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Tesla model 3 slides on sloppy roads in parked position in London snow?

NMahan

New Member
Feb 9, 2021
2
2
London
Bought new Tesla model 3 in September 2020 and by end of Jan 2021 regretted my decision. We had first snowfall of the season in London on 24 th Jan and 26 th Jan around 11 am I was in for a shock beyond belief. My car which was parked which was parked on my house drive which has a slight gradient had slid back and hit the gate post. Biggest shock was that there was less than a cm of snow/ slush under the tyres. There was audible alarm but just alarm message on my phone! My boot of the car and the rear bumper were badly damaged. I was thanking God that it had not gone straight out on the busy road.

The bigger shock came later. The customer service did not accept any responsibility/ or a fundamental design problem. They were not prepared to foot any repair bill which would be a couple of thousand pounds. They pointed out that in their vehicle manual it clearly stated that model 3 is not suitable for parking on slopes under snowy conditions. This information was not given by the sales team at the time of purchase apart from the option of selecting winter tyres. Who would think of taking winter tyres for London! Customer service clearly inf me that it was an environmental problem and we have to pay for the repair. I have never experienced my car sliding on its own in any of my previous cars .

Message to new Tesla buyers. Please be very careful before you decide to purchase this car and for sure read the manual and small print before you decide. Tesla does not care for its customers even though it clearly a design issue.
 

Glan gluaisne

Active Member
Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,922
UK
I suspect it's due to the combination of the relatively high weight plus not having winter tyres fitted when they are really needed. I doubt it's only Tesla's that slide when parked on snow or ice, either, I would guess that pretty much any heavy car on summer tyres is going to do much the same.

Here in the UK it seems that few bother with winter tyres, yet this is something that is pretty much universal in other parts of Europe, even the law in some countries. AFAIK, no manufacturer sells cars as standard with two sets of tyres, even in countries where winter tyre use is mandated by law, anyway, so Tesla are no different to any other manufacturer.
 
We only had 1-2 cm of snow around here... but the very first snow that fell had melted as it hit the ground.
As further snow fell, this wet layer froze, so even my flat path & drive was an ice rink.

Fortunately, my car hadn't been moved - so the ice/snow wasn't under the tyres. But I did almost go AoT walking down the path.

I've never needed winter tyres before, but am seriously considering them for the M3.
Just hoping the weather warms up by March, so I can delay buying them until later in the year ready for next winter.
 
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Who would of thought that parking a nearly 2 ton vehicle on a ice/snow covered incline might result in it sliding?

At some point people do need to take responsibility - yes it’s annoying, yes it’s unfortunate that it happened to you, yes in London it’s maybe not something you’ve experienced before, but blaming the manufacturer for simple physics as the result of your own actions isn’t the answer.
 
Bought new Tesla model 3 in September 2020 and by end of Jan 2021 regretted my decision. We had first snowfall of the season in London on 24 th Jan and 26 th Jan around 11 am I was in for a shock beyond belief. My car which was parked which was parked on my house drive which has a slight gradient had slid back and hit the gate post. Biggest shock was that there was less than a cm of snow/ slush under the tyres. There was audible alarm but just alarm message on my phone! My boot of the car and the rear bumper were badly damaged. I was thanking God that it had not gone straight out on the busy road.

The bigger shock came later. The customer service did not accept any responsibility/ or a fundamental design problem. They were not prepared to foot any repair bill which would be a couple of thousand pounds. They pointed out that in their vehicle manual it clearly stated that model 3 is not suitable for parking on slopes under snowy conditions. This information was not given by the sales team at the time of purchase apart from the option of selecting winter tyres. Who would think of taking winter tyres for London! Customer service clearly inf me that it was an environmental problem and we have to pay for the repair. I have never experienced my car sliding on its own in any of my previous cars .

Message to new Tesla buyers. Please be very careful before you decide to purchase this car and for sure read the manual and small print before you decide. Tesla does not care for its customers even though it clearly a design issue.
What kind of gradient? I presume you parked on the snow (which is not an unreasonable requirement)?
 
Bought new Tesla model 3 in September 2020 and by end of Jan 2021 regretted my decision. We had first snowfall of the season in London on 24 th Jan and 26 th Jan around 11 am I was in for a shock beyond belief. My car which was parked which was parked on my house drive which has a slight gradient had slid back and hit the gate post. Biggest shock was that there was less than a cm of snow/ slush under the tyres. There was audible alarm but just alarm message on my phone! My boot of the car and the rear bumper were badly damaged. I was thanking God that it had not gone straight out on the busy road.

The bigger shock came later. The customer service did not accept any responsibility/ or a fundamental design problem. They were not prepared to foot any repair bill which would be a couple of thousand pounds. They pointed out that in their vehicle manual it clearly stated that model 3 is not suitable for parking on slopes under snowy conditions. This information was not given by the sales team at the time of purchase apart from the option of selecting winter tyres. Who would think of taking winter tyres for London! Customer service clearly inf me that it was an environmental problem and we have to pay for the repair. I have never experienced my car sliding on its own in any of my previous cars .

Message to new Tesla buyers. Please be very careful before you decide to purchase this car and for sure read the manual and small print before you decide. Tesla does not care for its customers even though it clearly a design issue.

This simply has to be a wind up! Has this person never driven a car before? I guess it was parked on packed snow as it wouldn't slide if the tyres were on the drive.
Blaming the manufacturer for this? Honestly, he will be blaming Tesla for the way his car slides in to the back of another when driving on the snow next! ;)
 
From the video's I've seen of the Model 3 sliding, the parking brake is obviously working as the car is sliding downhill as opposed to rolling away. It appears it's the tyres that fail to grip, likely due to the heavy weight of the car. It wouldn't take much for the car to start to move then physics takes over.
 

Dilly

Active Member
Feb 24, 2020
3,388
3,031
Norfolk
My guess would be it’s down to weight and tyres. I did notice that in the snow the M3 made no attempt to slow when I braked. It just kept sliding in a straight line. Having had snow training, I was going slow, anticipated it and let it roll to a stop.
No other car I’ve owned has been so light footed in snow.
Years ago, I had a sloping drive. The 5 cars I owned while there, never slid anywhere. I, like the OP, might not have given it much thought under those circumstances. I live on the flat now so it’s not an issue for me. Added to that it’s not the car we use in wintry conditions.
I have some sympathy if all the OP has done is what he always done. That will need a couple of humps to park beyond. Chocks won’t stop it.
It does sow a seed that in the future when EV’s are mainstream, winter tyres may need legislating.
 
From personal experience, cars do not just slide when parked without good reason. I live in an area where many driveways are on slopes (some very very very steep). You just never hear of cars sliding down their driveways no matter what the weather conditions are. Whilst we have a very sloped driveway, we thankfully have a flat area where we park, but in situations where getting back on to our drive has been incredibly difficult due to ice, our neighbours cars in similar situations have stayed firmly put.

If it was as common place as some people make out, you would hear about it far more often than you do. I'm not saying that its unheard of and that cars will never slide on slopes in certain conditions, as has been said, its physics, but physics also play a part in most cars staying firmly in place for the past 60+ years. Its not unsurprising that people expecting this to remain the case when they change their cars. Something unusual is going on an I put my money on the summer spec tyres and their contact patch that Tesla, and some other manufacturers fit as standard to their vehicles.
 
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Jason71

Active Member
May 8, 2019
4,648
5,224
Shropshire
A parked car is a parked car whoever made it its just a big weight sitting on 4 contact patches.
In the Case of a Tesla though the weight is big and the contact patches are small due to the high tyre pressures and the standard tyres are sporty summer tyres which will harden in the cold and not grip much. So Teslas are very much a worst case scenario and I can see why they would be more prone to this than most

Perhaps there is an argument for sacrificing some efficiency and lowering the tyre pressures in snow to a more normal pressure? both for increased grip when driving and parked?

Winter tyres are great but a big investment in time and money. Auto socks are also a good option for those parts of the country where snow is very rare. i.e. everywhere but Scotland.
 
Can't comment on the Tesla, doesn't arrive until the 6th March.

However, over 11-12 years ago I had a Vauxhall which I parked on a slope (around 10-15 degrees) in snowy conditions, as I had done many times before. The whole road was on a hill and this parking area was at the top, to the side, with cars parking at 45 degrees to each other in a line.

The next morning I came outside to find my car was a good 400 yards down the road, having rolled down the hill and up a steep mound of snow with its boot in the air. The pile of snow was from a neighbour clearing their driveway. Fortunately, no one was hurt, the car was undamaged and the neighbour's wall underneath was fine. I assumed the handbrake had failed but the handbrake was on. My only conclusion was that melting snow had caused a lot of water to run under the tyres (i was at the bottom of a long row of cars), or i'd parked on ice which began to melt under the tyres.

Either way a shocking experience.
 

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