Destination Chargers not fully connecting due to snow and freezing temps...

Destination Chargers not fully connecting due to snow and freezing temps...

Hi I live in Minneapolis and own a Model S. I need help as with this winter none of the destination chargers are fully connecting to the charge port and flashing Orange/Amber instead of green. I have tried at least 6 different locations with same problem because the adapters have snow or other debris and not fully connecting.

Can someone please help on how to clean these destination chargers?

Bighorn | February 26, 2019

I've on rare occasion come across a supercharger where someone has packed snow into the connector or the plug has fallen out of the holster into a snowbank. Destination chargers obviously have a much longer cord and their plug condition depends on people courteously replacing them so the end stays dry. Sometimes amber just means give it a little extra push and it will connect. No helpful hints beyond the obvious of trying to warm/melt the occlusion, maybe clear it with a toothpick or something that won't damage the hardware.

Ohmster | February 26, 2019

Just don’t stick your tongue on it. :)

reed_lewis | February 26, 2019

Actually there is very little power in the cable when it is not energized. So I would not worry about that.

I have found that tapping the end somewhere usually removes the excess snow. If it is ICE, run your car and put the end in front of the heater vent. That will melt the ice and allow you to plug it in.

Sailfast | February 26, 2019

The car will charge at reduced power with the orange. Sounds to me that OP has ice in the chargeport and a hair dryer might help. But I park outdoors all winter in tough upstate NY weather, and use a HPWC. There is a possibility that your chargeport is just a little tight since you have this problem in multiple. places. To check, I would try teflon dry lubricant spray spray on the sides of your chargeport, though not on the electric contact parts.This might solve your problem.

plusplusjames | February 27, 2019

@Ohmster: Also, please don't try to suck the ice, snow, or slush out of the Connector.

Earl and Nagin ... | February 27, 2019

I've had snow stuck in a Supercharger connector. I haven't found a great suggestion yet though. Toothpicks sound like a good start though. Maybe heat a paperclip with a cigarette lighter (hold paperclip with pliers)? I used to do that with car door locks when they'd freeze up.

p.c.mcavoy | February 27, 2019

I’ve never had to try it, but probably a deicer spray might be a good solution. There are several commercially available options that you can buy. Most of these are probably alcohol based and you actually if you do a quick google search you can find DIY recipes, some which are as simple as a 50:50 mix of water and isopropyl alcohol.

I’ve not run into the situation or tried it myself, but if this is something you’re running into frequently, might be worth keeping a small pump spray bottle in the trunk. A few squirts of that combined with something like wooden toothpicks that you can use to help dislodge the ice/snow when it starts to melt might be a good solution. The high dollar deluxe version of your kit might include some q-tips which you could use to swab out any residual liquid from the handle before you plug it in and charge. Throw in a small plastic box for all of it an you’re probably in for no more than $10 depending upon how much the spray bottle runs you.

I’d stay away from something like paper clips or any metal pick given you can easily scratch up the metal contact surfaces. That’s why I’d recommend wooden toothpicks as much less likely to scratch the contact surface.

s0undwav3 | February 28, 2019


I commute up from the mid atlantic up to New Englad. I have issues like this all the time. I bring a thermos filled with hot water. I pour a little bit on the tip of the charging cable tip, dry off with a towel, wait about 2-3 minutes then plug in and all works fine. Basically if anything gets frozen on the connectors, you are out of luck. I solved this the first 2 months I had my Telsa Model S back in 2016. I found out no one else had a solution. Mine always works.

Bighorn | February 28, 2019

Moisture at the charge port will allow for destination charging, but not supercharging. The car is much more particular when it comes to verifying high power flow.

Sailfast | February 28, 2019

I just checked Amazon, and there are cordless rechargeable hair dryers. Maybe you would find this helpful.

edaltrading89 | March 1, 2019

I live in the mountains in the north of Spain, normally outdoors is -15 degrees in winter, but I keep the car inside the garage.
But the trick is get a cover for the whole car in this page , which is made for tesla and I highly recommend it to raise the degrees inside the car avoiding failures in the upcoming future.

Silver2K | March 1, 2019

Never had this issue in 3.5 years at SC or destination chargers in Upstate New York, New England or Pennsylvania area.

cardebat | August 30, 2019

It is strange, however it would be best to cover the car to avoid it. Take a look at