Winter Driving Advice

Preheat the Tesla Model 3

Some Model 3 owners have reported problems with the door handles not popping out when slightly below freezing temperatures. Preheating the car can help keep the handles from freezing.

Interior heating in an electric vehicle like the Model 3 happens faster in ICE vehicles, but keep in mind it does use up some of your battery power and affects range.

Cameras covered in snow

When driving, the Tesla Model 3 cameras may give false warnings if they get snow accumulating on them.

Driving in Snow

The Tesla Model 3 handles quite well in the snow. Because of the low center of gravity, the traction control, and with the added traction of snow tires, the Model 3 has above average control even if it is just rear wheel drive. The all-wheel drive version fares better for getting up to speed, but takes the same amount of time to stop.

Low road clearance in the Tesla Model 3 can be a problem with driving in deep snow, but there is no radiator or grill opening at the front to fill up with snow.

How to avoid frozen parts

If possible, parking in a garage will keep snow and ice from accumulating on the door handles, windshield wipers, and charging port door.

Tesla recommends spraying neverwet on the front fascia to keep snow and ice off of it. It may be beneficial to spray this around the handles and chargeport door as well.

Charging your Tesla Model 3 in winter

Keep in mind that a cold battery pack cannot charge at a high speed. Don’t expect to be able to use a supercharger in the morning after a hotel stay. Instead, supercharge the day before after your drive, or use a destination charger to charge slowly overnight.

Also, preheating from the app 20-30 minutes before you leave will help warm the battery pack as well, not simply the interior.

Tesla recommends not to leave the Model 3 outside in -22F for more than 24 hours without plugging in.

Model 3 Driving in Snow

Photo credit Sergei Belski

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