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

  1. #31
    Senior Member brianman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgmd View Post
    A suggestion would be to pick up a small butane torch ($15.00) at a Home Depot, and keep it handy. You can heat up the outer handle in pinch.
    I don't think I want the words 'butane' or 'torch' anywhere near my vehicle.
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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert.Boston View Post
    I asked about the handles yesterday at the Tesla Gallery in Natick. The rep clearly had researched the answer: the heated handles are out, because that added one more thing to break. Instead, Tesla oomphed up the power of the motor that pops out the handles. I was told that the handles can crack through up to 8mm of ice. (One more example of using electric motor torque to good advantage.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug_G View Post
    Sounds like they've sent the word around about that one... a Ranger told me the same thing. Sounds like a non-issue. At 8 mm thick you would have serous trouble opening the door even with the handle extended. (It's extremely rare to get that much freezing rain at once, but I did have it happen once. Took half an hour to get into the car.)
    That's good news indeed, one less winter issue to worry about.

    Next - wipers!

  3. #33
    Happy Model S Owner
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug_G View Post
    Sounds like they've sent the word around about that one... a Ranger told me the same thing. Sounds like a non-issue. At 8 mm thick you would have serous trouble opening the door even with the handle extended. (It's extremely rare to get that much freezing rain at once, but I did have it happen once. Took half an hour to get into the car.)
    I had something like this happen once in Minnesota -- cycles of freezing rain for 12 hours created a single sheet of ice the shape of a car cover. It took 4 hours to deal with. It was probably only 7 mm thick, but I have my doubts that the door handle motors would bust through that, because the sheer width of the ice gave it a lot of structural integrity, and it was pretty much impossible to chip. I had to first *melt* a line out around the edges of the door using a hair dryer (I didn't have a butane torch). Then do the same around the door handle. Note that I could still not open the other car doors, even from the inside, due to the strength of the ice. Then, of course, the car wouldn't start. So, melt a line around the edges of the hood. Call AAA, who injected antifreeze into various parts of the car, and then I was able to start the car and let it melt out.

    Luckily I have an indoor garage at the moment. But anyway, if this sort of extreme weather happens to you, and you're not comfortable taking a torch to your car, get an extension cord and a hair dryer; it works eventually.
    I take "Electro", my amazing Model S, to the train station: yes, it's a station wagon

  4. #34
    It was cold out today. Wile I was running errands, I noticed it took a few tries for the door to open when I put my hand in the handle and pulled. Thought it might be my cold skin, but the consensus in this thread seems to be that its pressure-based. Hadn't had this issue before today (and not while it was in the garage earlier,just while parked outside).

  5. #35
    Senior Member kevincwelch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnOutsider View Post
    It was cold out today. Wile I was running errands, I noticed it took a few tries for the door to open when I put my hand in the handle and pulled. Thought it might be my cold skin, but the consensus in this thread seems to be that its pressure-based. Hadn't had this issue before today (and not while it was in the garage earlier,just while parked outside).
    Do you have the firmware that enables auto-extension?

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  6. #36
    Nope,no 4.0

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