Utah File Snowfall — Extra Adventures in Winter Driving with My Twin Motor Tesla Mannequin 3 (+ FSD Beta Replace)

The common winter snowfall at Alta, Brighton, Snowbird, and Solitude ski resorts in Utah is 500”. As of this writing, Brighton and Alta Ski Resorts are at 672” and 660” snowfall respectively for the season, and the others will not be far behind. With 5 weeks of the ski season left to go, we’re effectively on our solution to the 825.5” all-time report set at Alta in 1985. I educate alpine snowboarding at Brighton, which entails a 16 mile commute up Massive Cottonwood Canyon twice per week.

Determine 2: Me and my Tesla Mannequin 3. Monumental snow. Sundance, Utah. March 7, 2023. Photograph by Mary Hasler.

Determine 3: My grandson. Monumental snow. Sundance, Utah. March 7, 2023. Photograph by Fritz Hasler.

Excessive Winter Driving in Tesla Mannequin 3

I’ll flip 83 this 12 months, so I’ve been snowboarding and touring to ski resorts in Wisconsin, the Higher Peninsula of Michigan, Colorado, New England, Canada, and the European Alps now for over 70 years. Most of my driving on winter roads in Wisconsin and to ski resorts has been on all-season tires in vehicles and vans with two-wheel drive. We thought of ourselves completely geared up for winter driving after we had a VW Bug with the heavy motor over the rear-drive wheels. After I bought my Tesla Mannequin 3, my primary requirement was for optimum vary as a result of I knew that we would want to make the cross-country commute from Utah to Wisconsin yearly.

To me, it was a bonus that the Mannequin 3 Lengthy Vary got here with twin motors. With a motor on each the front- and rear-drive axles, it’s basically a four-wheel-drive car. On any winter day with new snowfall, Massive Cottonwood Canyon in Utah resulting in the Solitude and Brighton ski resorts is restricted to autos with traction help. This basically means four-wheel drive, chains, or studded snow tires. With my earlier two-wheel-drive Nissan Leaf electrical automobile, this is able to imply parking on the backside and hitchhiking up the canyon on snow days.

With my Tesla Mannequin 3 twin motor, I’ve been in a position to drive up Massive Cottonwood Canyon even on snow days. This winter, my tires had been approaching the damage bars the place I would want to interchange them. Nonetheless, I used to be nonetheless making it up the canyon because the Salt Lake County visitors authority plows the street very often when it’s snowing. Nonetheless, on January 21, it was snowing closely as I adopted an extended line of vehicles slowly working its approach up the canyon. Simply 4 miles wanting Brighton I began skidding off the street to the fitting in 4” of recent powder snow. I used to be caught, I couldn’t transfer frontward or backward. I acquired out of the automobile and hitchhiked as much as Brighton. I borrowed a shovel and hitchhiked again right down to the automobile. Fortuitously, a policeman in a giant pickup truck with snow tires was ready for me on the automobile. He connected a tow strap to my receiver (put in for attaching a tow ball and my bike rack) and pulled me again on the street in order that I used to be going through downhill.

I drove instantly down the Canyon and proceeded instantly to a Les Schwab tire retailer and purchased new all-season tires that had one of the best tread design (Continental 235/45R-18XL 98Y Excessive Contact mDWS06+) for winter driving in snow (see Determine 4). It was solely few days later that I used to be driving up the canyon when it was snowing closely and I used to be in a position to make it up with solely a small quantity of trepidation. As a bonus, there was nearly no skidding on my approach up.

Figure 4: Continental. 235/45R-18XL 98Y Extreme Contact mDWS06+. Tire. March 7, 2023. Photo by Fritz Hasler

Determine 4: Continental 235/45R-18XL 98Y Excessive Contact mDWS06+ tire. March 7, 2023. Photograph by Fritz Hasler.

The subsequent difficulty has been the parking zone. The Mannequin 3 has solely 5.5” clearance peak below the automobile. When we have now 8” of latest snow after arrival, as you see in Determine 1, it’s very troublesome to get the automobile shifting even with 4-wheel-drive as a result of the automobile is excessive centered. It was essential to dig out every tire with my ski gloves and shovel in entrance of the automobile to get sufficient room to get shifting. Additionally, the parking zone attendants provided a few plastic traction enhancers to place below the tires. As soon as I used to be shifting, I needed to hold going at the least 10 mph or I’d be caught once more. Fortuitously, there have been no skiers strolling within the street to make me cease.

A number of blocks from house, I may hear one thing scraping below the automobile. It turned out that I had broken the fiberboard aero-shield below the automobile. The aim of the defend is to boost the aerodynamics of the automobile. 8” of compacted snow within the parking zone had scraped the fiberboard proper off the underside of the automobile. After I introduced my automobile to the Tesla service heart for repairs, they changed the fiberboard aero-shield with a brand new defend fabricated from plastic. I hope the plastic defend is extra sturdy than the fiber model.

I’ve discovered my lesson: On days with 5” or extra snow forecast throughout the day, I will probably be parking my automobile on the backside of the hill and hitchhiking up the canyon.

Full Self Driving (FSD) Beta Replace

I’ve been utilizing FSD Beta on and off for a number of months. “Off” would come once I acquired 5 compelled disengagements and Tesla briefly canceled my entry to the software program. This occurred to me twice and it took a few months every time earlier than Tesla restored entry to me. I feel I’ve discovered the answer to sustaining entry to FSD Beta. I’ve been utilizing FSD Beta once more for a few months now and I’ve had no compelled disengagements. I’ve stopped utilizing FSD Beta on a regular basis. On longer journeys, it has little utility: autosteer and good cruise management do the job on the freeway and you’ve got little benefit utilizing FSD Beta to drive your automobile simply to the Superchargers. I now use FSD Beta just for shorter metropolis journeys the place the software program is extra helpful and I can deal with letting the software program do its job and intervening when it makes a mistake. Previously, I’d lose deal with longer journeys, once I was on the lookout for a charger, altering the navigation, adjusting the heating/cooling, and so forth.

The largest enchancment I see with newest model of FSD Beta is that it now handles rotaries (roundabouts) correctly. Beforehand, FSD Beta would come to a full cease when getting into the rotary even when there have been no different vehicles. Now it treats the rotary entrance like a yield signal, which is what it’s presupposed to do.

FSD Beta’s largest fault remains to be the occasional failure to get within the appropriate lane (heart or flip) to observe the navigation route. The motive force needs to be consistently on the alert to intervene on this case. The second largest fault of FSD Beta is that it’s too gradual, too timid at cease indicators and doing unprotected (no visitors mild) turns onto busy roads. The easy resolution is to intervene by supplying a small quantity of stress to the accelerator to make the automobile transfer ahead on the correct time. The automobile will nonetheless execute the flip correctly.

We’re all nonetheless ready anxiously for V.11 of FSD Beta, which is meant to deliver huge enhancements. Sadly, we learn that it might be some months earlier than we see the discharge.

Please add your winter driving suggestions and FSD Beta expertise within the feedback part beneath.


I do not like paywalls. You do not like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Right here at CleanTechnica, we applied a restricted paywall for some time, but it surely all the time felt improper — and it was all the time powerful to determine what we must always put behind there. In idea, your most unique and greatest content material goes behind a paywall. However then fewer folks learn it! We simply do not like paywalls, and so we have determined to ditch ours.

Sadly, the media enterprise remains to be a tricky, cut-throat enterprise with tiny margins. It is a unending Olympic problem to remain above water and even maybe — gasp — develop. So …