Windows Freeze

Windows Freeze

I would like to know if the windows in the Tesla Model S drop about a half inch when the door opens? I used to have a VW EOS that had that feature but being in Maine with cold and sometimes freezing rain, the windows would freeze. If the windows are frozen they won't drop and needless to say I couldn't get my door open. So I'd like to know if this feature is in the Tesla? Because there are no pillars in the doors this feature is so there is a good seal around the window. I have asked Tesla but no response.

jpeterman | 30 januari 2013

Yes they do drop. We are in MN and have never had a problem.

DouglasR | 30 januari 2013

Yes, at least the windows in the front doors drop when the door opens and close up just after the door is shut.

MCB | 22 februari 2013

This is an important issue!! For about 7-8 months a year, I am 100% dependent on the heated rear window function to defrost and "de-"moist the glass while driving which is standard feature on my current bmw 5 series `04 model. Also, defrosting the side mirrors and the windscreen washer fluid sprayers, are quite handy when the icy roads splash up salt stains onto the windscreen. This is Norway, south coast, and the overall winter temperature rarely drops more than -15c, so its not that bad compared to other European countries. Summer is about 20c (+/- 3 c). Can anyone from Tesla please respond? What about f.ex Poland or Germany, where winter temperatures can drop down to -35c.

Theresa | 22 februari 2013

I would like to add that in a freezing rain situation (which I have had one this winter) the window tries to lower but can't. You can still get the door open but when you close it the window is too high and catches the door trim. I thought I had broken the window when I heard the noise the first time. Just be aware that this can happen and break the ice seal at the bottom of the window so the window can lower before closing the door.

bsimoes | 22 februari 2013

All the more reason to download the app that can "pre-heat" the car. I live in Vermont, so I feel your anxiety.

MCB | 22 februari 2013

yep, same problem with my Mini Cooper S with "coupè" doors. I solved this be applying anti-freee gel on the rubbers, also to prevent the rubber from future wear-n-tear. But, the pre-heat function is very useful in cold climates! :) However, when/if low on current, after the Model S has been idle in a open car park for 8 hours during the average work-day, it would be nice to know that you do not have to defrost all the windows pre- and during the drive home, manually. It will often get cold and moist, even during the drive in a pre-heated car. Exiting a car wash, is a good example ;) Tesla people, please give input here!!

GeirT | 22 februari 2013

Our old Freelander had the same window drop. Living in "eternal dark and cold" we used silicon on the rubber seal. Never had a problem. Even washed the car in -10-20 dgrC; wipe clean and silicon on and all is good. Would assume the same goes for MS.

olanmills | 22 februari 2013

Freezing rain was even a problem in an old car I had that didn't have auto-indexing glass. The windows were framed and ice still prevented the door from opening or the handle from operating because it was thick enough. I just had to chip away the ice from around the door seals and handle.

npodriscoll | 12 november 2013

We just had our first really frost morning here in my part of Canada and, although it wasn't a freezing rain situation, I had a number of problems. As one poster pointed out, the windows can freeze in the "up" position making it hard to open the door, and impossible to close it. This happened on my right rear door, but I think all doors would be susceptible.

Also, the charge port was frozen shut and, since the car hadn't been plugged in over night, I couldn't plug it in. I suspect that the pin that locks the charge cable in place might possibly freeze in certain conditions making it impossible to unplug the car if it had been plugged in.

I had to get going so I took my other car. I tried heating the Tesla using the iphone app so that it would be unfrozen by the time I got back. No dice. Unless all the doors and the trunk are closed, the iphone climate control won't work.

I just had to wait for the weather to warm up. That would not have been a practical solution if the problem had occurred in January.

I think the lesson is to keep the car plugged in, if possible, and preheat it well before using it.

Theresa | 12 november 2013

@npodriscoll, I found with my car last winter that the charge port needs just the slightest amount of moisture between the charge port door and the car frame to freeze it enough to not allow it to open. I found that the using a thin blade (a jackknife worked well) to pry on the door a little while using the unlock function would open it fairly easily. A pain but it worked. I then sprayed a little silicone spray around the section that could freeze and had very little problem after that. It also seemed that once it got cold enough to stay frozen that I didn't have any issues either. I also tried to park the car so the sun was not shining on the port to cause melting anytime I parked outside.

RZippel | 12 november 2013

I think most coupé doors have/need that (no frame around the window in the door), my current one as well, in Germany with -30°C winters never a problem. But then again, my better half also had an EOS once, also no problem. Rare isolated incidents?

p1SL | 12 november 2013

GeirT -
Can you be more specific about how you applied Silicon to the window seals?

Theresa | 12 november 2013

I didn't apply to window seals. I just did it to the charge port door outline where it contacts the frame. I just used a spray and wiped off the excess. But I would think using it on window seals may work too. At least it should minimize the ability of the water to freeze to the seal.

Brian H | 12 november 2013

A karate chop to the left of the charge port hinge apparently helps, too!

sranta | 1 december 2014

We've had some very cold nights here in Seattle (between 20-30°F) and when I went to get in the car this morning, all the windows were frozen in place. My kids went to open the passenger and rear doors and there was quite a clunk when the window would not lower to clear the chrome trim around the doors and hit the trim during opening. Even worse, when the doors were closed (very carefully this time) the window could not lower to clear the trim again and rested on the outside of the trim creating a gap and stress on the glass since it was being pushed outward by the chrome trim. Driving this way caused a lot of wind noise and "rubbing" sounds. After 15 mins of driving, the windows finally thawed enough to retract on opening and closing of the door.
Lesson learned, start the climate control on high about 30mins before using the car to warm it up and thaw the windows.
BTW, you might want to disable the "auto fold" feature of the side mirrors as well...they were frozen in the closed position for quite a while until they thawed out as well.

Hans Peter Endal | 28 december 2014

I had problems with frozen windows on my P85 all four doors yesterday morning (rain followeed by minus 5-10° celsius during night / no pre heating of cabin). First I took a plastic knife between window and lower window sealing and carefully opened the ice bridge between the parts. Then I opened the doors, lowered the windows to bottom, and removed as much ice as possible from the seals. At the end I coated as good as possible with silicone spray down between window and sealing. After this procedure no problems rest of the day (we went up in the mountais skiing). I think I will do this exercise again frequently during Winter, while we on west coast of Norway may have high air moisture followed by freezing temperatures many times during Winter months.

David Trushin | 28 december 2014

Did you preheat your car first?

dbh | 28 december 2014

As others have said, yes - the windows lower and raise - and yes, freezing can happen. But - just use the app to preheat the car 15 minutes before departure, and it should not be a problem. I do have the cold weather package and that helps (heated wiper/washer), but I think heated side mirrors are standard and turn on when the rear defroster is on. The only real problem I have had with 2" of snow in Tahoe and temps between 12F and 39F was "ice dams" forming on the side mirrors below the glass. Not a problem unless you try switching driver settings and the mirrors can't move. I'd be reluctant to forcibly chisel away the ice with a scraper.

Hans Peter Endal | 28 december 2014

David T: I had no possibility to preheat the car, and I was in a hurry, so my way of fixing the "problem" had to be mechanical treatment - very carefully (as warned by dbh). I am sure that with frequently use of silicone on the lower window sealings during winter I will not be forced to use the plastic knife again :-)

Bighorn | 28 december 2014

I think we all cringe at the thought of taking a knife to the window, but I think if we can learn a way to prevent the problem in the first place by applying your silicone results, that would be very helpful. Any tips on product or technique? Just spraying it sounds messy, causing streaks, etc.

Hans Peter Endal | 30 december 2014

As first pointed, I used a PLASTIC bladed knife (picknic-throwaway-knife) to open the ice bridge. I think it could also been used anything else; thin - but also softer than the window, to prevent scratches to the window.
I was most conserned about damaging the sealing, so I started in one end and after getting the plastic-knife down between the window and sealing, I carefully slided the knife along (not up and down).
This was an "emergency-fix", and not recomended to be a normal every-day treatment.... ;-)

About use of silicone spray or silicone liquid on sponge (both for use on rubber sealings), yes they both cause some mess - but this can be cleaned afterwards.
I think the important thing is to saturate the sealing (which also is extended half a inch down between) with silicone. This will prevent water to stay on the sealing with later possibility to freeze when temperature goes down again. By the same reason I think adding more silicone frequently is recomended during winter. This is in accordance with experience pointed out above by @GeirT on his Freelander.

I will not recomend to force the doors closed before the Windows are lowered "half an inch" when frozen. There is a potential for smashing the windows, and the window itself will make scratches on the chrome details above the door frame.