Last Saturday, I drove Quebec City to St-Hyacinthe, Qc back and forth and my passengers and me have been frozen 80% of the ride. The other 20% has been comfortable because I preheated at 23C during recharging before the trip. I drove at 115 km/hr with 21.5C degrees on heating but exterior cold air ( -14C ) won on the heater. My backing seats passengers were frozen especially their feet ; in front a little bit warmer but like back seats, feet frozen. I used Automatic mode and manual mode to correct the situation and Manual mode is little bit better but inside stayed too cold.

Have you any suggestions / solutions to fix this unpardonable deficiency in North countries ?

My embarrassment was amplify by my passengers ( Mercedes owners )

GHammer | 24. Januar 2016

Were you in Range Mode? Did you turn up the temperature?

Tstolz | 24. Januar 2016

I just turn up the heat and fan until I'm comfortable. Pulls more power but I'd rather be warm.

patp | 24. Januar 2016

Neil -

You have to put the temp at more than 21.5C to not feel cold. Manual mode at 8-9 fan speed help push the air on the back a little bit more.

Also, have your door checked for air leak from the exterior. My P85D had broken seals so lot's of cold air was coming thru the door handles.

But, I agree it's not super warm even with that...

DTsea | 24. Januar 2016

7.0 has degraded heating. Even if you manually set feet only, it mainly blows defrost in your face. | 24. Januar 2016

The only difference I found with 7.0/7.1 after 6.2 is Tesla changed it so for the same amount of heat, you need to turn it up by about 6 degrees F. So if you were used to 72 F, you have to set it to 78 F (25.5C). Feels the same once you do this (although I'm not in freezing weather).

Neil it sounds like you don't have the cold weather package for the heated rear seats? If you do have it, I assumed you had the rear seat heaters on too which could help.

redacted | 24. Januar 2016

Did you try "HI" (sic) and 11?

WHitchings | 25. Januar 2016

I have noticed that preheating the car makes it warm...once you start driving, you get cool air.

Hart | 25. Januar 2016

If you don't have range problems (and you should not with 115km!), why not turn heat to "High", and seat heaters to level 3?

procarl | 25. Januar 2016

Unfortunately, regardless of experimenting with settings, I have never considered the car's heating system as adequate (early 2013, 58,000 miles). Each time I have it in for service to check it out, the answer is always the same: "It's according to spec".

Thankfully, I live in AZ, so the seat warmers and "lukewarm to cool" air have to suffice. But it remains a frustrating weakness in the car, in my opinion.

JeffreyR | 25. Januar 2016

See J.T's fka FAQ, Owner's Manual Companion for useful information on winter travel. Pre-conditioning is a very good idea. I've seen a video where a guy in Minnesota pre-heats his car to 80-degrees (F) while still plugged in to melt ice and be comfy. If you are on land power, no reason not to start off w/ a warm car.

@patp +1 a really good point about seals being broken.

DonS | 25. Januar 2016

I don't pay much attention to the set temperature, but just turn it up until I'm warm. Still even on HI, it never gets as hot as every ICE car I've ever had.

LegalCounsel | 26. Januar 2016

Range mode makes a big difference. If you were in range mode, there is just not enough warm air below -10C outside temperatures. In tests conducted by Finnish Tesla drivers, with range mode OFF the Model S started to have problems with its heating system in -35C to -40C (-40F) temperatures, because the system started to give occasional freezing blasts for several minutes in such extreme temperatures (due to the heating system overheating or the system not being able to cope with such cold temperatures?)! Thus, the Model S is quite a good (warm) car in freezing temperatures.

However, the Model S has severe problems in -15C (and below) in keeping the windows clear. The windows start to fog and freeze up (especially the rear seat side windows) even if you manually control the ventilation settings or turn on the window defog mode. Automatic settings are useless in cold weather, because you have to manually increase the blower speed and turn off cabin air recycling. It also helps that you set the fans to blow only on the windows and passengers (not the feet), but then you will get less frozen/foggy windows, but cold feet (the same "cold feet" effect applies if you turn on the window defog mode).

Also, make sure that all of your air vents are really open. If you turn the vents towards the windows/doors, this actually closes the vents completely, which is counter-intuitive compared with most other cars! The vents are fully open only when they are pointed towards the center.

The Model S should have additional air vents in the rear doors or center door pillar (like for example Volvo cars have) so that air could be directed also to the rear side windows and you should be able to point the vents towards the windows (if needed) to keep windows clear in freezing temperatures.

Teslagator | 11. Februar 2016

I too suffer inability to get adequate heating, even in 45F outside air temps. I keep getting cool to cold air from the upper vents no matter what I change on the climate settings- recirc, lower vents only, 85F temp request, etc...any clues to what I must do to stop cold air from coming through middle and side upper vents when I have it in heating mode? | 11. Februar 2016

@Teslagator - That doesn't sound normal. I have no problems with 45F. Talk to service - the blend door may not be operating properly (it mixes cold outside air with hot air). Clearly with recirculation mode, no cold air should be coming through.

hcwhy | 11. Februar 2016

I don't have any trouble at all...just set it on 68 F and I'm comfortable. I start the seat out at 2 and once it's warm lower it to 1. It's been mostly in the twenties here, with some teens or single digits.

procarl | 11. Februar 2016


68F is some distance from my idea of comfortable. I've become too used to Arizona's climate, obviously.

mgtesla1 | 11. Februar 2016

Every now and then the darn thing decides to blow ice-cold air onto the passengers for a few minutes, Then it stops again and is fine for some time. Then it starts over...

I think the folks in charge of climate control code should have a mandate to spend January or February in Minnesota driving long distances. The Californians aren't used to cold, they'll have it fixed in no-time!

JayInJapan | 11. Februar 2016

I set the temperature somewhere between 22-24, on Auto with air on feet only. Seats start at 3 and go to 2 or 1 depending on how people prefer them. If the windows fog up, I turn on the air con. Works perfectly.

Dennis | 11. Februar 2016

I know this sounds silly but is your AC off? I noticed that if all your settings are set to AUTO the AC remains on and fights the heater. Go into settings, switch to manual and tap AC off. This helped for me. I live in New England and the heater works great.

hcwhy | 11. Februar 2016

Procarl: I'm usually dressed for the cold ...two or three layers etc...but even when I'm dressed up...which isn't often.... I don't remember being cold in the Tesla. The car heats up quickly in the morning with the remote.

JayInJapan | 12. Februar 2016

Air con works for heating or cooling.;-)

danacambra | 12. Februar 2016

Have had my Model S for 3 weeks. Love the car, but agree the heating is not satisfying. We need to exaggerate the "target" temperature and usually manually control the fan speed (which is often too low to change the temp quickly in auto) ... especially for heating (and we live in CA - Bay Area). Feel bad for those who have real winters like I grew up in back East. Having said that, we love the ability to hear the car before she/we leave.

iTesla | 12. Februar 2016

Leesburg, VA 12F/-11C
Drove to work this morning with temperature set to 74F/23C and it was nice and warm in car.
Seat heat at 1.

SbMD | 12. Februar 2016

11 degrees F this AM. Preheated the car to 72 F (June 2015 delivery 85D). Very comfortable 30 min drive to work. No problems here at that level and I had to turn down the heat 5 min into my drive. Didn't need the seat warmers. Agree with having your car checked.

finished | 12. Februar 2016

It's really amazing the broad swing of responses in this thread. Some say it works great some say it sucks. Some are not warm at 68 degrees and can't get enough heat despite residing in CA or AZ. I hope these are operator error problems and not Tesla design problems, but I find it hard to believe it's operator error if all you need to do is set the temperature on the control menu bar and wait for the heat. I fully realize that a battery-powered car will never pump out heat as warm or in quantities to match an ICE, but it either gets to setpoint or it doesn't. I've watched every Bjorn video and he seems to have ample heat driving around in light clothing in Norway. I'm taking delivery in a less than 2 weeks and this thread is bothering me.

Kimscar | 12. Februar 2016

Version 7 just doesn't allow the Tesla to pump out a lot of heat like it used to do. So it's slow. They should give us the option if we want to heat the car and don't care as much about the energy used to do it we can.

NKYTA | 12. Februar 2016

Works fine for me, though CA is now entering "summer" it seems. Time to precool from the app again.

NKYTA | 12. Februar 2016

Definitely turn range mode off. Forgot to do that for a month after the last road trip. | 12. Februar 2016

As I pointed out earlier, you just need to up the temperature control. With 7.1 software, to get the same amount of heat, it requires 4-6 degree more. It heats up just as fast as before and works perfectly (or it should).

One issue that can make a huge difference is if you have a seal leak in a window or door. This lets icy cold air in and it may be impossible to get the heater to overcome this. Not sure how you detect or find this, but perhaps with a passenger feeling around the doors and windows while driving, you can feel cold air coming in. I think this issue is rare, but have heard of a few others in the forum talking about this kind of issue.

SeattleSid | 12. Februar 2016

I prefer "custom" settings instead of "auto." When there are passengers in the back seat, I've found there's more air headed their way from the vents between the front seats when it's set to "recirc." Often need A/C set to "on" to avoid fogging, but even then, in weather in the 20s and 30s I've never had to have the heat set to anywhere near "HI."

science-isbetter | 12. Februar 2016

Note that several posters have found adequate heating in very cold weather. Others have found inadequate heating on very cold days.

I have found both but believe that heating is only adequate on very cold days when the sun is shining. Yes Virginia, there is a greenhouse effect.

Run4Waffles | 12. Februar 2016

-4 degrees this morning. Jarvis is garaged. Pre-heating works great. Heat set to 69 auto, seat 3. The car is toasty. 4 miles down the road the windows are fogging. Hit the windshield button. Turn it off after a couple of miles. I'm generally plenty warm. Then it seems to be fighting between Heat and AC. After a 60 minute commute my hands are ice.

When I stopped the car last night to backup the driveway, it was blowing COLD air.

Why would the engineering have "auto" incorrect?

I definitely need to figure it out.

SbMD | 12. Februar 2016

In my case above, it is dark because I leave early in the AM.
No greenhouse effect but a good point.
Window seals and perhaps the car build may make a difference.
Also, cold tolerance can matter. I have no Nordic cold-tolerance genes that I know of, but even if I did, my car still heats up well.
Another potential factor is the energy being used to maintain the battery, and whether or not there is some dialing back of power allocated to passenger heat if battery maintenance and driving demand are relatively high. May make a difference. Could be related to build and battery size as well.

The heterogeneity of responses indicates that there are more variables at play and that this is not a universal problem.

Run4Waffles | 12. Februar 2016

Clarification on my post: the "it" that I turn off is the defroster. The heat remains on.

The fogging of the windows is the side windows, not the windshield. And I checked the sides events to have them pointed towards the side windows.

Love the auto high beams for my commute.

No problems with pedestrians, deer, moose or porcupines this season. Knock on wood.

ram1901 | 12. Februar 2016

V7.1 [2.10.71] - 70D built 11/15 .. preheat.. seats on 2 .. fan on 1 or 2 .. heat turned down to 68 OR interior feels too hot when dressed for below 30 degree weather. Just me in the car most days.. sometimes wifey and me.
In 20 degree or below weather we bump it up to 69 or 70 and still feels warm.
Of course the range takes a big hit.
Have seen posts about earlier models having leaky seals causing a rush of cold air once on the highway..
With leaks, no car heater will be able to keep up in sub zero weather, especially when windy.

barrykmd | 13. Februar 2016

My coldest drive to date was about a month ago, in Summit Co, CO. Around sunrise, cold air settles in the mountain valleys and doesn't warm up until the sun hits it for a few hours. It was -9F as I exited I-70 and drove by Lake Dillon. Every car around me was spewing condensation from their tailpipe. I had no problem at all with heat set at 72 and seat on 2.

drmikegraves | 13. Februar 2016

I had the same problem driving from Indy to Chicago yesterday... Frozen hands and feet. Cold air around my drivers door handle... Having service check it on Tuesday. The new software update must have changed the heating system.... Did not have this problem last winter. Tesla.... Please look into a software change to the climate control system!

WHitchings | 13. Februar 2016

I *know* the heating system can flame-broil the does during pre-heat. But when you're driving, it's no where near putting out that amount of heat.

redacted | 13. Februar 2016

With the temp set at HI and the fan at 11 and on recirculate, a Tesla would stay toasty warm in liquid Nitrogen.

There can be problems with cold air leaks. See your Tesla service center for assistance with that.

DLebryk | 14. Februar 2016

@mgtesla1 - I'm having the same problem, the car blows cold air about every 5 - 10 minutes (now that I think about it, the car has done this forever, I just never noticed). And the critical thing about this car - it is sealed up incredibly well from outside air - when the climate system is off, there is little or no air entering the car.

Here's how you fix it temporarily - or I figured out how to mitigate the problem:
When you start to feel the cold air, turn the power off on the climate control. Yeah, that sounds completely wrong - oddly the car is so well sealed, it doesn't get cold or blow cold air in the car. After about a minute, the system seems to reset, turn the power back on and you will get nothing but toasty warm air. Repeat as necessary.

Since I was driving a very long distance and spent a lot of time in the car on highways, I was watching the energy display. When the car started to blow cold air, there was a small increase in energy use. It seems like the A/C is turning on. There is something definitely wrong - and I plan to take the car in for service.

Turning off the A/C in manual didn't really work.

And there were times that blowing cold air didn't happen for long stretches, like an hour or two. And then others when it just seemed to happen a lot.

I was driving in cold temperatures 9 - 25 degrees F, in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. (and oddly drmikegraves - I was driving from Indy to Chicago on Saturday also - I would guess that is the vent blowing cold air, not a window seal, turn the climate control power off and see if the cold still blows).

harry pippic | 14. Februar 2016

I hear they have some wild bars in La Belle Province du Quebec. Many of them have some hot chicks offering some great lap dancing. I know of one near St. Adel right on the Highway 19.
I think you would be a great host if you offered your Mercedes guests a couple of the hot chicks to hang out in the back of your TESLA and act like some low tech pocket warmers.
I am sure they would warm up right quick and not complain about the lack of heat. I bet that they would get very hot.

mgtesla1 | 14. Februar 2016

@DLebryk - yep. Tried it all, Auto on/off, AC on/off, Recirc on/off various combinations, nothing seemed to help (range mode off). Thanks for the tip with turning off climate control, I will try that!

It isn't a window seal, as the car is perfectly comfortable one moment (and has no problem getting toasty even in below-zero Fahrenheit), and in the next it blows cold air for a few minutes. Can't even quite tell where it is coming from.

Time to complain at the SC and hope they pass it on. Sounds like a software issue to me.

hcwhy | 15. Februar 2016

It almost sounds as if the car gets a bit too warm for the sensor and it turns on the AC to bring the car back to the set temp.

luckyluciano | 15. Februar 2016

I drove in my sisters Acura RDX yesterday. It was -15 here. The vehicle was very warm & comfortable. My brother in law was driving with his coat off.

I definitely could not have done this in my Teala. It feels very cold & drafty like its very poorly insulated. With the heater manually set there is cold air entering somehow. You really know it is cold outside in my car. Not in the RDX. In the RDX you forget that it is cold.

teslaliving | 15. Februar 2016

With recent software updates this has gotten pretty bad. Below 20F (-7C) the heater in range mode can't keep up. Out of range mode it eats battery like crazy. Last winter on older software builds I had it in range mode all winter and it was fine. Not sure what they changed but wish they'd put it back.

Run4Waffles | 15. Februar 2016

I was in for service today and reviewed the heat situation. They tested the output and it was operating at 143 degrees. It was recommended to use a manual setting of:

A) Select ALL 3 output directions of feet, body and windshield to be on
B) Leave the a/c on - the Mosel S detects moisture content and turns the a/c on to elevate the issue
C) Have recirculating on

Nonetheless, you may find needing to set the temp higher than what you normally do.

I hate not being able to just use auto. Ugh

LegalCounsel | 16. Februar 2016

Definitely DO NOT recommend having recirculation on. This will fog your windows in -10C and below temperatures even with AC on! The trick is to increase air flow manually to at least 7 and as Run4Waffles states above (A), it is a good idea to select all 3 output directions, or at least the upper 2.

If you increase the blowing speed up to 11, then warm airflow is not sufficient anymore for some reason (perhaps overheating?). After testing in extreme -40C weather here in Finland, one member of the Finnish Tesla Club determined that there is some kind of internal overheating protection for the heating system, because occasionally the system started blasting ice cold air in those super-freezing temperatures (i.e. all heat stopped for some minutes and started again after that). At that temperature the cabin could not maintain the selected temperature anymore, but it was apparently still about 16-18C.

Davidb0229 | 16. Februar 2016

The inconsistent heating happens to me, too. When you first get into the car, it seems to crank up the heat, but as a trip lengthens, it seems to cool down. Sometimes I do not seem to be able to get it warmer no matter how I set the manual controls, other times it responds well. I probably need to make a more disciplined effort to test various settings and see what works.
Interestingly, my son and how wife and I took a 30-minute trip this past Sunday. It was pretty cold out, temps in high teens, I think. I had the system set with manual settings I usually use. Windows were fogging up. After trying some adjustments, he just hit "Auto" and the windows cleared almost immediately. I assume the A/C went on (although I do not know how it could run with such cold outside air -- in previous cars the compressor would not run if outside air were below freezing).
In the backseat, I can't say I was ever really warm. Little if any detectable air coming from the center vents, and when I could feel it, it was cool.
Definitely not one of the Model S's strengths...I wonder if the Model X got it better?

DLebryk | 16. Februar 2016

@teslaliving Absolutely not true about the battery being eaten up with the heater. In fact the interior heat uses very little energy, compared to heating the battery.

Prove it to yourself in a really simple experiment. Let the car get cold - leave it outside for an hour in below 40 degree weather. Get in and drive. Look at the energy chart. For the next 5 miles you will see a huge spike in energy use - in the 500-900 range. And notice the temperature of the interior of your car - it was toasty warm a few minutes into your drive - like within the first mile. But yet the car is using tons of energy. How can that be?

After the energy use levels off - you should be driving normally, on a highway or someplace where you use pretty consistent amount of energy to drive. Gosh the cabin is the right temperature, but yet it isn't going crazy using energy.

Now turn off the climate control - completely - press the power button. Look at the energy use after driving a few miles. Weird - the energy use doesn't drop. Oh it drops a little tiny bit, but not much.

Yeah the cabin heater isn't the range killing problem - it is the battery heating. Once the battery is warm - range goes back to more normal.

The recent update just made battery heating more aggressive.

SUSTEKI.TOKYO.JP | 17. Februar 2016

I'm a very warm natured person, I hate being cold! Prior to 7.1 I set my heating to full Auto with the temp set to 23C this kept me warm through the winter. Since the 7.1 update I've now had to bump up the temp to 25.5 to get the same toasty results. When I open the app on my phone to check the internal temp it is much more accurate typically 26C.