In cold weather, it is not only humans and animals that need warmth. Cars also need them, more so an electric vehicle like Tesla.
It will be unreasonable to rush out in the morning without checking a few things in your automobile.
For instance, you may need to charge the electric vehicle and, most importantly, precondition it during cold weather. What could be this preconditioning in Tesla?
Preconditioning Tesla is the process of heating up or increasing the temperature of the car’s battery during winter or cold weather. It is best while the Tesla is charging and before use. The process could take up to 45 minutes, and the battery may be complete when you finish charging. It also ensures the vehicle doesn’t develop any battery problems.
In this article, I will help you understand how preconditioning Tesla works, if you should do so before driving, and if you can manually precondition your Tesla.
By the end, you will also know if Tesla preconditioning improves the vehicle’s range and If you should precondition the vehicle every day.
How Does Tesla Preconditioning Work?
Tesla preconditioning basically could be likened to thawing a frozen turkey. Of course, when you take it out of the freezer, you cannot cook it immediately.
You must set it aside to defrost for a few minutes, if not a few hours. When it completely defrosts, you can now cut it into your desired shape and prepare your meal.
In the same way, preconditioning your Tesla works almost the same. The reduced temperature does not favor the electric vehicle battery’s strength in winter.
For instance, if you usually drive 100 km with a full battery on a sunny day, expect to drive half of that during winter without preconditioning.
The reason is that the battery will take more energy to run and, eventually, drain faster without prior preconditioning.
So, it would be best to precondition your Tesla before you head out in the cold. After all, it costs you zero bucks and the usual charge time.
On the other hand, it is advisable to precondition your Tesla when you last used your vehicle a while ago.
This way, you are sure that all functions are working correctly, and you will hardly encounter battery problems on the way.
Finally, preconditioning helps to increase your driving range in cold weather. It ensures you get the best of your battery after spending hours charging.
Should I Precondition My Tesla Before Driving?
It would be best to precondition your Tesla before driving. Most significantly, you can precondition it, preferably while you charge the battery.
Since you would need a battery to drive, you would also need to warm things up before you head out.
For drivers that live in cold and chilly climates, preconditioning your electric vehicle shouldn’t be news.
However, it might shock some who bought an electric vehicle after moving to a cold location.
The thought might be weird because preconditioning sounds ambiguous.
But, of course, consider it a warm-up process. The benefit of this is ascertaining that everything is working before jumping into the vehicle.
Also, remember to precondition your Tesla because you must charge it before driving. So, it is a close thought to precondition the electric vehicle.
However, some folks prefer to customize the preconditioning. You can do this by scheduling the preconditioning.
In this process, you can allow your vehicle to decide how best to optimize its battery automatically.
All you need to do is log into the Tesla app and input your departure time. With this information, your electric vehicle is ready when you wish to get in and drive away.
This way, you can precondition your Tesla while you drive or at specific intervals. It all depends on the requirements according to their schedule.
I have often used the word preconditioning, and you might wonder what steps it involves.
Trust me, it’s simple, and you can do it yourself. As you read further, more information will be on the manual steps to precondition your Tesla.
Of course, you must give your full attention as the solution is right ahead.
Can I Manually Precondition My Tesla?
Of course, you can manually precondition your Tesla. Although some settings allow the Tesla to precondition itself below 32 degrees F, you may still need to do so in some cases.
The act of automatically preconditioning your Tesla is brilliant preconditioning. Drivers with specific needs may choose to precondition their Tesla before charging.
This process could happen while you drive home, in the parking lot, or in your garage. Whichever way you set it will eventually work for you.
But you may do it manually for some unique reasons.
For instance, you may need to precondition your Tesla for the following reasons manually;
- If there is a system malfunction
- If the temperature reader is bad
- If the temperature quickly rises from the negative.
You might wonder what it will take to precondition a Tesla manually.
Luckily, there is a smooth way to do it, which I’m about to show you;
- Using the Tesla Application
- Solar Power
- Trying out Chill Mode
#1. Using the Tesla Application
The Tesla app, either on your phone or on the display screen, works hand in hand. When the temperature is low, the app usually has a symbol.
This symbol indicates climate; all you need to do is click on the climate on your screen and then click on the turn-on option.
Turning on the climate option has automatically set the preconditioning process in motion. There, you just set your Tesla to precondition manually.
You can choose to use your phone or the display screen in your Tesla.
#2. Solar Power
As natural as the sun’s rays are, they can make a huge difference in a frosted Tesla’s battery. You can deliberately choose to park your car strategically where it can get sufficient sunlight.
Trust me, no frozen battery can remain cold after a few hours under such conditions. Although you may decide to turn on the climate symbol still afterward, it is a step worth trying.
The reason is that you need all the energy that your battery has to offer. For instance, if you have a long drive to make.
#3. Trying Out Chill Mode
The chill mode helps you to drive a steady range hence preserving energy. Eventually, it doesn’t take a toll on the battery as it would when not preconditioned.
So, this feature is an excellent way to precondition your Tesla even as you drive around.
Does Tesla Preconditioning Improve Range?
Yes, Tesla preconditioning improves the battery’s range. In fact, it is one of the significant reasons why it is advisable to precondition your automobile.
Driving with a full battery may not ascertain its optimization. Hence you may need to precondition it ahead of time.
It is best to charge your battery maximally because you can get good optimization with a full battery.
When you precondition your Tesla, it allows the battery to improve its longevity and efficiency. However, following the 80/20 rule of driving an electric vehicle is best.
First, you must not drive below 20% battery and should drive when you have at least 80% charge.
This rule ensures that you preserve the life and range of your battery. Also, it would be best to refrain from regularly supercharging your battery.
This feature is only necessary when there is an emergency. However, it will eventually lead to a weak battery over time.
Of course, you might wonder about the slight difference between supercharging and standard charging time.
Here is a table highlighting the differences between supercharging and charging a Tesla usually.
|Supercharging a Tesla||Charging a Tesla Normally|
|It takes about 15 minutes to gain some 200 miles extra.||It takes at least one hour to charge fully.|
|It saves time and may be best only when it is necessary.||It prolongs battery life and leads to battery optimization.|
|It helps to increase your drive time in a short while.||It increases battery range and efficiency.|
Although it may seem as if we are talking down on supercharging, it is not so. The only disadvantage is when you rely on it constantly.
Most times, allow your Tesla battery to charge before you drive. This way, you are sure that all functions are working and their preconditions beforehand.
Also, it would be best if you precondition all the Tesla models before driving. This action will, in turn, help you get the best out of your battery, especially in cold climates.
Should You Precondition Your Tesla every day?
You can decide to precondition your Tesla every day if you live close to Alaska or where it’s winter every day.
The goal is to get Tesla battery optimization every time you drive your vehicle. You will only precondition your Tesla daily if you leave the car running through the night.
As long as there is a negative sign before the temperature range in your location, your Tesla remains eligible for preconditioning.
So, ensure to precondition your Tesla or any other electric vehicle to optimize its battery. After all, you can never tell if there will be traffic, an accident, or any delay.
It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Hey, I’m Michael Davis, a 35-year-old with a degree and a love for cars and tech. Since I was a kid, cars have been my thing—so much that I even thought they ran on magic beans! Fast forward, and I’ve built Vehicle Army, your one-stop-shop for easy-to-understand car facts.