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Model X Winter Experience

idoco

Member
May 7, 2013
563
634
Outside Philly
1. Snow tires.
2. Seat heaters on. Don't use any auto settings on the climate. Set vents to feet and windshield. Fan speed cranked up. A/C off. Recirc to no outside air. Temp to a little higher than you think you want. Nice and toasty.

If windows fog then turn recirc to outside air briefly or crack a window for a second.
 

FarmerDave

Member
Supporting Member
Sep 3, 2015
547
313
Central PA
Let me preface this post with a little background - I have lived in SW PA and been driving SUVs of various sizes for over 30 years and thus am quite familiar with how to drive in mountainous,frigid cold, and snowy conditions. The purchase of the 100D Model X a few months ago was predicated by the desire to be environmentally responsible and the belief (based on features and research) that I was purchasing one the safest cars available. However, my experiences this past weekend challenge the "safest cars" notion as I felt my safety and life were twice in jeopardy.
  1. The car slid a great deal during the snow storm and I did not feel the ABS kick in. Fortunately, I left adequate space to miss the car ahead of me but the lack of immediate control of the vehicle was disturbing and one I had never felt in a standard SUV. I am looking into the winter tire kit as a possible remedy.
  2. Ventilation in this car is marginal at best. I was startled to learn during the summer that this version of the model X lacks ventilation controls for the passenger area thus the entire car is dependent upon a front dash ventilation. During the extreme heat of the summer, this substandard feature resulted in uncomfortable passengers. Little did I realize the implications of the ventilation for winter driving until this weekend. First of all it is/was difficult to achieve a comfortable level of warmth in the car for all passengers (I have seen earlier posts related to this). The rapid loss of battery charge in the extreme cold prompted me to cut the heat to conserve the energy in hopes of making it to my destination. What I was not prepared for was the rapid internal icing of all the windows.Talk about a major safety flaw ! Fortunately, I was able to slowly creep off the turnpike to a wide shoulder and wait for the windshield to clear and ultimately make it to my destination though completely addled by the experience. I would also add here that keeping the windows clear of frost with passengers was not an option despite the fact that I had warmed up the car in advance.

In both of these instances I felt unsafe. This has never the case in any of my earlier SUVs the most recent of which was an Audi Q7. I am uncertain that the purchase was a good decision primarily for the reasons described above. I have other qualms about the car but will not extend my post.

Any suggestions other than the winter tire purchase would be welcome

In closing, I would like to suggest to Tesla that the owners manual be updated to include all helpful tips for driving with passengers in extreme weather conditions and develop a way to modify/improve the ventilation in the existing Model Xs
Are you aware that you have to touch the defroster icon twice (for heated defrost) as opposed to one touch (for cold defrost)? Heated defrost always clears my windows in less than a minute, then I turn it off.
 
This is 2nd winter in my X90D, about 15,000 miles on factory Continentals standard 20”. I’ve felt really good on handling and never turn off regen. BUT I was given an XP100D loaner 2 weeks ago by the SC. It happened to be the night of our first heavy snowstorm and traffic was very slow and bad. I found the car sliding all over the place when trying to stop, and we were only creeping 5+ mph or so. This is NOT what I’ve experienced in my own version. It has to be the larger and possibly summer only tires of the P100D vs standard m+s on mine. Really did scare me and several near misses.
 

pakman00

Member
May 30, 2017
138
57
PA
Are you aware that you have to touch the defroster icon twice (for heated defrost) as opposed to one touch (for cold defrost)? Heated defrost always clears my windows in less than a minute, then I turn it off.
Haha... Reminds me of one of the first cold but damp day this winter (1st winter with our model X). Got a panicked call from wife as she had to drive home from a local store as the windows quickly fogged up once she got on the road. She only tapped the defroster once...

But I should note, on a recent long roadtrip we did in 10-20F temp, I found I just needed to occasional turn on the cold defrost once in awhile to clear the windshield and driver side window. Preheating cabin helps..
 

Sparky

Member
Aug 13, 2012
559
2,720
Glendale,CA
Unfortunately, this is the most impactful suggestion.

Tires make a huge difference, and getting appropriate winter tires will transform your vehicle.
Yeah, this. Removing winter tires from your equation about poor handling is like running on deflated tires and saying "I don't want to talk about the PSI but the handling sucked".
I've driven my S85 in snow over 3 ski seasons and the difference is night and day (or should I say calm and "holy sh**, it's all over the road!"). One trip with all-seasons down a steep windy grade in snow was all it took. Just got an X and put a set of Blizzaks on 19" wheels for the winter. I don't love the Blizzaks, they're noisier and incur more of a range hit than the Michelin X-Ices a ran on the S. But, they were quite grippy with fresh powder on the grades around Park CIty. I had no issue keeping people warm and comfy on my most recent trip but it wasn't super cold (>10°F) and the cold-weather package worked as advertised.
 

Dax279

Member
Oct 21, 2016
284
178
Calgary
How can you complain about the safety of the car and compare it to another vehicle when the issue is with the tires.

In terms of the windows digging and the temps, take the advice provided by everyone that has responded to the solution as they all will work.
 
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boelkers

Member
May 30, 2017
131
121
Minnesota
In my experience with keeping A/C on, if the interior gets up to your desired temp the A/C will turn on and start cooling the car down. That was unpleasant. I'm still playing with the settings trying to determine the right setup for me. Right now I've got A/C Off, Feet and Windshield on, Auto recirc or outside air, Auto Fan speed. This so far has been pretty good for me.

As for the snow tire argument so many people take, I think it comes down to personal preference. I'm still on stock 20" all season tires and I think they perform just fine. My last car was a smaller sedan that I drove for 10 years and every now and then I drove my wife's CUV. I still drive the X more aggressively like its a small car and I think any winter slippage I've experienced I chalk it up to my those driving habits from my old car.
 
I just drove 700 miles in my X with the temps ranging from -14 to +2 deg F. I used Auto and a temp of 69 deg F. This required such frequent toggling of the cool defrost that I just left it on. The windows definitely fog quickly without the cool defrost. Most (90 percent?) of the cars I saw on the interstate were having frost problems inside their side windows so I don't think the X did any worse than the rest of the vehicles - better than most when leaving the cool defrost on.
 
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SuisseDriver

Member
Aug 8, 2017
131
145
Suisse
As for the snow tire argument so many people take, I think it comes down to personal preference. I'm still on stock 20" all season tires and I think they perform just fine. My last car was a smaller sedan that I drove for 10 years and every now and then I drove my wife's CUV. I still drive the X more aggressively like its a small car and I think any winter slippage I've experienced I chalk it up to my those driving habits from my old car.
Sorry but no. Difference between winter tyre and all season tyres is NOT a matter of preference. There are enough tests and infos available on this subject beyond personal experience of people living and driving in those conditions to back up this.

The ONLY all season tyre which is good is the Michelin Cross-Climate, due to its conception which is completely different than any other standard all-season tyres.

Mind you, it can be "enough" for plenty of people, I do not deny. But I can assure you that a winter tyre is much better than an all season in winter, on the rain / snow and summer tyre better in summer.
 

Dax279

Member
Oct 21, 2016
284
178
Calgary
Sorry but no. Difference between winter tyre and all season tyres is NOT a matter of preference. There are enough tests and infos available on this subject beyond personal experience of people living and driving in those conditions to back up this.

The ONLY all season tyre which is good is the Michelin Cross-Climate, due to its conception which is completely different than any other standard all-season tyres.

Mind you, it can be "enough" for plenty of people, I do not deny. But I can assure you that a winter tyre is much better than an all season in winter, on the rain / snow and summer tyre better in summer.


Ummmm the Nokian WRG3 seems to come to mind as an all season tire???
 

boelkers

Member
May 30, 2017
131
121
Minnesota
Sorry but no. Difference between winter tyre and all season tyres is NOT a matter of preference. There are enough tests and infos available on this subject beyond personal experience of people living and driving in those conditions to back up this.
Reading my previous post I can see how I was not too clear on my statement. I'm not denying that tests show a winter tire will out perform an all season tire in winter conditions. Nor am I denying people's experiences showing that a winter tire was better for them. I'm simply stating given all the info available to someone, it is still a personal preference if you wish to continue to drive on all season tires and forgo the warning of others. For most situations an all season tire will work just fine, but I do not deny that there are conditions or situations where a winter tire will outperform all other tires.

Again for me, given my own personal route where its on well traveled highways that are clear and generally ice free the questions I ask myself are:
Should I buy a set of tires that will work year round and will perform in most any situation?*
or
Should I buy a set of tires that will work for only a specific season of the year and that is only truly needed in certain circumstances/situations during that season? *
*These questions can be vastly different for someone else who has different driving conditions and roads then me. YMMV
 

Dax279

Member
Oct 21, 2016
284
178
Calgary
Reading my previous post I can see how I was not too clear on my statement. I'm not denying that tests show a winter tire will out perform an all season tire in winter conditions. Nor am I denying people's experiences showing that a winter tire was better for them. I'm simply stating given all the info available to someone, it is still a personal preference if you wish to continue to drive on all season tires and forgo the warning of others. For most situations an all season tire will work just fine, but I do not deny that there are conditions or situations where a winter tire will outperform all other tires.

Again for me, given my own personal route where its on well traveled highways that are clear and generally ice free the questions I ask myself are:
Should I buy a set of tires that will work year round and will perform in most any situation?*
or
Should I buy a set of tires that will work for only a specific season of the year and that is only truly needed in certain circumstances/situations during that season? *
*These questions can be vastly different for someone else who has different driving conditions and roads then me. YMMV

Although I suspect I might sound a little extreme here, your decision to not put winter tires on would put those around you at risk any time the conditions change from what you describe if you choose to drive in those conditions. What happens when you drive to work and conditions change through the day (happens very often in the winter here)?

In the winter, you just never know what you are going to face and it is usually in some type of emergency situation where having the appropriate equipment (even a cheap set of winters) could make all the difference.

I just wish more governments would follow the lead of Quebec and mandate winter tires for certain months of the year?
 

vandacca

ReActive Member
Oct 13, 2014
3,371
2,248
Hamilton
Reading my previous post I can see how I was not too clear on my statement. I'm not denying that tests show a winter tire will out perform an all season tire in winter conditions. Nor am I denying people's experiences showing that a winter tire was better for them. I'm simply stating given all the info available to someone, it is still a personal preference if you wish to continue to drive on all season tires and forgo the warning of others. For most situations an all season tire will work just fine, but I do not deny that there are conditions or situations where a winter tire will outperform all other tires.

Again for me, given my own personal route where its on well traveled highways that are clear and generally ice free the questions I ask myself are:
Should I buy a set of tires that will work year round and will perform in most any situation?*
or
Should I buy a set of tires that will work for only a specific season of the year and that is only truly needed in certain circumstances/situations during that season? *
*These questions can be vastly different for someone else who has different driving conditions and roads then me. YMMV
This is a very personal question and depends on your location. However, if you are someplace that experiences ice/snow for more than one or two months a year, then I would most definitely get winter tires (no brainer). If you only get 1-2 days of ice/snow every year, then all seasons may be fine. I believe in Minnesota, winter tires would be a really good idea.

And just to touch upon some more about regen, taking your foot off the accelerator will kick in regen (effectively braking hard). This can cause skidding, so driving a Tesla this is something you need to be aware of. Learn to slowly take your foot off the accelerator to avoid hard regen in icy conditions. Some will turn "regen" to "low" in the winter to be safe, but it's unnecessary if you are cognisant about using the accelerator correctly.
 
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And just to touch upon some more about regen, taking your foot off the accelerator will kick in regen (effectively braking hard). This can cause skidding, so driving a Tesla this is something you need to be aware of. Learn to slowly take your foot off the accelerator to avoid hard regen in icy conditions. Some will turn "regen" to "low" in the winter to be safe, but it's unnecessary if you are cognisant about using the accelerator correctly.

I totally agree w/this except for the use of the word "safe" as it could be inferred that using full-regen is less safe and I don't want that to be inferred. (And I'm pretty sure that's not what you meant either @vandacca). I find full regen amazing and more safe on slick roads. Just like using engine compression in an ICE on slick roads is generally considered better (and safer) than using the brake when needing to control and shed speed. And I agree it takes practice to learn how to do anything proficiently. Driving on slick roads is certainly no exception.

Frankly, the only thing that bugs me about regen in my Tesla is not having it when the battery is cold or totally full. This can be a bad surprise and being surprised on slick roads is never good. :eek: I would like to see a prominent warning for the driver when this is the case, so he/she is ready to try and compensate accordingly until it's fully available.
 

Gwgan

Almost a wagon
Aug 11, 2013
2,974
2,224
Maine
Now how am I supposed to drive like this?

8DB188B4-9615-4050-95E8-FEDCB50F7E6E.jpeg

Actually it did take me a few minutes to get used to no regen and I did some serious coasting over the speed limit where regen would keep me at the speed setting: brakes are not used as a substitute to maintain speed when rollling downhill.
 
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vandacca

ReActive Member
Oct 13, 2014
3,371
2,248
Hamilton
I totally agree w/this except for the use of the word "safe" as it could be inferred that using full-regen is less safe and I don't want that to be inferred. (And I'm pretty sure that's not what you meant either @vandacca). I find full regen amazing and more safe on slick roads. Just like using engine compression in an ICE on slick roads is generally considered better (and safer) than using the brake when needing to control and shed speed. And I agree it takes practice to learn how to do anything proficiently. Driving on slick roads is certainly no exception.

Frankly, the only thing that bugs me about regen in my Tesla is not having it when the battery is cold or totally full. This can be a bad surprise and being surprised on slick roads is never good. :eek: I would like to see a prominent warning for the driver when this is the case, so he/she is ready to try and compensate accordingly until it's fully available.
Correct, I did not mean to infer that full-regen is less safe. Tesla has some of the best traction control I've ever seen and it's drives amazingly in slick conditions. The only thing I'm not 100% sure yet (because I haven't had an opportunity to try it) is how full regen works in icy conditions. I assume it's smart-regen (regen + traction control), but I have seen a few people post otherwise. So until I test it for myself, I'm a little caution when lifting my foot off the accelerator in icy conditions.
 

tmxninja

Member
Nov 2, 2017
121
15
USA
On winter driving, I am seeing a lot more snow accumulation in the wheel well than other cars. It's packed full, touching or almost touching the tires on all sides. My gas guzzlers don't do that. Maybe it's the shape of the well and smaller gap between tire and plastic well. I spent quite a bit of time cleaning it out. If I parked it outside overnight with all that snow solid in there, I am not sure how the car would perform in the morning.
 

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