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front camera fog frustration

ceejay44

Member
Apr 29, 2019
46
33
Squamish, BC
Finally getting to posting my routine front camera fogging issues. Don't recall having this problem the first winter of ownership (2019/20), but it's been a common, and frustrating, part of winter #2 with this car. It's just one of many issues I've had with this car, though thankfully most of the others have been fixed on warranty.

This is what happens: when temperature near 0C, the front camera will fog after the car has gone through a warm up cycle. Typically on cold days, I'll pre-warm the car, drive 15-25 mins, potentially supercharge for a bit (or not), drop my kid off at daycare or do an errand (so getting out of car for a little bit and thus car cooling off for a brief period), then drive back home (~15 mins drive) and on the return drive (or second leg of a drive), the camera will fog up and prevent me from using cruise control and/or autosteer.

Here is what it looks like:
20201228_082429.jpg

20210225_084532.jpg


The mobile service tech has chatted with me a bunch about the issue and can't find anything wrong but acknowledges that I keep having this issue, and the engineers have apparently viewed car data remotely and determined nothing wrong, but there is something wrong given the numerous times this has occurred (see below). Mobile service tech encouraged me to bring to local service centre (1 hour drive away), but I haven't as I would expect this would be a waste of time given that the conditions need to be right to get this to occur (i.e., if I reserve a time to bring in, will the weather be cold enough, and will the camera be fogged by the time I get there and a technician looks at it?).

The issue began in (I believe) October of 2020, but I didn't start regularly tracking until near Christmas; I have photos of the issue from:
  • Dec 23 2020
  • Dec 28 2020
  • Jan 10 2021
  • Jan 17 2021
  • Jan 25 2021
  • Jan 27 2021
  • Jan 29 2021
  • Feb 3 2021
  • Feb 5 2021
  • Feb 9 2021
  • Feb 17 2021
  • Feb 19 2021
  • Feb 22 2021
  • Feb 25 2021
  • Feb 26 2021
  • Feb 27 2021
  • Mar 12 2021
  • Mar 15 2021
  • Mar 21 2021
  • Apr 9 2021
I'm told that activating the rear defrost is supposed to activate the heating wires in front of the front camera, but it doesn't seem to help at all for me... and besides, shouldn't the heating wires for the camera activate itself or keep itself clear??

Anyone else having similar issues? Any advice?

Much appreciated, Chris
 
Last edited:

shingles

Member
Feb 23, 2021
78
56
Texas, USA
Just spitballing/wondering: Your climate control settings, is it on Auto? Or is A/C turned off? If the A/C is off, ie compressor isn't running, it won't dehumidify, which can fog up the inside.

One thing you might could do is ask the mobile tech to remove the cover and apply products like rain-x antifog on the windshield. It might help.
 
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tstolze

Member
Oct 9, 2020
244
382
OFallon, MO
Just spitballing/wondering: Your climate control settings, is it on Auto? Or is A/C turned off? If the A/C is off, ie compressor isn't running, it won't dehumidify, which can fog up the inside.

One thing you might could do is ask the mobile tech to remove the cover and apply products like rain-x antifog on the windshield. It might help.
Make sure recirculate is off also.

I wonder if the heater for the front camera has an issue, or possibly a leak somewhere in your car causing higher than normal moisture levels inside the car.
 

Neo101

Member
Mar 20, 2019
42
30
Milwaukee
I had the exact same issue in my 2nd winter. The same experience as OP described. Nothing on start off but after a while, fog and no cruise control. Didn’t really figure out a solution. Thankfully, it would go away after a while. It happend towards the end of the winter season. If it happens again next season, will reach out to Tesla.
 

ceejay44

Member
Apr 29, 2019
46
33
Squamish, BC
Just spitballing/wondering: Your climate control settings, is it on Auto? Or is A/C turned off? If the A/C is off, ie compressor isn't running, it won't dehumidify, which can fog up the inside.

One thing you might could do is ask the mobile tech to remove the cover and apply products like rain-x antifog on the windshield. It might help.
thanks, yes climate on Auto and A/C on
 

ceejay44

Member
Apr 29, 2019
46
33
Squamish, BC
Make sure recirculate is off also.

I wonder if the heater for the front camera has an issue, or possibly a leak somewhere in your car causing higher than normal moisture levels inside the car.
hi, thanks. Recirculate is off.

The car has had all four lights replaced because of excessive moisture inside... so yes possible that moisture a problem, though this has been going on for months (just had it do it again this past weekend) and weather around here probably 50% dry days, so doesn't really make sense to me
 
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ceejay44

Member
Apr 29, 2019
46
33
Squamish, BC
I had the exact same issue in my 2nd winter. The same experience as OP described. Nothing on start off but after a while, fog and no cruise control. Didn’t really figure out a solution. Thankfully, it would go away after a while. It happend towards the end of the winter season. If it happens again next season, will reach out to Tesla.
good to know (sorry you've also had this problem)
 

Timbo2

Member
Jun 8, 2019
155
124
USA
I’m spitballing here, but it’s almost like the trapped moisture can’t get out.

Can you try something counterintuitive like wedging (temporarily) a business card or something at the bottom of the camera and seeing if it allows airflow from the defroster to reach?

It‘s possible it’s glued down so this won’t work.
 
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Phlier

Bluebird
Jun 12, 2019
1,475
1,852
Utah
I’m spitballing here, but it’s almost like the trapped moisture can’t get out.

Can you try something counterintuitive like wedging (temporarily) a business card or something at the bottom of the camera and seeing if it allows airflow from the defroster to reach?

It‘s possible it’s glued down so this won’t work.
I think you're on to something here...

There's got to be some sort of air vent in that assembly to allow some air to circulate. Might try to find it and see if it's got some obstruction of some sort?
 
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Brock-WI

Member
Aug 4, 2020
62
38
Green Bay, WI
We have had the same issues. The simple things are make sure the foot wells aren't damp/wet, that gets warmed up with air blowing across them and makes the windows fog. Since we ruled that out on ours we leave it set for windshield defrost with a manual fan speed at least 5, that seems to moved enough dry air up and across the camera to defog it as well as leaving the rear windows defog on at the same time. I don't like running the heat with the AC on for power reasons but if we don't then we have no cruise control, which is a real bummer. One of the reasons I wish we had a "dumb" or standard cruise control.
 
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Andy718

Member
Nov 2, 2020
29
21
Hampshire
On my M3LR, the front windscreen cameras were remaining fogged even when the car had been pre-conditioned. According to Tesla, this is a known bug. It was on the list of jobs last month when the car was booked in at the service centre. The comments from the SC were as follows:

Concern: When we had icy weather, when pre- conditioning the car, the area at the top of the windscreen where the
camera are located did not defrost
Unable to replicate customer concern due to weather.
Carried out windshield camera heater function test, test passed with no issues.
Manually tested heater grid with multimeter, values as expected indicating no issues.
Checked operation of interior and exterior temperature sensors as these are used to determine heater function. Both
reading correct values, no issues found.
Searched known issue database and found a entry for this specific issue. This issue is due to a firmware bug affecting
model 3's and is currently under investigation by engineering. A fix for this will be implemented in a future firmware
release.
 
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ceejay44

Member
Apr 29, 2019
46
33
Squamish, BC
I’m spitballing here, but it’s almost like the trapped moisture can’t get out.

Can you try something counterintuitive like wedging (temporarily) a business card or something at the bottom of the camera and seeing if it allows airflow from the defroster to reach?

It‘s possible it’s glued down so this won’t work.
thanks, I'll look into that
 

ceejay44

Member
Apr 29, 2019
46
33
Squamish, BC
On my M3LR, the front windscreen cameras were remaining fogged even when the car had been pre-conditioned. According to Tesla, this is a known bug. It was on the list of jobs last month when the car was booked in at the service centre. The comments from the SC were as follows:

Concern: When we had icy weather, when pre- conditioning the car, the area at the top of the windscreen where the
camera are located did not defrost
Unable to replicate customer concern due to weather.
Carried out windshield camera heater function test, test passed with no issues.
Manually tested heater grid with multimeter, values as expected indicating no issues.
Checked operation of interior and exterior temperature sensors as these are used to determine heater function. Both
reading correct values, no issues found.
Searched known issue database and found a entry for this specific issue. This issue is due to a firmware bug affecting
model 3's and is currently under investigation by engineering. A fix for this will be implemented in a future firmware
release.
thanks very much for that information. Good to know
 

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