Charge port freezing, dumb design!

Charge port freezing, dumb design!

My Model 3 sat outside last night in michigan and this morning I could not release my charging cable. Even tried the emergency release cable. After a half hour of warming I was finely able to get it to release normally. I looked at the cable lock and port and noticed a couple of things that probably causing problems for those of us in the Northern states. The charge port needs a rubber gasket where the cable attaches so that water doesn't get in and freeze. Another problem is that the charging cable lock is UPSIDE DOWN! Water runs down the charge head and into the latch. If the latch were on the top it wouldn't get wet and freeze.

El Mirio | February 11, 2019

They are aware and have came up with a solution.

Model 3 – When you set mobile preconditioning to HI, the climate system will help thaw your charge port in freezing conditions

El Mirio | February 11, 2019

"and came up"

SO | February 11, 2019

Could also spray deicer maybe.

garydz | February 11, 2019

Tried de-icer, also had the "pre-condition" on for a half hour before it came loose. If I keep it outside, I may make a rubber dam to fit over the charge plug and help keep water out. I still think that a redesign of the plug so that the lock mechanism is on the top would help keep it from freezing in place. First real disappointment with this car.

SO | February 11, 2019

Not sure how “disappointed” I’d be. Especially when preconditioning is available and do so anyway for better regen and more comfortable drive.

But perhaps there will be a future part enhancement.

blue adept | February 11, 2019


You are aware, are you not, that several of Tesla's cars are in wide use all across some of the most notoriously frigid climates on the planet like the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, and Finland, just to name a few, yet we never here of their experiencing such 'issues'?!

The point is perhaps it isn't a "design" issue so much as it is a user issue...?

To this end, perhaps you should better familiarize yourself with the accompanying literature that came with your Tesla which contains various bits of information and helpful advice on the trouble-free function and operation of your car?

Just a suggestion.

Yodrak. | February 11, 2019

"I may make a rubber dam to fit over the charge plug and help keep water out. "

That would be a good idea, as would don't leave the car outside in such weather. And there's the car cover, which would also be helpful for those people who complain about their windows and door handles freezing shut.

COrich | February 12, 2019

We have both a Model X and a Model 3 that are kept in a heated garage except when at work. Here is my input:


The Model S and X have a rubber gasket on the charge-port door which prevents water from getting into the charge port. The Model 3 has no such gasket. meaning it's easier to get icing problems. Until just this past week, there were no Model 3s in Europe.


Not everybody has access to inside/covered parking.

The charge port is what it is for now and can't be easily changed because it is intimately tied to the charge cable. One of the SW updates changed the latch operation to attempt to prevent this freezing problem. But I have never had the opportunity to verify that it always works.

SO | February 12, 2019

@COrich - the charge port door on the M3 was open. So a gasket on the door wouldn’t help in this case. But a gasket on the cable may help.

Yodrak. | February 12, 2019

"Not everybody has access to inside/covered parking."

True, but they do have access to a Tesla car cover.

kcheng | February 12, 2019

A battery powered hair dryer could unfreeze your charge port. If only they could build a heated blower into the Mobile charger handle, then you could also use it on your car door handle, windshield, etc.

blue adept | February 13, 2019


Perhaps visit a local building supply or hardware store and pickup some rubber grommet material to use to line the inside of your charge port's door as a gasket to seal out the elements when you forget to put your car's cover on.


A 'gasket on the cable' would be of no use inasmuch as no amount of tugging on it would get the door to open once the charge port's door was frozen shut/sealed.




What about:

blue adept | February 13, 2019

Perhaps the most annoying thing about this whole little episodic portrayal (so much self-induced melodrama) of an alleged design flaw on Tesla's behalf is that, much like in the case of the tech sector and all of the recent uproar over Facebook and Google and just social engagement platforms in general, is that you cannot legislate human behavior or compensate for the depths of human orneriness, nor can you design or engineer fixes for laziness or just plain stupidity.

People need to manifest their agency as car owners and accept the level of responsibility that comes with car ownership instead of pushing the blame for their own failures off onto others, Tesla in this instance.

It's this faculty of Life known as "adulting" and if you cannot do that, then at least do us all the favor of selling your Tesla and buying something else so that we won't have to be assailed with multiple accounts of various incidents of simple human error (NOT design flaws) because, yes, Tesla clearly thought of that possibility (car cover/preconditioning).

Just saying..