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Winter Performance

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by Doug_G, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Might be good to compare notes on winter driving in the Roadster.

    I wasn't planning on getting winter tires for my Roadster; figured I wouldn't want to drive it in the fairly nasty Ottawa winter. Maybe take it out on nice days. Today the less-traveled roads are snow covered, so I figured I'd take the SUV. Unfortunately the SUV's battery is apparently getting old; when I stopped for gas I couldn't start it again. So I got a boost and went home to get the Tesla.

    Suffice it to say I was quite pleasantly surprised by how well it did on (thin) snow and ice, especially considering the summer tires. If I pressed the throttle the TC light would illuminate and the car would gently accelerate. I tried flooring it and the exact same thing happened. If I lifted off the TC light would come on again, and it would decelerate steadily. No muss, no fuss. Pretty impressive, actually.

    I didn't seem to have any trouble cornering either. Of course I was driving it gently around the corners, as I'm always cautious on snow in any car.

    My only real concern is deep snow. Just backing out I bottomed out on the tiny snowbank (and I mean tiny) at the end of the driveway. It didn't affect the car except for making a raspy sound. But I wonder how the car would handle a major snowfall even if it had snow tires.

    As for the SUV I was able to stop in at Canadian Tire and buy a new battery for it. Seemed odd lifting a lead-acid car battery into the back of the Telsa...
     
  2. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Thanks for the winter driving notes Doug...they are much appreciated!

    I agree with your fears about "deeper snow" and how the Roadster will perform (plough)...this does worry me.
     
  3. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Yes, that's a concern. I'm wondering how the diffuser will hold up. The snow plows here frequently leave snowbanks across road entrances, especially since they do the bus routes first and just plow straight across the side streets. Even if other cars have been through it your bottom is pretty low.

    Also what happens if the snow gets more than 6 inches deep? If you plow into that, will the wheels get lifted off the road? Snow tires won't matter if they're not touching the ground. Even on lighter snowstorms you will get deeper drifts here and there, so you might get a surprise.
     
  4. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

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    This is my first winter driving the Tesla.
    We have had one snowstorm so far (Minnesota). My wife and I were eager to try snow driving, so in the middle of the snowstorm we took the Tesla out for a test.
    When we started out we had just over 4 inches of virgin snow. We live in suburbia, and no plows had yet been through the neighborhood streets, although some vehicles had, so you had a mix of chopped up snow and virgin snow.
    We do have the winter tires.
    No issues with traction. I was actually quite surprised at how good the traction system was, no sliding whatsoever.
    If the traction light had not come on I would not have known it was on.
    We did a number of errands an returned a couple hours later.
    Snow debri between lanes on streets that had been plowed posed no issues. You could on occasion hear chunks of snow hitting the bottom panels.
    In our neighborhood the streets were still not plowed and we were up around 6 inches of snow. Temp was near freezing so the snow was very wet and clumped easily. In the unplowed backstreets we did run into an issue of snow getting jammed up into and sticking in the wheel wells to the point where the wheels were actually difficult to turn.
    I have not experienced this at any other time. I am hoping to get a chance to test it in 6 inches of dry snow and will report back.
    On plowed streets, the Tesla handled better than any other car I have driven in the snow.
     
  5. stenkb

    stenkb Roadster 938 Model S 5957

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    I have had my Pirelli winter tires on for a few days now and thought I would share how the Roadster handles winter in Lethbridge, Alberta.

    The tires have great grip - and the traction control works very well with the Roadster - the tires don't spin! (unless I turn off the traction control and I have fun making donuts for a bit!)
    Compared to the only other sports car I drove in winter - a BMW - the tesla handles better, grips better, and feels solid.

    If the snow pile between the tires gets too high - you do become a plow unfortunately - but for me all main roads are fine (where the snow has been packed a bit) - in residential streets where snow does not get cleared I get to listen to the snow rubbing against the bottom of the car - but no real problem.

    I am going to see if I can get more 3M film added in the door sills to protect the paint from sand, rocks, snow where it enters.

    Here's a few pics to share:
     

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  6. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Great feedback Zythryn and Kevin. How did you find it for cornering on slippery surfaces?
     
  7. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

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    There was some sliding of the front wheels if I took turns too quickly. Just of a few inches. I suspect that was because of the RWD as I had always driven FWD or AWD in snow prior to the Roadster.
    As I got used to it, my driving adjusted to it and I noticed it less and less.

    The funnest part was at a stop light next to a big AWD SUV. Light turns green, I effortlessly start and leave the SUV spinning its wheels.
    Smart driving wins over dumb driving every time, but excellent traction control sure does help:)
     
  8. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Thanks for the input guys...so far, I'm really liking what I'm hearing!

    The 3M paint armour in additional areas sounds like a good idea Kevin...is that a DIY project, or do you need a shop to do the work?
     
  9. stenkb

    stenkb Roadster 938 Model S 5957

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    Typically shops that do vehicle graphics/wraps can also do the paint armour. I will make a few calls this week and see what the cost would be to have it done. Will update.
     
  10. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Thanks Kevin, I didn't know this.

    We have a shop in town that does wraps...I'll give them a shout.


     
  11. stenkb

    stenkb Roadster 938 Model S 5957

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    #11 stenkb, Nov 30, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
    A local shop here quoted $125 to add paint armor to both doors. Gonna get it done soon..
     
  12. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Kevin, is that for the lower part of the doors + the indentations below the doors / the exposed sill as well?
     
  13. ljbad4life

    ljbad4life Member

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  14. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    #14 Jaff, Dec 1, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010
    Good and a very positive read...I guess it might be a good idea to keep a small container of lock de-icer in the glove box...Thanks for posting!
     
  15. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    What lock? The mechanism is internal.
     
  16. stenkb

    stenkb Roadster 938 Model S 5957

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    #16 stenkb, Dec 1, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010
    Yes it includes all that - I didn't even think about the bottom of the door itself - I will see if they can get that as well (I've never looked under the door to see if it gets hit there) - they are adding the Paint Armor tomorrow.
     
  17. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    :redface: There is no manual override for the trunk?...(I don't have my Roadster yet) I didn't know this...I wonder why?...redundancy is a good thing...


     
  18. tdevince

    tdevince Member

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    Good article, it mentions that the heater keeps the cabin nice and warm. I've found the heater does indeed keep the cabin warm at 25F outside (todays temps), but my feet get cold. I changed the air flow so that is completely downward and I don't seem to get a lot of airflow in that direction. Is there a manual damper down there that I need to adjust? Has anyone else found themselves with cold feet in a Roadster 2.5?
     
  19. ljbad4life

    ljbad4life Member

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    I've never owned or rode in a car that kept my feet warm. So maybe I'm just used to it I guess!
     
  20. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    I'm noticing a lack of floor heat for me, though not for my passenger. I remember reading a thread, probably in here somewhere, that the heating ducts might be designed to favor a car with the driver's side on the right and that this person did something to adjust it. I just may do it because at 25 deg. F it was noticeable -- I hate to think how bad it'll be when it gets to 0 degrees or less here.
     

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