Frozen door handles

Frozen door handles

Has it been determined how the door handles will respond to a buildup of ice? If all 4handls have ice coating them will I need to clear them all since they all pop open at once?

jerry3 | September 9, 2012

Because you can pre-warm the car with an App, I don't expect this will be much of a problem. However, no one has actually tested it.

jerry3 | September 9, 2012

Because mine will have to be parked outside, I'll have a car cover so that should take care of the problem. I'd be more worried about the ice build up on the automatic windshield wipers. I suspect that the best practice will be to turn off automatic wipers in cold weather.

Robert22 | September 9, 2012

Any possibility that they incorporated a heating element ?

Steve841 | September 9, 2012

WOW ... forget the damn bugs and sweltering heat, Im glad I live in Florida

jerry3 | September 9, 2012


I've never heard it mentioned. It's certainly possible but just about everything's been talked to death :-)

murraypetera | September 9, 2012

We have nice frozen rain / ice storms in the NE. It will be interesting when it happens but that said I have had my door frozen shut more than a few times.

jerry3 | September 9, 2012


Here in Texas, there are ice days where everything is coated with 2-4mm of ice. My hope is that either the pre-heating or the car cover would fix that. One problem with a California designed car is that the engineers don't have first hand experience with anything but sun and a bit of rain so they can't draw from personal experience.

Discoducky | September 9, 2012

I expect to find out the answer to the freezing/heating question as we'll be taking the car up to the mountains in Puget Sound quite a bit this winter.

sergiyz | September 9, 2012

Nothing WD-40 can't solve ;)

Robert22 | September 9, 2012

Innovative solution for frozen door handles (licensing available):

Jason S | September 9, 2012

Some de-icer in the frunk and ability to open the hatch at back will solve any problems found.

A coating of ice is problematic overall -- I'm hopeful that a tapping of the area around the handle will solve the issue.

Volker.Berlin | September 10, 2012

Oooold topic... ;-)

On April 15, 2011, I wrote:

Fortunately, the discussion is pointless b/c the Model S will heat the door handles from the inside, which is more effective and more convenient. Isn't technology great? ;-)

That information was from one of the many Q&A or interviews with Elon, and of course I still hope it's true. An official acknowledgement wouldn't hurt, though!

cerjor | September 10, 2012

What do you do with your present car when the keyhole is frozen and covered with ice?

Brian H | September 10, 2012

If at first you don't succeed, get a bigger hammer.

jerry3 | September 10, 2012


You generally press the button or pull the lever until it frees up. When the handle sticks out you can chip the ice away without damaging the paint. With the flush handle, chipping at the ice isn't a really great plan.

Andrew18 | September 10, 2012

If the door handles are heated does the car drain it's battery significantly the car is out in the cold and there is no ice?

Andrew18 | September 10, 2012

If the car

jerry3 | September 13, 2012


I wouldn't think so. The handles are metal so it wouldn't take much to heat them up. And presumably you could turn the heating on and off with the iPhone App.

Timo | September 13, 2012

The handles are metal so it wouldn't take much to heat them up

This just means that they are great heat conductors, which also means they radiate heat away effectively, so it doesn't take much to heat them up, but it takes quite a bit to keep them heated if outside temperature is low.

I believe door handles are not constantly heated (IMO that would be just stupid), instead they get heated when driver chooses to. Some phone app or similar just like jerry3 says.

Brian H | September 14, 2012

It's not a good idea to heat one with your tongue, however.

|8-p !!

jeeps17 | September 15, 2012

Another thing to add to the punch list...

jerry3 | September 15, 2012


I think most people know that you should warm them up with your tongue :-)

jeeps17 | September 16, 2012


I have to admit that, living where we actually have real winters, the californian design of the Teslas has me slightly worried for small details like these (frozen door handles for the S, falcon wings that relocate snow "indoors" when open on the X, etc...).

That said, you are right, the tongue to handle technique is always a backup.

That's what my kids are there for! ;-)

jerry3 | September 16, 2012