Audi A3 E-tron Forum

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 Post subject: Re: Very cold winter operation
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:01 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:46 am
Posts: 1
Hi, can someone please confirm some things for me as I put a deposit down on a 2016 E tron and now worried it may not start at all in the winter.
I park my car for weeks at a time at Calgary airport where temperatures go below -28c often. My concern now is that when I come back to the lot my car might not even start at all or will the electric mode not work right away? If the gas portion can start that is fine, but not at all is my issue because at those temps it's the last thing I need at the end of my day. My phone doesn't even work to call for help because it's so cold. The airport offers plug ins that work for 15 minutes every 60 minutes at temps below -25c but many people question this reliability. Will this harm or help my car at all?
I've read about the pre warm function? Can I set this up daily while I am away or is it a one time thing?
What do people in Norway do? My sales guy said there are no issues in cold temps so I am a bit shocked to see this here and need to make sure I have a car that works in these extreme conditions.


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 Post subject: Re: Very cold winter operation
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:45 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:06 am
Posts: 8
I was also worried about parking my car at the airport for an extended period of time. So two weeks ago I flew to Vancouver (rained all week) and monitored the temperatures back home in London ON. Lots of snow and cold nights -10 to -15C. I had driven the car to the London Airport (drove on Battery Hold) and parked the car with a 3/4 charge. When I returned a week later the car was covered in about a foot of snow and it was cold (-15C, 11:00pm) and I thought oh, oh trouble maybe. I started the car and interestingly the ICE motor also started right away. The battery was still at 3/4 charge. I sat for a bit and the cabin warmed up and then I left the parking lot, at the pay gate I had to get out of the car (my driver side window was frozen) to insert my ticket. When I got back into the car I briefly noticed a message on the digital display saying something about car was in warming mode or words to that effect. Anyway, the car was in good shape after sitting for over a week in cold temperatures in an exposed airport parking lot. It looks like that if the battery is too cold the ICE starts up and eventually the battery is warm enough to function normally.


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 Post subject: Re: Very cold winter operation
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2016 8:30 am
Posts: 71
Hi Veggy,
I have a digital copy of the A3 manual for 2016 model, here is relevant reading found:

(page 99)
If the battery charge level is below 3% never park the vehicle for more than 21 days without charging the high-voltage battery. Should you have to park the vehicle for a long time, make sure that the charge level is sufficient to help prevent the battery from aging prematurely.

Should the vehicle be parked for longer than 2 days at temperatures below -25C the high-voltage battery could freeze and not be able to provide energy to the electric motor. The battery will start working again, once it warms up. The battery can be warmed up when the outside temperature rises or when the vehicle is garaged appropriately. The battery will also warm up when being used (switching on the air conditioner, the heater or by driving the vehicle). Should you have to park your vehicle at very low temperatures for longer than 1 day, make sure that the high-voltage battery does not freeze by parking the vehicle in a garage that is heated or protected from the outside temperature.

(page 100)
The vehicle cannot start when the outside temperatures are below -28C

(page 102)
(check engine alert)The outside temperature is too low. The vehicle can no longer start at temperatures below -28C. Contact your authorized Audi dealer or authorized Audi Service Facility.

(page 110)
Environmental conditions when using the charging system
-Operating temperature: -25C to 35C
-----------

I couldn't find it in the manual, but I recall reading somewhere that if you kept the car plugged in and scheduled pre-heating to run regularly it would maintain the battery temperature in extreme cold. However the last point on the charging system (and this is the e-tron one, it may be different for other EVSE's) seems to negate that solution..

So maybe someone in a colder climate can give more reassurance (I know there's a couple Ottawa users on here) but in a southern Ontario climate, where I have had only a few -28ish (without windchill) experiences in the last two years, I have not had an issue going to work. The gas engine fires up right away, and the car functions fully on ICE. But while my vehicle sits outside (no garage) it doesnt sit in the same condition for a long period like you're describing.


Ian


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 Post subject: Re: Very cold winter operation
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:24 am
Posts: 19
I parked my car recently at the Toronto airport (Pearson International) for a week and didn't have any issues starting it up when I returned. Granted, I did park in a garage that prevented snow from piling on top of it, but it was still exposed to the sub-zero degree Celsius temperatures. I was able to drive away in EV mode without issue and then I hit the highway and switched to Sport mode (Battery Hold).


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