Door handles

Door handles

I live in Dallas where summer temps can exceed 100 degrees and often park at golf course for at least. 5 hours. I definitely use sunshades but almost burnt off the skin of my hands when I touched the metal handles. Any suggestions?

sule | July 12, 2014

Gloves? Cloth? Park with handles in shade? Enter through another door first? Get model X if it will have power assisted door opening?

centralvalley | July 12, 2014

Yep, same thing here in California. You know about it. Take a handkerchief or oven mitts.

zeitmanp | July 13, 2014

Shade? In Dallas? R u kidding me ?

alex.winslow | July 13, 2014

I'm also in Dallas and experienced "too hot to handle" last week. I'll ask the service center about a insulated film to place on inside edge of handle. So upon presentation, use tips of fingers on inside edge to open?

Red Sage ca us | July 13, 2014

Plasti-dip, or wrapping... Either might suffice.

Lubdub | July 13, 2014

much ado about nothing. use gloves safest thing

carlgo | July 13, 2014

First World Problem!

Rocky_H | July 14, 2014

In summer, you frequently are in short sleeves, so you don't have a shirt cuff to use to open it with, and I find it both ridiculous and sad that it is an actual suggestion that I should carry a glove (or oven mitt?) around in my pocket in the summer to open a car door handle. This was a very short-sighted stupid design flaw that they were obviously told about since 2012, and it still has not been fixed. Really, a plastic lining on the inside is all this would need.

KWTESLA | July 14, 2014

I doubt that Aluminum would get that hot. The cast handles do get warm in the sun. Any metallurgist in the house ? Chrome really looks cool !

Boukman | July 14, 2014

Would not have this problem if the parking lot had some trees...What about encouraging planting some in those parking lots?

grega | July 14, 2014

@carlgo :)
Yes a first world problem, but there are 2 types of first world problems that get mixed up by almost everyone - real problems and stupid problems. A toaster that only burns toast is a genuine problem. Feeling let down because your regular masseuse needed a day off... not going to get much sympathy.

Excessively hot door handles is an issue. I don't know how hot it is, how easy it would be for Tesla to fix it, or whether I could find an easy work around - but worth considering.

Rocky_H | July 15, 2014

@KWTESLA, it's beyond warm. In desert climates, the sun is intense, and the handles do burn your fingers if you touch it for more than a partial second. Yeah, the chrome looks great, and they don't need to mess that up. They could put some kind of plastic on the inside edge, where you pull on it, so that it still looks chrome on the outside.

magicdoc | July 15, 2014

Also in Dallas. Anticipating the problem of burning my hand, i very quickly pulled on the handle with two fingers. Got away lucky with no burn and fingers able to function ;)

since you play golf, perhaps you were lucky and could have used that towel that all those really good golfers use, and not burn your hand and thus prevent ruining your grip, correct?

I will most likely take a small cloth or towel with me when it is that hot and adapt to the issue. Tesla, I assume, is aware of the issue.

DTsea | July 15, 2014

How about putting a trip of tape on the inside of the handle?

pabeader | July 15, 2014

A strip of foam tape might work. Is there enough clearance?

Rocky_H | July 15, 2014

@DTsea, I have heard of people putting some adhesive backed foam rubber on the inside edge of the handle to pull on, and that is probably what I will do. I think the bigger issue is that this should be built right, rather than people having to glue things onto their door handles, carry towels, gloves, etc. to open their doors.

pabeader | July 15, 2014

The only other option would be plastic handles. I don't think that would fly with you folks.

holidayday | July 15, 2014

How about a solar roof option to keep the interior AND handles cool during hot summer days?

(I leave it to experts who would know how to do this.)

DonS | July 15, 2014

Chromed metal is a bad choice for heat retention. Even though a fair amount of sunlight is reflected, the heat that is absorbed is retained. Chrome is the worst surface for radiating heat. If you haven't learned how to do the quick touch to open the doors, then the best option is to add a thin insulator such as weatherstripping on the inside of the handle.

Brian H | July 16, 2014

Don S nailed it, I think. Chrome is lousy at dumping heat radiatively.

just an allusion | July 17, 2014


You are aware that the Model S door handles are auto retracting and do so as soon as you exit/enter the vehicle, leaving the part of the handle your fingers actually come into contact with essentially shaded from the Sun all day long...Yes?

I'm calling B.S.

drax7 | July 17, 2014

Golf gloves for golfers in Dallas.

Rocky_H | July 17, 2014

@just an allusion, your theory that the shaded side of a solid piece of metal does not get hot is so bogus versus what many of us experience every day in real life. I'm not disputing your right to say it; I'm just saying it's incorrect.

holidayday | July 17, 2014

just an illusion:

In comparison, put a metal spoon in a pot of boiling water. The part of the spoon that is not in the boiling water gets hot too. You will burn your hand if you touch it.
(Please do not try this at home.)

This is what people are experiencing with the hot handles. The part holds heat, and will be hot to the touch, even the shaded part.

Red Sage ca us | July 18, 2014

There's this stuff called 'paint' that has worked for a couple of decades at least on automotive door handles...

just an allusion | July 18, 2014

@Rocky_H & holidayday

Yes, I fully understand the phenomena of heat transference through conduction, though I've never experienced 'too-hot' handles before, & so, am unfamiliar.

I withdraw my call of "B.S."

Rocky_H | July 18, 2014

Where you live, just_an_allusion? I am wondering if this is mainly a desert climate issue. Maybe the lack of moisture has something to do with how much radiant energy is getting through the air and/or how there is not moisture in the air to absorb heat and regulate the temperature of things.

I used to live in a very humid muggy area in Bowling Green KY and then lived in Bowling Green and Toledo OH. The sun's effects seemed to be way less because of all the humidity. Daytime high to nighttime low temperature swing was about 10 degrees or less. When I moved to the desert in Idaho, I was really surprised that the high to low temperature swing was about 40 degrees, and the sun heats things up like crazy.

Thanks for retracting the B.S. remark--that was a bit irritating.

just an allusion | July 18, 2014


Well, it's like this see, the automotive industry has been manufacturing automobiles with polished/chromed metal handles for over a century, many of which have been sold in, or whose owners reside in, areas around the World that enjoy sweltering, scorching, even sizzling climates, and yet not one report of someone 'burning the flesh off of their hand(s)', let alone blistering them.

It is for this reason that I feel that zeitmanp is purposely being a bit overzealous in their accounting of the matter as a means of belittling our ever embattled EV/marque of choice, & so I'm viewing their input on the matter as little more than the B.S. the typical troll banters about on these forums.

So, B.S. I say, B.S. because I find their dig nonsensical, not because of the physics behind heat conduction.

Brian H | July 18, 2014

The standard chrome handle is a flat loop projecting from the car, exposed to air and wind, and able to generate its own convection currents. The TM handle is recessed, exposed only on the outer surface, and with no air channels around it.

just an allusion | July 23, 2014

You don't like the door handles, don't buy the car!

There, problem solved...You've managed to talk yourself out of buying the most innovative, progressive, technologically advanced automobile ever/produced in the last 125+ years, and all because you found the door handle a little hot to the touch (a long commonplace phenomena of automotive nomenclature) one day.

Congratulations! That's very forward thinking of you.

zeitmanp | July 24, 2014

oh my goodness - did not mean to set off such a maelstrom of negativity. I just wondered if anyone else found the handles hot.
I love my car and wouldn't trade it for anything else.

just an allusion | July 24, 2014


That's just the thing, hot door handles have been a nuance of vehicle ownership for over 125 years and no one has raised any sort of a stink of the level of the one that I've seen here, so one HAS to wonder...!

I mean, if it were as BIG of an issue as you and others here have made it out to be, don't you think that the literally billions of automobile owners over the years would've initiated a movement to incite a re-engineering of that one, relatively small part of automotive nomenclature...?

Me think thou doth protest too much.

Rocky_H | July 25, 2014

But that's exactly why MOST cars DON'T have them--it's a bad feature. Geez, you act like it's something that every single car has.

just an allusion | July 26, 2014

Yet it is only in recent years (this decade) that cars have been produced that had anything but chromed/polished metal door handles, and even now that is only a "feature" on select models/offered by certain manufacturers!

Ergo, TRUTH BE TOLD, most cars DO have them as color-matched/monochromatic door handles are a relatively new development in automotive design and, typically, are more so a regional accessory...You are wrong in your assertion.

Rocky_H | July 28, 2014

"Yet it is only in recent years (this decade) that cars have been produced that had anything but chromed/polished metal door handles, and even now that is only a "feature" on select models/offered by certain manufacturers!"

This is so inaccurate, I just can't leave it alone. I walked in through the aisle in our parking lot at work. There were about 20 cars on each side, 40 total, and I looked to see how many had metal door handles. Zero! None! Yes, they used to exist frequently on cars in the 60's or 70's or whatever, but this is 2014, and they are almost entirely gone. I don't know when the major shift happened, but all the manufacturers stopped using them mainly for this reason.

just an allusion | July 28, 2014


And of what MODEL YEAR were those "40 total" cars in your work's parking lot..."?"

Red Sage ca us | July 29, 2014

I don't remember seeing chrome door handles as standard on the majority of passenger cars since the 1980s. Toward the end of that decade, quite a few automotive magazines were lambasting The Big Three automakers in Detroit for using generic 'bin parts' for every vehicle in their product lines. It was no less true for imports from Europe or Japan, just not quite as obvious.

I think that sometime in the early to mid-1990s cars with body colored door handles began to appear on higher end Japanese imports to the US. Basically, the lower end cars would have black door handles, black bumpers, and black rear view mirrors. The higher trim versions would have body colored components instead.

By the early 2000s it was pretty consistent for most vehicles to have door handles that at least attempted to look original, unique to the car itself. Usually even if there was brightwork on a door handle, it wasn't actually made of metal. By Brother's Mercedes-Benz S500 for instance, has a plasticized 'chrome' strip on the top edge of the otherwise body-colored door handles.

There are people who seriously lament the absence of 'real steel', 'real chrome', and 'real iron' in the construction of automobiles. They associate those materials and their heft with quality. I think they rather appreciate having something of the Tesla Model S remind them of the brightwork of lore in some way.

I remember when my Granddad got a Buick Limited sedan in the mid-late 1970s how elders in the Family were surprised at how small the fins were, practically vestigial, and how they were made of a plastic 'cap' instead of metal. A few years later, when bumpers began to disappear, wrapped in plastic, I heard similar complaints. People like what they like, and they don't want to hear about efficiency or economy.