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MASTER THREAD: Winter driving advice, winter tire choices, etc.

vanzandtj

Member
May 10, 2019
51
29
Nashua NH
If the wipers get iced in, what is the best method to clear them? With other cars, I would clear enough snow to lift the wipers,then finish clearing the windshield under the wipers and clear snow/ice from the wipers themselves. However, on the M3 the wipers cannot be lifted from the stowed position. Just clear the windshield and run the defroster long enough to free the wipers?

What's a good windshield cover? The Basenor cover for the M3 looks like it barely reaches the frunk lid. Can it be positioned to overlap the lid enough to keep the rain out, so it doesn't freeze around the wipers? I suppose using Settings -> Wiper Service Mode before attaching the windshield cover would be even better.
 

StealthP3D

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2018
9,985
82,548
Maple Falls, WA
If the wipers get iced in, what is the best method to clear them? With other cars, I would clear enough snow to lift the wipers,then finish clearing the windshield under the wipers and clear snow/ice from the wipers themselves. However, on the M3 the wipers cannot be lifted from the stowed position. Just clear the windshield and run the defroster long enough to free the wipers?

What's a good windshield cover? The Basenor cover for the M3 looks like it barely reaches the frunk lid. Can it be positioned to overlap the lid enough to keep the rain out, so it doesn't freeze around the wipers? I suppose using Settings -> Wiper Service Mode before attaching the windshield cover would be even better.

I just pre-heat the cabin and the ice melts right off:

 
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SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,588
16,773
New Mexico
I notice a number of recommendations to time battery charging to coincide with departure time in the winter. This is a good idea if you live in a relatively moderate climate or park in a heated garage. It may not be a good idea if your car is parked in a cold environment, as lithium batteries really do not do well charging when frozen. There is a reason Tesla limits regen when the battery is cold.
I'm surprised you drive your car in cold weather. The current is much higher than L2 charging.
 
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ElectricOrgan

Member
Oct 11, 2019
131
254
USA
I'm not saying to change the regen setting. I'm saying that by reducing the amount of regen you use by changing your driving habits without using the brake more you can reduce battery consumption and increase range. So the reduction in regen available in cold weather can be considered somewhat of a good thing. I almost never use full regen anymore because I plan for my deceleration to be more gradual than I used to. In the winter you need to maximize your range and this is one easy way to help.

I'm guessing that using full regen often you get back only about 70%. By easing up, you don't rely on regen as much for deceleration but just road and aerodynamic friction.

So you aren't talking about turning down the regen. You are just saying that, like with every other car on the planet, if you drive carefully and don't speed up so much when you will be slowing down shortly you can save on fuel?

Yes, that is correct. I don't see how that makes the loss/reduction of regen with cold batteries a good thing which seemed to be what you initially said. Unfortunately there are plenty of situations where I have no choice in using regen. Today I drove over 100 miles in rainy weather on crowded roads. The car wanted to charge at an early charger and I wanted to charge at the last one I'd be passing. So I set the car to skip them all so I could see how my range was varying as I drove. It went from 1% remaining (and telling me I needed to charge) ramping up to 2% remaining only to get knocked back when traffic made me hit my brakes a couple of times. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I couldn't see around the larger vehicles in front of me, so there was no way to tell when we were about to slow down and coast. Regen saved me a lot of wasted energy. Not that it matters much. Coasting on the highway is not well received by drivers behind me.
 

ElectricOrgan

Member
Oct 11, 2019
131
254
USA
I think the answer is in behavior rather than physics. (A few) people learn to manage their kinetic energy more efficiently by using the road to slow down.

Yeah, that greatly depends on the drive as much as the driver. I used to really work my T100 with a clutch. I'd take it out of gear to coast before stops. I do the same in the model X when I can, but it's not very often really. Most of the time the autopilot is charging ahead and I have to disengage it. Other times traffic gets in the way of seeing what's ahead so it's a brake light surprise I deal with. Lights only give you 4 seconds to slow down and I'm allergic to squeezing through them when pink.

For the most part I find regen to be one of the tremendous advantages of an EV. I think I read that one of the other EVs had much more rigorous regen, all the way to a stop. It may have been the Chevy Bolt, or maybe the Leaf? Can't recall, but it was being compared to the model 3.
 

ElectricOrgan

Member
Oct 11, 2019
131
254
USA
I notice a number of recommendations to time battery charging to coincide with departure time in the winter. This is a good idea if you live in a relatively moderate climate or park in a heated garage. It may not be a good idea if your car is parked in a cold environment, as lithium batteries really do not do well charging when frozen. There is a reason Tesla limits regen when the battery is cold.

Preheating a frozen car when connected to shore power is a great idea, but I also reverse charging in the summer and winter to be a little kinder to the battery. In summer, I let the battery cool down overnight before charging so charging is timed to finish before I leave in the morning. In winter, if parking in the cold, I charge as soon as I get home, while the battery is still warm from driving and then I preheat in the morning when the battery is frozen to warm it up. Similarily, I park outside at work and if I do plug in in the winter I only preheat/precondition to warm the battery, never charge. If I park in a heated garage, I let the battery warm up overnight and charge in the morning.

Make of this what you will, but lithium plating caused by higher C rates of cold charging is a thing. The dendrites caused by lithium plating are likely behind some of the spontaneous battery fires and likely why Tesla has reduced battery capacities on some of the older 85 packs.

You are aware that the BMS (Battery Management System) limits the charging rate when the battery is cold, right?
 
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jdw

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 1, 2015
702
1,390
Vancouver
You are aware that the BMS (Battery Management System) limits the charging rate when the battery is cold, right?

I am. Just pointing out that there is an option to drive a warmed up car while also minimising the chance of plating in very cold weather. I don't worry about charging a frozen battery, but I would rather avoid it when possible.
 

VanillaAir_UK

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2019
8,474
6,008
Surrey, UK
Anyone have any adverse experience of aero covers in winter? We don't get huge amounts of snow here in UK, but do get regularly gritted.

Wondering if its best to remove aero covers to prevent accumulation of snow/grit/crap behind the covers?

Not normally an issue with other cars with plain spoked or solid rims that I've had, but combination of spoked wheels and clip on covers may allow more debris to settle and/or dislodge the covers/wear the rims?
 

Lasairfion

Member
Jul 24, 2018
498
550
UK
I can't specifically comment on the Model 3 Aeros, but I would guess that you're going to see build-up behind those covers.

From my own previous experience of winter driving on UK roads, the amount of grit, salt, detritus, and the increase of potholes in the later months is just asking for damage to your wheels even if the covers are off.

When I drive cars I care about, I have a spare pair of alloys for winter. This means I can kill two birds with one stone by having winter tyres on them, and not having to worry about damage (since I use a scuffed pair). Experts suggest that winter tyres are far better once temperatures drop below 7C even if there's no snow.

It's well worth investing in a spare pair of wheels if you can afford it and/or can store them; and most tyre places will swap them over for you cheaply or even for free.

As for what wheels you go for as your second pair is trickier. With an electric car, you need to decide if you want to pay out for some expensive Aeros as a second pair (since it's doubtful you'll find second hand ones cheap yet) or save money on a cheap pair of alloys that would lose you some efficiency and range. I guess it depends how much winter driving you're going to do.
 

640k

Member
Jul 15, 2019
929
693
Cincinnati
Anyone have any adverse experience of aero covers in winter? We don't get huge amounts of snow here in UK, but do get regularly gritted.

Wondering if its best to remove aero covers to prevent accumulation of snow/grit/crap behind the covers?

Not normally an issue with other cars with plain spoked or solid rims that I've had, but combination of spoked wheels and clip on covers may allow more debris to settle and/or dislodge the covers/wear the rims?
i was thinking quite the opposite. unless you're doing donuts in the snow, they should help to protect your wheels. additionally I was planning on using them for the extra 4% or whatever due to the colder conditions.
 

Nogasmn

Member
Dec 8, 2018
232
126
Rochester
I have only seen one post about this, but without the aero covers, snow gets accumulated between the spokes of the rims which makes the car drive funny till you clear the snow. I havn't seen snow accumulate with the covers on.
 

VanillaAir_UK

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2019
8,474
6,008
Surrey, UK
It's well worth investing in a spare pair of wheels if you can afford it and/or can store them; and most tyre places will swap them over for you cheaply or even for free.

I've got a duplicate set of 18" rims with winter tyres on. Keeps insurance simple sticking to standard OEM wheels as its not treated as a modification.
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,588
16,773
New Mexico
I am. Just pointing out that there is an option to drive a warmed up car while also minimising the chance of plating in very cold weather. I don't worry about charging a frozen battery, but I would rather avoid it when possible.
Then I'll be more explicit for you: your plating savings from L2 charging are at best a rounding error compared to the plating from driving in cold weather. And missing out on gentle battery warming before you drive is not doing your battery any favors. I suspect quite the opposite
 

jdw

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 1, 2015
702
1,390
Vancouver
Then I'll be more explicit for you: your plating savings from L2 charging are at best a rounding error compared to the plating from driving in cold weather. And missing out on gentle battery warming before you drive is not doing your battery any favors. I suspect quite the opposite

Discharging a frozen battery does not cause plating to happen; it is fine to discharge, the issue is charging. Also, I am suggesting preconditioning is good - it warms the battery without charging.

I'm not railing against anyone who chooses to charge a frozen battery, just providing some information so an informed choice can be made. Feel free to disregard if it doesn't agree with your views.
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,588
16,773
New Mexico
Discharging a frozen battery does not cause plating to happen; it is fine to discharge, the issue is charging. Also, I am suggesting preconditioning is good - it warms the battery without charging.

I'm not railing against anyone who chooses to charge a frozen battery, just providing some information so an informed choice can be made. Feel free to disregard if it doesn't agree with your views.
You are correct that plating is a phenomenon related to charging. Do you regen when you drive ?
 

jdw

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 1, 2015
702
1,390
Vancouver
You are correct that plating is a phenomenon related to charging. Do you regen when you drive ?

Of course, but both Tesla and I try to reduce or limit regen when the battery is cold. Tesla does it with a temperature/power limit (one that has become increasingly aggressive over the years), and I do it by preconditioning a cold battery whenever possible.

High charge rates are obviously much worse, so DC charging (regen & supercharging) tend to be more limited by Tesla than low power AC charging at low temperatures.

Tesla does a lot to prevent this damage and it is impossible to avoid some charging of a frozen battery, but it seems to me that it is good to avoid what you can.

Finally, you may have a different definition of winter than I do - I am talking about -10 to -30 temperatures, well below freezing. There is zero regen at these temperatures, until the battery warms up, and even then AC charging will be reduced and 6kW will be redirected to the battery heater.
 
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SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,588
16,773
New Mexico
Of course, but both Tesla
Do you know the allowed regen currents at the temperatures you are concerned about ?
I don't -- but I'm curious. One more reason to get a scan tool !

There is zero regen at these temperatures, until the battery warms up, and even then AC charging will be reduced and 6kW will be redirected to the battery heater.
Sounds like Tesla protects the battery from the cold when needed.
 
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jdw

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 1, 2015
702
1,390
Vancouver
Typically, below freezing, the regen is zero or close to it and definitely zero at -10 and lower. After about 15 minutes of the battery heater + driving, it starts to come back to probably 10kW and gets as high as 40-50kw (about 50%) after 30-45 minutes of driving.

And yes, Tesla does protect against cold weather charging. That fact alone tells you that it is not a good idea and something you might want to avoid if you can. I doubt that cold weather charging damage is a binary yes/no event, more likely small bits of damage can add up over time.
 
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