it. That's nice.
 

WilliamG

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
3,937
5,167
Seattle, WA
Mine is doing this as well, waiting to hear back when they're coming to fix it. It seems to be only on the passenger side and almost always whenever I've got a stranger in the car that I'm trying to show how awesome my Tesla is lol.

Eventually, I learned that you can swipe the notification to the left so it sort of hides it. That's nice.

When it happens are you using A/C and/or recirculate?
 
Oct 20, 2019
58
45
Fredericton
When it happens are you using A/C and/or recirculate?
I'll try to pay attention more but I don't think it has any effect. I've seen it happen on days where it's pouring out and everything is covered in condensation and perfectly clear dry days. It definitely got worse as the temperature changed but it's actually a bit better now that it's been more steadily cold. I've only had the car since August though.
 

WilliamG

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
3,937
5,167
Seattle, WA
I'll try to pay attention more but I don't think it has any effect. I've seen it happen on days where it's pouring out and everything is covered in condensation and perfectly clear dry days. It definitely got worse as the temperature changed but it's actually a bit better now that it's been more steadily cold. I've only had the car since August though.

Next time it happens turn ON A/C and turn OFF recirculate - set fan to full in all directions and see if it clears quickly.
 
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Huskyf

Member
Jan 6, 2018
520
1,126
Geneva - CH
Interesting. When I talked to service, they told me the B-pillar cameras should never get condensation on the inside because they are sealed with moisture-proof materials. I’ll have to see what, if anything, the mobile service does about this.
Did you wash with karscher your car ?
 

ilyak

Member
Mar 16, 2019
614
729
Walpole, NH
I'll try to pay attention more but I don't think it has any effect. I've seen it happen on days where it's pouring out and everything is covered in condensation and perfectly clear dry days. It definitely got worse as the temperature changed but it's actually a bit better now that it's been more steadily cold. I've only had the car since August though.

For me, this happened under the following conditions both times:
- The night before, arrive at dusk with the cabin thoroughly heated through after a long drive
- Park the car outside, temperatures dip into lower 40s overnight
- In the morning, preheat the car using max heat/max defrost for 20 minutes or so
- Drive around for 10-15 minutes with the sun shining directly on the side that is fogging up

Did you wash with karscher your car ?

No power-washing of any kind, no high-pressure automatic car washes either - I hand-wash my car. The timing of the issue is also not consistent with me washing it.
 
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