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Regenerative braking reduced message appeared while driving

GLM3

Member
Nov 27, 2019
120
71
Wisconsin
Has anyone experienced the "Regenerative braking reduced" message appear in the middle of a drive?

Outside temp was hovering around 32F/0C so I starting pre-heating the Model 3 about 20 minutes before I started on my 60-mile commute. Nice sunny weather with little wind. Was about 10 miles into the drive when I noticed my Wh/Mile was hovering around 265 instead of the usual 300 with similar commute conditions. I stopped at a rest area and once I restarted my trip the Wh/Mile shot back up to the usual 300 average and a few minutes later the "Regenerative braking reduced" message appeared. I was driving the same speed using TACC and I verified heat/AC was still off and only had one seat heater running. Why the immediate change in consumption and why did the regen message appear in the middle of the drive? It pretty much stayed on for the remainder of my drive until I got to stop and go driving near my destination.

GLM
 

Nogasmn

Member
Dec 8, 2018
232
126
Rochester
Maybe check the front of the car to see if there is a build up of debris or ice blocking the vents from closing. I would think if the louvers can't close due to a blockage there would be a indication for that but you never know and with the snow this past weekend it is possible.
 

GLM3

Member
Nov 27, 2019
120
71
Wisconsin
If you leave home with a warm battery and drive in cold weather without being too hard on the car, your battery might cool down. Regen would then get worse as you drive, to a point. I've had that happen in winter here in Quebec. I park in a heated garage (10C) and drive outside under 0C.

That must have been what happened. I was in chill mode cruising slightly below the speed limit when I stopped for 5 minutes at the rest area, with the strange lower use of energy than any other time I've made that drive. I've made that same drive at least 25 times since I got the car in December, sometimes at a much colder temp (below 0F/-18C), and this the first time I used so little energy and then got the regen message after driving for some time.
 

ewoodrick

Well-Known Member
Apr 13, 2018
5,285
4,282
Buford, GA
I didn't think to look, plus I'm in my 60s and I pretty much need to get a magnifying glass if I want to count the dots. Depending on lighting I can usually recognize there are dots, but counting them is unrealistic. If it happens again I'll put my reading glasses on :)

The warning is just a notification that you may have limited regen. It is NOT an indication that you have NO regen. It's like the snowflake hat comes on in many cars when the outside temps start to drop below 34F.
The dots show you how much you do have and it still can be a significant of regen.

And in your case, it came on probably because the battery had a few minutes to cool down.
 
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jboy210

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
5,984
4,025
Northern California
We get that message often even here in California at 50F. It is because the battery is cold so can handle a limited amount of energy coming in regen. My thought is that the battery was not cold when you started your trip because of pre-heating. But got cold when you stopped.

As others have suggested the number of dots would tell you more information. I guess you need an X or S with their big old color coded energy gauges. The big yellow bars make It really obvious when they are regen limited and by how much, even to my old eyes.
 
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p-f-g

Member
Apr 12, 2016
117
128
Switzerland
I had this during a long downhill. Temperatures was just above freezing and had been driving (flat, uphill) for about 1 hour until a mountain pass. The regenerative braking decreased constantly and the message has appeared close to the bottom, about 10 km drive from the top.
 

DRM4

Member
Jun 26, 2019
21
8
Boston, MA
You can minimized reduced regenerative breaking by having your car set to be charged and heated prior to your anticipated departure time. I usually set a charge limit of around 70%. If you charge close to 100%, there will be no regenerative braking. If you leave your car out in 10F temperatures with no preconditioning, there will be no regenerative breaking
 
While I may understand why regen braking availability is so variable, the fact that it is totally impacts the notion that brake wear is much reduced and you can do "one pedal driving".
These days, with temps dipping into single digits, I get "limited regen braking" mesgs all the time and for at least the first 15-30mins of driving there is often very little. So I end up using the real brakes no differently than an ICE car. It's worse cause I try to one pedal drive and find the car isn't slowing down coming to an intersection and I have to apply the brakes hard. Plus as a heavier car it feels like the brakes would be worn down faster.

As far as I can tell, in an area with real winters, and routine driving limited to 10 miles trips or less, I don't see how one can count on regen braking and therefore real brake wear isn't going to be much reduced. And having to guess and alter one's driving style based on temp and regen state is annoying.

I think Tesla should make the driving experience consistent regardless of whether the battery can take the charge -- it's dangerous and annoying to have to change driving styles depending on temp and regen and charge state. Just dump the charge if you can't use it.
 
Last edited:

GLM3

Member
Nov 27, 2019
120
71
Wisconsin
You can minimized reduced regenerative breaking by having your car set to be charged and heated prior to your anticipated departure time. I usually set a charge limit of around 70%. If you charge close to 100%, there will be no regenerative braking. If you leave your car out in 10F temperatures with no preconditioning, there will be no regenerative breaking
If you read the original post I did precondition the car for approximately 20 minutes, started driving, stopped for five minutes to use the bathroom, and after restarting consumption increased by a significant amount and then the regen light came on. This is the first and only time my car has done that. I was asking if anyone else experienced similar behavior.
 

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