Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register
  • The final cut of the 9th episode of the Tesla Motors Club Podcast, featuring Chad Schwitters, the former president of Plug In America, is now available. You can watch it now on YouTube or listen to it on all major podcast networks.

Model Y heat pump issues

Many of the new model Y's delivered during last months to Scandinavia(Finland, Sweden, Norway) has issues now during the winter when the heat pump is not working and it is only blowing cold air. Some owners get issues only after a couple of days after taking delivery and there have even been cars where the heat pump has not worked during delivery. Some get the problems after some weeks. It seems like it is depending on outside temperature and is a matter of when, not if, the problems will occur.
What is going on and when will this issue be fixed?? It has been known now for a year almost. Anyone knows anything about the solution which Tesla still seems to be working on?
 
I agree. I have a Sept 2020 Model Y build here... Mine failed in early November, no heat. Brought my car to my local service center, Tesla replaced both Hi/LO PT sensors. Early December NO HEAT again.... The problem is MUCH larger than "two defective sensors". Myself and others included are having their supermanifolds / ac compressors / heat pumps replaced as well. Not sure if this will resolve the issue or it'll come back again.



Tesla sent an "update" it fixed it for a day, but they also "ordered parts" as well, which ended up being a new heat pump & super manifold assembly per the estimate they sent me in the app. BUT no appointment available until Jan 6, 2022.. So last few weeks no heat on cold days. They offered me a enterprise rental for the time being but I haven't had time to go down and get one, I may go two to three days before my appointment and drop the car off and snag one. That's one thing that I REALLY hate about this car is lack of service centers etc. ELON NEEDS TO BUILD MORE. With all of these Teslas there is NO REASON I should wait a MONTH for an appointment especially with no heat a major safety issue especially living in New England. My parts being replaced:
 
Many of the new model Y's delivered during last months to Scandinavia(Finland, Sweden, Norway) has issues now during the winter when the heat pump is not working and it is only blowing cold air. Some owners get issues only after a couple of days after taking delivery and there have even been cars where the heat pump has not worked during delivery. Some get the problems after some weeks. It seems like it is depending on outside temperature and is a matter of when, not if, the problems will occur.
What is going on and when will this issue be fixed?? It has been known now for a year almost. Anyone knows anything about the solution which Tesla still seems to be working on?
I'm not a Tesla owner yet, but I'm considering a Y. (So far it's a toss-up between the Y and an Ioniq 5.) I read about this issue last winter and thought it was pretty embarrassing for Tesla after all the fanfare about octovalves and 'revolutionary' heat pump technology. My research turned up the fact that Tesla is doing a 'silent recall' where any time any heat-pump-equipped Tesla shows up at a Service Center, it gets all its heat-pump-related sensors replaced. (And it seems it's not so silent now - I think they're now contacting owners to come in as part of a Customer Service program?)

Through all of this there has been no indication that the sensor replacement fixes the problem. Which is why I put off any decision on which car to buy until this winter, when we confirm that a genuine solution has been found.

Let that sink in a moment. We need to check forums to confirm that a fixable problem - and a rather crucial problem at that - has been fixed. And it turns out it hasn't.

Now we find that more Y heat pumps are going belly-up when they're needed most. A year later, when winter hits again. This may seem a provocative question, but I'm forced to ask it: Does Tesla even have a test facility with proper environmental chambers where the design of a new heat pump could be tested? And if a problem should slip through, where the problem can be confirmed, the root cause identified and a solution validated? You'd think with the size of the various Gigafactories and the gigantic market cap of the Tesla organization, that such mundane infrastructure would be seen as a fundamental need. I'm a retired engineer. I know from personal experience this stuff is not that hard.

Or do problems get minimum-effort, half-baked solutions thrown at them, and all Tesla owners are considered beta testers? Keep in mind here that heat pumps are pretty mature technology. There shouldn't be any surprises here.

If I seem overly negative I'm sorry. I know there are a lot of Tesla haters out there, and I'm not one of them. I've been involved in EVs long enough to have built my own decades ago. I know the terrain. I have profound respect for what Musk has done. I want Tesla to succeed.

But DAMN! How can I trust a manufacturer who fumbles an established, mature technology in a critical application, doesn't have a real solution for it a full year later, and provides no indication when or if a solution might be coming? I simply can't consider a Y until this is resolved.

I can't even....

I don't want to seem like a hater of the brand that has done so much to advance EVs, for which I've been a booster for decades. But I also don't see how I'm wrong. Can someone show me? Please?
 
There's a happy owner whose experience is contrary to your heat pump concerns.
With respect, I would hope there are lots of people happy with their heat pump equipped Teslas. Any other scenario would make us all look like lemmings.

The fact remains that this issue showed up last winter. When someone brought it up (I think it was here on TMC), a string of other owners raised their hands and said, "Me too!" As I recall, that first report was from someone on an extended road trip whose heat pump failed in the middle of nowhere in a Montana blizzard. He was stuck because he couldn't keep his windshield de-iced. To add insult to injury, the nearest Service Center was 300 miles away. Behind him.

Now a year later we seem to be back at square 1 (or worse - failures at delivery?).

My personal situation is that I'd like an EV for traveling in retirement, because air travel has a really bad carbon footprint. And wouldn't you know - I have relatives in Montana. For me, knowing what I know, buying a Y at this point would be a pretty poor decision.

Has anyone heard about heat pump problems on Nissan Leafs or Hyundai EVs? There is simply no excuse for this issue to be any more than a blip that's long past being resolved.

For me, that opens up a line of inquiry that goes WAY beyond heat pumps.
 
My family has had 4 Y's (2020 YP, 2020 YP, 2021 YLR, 2022 YP) and none of them had heat issues. I don't think this is as wide spread as some would lead you to believe. I certainly wouldn't have getting a Y because of it....
It seems to only be an issue in very cold weather. Note that the OP here references incidents in Scandinavia as the weather is turning colder. My understanding is that it's a terrific system in more moderate temps.
 
  • Like
Reactions: preilly44

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
10,750
9,791
Visalia, CA
Has anyone heard about heat pump problems on Nissan Leafs or Hyundai EVs? There is simply no excuse for this issue to be any more than a blip that's long past being resolved.

For me, that opens up a line of inquiry that goes WAY beyond heat pumps.

I don't think other EV would dare trying heat pumps because they only work best in ambient temperature of 40F and above.

It's a technological marvel that you can enjoy heat pumps in your car with sub-freezing temperature.

It's a feat that no one else would dare to copy cat.

Edit:
My assumption above is wrong as pointed out by @leaftoy below. My apologies.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: ArtK
I don't think other EV would dare trying heat pumps because they only work best in ambient temperature of 40F and above.

It's a technological marvel that you can enjoy heat pumps in your car with sub-freezing temperature.

It's a feat that no one else would dare to copy cat.
Even my lowly gen 1 LEAF from early 2010s had a heat pump at my trim level.
 
I don't think other EV would dare trying heat pumps because they only work best in ambient temperature of 40F and above.
If I recall, the LEAF heat pump provided some heat down to about 5F / -15C. The system blended the heat pump with inductive heat, and quit using the heat pump when COP=1.

Larger heat pump systems provide heat (COP>1) down to -30C / -20F, but this requires large heat exchangers that don’t fit well in a car.

Another reason most heat pumps work poorly at cold temperatures is because of the refrigerant and where it has a phase-change. But in absolute terms, there is plenty of heat in the air at -30C (it’s a balmy 243 Kelvin!). Using CO2 as refrigerant (R-744), heat can be transferred at much colder temperatures, and it is being tested by some German auto makers. (The down-side is that it doesn’t work well for summer cooling). We may be years away from seeing that in Teslas, but there is nothing inherent in the heat pump process that fails at any particular temperature. It’s more that today’s heat pumps in cars are optimized for cooling, and for limited heating at moderate temperatures.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
10,750
9,791
Visalia, CA
...The system blended the heat pump with inductive heat, and quit using the heat pump when COP=1...
Yes, I've heard of heat pumps but they are usually NOT used purely alone in sub-freezing weather. They are as you said above "blended". It's a hybrid. It has an auxiliary heat source and not just the balmy -30C air only. In Nissan Leaf, it has both a heat pump as well a PTC heater.

So the question is, does Tesla use a conventional heat source like PTC heater if the heat pump does not get enough heat from the balmy -30C, cold battery, and cold drive unit?
 
So the question is, does Tesla use a conventional heat source like PTC heater if the heat pump does not get enough heat from the balmy -30C, cold battery, and cold drive unit?
Apparently Tesla doesn't use a resistance heater at temperatures below -10C, but something called compressor heating (excerpt below from an InsideEVs article). This heating mode has similar efficiency to resistance heat at COP=1.

There are three methods Tesla outlined in the patent for heating below -10C. The primary one is COP=1 compressor heating.

In COP=1 compressor heating, we run the cabin evaporator and cabin condenser at the same time and recirculate cabin condenser discharge air back into the evaporator inlet.

In this mode, we run the cabin evaporator and cabin condenser at the same time and recirculate cabin condenser discharge air back into the cabin evaporator inlet. This is a bit like running your refrigerator with the door open (see the beginning of part 1 video in the detailed discussion section).
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
10,750
9,791
Visalia, CA
Apparently Tesla doesn't use a resistance heater at temperatures below -10C, but something called compressor heating (excerpt below from an InsideEVs article). This heating mode has similar efficiency to resistance heat at COP=1... "This is a bit like running your refrigerator with the door open"

Thanks for the info.

It doesn't sound like a very great amount of heat. It's just like using the hot back side of the refrigerator or the hot side of the window air conditioner as a heater. That can certainly work but it would take a long time if that "hot side" is in sub-freezing ambient temperature.
 
A few days ago we had -10 F temperatures and even though I had no place to go I wanted to test out my 2022 MYLR to see how much heat it had in those temperatures. I preconditioned in the garage while plugged in and drove around for an hour. Had plenty of heat and discovered if you set the front defrost to the highest setting you start to bake.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DrGriz
A few days ago we had -10 F temperatures and even though I had no place to go I wanted to test out my 2022 MYLR to see how much heat it had in those temperatures. I preconditioned in the garage while plugged in and drove around for an hour. Had plenty of heat and discovered if you set the front defrost to the highest setting you start to bake.
Thanks for the report. I wonder if it would still work if you left it outside in those temperatures and tried to heat it from the app from cold? That is a test the car should be able to meet.
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top