Reflection from new vent?

Reflection from new vent?

I had my S85 in recently, and I believe they replaced the windshield vents up front - which makes for better venting/defrosting, but also now creates a full-time reflection in the windshield!

The reflection is coming from the curvature of the new vent inserts, where light hits the curved part, concentrates, and then creates an annoying reflection that I can't stop focusing on as I drive.

I was very slightly wondering if it was my imagination, but I just saw someone else mention it here.

Anyone else notice this? Any way around it?

jordanrichard | 9 May 2014

I do have a reflection of those vents, but I couldn't tell you if they are the older style or new. My car was built starting Mar 12th, this year. I notice it, but it doesn't distract me.

donaldmeacham1 | 9 May 2014

I do have the reflection of the vents but it isn't a distraction in any way.

LEvans | 9 May 2014

Is this during the day time? If so try polarized sunglasses. I've had annoying dashboard reflections on the windshield for pretty much all cars I've owned because I always get a lighter color interior.

Polarized sunglasses completely stopped windshield reflections and glare that now it feels incredibly annoying to ever drive without them.

stimeygee | 9 May 2014

My original car was delivered in May 2013, and the new vents were put in earlier this year. (Incredible service by the way - they did all kinds of stuff, always dealt with the same person, the whole thing was amazing, other than this one little issue.)

I notice it pretty much any time there's any light, so during the day, and at night if there are street lamps.

I also wear polarized glasses whenever I drive, even on cloudy days. Doesn't solve it.

Captain_Zap | 9 May 2014

I just had the new vents installed and I was distracted by the reflection. I was kind of kicking myself for having the update done because fogging was only an issue on rare occasions.

JonathanL | 9 May 2014


I hate the new vents. The old vents have almost zero reflection. As soon as I got the new car, I was distracted immediately. I understand they wanted to get more airflow for defrosting, but they fixed one problem and created a new and bigger problem in my view. I drive the car every day with the annoying reflection, but I use the defroster maybe once or twice a month. Frankly the old defroster grill worked fine for me. I asked my SC to swap it out (the new style with one of the old ones they are throwing out when they "upgrade" an older car, but they won't without approval from HQ. I have to place a call to Ownership to see if I can get this fixed.

AmpedRealtor | 9 May 2014

I have the new vents and don't notice any distracting reflections on the windshield. I can see them if I'm in the garage and if I specifically look for them, but as far as I know, all of my cars reflect what is on the dash closest to the glass.

jai9001 | 9 May 2014

Are these vents worth it?

My car is going in for annual service this week..

Should I request them?

JonathanL | 9 May 2014


I highly recommend you drive a car with them before you make a decision.

Thomas N. | 9 May 2014

I have it and notice it but only when I'm looking for it. If I dwell on it I can get myself pretty worked up. Maybe 90% of the time I don't even think about it or notice it though.

hikerockies | 9 May 2014

It may depend upon interior and exterior colors too. I have a white model S with gray interior and old style vent. I recently got a loaner white with black interior and new vents. Reflection of the vents really bothered me on that car. I had ordered a red one with gray interior already by then and decided I would hate the new vents in my second car. I picked my new car up two days back. I did not even notice the new vents, and I have driven in sunny skies and cloudy skies. I just saw this thread and that made me realize I never noticed the vents. So I had to go look at the car and verify that I indeed got the new style vents. It must be something about the color combination that makes the reflections mostly disappear.

Bighorn | 9 May 2014

Flock it?

I need to decide since my old version doesn't clear the left-most portion of the windshield when the temps drop into negative territory.

AmpedRealtor | 9 May 2014

@ hikerockies,

I have MC Red w/ black interior. That combo must be good at hiding those reflections.

AndyO | 9 May 2014

@WEB_SRFR: Absolutely! Polarized sunglasses are the way to go. Every car I've driven in the last 40 years present windshield reflections in some lighting scenario. Light gray polarized sunglasses eliminate it entirely.

JonathanL | 9 May 2014

I have black interior in the car with the new vents, very noticeable. Makes sense that it would be less noticeable in cars with tan or gray interiors.

Bighorn - maybe you could turn your head to the right when you exhale to reduce the fogging of the left side of your windshield : )

Bighorn | 9 May 2014

Or maybe I should stop checking for hernias when I'm driving;)

Actually, there might be a little microclimate there because of the little triangle window leak.

JonathanL | 9 May 2014


Do the cough check before you get in. As ball busting as the acceleration is, I think even you would agree it is unlikely to cause a hernia.

I do get fogging near the tiny triangle window, less so on the front windshield.

Ralph_G | 9 May 2014

I drove all winter in -20c temps with the original invisible defroster and no issues, I just kept it on the majority of the time. When they showed me what they wanted to install I flatly said no. The original dash has a much cleaner look without the grills and yes there is even a slight reflection with it but nothing like the redesign.

NKYTA | 9 May 2014

Great thread for me as I believe I have the "old" vents; I live in sunny NorCal and while I'll travel, I can deal with extra time to defrost as required during winter in other states, but I don't want a constant distraction even if 30% report it.

About to pull the trigger for getting my concrete crushing titanium underbody armor installed at Burlingame in the next few weeks, so likely I'll have them leave this SB off the list.

FWIW, if I've already had this SB, then I don't notice any difference. ;-)

Kimscar | 9 May 2014

I wonder if window tint makes a difference ?

JonathanL | 10 May 2014

Here is a picture taken during another cloudy, drizzly NJ day. The reflection is just as bad on sunny days. Not only to you see the reflection, but you also see the vent. The old style had just a faint reflection (you can still see the tiny holes), but it was so faint as to not be noticeable, and it was a much cleaner look. Seems to be less of on issue/non-issue for white and red cars.

jai9001 | 10 May 2014

Why is that new vent better?

What is the advantage?

JonathanL | 10 May 2014

With a bigger diffuser, it should provide more air that is better distributed for defrosting. I did not have any issue with defrosting before, so even though this may defrost better, it is not worth the annoying reflection to me.

carlk | 10 May 2014

@Kimscar The first time I noticed the reflection is after I got my windshield tinted. Unfortunately I did not particularly pay attention to it the couple weeks I had the car before tinting it so I can't be sure. It is possible that tinting the windshield makes it worst.

Pungoteague_Dave | 10 May 2014

The new vent is a safety issue if you live in a damp area.

Big difference in clearing the windows. The changeover was sometime early last summer, so this applies only to early VINs. Mine was updated in November. You can see them but no more than any other car. | 10 May 2014

I agree with @Pungoteague_Dave,
I have a 2012 S & had the vents installed about 5 months ago. The reflection from the vents is noticeable but not distracting. The safety in terms of fogging & visual clarity is worth it.

Kimscar | 10 May 2014

@carlik i pick up my car mid July, I'll check it out before tint and after. I was hoping that tint would eliminate reflection.

stimeygee | 11 May 2014

Its a tough call whether you want reflections or bad defrosting. I think I might lean towards going back... Although I almost want to see if I can paint them a flatter black first , since I do live in a cold area.

And just to be clear, for anyone considering the car - this is only an issue on early vehicles, sounds like.

carlk | 11 May 2014

Just want to add I did notice the reflection but got use to it after a while. Does not seem to be a problem for me.

highfalutintodd | 11 May 2014

Got the new vents at the annual maintenance. Absolutely agree that they're significantly more visible reflected in the front windshield. Found it horribly distracting at first, but have since gotten used to us.

TeslaMert | 25 March 2015

Have first gen Model S with "old" vents and recently had opportunity to drive new Model D for a couple days (Grey exterior and black interior) during service call as I was considering upgrade. But, the impact of the windshield reflection (from the vent) was so distracting that I am reconsidering upgrade simply based on this (despite all of the other amazing benefits).