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Cold weather tips

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by Eric from NE, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. Eric from NE

    Eric from NE Member

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    Have had the 08 Roadster for about a month now and we just hit our (Omaha) first night of crazy cold (low single digits). I don't have access to charging at home yet (can easily fill up at work every day and plan to have the charge-at-home straightened out shortly), so I'm soliciting any short-term advice you'd like to offer for my situation. I will ultimately be able to charge at home, and store long-term elsewhere when the weather gets REALLY bad.

    I'm parked inside overnight, moderately climate controlled - it could get into the upper 30s in the condo garage if it stays this cold for awhile. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. tomsax

    tomsax Member

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    Use the heated seats to stay warm, they use less energy than the cabin heater.

    For me the limiting factor on not running the cabin heat is how cold my hands get. I wear driving gloves, but they aren't insulated, so they aren't a big help. (Our winters are pretty mild or I'd be more motivated to find insulated driving gloves.)

    The sound insulation upgrade helps reduce how much cold gets into the car while driving. Carl Medlock, the Seattle Service Manager, added some extra bits to the standard sound upgrade package. Our 2008 Roadster stays noticeably warmer after having that installed. If you decide to do the sound insulation upgrade, have your service manager get in touch with Carl and do the extra bits.

    The hard top provides more insulation than the soft top, and makes the ride quieter. We switch to the hard top for the winter months.
     
  3. Eric from NE

    Eric from NE Member

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    Thanks, tomsax. All good advice.

    I suppose I should have said I was more specifically looking for charging/storing advice as it pertains to . Range is a non-issue when plugging in daily at the office, but just looking for some general battery TLC.
     
  4. tomsax

    tomsax Member

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    I don't think you need to worry about the battery. Lithium-ion doesn't mind cold, at least not the cold you're talking about.

    If it gets below -40 degrees, then the car will automatically heat the battery pack before charging. Regen will also be disabled if the battery pack is cold enough.
     
  5. ChargeIt!

    ChargeIt! Member

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    The car will start heating the battery pack automatically at much higher temps than -40 ( C or F ;-) ). I have a report from an owner ... with the car cold-soaked outside from 5pm to 8am and temps dropping from mid 30's to high teens (degrees F) as an overnight low .. and by 8am still low 20's ... after plugging in the heating took 1 hour before "real charging" started. The car will keep the battery pack safe ... it's just something to be aware of (in case you thought you'd be charging right-away). The car will start and drive (self-heating the pack in the process) at cold temps no problem.
     
  6. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Yes, the pack won't charge, or regen, unless it is above freezing - 0C.
     
  7. Eric from NE

    Eric from NE Member

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    So the last week or so I've been doing my typical 80 miles round trip commute. Temperatures in the upper 20s to mid 30s (F). Seat heaters on, feet heaters on when necessary. Charge fully on a 220 during the day at the office, store in garage uncharged at night around 55 F.

    The 80 mile trip is reducing the charge by around 120 miles. Should I be expecting this in these temperatures, or is this indicative of a different issue? The range reduction has come up as the temps went down. I'm not concerned about getting stranded, as I still have plenty of range. Just want to make sure I'm not watching a battery on its way out the door.
     
  8. bolosky

    bolosky Member

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    That seems pretty typical. You lose 10%-ish to the cold, and the cabin heater really sucks down the energy. It'll be back to normal come spring.
     
  9. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    How much does it usually draw down the battery after 80 miles, in the summer? In my typical driving conditions it would be significantly more than 80 ideal miles...
     
  10. strider

    strider Active Member

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    Yeah, we need to know how much you use in warmer weather. If you're running at highway speeds you'll be using more than ideal miles even without any heating so your usage may be normal.
     
  11. Eric from NE

    Eric from NE Member

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    I've only had it since early November, so haven't driven it in "hot" weather yet. It's #487. I received it with roughly 6200 miles on it.

    The range I'm talking about above is at highway speeds, typically 65-75 MPH, on flat to moderately rolling highway (Omaha / eastern Nebraska). That's easily 95% of the miles i drive. I can't say I don't regularly "enjoy" the acceleration, so I know I'm taking a hit there. I've only had it above 110 MPH once. Haven't had the AC at all.

    A full charge for me on 220 displays about 196 miles of ideal range. I've never seen it above 200. I would say my typical 80 miles round trip draws 90 miles off of that, until the temp went down.

    I just thought it was a pretty pronounced drop without being extremely cold.
     
  12. augkuo

    augkuo Member

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    Hi Eric - what does your actual range say? That is more accurate since if you have the headlights on, radio on, climb hills, go above 55 MPH, etc. they don't count in the ideal mileage.
     
  13. Eric from NE

    Eric from NE Member

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    I'll have to check. I might have my terminology mixed up between ideal and actual. Whatever number I'm looking at it's been the same set of numbers.

    Bear with me... I'm new at this whole "being awesome" thing.
     
  14. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Are you charging in range mode? I think the terms Tesla uses is 'ideal miles' and 'estimated miles' with the latter being an estimate of your range based on how you've driven the last x number of miles.
     
  15. speedy99

    speedy99 2.5 Roadster

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    The feet (cabin) heater will suck lots of power - especially if on highest temp and fan settings. I am betting that is where your miles have gone.

    I normally get roughly 2/3 to 3/4 of my ideal miles (mild climate, infrequent HVAC use, mostly 60-70MPH), so your numbers (2/3) seem well within what I would expect.

    You can monitor your amps under the speedometer - when sitting still (parked) with the car on, turn on various accessories to see the power drain. With radio and headlights, I see 1-2 amps draw (minor). With max A/C or heat, it will jump up quite a bit higher.
     
  16. speedy99

    speedy99 2.5 Roadster

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    One other thought - check tire pressures. A few PSI can make a shocking efficiency difference at speed. You lose roughly 1 PSI for every 10 degrees F.
     
  17. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    You can fill your tires wit Nitrogen and you will not see that pressure chage with temperature. Discussed previously in another thread.
     
  18. clea

    clea Member

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    interesting. Is there any other way to have them filled with nitrogen other than at the few locations that support it? I've always liked the simpler approach of just having an air pump in my garage. The resource for info about nitrogen in tires which has support for locating service centers is here http://getnitrogen.org/. Any others?
     
  19. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Nitrogen doesn't eliminate the pressure change with temperature. It just reduces the variability because it (mostly) eliminates water vapor. Unless you're worrying about half a psi difference because you're running a race car, it's not worth the trouble.

    Simply removing water from the compressed air will provide nearly the same benefits. This is easily done with a type of filter installed after the compressor.
     
  20. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    Yes, there are other benefits and may not be worth the cost. More informaiton Here.
     

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