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Road trip with high heat = no AC?

Sorry if anything like this has been posted before. I searched and couldn't find anything relevant after several pages of search results.

We took my 2018 Model X 75D on a road trip from San Diego CA to Phoenix AZ a couple weeks ago. It's only about a 5-6 hour drive. The nav had us avoid Yuma so it took us a little bit of an odd way. About an hour outside of Buckeye, AZ (our last supercharging stop), we noticed the AC wasn't performing very well. It was about 108 degrees outside. By the time we got to Buckeye, we actually had no AC at all. It was hot air blowing, with a message saying AC reduced while the system was cooling.

We decided to grab a bite to eat. After about a 45 minute break, we still had no AC (and its fan was still going very loudly to cool itself). So we also took the time to upgrade the firmware (went from 2019.20.4.2 to 2019.32.2 at the time). By this time, about 2 hours had passed. We finally had AC to resume the trip into Phoenix.

The next morning we left around 10am. It was already about 90 degrees outside. Nav directed us to the Buckeye supercharge for 15 minutes. After we disconnected and left, we lost AC for a while. It returned partially and we made it to Gila Bend where it wanted us to charge to 100%. We had AC for a while after leaving Gila Bend. Dealing with a head wind, however, we realized we weren't going to make it to El Centro, so we decided to chance it and go to Yuma instead. Shortly before we got to Yuma, we lost AC completely and it did not return for the remaining 3-4 hour drive home. The AC was set to 68 but the interior temperature was showing 107 degrees according to the app. During this time a new message showed up saying that the supercharging rate was reduced (which stayed on for the entire trip home).

It's currently at the SC being checked out because I had never had this happen before. So far they've informed me that it is likely normal, and the log shows the compressor was turned off to prevent the compressor from overheating. Once I got home, the fans on the X continued to blow for over an hour after being parked in my apartment's underground garage.

Since returning, all has been normal with one exception. I've noticed I can't remotely turn on the AC if the interior temperature is over 105 degrees. It just says "failed to turn on climate". They are still looking at that one.

I'm curious... has anyone else experienced this before? How do Teslas (or is it more EV's in general) handle climates like Phoenix in the hottest parts of summer? I know I'm spoiled with San Diego's temperate climate, but that was the worst road trip I've ever taken.
 

ChadS

Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
3,381
2,824
Redmond, WA
I've been on a few road trips with temperatures over 100, and the AC has always worked fine for us. I have heard that there is a point where the car will divert cabin cooling to keep the batteries cool, but I have never hit it.

Given your issue with even turning on AC at 105 interior temperature, I would guess that this is likely something specific to your car...I hope they figure it out for you.
 

Bacalao

Member
Sep 25, 2018
125
202
SoCal
I also have a 2018 75D. Experiencing all the same things as @ttripp1. Last straw was last week getting in car with outside temp 90, inside temp 120 plus. AC started blasting HOT air.

Dropped off at Oceanside CA Service Center on Monday. Right away they could see sensor alerts in the logs.

They found that there is a sensor that was faulting in the evaporator box. Waiting on the part. Hopefully that works. I’ll update this post when the service is completed.
 

BulldogsRus

Member
Nov 12, 2018
611
413
Boston
I've been hearing quite a bit lately about the X and failed A/C issues, this is concerning somewhat. We have an English Bulldog that REQUIRES full blast A/C, and I've always wondered how much of a range hit that would take going up to our lake home on weekends (about 170 mi. /3 hrs. away). I know you can pop in sunscreens up top and on the side windows but I dread to think of what would happen if we had no A/C for a trip that long. We had something similiar happen many years back w/our Lexus GS A/C dying and went up late at night when it was cooler once, and it was brutal on him even with all the windows down (sold the car as soon as we got back).
 

ajdelange

Active Member
Dec 10, 2018
1,077
638
Virginia/Quebec
Never experienced it and cannot comment on your particular situation but it is quite clear from the manual that if there is a conflict between the battery's comfort and passenger comfort, the passengers lose. I suppose one could call it a design flaw as they could install more cooling capacity but I am sure there are tradeoffs. Right now I'd just say that the Mojave dessert in the middle of August is outside the car's operating envelope.
 
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ShawnA

Active Member
Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2017
1,037
783
Edwardsburg, MI
Hi Ttripp1,

How many seats does your car have...?
5 seat models have less A/C equipment than 6 or 7 seat models.
When I hear of A/C problems the first thing I want to know is the seat count which will identify
the installed A/C equipment...

Other than that - bad thermostats, bad compressors, low refrigerant...

Good luck,

Shawn
 
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Saghost

Well-Known Member
Oct 9, 2013
8,224
7,087
Delaware
I drove my Raven through Death Valley in late June and all around the desert southwest in triple digits and never had any issue. I got the limited cooling message once at one of the desert Superchargers, but I didn't feel any lack of cooling.

Note I have the seven seat, which means it has a bigger compressor and higher refrigerant capacity than the 5 seat models (possibly bigger condensers, too?) to support the rear evaporator for the third row HVAC.
 
Never experienced it and cannot comment on your particular situation but it is quite clear from the manual that if there is a conflict between the battery's comfort and passenger comfort, the passengers lose. I suppose one could call it a design flaw as they could install more cooling capacity but I am sure there are tradeoffs. Right now I'd just say that the Mojave dessert in the middle of August is outside the car's operating envelope.
That's what the SC is saying. Although, they still can't figure out why the app won't turn on the climate remotely when it's parked in full sun and registering over 105+ inside the car, but will if it's cooler inside the car.

Hi Ttripp1,

How many seats does your car have...?
5 seat models have less A/C equipment than 6 or 7 seat models.
When I hear of A/C problems the first thing I want to know is the seat count which will identify
the installed A/C equipment...

Other than that - bad thermostats, bad compressors, low refrigerant...

Good luck,

Shawn
I have the 6-seat model... captains chairs first and 2nd row. I had one passenger with me at the time and he was in the front passenger seat.

I drove my Raven through Death Valley in late June and all around the desert southwest in triple digits and never had any issue. I got the limited cooling message once at one of the desert Superchargers, but I didn't feel any lack of cooling.

Note I have the seven seat, which means it has a bigger compressor and higher refrigerant capacity than the 5 seat models (possibly bigger condensers, too?) to support the rear evaporator for the third row HVAC.

I have the 6-seat model that has the same cooling as you do.

If it turns out to be "normal" then places like Las Vegas or anywhere-Arizona are places that are simply not reachable for this vehicle during the summer. I'll have to rent a gas car I suppose.

This is my first EV and it's been a whirlwind of an experience. I both love the vehicle and hate it at the same time. It's been in the shop more times than I can count. The compressor was even replaced because it was making a loud "buzzing" noise a few months after I took delivery last year. I've driven up to Temecula (Riverside County) in high heat before and never experienced this issue... but I didn't have to supercharge to go or return from there, and it's only about an hour away.
 

Saghost

Well-Known Member
Oct 9, 2013
8,224
7,087
Delaware
That's what the SC is saying. Although, they still can't figure out why the app won't turn on the climate remotely when it's parked in full sun and registering over 105+ inside the car, but will if it's cooler inside the car.

I have the 6-seat model... captains chairs first and 2nd row. I had one passenger with me at the time and he was in the front passenger seat.



I have the 6-seat model that has the same cooling as you do.

If it turns out to be "normal" then places like Las Vegas or anywhere-Arizona are places that are simply not reachable for this vehicle during the summer. I'll have to rent a gas car I suppose.

This is my first EV and it's been a whirlwind of an experience. I both love the vehicle and hate it at the same time. It's been in the shop more times than I can count. The compressor was even replaced because it was making a loud "buzzing" noise a few months after I took delivery last year. I've driven up to Temecula (Riverside County) in high heat before and never experienced this issue... but I didn't have to supercharge to go or return from there, and it's only about an hour away.

In that case, it's definitely not normal. My black on black X had no problems like the ones you describe running all over the desert in early summer, and I didn't even bother with window shades, because there was always plenty of cold when I wanted it.
 

Bacalao

Member
Sep 25, 2018
125
202
SoCal
I also have a 2018 75D. Experiencing all the same things as @ttripp1. Last straw was last week getting in car with outside temp 90, inside temp 120 plus. AC started blasting HOT air.

Dropped off at Oceanside CA Service Center on Monday. Right away they could see sensor alerts in the logs.

They found that there is a sensor that was faulting in the evaporator box. Waiting on the part. Hopefully that works. I’ll update this post when the service is completed.


The repair was done late Friday, but I could not pick up until this morning. They replaced the Evaporator Temperature Sensor. Drove home, the AC was working perfectly. Hopefully the fix will stick

I hope the repair for the rest of you is successful too.

PS
Per the staff at Oceanside, the Carlsbad location will be open Monday morning.

Breaking News: Per the staff at Oceanside, a Service Center opened today in Lake Forest. Great news for me personally, I work nearby. And great news for the log jam at Costa Mesa. They could not pull up an address. It's not showing at Tesla.com or in the car yet. Keep an eye out for it.
 
I heard from the SC today. They ordered a replacement front louvre and hope to have it in by end of week (for a total of 2 weeks being at the SC). They didn't elaborate on any issues found, but I did notice they likely supercharged it today. It was down to 21% as of 8am this morning, and by noon it was just shy of 90%. Makes me wonder if during this they found an issue with it. During our road trip, air was really being pulled into the front by great speed, so I didn't think anything was wrong with that.

Hope to have more details by the end of the week.
 

mjptech

Being cyberbullied by TMC users PhilDavid + DCEV
Mar 30, 2019
532
245
Ventura
Add me to the list. Failed AC a few hours ago, stopped at the Monterey, CA service center without an appointment to see if they could do something (8 month pregnant wife, and an 8 hour drive back on Friday isn't going to work out).

Monterey said no can do in terms of looking at it.

He did look at the logs, nothing out of the ordinary. He said a new update (after 32.2.2 is coming in a couple of days). And while I'm sitting and Supercharging, there's no fan or air sounds coming from the car that I usually hear.
 

Bacalao

Member
Sep 25, 2018
125
202
SoCal
Add me to the list. Failed AC a few hours ago, stopped at the Monterey, CA service center without an appointment to see if they could do something (8 month pregnant wife, and an 8 hour drive back on Friday isn't going to work out).

Monterey said no can do in terms of looking at it.

He did look at the logs, nothing out of the ordinary. He said a new update (after 32.2.2 is coming in a couple of days). And while I'm sitting and Supercharging, there's no fan or air sounds coming from the car that I usually hear.

And driving with the windows down to try and keep cool is unbearable. Crazy loud, thumping. So sorry that this is happening to you.
 

mjptech

Being cyberbullied by TMC users PhilDavid + DCEV
Mar 30, 2019
532
245
Ventura
And driving with the windows down to try and keep cool is unbearable. Crazy loud, thumping. So sorry that this is happening to you.

Yeah, I need to have them look at those windows, too. I did ask the Oxnard service center last week when they replaced my passenger visor due to chattering. When the windows are rolled down, there's a horrid squealing sound...

I'm dreading the drive back on Friday.. with other cars, I can open the vents and at least get some air flow coming in... In the X, anything I do just blows out hot air, not even outside temperature air. It's as if it's either cooling the battery into the cabin, or, the heater is stuck on.
 

jboy210

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
5,983
4,025
Northern California
Yeah, I need to have them look at those windows, too. I did ask the Oxnard service center last week when they replaced my passenger visor due to chattering. When the windows are rolled down, there's a horrid squealing sound...

I'm dreading the drive back on Friday.. with other cars, I can open the vents and at least get some air flow coming in... In the X, anything I do just blows out hot air, not even outside temperature air. It's as if it's either cooling the battery into the cabin, or, the heater is stuck on.

Gummi Pflege or other silicon spray can often help on the windows. Wipe down the rubber.

BMW owners keep a tube of Gummi Pflege around for squeaky door seals. Amazon and BMW dealerships sell it (BMW puts their label on the tube).
 

mjptech

Being cyberbullied by TMC users PhilDavid + DCEV
Mar 30, 2019
532
245
Ventura
Gummi Pflege or other silicon spray can often help on the windows. Wipe down the rubber.

BMW owners keep a tube of Gummi Pflege around for squeaky door seals. Amazon and BMW dealerships sell it (BMW puts their label on the tube).

Cool, going to have to place an order for it. Never had to do that in any other vehicle, even the BMWs in our family.

So, I left the car sitting for an hour or so while the wife and I rested at the hotel room. When we got back in, the AC was blowing cool air when I turned it on. Still keeping that appointment on Monday, and hoping it stays operating the next two days at least.
 

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