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Model Y - Just OK cold weather car

I have noticed that if you put the heat on full blast, it will be cool air if it’s extremely cold out. I have noticed this behavior from mid teens and down. If I keep the fans on 6 or lower, it seems to work fine. I’m currently sitting in my MY and it’s -10f as I type this.
 
I have noticed that if you put the heat on full blast, it will be cool air if it’s extremely cold out. I have noticed this behavior from mid teens and down. If I keep the fans on 6 or lower, it seems to work fine. I’m currently sitting in my MY and it’s -10f as I type this.
That's a normal occurrence when heat supply is limited - the higher the fan setting, the cooler the air will be. Better to use AUTO in those situations and let the car decide the optimum fan speed. And preheat as often as possible!
 
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In auto it likes to recycle the air and make the cabin fog up…I do a much better job then auto ;)
If you don't have to be in the car, it still might be better to let it recycle and fog the windows as it heats up, then they'll clear again when it's warmer. Try a few different methods till you find one that works. This is one of the drawbacks of a heat pump EV, same as driving a diesel. I know because I have one of each...
 
I'd like to second everything OP said and also add that my feet are always cold no matter what I do when it is below 30 out.
Definitely not designed or thoroughly tested in a winter environment.
We also have an LR4 (almost the same as RRsport in mechanicals) and it just kills it in the winter. Just back from a ski trip where it was -4 every morning and had a blizzard, no problems. Of course we got 14.5 mpg however ...
Tesla can take just one things from the Landy and solve one of the biggest issues: have a heated front windshield option. It's invaluable for keeping fog down and keeping the wipers at least not completely frozen. Add some heaters to the door handles and duct some damn heat to the footwell, done.
 
I'd like to second everything OP said and also add that my feet are always cold no matter what I do when it is below 30 out.
Definitely not designed or thoroughly tested in a winter environment.
We also have an LR4 (almost the same as RRsport in mechanicals) and it just kills it in the winter. Just back from a ski trip where it was -4 every morning and had a blizzard, no problems. Of course we got 14.5 mpg however ...
Tesla can take just one things from the Landy and solve one of the biggest issues: have a heated front windshield option. It's invaluable for keeping fog down and keeping the wipers at least not completely frozen. Add some heaters to the door handles and duct some damn heat to the footwell, done.
Totally agree. The heated front windshield on various Land and Range Rovers is under appreciated. It’s honestly one of my favorite features on that truck 👍
 
I'd like to second everything OP said and also add that my feet are always cold no matter what I do when it is below 30 out.
Definitely not designed or thoroughly tested in a winter environment.
We also have an LR4 (almost the same as RRsport in mechanicals) and it just kills it in the winter. Just back from a ski trip where it was -4 every morning and had a blizzard, no problems. Of course we got 14.5 mpg however ...
Tesla can take just one things from the Landy and solve one of the biggest issues: have a heated front windshield option. It's invaluable for keeping fog down and keeping the wipers at least not completely frozen. Add some heaters to the door handles and duct some damn heat to the footwell, done.
Unfortunately Tesla will compare unfavourably with any ICE vehicle when it comes to interior heating. ICE heat comes for free, but EV pays a high price in range so the system will never be designed for the extreme conditions. It's one of the compromises we make for helping to save the planet.
 
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rjpjnk

Active Member
Mar 12, 2021
1,327
917
NJ
The Tesla heat pump design is truly a marvel in the way that it optimizes heat flow. However since heat transfer is never 100% efficient, cooling and then reheating the air must use more energy than just heating it.
It depends on the details and how much temperature change is required but it may be closer to "free" than you think. For example:

Case 1: Heating only. Move heat from outside air to cabin.
Case 2. Heat and cool. Move heat from inside cabin to inside cabin.
 
Unfortunately Tesla will compare unfavourably with any ICE vehicle when it comes to interior heating. ICE heat comes for free, but EV pays a high price in range so the system will never be designed for the extreme conditions. It's one of the compromises we make for helping to save the planet.
My post wasn't about heat creation efficiency. It gets plenty hot, just none of it is directed at my feet!
 
Same here. Why doesn’t Tesla know to direct heat to the feet? Must be a CA thing.
That's what I have always attributed it to; the default air distribution makes sense for cooling but not for heating in very cold weather. What other car normally uses dash vents in winter? Sometimes they can provide warm air but it's usually optional. Unfortunately the only way to defog door windows in M3/MY is to leave the dash vents on. Still, I leave them off most of the time and try to get as much air as possible to the footwell. I've found that with dash vents off, I have to crank up the set temperature several degrees to maintain the same footwell temperature, and even then it doesn't pump in quite enough heat.
 
Yes, that is the best way. Allow everything else to run in automatic except the components set to manual. Wish Tesla allowed this.
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Recent snow in Seattle and a trip into the Cascades has left me feeling “meh” about the Model Y as a legit winter car. For context, I grew up in Michigan (5 years in the U.P.) and lived/skied in Colorado for 7+ years, so plenty of snow driving. My other car is a Range Rover Sport, and the Model Y was driven in Chill mode with new Vredestein Wintrac Pros.

The Model Y is fine for the occasional trip in snow, but falls pretty short of being a decent winter car.

Specific gripes:

1/ Sloppy power delivery between front and rear motor. Several times I was taking a chill turn or doing slow and straight acceleration with barely any throttle and I could feel the back end sliding out. Never felt that in similar situations with the Rover and I know the Vredesteins are grippy, so chalking this up to the Tesla’s power delivery.

2/ Frozen handles. Super annoying and clearly a design flaw. I literally had to punch the doors to jar them loose several times.

3/ Absolute sh*t wipers. Part of this is the design of the front defroster, but they were constantly frozen. The only option was to put in service mode and blast the front defroster to at least temporarily thaw them. Throw in the fact that there are Zero quality aftermarket options that fit the 2021 Model Y with new sprayer design, and this is comical.

4/ No way to keep climate on while loading. Maybe there is a setting or trick that I don’t know about, but every time I would open the hatch or a door to load something, the system shuts off.

The good news is a lot of this can be fixed with software. The traction issue can be fixed with tweaks to the motor control software and the wipers improved with a proper winter wiper setting that keeps the blades higher up on the windshield.

They’ll need to change the design of the handles or add heaters to fix the frozen handle issue.

I was hoping to sell the Rover, but looks like we’ll need to keep it for regular trips to our cabin.

Jimbo

View attachment 751152
Hi Jimbo,
I do the I-70 Denver to Vail, Vail to Denver trek 3 to 4 days per week. Before this, over twenty years of weekend warrior stuff to resorts scattered all over the I-70 corridor —as you know from living and driving here in the Colorado mountains, it’s challenging winter driving. Your points are spot on, but after my second winter season with my dual motor Tesla Y, it is the best winter driving car I have ever owned (with a few caveats), which includes Honda, Volvo, Subaru, Mercedes, Lexus and a Ford. All my cars/SUVs have been AWD or four wheel drive fitted with “grippy” winter tires.

My caveats and your gripes:
1) Took me some practice to not spin the rear or slide out, whether I’m accelerating or using the regen braking. Ice is ice, so like skiing, when you hit that steep, frozen pitch, shoulders forward and trust your edges (lame analogy, but we need to incorporate winter sports). I love the weight distribution of the Tesla Y in nasty weather.
2) Frozen handles, yes, game changer, no. Quick warm-up of the car or a little finesse (read Tesla’s cold weather driving tips)
3) Sh*t wipers? Yes, Yes, Yes!! My big issue is that I have a blindspot on the driver side every time I clean my windows in inclement weather. Pathetic. Tesla Service is visiting me tomorrow for the third time, but I know there’s not an easy fix. Told me they’re working on a solution but it’s simply does not get fluid sprayed on that crucial area.
4) I have same the gripe about climate and loading. “Keep climate on?” I love learning new fixes.

My next winter vehicle? Cyber Truck or Lightning F-150? We’ll see how the wiper issue are handled.
 
The problem with manually selecting the floor vents though is you lose all automatic climate functionality. Tough call.
Well, you still have temperature control - sort of. I find Tesla's idea of automatic climate control sucks in cold weather anyway. Its logic for when to heat the windshield takes no account of outside conditions. It measures temperature and humidity inside the car but keeping the windshield clear in salt spray requires heat to be off. The problem with both V10 and V11 is that the driver has no awareness of where the warm air is being directed. I end up managing the HVAC and wipers manually in these conditions because auto simply doesn't work for either system.

Some have said they like the auto seat heaters - I don't. The fact that they switch to auto mode every time HVAC is selected to AUTO is very aggravating, and in addition the initial auto setting is often 3 bacon. I really do not enjoy having my butt lit on fire when I didn't ask for it. A few days ago, I selected HVAC AUTO, then turned off my seat heater. A very short time later my wife in the passenger seat became very agitated because she didn't understand why her seat suddenly got hot.

Tesla must disconnect the seat heater auto function from the HVAC selection, and just let each front seat occupant manage their own seat heater, whether that is manual or auto is up to them
 
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rjpjnk

Active Member
Mar 12, 2021
1,327
917
NJ
It measures temperature and humidity inside the car but keeping the windshield clear in salt spray requires heat to be off.
I was not aware of this. Why does the heat need to be off to keep the windshield clear of salt spray? I've been doing the opposite and trying to direct more heat to the windshield to deal with salt spray. I thought the warmer glass temperature might help it melt better.
 
I was not aware of this. Why does the heat need to be off to keep the windshield clear of salt spray? I've been doing the opposite and trying to direct more heat to the windshield to deal with salt spray. I thought the warmer glass temperature might help it melt better.
I was referring to windshield heating, not the cabin. Warming the windshield dries the salt spray faster. You'll probably notice that this occurs more at the bottom of the glass because that's thats where the air is directed first. Leaving the windshield cool lets it stay wetter and easier to clean without using washer fluid (which I have found to deplete at an astounding rate in this car!).
 

rjpjnk

Active Member
Mar 12, 2021
1,327
917
NJ
Leaving the windshield cool lets it stay wetter and easier to clean without using washer fluid (which I have found to deplete at an astounding rate in this car!).
Definitely agree about the washer fluid. Where does it all go? Not on the window. Seems to be all along the side of the car because it gets sprayed only when the wipers are on the way up and then gets thrown right off the windshield in bulk.
 

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