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Enough Heat?

I will be the first to admit I'm a bit picky about my car. If it has something that should work, I want it to work exactly. If the car had a machine that would turn dollars into pennies, even though I'd never use it, I'd want it to work. That being said, I am willing to make a ton of allowances for Tesla. I wouldn't trade it for anything on the road. But....last night I was coming home from Temecula and it was chilly. I had the heat up to 75 and the seat warmer on 3 and I wasn't getting a blast of warmth. Obviously, it was only about 50 outside. When I cranked it up past 80 I did get more warmth coming from the vents, but hardly a hot desert wind. Is this normal or do I need a visit to the service center. On that note, the West Los Angeles Center is manned by a very personable, knowledgeable and helpful guy named Vince.

Do you have the heat on range mode? Was this after extended driving? I have found that the auto setting doesn't work very well after a while (maybe 30 min?) -- it acts like it thinks the cabin is warmer than it really is (at one point it turned on the AC when it was cold outside). I don't know exactly what the issue is, but it seems like maybe the sensor is someplace that gets warm as you drive. So, on trips longer than my commute, I do have to turn the temperature up to maintain a comfortable temperature.

I'll chime in here that my experience with the climate control is not satisfactory. I've got a service visit scheduled in 2 weeks to fix a non-op door handle and the climate (non) control will be another item. For me the control is pretty intermittent. My cars have always been manual control, this is the first with true climate control, so maybe it works, just not as well as I expect it should. In any event, I find I'm often manually chasing the temp up or down to get some comfort. And it's not as if the weather here (Bay area) is challenging. OK, it's been a wee bit nippy in the early mornings. But some days have to go to highest setting to get any heat. Alternately on lovely afternoons (mid 60's outside) sometimes have to hit the AC to be comfortably cool, when simply blowing ambient air into the car should suffice. My default setting on the climate control is the low 70's. But as mentioned above, we often are chasing that all the way up or all the way down to get a happy interior temp.

It takes longer to build up temp in an EV than a gas car because there is no engine to siphon the waste heat off of. My LEAF is the same way. It never gets hot enough fast enough. Though I have found that putting the front windshield defroster on does seem to accelerate things. You might try that (I don't have my S yet).

Geek EV do you have a Model S?

I find the S heats up great but after driving for a while it does seem to get. . . odd. I wish it would just leave the settings the way I set them up rather than reset everything to Auto each time I get in.
My wife seems to think that once it gets to the set temp it starts to mix the air so it comes out the vents at whatever temp you have it set at. That really doesn't work for HVAC because 70 degree dry air blowing on most people is chilly. I think that's why some report the car drafty.

I would say it does not blast out heat like my ICE. On the other hand in cold weather, my ICE is, well.... icy for the first 5 mins until the system builds up enough waste heat to spare some for my comfort.

So in the Tesla, I get immediate heat, but at a more moderate level. (It does not have trouble heating the car in freezing temps) In the ICE, I can turn it into a sauna but only when it's damn good and ready.

Plus right now, the Tesla is out in the drive, and she's warm inside waiting for our morning run.

Both my ICE and Tesla have climate control. The Tesla seems to work better than the ICE in that I don't have to fiddle with it to turn it off when the engine is cold, then on when the engine is warm, mess with the fan speed, ect. Tesla is more "set and forget".

I'd score this round in favor of the Tesla.

I agree 100%. The first round of heating works great, fast & hot, then I think there is a bug of some sort. Same with cycling through the vents -- the first time it's fine, then it almost doesn't matter what you select, it just does as it wishes. That's on my incredibly short list (two items so far) for them to look at during service, though nothing critical. I really think it's a software thing.

@Sudre_ - I do not, yet, and stated as much. ;-)

I find it gets comfortably warm quickly. On longer drives it seems to get a little cooler.

Having climate control designed by Californians is like making parkas designed by Tahitians.

@Brian H -- just wait till summer, then CA-designed climate control will probably work better. It might just be the *heating* side that's deficient :)

@GeekEV - actually I find that it heats up *much* faster than an ICE -- normally, it takes 5min before the engine is warmed up enough to start melting ice with the defroster, but in the Model S the ice was melted and I was driving in a few minutes.

Someone reported AC coming on when it was in the 60s outside. The Auto system seems to be seriously confoozed.

@Sudre - The HVAC settings are programmable to your profile. I think it shows you how to do it in this video:

https://vimeo.com/56110773
Password: t35la4ALL

I've experience the heating bug, too where it heats (just okay) initally and then turns on the AC or something.

I am on the east coast and it is regularly in the 30's most times, especially in the mornings. I agree with others that the car warms up faster than an ICE vehicle. Warm the car remotely before I leave work. 5 mins is enough and it's nice and toasty. I have noticed after a period of time that I am getting cold, particularly at my feet. Overriding the auto function and directing the flow to the floor only and cranking up the fan results in no change to floor heat. I have my car in service now and asked them to look into this. Not an uncommon observation. Will get back to y'all when I hear from them.

@BrianH - I have had that happen - basically, it seems like the temperature sensor gets hot after a while, and to keep the cabin at a constant temperature I have to keep raising the temperature setting. That may not be the problem, but that is consistent with what I have seen in my car.

Pretty much the same experience here too. also in the northeast. the heat works great, very fast on cold days. it seems to not work so well when its in the 40s. yesterday it was like 46 out and it was set at 72 and blowing cool air. however on a 30 or colder day - nice warm air in abundance.
wish there was a setting for hot air!

It's been cold and very cold at night here in Colorado this week, and I can say I am quite pleased with the performance of the heat. It is better than the other cars I have. I really like the seat warmers too. On the highest setting they are not too hot, but I still tend to turn it down fairly quickly and eventually off because I am finding the cabin temperature becomes nice very quickly.

Similar experience here, although usually what happens is I overdo it and turn down the temp; then it gets too cool and I turn it up, and find that the fat blows faster--as if it is doing the usual "you want more heat?" thing it does, but the temp doesn't get warmer...like it thinks it's warming me. Eventually if does get warmer but it takes a lot longer than the usual one minute warm-up when I first start driving.

(I'm not explaining this well, I know; my point is, my problem seems related but slightly different.)

Anyway. Ownership@teslamotors.com said if it keeps happening, to let them know and they'll open an incident and Service will look at it for me. It has happened again, but I rebooted the screens last night for an unrelated reason and I'm going to wait and see if it happens a third time. Reboots seem to clear up odd things, so while I doubt it'll matter, I figure why not see? Of course, it's already almost March, so I might not really know for another 9-10 months. ;-)

That's the ticket! Reboot the seasons.


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