Climate control low setting and cold weather

Climate control low setting and cold weather

My Tesla is parked in an attached garage and this will be its first Minnesota winter.

I understand it is necessary to protect the battery from hard freezing.

Does the battery heater turn on even if the climate control system is turned off?

What internal temperature does the system maintain in the LOW setting on the Tesla app?

The car will have the charge cord connected and battery level set about 75%.

Often I won’t be using it for several days in a row as I don’t drive to work (retired).

I can use advice about these issues.

I only have a 20 amp 240V circuit available that charges at 15 MPH, Adequate for me.

Thanks for your help.

Joshan | 31. Oktober 2019

In the winter you will see about 30% loss of range and when the battery is cold a loss of brake regen. Other than that it is mostly the same as summer. You just need to warm the car for about 15 mins before driving if possible.

Not sure what you mean about "protect the battery from hard freezing". People do this all the time. I parked outside in Minnesota last february for 5 days outside without moving. Not a single issue, I just let it warm up for longer than normal before driving.

hokiegir1 | 31. Oktober 2019

Keep it plugged in and you'll be fine. The car doesn't have a dedicated battery heater (it uses the motors to do this, even when parked), but it will protect itself. Before you leave, you may choose to bump your charge up a bit (5%), and pre-heat the cabin, and this will help with preconditioning the battery and mitigating regen loss, though it may not completely eliminate it.

Bighorn | 31. Oktober 2019

Unless you’re parked for >24 hours at ~-25 F, there’s no issue per Tesla.

FISHEV | 31. Oktober 2019

The battery will protect itself. There's nothing extra for owner to do other than keep the battery at the high end of capacity so it has the power to regulate itself.

I have started to see some cold weather warnings on the screen in the cooler AM's (38F coldest to date) and my car sits outside and unplugged. There's a blue snowflake that will show on the screen when the battery is cold. You'll get a warning about low regen.

The manual says to warm the car to warm the battery to recover range lost to the cold weather but if you don't do this, the battery is still safe. Download the manual to your computer and then you can search it using "cold" as a key word to see the various cold weather issues.

"Note: In cold weather, some of the stored energy in the Battery may not be available until the Battery warms up. When this happens, a portion of the Battery meter is blue and the driving distance value has a snowflake image next to it. If Model 3 is plugged in, you can heat your Battery using wall power by turning on climate control using the mobile app. When the Battery warms up, the blue portion on the meter and the snowflake image are no longer displayed."

Be nice if Tesla gave us more info on energy being used by battery, heater, lights etc. All the Tesla energy graph offers is a Wh/mile and only when car is moving. Here's a screen shot of the Kona EV energy info screen showing what components are using what power. This is someone warming it up inside in -2C. Car is not moving.

coleAK | 31. Oktober 2019

I’m in Alaska. I’ve found using the climate control “auto” setting works best by far. It it the only way I don’t have dogged/frozen windows. Keep it on Auto 67 all winter

FISHEV | 31. Oktober 2019

" Keep it on Auto 67 all winter"@coleAK

When on Auto it seems to just send output to dashboard vents. The windshield and floor vents are grayed out. When I put them on, Auto goes off. Is there a way to set Auto to direct to windshield and floor?

andy.connor.e | 31. Oktober 2019

Possibly that the car is trying to turn on the recirculate? I cant run recirculate and blow on windshield at the same time.

Joshan | 31. Oktober 2019

Bighorn | October 31, 2019
Unless you’re parked for >24 hours at ~-25 F, there’s no issue per Tesla.

First I heard of this. Am I lucky I had no issues parked for 5 days outdoors in single digit and below temps?

Bighorn | 31. Oktober 2019

This is the Model S parameter. I’ve not seen it nor looked for it on the 3.

jebinc | 31. Oktober 2019

Interesting thread. Good info.

F.vanalstine | 01. November 2019

What does the LOW setting in the Tesla app do?

What interior temperature does the LOW setting maintain? Can’t find anything about that in the manual.

derotam | 01. November 2019

@F.vanalstine, sorry I thought I had answered this, post must not have gone through....

LOW setting in the app will put your HVAC into max A/C

LOW setting when set in the car is more fluid because you can change other options as well.
LOW setting in the car with A/C on will provide max A/C when in AUTO
LOW setting in the car with A/C OFF will ONLY circulate air(either fresh or recirc as set), and NO heat.

derotam | 01. November 2019

whether in AUTO or not makes no difference in my above post, I shouldn't have put that in there.

F.vanalstine | 01. November 2019

LOW setting providing max AC seems counter intuitive.

Is this explained anywhere in the user manual?

hokiegir1 | 01. November 2019

@F.vanalstine - LO is the temperature -- so it counts down and goes 61->60->LO, so not as counterintuitive when you actually see it. :)

@derotam - Do you have a source for this one: "LOW setting in the car with A/C OFF will ONLY circulate air(either fresh or recirc as set), and NO heat." There are a number of people (myself included) who have asked for this, but this is the first I've seen anyone say this.

edseloh | 01. November 2019

I have my car set to charge right before I leave in the morning so the battery is warm. I also use the app to turn on the heat with the defroster set on high. (You can use the Stats app to schedule both the charging and heating, and the Tesla app should support scheduled time-of-departure charging with the upcoming firmware release.)

Your 20 Amp circuit should be fine for conditioning the car in the winter weather.

derotam | 01. November 2019

@hokiegirl1, are you asking about the only recirculating air when A/C is OFF, or are you asking about the "NO Heat" part?

As far as the air circulation part, it is clear from experience that no A/C is being used for the cabin if you turn off the A/C button

For the No heat statement..I honestly have not tested that extensively but I haven't noticed heat being active at all. If the heater kicked on what would be the parameters for that? Would it be a certain minimum temperature that the cabin heater would automatically kick in? That would still technically counter the "LOW" setting for the temperature.

The only way to really test the heat theory is to have a CAN reader and watch power draw while stopped and while in the coldest temperatures available to you...I am awaiting my OBDII cable and reader so I can start looking at various power draws.

derotam | 01. November 2019

Any "recirculating" in my last post should be read "circulating".

hokiegir1 | 01. November 2019

@derotam - Both parts, actually. :) There have been many of us that have asked for what is basically a "fan only" setting, which is basically what you described. We have an infrared thermometer that I might be able to test to some degree over the next couple days (we're getting 35-ish temps at night, finally, so I'd expect if I test first thing in the AM, it could trigger heat to kick in). It won't be conclusive, but might have some info. And since Lo is basically 59 on the series, that's about where I'd expect it to fall, +/- a few degrees.

gballant4570 | 01. November 2019

I have not tried this, but.... LO setting (temp) being about 60F, perhaps when the ambient temperature is lower the AC is not what runs. The temp setting should be independent of what action is required to reach that temp inside the car.

gballant4570 | 01. November 2019

With regard to the intent of the OP, if the car is plugged in you should not have any issues with battery suffering from ambient temp. If you want to maintain temp inside the car within the range of the equipment, set it and keep it running. Your SOC should stay within recharge range of your setting. If the temp is cold, give the car a battery warming charge before driving it, and warm the interior while still on shore power rather than battery power.

Bighorn | 01. November 2019

I’m not sure I’d assign a goal temperature to LO. It might just be max cooling without thermostat control, though I’ve not looked to see what sort of cabin temperature it achieves.

derotam | 01. November 2019

Just put my car on climate keeper, no ac no recirc, fan=7, outside temp 48iah and going up and sunny. Within 5 minutes cabin got down to 50.

ColeAK, give us a nice cold reading for us!

jebinc | 01. November 2019

So, I set my climate to 66 degrees last night and went to bed, as a trial. When I woke up I found that my 3 turned climate control off after four hours and the car was once again cold. Must not yet found the "set it and forget it" knob...

jebinc | 01. November 2019

^^^ P.S. The car was "plugged in".

F.vanalstine | 01. November 2019

So as an experiment, with my car garaged and plugged in, interior temp at 44F, I turned on the LO setting on my app.

Windshield heat icon turned red but air movement arrows turned blue and interior temp started dropping. What is going on?

Reset temp to 60F, arrows turned red, windshield icon turned off and interior heat started coming up again.

Where in owners manual is LO setting mentioned?

gballant4570 | 01. November 2019

Sounds like LO is different from simply setting a temp. But for you original intent for this thread, F.vanalstine, I think your question has been addressed....?

jebinc | 01. November 2019

^^^ Seems that you can only turn the climate control on within four hours of departure. Can't treat it like a HVAC wall thermostat, unfortunately, where you can set it and forget it. Not yet, anyways.

gballant4570 | 01. November 2019

Perhaps it depends on how. If you set and leave climate control on when exiting the car, you just get notification s that is has been running an extended time.

derotam | 01. November 2019

Climate control in the app is full auto mode. The car will take that LOW setting, and other temperature data to decide on it's own whether to turn on the defroster.

You have more control when setting to LOW in the can turn everything else off. I still dont think the heat will kick on if at lower temps but I am only in the 40's here tonight.

Got my OBDII reader....waiting on the cable adapter still. Probably won't get that till Tuesday-ish