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Supercharging in hot weather + A/C = car shutting down?

I took a road trip up to NYC and on the way back I stopped by the SC by the Wawa in Woodbridge NJ, my favorite spot to go for SC even though it’s a bit off the I-95 and I have to pay a bit extra on toll.

Ambient temperature was about 93~95F yesterday (muggy too), and I kept the A/C around 70F inside the car the entire trip. Once I stopped at the Wawa/SC, I got out and plugged it in, the car started charging immediately and went to 145kW or so and told me I had 40 minutes or so of time to charge (I was down to less than 20% SoC). While leaving the car I can hear the front fan sucking air HARD, I put my hand near the front air dam and could feel the rush of air being sucked in by the car, so I assumed the car/batteries were very hot after a long trip. I went inside to do what I need to do and get a cold soda, and then my app alerted me that the charging stopped (overheat?). I stepped outside, the car was still sucking in air like its life depended on it but not charging, and after pulling out the plug and waiting a bit before re-plugging, the charging continued without issue.

The watt/mile on the way back was initially pretty terrible: ~300 watt/mile, I took it easy and drafted behind big rigs and cruised behind them around 65~70mph, the final number after 150 miles or so was about 260watt/mile.

Anyone else notice anything similar while supercharging or long road trips in hot weather? I had zero issues in the winter up and down the I-95.
 
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vickh

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
3,176
711
az
Similar experience in AZ today at SC. Except it's 115. Also my son set off the alarm leaving the car few minutes after me. Then i unlocked the car and tried to restart the charging remotely, but it said car can't charge, need service :( pulling out the plug and waiting a bit before re-plugging, the charging didn't work for me

I will try at a non SC later today. Hopefully just a quirk.

Not complaining but it also didn't charge me $$ (have a $22 balance while they figure out my referral)

Phoenix, AZ - Agua Fria Freeway Supercharger
7/14/2019 1:07PM
No Charge
$0.00
Power Tier 2 11 min @ $0.28/min $0.00
 
Last edited:
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ewoodrick

Well-Known Member
Apr 13, 2018
5,285
4,282
Buford, GA
I took a road trip up to NYC and on the way back I stopped by the SC by the Wawa in Woodbridge NJ, my favorite spot to go for SC even though it’s a bit off the I-95 and I have to pay a bit extra on toll.

Ambient temperature was about 93~95F yesterday (muggy too), and I kept the A/C around 70F inside the car the entire trip.

The watt/mile on the way back was initially pretty terrible: ~300 watt/mile, I took it easy and drafted behind big rigs and cruised behind them around 65~70mph, the final number after 150 miles or so was about 260watt/mile.
.

It's these hot summer days where getting off the Interstate, finding some nice, cooler surface roads where you slow down a little can make for some much more enjoyable trips. Who knows, you may even see some of America!
 
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edigest

Member
Apr 16, 2019
154
161
AZ, Sometimes TX
Since folks tend to post with problems more often than non-problems: here's the flip side.

Been tearing up the highways between Phoenix and LA last few weeks. No issues at Buckeye, Quartzite (other than slow chargers due to heat), Cabazon, and others. Charges just fine with A/C on.

Similar experience charging in over 90 degree heat at the Camelback and Scottsdale chargers last month.

Spent a day driving around in the desert in 100 degree heat recently followed by a charge in Gila Bend with A/C on. Had no problems with charger or vehicle.

In my experience, the battery cooling is well-designed and solid.
 

vickh

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
3,176
711
az
Similar experience in AZ today at SC. Except it's 115. Also my son set off the alarm leaving the car few minutes after me. Then i unlocked the car and tried to restart the charging remotely, but it said car can't charge, need service :( pulling out the plug and waiting a bit before re-plugging, the charging didn't work for me

I will try at a non SC later today. Hopefully just a quirk.

Not complaining but it also didn't charge me $$ (have a $22 balance while they figure out my referral)

Phoenix, AZ - Agua Fria Freeway Supercharger
7/14/2019 1:07PM
No Charge
$0.00
Power Tier 2 11 min @ $0.28/min $0.00


Update for me SC works fine now, so it must have something to do my son set off the alarm leaving the car few minutes after me. I will try to replicate again.
 
I charged at multiple SCs on Friday when it was 94-98 degrees out and there was no change to the usual SC behavior. The cooling fan was blasting as always with Supercharging. I did not have any interruption in charging nor did I have a decrease in efficiency during driving. In fact, I averaged 250 Wh/mi for 400 miles of driving that day.
 
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vickh

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
3,176
711
az
I charged at multiple SCs on Friday when it was 94-98 degrees out and there was no change to the usual SC behavior. The cooling fan was blasting as always with Supercharging. I did not have any interruption in charging nor did I have a decrease in efficiency during driving. In fact, I averaged 250 Wh/mi for 400 miles of driving that day.

Isn't heat good for efficiency during driving? but not so much for charging?
 
Several weeks ago I got to Truckee SC and after plugging in, noticed the fan was sounding like an F-16. I asked an owner if that was normal, he said yes, so I forgot the episode till now. Next weekend I charged in Corning, which is the center of Hell for temps, stayed inside with a/c running, and got no problems with charging hiccups.
 

StealthP3D

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2018
10,580
91,862
Maple Falls, WA
Isn't heat good for efficiency during driving? but not so much for charging?

Recent software updates start cooling the battery BEFORE you arrive at the Supercharger so the charging can happen quickly. To enable this functionality, just set the Supercharger as the destination in the Nav system. At the appropriate time it will start to cool the battery. This is more efficient than the cooling that happens at the SC because the fans don't have to run at full blast (the car can harvest the "wind" of the car moving through the air) and you will be charged and on your way sooner.

The improvements just keep coming. It really is amazing to see how quickly Tesla rolls out improvements (and they are free). Why don't other car companies do this?
 

Zoomit

Active Member
Sep 1, 2015
2,276
4,441
SoCal
Recent software updates start cooling the battery BEFORE you arrive at the Supercharger so the charging can happen quickly. To enable this functionality, just set the Supercharger as the destination in the Nav system. At the appropriate time it will start to cool the battery. This is more efficient than the cooling that happens at the SC because the fans don't have to run at full blast (the car can harvest the "wind" of the car moving through the air) and you will be charged and on your way sooner.

The improvements just keep coming. It really is amazing to see how quickly Tesla rolls out improvements (and they are free). Why don't other car companies do this?
You’re referring to the On-Route Battery Warmup feature. It’s intended to WARM the battery to 40C prior to Supercharging. If the battery is much hotter than that, I expect the BMS will be trying to cool it independent of whether ORBW is initiated.
 

StealthP3D

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2018
10,580
91,862
Maple Falls, WA
You’re referring to the On-Route Battery Warmup feature. It’s intended to WARM the battery to 40C prior to Supercharging. If the battery is much hotter than that, I expect the BMS will be trying to cool it independent of whether ORBW is initiated.

As I understand it, the BMS can calculate how much heat Supercharging will add to the battery so it can pre-emptively manage the battery temperature as you approach the SC.
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2012
20,193
25,799
Texas
Since folks tend to post with problems more often than non-problems: here's the flip side.

Been tearing up the highways between Phoenix and LA last few weeks. No issues at Buckeye, Quartzite (other than slow chargers due to heat), Cabazon, and others. Charges just fine with A/C on.

Similar experience charging in over 90 degree heat at the Camelback and Scottsdale chargers last month.

Spent a day driving around in the desert in 100 degree heat recently followed by a charge in Gila Bend with A/C on. Had no problems with charger or vehicle.

In my experience, the battery cooling is well-designed and solid.
This is my experience as well. Over six years in Texas and no SC issues. Of course, I would really like it if SCs were on state highways so I wouldn't have to drive with all the stinky trucks, but I doubt I'll live long enough to see that happen.
 

ljbad4life

Member
Nov 6, 2009
435
182
I just made the opposite trip from NYC to DC in 100F weather. No problems at all. Supercharged with not problem. Supercharged twice on the way down (I left with a lower state of charge, which is bad!), once on the way up. Stayed around 75 miles per hour, ac set to 70 degrees, aero wheels I avg 215wh per mile(LR RWD). I had far more battery left than the trip computer estimated when I arrived home. My lifetime avg is 225wh per mile just for prospective.

It's helpful to post your avg wh usage, and your car set up. It provides much needed context.

ex: 300wh per mile is horrible for me when my avg is 225. But if the OP avg is 280wh per mile, then 300 on an extremely cold day or extremely hot day isn't a big deal. it just means someone has a lead foot ;)

If you are having issues charging, send a note to Tesla. They can pull the logs and see what's actually going on.
 

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