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Condensation between windshield and front facing cameras

Discussion in 'Model 3: Interior & Exterior' started by Beardley, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. Beardley

    Beardley Member

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    I was driving around this morning (about 35F out) and I was intermittently getting the blindspot detection limited message. I get it most mornings and I chalk it up to dew on the side cameras. It didn't go away today after it warmed up and there was no more moisture on the car. I checked the repeaters and everything was good, and when I finally looked at the forward facing I saw a lot of condensation between the windshield and the cameras. Anyone ever see this before?
     

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  2. WilliamG

    WilliamG Active Member

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    Thats a new one (to me, anyway). I wonder when the defrost lines are supposed to kick in?
     
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  3. WilliamG

    WilliamG Active Member

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    Not going to believe this. Just had to go out in the rain and I have this same issue (Seattle is especially rainy right now), - it’s complaining about lane departure avoidance anytime I go above 15mph. I remember this thread (lol) and go check the front cameras and yep - steamed up.

    I turned on the front heat defrost (I assume that heats up the element in front of those cameras?) and within 30 seconds it was clear up there and the error went away.

    I feel like the car should handle this situation differently, and automatically.
     

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  4. gcmak

    gcmak Member

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    Haven't gone through the rainy season yet but we get a lot of fog and drizzle. Sentry keeps the front unit clear for me every morning. F336C94E-2BBB-434E-A741-1204062A7BCA_1_105_c.jpeg
     
    • Informative x 1
  5. WilliamG

    WilliamG Active Member

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    Interesting. How does the car know to enable the heater? And if it does “know”, why doesn’t it enable the feature when driving in the rain? This is all fascinating to me. :D
     
  6. Beardley

    Beardley Member

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    I also got the lane departure avoidance warnings. I didn't realize there was a defrost loop in that area, which is good to know for the future. That does point to one difference for me compared to recent history. I had turned the HVAC off completely for most of my trip, experimenting with energy consumption. If I see that consistently again, I'll give the defrost a a boost. I did go out about an hour ago, and its completely clear now.
     
  7. WilliamG

    WilliamG Active Member

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    Just had it again today! About 45 minutes into a wet drive. And once again, a 15-second defrost blast solved it. I don't use my A/C in this chilly/wet weather in Seattle, but I may leave the A/C on. The vent is always pointing up and forward, so that wasn't the issue, but I'll leave the A/C on and see if that helps. Either way, Tesla should have that heating element engaged on the cameras when the wipers are on.
     

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  8. gcmak

    gcmak Member

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    Honestly I think in my case its not humidity which is what you're fighting against, which having A/C on (regardless if you're using heat or not) will reduce the moisture within your cabin. The reason sentry helps in cold/dew climates is because the unit/cameras stay warm. I don't think the defrost lines are doing anything in my case.
     
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  9. WilliamG

    WilliamG Active Member

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    Interesting theory. Either way, the cameras need to be able to deal with this by this situation by themselves. Otherwise FSD simply won't work.
     
  10. Mr X

    Mr X Future Owner

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    Mine always has condensation in it. Doesn't affect Autopilot so not sure if I should even get it looked at
     
  11. WilliamG

    WilliamG Active Member

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    So when are the defrost lines actually activated?
     
  12. AlanSubie4Life

    AlanSubie4Life Efficiency Obsessed Member

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    The defrost lines used to be on all the time in idle mode (I took some thermal pictures at some point). Maybe this was one of the vampire drain “improvements.” But obviously they should be on when you are driving regardless. That is odd. Might be a new bug; maybe they tried to get fancy with the detection of a fogging condition, rather than just leaving the heater on all the time. Or your heating element is broken.
     
  13. ChargedSociety

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    Mine is doing this with the B pillar camera.
     
  14. malventano

    malventano Member

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    I've noticed the same every morning that has been just below freezing. The camera heater used to run even with the car off, but now not only does it not heat while off/idle, but it fails to heat while the car climate control / front windshield defroster is on. Tonight was a good night for me to test before / after a firmware update (2019.32.12.2 to 2019.36.2.1) and both firmwares failed to activate the forward camera resistive heater. On both firmwares, not only was the heating element not activating in freezing temps (car reported interior temp of 27F), with the windshield defrost turned on, the duct heating was able to clear the rest of the windshield while the camera just sat there frosted (10+ minutes of defroster activity). Then after manually clearing the exterior frost from the camera, we end up with the interior still fogged, which blinds the cameras as the sun hits the fogged glass (see attached pics). The duct defroster/heater can't clear the interior fog from the camera area because the camera shroud blocks the air, so the only way to properly clear that space is with resistive heat.

    The same actions were tested on my AP1 S. Camera glass began visibly clearing via resistive element within seconds of enabling climate/front defrost, and the camera glass cleared before the duct heater was able to clear the rest of the windshield.

    I get the desire to save on battery, but in the case of my wife's morning commute, we are talking a 90 mile / 1.5 hour drive with all driver assistance / safety features disabled and constantly throwing warnings every time it is below freezing (and these are the times where safety systems are even more important due to slick roads / increased chance of accidents). That tiny bit of battery savings kinda backfires when the cameras remain blind even with the windshield defroster enabled.
     

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  15. WilliamG

    WilliamG Active Member

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    I’d love to understand under what circumstances the camera defrost system kicks in.
     
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  16. malventano

    malventano Member

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    Let's hope they didn't try to 'machine learn' it like the auto wipers...
     
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  17. malventano

    malventano Member

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    Thanks to a hard freeze and snow last night, confirmed that defrost activates wiper heaters and side mirror heaters, but fails to activate forward and pillar camera heaters.
    Windshield with 20 minutes of defrost use (note all cleared except camera area):
    75614153_428482071196057_2053810321079926784_n.jpg
    Wipers cleared just fine:
    74349813_421687225189328_5922237706175250432_n.jpg
    Side mirrors cleared just fine:
    74515030_544271433037011_6569637393924620288_n.jpg
    Pillar cameras (ice not melted - had to be scraped off):
    75077923_2608315052729275_5418740893383393280_n.jpg
    Front camera after outside manually cleared (note interior of camera space is still heavily fogged):
    75375662_1124399527766211_8551492951073619968_n.jpg
    Fender cameras also appeared to not be heating, but there was not enough buildup to confirm.
     

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  18. ChargedSociety

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    My front cameras also started getting condensation on the weekend but it was a very slushy and wet day. Anyone get this once and it go away? Or should I assume now that it's happened once it will be a continual problem forever until service fixes it?

    Another reason why I wish this car just had conventional cruise control and AP instead of adaptive cruise and AP. Once these cameras stop working, you no longer have a cruise control period. Kinda silly.
     
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  19. WilliamG

    WilliamG Active Member

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    Thank you for the input!

    First, we have wiper heaters?! That’s a new one. I had no idea.

    Second, when does the front camera de-fog / heating system kick in, then? Seems like it’s just a borked system at this point. This is a major failure if you live somewhere like Seattle (like I do).

    Also, has it ever been confirmed we have b-pillar heaters? I figured if anything it was just the cameras themselves generating their own heat...
     
  20. CharleyBC

    CharleyBC Active Member

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    Are there heaters to clear the B pillar cameras? I never noticed.
     

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