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Winter driving observations

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by billlanger, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. billlanger

    billlanger Member

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    Every car, ICE or electric has its peculiar features and the Model S is no exception. Here are some features I have found as applied to winter driving. Maybe others can add their experiences:

    1) Snow or ice accumulation on a parking assist sensor will result in a drivers notification that park assist is disabled. That is ok and not unexpected. However, each time the car slows to less than 5mph, an alert chime is given to stop to avoid a collision, even if all is clear. Ignore it or get out of the car and wipe off the sensors.

    2) In very cold conditions, maybe around zero F, the regen may be totally disabled until the battery warms. A drivers alert is given. Disabled regen will result in very free coasting which may be an unexpected driving behavior. Be careful.

    3) I have found that the charge port can ice up so that it does not pop open when released. A few gentle taps seems to be enough to break the ice so the port will open.

    4) If the battery starts cold, a significant amount of power will be used to heat it during the first miles. This means that energy consumption for a 20 mile trip may double from a normal 300 Wh/ mile to over 600. For a 100 mile trip the consumption in 10 degree F weather may approach 350 Wh/mile, in line with the 20% penalty others have reported. For a 3 mile trip the energy consumption may average off the chart.

    5) I have found that the traction is better than a Mercedes E class I formerly had. probably due to the rear biased weight and the high pressure tires. I will not get snow tires.

    I love the car, it just takes some understanding to use its technology in cold conditions.
     
  2. J in MN

    J in MN S60 P12635

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    I have to disagree on this point. I have been running on Nokian Hakka R2's since beginning of November. The ice left behind by last week's snow left me completely unimpressed with the traction of Model S compared to other cars with all seasons that I have owned. Then on Friday I got a loaner with all seasons. That car was positively dangerous on the ice. I know of another Twin Cities owner who got stuck on all seasons last week.

    So, don't take chances - just get winter tyres. Model S needs them.
     
  3. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    #3 artsci, Dec 8, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013
    I have Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus. I just drove to the airport in a major snow storm here. About 25 miles on icy, snow packed, and slushy conditions. The car handled well, no problems. Not the very best I've had but pretty good. Went up some major hills with very good traction. The car was never out of control.

    so I think this is all about the tires.
     
  4. SamGarber

    SamGarber S85 "Whale Shark"

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    Well, my observation is that without winter tires, driving in snow sucks. Had 1-2 inches come down today and the MS could not even brave a small incline and was slipping and sliding even at low speed on a straightaway with TCS going crazy. Had to carefully reverse and go downhill and into garage and take the ICE Mercedes SUV (4Matic). I am guessing that the issues are mostly due to the RWD and also having all-season Michelin MXM4 instead of actual winter tires. I am wondering if I should invest in winter tires since we only usually have 3-4 snows per year.
     
  5. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I'd suggest getting a set of winter tires and wheels. Friday was an ice day here and I drove about 60 miles on the MXM4 tires. I didn't have any particular problems on the road (other than high energy use, which was expected, and a bunch of blocked off roads) but it wasn't hard to imagine that snow tires would have been much better. My MXM4s are very new, and I suspect yours aren't--even 2 mm in tread depth would make quite a difference in traction. My hope is that by the time the MXM4s wear out Nokian will have the Tesla size in WR-3g which are severe service all-seasons (as opposed to Texas all-seasons like the MXM4) and just the thing for places with just a few snows every year.
     
  6. SamGarber

    SamGarber S85 "Whale Shark"

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    My MXMs have about 2800 miles on them. I have a set of 21 inch turbines waiting for summer. I was planning on putting winters on my 19s when the MXMs wore out. I guess I have to do it earlier than I thought for my MS to be an effective daily driver here in PA.
     
  7. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    This is my second winter with an MS. With snow tires, it has performed wonderfully. I will try to get a good GoPro of my driveway in "interesting" conditions soon, but in all but deep powder and slippery slush, my MS with Hakka 7's has done wonderfully. My last pitch after the turn is 15%. If there are issues, it may be that the Pirelli Sottozero tires have a little too much preference to dry road performance rather than real winter performance. I would recommend Nokian Hakka R2's for new serious winter tire installs.

    See Up the Driveway at Hole-in-the-Wall - YouTube for the ascent to my house in the winter! I do this all the time on packed powder and more...the MS does wonderfully. :wink:
     
  8. SamGarber

    SamGarber S85 "Whale Shark"

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    Just bought a set of Hakka R2s. Thanks for the tip.
     
  9. Mario Kadastik

    Mario Kadastik Active Member

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    Accelerated today onto highway with icy conditions on the road and kept flooring it to get to 90km/h and at about 70km/h the car began to fishtail so had to leave off. Most likely it's just varying conditions on the road, but that was a tick unexpected. Then again I've been way too used to 4-wheel drive. Could also be that the alignment is off with the 19" coming from 21" and after trucking the car, probably should check. Oh, running on Hakka 8's.
     
  10. SamGarber

    SamGarber S85 "Whale Shark"

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    Nokians out of stock - bummer. Going to go with Blizzaks instead.
     
  11. Hybris

    Hybris Member

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    I will get Nokian Hakka 8
     
  12. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    Yes but at least the car puts up an alert if regen is completely disabled. If regen is limited, it draws the dashed yellow line indicating the approximate limit. It's very hard to miss so there shouldn't be any surprises and every car takes some getting used to when you first drive it. Not sure about the behavior with a full "range" charge, though. All in all, I don't see this a big issuew.
     
  13. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Be careful!!!

    I have the Hakka 7's and have learned to truly hate the sound of the studded tires that I call my "Rice Krispy" tires. Studs are really annoying (snap, crackle, pop) in an electric car, and to the best of my research, add little winter weather performance. OTOH, the winter weather performance of the Hakkas is great!

    I would just rather have the R2's. In trying to get some, I heard today that the R2's in the 245/45/19 size are getting hard to find this year. Another Tesla effect?
     
  14. teslasguy

    teslasguy MSP P#1117

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    I live in the Philly area and have been driving for a year now (including our bad snowstorm yesterday) on Bridgestone Pole Potenza all seasons with no problem at all. The rolling resistance sucks on them but the handling in snow, slush and ice has been great.
     
  15. SamGarber

    SamGarber S85 "Whale Shark"

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    Well I guess it is good to hear that changing tires might restore my faith in the MS as a daily driver for all conditions.
     
  16. Mario Kadastik

    Mario Kadastik Active Member

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    Well I drive on the Hakka 8's and yes the sound is quite something at highway speeds, but it's not really that much of an issue in city driving. For highway it's still less than my previous cars because I always drive studded in winter because of ice and had in addition engine sounds etc. I really love the no vibration thing of EV's ;)
     
  17. Alysashley79

    Alysashley79 Member

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    I have the Hakka 7's and while yes they ARE extremely loud and I agree we also call them rice Krispy tyres they are great done and ice tyres. They aren't good wet and dry tyres though. We have been impressed. We ascend from about 300' elevation to about 2000' elevation daily through snow and ice and the MS does better than both my Ford F250 super duty and honda pilot
     
  18. B.TSLA

    B.TSLA Member

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    I experienced some pretty significant range reduction yesterday myself while driving a total of only 157.3 Km yesterday in my P85+ MS. The temperature was -11 degrees celsius. I think around -18 with windchill.
    Started my day with 376Km of Range and ended it with 58Km of remaining range. While at the office the MS was parked on the 4th floor of an exposed parking structure for 8 hours. Regen was disabled for serval KM's on the drive home because the battery was cold.

    Some things to note:
    * I heated the cabin and seats
    * Only gunned it once or twice off the line

    Really Glad I got the 85Kwh Battery!!
     
  19. montgom626

    montgom626 Active Member

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    Same here!
     
  20. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Ditto. You really want to have that extra capacity if you live somewhere with extreme cold. I don't think a 40 kWh battery would have been practical here.
     

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