Winter Driving Tips
Your Tesla has several features designed specifically for cold temperatures. Learn how you can enhance your cold weather driving experience by following tips such as staying plugged in and preconditioning your battery before each trip.
Cold Weather Tips
It is normal to see increased energy consumption during colder months. To maximize range and efficiency in the cold, take extra steps to keep your battery warm and conserve energy.
To precondition your car around your schedule, simply plug in your vehicle and set your next departure time using the 'Scheduled Departure' feature on your touchscreen. Tap 'Charging' > 'Scheduled Departure' > 'Schedule' > 'Depart At.'
Once your specified time is set, your car prepares itself by determining the best time to start charging to optimize energy costs, battery longevity and ensure charging completes in time for your drive.
Watch for the Snowflake Icon
A blue snowflake icon may appear on your touchscreen if your car battery is too cold to access all of its stored energy. When this icon is displayed you may also notice that battery power and regenerative braking are limited.
Once the battery is warmed, the snowflake will disappear. Charging, driving and preconditioning are all ways to warm your battery quicker.
Conserve Energy on the Road
In the winter time, reduce energy loss by driving conservatively and limiting energy use in the cabin. This helps with range and efficiency all year-round, but even more so during colder months.
Limit Checking the Tesla App
When you check your car via the Tesla app, your car uses energy to wake itself up from sleep mode. During the winter, it’s best to only check the app when necessary so that extra energy can be used on the road.
Route to a Supercharger
Prepare your car for charging by navigating to a Supercharger destination, even if you know your route. When you enter a Supercharger into your navigation, your car will automatically begin to preheat your battery to maximize Supercharging performance.
Above 80-85% charge, your vehicle will also reduce charging speed. For long-distance trips, we recommend starting your fast charging sessions at lower states-of-charge, when the battery is warm.
Stay Plugged In
We recommend leaving your Tesla plugged in as much as possible when it’s not in use. This uses the charging system, rather than your battery, to retain heat.
Snow and Ice Tips
When you're expecting icy conditions, these tips can help you store and drive your Tesla safely.
Reposition Wipers and Mirrors
If you’re expecting snow or ice buildup, place your wipers in service position and deactivate mirror auto-fold to help prevent icing.
Defrost Snow and Ice
In freezing conditions, use the defrost feature in your Tesla app to melt snow and ice away from important surfaces.
Clear Important Surfaces
Before starting your drive, double-check that important surfaces aren't frozen or covered up.
Winter Tires and Accessories
If you frequently drive on snowy roads, install winter tires for enhanced performance, safety and control. Purchase winter tires in the Tesla online store or at a Tesla Service Center. Find additional installation information in the ‘Winter Tires’ section of your owner's manual.
Windshield Washer Fluid
Refill with fresh washer fluid rated for cold temperatures. De-icing agents can evaporate over time, so topping up with fresh fluid regularly can help keep your wipers ready for snow and icy conditions.
Tire chains provide additional traction when driving in snowy or icy conditions. Check your local regulations to see if tire chains are recommended or required during winter months. If permitted in your area, you can purchase tire chains in the Tesla online store or at a Tesla Service Center. For more information, see the ‘Using Tire Chains’ section of your owner’s manual.