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How do the cameras hold up in snow and ice?

Hey all, I should be taking delivery late this week or next week, and since I have no experience driving a Tesla yet, figured I’d ask here about some questions.

I live near Buffalo NY where it snows a lot and gets quite cold. Throughout the winter, any vehicle I’ve ever owned with a backup camera has been totally useless in the winter. Either from ice snow or slush from the road, or road salt, the camera is completely coated and can’t see anything out of them.
Speaking specifically about the blind spot cameras, does the MY have any better luck? I’ve heard the blind spots can be quite rough in the MY so I’m a bit concerned about the cameras being covered, and my first experience driving the MY will be during the winter months.

Anyone have any experiences to share with the cameras in these conditions? Most of what I see when searching this topic is about the autopilot or FSD performance related to the cameras. I’m more interested in the actual real visibility for the human when using turn signals and blind spot cameras.

Thanks!
 

Mike_TV

Active Member
Apr 29, 2020
1,102
899
Chicagoland
My experiences with two winters here in Chicago now...

Rear camera will get dirty from the road salt but never blocked or covered with snow while driving. You can use water and a microfiber cloth to clean it if the salt is too much between car washes.

Pillar cameras have had very rare "blocked visibility" messages due to moisture but they are quickly cleared up with the HVAC running (they are warmed from inside the cabin).

Side repeater cameras (blind spot) have had zero issues in the snow and ice.

Front three cameras have zero issues as well. There is a built in defroster plus the wipers blades keep things clean and clear.

Just keep the washer fluid topped up, preheat the car and keep a snow brush handy.

FSD beta will work in the snow but I don't think it's "officially" supported. On unplowed roads, it will use the ruts as a visual clue to where the lane is. On snow plowed streets, it will do just fine and will even navigate around snow piled up in street corners when making a turn to avoid clipping them. Driving during a snow fall will vary with how FSD beta responds. For light to medium snow, you may receive a warning about how FSD is degraded. If the snow gets heavier it'll drop down into standard AP (no turning) but continue. If conditions improve, it'll go back into FSD beta. All of this behavior may change with the upcoming v11 "single stack" update coming next month.
 
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Reactions: Brian-MS90D
Experiences definitely vary as I have had some light snowfall recently over here in Canada and had quite a few left and right pillar camera blocked messages recently. They usually clear up in a few mins but it doesn't make me very confident about Tesla trying to phase out USS...
 

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