Auto Climate Control oddities, customization?

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rickster

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#1
So, I’ve had my Model 3 for a week, and I’m finding the “Auto” setting on the climate control to be something between underwhelming and strange.

For most of the scenarios I’ve been driving in, the weather has been warm and the interior temperature has been at least a few degrees above my temperature set-point. (Sync Temp remains on.) And yet, when Auto is left to do its thing, it insists on blowing cold air only through the foot vents. On every other car I’ve driven, the general idea seems to be that the foot vents are for heating and the top/face vents are for cooling (and those with their own auto climate systems, like the two generations of Prius I’ve owned, take care of that automatically).

It also seems to be very conservative about changing fan speed — sometimes when I turn it on it stays at 2-3 when it’s crazy hot and I’d expect it to try to cool the cabin quickly, sometimes it’s blasting air even if the temperature difference between ambient and preferred is small.

Yeah, I can override some of these things, but I prefer the idea of auto in general... I got used to my Priuses being “set and forget” most of the time, automatically varying the air temp and fan speed to keep the car near a set point (and try to be economical about it).

Is this anyone else’s experience, or should I be seeking service?
 
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#2
I’ve seen some anomalies but nowhere as bad as you... and generally comparable to other cars I’ve owned with auto climate.
Most of the time it’s been working fine , once in a while it will keep the fan speed too high when it should have turned it down like you said. And sometimes it seems like I need to adjust the temp further down than normal. But again, this happens rarely, most of the time it’s been set and forget
 

evannole

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#3
You might want to check with Service. I have never felt cold air blowing on my feet in my Model 3 without having explicitly asked it to do just that. I do occasionally bring the temperature down a few degrees when I have suddenly gotten hot before getting into the car - after hauling a suitcase down to the car in a suit, for instance- but that's just my attempt to cool things down more quickly than normal, as it does seem to spur the fan to run faster. Normally, however, I find that the system is very much set and forget. I do keep the temperature set a couple of degrees lower (68 or 69 F) than I did in my old car (70 or 72 F), but in any event I find am comfortable in it and don't fiddle with the settings much at all.
 

ER1C8

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#4
You might want to check with service. I remember someone else complaining about strange auto climate behavior and the problem was a bad temp sensor. I specifically remember him saying there was always cold air blowing on his feet.
 
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#5

rickster

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#6
Thanks for all the tips — sounds like a service appointment is in my future.

This leads to a secondary question (new owner, sorry): if this is an that mobile service can deal with, how do I schedule mobile service? All I see in my Tesla account is for picking times at a service center.

Also, another question I meant to include in the initial post: is there a way (even a hidden one) to customize which climate functions the “auto” mode is free to toggle? One thing I liked about my Priuses is that the “service only” controls accessible through secret button sequences or ODB connections included such options. (Sometimes hilariously abbreviated on the display, like “AUTO BLOW UP”.) I have some frequent passengers who really hate the idea that the A/C should ever recirculate air.
 

rickster

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#7
Mobile Service came to my workplace, and within half an hour determined that indeed it is a problem with the interior temp sensor. He didn’t have the part on hand, but can install it in the field, so we’ll be rescheduling sometime in the next couple of days once they’re sure they can arrange to get the part (already confirmed to be in a Fremont warehouse) to mobile service.
 

rickster

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#8
Much-belated followup...

I had a mobile service visit at my home in early October, in which they replaced the temp sensor. Some quick testing shows it might have fixed the issue, but living with it for the next couple of days made clear there was still a problem. With the car on, you could ride the temperature setting up or down and watch it change the vents appropriately — high vents for cooling, low vents for heating. But whenever the car woke up after being parked for awhile it’d tend to do something crazy — medium-fan cooling through foot vents only when heavy cooling is called for, or full-fan cooling when the cabin temp is close to ambient temp.

So I got in touch with mobile service again... and also brought up an (unrelated?) issue I’d also started to notice: by then I’d had a few software updates (including the big jump to v9), all of which appeared to install correctly (MCU shows new version number, and, well, it’s hard not to notice v9), but showed an error message saying the update failed. This time they were able to do some remote diagnostics and found a problem with a charge port controller.

A few days later mobile service came to my workplace and replaced whatever faulty component was in the charge port assembly, and also did some further testing and another temp sensor replacement (same one? different one?) for the HVAC issue.

That was about three weeks ago. Since then, I’ve had no trouble with software updates, and the Auto HVAC behaves sensibly. Or at least reasonably — it chooses vent positions and fan-speeds in a way that makes sense for any given thermostat setting, even if it’s not quite the way I’d prefer.

That last mobile service visit noticed a loose wire in the rear view mirror assembly and warned that I should get in touch again if I saw problems with the auto-dimming feature. (Since they didn’t have parts on hand to preemptively fix it.) Sure enough, once it got dark that night, my side mirrors were dimming but the rear view wasn’t. The part for that was on order for awhile, so I’ll be seeing mobile service again next week (when I can arrange my work schedule so I’m within walking distance of where I park).
 

Rick Steinwand

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#9
I'm glad you got this figured out.

The oddity that I notice is IMO, the vents shouldn't blow much air during cold temps. Every vehicle I had blew heat primarily out the floor and the vents were used primarily for cooling. I'm seeing a lot of air coming out of the vents when outside temp is below freezing, which creates a cold draft.