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

Winter Driving

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by JimT, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. JimT

    JimT New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2016
    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Canada
    I just returned from a ski trip to Mont Tremblant, north of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I love my Tesla except in cold weather. It is ironic that the rear mirrors on the doors are heated but there is no air vent on the doors to defog the windows so you can't see the mirrors. As the car accumulates dirt, driver assistance features, including cruise control, stop working. Battery range dropped by up to 30%. It is a great car if you stay in the city and keep it clean all the time. But, it is not a car to take you skiing.
     
  2. FrederikBoivin

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Montreal, Qc, Canada
    Jim,

    I'll have to disagree!

    I live in the eastern township and work in Montreal I make the commute 3-4 times a week with my S85 - 115,000 km.

    The drive is incredible, much safer and pleasent than with my ML350.
    The battery, yes, drops a lot - 30% seems fair. When I do the commute front and back on the same day, I stop at the SC. Now, that sucks, the SC in montreal!!!
    But the car is a charm on ice and on snow.
    And I have to problem of foggy windows...

    We'll have to agree to disagree! I made some nice road trip - it is just an other way of commuting!!!
     
    • Like x 1
  3. Armadillos

    Armadillos Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2015
    Messages:
    172
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    I have no issues taking my 70D from Denver, CO up to the ski resorts during the winter. It does an amazing job in the snow. I just have to hit the SC on the way back home due to the battery loss.
     
  4. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,107
    Location:
    Fairfax, VA, USA
    To defrost the side windows, can't you just point the vents at them?
     
  5. OConnorStP

    OConnorStP Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    Messages:
    78
    Location:
    Praag, WI, USA
    I'm still trying to puzzle out the defrosting although I seem to have the hang of it now. My car seems to vary between normal-cold weather and crazy-Wisconsin-COLD weather (-30, which is the same whether you're doing Centigrade or Fahrenheit).

    In normal-cold (20F/-7C) the car seems to like a couple of shots of "defrost" to get the side-windows cleared up -- after which everything settles down and the windows stay clear. In crazy-cold, the car does much better at keeping the side windows clear without using the defrost at all. It also gets more aggressive with the fan when it's crazy-cold. Oh, all of this is in Range Mode -- no experience in normal mode. Love the heated steering wheel.

    Yes, the battery takes a hit but I knew that going in and it's really about the same as the various hybrids we've had -- winter is not mileage-record season. If I play my cards right I'm still at or under 320 wh/mile (vs 280-290 in summer). So no complaints there.

    And this is far and away the best driving winter car I've ever owned. I run the all-season tires all year round and find the car incredibly predictable on the road. I leave a bit of extra room for braking, since the car's really heavy.

    I have only had the driver-assistance gizmo turn itself off once. I thought it was salt, but the next time I drove the car it worked fine. I have the feeling it's a combination of salt and crazy-cold that caused it to throw up its hands in dismay. Probably not a good day to do auto-drive although I sure missed cruise control.
     
  6. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Messages:
    5,062
    Location:
    Colorado
    This is my fourth Colorado winter with a Model S. I love it in the snow. The D version with good snow tires is almost unstoppable. Yes, you have to account for the battery uses to warm the car in winter, but that is just planning. Sometimes road grim defeats the autopilot, but then it's still a great car...

    I tell all who are interested that for slippery, icy conditions where I don't have to go blasting through big snow drifts, the D Model S with the Nokian Hakka R2 tires is the best car or SUV that I have ever driven.
     
  7. bhzmark

    bhzmark Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2013
    Messages:
    1,054
    I agree that the d awd plus winter tirez, traction control and slip start is a great winter combination. Only downside is managing the battery and clearance limited to 6" at very highest air setting. Still lower than an SUV and sometimes problematic in rutted roads.
     
  8. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    8,568
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    My observation is that the car on Auto prioritizes "Recirculate" far too much in the cold. It's downright dangerous due to the window fogging that results.

    In the Winter, I set A/C Off (will still come on if you select Defrost), Set Air to Outside and leave Mode and Fan in Auto. Still the fan speed is often too slow, so I have my right steering wheel scroll wheel set to fan speed. I can bump the fan up manually, then press the scroll wheel to put it back in Auto later. This has been working for me.
     
  9. invisik

    invisik Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2014
    Messages:
    620
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Thanks for sharing what has worked for you... I'll try it as if there's more then just me in the car it fogs up. I had 4 adults and 2 kids in the car a few weeks ago--had to run the red defrost mode continuously to keep the windows clear.

    -m
     
  10. Cyclone

    Cyclone Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,397
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    I would first start with manually having the car on fresh air vs. auto, if you had it on auto before. That would likely make a big difference and you can tweak from there.
     
  11. InternetDude

    InternetDude Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2014
    Messages:
    457
    Location:
    SK/Canada
    I experimented with different HVAC settings in real cold and the most important thing is to set to fresh air only. The rest is OK on auto 95% of the time. The other 5% I tap the defroster once until the front windows are clear, then tap it again to go back to auto (except for fresh).
     
  12. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    8,568
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Agree. Fresh Air is very important, especially if it is damp and cold outside. I don't know why Tesla thinks it's okay to invoke Recirculate (when in Auto) at anything below about 40 F in the first place.
     
  13. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    2,136
    Location:
    NE
    I agree. After plotting many many trips and testing out what it could actually do in the cold, the answer seems to be "just take my ICE car".

    Tesla can fix this by:
    1. Doing lots of small but relevant software tweaks aimed towards daily and trip use in very cold and snowy weather.
    2. Increasing supercharger density on the path to winter destinations like ski areas.


    I have probably a page worth of stuff that should be fixed via software alone.
     
  14. FrederikBoivin

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Montreal, Qc, Canada
    such as?
     
  15. brantse

    brantse Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2015
    Messages:
    398
    Location:
    Somerset, PA
    If your car only has the front windshield mesh vent, you can request them to cut in the directional vents for you. This made a significant improvement to reduce window fogging.
     
  16. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    2,136
    Location:
    NE
    How about having the heated steering wheel save state with the driver seat so I don't have to dig through the menu every time I drive?
    How about having the seat/wheel heaters come up for preconditioning instead of sitting down on an ice-cold seat?
    How about having the car still be able to heat the cabin but not the battery with range mode on? Yes I want to save energy, the battery will heat itself with waste heat anyway, but _I'm_ freezing to death. Range mode climate control performance limiting is designed for 40F Fremont winters, not 5F "I'm about to get frostbite and lose a limb" winters.
    How about having the mirror heaters come up with wiper defrost instead of rear window defrost? The amount of times I've needed to clear the rear window and the mirrors needed heat = zero. This makes NO logical sense. If my wipers are frozen and I turn on the wiper heat, then there's a pretty good chance my mirrors are frozen too.
    How about having _all_ the defrost heaters come on when preconditioning so you have a chance in hell of clearing the ice off the car?
    How about having the trip meters report actual usage in the winter instead of being optimistic (ok that's not the right word, simply broken or lying is a better description) by 70% so I can accurately predict my future usage?
    How about regen disable for super icy conditions?
    How about not having slip-start disable itself as soon as you get to speed so you can continue to actually move the car in snow? This feature isn't just for moving a "stuck" car, it's for being able to get going at all with low traction, intentional or not. The default Tc/Esc is so strict that it's difficult to move or turn at all if stopped in certain conditions.
    How about having shore power heat the battery to exactly no-regen-limiting temperature?

    Off the top of my head in 2 minutes...
     
  17. CUBldr97

    CUBldr97 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2015
    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    MD
    just priced it on whispbar for my 2013 model 2 with shipping it was $596..so buying from Tesla is cheaper.
     
  18. Kalud

    Kalud Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    999
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    This is absolutely correct, great tips. During the weekend I went skiing (not a great idea) with 4 in the car, -25C to -28C, the only setting that worked fine was set Air to outside only, foot and windshield and leave fan on auto (it was running faster because of the foot and windshield setting I guess, like 6 to 9). That way I got no fogging. Otherwise, everything on auto the windows would fog in a matter of minutes and I would have to constantly switch from defrost (blue) and then back to auto (foot).

    But you nailed it, the "the car on Auto prioritizes Recirculate far too much in the cold" is the key here.
     
  19. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    2,136
    Location:
    NE
    I experienced the fogging issue last week. Ugh.
     
  20. llavalle

    llavalle Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    554
    Location:
    Somewhere around Montreal in Quebec, Canada
    I agree that the lack of vents for side windows defogging is bad... But I think the hood vs wipers vs free space beneath is worst.

    When driving in snow / ice conditions, the blades will always bring some of it downwards. Usually, this is not a problem because most cars have plenty of space under the hood for ice and snow to accumulate. Not the Model S.

    After 30-35min, I got a big ice & snow build up. And don't ask me why I don't run the wiper blade defrosters : it makes everything worst. They don't get hot enough to melt everything... just hot enough to turn snow into ice and then you end up with a huge ice build up ON the blades themselves.

    Quick pic :

    9e492c1d62a69a1963c1b46ba71f0d18.jpg
     

Share This Page