Monday, November 18, 2019

Tesla Model 3 Winter Season Tips

This is my first winter with the Model 3 so I compiled a list of tips that might help you as much as they're helping me.  Note that this vehicle is very capable in the winter, however, if you follow the tips below you'll have a better experience overall.
  1. Winter Tires
    Winter tires provide better traction for snowy conditions, period.  Depending on where you live you might be able to get away with all-season tires, but they won't perform as well especially in extreme conditions.
  2. Fold Mirrors Out
    Change settings to stop mirrors from automatically folding in.  If your M3 stays outside in nasty freezing weather for any length of time, they may get stuck and not fold back out.
  3. Chill Mode
    Chill mode will help prevent the car from spinning out when on slick roads.
  4. Set Regen Mode To Low
    Per the owner's manual:  In snowy or icy conditions Model 3 may experience traction loss during regenerative braking, particularly when in the Standard setting and/or not using winter tires. Tesla recommends using the Low setting in snowy or icy conditions to help maintain vehicle stability.
  5. Turn Off Auto Wipers
  6. Rear Defrost Will Defrost Mirrors
  7. Use Tesla Mobile App To Precondition Cabin
    Per the owner's manual:  It is possible that your charge port latch may freeze in place in extremely cold weather or icy conditions. In cases where you cannot remove or insert the charge cable, or the car is not Supercharging due to the latch being frozen in place, use your Tesla mobile app to precondition your vehicle on HI for approximately 30-45 minutes (you must use your mobile app to precondition the vehicle; setting your climate to HI using the touchscreen will not be effective). This helps thaw ice on the charge port latch so the charge cable can be removed or inserted.
  8. Put Rear Seat Down
    If you're like me, your TM3 lives outside.  In this case, putting the rear seat down before leaving it sit for the night will allow warm air to enter the trunk area and help keep your charging port door from getting stuck from ice build-up.
  9. Heat The Steering Wheel
    djust air flow such hat its point to your steering wheel.  While not the same as a heated steering wheel, this will help make sure it isn't freezing cold when you begin your drive.
  10. De-Icer Windshield Washer Fluid -
    Tesla does not recommend using any windshield washer fluid that contains bug wash as they can cause streaking or smearing.  This Prestone wash is safe for rain-sensing windshield wipers.
  11. True Temper Scratch Free Brush
    Wipe off snow without scratching your paint.
  12. Rubber Seal Lubricant -
    Keep doors from sticking.
  13. Charging Tip
    Plug in immediately after arriving home (battery is still warm, will charge more efficiently).  Only charge to 80%,  change to 85-90% and turn on climate control an hour or two before leaving - this will also cause the battery to get heated to optimum levels before driving, the cabin with be nice and toasty and in most cases your windows will be defrosted and handles won't be stuck.
  14. Use Seat Heaters
    The seat heaters are more efficient that the heating system.  I rarely turn off the system completely, usually just turn it down to mid 60's.  Some owners use seat heaters only, but then they're also wearing hats and gloves to keep warm.  Whichever method you choose to will depend on personal preference and how much efficiency you want to add overall.
  15. TPMS Warnings
    I had this happen to me on one particularly frigid morning.  The warning was for the front driver's side tire.  Visually, the tire looked fine.  I took no action and by mid-day the warning disappeared and tire pressure was fine.
  16. Use Navigation For Trips
  17. Remove Snow And Ice From Cameras
  18. Mud Flaps -
    Protect the paint on the bottom of your car.  I installed these on my M3 and haven't noticed any reduction in range.
You can also find more recommendations straight from Tesla here:

I will update this article as I discover more tips so check back occasionally for more information.
Have a great winter and stay safe!

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