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Snowy Climate with a Tesla

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by stenkb, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. stenkb

    stenkb Roadster 938 Model S 5957

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    #1 stenkb, Feb 17, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
    Anybody out there that has used a Roadster on a regular basis that lives in a northern state or in Canada?

    For example where I live we have snow and cold temperatures from November to March/April. (by cold temperatures I am talking temperatures that drop to 30 below celcius for a couple weeks during winter - but normally around minus 15 celcius. Was wondering how much real life use people are getting out of their roadsters in this type of climate - or if any have dared......

    Of course when we get alot of snow here I drive the Hummer - a must have in my area when we get alot of snow.......

    Thx.
     

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  2. mpt

    mpt Electrics are back

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    Northern NJ isn't that cold but we've seen -10c and below on a few occasions - I drive the car every day.

    The good news is that the car works ok; the heating is plentiful at -10c so should be ok at -30c. I'd recomend pre-warming the car before you set off; use a good electric fan heater set low.

    You will loose the advantage of regen braking when the battery is very cold; you might want to charge the battery in the early hours as the car automatically heats the battery before charging; get it right and you'll have a warm battery in the morning and will have regen.

    I think your biggest challenge will be the ground clearence; the roadster becomes a sledge at 9" of snow!

    Tesla has recomendations for snow tires and did well in a recent cross country event.

    In short; cold doesn't bother the car.
     
  3. stenkb

    stenkb Roadster 938 Model S 5957

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    thanks for the info - I understand with winter tires grip should be ok but how about stopping...........when it gets icy out in NJ (I am assuming it does from time to time) how has the handling been trying to stop? or turning a corner on slippery section....
     
  4. Neb

    Neb Member

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    I live at 8,500 feet and we get about 200 inches of snow a year. I have been driving mine almost every day once I got the snow tires. Is it as good as my Subaru? No, and partly because I don't think the Tesla-recommended snow tires are the best ones available today. (The other part is because of the 2wd.)

    The TC is too aggressive in deeper snow. I have turn it off on the last mile up to my house where there are some steep sections, lest it otherwise just come to a complete stop while I'm flooring the pedal. :)

    I can't comment much on ice conditions... but I think that is going to mostly a function of the tires and not the car. We don't get a whole lot of ice here because of our warm days and sunshine, but you are not going to have the stopping and cornering you'd expect with true ice or studded tires. On the other hand, with THOSE tires, you'll get poorer snow performance.

    My concerns with the Roadster in cold weather are of a different type:

    1. The regen doesn't work when the battery is cold, and there's no way to set a timer to warm the battery at a certain point. This means you better either have a heated garage or not have a long downhill at the beginning of your commute, or you'll be riding the brakes the whole way like I do. (!)

    2. The headlamps coat with snow too easily and don't work.

    3. The wiper fluid sprayers don't handle snow very well and just get blocked up and burn out the pump.

    4. The trunk latches don't work very well when it is extremely cold.

    5. The car does not have enough insulation on the floor, and my feet get cold since I like to flaunt the weather and wear sandals even when it is below 0 out. :)
     
  5. stenkb

    stenkb Roadster 938 Model S 5957

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    good info - thx

    I have a garage that isn't heated but always stays above freezing so should be ok there with battery temps.

    Sandals lol - I've seen a few people here wear shorts in winter but not sandals lol..... I applaud your stubborness to winter!

    Do you have any pics of your car on winter roads?
     
  6. mpt

    mpt Electrics are back

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    You can set charging to begin at say, 3am; assume a one hour heating period and a few hours to charge. Battery should be left warm enough. I've discovered that at 10 degrees below frezing it still takes the weekend to cool down enough to loose regen.
     
  7. Neb

    Neb Member

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    No, but mine is orange and looks very cool when the road is white. :)
     
  8. Neb

    Neb Member

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    That is what I have been doing as a stop-gap measure. Unfortunately my charge time varies a lot depending on how much I drove. I don't have an HPC, so a full charge on a cold day can require as much as 10 to 12 hours, but a typical jaunt to town would only need a couple.

    I have not found that the battery stays warm if I charge immediately. In other words, if I start charging at 5pm when I get home and it finishes by 8 or 9, the battery is cold-soaked by morning. I am not sure how you manage to keep the battery warm for 48 more hours!
     
  9. stenkb

    stenkb Roadster 938 Model S 5957

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    This maybe a dumb question NEB, but winter driving must lead to alot of car washes needed. Do you go to touchless car wash or do it by hand...... by the way I have my deposit down on an electric blue (today's fav color) and am waiting for production......
     
  10. Neb

    Neb Member

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    Actually the dirt road I live on drives the wash frequency more often, it seems! Teslas have a tendency to accrue lots of dirt and rocks in the door areas, especially, so I am constantly trying to spray that out.

    I have taken to just stopping by one of those pay-as-you-go spray carwash places and doing it myself. The car is so small that it takes about 2 minutes of power spraying and everything is about as clean as one could hope for (living, again, on that dirt road... hehe), and it is a lot quicker and more fun than a regular car wash.
     
  11. stenkb

    stenkb Roadster 938 Model S 5957

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    Neb, I just washed my car and noticed my paint armor below the doors feels like rough sandpaper......have you had any paint chips or paint wearing off below your doors from all the dirt road driving you do?
     
  12. Neb

    Neb Member

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    Yep, sure do. Right along those front edges. The design makes it pretty much unavoidable, sadly.
     
  13. stenkb

    stenkb Roadster 938 Model S 5957

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    GRRRRR - now decision time - do I stop driving unless the roads are perfectly clean because the doors are designed to throw rocks against it?

    tick tock, tick tock.....

    Of course not!!!! Cars are made for driving!!!

    I will just have my paint armour along the doors taken off and changed every spring.....simple enough......may be a good idea for you as well Neb - only cost me $130 to get the bottom areas of the doors done at a local car decal shop. I also had the inside door sill covered in paint armour where all the rocks and sand end up.
     
  14. Neb

    Neb Member

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    Yeah, this is a smart idea. I wonder if it even makes sense once the paint is all torn up, though? Mine already is, and I just figured I'd repaint it one day if I were feeling really uncomfortable about it... water under the bridge, I guess you could say?

    Anyway, the good news is that it's pretty much impossible to see unless you go looking for it. Far more annoying is the constant deluge of dirt and pebbles that accumulate along the sills. Such is the tradeoff for living on a quiet, dirt road, I suppose.

    Ben
     
  15. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    That happens on paved streets, too. All it takes is a little dirt/gravel/salt/sand on the road plus a little bit of moisture.
     
  16. tdevince

    tdevince Member

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    I also live on a gravel road. I have a little more than 1/2 mile to go before I get to pavement. So for that half mile, I don't go any faster than 7 mph. If its been dry for awhile, I don't go faster than 5 mph. This seems to minimize the amout of dust and debris that is kicked up. My neighbors all know the blue sports car goes SLOW on gravel, so when they're behind me, I just pull over and let them pass. They're good about passing slowly so as not to kick up too much of a cloud.
     
  17. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    I think this is the best way to look at it Kevin...just an annual expense to keep your Roadster looking good...


    I will just have my paint armour along the doors taken off and changed every spring.....simple enough......may be a good idea for you as well Neb - only cost me $130 to get the bottom areas of the doors done at a local car decal shop. I also had the inside door sill covered in paint armour where all the rocks and sand end up.[/QUOTE]
     
  18. stenkb

    stenkb Roadster 938 Model S 5957

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    Thx Jaff - actually that's a minor problem now....some !#!**!# side-swiped my roadster in a hit and run while I was parked. grrrrrrrrrrr
     
  19. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Discussion about this has been moved here.
     
  20. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    My first winter with the Roadster [2.0] so put on snows: Pontiac G6 rims with Yoko 225/45/17 Ice guard studless from Tesla Shop. These tires have a real block pattern so should be good with 'deep' snow to some degree.

    Foot of snow so trip began on soft muddy roads so NO REGEN light was ON (standard charge, so not because of being fully charged). Temperature right around freezing. Stopped in town for half hour where roads are similar but flat. Turned car back on & went only short block to paved highway. Stopped at Post Office turning car OFF. Then started up highway toward Continental Divide (elev 10,000 ft) with NO REGEN light still ON(?). Roads were 1/3rd packed snow/ice for the climb up to the pass so I went reasonably slowly with no difficulty but there was slipping so understandably NO REGEN remained ON.

    At the pass observed that the Pacific side was filled with fog, darker clouds and was no doubt snowing a lot. Decided to go no further so did a 90* turn in reverse into a side road and then paused thinking it might be best to turn car OFF and wait for 60 seconds, like any electronic device, to effect a reboot and hopefully the regen would be enabled for the 2700 ft decline back to town. Did not want to go down the mountain without regen! But did NOT turn car off since right away the NO REGEN went out all by itself. So I slowly crawled the short distance up to the pass and then began the descent. Still had regen and had it all the way down the mountain. Amazing that it restored regen just when I needed it. Curious just what provoked the restore of regen. The literature mentions nothing about this. Next time I want to be as lucky or at least know how to enable regen if I need to do it manually.
    --
     

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