A Cold Weather Incident on the Model 3
With -19C (-2.2F) temperatures in Toronto this week, I had an incident with the charge port on my Model 3.
Although I park my car under a covered area, it is outdoors without access to a charger overnight.
I had a lunch meeting on Wednesday in Vaughan, Ontario, which is about 20 kms from my house. I decided to go charge my car at a nearby Supercharger before heading out that way. I had enough charge to get to lunch and back, but with the extreme cold temperatures, I like to be on the cautious side and have more range than I need – especially when I have time to go charge up. This preplanning, of course, would not be a concern if I had access to a charger at my condo (which I’m still working on btw).
The Supercharger close to my house is about 6 kms away. When I got there on Wednesday, the connector from the charger wouldn’t connect to my car. I tried three different chargers, and it wouldn’t latch on. The car notified me that; “The charge port may be frozen.”
… hmmm, what do I do?
After a quick chat with my boss, John (who’s also my Tesla advisor lol) he suggested that since I had enough range, I drive up to the Supercharger in Vaughan and try to plug in there. By the time I would get there, the car would have been running for a while, heating the battery more and defrosting any frozen area around the charge port.
Ok, good idea I thought. Except that meant I had to call my girlfriend, who I also happen to do business with and who I was having lunch with (who is an Audi girl) and ask her to pick me up from the Supercharger. Oh well, she can make fun of me; I don’t even curr.
In the meantime, John was going to call Tesla service and ask some questions.
I’m on my way to Vaughan, du du du… and Tesla Service calls me.
“Hi Aniseh, we heard you’re having problems charging your car, and we’re calling to make sure you’re ok.”
The service advisor goes on to give me some immediate solutions such as stopping at a coffee shop to get hot water and pour in the spot where it’s frozen. He then offers a couple of other ways to fix the problem quickly, by either stopping at a nearby Service center or sending over a Service Ranger to fix the issue on the spot.
“OK that’s all great, but I have a friend waiting for me for lunch, so I’m on my way to another Supercharger right now and I’ll try to plug in there and see what happens.”
“Aniseh when can we call you to follow up with you on this? Can I call you after your meeting?”
“I’m very busy and important, but yes, call me at 4 pm” I didn’t say the first part… I only thought it.
I get to the Supercharger in Vaughan, plug in the car, and BAM, it’s charging. I get picked up by my friend, who thoroughly enjoyed making fun of me; “ohhhh Tesla girl having charging problems… when are you going to give it up?”
Went for lunch – Delicious Quinoa Powerbowl at Earls. Yum!
Get back to my car, it’s fully charged - $25, and I head home happy.
At precisely 4 pm, Jeremy from Tesla calls me. “Aniseh, I heard you were having problems today on the road charging. I’m calling to make sure you’re ok.”
I explained to Jeremy my day and the frozen charger thingy.
“There is an updated charge port now that will avoid any of this from happening again. When is a good time to come out to you and install the new part on your car?”
Next day, Jeremy showed up in his mobile service Model S at my work and installed the new charger port on my car right there on the driveway.
No cost, no stress.
I knew full well when I purchased this car, that it was a first production car and that there would be things to figure out. This occurrence was an example of that. This is the first full winter the Model 3 has ever had to go through, and the extreme temperatures are providing real-life situations of things that will need to be fixed going forward. I’m also aware that I may have been lucky to have a good experience and that it may not always be the case. Either way, I’m okay with it because I prepared myself going into this from the beginning.
To me, it’s all part of the big picture. The early Model S and Model X owners experienced certain things that helped further productions and future models.
Tesla calling me several times to make sure I’m ok and taking time to come out to fix the issue is premium service that I really value.