Do You Need To Precondition Tesla in Summer? (Must Know This)

Last updated on September 12th, 2023 at 03:02 am

You’re bound to park your car underwater while driving for your daily activities. Summer has its joys, but it also brings along a simmering heat.

Your car can heat up quickly, which would make driving discomforting. Thankfully, you can use features in your Tesla to battle the summer heat.

You can precondition your vehicle in the summer, especially if the heat is unbearable. Preconditioning the car means you’ll benefit from the cool temperature and enjoy comfortable rides throughout a hot day. In addition, the car’s range and overall performance will improve. 

This article will illustrate the various ways you can precondition your Tesla. Reading on, you’ll also learn how beneficial preconditioning is to you and your vehicle.

Furthermore, you’ll learn when to precondition your Tesla to give you its best performance.

Should You Precondition Your Tesla Before Driving In The Summer?

Do You Need to Precondition Tesla in Summer

It’s necessary to precondition your car during summer before driving. 

The reason is that during summer, you can experience temperatures as high as 71.1°F, which can be very uncomfortable.

Imagine leaving your car in the sun for hours, then returning to it. A cooked cabin will await you, and the ride will not be pleasant.

Also, your battery must maintain a moderate temperature. 

Tesla batteries operate better between certain temperatures since they require chemical reactions to produce power.

These reactions won’t be ideal if the battery’s temperature is not optimal. For example, the battery drains during hot weather since it regulates its temperature.

The battery’s heat management system pulls power from it when it’s not charging. However, when plugged in, the battery draws current from the grid.

Knowing this, you can conclude that it’s best to precondition your car when plugged in. Then, the cabin will cool and get comfier while the battery regulates its temperature.

A study on electric vehicles discovered that batteries degrade quicker when used in hot weather.

Therefore, it’s essential to precondition your car before you drive. This way, you’ll maximize its performance and feel more comfortable when driving.

Is Tesla Preconditioning Worth It In Summer?

Preconditioning your Tesla in the summer is favorable to you and the car. Besides keeping the car cool, precooling helps your battery in extension, improving car performance. 

The table below shows the benefits of preconditioning your car in summer.

Benefits to YouBenefits to the Car
Preconditioning maintains a chill cabin for your comfort.Preconditioning helps regulate battery temperature.
Helps save money against battery repair costs.Precooling when charging improves your car’s range. 
A fantastic cabin relieves stress.Boosts car performance since the battery is in optimum condition.

Let’s take a detailed look at these benefits below.

#1. Cooled Cabin

A preconditioned vehicle leaves a cozy cabin for a pleasant drive. A fantastic cabin calms your nerves and keeps you focused. 

You might decide to ignore preconditioning and choose to cool the car once you get in to drive.

This tactic isn’t advisable, especially when you’ve left the car in the sun. The A/C might take some time to set in inside the hot cabin.  

You may reach your destination before the car cools to your liking. So, preconditioning your car is wiser and more beneficial.

The heat during summer won’t only cause discomfort but can also affect your vehicle’s performance.

If you don’t precondition your car before driving, you’re risking the battery and its performance since it’s running at high temperatures.

#2. Improved Battery Health

The best time to precondition your car is when it’s charging. Tesla has an automatic preconditioning feature.

You can initiate the preconditioning in your Tesla to engage when plugged into Tesla charging points. 

This way, the battery will draw the grid’s power to regulate its temperature, improving battery range. 

During summer, the battery can get very hot, especially when you park the vehicle in the sun.

The lithium-ion in the battery gets affected, and performance drops every time you use the car without preconditioning. Therefore, it’s essential to precool the car to preserve the battery.

#3. Mileage Range 

Tesla runs on electricity; therefore, you need the battery at optimum capacity before driving. Now, understand that battery capacity drops once you use the AC at full blast.

When you’ve preconditioned the car, you won’t need to put the A/C at maximum. If you precool your Tesla before using it, you’ll put the A/C on a low setting.

The low setting will consume less power from the battery. Hence, the battery’s energy will focus on running the vehicle.

Is It Necessary To Precondition Tesla Before Charging In Summer?

You don’t need to precondition your Tesla before charging in summer. However, you can precondition the car to combat the heat or cold, as the case may be.

Preconditioning the car before charging in summer can even slow the charging. The battery needs to stay warm so it can charge efficiently.

If you cool up your car during summer, the battery can get cold. A cold battery will charge slowly when you plug it into a Supercharger. 

As a result, you’ll have to pay higher since it’s taking longer for your car to charge. Therefore, it’s better to precondition the car during charging.

Batteries charge better at warm temperatures. A warmer temperature aids the chemical reactions that occur when charging the battery.

How Do You Precondition a Tesla?

Tesla has various climate control options to help you precondition your car. You can access these features through the touchscreen of your Tesla.

Below are some of the ways you can precondition your Tesla.

#1. Scheduled Departure

This feature accommodates charging the car and precooling the cabin. In addition, the feature allows you to precondition your car when it’s charging.

You can begin your day with a full battery and your intended car temperature. You can locate this feature on the touchscreen under the ‘Charging’ option.

Here you’ll find ‘Scheduled Departure,’ where you can set the time you want the car ready for driving. The car will precondition the cabin using the previous temperature settings. 

#2. Tesla App

You can also precondition your car using the Tesla application. The app allows you to remotely set the vehicle’s temperature to your liking.

The app is available for android and IOS operating systems. Log in to the app and locate the ‘fan image’ on the home page.

If you don’t see the fan, find ‘Climate.’ Please select it and set the temperature you wish. The vents will blow cold air onto the seats to cool them.

#3. Keep Climate On

There are situations where sometimes you have to run multiple errands that might have you leaving groceries in the car. 

Such foodstuff might spoil if they remain inside the car under the sun. So Tesla integrated this feature primarily to preserve any groceries you might have left in the car. 

You can activate the feature by going to the ‘Climate’ menu on the touchscreen. Tap on ‘Keep’ to activate your climate even after leaving the car.

This way, you’ll return to a fantastic cabin with groceries left unharmed by heat.

#4. Cooling Seats

Some of the Tesla models have this feature for cooling seats. The feature lets you cool the seats to return to a fantastic cabin. 

Automatically, the car’s climate system regulates seat ventilation according to your preset temperature.

However, you can manually alter the seat’s temperature under the ‘Climate’ menu. You can also access this feature through the app. 

To activate this feature in the app, tap on ‘Climate,’ pick the seat you want, and press ‘Cool.’ The seats you selected will cool, awaiting your return to the car.

How Long Before Driving Should You Precondition a Tesla?

You can precondition your Tesla between 20 and 30 minutes before driving to your destination. 

Tesla has a feature that aids you in preconditioning the vehicle whenever you please. 

You can activate this feature on the touchscreen using the steps below.  

  1. On the vehicle’s touchscreen, go to the ‘Charging’ menu and select ‘Scheduled Departure.’ 
  2. Press ‘Climate Controls’, then switch on ‘Preconditioning’ in the settings.
  3. Tap ‘Schedule’ to set the time for departure.
  4. Tesla will precondition the car based on the previous climate settings.

Does Tesla Preconditioning Drain Your Battery?

You are preconditioning your Tesla when unplugged will drain the battery. Since the car isn’t charging, the preconditioning task falls on the battery.

A Tesla consumes 7.2KWH for every hour of charging. So if you charge your Tesla during winter, the battery takes about 45 minutes to precondition.

This math means the battery will pull about 5.4KWh from the grid to reach the ideal temperature for charging. 

For every minute of charge, the battery pulls 0.12KWh from the grid.

Therefore, since an unplugged Tesla uses power from the battery to precondition, it will consume its charge.

Say you precondition for ten minutes; the battery will use 10 x 0.12KWH. The result gives you 1.2KWH. 

This calculation shows that the more time you use to precondition your car with the battery, the more power the battery loses.

So, it’ll be better to precondition your vehicle when charging. This way, the battery will pull power from the grid to precondition the car and regulate its temperature.

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