We all love the ability to cool down our Model S using the smartphone app. Temperatures in closed cars left in a parking lot on a hot day can easily exceed 100° F. Whenever possible I try to find a shady place or a parking ramp to keeph things a little cooler. Another way to help control the temperature is to use windshield reflectors also known as sunshades. Shiny large shapes that can be placed against the glass.
I recently tested the Tesla Model S custom Heatshield Sunshade . They have produced four shades especially for the Model S. A windshield reflector, one for the rear hatch window and a right and left front row seat units. I tested the windshield and front side units. The only problem was to wait for a day here in the new Chicago climate that would be warm enough for a good test. Fortunately that day came this past Saturday.
The shipping box is a long rectangular corrugated container with a bursting test rating of 200 lbs. per square inch. Inside are two cloth container bags with a nice locking draw string. One held the windshield reflector and the other held a pair for the front row windows. My first reaction was the bags were not necessary, but then I realized they will come in handy when fall arrives and I place them in storage until spring. The bags will keep them from getting dusty. Not using the bags will either require they be cleaned before use or the inside of your Model S will be exposed to a winter’s worth of dust. The bags were a nice plus.
I positioned my Model S in the driveway under a bright, cloudless, southern sky just before noon. The outside temperature was 78° F, which turned out to be the high for the day. The temperature inside my Model S was 74°F when I installed the heat shields.
Installation is very easy. Unroll the windshield reflector and position it against the glass, shiny side out. The fit is very good and covers 99% of the glass. The instructions say to swing down the sun visors to help hold up the shield. Well, we all know the visors are very small, so this didn’t work perfectly, but at no time did the reflector fall while installed.
The side windows are a little trickier. Again the shape and size are good and there are three, clear suction cups on the outside facing of the reflector. Two on the long side on the rear side of the glass and one at the point where the glass angles down toward the front. This doesn’t work perfectly and although they did not come loose during my test, a very hot day could heat the suction cups and cause them to come loose. How many times have you found your GPS or radar detector on the dash in the summer? I would recommend installing the front row reflectors from the back seat (this requires long arms) with the front doors closed to avoid the window raising upon closing and shaking off the shields.
How Did They Work?
I used my iPhone app to check the interior temperature at various times with the reflectors installed and with them not installed. Here are the results with the sunshades installed.
Here is what happened to the inside temperature when I removed the shades. Keep in mind the car was not repositioned, the outside temperature remained a constant 78°F and the sky remained cloudless.
After removing the reflectors, the temperature soared to over 90°F in less than sixty minutes.
The heat shields kept my Model S significantly cooler. After removing the reflectors, the temperature soared to over 90°F in less than sixty minutes. Overall there ended up being a 14° before and after difference. That doesn’t sound like much, but the experience of entering a car that’s 83°F vs. 97°F is drastic. My sunglasses did not fog up when the shields were installed, but instantly did so at the higher temperature. Keeping the car cooler means you will use less battery when you do turn on the AC, which will help with range.
When you are not using them, simply roll them up, use the attached velcro strap to keep them in a rolled up state and toss them in the lower compartment of the hatch.
On a hot and sunny day these babies will definitely keep your car cooler as long as you’re willing to put up with installing and removing them. The Heatshield sunshade is custom-cut for your Tesla Model S making it a near perfect fit. The material on both sides of the product was smooth and even. They have a nice stiffness to them that allows you to bend them into place for maximum coverage. Somewhat like extra strong aluminum foil. The two materials, reflecting facing out and matte facing in are nicely stitched all the way around that made me feel these would last a while.
This review is based on the standard Silver edition being offered directly through Heatshield at $39.95 Heatshield has since come out with a new “Gold Series” version of the Tesla Model S sunshade which features a gold reflective front and dark ‘blackout’ properties on the inside.