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Email from Tesla regarding cooling 3rd row seats

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by andrewket, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. andrewket

    andrewket 2014 S P85DL, 2016 X P90DL (soon 100)

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    I received this email about an hour ago:

    We hope you and your family are enjoying your Model S. Given recent record high temperatures, we want to share a few tips to ensure passengers in the rear facing seats are transported comfortably.

    Tip 1: Precondition your Model S
    Use the mobile app to quickly chill the passenger cabin to a comfortable temperature a few minutes before you plan to leave.

    Tip 2: Disable Auto Climate Control and Enable Fresh Air Mode
    Enable Fresh Air mode when carrying passengers in the rear facing seats. This mode continually moves cool air from the front to the rear of the vehicle. Setting the temperature to low and selecting both dashboard and floor vents will further increase chilled airflow to the second row and rear facing seats without overcooling the first row. Selecting multiple vents also reduces airflow noise. Fan speed can be adjusted to comfort.

    Auto climate control maximizes energy efficiency by recirculating a portion of cabin air to manage cabin temperature, but this setting also reduces airflow to the third row seat area in extreme heat.

    Recommended settings when carrying rear facing seat passengers:


    Tip 3: Apply an Infrared Film to Rear Liftgate Glass
    If you frequently carry passengers in your rear facing seats, consider having a high-quality infrared (IR) film such as 3M Crystalline or Solar Gard Ultra Performance installed to the inside surface of your vehicle's rear liftgate glass to reduce the total solar heat transmitted through the glass. Tesla recommends customers select a product that meets local road use guidelines in their area.

    We hope these tips will ensure every electric mile driven is a comfortable and enjoyable one.

    Tesla Motors

    While I'm thrilled Tesla is acknowledging the issue, it appears they believe you can adequately cool the 3rd row following the steps above. I have 3m crystalline on my entire car including the hatch. It's not enough.
     
  2. danp

    danp Member

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    This issue with rear facing seat venting (or lack of) is why my reservation is on hold, I called Tesla and told them that. They promised to check with engineering to see if kind of fix is planned and get back to me - I suspect I'll get the same "suggestion" as in this email, but we'll see.

    @andrewket - under what conditions is the heat in the rear seats problematic, in terms of temperature, and ride length? Do you tend to drive with windows/pano open or default to the AC on "normal" summer days? I'm trying to decide whether this is a showstopper for us here in Chicago, with 2 little girls who would ride back there occasionally.
     
  3. MikeK

    MikeK R#129, TSLA shareholder

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    I certainly hope that this means that they are planning some changes to the climate control system as well. It's far too fiddly to get a comfortable setting. I wish that I could save 'presets' based on certain combinations that I like for different conditions.
     
  4. sublimaze1

    sublimaze1 8Dec2012 / Leeroy Jenkins

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    FWIW, this has been a thorn in my side (error: scalding in the kids' side) since May. With a few 105+ days in Texas already, it is a bake-a-thon back there. I have had the rear window tinted - but have not had the kids in the rumble seat since the tinting. I have, however, felt that the car is cooler when I step into it and I have been intentionally not using the pre-cool iPhone app to see how it is working. I have not employed the email techniques, but I will. I surmise it will help the temperature, but to see if it is liveable in the Texas summer, only time will tell.
     
  5. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I see what they're saying. Most cars (and I assume Tesla as well) have vents from the cabin to the exterior in the rear of the car. Sometimes you can see these vents on cars that have had their plastic wrap-around bumper skins broken or removed. By turning on fresh air, rather than recirculate, the air would flow in from the front and out through the rear thereby drawing air towards the back of the car. On recirculate, the air gets sucked back through the system under the front dash, and cooling may not reach the third row seats.

    That's the theory. I don't have small kids (or third row seats) so can't test it in practice, but it makes sense.
     
  6. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    The pre-cooling the cabin is crucial I think. Trying to cool down the car from 110 degrees once you get into it takes a long time so that seems like a reasonable first step.
     
  7. adurstewitz

    adurstewitz P3853, VIN3062

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    I too received this email yesterday - I've tried there technique and froze in the front seat today. I will try again a few times.
     
  8. 100thMonkey

    100thMonkey Member

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    we are currently on a long road trip with the S. we drove through 111F temps in CA and have had days and days of 100+ in Sacramento. We have found a solution that works!

    1. I had the back window heavily tinted, 28%,
    2. I use pre-cooling
    3. I installed two battery operated fans on the ceiling, attached to the roll bar.
    4. I have the car in range mode but on auto everything, which for some reason makes a higher fan speed available and I point the vents at the ceiling toward the two battery operated fans. the fans can go 10 hours on full blast per charge (eneloupe batteries).

    If someone can tell me how to post a picture I'd be happy to show how I mounted the fans... I found a simple way to do it.

    IMHO, there is no way to solve this issue without increasing circulation to the back and, IMHO, the issue creates a potential health hazard for children in hot weather.

    before we did the above, even in relatively cool but sunny weather, the kids would complain about the heat and brightness, now they do not even in this extreme heat.
     
  9. phat78boy

    phat78boy Member

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    I'm worried about this myself. Living in Arizona, temps can range over 105 for months at a time. I'm pretty sure the 3rd row will be useless during the summer months.

    I haven't received my Model S yet, but I will be keeping track of everyone's suggestions until then.
     
  10. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Nice work. To post a picture, when you click 'reply to thread' or reply to a post you see a bunch of icons above the text/edit box where you type your post. If you hover over the 4th image from the left in the picture below, it says 'Insert Image'. Click on that and

    SafariScreenSnapz047.png

    click 'from computer' and then 'select files' to pick your picture. I find it easier to put the picture somewhere easy to find before you start this like your desktop.
     
  11. adurstewitz

    adurstewitz P3853, VIN3062

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    Well, so much for the new instructions.

    I couldn't pre-cool my car today, due to poor reception, and ended up having to get on the road after just a few minutes of cooling. About 5 minutes into the drive my son ended up car sick all over the back area.

    If the cooling had been sufficient I don't think this would have happened.
     
  12. sublimaze1

    sublimaze1 8Dec2012 / Leeroy Jenkins

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    I've been battling this as well (some of you have seen the ghetto-tron ducting scenario I have used with minimal success).

    I've got film on the window. I've set the AC as instructed. It's just not working.

    Texas - 100+ all summer.

    The Expedition had its own rear AC unit. If you don't have premium sound, such a unit could be placed in the subwoofer location solving the problem. Hard wired to the power supply and controlled by buttons (kids) or touch screen. Venting run-off through the bottom.

    Either way, the booster seats are back out - and will stay out until October.
     
  13. phat78boy

    phat78boy Member

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    I don't have my car yet, but would someone mind trying something out? Can you put a thermometer in the back and see what the temp is after a 20 or 30 minute drive? If we can get actual data and temps from the back seat during summer months, they may be more apt to listen to the complaints.

    I was really hoping to use these seats a lot, but if the temps are in the 90's back there... That's not an option.
     
  14. PwrOutage

    PwrOutage Member

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    #14 PwrOutage, Jul 6, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2013
    I remember reading something about this and a google search later I found this: @arthurblake Turning recirc off, windows closed and the right film on rear glass usually works. Am asking HVAC engineering to investigate. 25 Jun 13 Elon Musk

    I wouldn't be surprised if this isn't fixed anytime soon. Even Elon puts coating on his windows which means he doesn't have an prototype w/ better HVAC.

    Also, I have a Honda CR-V, no vents in second row. I just turn AC to lowest setting, point all the dash vents up and down the center of the car. I do the same with the side vents and point them up, along the window, around the driver and passenger side seats. I let that cold air sink onto the rear passengers and they often tell me their cold, so it works. Forgot to mention I also turn recirculate on to get the air as cold as possible. Not sure if this applies to Model S owners.
     

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