How To Defrost Teslas? 10 Cool Features (4 Models Explained)

Maximize your range and take good care of your Tesla this season by taking advantage of the many cool features Teslas include during the cold season.

It’s time to take advantage of the user-friendly design of your car, and with these tips, you can make the best of driving in cold, snowy, and icy weather.

Let’s dive in.

Preconditioning Allows for a Better Drive

Tesla’s software updates allow users to take advantage of the scheduled departure feature.

To set this feature, you can tap:

  1. Charging,
  2. Scheduled Departure,
  3. and Schedule Departure At.

You can then precondition by using your Tesla app to go into the Climate setting and then tap Turn On.

Finally, you can defrost your car by again going into your Climate settings in your Tesla app and clicking Defrost.

By taking these preconditioning steps, you’ll make sure that your Tesla charges at the best hours. Furthermore, you’ll make sure the battery and the cabin of the car are ready for whenever you need to leave.

This cool feature saves you time and makes sure your car and your journey have the best conditions possible.

Watch Your Wipers

Before it snows or you are expected to have icy conditions, put your car into Wiper Service Mode.

This mode brings your wipers up so that as your windshield defrosts, your wipers will too. Wiper defrosters can also be used for your wipers if you have them.

While you may not realize that windshield wiper fluid should change in different seasons, using wiper fluid fit for cold weather can help keep your windshield clear.

The agents that de-ice your windshield can evaporate, so monitor the levels of your windshield wiper fluid.

To put your windshield wipers in service positions, you can follow the following instructions in all Tesla models:

  • Controls >
  • Vehicle >
  • Wiper Service Model >
  • On

Mirror Magic

Having clear mirrors is another essential part of ensuring that you are driving safely in cold weather.

If your mirrors are frozen in place, don’t worry.

There are steps you can take to correct this issue. By simply manually opening and closing your mirrors, you can get them back in top condition. Of course, always be gentle when you are doing this.

While the auto-fold feature is handy for many drivers, you’ll likely want to turn this off in the winter or whenever you expect there will be ice.

Using controls, you can stop the mirrors from folding automatically.

Fortunately, your Tesla will heat the side mirrors when needed automatically when you are preconditioning your car.

For Model S and X:

  1. Controls >
  2. Vehicle >
  3. Mirror Auto Fold

For Model Y and 3:

  1. Controls >
  2. Quick Controls >
  3. Mirrors >
  4. Mirror Auto Fold

Many Tire Options Customized for You

Having winter tires and tire chains is a great investment for your winter driving.

Remember, Teslas use special tires.

The type of tire that comes on your Tesla doesn’t just depend on the model of your car but also on what region you bought your car from.

Thus, understanding Summer, Winter, and All-Season tires can improve your driving and maximize your use of your Tesla. Both All-Season and summer tires aren’t designed for ice or snow.

These tires, therefore, do not have appropriate traction for optimal driving conditions.

You can tell what tires you have by looking at the tire sidewall.

“Mud and Snow” or “All Season” labels indicate all-season tires.

Remember also to change your Tesla’s tires at least every 6 years.

Winter tires are great when you need more traction for snow or ice.

These tires can be identified by a snowflake and mountain symbol on the sidewall of your tire. These tires don’t have as good traction when it is dry, and they can wear out more quickly.

When you change your tires, be sure to change all four of them at the same time.

You can also add tire chains to your back two tires.

You can get the appropriate chains from Tesla.

Maintaining your tires ensures that your Tesla always drives smoothly, which is why the manufacturer recommends changing your tires if you live in a cold climate.

Spare Your Energy

Using less energy when you can is a good way to extend your range.

One great feature of Teslas is that by taking advantage of quality engineering, you can extend your range and save energy. This a good tip no matter the time of year, but it’s extra important to keep in mind when it’s colder outside.

To conserve energy, you’ll want to slow down your driving speed; this doesn’t mean you have to go super slow, but it does mean that going just a little slower can make a difference. Don’t accelerate or decelerate too intensely, either.

Finally, you can lower the heat settings and opt to use the heated seats for added warmth.

Don’t sacrifice your comfort, but do keep these tips in mind during the cold weather.

Driving Best Practices

Keep in mind that your car will react differently when it is cold or snowy.

Your car will likely need to use more energy because you use more power to keep the car and battery warm. You’ll also want to drive more slowly as you are driving in detrimental conditions.

Furthermore, keep in mind that you will have limited regenerative braking when you are driving and your battery is cold, but preconditioning can prevent this issue.

You can also use Trip Planner to warm the battery of your Tesla when you get to the charger.

Doing this ensures that your battery is at the right temperature and your car will charge more quickly.

Snowflake Icon

The snowflake icon is a useful feature on the Tesla because it lets you know if your battery is accessing all its energy.

When the weather is cold, your battery is also cold, which can lead to your battery being unable to use the normal amount of energy.

When this icon goes away, you know that the battery has warmed up, and you have the full range of the Tesla battery. Using precautions like preconditioning and scheduling, you can expedite the battery warm-up process.

Paying attention to the snowflake icon can help you gauge how to better care for your car.

Charging for the Best

Your charging port may freeze, or you may struggle to detach your cable when the weather is cold.

This situation can be stressful, but Tesla has made sure users can easily overcome this situation.

You can manually release the cable by stopping the charging of your car, opening the trunk, and pulling the release cable of the port.

The cable will then detach.

Choose Chill Mode

Tesla models have different acceleration modes that you can use based on what you want to accomplish.

For example, Model 3 has:

  • Chill,
  • Standard,
  • and Sport modes.

Tesla’s cold weather mode is also helpful.

Model vehicle modes will depend on when you purchased your car and can include modes like:

  • chill,
  • standard,
  • sport,
  • insane,
  • and ludicrous.

All vehicles with autopilot hardware will have the chill setting.

This setting is good for cold, icy weather because it reduces how much torque goes to the wheels of the Tesla. Therefore, it allows the car to grip better.

Chill mode can also ensure that you maintain your range when it gets cold.


Not using your Tesla for a while can lead to a loss of range, but keeping your Tesla plugged in maintains the temperature of your battery to fight this range loss.

You should keep your car plugged into its charger whenever you aren’t using it. Read more here about how often you should charge 100%.

Fear not; keeping it plugged in will not do any damage to the car and is perfectly safe.

Teslas will go into sleep mode when they are not used.

This mode reduces the energy Tesla uses.

However, you’ll want to avoid opening your app too many times to check on your car because doing so will wake the car up.

Winter Wonderland

Enjoy your Tesla all year round when you take care of your car and learn to defrost and drive it in cold weather.

Winter is a wonderful time of year, but it can come with a lot of anxiety and worry when it comes to managing your car.

No one wants to spend a lot of time clearing their car in the cold when the weather gets bad in the winter.

Fortunately, Tesla makes it easy with technological features and smart design that allows users to manage the winter with ease.

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