Do You Need To Warm Up A Tesla? (All You Need To Know)

Last updated on April 18th, 2023 at 11:17 pm

Cold temperatures usually reduce the performance of a vehicle. As a tesla owner, it is right for you to worry about your car’s welfare during cold conditions.

Although Tesla cars can drive smoothly under any condition, you might worry about the cold affecting your car. 

What if you have to get somewhere when the weather is freezing? Do you need to warm up your Tesla?

Yes, it would help if you warmed up your Tesla before taking it out for a drive in the cold. Cold weathers affect the vehicle by reducing the battery performance, limiting regenerative ability, etc. Thus, warming up your Tesla helps to ensure it is at standard temperature and maximum efficiency.

In this article, I’ll tell you how to properly warm up your Tesla, the reasons, and the advantages of warming up your Tesla. 

You’ll also learn some valuable tips for your Tesla during cold weather.

Do You Need to Warm Up a Tesla?

Do You Need to Warm Up a Tesla

It would be best to warm up your Tesla, especially during freezing temperatures. 

Tesla cars can drive smoothly in cold conditions even without warming them up. However, the cold can affect the performance of your Tesla. 

The tesla car would use some of its electricity to warm up the battery during cold, thereby reducing its efficiency. Warming up your Tesla before driving helps the car to work effectively.

How to Warm Up Your Tesla Battery?

Below are the steps you must take to warm your Tesla battery. 

Step One

The first step is to precondition the battery. You can precondition your Tesla’s battery by activating climate controls on your tesla app.

To activate climate controls on the app, tap “climate” and click on turn on. 

Step Two

After activating climate controls, the next step is to warm up the car’s interior. Open up the tesla app on your phone and tap “climate.

When you tap on “climate,” find the icon for defrosting and tap on it. Heating the car’s interior will also help heat up your battery.

Under the climate option on the Tesla app, you can choose the temperature at which you want your Tesla to heat.

You can schedule the time you want your Tesla to be ready before you drive. To schedule the time, tap “schedule” on the charging screen on the Tesla app.

Here are some essential tips applicable when driving your Tesla during winter:

  • Use winter tires for your Tesla to help increase traction when driving in the snow.
  • You can use tire chains on your Tesla to provide additional traction.
  • Protect your Tesla from harsh conditions using paint protection film and mud flaps
  • If you notice that the TPMs indicator light on your Tesla comes up, inflate your tire. The light indicates that the tire pressure dropped due to the cold.
  • Use seat heaters or cabin heaters to keep yourself warm while driving. However, cabin heaters consume more energy than seat heaters.
  • You’d need more power than usual to drive in cold weather. Drive at a slow speed to save energy on your Tesla.
  • Cold conditions will reduce regenerative braking in your Tesla. Therefore, always precondition your Tesla before driving to avoid limited regenerative braking.
  • The snowflake icon on your Tesla will light up when your battery is too cold. So warm up your Tesla’s battery 30-45 minutes before driving it. 
  • Leave your tesla charger plugged into the power source when not in use to ensure the car stays at an average temperature.
  • The cold might cause the charge port latch on your Tesla to freeze. You can manually release the charging cable if it gets stuck to the charging port.
  • Open and close the mirrors on your Tesla manually to reactivate the automatic mirror fold if it is frozen.

Here is a table showing how different tesla models clear frozen door handles.

Model SThe door handles break through the ice when you extend them.
Model XThe icebreakers on the front door push the automatic door through the ice.
Model 3You can unlatch the door using the tesla app.
Model YYou can unlatch the door using the tesla app.

Here are steps to manually release your Tesla’s charging cable from the charging port:

  • The first step is to stop the Tesla from charging. Before you start the manual release process, you need to ensure that your Tesla is not actively charging
  • Open up the rear trunk of your Tesla
  • Pull the release cable and then remove the charging cable from the port. Never attempt to remove the charging cable before pulling the release cable to avoid electric shock.
  • You could get an electric shock if you try to do the manual release when range high voltage conductors are exposed. 

How Long Should You Warm up a Tesla?

You should warm up your Tesla for about thirty to forty-five minutes. A feature on the tesla app allows you to schedule the time for your Tesla to be ready.

To schedule the time, open the tesla app and navigate to the charging screen. Then, click “schedule” on the charging screen and set your preferred time.

Warming up your Tesla for a solid amount of time will help to prepare it for a drive during cold weather. 

The engine and battery of your Tesla need to stay at an average temperature for them to operate at maximum efficiency.

A cold battery and engine would require more energy when driving to restore them to an average temperature. Thus, the car distributed less energy to its other parts.

You will be able to avoid a situation where the regenerative braking of your Tesla is limited if you warm it up before driving.

It is also necessary to warm up your Tesla after a drive in the cold. If you warm the car after a drive, frozen parts, like doors, mirrors, windows, etc., will come back into shape.

What Are the Advantages of Warming Up Your Tesla?

It is necessary to warm up your Tesla during cold weather. Some advantages come with warming up your Tesla before driving it in the cold.

Here are some advantages of warming up your Tesla:

  • Warming up your Tesla before a drive helps save energy. Tesla cars use energy to restore a cold battery to its average temperature while driving.
  • Cold temperatures reduce regenerative braking in your Tesla. Hence, warm up your Tesla before taking it out for a drive.
  • Warming up your Tesla maintains its average temperature and ensures maximum vehicle performance.
  • Frequent warming of your Tesla helps to maintain the durability of the Tesla’s battery.

How Long Can a Tesla Sit Idle?

A Tesla car, when fully charged, can stay idle for up to eighteen hours. The car will stay idle for about fifteen hours when left in freezing temperatures.

There is a feature on your Tesla called the cam mode. When you activate this mode, the lighting, temperature, and all other operations on your Tesla are regulated for it to stay idle for 40+ hours.


Can a Tesla Lose Charge When Park In the Cold?

Your Tesla will lose about one percent daily charge when parked in the cold.

Can Teslas Withstand Cold?

Yes, teslas can withstand cold. You can drive your Tesla smoothly during the cold. However, the efficiency and performance will be less than when you drive on average.

Do You Need to Precondition Your Tesla?

Yes, it would be best if you preconditioned your Tesla. It would be best if you preconditioned it, especially when you need to drive it during freezing or cold temperatures.

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