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Thread: Door Handles: My Tesla S gives me the cold shoulder when I leave it in the cold

  1. #11
    Member aronth5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bint2k View Post
    I'm curious to see what happens when this car sits in the freezing ice after a snowstorm and the handles won't come out.

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    Winter Testing….
    Agree, especially when you're not able to pull open the door
    Name:  Frozen car door handle.JPG
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by aronth5 View Post
    Agree, especially when you're not able to pull open the door
    Name:  Frozen car door handle.JPG
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    That, and the equivalent giant icicle around the windshield wipers are my main winter concerns (well, that and what abrasives will do to the underbelly of the car and air suspension).

    Your picture is a fairly mild version of what we can get under the "right" conditions in Montreal, which happens several times per winter. The worst I ever saw was during the great ice storm in the late 90s, where my car parked overnight in an open lot was covered by 1-2 cm of solid ice, with scrapers inside (I was doing a 24h in-hospital call, and had not had a chance to listen to the weather forecasts). It took me a good hour to open the driver's door, trading tools with similarly stranded colleagues.

    On the S, heated door handles (turned on by pre-heating the parked car, along with the heated mirrors and window defrosters) would be great, but this is one of the situations where the "designed in California" aspect of Tesla does not inspire my confidence...

    I hope a few of their engineers have lived in true winter climes...

  3. #13
    Senior Member mknox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William13 View Post
    I eventually take the fob out of my pocket and try pressing on the handle again. If that doesn't work, I press twice on the roof of the fob. Repeat as needed until success. I may have a better rhythm now as I had less problem today.
    I wonder if the battery in the fob is weak and the cold is affecting its range? You wouldn't think so being in your pocket and all...

  4. #14
    Senior Member cinergi's Avatar
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    I've had things in my pocket (e.g. metal things) prevent the fob from working. Even to the point where I'm sitting in the car and the car refuses to turn on ("key isn't present" error).
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  5. #15
    Senior Member mknox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cinergi View Post
    I've had things in my pocket (e.g. metal things) prevent the fob from working. Even to the point where I'm sitting in the car and the car refuses to turn on ("key isn't present" error).
    My current car is completely keyless, and the problem I have from time to time is that pocket lint works its way inside the fob and disrupts the battery contacts. I spend a few days jiggling the fob or slapping my pants pockets before opening the door (yes, that gets some unusual stares) before deciding to pop the fob open and clean off the battery terminals. Not sure how tight the Model S fob is, but there's something else to look at.

  6. #16
    Roadster 919, S 2006 Doug_G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mknox View Post
    My current car is completely keyless, and the problem I have from time to time is that pocket lint works its way inside the fob and disrupts the battery contacts. I spend a few days jiggling the fob or slapping my pants pockets before opening the door (yes, that gets some unusual stares) before deciding to pop the fob open and clean off the battery terminals. Not sure how tight the Model S fob is, but there's something else to look at.
    Weird. I've been using Nissan and Infiniti keyless systems for years and never had that happen!
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  7. #17
    Senior Member mknox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug_G View Post
    Weird. I've been using Nissan and Infiniti keyless systems for years and never had that happen!
    The design of my fob has a hidden "emergency key" that can be released and slid out to unlock a door (and now that I think about it, that'd be the only way to lock the glove box), and the dust/lint seems to work it's way in there. Maybe once or twice a year I have to pop it open and clean the battery, and it is always quite dusty in there!

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by William13 View Post
    Does anyone know how the handles sense? Is it the pressure, warmth, electric potential? Will I only be able to use capacitive gloves?
    Quote Originally Posted by cinergi View Post
    Pressure.
    Definitely pressure. So little pressure on my car that I thought it was capacitive, but a quick test showed it is pressure.

  9. #19
    S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13 jerry33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aronth5 View Post
    Agree, especially when you're not able to pull open the door
    Name:  Frozen car door handle.JPG
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    Happens here in DFW as well. The heated door handles had better put out a lot of heat because sometimes the ice is 3-4mm thick.
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  10. #20
    Senior Member Jaff's Avatar
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    We had a range proximity problem with the Roadster...our Ranger (Eli) moved the location of the antenna (when he had the dash apart for a different issue)...the range improved significantly.


    Quote Originally Posted by ChadS View Post
    No such bad luck here. I've been using 'em down in to the 30's (not sure how cold it is where you are) and they have worked just fine for us.

    I did notice yesterday, when my wife was behind me and she had the fob, that she had to be pretty darn close to the car before it would let me get in.
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