Electrochromic mirror controls and other nitpicking

Electrochromic mirror controls and other nitpicking

So far I have only one serious complaint about the Model S: if you have the Tech Package, you can't turn off the electrochromic (auto-dimming) side mirrors. I find that, especially when it's dark and there's a car far behind me and to one side, the car lights up the dust enough on the side mirrors enough to obscure the image of the road. I've hated dimming side mirrors for years, but at least Toyotas with that feature let you turn it off. Tesla, please add a control for it.

Even better would be a separate control to set the darkness of the dimmest state separately for the rear view mirror and for the side mirrors.

Other nitpicks include:

  • 67 degrees is a bit warm for the minimum cabin temperature. How about giving a temperature range setting, so the A/C comes on if the temperature exceeds the high setpoint and the heat comes on if the temperature drops below the lot setpoint? This would save power and be more comfortable.
  • Every other car lets me run the front windshield and leg vents together. Why can't the Model S?
  • There's no obvious way to clear browser cookies.
MandL | 2 February, 2013

I've never had a car that lets me run windshield (defrost) and leg vents together.

eelton | 2 February, 2013

I don't have my car yet, but...

67 degrees is as low as it can go? Seriously? I agree that's a problem. I had a car before that only went down to 64 or 65 and it drove me nuts, since I wanted it colder in the winter when wearing a coat.

f-tal | 2 February, 2013

Every car I've ever owned had these air direction choices (in this order): Front, Front&Foot, Foot, Foot&Defrost, Defrost

jat | 2 February, 2013

@eelton - then just turn off HVAC and use your seat heaters.

Leofingal | 2 February, 2013

@jat - I don't think that's a reasonable response, since there's a big difference in air temperature between 10 F and say 55 F. The "off" setting in northern climates means well below freezing. We don't all have the luxury of living in CA, and we don't want to waste all the energy needed to raise the cabin temperature to 67.

DouglasR | 2 February, 2013

Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but I run the vents at my feet and at the windshield at the same time. That's my default setup. You can't do that, amluto?

jkirkebo | 2 February, 2013

Both my cars (Leaf & VW Touran) can run the vents at my feet and the windshield at the same time. I thought all modern cars could do this ?

mikeadams | 3 February, 2013

I remember reading somewhere that there was a range driving mode setting (seperate from the action of supplying your car with a range charge) introduced in the 4.0 firmware upgrades that had an effect and limited the cabin heating/cooling to a certain extent to help preserve charge but not sure of the specific details. This may partially address the first bullet point concern.

david | 3 February, 2013

In the custom AC settings menu, I discovered by chance & delight that you can turn on more than one air direction at at the same time. .

Damian | 3 February, 2013

My car, Not an S, allows cooling down to 60 (low set point). Besides the foot and windshield setting, there is a third thrown in with all possible combinations, and it allows for warmer heat for feet at the same time cooler temp for the dashboard, in case your feet are still cold but your torso is now warmer than you wanted. (The cold feet syndrome). So yes I would misss that.
On the they noted three nits:
a) low frequency hum which he said could get wearisome over time. He also suggested there was some strange booming sound he picked up that was both nondescript and evidently not too bothersome, more of a peculiarity.
b) A tad heavy on turning meaning you would feel the steering wheel needing more force to turn when in a curve, and c) of course wheel noise. I don't doubt the last one since I sould hear it for myself although TM may have swapped out the tires since ran it's test. However I have never seen either of the first 2 nits ANYWHERE. Have owners picked up on these?

olanmills | 3 February, 2013

I don't understand this 67 degree business. Does the auto heat setting only let you go as low as 67? Is that the problem?

You could turn off the auto setting then, and choose your own fan speed. Then when you move the temperature up and down, I think it basically means make the air coming out hotter or colder.

Also, I like electrochromatic mirrors. In my previous car, you could turn them off, but they were always reset to automatic every time you turned the car off and back on. If the mirrors are hooked up for it, they could just enable the option in the software. Are you sure you can't get used to it though?

I have had a problem where the dimming seems to turn off for a little while at night, and then it comes back on a littler later, with no apparent cause.

jat | 3 February, 2013

@Damian - I haven't heard the low-frequency hum, though you can hear the HVAC when you are running it and no audio and driving slow -- maybe that is what he is referring to, but it is much less than even idling in an ICE. The steering doesn't feel heavy to me, regardless of the setting (though heavier on sport of course). Regarding tire noise, you can definitely hear it if you have audio off, but I don't think it is louder than a regular car but rather lacks the engine noise to mask it. People have talked about how loud the car is until they actually measure it and find out it is quieter.

DouglasR | 3 February, 2013

Temp goes down to 64 if you turn off Range driving mode in Controls. Range driving mode limits climate control to increase range.

tork | 4 February, 2013

Is the rearview mirror electrochromatic as well? Or is it just the side view mirrors?

nickjhowe | 4 February, 2013

rear as well

amluto | 12 February, 2013

@david@hollywood...: I'll try that. Damnit, Tesla, don't copy Apple and all their other copycats with their silly GUI widgets that give no indication of what kind of widgets they are. For all that Windows 2.0, 3.0, 95, XP, etc are dinosaurs, the widget designs really were better than the modern kinds.

@olanmills: I can get used to the rear view. But the sides are a problem. I want to quickly glance at the side mirror and know if there are cars there. I keep the side mirrors angled away from the car body, and I've *never* failed to immediately notice a car in my blind spot at night, except when dimming mirrors are involved. If I'm going to spot things quickly, the image needs to have unchanging contrast and brightness. With the mirrors dimmed, the contrast sucks, and when the mirrors autodim, it varies, which means I have to look extra carefully.

In any case, I've never found dazzlingly bright lights to be a problem in the side mirrors, so the dimming isn't helping anything.

I'm kind of tempted to try to disassemble the mirror and just disconnect the thing. I spoke to a service rep, and apparently the wiring harness from the mirror includes the mirror moving controls as well as the dimmer, so unplugging the whole thing would be a bad idea.

amluto | 12 February, 2013

To Tesla's credit, though, they appear to have gotten the A/C right in a way that no one else has: the air from the vents isn't super cold when the A/C is on. That means that they're generating a small temperature difference in the coils, which (theoretically) boosts the coefficient of performance and cuts power consumption a lot.

EcLectric | 12 February, 2013

Since this thread is about nitpicking:

Since 4.2 upgrade, the album art for 'my devices' is a tiny postage stamp in the center of the box that previously was filled with the art.

And now I will nitpick about my previous ICE:

- Oil pickup tube breaks off an engine seizes in 5 seconds and costs $9000 to repair.
- Power steering system has to be completely replaced because 'they found metal shavings in the fluid' and that will ruin the whole system.
- High intensity discharge light goes dead to the tune of $150 for a single bulb.
- Clutch 'burns' on a regular basis, even though it was changed after the engine seized.

I'll stop there.

Brian H | 13 February, 2013

What happens if you tap the postage stamp?

EcLectric | 13 February, 2013

I don't know, but I'm guessing that somewhere on the planet, another Subaru blows up...

Brian H | 13 February, 2013

Gad -- the power! It will corrupt you.

amluto | 21 February, 2013

FWIW, the various cabin vents are indeed independently controllable. Neat!

(I wish the control were a bit easier to use while driving without staring at it, though.)

danielsaks | 7 December, 2013

I happen to like the Auto-dimming mirrors a lot. Though I agree it would be better if they could be adjusted to taste.