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Big Snow Storm coming in NE USA! What to Do?

Raechris

Member
Nov 21, 2017
652
300
Boston
I guess that depends on your definition of battery damage. Personally, I consider battery damage to include battery degradation.. which is certainly what you should expect whenever you charge a lithium battery to a full SoC unnecessarily. Considering that there’s plenty of evidence that proves lithium batteries benefit tremendously from cycling the battery as close to its nominal voltage as possible, which would be around 50% SoC, I can’t see why anyone would want to subject the battery to higher levels of stress/degradation than necessary.

It’s no different than choosing not to redline your ICE every time you drive it or not changing your oil as frequently as is necessary....both will increase the rate of degradation... which is why it is avoided.
Degradation has not been an issue - down 5% in 3 years and 35k miles according to Teslafi tracking since day one delivery. I occasionally charge to 100% and it doesn't stay there long. When a storm with high wind and risk of power outage is forecast it's an acceptable "risk" just like starting a long trip. When I have left my "happy Tesla is a plugged in Tesla" during a storm, the charge handle has frozen in place, the charge door froze open or would not close properly, cycling non stop from trying to close to popping open for hours until defrosted by the sun. This old advise of always plugging in was due to the hungry S/X battery heater that will quickly phantom drain capacity. This is not an issue with the heat pump in the Y or even old 3 anywhere as much. Therefore charge before the storm, not during, be prepared and have no problems. Do whatever you want but you asked for experienced outside NE owners to share their advise.
 
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Raechris

Member
Nov 21, 2017
652
300
Boston
The cost is not what I have a problem with, it’s the unnecessary/avoidable wear you’re putting on the battery by cycling it. Pulling power from the charger instead of the battery should be taken advantage of whenever possible from my perspective. It all adds up.
This is not how it works. Energy is supplied to the car by the batteries. Energy is supplied to the batteries from the plug. When plugged in and the car battery drops about 3-4% from set charge level, it triggers a short charge cycle from the wall to replace that amount of energy. You are correct about camp mode but only until battery pack reaches minimum temperature threshold to prevent real damage. Bjorn has a recent video where the heat pump uses a lot more than 700w once it is done scavenging battery pack heat.
 

colea

Member
Nov 18, 2020
48
35
Clinton, NY
When you precondition the Model Y using the Tesla App to activate maximum defrost you have to press the front windshield defroster icon located in the lower right corner of the Climate Control settings. The windshield defroster icon will turn red when maximum defrost is activated.

It might be too late to pick one up for the coming storm but when I had my previous vehicles parked outside in winter I used a windshield snow and ice cover that covered the glass and tucked inside the front door jambs.

Although my Model Y is brand new and currently in a garage, I plan to use the Tesla car cover for situations like this when I have to park outside. Hopeful that this will work and keep the doors and charge port operable. Will have to remember to take the snow brush out before covering the car, though!
 
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NY_Rob

Member
Feb 13, 2020
756
789
Long Island
I've been driving electric since 2012 (PIP + Volt + Bolt), I've always topped off the battery to 90% before the storms assuming the J-Handle will get stuck to the port flange (it did happen to me once on the Bolt) if I left it plugged in to the car. In a car like the MY with it's huge battery, you will not run out of energy defrosting the car if topped off and not plugged in.
The other thing is, if you leave it plugged in.. snow/ice fills the charge port cavity and you have to chip it out in order to close the charge port door without damaging it. Better off just leaving it unplugged.
 
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drtimhill

Active Member
Apr 25, 2019
1,827
2,258
Seattle
I'm a newbie here in all kinds of ways (haven't had my first winter with my MS yet), but doesn't the recommendation to "charge to full" run counter to Tesla's recommendation (to not charge to 100% and leave the car sitting) to help extend a Tesla battery's life?

You are fine going to 100% occasionally, just not something to do every day. Certainly no harm in doing that for the duration of a storm.
 

NJEV-Don

Member
Sep 10, 2020
236
150
Northern New Jersey
I've been driving electric since 2012 (PIP + Volt + Bolt), I've always topped off the battery to 90% before the storms assuming the J-Handle will get stuck to the port flange (it did happen to me once on the Bolt) if I left it plugged in to the car. In a car like the MY with it's huge battery, you will not run out of energy defrosting the car if topped off and not plugged in.
The other thing is, if you leave it plugged in.. snow/ice fills the charge port cavity and you have to chip it out in order to close the charge port door without damaging it. Better off just leaving it unplugged.

lots of varying advice. Plug it in. Don’t plug it in. I have no ideas what I will end up doing. I get what you’re saying about the charge port getting snow etc inside it and freezing. The MY does have the charge port inlet heater to defrost it in either case. I have until tomorrow afternoon to decide what I think is best. Thanks for responding.
 

zannman

Member
May 15, 2019
133
101
Ohio
lots of varying advice. Plug it in. Don’t plug it in. I have no ideas what I will end up doing. I get what you’re saying about the charge port getting snow etc inside it and freezing. The MY does have the charge port inlet heater to defrost it in either case. I have until tomorrow afternoon to decide what I think is best. Thanks for responding.
I haven't used this since getting the Tesla, but in previous plug-in vehicles I put a plastic grocery bag on the charge handle to try and shield away some of the snow/ice from forming near charge port. I really don't think it matters what you choose as far as charging (or no), especially since you have the heated charge port.

I have and will continue to leave my Leaf covered with snow for over a week before making the effort to clean it off. I don't do that with my Model 3. Any Tesla will be fine as long as you don't mistreat it like that.
 

Puma2020

Member
Jun 16, 2020
415
440
New Hampshire, USA
This storm is not likely to be a big issue for the car. Expecting light, fluffy snow over most of the area.
Precondition the car while you are clearing the car and driveway.
Other storms where you are likely to have ice may be a bigger concern.
 

NJEV-Don

Member
Sep 10, 2020
236
150
Northern New Jersey
If you have time to plan a little, get some Gummi Pfledge for your window seals. Leave a snowbrush/scraper/broom somewhere outside the car so you don't have to open it to clean it off. I'd leave it plugged in. Enjoy the snow - it's ice you have to worry about.

got the Gummi Fledge in record time from Amazon and put it in this morning. Thanks.
 
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Merle

Member
Apr 5, 2019
156
126
Tahoe
How big is big?

This past weekend we had a foot of snow drop with the temperatures in the 20s. Tonight to tomorrow, Winter Weather Advisory and ridge gusts up to 100 MPH and maybe another 8-12”

This is a typical winter pattern.

Anyhow, have the car parked outside because the garage is full of a wood project.

* Leave the car plugged in. Just be aware that if you’re parked close to a roof, the snow can slide off and nail your charging cable / connector.

* Periodically hit the app and warm up the car. Let’s you know that things are still working, it’ll time out in 4 hours, and you’ll see the cold batter marker.

* Good gloves to brush off the snow. Don’t forget the cameras. Most of the time you don’t need a brush.

* Top off your wiper fluid with a winter mix. De-icing preferred.

* Check those tires for wear and if you’re going to drive, make sure you have a good set (eg Mountain & Snowflake designation ... not all season)

Honestly, tons of worry for not much benefit. It’s just another winter for most people with news exaggerations to be expected.
 
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FrankieNumberz

New Member
Dec 16, 2020
1
0
Lititz PA
You should definitely

(1) have it plugged in and be prepared to precondition much earlier than you normally would
(2) put the wind shield wipers into service mode so that they are in the ideal location on the windshield when preconditioning is underway
(3) Turn off the autofolding mirrors incase ice builds up around the area where they are moving.

If the door handles freeze, the manual instructs you to push on the opposite side of the handle from where you normally would to operate it. This will help wiggle the handle enough to free it from the ice.
Charging to 100% and leaving the Tesla fully charged overnight will not damage the battery. In the A.M. you would precondition for a half hour even up to an hour. This will use some of the battery charge.

Also, fully charge could just be sure to charge to your normal daily maximum charge. Don't forget to plug in and charge and then find that you have just 20% charge available in the A.M.

Plugging in overnight would be best but if you can't plug in or are concerned that the charge port might freeze then charge before the storm to at least 80% so you are ready.
 

ryanj

Member
Jun 27, 2020
10
12
NH
Have you never lived in a snowy area? It's a car, yeah its a Tesla, but snow is snow. It's going to be super cold and powdery. Just go outside and clear off your car, warm it up, and drive just like any other car!
 
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Shane23

Member
Jul 22, 2020
74
59
Brooklyn, NY
Most tips say to put wipers in “service mode” but my MS is equipped with heated wipers which I assume the heating element is by the wiper’s resting position; in this case do I disregard that tip since “service mode” moves the wipers up away from their resting position and the heating element?
 

Seabreeze2112

Member
May 17, 2020
5
16
west babylon
Got the M3 under a cover. Gonna sit it out for a few days. F150 Gonna get some use for first time in a while
 

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NJEV-Don

Member
Sep 10, 2020
236
150
Northern New Jersey
Have you never lived in a snowy area? It's a car, yeah its a Tesla, but snow is snow. It's going to be super cold and powdery. Just go outside and clear off your car, warm it up, and drive just like any other car!

I’m the OP. Not sure who you’re responding to at this point so there are lots of different responses and it’s gotten a bit off topic. My only question as a new Tesla MY owner was asking whether people leave their cars plugged in during a heavy snow/freezing rain event or not and why. I won’t need to drive it for a few days but just wondering what best practices were in the opinion of other more experienced Tesla owners. It’s honestly not that big a deal but it feels like you’re being snarky for no reason. I know it’s snow and if it is powdery and dry it’s obviously not an issue but where I live in NJ it’s supposed to freeze overnight so I wanted to find out what people in colder climates thought. If your apparent snark wasn’t directed at me as the OP then I apologize but I still don’t get the need for any sarcasm or snark when someone asks for advice.
 
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Shane23

Member
Jul 22, 2020
74
59
Brooklyn, NY
I’m the OP. Not sure who you’re responding to at this point so there are lots of different responses and it’s gotten a bit off topic. My only question as a new Tesla MY owner was asking whether people leave their cars plugged in during a heavy snow/freezing rain event or not and why. I won’t need to drive it for a few days but just wondering what best practices were in the opinion of other more experienced Tesla owners. It’s honestly not that big a deal but it feels like you’re being snarky for no reason. I know it’s snow and if it is powdery and dry it’s obviously not an issue but where I live in NJ it’s supposed to freeze overnight so I wanted to find out what people in colder climates thought. If your apparent snark wasn’t directed at me as the OP then I apologize but I still don’t get the need for any sarcasm or snark when someone asks for advice.

Yes you can leave your car plugged in, any energy the car needs to maintain battery temps, sentry mode, camera heating etc will come from shore power instead of battery..
 

hsamuels

New Member
May 31, 2019
4
1
Newton, MA
It will be very cold for this particular storm, so the snow will be light and fluffy. Really, no problem at all. The challenging storms are when slushy, heavy snow falls when it's warmer, and then it gets cold rapidly afterwards.

Here's Tesla's winter driving tips. Pretty much all you need.

Winter Driving Tips
 

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