TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Sluggish behaviours when cold (-20C)?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by scottm, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. scottm

    scottm Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,262
    Location:
    Canada
    #1 scottm, Jan 5, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
    Some strange things happening I can only attribute to being really cold..

    - first time ever I see the snowflake on the dash display near rated range. Look into that one, tells me "battery capacity will be lower". It's really cold out, so I get it. Haven't seen it again.
    - the signal light blink sound and flashing icon on dash is sometimes erratic, blink sound out-of-sync with icon, long blinks, many blinks all packed together... some touch signaling gives 3 blinks other times 4 (counting by click sounds) and sometimes the blinks are mute. I have no idea what is actually going on outside the car on bulbs, but have a hunch things are OK out there and it's just a lagging display inside
    - when I set out, I see my FM radio channel is 0.0 MHz. Not where I left it last. And no sound. Need to push up/down on the wheel to pick a station, then fine from there.
    - left side of speed-o gauge area that is usually my audio, is sometimes all blank (just a black space), not how I left it.
    - general sluggishness or practically everything when using the center UI panel, actions lag seconds behind a touch
    - after parking, I get a pop up dialog recommending I charge the car or range will be reduced... even though the car is sitting at 230km full (daily capacity is about 385, trip is about 425). I get that, it's -20C at the moment. I take the "advice" and do plug in (120V outlet), I would anyway just to keep the car trickle charging while I work, which is the normal thing I do.
    - when I get inside the building and check on charge rate, etc.. the app says, "waking up the car" and a turning hourglass that takes forever... I give up and close the app. I don't normally see the waking up car thing, unless I leave the car in the garage unused for a couple days. That was a fast sleep! From the time I plugged in to walking inside... it goes to sleep? Maybe some heavy battery preservation going on here?





    I've kept the battery above half charged for last few days, never letting it fall too much, as we go through these cold spell days. We're seeing -24C outside. I overnight the car in an unheated garage, which maybe sees -10C inside. Plugged in, preheating cabin, pre-charging before going out. But at work, the car sits all day outside at -20C, I've got it plugged in a 120V outlet on the mobile charger and gets maybe 5 to 6 kmh charge up rate.
     
  2. JPP

    JPP Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Messages:
    1,841
    Location:
    SF Bay area, CA
    I'm no expert, but the LCD displays (instrument panel and 17") likely are cold and sluggish and switch slowly, thus any lag in display versus function (like turn signals).
     
  3. scottm

    scottm Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,262
    Location:
    Canada
    I know the difference between LCD frozen lag, sluggish raster refreshes, etc.. and processing lag. This is processing lag.
    Easily a couple seconds of reaction time, press and one-one-thousand two-one-thousand react. Not always, not for everything, but comes and goes within the same drive cycle. Some touches are instant reaction, as usual.

    - - - Updated - - -

    ..I'm really curious to see what happens in the -40C that we get in February, usually. Can be a few days on end at that temp. Will the car even drive or just give up?

    (-40C equals -40F by the way, that's where the scales cross at the same value, for the Yankees in the crowd)


    This is leading up to the big moment people think I am nuts for even trying an electric car in Edmonton.

    I'm dying to see if the gamble pays off. I have no other car to fall back on.
     
  4. NielsChr

    NielsChr Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    264
    Location:
    Denmark
    Maybe 12 volt low perhaps ?, maybe try messure the 12 volt in the cigarette plug inside the car. It should be aprox 14 volt while full though I have never personally messued it (i belive it is a gel type battery)
     
  5. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2009
    Messages:
    6,062
    Location:
    Colorado
    I've seen some really cold temperatures with my Model S over the last three winters; never experienced what you're reporting. It's always a good idea to reboot the 17" and the instrument cluster when things seem weird. For the 17", hold down the two scroll wheels on the steering wheel until the screen goes dark; for the instrument cluster, hold down the two switches above the scroll wheels until it resets. You can be driving when you do this if you don't mind the displays being dark for some seconds.
     
  6. Majerus

    Majerus Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    689
    Location:
    Illinois

    I remember Elon saying that customers in Alaska battery would last a very long time as it stays so cold it keeps it from destroying itself essentially. With that said I think your not crazy for trying a electric in that kinda of environment. However regarding the -40C this is directly from the manual.

    Battery - High Voltage
    Type Liquid-cooled lithium ion (Li-ion)
    Rating 60 or 85 kWh (at beginning of life)
    Voltage and Polarity 366V DC negative (-) ground
    Temperature Range Do not expose Model S to ambient
    temperatures above 140° F (60° C) or
    below -22° F (-30° C) for more than 24
    hours at a time.
     
  7. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Messages:
    4,688
    Location:
    Buckeye, AZ
    If you keep your car in temps of -40C, you are outside of the battery's specified range. Whether that would damage your battery or not, I don't know, but I certainly wouldn't risk it.
     
  8. scottm

    scottm Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,262
    Location:
    Canada
    I am aware of the -30C for 24 hours limitation, and won't leave outside for that long. I've heard that if you do, the car will complain that it is too cold to operate "sorry".

    But it *will* be outside for 8 hours in temps even lower, say -40C for 8 hours while I work.

    No matter, car gets parked in a relatively snuggly -20C garage overnight.
    (I will make sure my garage heater kicks in if garage temps are threatening to drop below -20C.)


    I've done both kinds of reboots before, just for fun really of trying out that feature.
    I'll give the center console another one of those high-tech whacks on the side (reboot) to see if that clears up these sluggish issues.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Good idea and easy to do, I will try it.

    People think it's the winter cold that is most harmful on car batteries, but it's actually the summer heat that destroys them the most. So says AMA tow truck drivers I talk to... if the battery is marginal it will fail in summer before winter. Winter battery issue is freezing solid if electrolyte is not acidic enough, and this can crack the plastic case, when thawed leaks acid everywhere. Gel batteries are better at not doing that.

    FYI, the car is 3.5 months old. It might be a record if the 12v is decayed to that point.
     
  9. GreenT

    GreenT Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2014
    Messages:
    292
    Location:
    Here
    Sorry, not helpful but I have only one word for you.

    Move!
     
  10. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Messages:
    4,688
    Location:
    Buckeye, AZ
  11. svp6

    svp6 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    297
    Location:
    MN
    #11 svp6, Jan 5, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    It was -5F (-20.5C) this morning. I pre-heated the car, have not seen any of the things you describe. Islandbay has a youtube video on starting the Tesla at -32F (-35.5C) here - no problem. You should probably check your car.

     
  12. m1ker

    m1ker Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2014
    Messages:
    120
    Location:
    Calgary
    Scottm, ours is going to be here in March. We've been driving a leaf for 3 years now, and it's survived the winters nicely (other than the reduced range). I'm really looking forward to the S85D range! That and the Supercharger that's going in at Red Deer will make my Calgary Edmonton trips possible with an electric vehicle.

    Looking forward to it!
     
  13. Duckjybe

    Duckjybe S P232

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2012
    Messages:
    689
    Location:
    Oakville, Canada
    This is a long shot but I wonder if ongoing 3G/Sleep mode bug is slowing car down. Go into CONTROLS/DISPLAY and try setting POWER MANAGEMENT/ENERGY SAVING to OFF.

    Also, another new owner friend of mine had his centre screen crap out and the car got really slow. Have you tried rebooting centre screen by holding both top steering wheel buttons for at least 5-10 seconds? He got his car in August just before the shut down. Had his 12v go as well, but he had a message pop up.
     
  14. dave

    dave Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Messages:
    451
    Location:
    Greater Cincinnati
    I just had a very similar experience yesterday - which was also our first very cold day. Unsure if it's related to the cold or just a coincidence. Slow for the car to "boot up" (I have energy savings turned on), no sound from the turn signals, radio would not tune.

    Half way into my drive I rebooted both screens and everything came back normally.

    Just wanted to add my two cents that you aren't the only one!
     
  15. ljwobker

    ljwobker Geek.

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2012
    Messages:
    210
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC

    I remember reading somewhere here on TMC that at extended temps below -30C, you risk actually freezing the electrolyte in the battery pack and doing permanent damage. I don't have any way of confirming that this is true, but it didn't immediately seem stupid. ;-)
     

Share This Page