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How good is YOUR Climate Control - Temperature Consistency

Kevy Baby

Dis-Member
Supporting Member
Aug 11, 2019
2,177
2,284
Brea, CA
Okay, I spent a while scouring for some information and haven't found any threads on this.

I have had a temperature regulation issue and I am trying to decide if I just need to live with it or keep pushing Tesla Service on this.

It mainly seems to occur in the first 10-20 minutes of a drive. I generally leave my temp at 72 degrees and leave it on Auto - set it and forget it. But often, I have to push it up to 75-76 or down to 68-69 just to get it going. And those temperature swings are irrespective of what adjustment needs to be made (I need to set it to 68-69 to get the heat OR the AC to get going). There is no correlation to what the temperature is outside: I need to push the AC on mild days, cooler days or hot days.

I have had it in for two service visits in the past couple of years (the second time I know they replaced an air pump/motor and the filter) but the problem still persists.

Also (and I am not sure this is related), many times I turn the AC on (from the app) 10-15 minutes before I go out to my car to drive and even after all that time, the temperature really hasn't changed much. Once I get in the car, the AC kicks in and quickly cools the car. It lowered the temperature a little before I got in my car, but it is still about 80 degrees (my guess) when I get in.

Any thoughts/insight? Should I take it back to Service again? Or is this normal behavior?

Some other possibly relevant details:
  • I keep heat protection on
  • Sentry is active, though I notice it a lot when leaving work (an exempt location with Sentry)

#FirstWorldProblem
 

calidreamz808

Member
May 20, 2019
256
234
Huntington Beach, CA
Okay, I spent a while scouring for some information and haven't found any threads on this.

I have had a temperature regulation issue and I am trying to decide if I just need to live with it or keep pushing Tesla Service on this.

It mainly seems to occur in the first 10-20 minutes of a drive. I generally leave my temp at 72 degrees and leave it on Auto - set it and forget it. But often, I have to push it up to 75-76 or down to 68-69 just to get it going. And those temperature swings are irrespective of what adjustment needs to be made (I need to set it to 68-69 to get the heat OR the AC to get going). There is no correlation to what the temperature is outside: I need to push the AC on mild days, cooler days or hot days.

I have had it in for two service visits in the past couple of years (the second time I know they replaced an air pump/motor and the filter) but the problem still persists.

Also (and I am not sure this is related), many times I turn the AC on (from the app) 10-15 minutes before I go out to my car to drive and even after all that time, the temperature really hasn't changed much. Once I get in the car, the AC kicks in and quickly cools the car. It lowered the temperature a little before I got in my car, but it is still about 80 degrees (my guess) when I get in.

Any thoughts/insight? Should I take it back to Service again? Or is this normal behavior?

Some other possibly relevant details:
  • I keep heat protection on
  • Sentry is active, though I notice it a lot when leaving work (an exempt location with Sentry)

#FirstWorldProblem

I've noticed similar with the pre cooling the car.. it doesn't seem very "cool" but quickly does so once i'm in the car. Very weird right? I tend to gravitate 70 or 72 and leave it but sometimes i get the same issues as you and have to be like OK FINE 60 DEGREES to make it cool down and then go back to my 70-72.
 

GtiMart

Active Member
Nov 13, 2019
1,572
1,435
Quebec City, Canada
Humans are very bad at estimating temperature. At the same temperature, we will sometimes feel warm or cold depending on many factors. The wind that gets blown by the car's system also changes our perception, air blowing on our skin appears cooler than it really is. Direct sun on skin makes us feel warm, and the car's temperature sensor would not pick that up directly (it would eventually as dark surfaces heat up the car's air).

Did you try using a digital thermometer in the cabin to get a trustable value to compare with ?

I can think of two things... One, the car is getting the temperature to what you ask but your body is giving you a different feel. Two, the car is not quite giving you what you ask because that would mean blowing a lot of frozen air on you and you wouldn't like it.
If it's none of those two, then maybe one of your sensors is bad...

EDIT: Forgot to say that I also feel sometimes like I need to pump it one or two degrees in any direction to feel better, But I blame that on my personal feeling of temperature, not on the system. I had to do the same thing on my previous car that was equipped with a thermostatic system too
 

DaveRZ

Member
Nov 19, 2019
189
270
Murrieta, CA
I've always been happy with the way mine works. It maintains the "correct" temp very well, and pre cooling/heating before I get in is very effective.

Make sure you aren't blocking the interior temp sensor with anything. I believe the console lid on a 2019 partially blocks the sensor (I think I remember that from a Bjorn video)
 

Kevy Baby

Dis-Member
Supporting Member
Aug 11, 2019
2,177
2,284
Brea, CA
Did you try using a digital thermometer in the cabin to get a trustable value to compare with ?

Thanks for the reminder - I've been meaning to do this. Provides more accurate data than my personal sensation.
_________________________________________

A lot of the reason for asking is because my last car (2013 Taurus Ltd) was very good about maintaining temperature. It was extremely rare that I needed change it from 72 degrees. And in my search here, I read a number of comments about people setting their temperature and not having to mess with it.
 

Candleflame

Active Member
Mar 9, 2015
3,448
1,876
QLD, Australia
Okay, I spent a while scouring for some information and haven't found any threads on this.

I have had a temperature regulation issue and I am trying to decide if I just need to live with it or keep pushing Tesla Service on this.

It mainly seems to occur in the first 10-20 minutes of a drive. I generally leave my temp at 72 degrees and leave it on Auto - set it and forget it. But often, I have to push it up to 75-76 or down to 68-69 just to get it going. And those temperature swings are irrespective of what adjustment needs to be made (I need to set it to 68-69 to get the heat OR the AC to get going). There is no correlation to what the temperature is outside: I need to push the AC on mild days, cooler days or hot days.

I have had it in for two service visits in the past couple of years (the second time I know they replaced an air pump/motor and the filter) but the problem still persists.

Also (and I am not sure this is related), many times I turn the AC on (from the app) 10-15 minutes before I go out to my car to drive and even after all that time, the temperature really hasn't changed much. Once I get in the car, the AC kicks in and quickly cools the car. It lowered the temperature a little before I got in my car, but it is still about 80 degrees (my guess) when I get in.

Any thoughts/insight? Should I take it back to Service again? Or is this normal behavior?

Some other possibly relevant details:
  • I keep heat protection on
  • Sentry is active, though I notice it a lot when leaving work (an exempt location with Sentry)

#FirstWorldProblem


The problem is that teslas dont adjust inside temperature based on outside temperature. The formula is that percieved temperature in a car is roughly Inside temp + outside temp) / 2.

So if if you set the temp on the inside to be 22C and outside its 30C then this will feel much warmer than i.e. if its 15C on the outside.

so you have to manually compensate for that.

What is the difference between having the roof glass/side windows/windscreen heated to 30C by the outside sun and having a heating spiral with the fanspeed set to 0.5 or 1? thats right, none!
 

Kevy Baby

Dis-Member
Supporting Member
Aug 11, 2019
2,177
2,284
Brea, CA
Make sure you aren't blocking the interior temp sensor with anything. I believe the console lid on a 2019 partially blocks the sensor (I think I remember that from a Bjorn video)

Is the sensor (in a 2019) up at the "top" of the center console, under the dash/behind the screen? I keep that door open at all times as I always throw my phone on the wireless charger (and where I mounted my garage door opener on the back of the screen, lower right corner) blocks from opening and closing with out tearing it off (it is mounted with Velcro).
 

Billee

Member
Nov 28, 2020
39
56
Tampa
I have the same problem intermittently. For example, I start up the car with outside temperature at 85F and temperature setting at 72F. It blows warm air until I change the temperature setting or turn "automatic" off then on.

I have tried waiting for several minutes before "waking it up" with no success. Other times it will work perfectly.
 

Kzrman

Member
Jan 26, 2021
20
14
Northeast
This afternoon I took a logging digital thermometer out to my MY, because I too am bothered by the lackluster quality of the HVAC system.
I set the AC at 69 degrees, auto fan and left it running (without me in the car) for one hour.
I then changed the temperature to 75 degrees and lit it run for about forty five minutes.
The car was in my garage the whole time so the outside temp didn't change much.

Here are the results: When set to 69 deg the thermometer read 74.
When set to 75 deg the thermometer read 89.

There was essentially no drift between data points (I had the logger take readings every ten minutes).

So my conclusion is (in my case) that the car will hold the temperature OK once set, but that the temperature that it's holding it too is all wrong.
 

ss71

Member
Aug 5, 2021
99
67
Wisconsin
In almost 2 weeks with my M3 I notice a similar thing. Just can’t seem to get the temp right with out some fiddling. My 07 Acura nailed this every single day.
 

tezlam3

Member
Jul 14, 2021
195
75
NYC
I have the same problem intermittently. For example, I start up the car with outside temperature at 85F and temperature setting at 72F. It blows warm air until I change the temperature setting or turn "automatic" off then on.

I have tried waiting for several minutes before "waking it up" with no success. Other times it will work perfectly.

i have the same issue
 

Phlier

Bluebird
Jun 12, 2019
2,147
3,990
Utah
While I love the AC capacity in this car, the Auto Temp has always been aggravating to me.

I have pretty much the same issues with constantly chasing temps, at least in the summer. For some reason, it's not as bad in the winter. I just set it to 60 from the end of November til the middle of March.
 

JohnnyMa

Member
Apr 23, 2021
117
108
Texas
My completely personal butt-feel of this car's AC is that it holds a 2-4 deg differential from other cars I've driven. So, a 70 deg climate set in my van equates to like 68 in the Tesla for the same "feel" of "cool."
 

Candleflame

Active Member
Mar 9, 2015
3,448
1,876
QLD, Australia
Dont know why thats still a discussion point. The disparity of the 3 is due to it being a glasshouse with huge windscreen and glassroof. This causes more radiant and convectice heat in sunlight and convective coldness in winter
 
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rjpjnk

Member
Mar 12, 2021
854
466
NJ
I have been very frustrated by this same problem in my 2021 Model Y. The car can make plenty of cold air, and it can make plenty of hot air, but it has a very difficult time regulating the temperature. One day 68 is barely cool, and the next day 76 is freezing cold! It really seems to me the car is having problems measuring the cabin temperature. I have used multiple thermometers and the temp is all over the place.
 
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rpiotro

Member
Aug 18, 2021
158
101
42°57'33.77"N 88°03'05"W
I have noticed an issue with my M3 and and the same with the Nissan Leaf I owned for six months. This seems to be the nature of EVs.

The problem arises when the temps outside are somewhat close to the desired interior temp. With an ICE car there is always warm coolant flowing through the heater core. The system can use a combination of engaging the AC to first cool the incoming air and remove any excess moisture and then pass it over the heater core to warm it up again. By blending those two functions it is able to closely maintain a desired temperature for the outlets and therefore inside the cabin. With an EV equipped with a heat pump there is only heating or cooling available. There is some modulation possible by blending outside air but not much. If the OAT is significantly above of below the desired cabin temp it seems to do a pretty good job. At least in my experience. It is that "null zone" that is difficult to maintain.

As mentioned here the greenhouse effect changes the equation as to perceived temperature. I purchased and installed the roof screens. Easily installed and removed. Most people didn't even notice them. Just thought it was a conventional headliner. Made a big difference. I just took them out this weekend as the temperatures are getting cooler.

As an aside, My 2014 Q50 hybrid had the optional hi-tech HVAC. It had a grapeseed polyphenol air filter with plasma clusters (ionization). After seven years of ownership the cabin had no odor whatsoever. And the cabin temperature control was spot on. After being spoiled with that, it is missed. The so so HVAC in the Tesla and EVs in general is my one and only disappointment. Sounds like a #FirstWorldProblem.
 

BigNick

Infamous Fat Sweaty Guy
Dec 3, 2017
1,452
1,695
Pennsylvania, USA
Tesla should have a sensor to detect the location of the sun and compensate by providing additional cooling to the "hot" side of the car.

Pretty sure my 2015 Impala had one. Tesla might even be able to use the AP cameras to "find" the solar angle and relay that info to the HVAC.
 
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Darmie

Super Member
Supporting Member
Jan 13, 2016
2,122
1,425
Clear Lake TX.
Great thread. It's interesting to see the responses. Not sure if it's in any owners manual but I remember hearing or seeing somewhere that Tesla recommends keeping the climate control on Auto. I guess I'm old school and have always adjusted the climate with the fan speed. Probably not the best way to do things but it as always worked keeping the temp at Hi or Lo and adjust temperature with fan.
 
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