Cabin drafty?

Cabin drafty?

I've had the car for 10 days now in n.j. Pretty cold up here now, and I'm finding that although the cabin heats up quickly, after driving for a while it gets cool and drafty. I've played with the climate settings (mostly on auto), and it's better, but not gone. Would like to hear what others from cold climes are experiencing.

nickjhowe | January 3, 2013

Have you tried switching to recirculated air instead of exterior air?

DouglasR | January 3, 2013

I don't find it drafty. I do notice a lot of fogging on the driver's side windshield.

mkh1437 | January 3, 2013

I've noticed both... draftiness and fogging on the driver's side windshield. It doesn't seem to be consistent, however. It's almost as if there is cold air coming in somewhere, or the vents are letting in cold air, but I can't seem to pinpoint it. Other times, it is perfectly warm and blowing warm air. I haven't been able to determine a pattern yet.

jjaeger | January 3, 2013

Also had fogging issues the first few days I had the car. When I changed the climate settings to include the windshield area (one of 3 areas you can select), have not had an issue since.

Vawlkus | January 4, 2013

Might wanna check the door seals around the glass. My 'Stang has a similar no frame door, and if its not lined up right you can get leaks there; both air and water depending on how bad the seal is.

Also check the 'window drop' to see if its working right ( how the window goes down a little when the door is opened, and how it rolls up after the door latches).

DouglasR | January 4, 2013

Good suggestions Vawlkus, thanks!

jk2014 | January 4, 2013

Take it into the service shop. Someone in the Bay Area took his in and was told he had soft seals. Might be able to get them replaced if it turns out to be the same scenario.

Dr. Bob Reinke | January 10, 2013

My Signature performance if parked in the heated garage overnight the windows fog enough to require using the defoggers intermittently for the first 20 or so miles. However if left outside over-night no fogging. The weather here has been below freezing most nights and into some days. Using recirculating air to heat, I feel a strong cold draft coming forward under the driver's seat. Even with the cabin temp set quite high. The draft causes my feet to freeze. I'm going to try putting a bed pillow under the driver's seat the next time I have a cross country drive and see if that helps.

nicbe | January 13, 2013

Same here in Montreal. It heats up fast but after a while the cabin gets cold. There is actually cold air coming out so I have to adjust the climate manually. I suspect a software problem. Hopefully will be addressd in 4.2...

rd2 | January 14, 2013

I am experiencing exact same issue. Heats up very quickly, then starts blowing cold air for some reason, then back to hot again. Service appt pending in Menlo Park to look at this, but I agree, mught just be a software issue.

jat | January 14, 2013

I didn't notice this issue when it was cold, but yesterday I turned off climate control because it felt like the AC was on (or at least it was blowing outside air in) when the temperature was set on 72 and the outside air temperature was 64. It didn't feel above 72 degrees (it could have been I guess) -- but it definitely was going to make the car uncomfortably cool. It did this after I had been driving for 45min or so.

I wonder if the sensor location is someplace where it gets warm and throws off the HVAC?

noel.smyth | January 14, 2013

drove from philly to NYC and back yesterday, car drove awesome of course but I did not yet figure out the climate controls it seems and my feet did get cold during the trip as did the passenger in the back.
coming back after charging at a charge point location, the car was perfect temp upon starting but went back to the same cold climate during the 2 hour trip back.

Mark2131@CA-US | January 14, 2013

I too have experienced the "drafty cabin" syndrome. Of course, it's been abnormally cold here in Southern California, going down to freezing at night. I like the heated seats, but I find that during a long drive, unless you have the heat turned up to almost 80, the cabin just doesn't get warm.

When summer comes around and the temps climb above 100, I'll consider this "flaw" a "feature" and
experience a cool, breezy cabin.

mkh1437 | January 14, 2013

I'll be interested to hear what Service has to say, for any of you who have taken it in to have it looked at. I haven't brought it to the attention of my service center yet.

rd2 | January 24, 2013

Update for the vent temperature issue:

I took my S into the Menlo Park service center today for the vent issue. They hooked up a diagnostic laptop to the car to test it out. While there have been rare, isolated reports of failing heating units or sensors, neither was the case in my car, which apparently is operating as it should.

Explanation: If you have the Climate control on Auto, it will use the floor vents to send warm air into the car, but NOT the front vents. This is by design, the reason being that heat from front vents is a safety concern (re: makes you 'sleepy') that other car companies have also implemented. In Auto mode, it will use the floor vents to heat the cabin, and you should not experience warm/cold switches from the front vents. Remains to be seen if I will get warm/cold switches from the floor vents. I am guessing that I will.

If you override the Auto and increase the fan speed manually, and activate the front vents manually, the air from the front vents will warm up initially (depending on the temp you have chosen), but the sensors are measuring the temperature of the air in the vents, not in the cabin. The temperature of the vented air will first overshoot the temperature you selected, then become cold and undershoot, and eventually approach the goal temperature. But this fluctuation typically prompts a reaction from the driver and passengers, such that we then change the setting again to a higher temp to start the process all over again.

If we leave things in Auto, I was told that this won't happen nearly as frequently and temperature will be achieved more smoothly. This remains to be tested, but I will update you once I try it tonight.

Side note: There were ~40 people (including some Japanese tourists as well) clamoring to see the show room cars in the store today. For those who have been there, the MP location is not ideal for foot traffic at all. It was shocking to see that volume of interest. Very cool.

noel.smyth | January 24, 2013

I am experiencing the same behavior as described above, its heats up quickly then starts sending out cold air and with the outside temperature below 20 this should not be happening. sometimes I then pump up the temperature control to get the air to be warm again but should not have to set the temp to 80+ to get to a comfortable temp. Thinking of doing a service visit on this soon.

Brian H | January 24, 2013

Measuring vent air temp is a mistake. Measure the result (cabin) not the output (vent)!! Dumb.

ronalddhing | January 24, 2013

I've had my black P85 for 3 weeks now and finally figured out how to use the HVAC. First get some good glass cleaner and clean the inside of the windshield. The glass cleaner I ordered from Chemical Guys works great. I think what ever glass manufacturing process left a film on the inside of the windshield and it is causing the fogging. Bring up the little screen that controls the fan speed. Take it off Auto and leave the air circulating inside the cabin. I set my temp at 80, fan speed at one and set the vents to only blow in the front vents. If you need to defrost the windshield,use the static defrost button at the bottom. I have not had any fogging issues since I cleaned the inside of the windshield and I drive around in 15 degree weather.. The rear passenger vents seem to only work with the vents set to blow out of the front vents. There is also a blue "Sync temp with passenger" option when you adjust the temperature. Until the temperature/charging app is release. I just unlock my car and not shut the door all the way, (first click) and go back in and finish my coffee while the car heats up. Hope this helps everybody.

jat | January 24, 2013

On a long trip, auto didn't work well for me at all, and didn't seem to reflect over/undershooting. Instead, it seemed like the sensor was someplace that heated up, so it thought it was hotter than it actually was.

rd2 | January 25, 2013

That's disappointing that 'Auto' didn't work for your long trip. I tried what the Tesla engineer recommended - setting to Auto and raising the temp to 76 degrees on my drive back home this evening (37miles). It was actually much better. The front vents never were activated, only the floor vents. And these vents gradually warmed up and maintained warm air, or no air, for the duration of the trip (although not the same temperature the whole time). This was the key difference. The 'Auto' setting allowed the car to dial down the fan when it thought the correct temperature was reached.

WIth 'Manual' fan speed, it maintains the fan speed regardless of sensed temperature, but it is still sensing the temperature of the vents, and will therefore alternate between hot and cold air. This seems like a flaw to me. But Auto did work well as noted.

If it improved in my car under 'Auto' but not in other cars, there could be a separate heating problem in those other cars. I do agree with Brian H though, it seems odd to have the sensor in the vents, and not in the cabin itself. That might have prevented this issue.

Theresa | January 25, 2013

I too have noticed the cold feeling in the car. I actually took a thermometer along on a 200 mile trip in 10-20 degree weather. What I found was even though the cabin temp was fairly consistent it would feel cooler and cooler the longer I drove. I just slowly raised the temp setting every 10 miles or so and when it got to 75 the car seemed to feel reasonable although it still was not as comfortable as other cars that I have driven.

My one thought about this is that it may be similar to the difference between the old style furnaces and the new high efficiency ones. With the old furnaces the air coming out of the vents always felt very warm and the house felt warmer too. With the new high efficiency furnaces the air never feels warm and the house tends to never get that "warm" feeling that the old furnaces provided. With ICE cars the air is being passed across a high temp heater core whereas (I am assuming) the air for the S is not being passed over as high a temp differential thereby leading to a cooler feeling.

And yes I am not the youngest person on these forums!

Theresa | January 25, 2013

Also I forgot to add that for me I found using the manual mode seemed to provide a better experience for me than the auto mode.

July10Models | January 25, 2013

driving with the climate control set to auto at 70F and the seat heater set to one or two was sufficiently comfortable for a 40 miles ride in 13F weather although there is a bit of draft from the bare glass over head.

Tesltoronto | January 20, 2015

Rather than start a new thread, I thought I would resurrect this one.

I noticed that the front driver side window, rear driver side window and the driver side rear windshield have condensation in cold weather. The passenger side was perfectly fine - no condensation at all.
Also, my left leg was colder than my right leg.

I called Service today and they told me the following:

1) This happens when the "Range" mode is on (mine had it on)
2) The defrost needs to be turned on if condensation happens
3) The left leg feeling colder is "normal" because there are no vents pointing to this.

As always, Tesla Service, true to their excellent service standards, told me that I am welcome to bring the car for a check up if I felt so.

I turned off the "Range" mode and the condensation did disappear (I did not turn on the defrost). My left leg still feels cold.

Anyone else have a similar problem?

Ruizmeza | January 20, 2015

Colder leg: have it checked by your doctor.

sule | January 20, 2015

"Neighbour" here... I have/feel those issues only if I reduce heat or defrost settings. Re legs I strongly recommend keeping the seat heater on "1". You will feel that in your legs too due to blood circulation.

redacted | January 20, 2015

I had some problems with infiltration around the driver's window (the little front one) last winter. I asked service to check it, and they seem to have fixed it. Or it's not been as cold since!

I'd suggest trying to figure out where the infiltration comes from and then ask the service center to look at it. It's amazing the number of people who come here and say "my car is having this problem" and don't think to have the SC check on it.

Tesltoronto | January 21, 2015

Thanks, sule/redacted. Appreciate your help.

sule | January 21, 2015

You are welcome. Hope there will be an improvement, whichever way.

Kimscar | January 21, 2015

Start in Auto with temperature higher than you want. When you are comfortable slowly drop temp to what you are looking for.

Joules II | February 16, 2015

We've been driving north to our cottage in Muskoka and now driving back home with temperatures in the -14 to -25 C range. We have been experiencing the fogged up driver side windows and very cold air on both our outside legs in the front seat.
We've been reading the posts as we drove along, so have turned off Range mode now that there is a Supercharger in Barrie to charge at. If we are as cold from Barrie back home, we will call the SC to find out if there is something else that needs to be adjusted. Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

Theresa | February 16, 2015

@cathy, I have been having the same cold feeling on the leg nearest the door as well. The airflow in my opinion is lacking in that area. I really noticed it when the crosswind in more than 10 mph. It is worse on the side of the car with the crosswind. My belief is the insulation in the doors is little to none hence the cold starts seeping in from there. The lack of good airflow from the heaters to the side of the interior lets that cold affect your legs.

I realize it is a compromise but I have just taken some fabric to lay on my legs. I have used both a blanket and an old pillowcase. Both seem to do a good enough job so I just use the pillowcase now as it is so much smaller and easier to handle.

gesteur | April 15, 2019

I have exactly the same issues as OP. The draftiness comes only when you drive quite a while , especially on highways during winter, outside temperature must be cold, say less than 10°C.
this is really crap, passengers are cold, not comfortable.
The issues is that the car thinks the temperature of the cabin has been reached so starts to blow cold air. blowing cold air in winter is not really a good idea, also i measured the temperature with another thermometer...the car shows 2-3 degrees more, so starts cooling even sooner.
That being said, if you turn off the climate control, soon you feel drafts coming from windows. The fact is that the car must be very cold and it's nothing else as heat (or better cold) going from the windows to the inside of the cabin.
Better insulation is a must.

Service Center checked it twice, works as designed. Ya, designed in California!!

I would advise anyone who lives in cold climate to buy a tesla

Flash | April 17, 2019

@Hof. I’ve experienced what you’ve described and Tesla could definitely use some work on their climate control. It appears to be a little overzealous and should probably factor in external temperature more than it does. I don’t know.

What I do know is I’m someone who likes the car to stay warm when it’s cold outside and I’ve found manual adjustments work much better for my taste. At least in my Model S. This past winter, I decided to set the heat to floor only and let physics do the rest. I have the fan speed adjustment on the steering column and adjust it up or down as needed. I usually set the temp between 72-74 and the fan speed between 1 and 4, depending how warm/cold I feel. Unless I just got in the car and want some immediate warmth, then I crank up the fan. This keeps some nice warm air flowing out of the floor vent and the entire cabin is usually pretty toasty.

A side benefit of the manual adjustments is the lower fan speeds are much quieter. The Tesla default speed appears to be 5 which is right at the point where the fan becomes noticeable - at least in mine and to me.