Enough Heat?

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.

jat | February 25, 2013

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.

dgwilkinson | February 25, 2013

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.

GeekEV | February 25, 2013

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).

Sudre_ | February 25, 2013

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.

jbunn | February 25, 2013

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.

Lectric_Ride | February 25, 2013

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.

GeekEV | February 25, 2013

@Sudre_ - I do not, yet, and stated as much. ;-) | February 25, 2013

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

Brian H | February 25, 2013

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

craig.tesla | February 25, 2013

@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 :)

jat | February 25, 2013

@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.

Brian H | February 25, 2013

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

kevjo | February 25, 2013

@Sudre - The HVAC settings are programmable to your profile. I think it shows you how to do it in this video:
Password: t35la4ALL

rkang | February 25, 2013

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

kickgas | February 25, 2013

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.

jat | February 25, 2013

@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.

noel.smyth | February 25, 2013

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!

andrigtmiller | February 25, 2013

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.

KendallPB | February 25, 2013

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 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. 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. ;-)

Brian H | February 26, 2013

That's the ticket! Reboot the seasons.

jme | January 11, 2016

Anyone who has experienced auto temp from a Mercedes will laugh at the performance of the Tesla. In my Mercedes, the temperature setting is similar to the thermostat in your house, but even better. Set it to 72 degrees and it will adjust (both heat and ac) to keep a constant temp at 72 degrees. It's great. It also works to keep your windows from fogging up by running the defrosters automatically.

On the other hand, my Model S auto temp feature sucks. I have to constantly change the temperature to keep comfortable. AND that's not the worst part....WHY ARE MY WINDOWS ALWAYS FOGGING UP? Constantly. I might as well leave the defrosters on all the time. VERY DISAPPOINTING.

OH and the phone app is doesn't connect half the time (which means in the midwest, I have a cold car when I get in). My ICE car is remote start and is always hot when I get in. Maybe I havn't figured it out, but if I can't get the app to connect so I can turn on the climate, I have to sit in the cold car while it warms up and defrosts the windows. The app should turn on my seat warmer and the defrosters.

ELON - please don't waste any time creating new vehicles. Perfect the ones you have.

Offsuit | January 12, 2016

Oh gosh... Comparing a Mercedes to a Tesla is like comparing a pony to a car lolll

Canada here, wayyyy colder than anything you would normally experience where you live, and no issues with either heat or connecting the app.

It is one thing if your Tesla heat doesn't work, completely different thing comparing it to an antiquated vehicle.

luckyluciano | January 12, 2016

I'm from Canada as well and I agree with jme that the climate control on the Tesla is not great. Yes my drivers side continuous fogs up if defog is not on. Yes it gets cold after driving for a while as though the climate control is confused.

Offsuit, Don't know why the snob attitude. Mercedes is very a fine company making great vehicles and Tesla even used many of their technologies.

Plus there are plenty other owners in this thread who are having issues with heat.

Rocky_H | January 12, 2016

@jme, As to the fogging, it seems that the climate control in full AUTO mode wants to use recirculation for the heat, so the moisture content on the inside increases and has that fogging thing. Switch it to use outside air, and the fogging issue goes away, and you won't have to keep using the defroster.

As to the app not connecting sometimes, I do sometimes just get the intro red Tesla logo screen, or the spinning circle, and it won't connect. Kill the app and start it again, and it will usually work.

Bighorn | January 12, 2016

Be fair--it's a pony with a very nice saddle.

mikepisko | January 12, 2016

My wife also wants the old heater back. She is always complaining. I had it in for service and they told me a lot of people are complaining. Would have thought Tesla would have reprogrammed by now.

Mullion | January 12, 2016

I agree that theater and controls leave something to be desired. Advice from SC is to leave everything on auto and turn up the temp. Result here in Minnesota is foggy side windows and cold feet.

I hope there is some improvement possible. | January 12, 2016

@mikepisko - To get the "old" heater back, just turn up the heat 4-6 degrees. I leave it at 78 F now, when it used to 72 F. Feels the same as before.

Rocky_H | January 12, 2016

@Mullion, Oh yeah, that is the other thing I forgot to mention in my advice above. Besides forcing outside air, I had to force it to use the feet vents too. The new version seemed to think using upper vents was better for some reason, and that's generally not a good thing for heating.

mikepisko | January 12, 2016

@TeslaTap that is what we do leave it at 78. Wife just thinks it needs to get fixed. Hates that she needs to set it that high.

AoneOne | January 12, 2016

The car does feel colder than it did last winter, almost as if it allows more fresh air in through the upper vents. However, whenever I check, it says it's using the lower vents.

Regardless, when the driver's side window fogged last year the defroster cleared it. When it fogged today, the defroster also cleared it. No obvious difference there.

Ralph_G | January 12, 2016

I haven't read all the replies so I apologize if this was covered. I haven't had the best experiences with heat here in Ontario. My solution this year is to preheat the car and then set the defog to high but reduce the fan speed to 5. This cured the constant window fogging and keeps me warm and doesn't seem to affect the range. Yes I have the car in range mode for the winter. Simply turning up the temperature in regular heat mode does nothing IMO.

evcarfan91 | January 12, 2016

My S's heat has gotten to be nearly completely broken.

This morning it was 11ºF where I was in New Mexico. The "heat" (set to HI) was pumping out ice-cold air. Even the defrost was cold.

If I set the can to a low speed of 1, then after 5-10 mins I get a tiny bit of warmth out of the DRIVER'S vents. The front passenger vents remain ice cold.

All this started with 7.0. Now I'm on 7.1 and it's worse.

Driving around all day in an ice-cold car is not fun. I had a long trip planned today so I intentionally left the car out on the driveway rather than in the garage, even though it was below freezing out, because I knew the car would "cook" in the blazing sunlight. Sure enough, when I began the drive, the car was cozy. Not thanks to Tesla's heater, but thanks to the sun.

Ralph_G | January 12, 2016

double tap the defog button for high heat

nishin.raj | January 12, 2016

I had the same problem. My cabin looses heat after a while. Then one day my wife said that there is a air leak near my rear passenger window. This happens only at highway speeds. I spoke to SC and booked an appointment on 26th. I will keep you posted.

staze | January 12, 2016

@evcarfan91, I had a similar issue. Tesla found an issue with my Core PTC air heater and replaced in under warranty. Took me 3 inspections for them to finally find the problem. Issue was resolved after replacement.

JohnBatty | January 13, 2016

7.1 seems to be small improvement. Feet & lower legs weren't frozen on commute today (cold day). Still can't get toasty toes but....

Offsuit | January 13, 2016

@Bighorn hilarious lolll

@luckyluciano Not being snobbish just factual. Despite the fact that Benz has been around for 100 years or so, overall, Model S blows it out of the water. No vehicle is ever perfect, but if that gentleman has a heating issue he should stick to that issue and not compare it to his Benz heat which btw is no better than someone driving a Honda or an F150.

I certainly don't have heating issues, it must be an individual experience and probably a quick fix.