Charge port makes clicking sound but doesn't open

Charge port makes clicking sound but doesn't open

Has anyone had a problem when trying to open the charge port? When I depress the button on the charging cable near the charge port, I can hear a clicking sound but the charge port won't open. I have to lightly push my finger against the back edge of the charge port door while pushing the charging cable button. We've had this issue ever since we bought the car, but it didn't seem a big enough problem to bother with it. If you had this problem, was Tesla able to fix it or were you able to fix it yourself?

nickjhowe | 2013年9月20日

Service can adjust the port cover - it is held closed by a magnet and on some cars there is there is too little clearance and it sticks. Mine had exactly the same problem. Now is OK 95% of the time.

jbunn | 2013年9月20日

I had a slightly different issue with the same symptoms. Mine was diagnosed as a bad mobile charging cord.

One of the techs showed me a trick. The port can be opened with a "karate chop" to the rear of the port. Done correctly, it opens the port easily. Of course open is not the same as unlocked, and you may still need to do that from inside the car. But it's a cool trick.

RedShift | 2013年9月20日

Mine has the same issue. Open door from inside, take it to service. It some times sticks. Not a biggie.

KendallPB | 2013年9月21日

I had this problem; happened only occasionally, but started happening a bit more frequently. They found nothing wrong, but greased it up in case it was just sticking. It happens a lot less, but still once in a long while. (Occasionally it just takes a second to open.) If it started happening more often again, I'll bring it in, but their "fix" (which I was skeptical of) did help.

Anyway, as others say, yeah, call service and ask them to check it out.

jackhub | 2013年9月22日

I've had the problem twice in nine months. Both times I used the control panel to open the charge port. Returned to normal after that.

stephen.kamichik | 2013年9月22日

I had this problem when the weather was very hot. An hour of sitting in the garage cured the problem. Service adjusted the magnet on the port door. I have not had the problem since the repair. In my case I think it was a thermal problem, the magnet expanded when the weather was very hot.

models60 | 2013年9月22日

I had this problem, the chargeport won't open from the touchscreen. Never had a problem with the UMC. Took it for a service, they did a minor adjustment and never had any issues after that.

Captain_Zap | 2013年9月22日

I agree that you should notify Owners Experience and Service so that they can invesitgate the cause. That way they can nip the issue in the bud.

howsbayou2 | 2013年11月22日

A ranger came to our house to fix this problem. To my surprise, they are changing out the whole charge port, even though the karate chop would open it.

drlamantia | 2014年7月14日

Mine is sticking about once a week, although I've only had the car for two weeks. I been able to get it open eventually but it was a little concerning. Is there a manual release in the trunk? I couldn't find one

Blubash | 2014年10月3日

Owned S for 19 months-love it. The "click no open" problem was occasional at first, but has become a major nuisance this month. This week it wouldn't open despite 2 days of attempts by spousie and me. The old trick of opening from screen inside the car didn't work either. Resumed working a couple days later before the charge ran out completely. Related problem: after charging, port cover springs back open half the time. After taking my wonderful S for granted it suddenly dawned on me that I cant use the car without charging :-). A huge anxiety now. Costa Mesa service "cant recreate the problem" and wont say if this has been reported by others or if they know how to fix/replace. Yikes--mourning my Perfect Car. ANd disappointed in the service response so far...still hopeful they will find root cause and fix.

s_k | 2014年10月3日

Next time this happens to you, record it on your phone camera and show to the service center, maybe they'll take it more serious and do what hey have to do to fix this issue.

Captain_Zap | 2014年10月3日

I think I heard of a manual way to pop it open by tapping the port door with the heel of your hand behind the hinge, and of another method of popping it open manually. I haven't needed to do it because mine has worked perfectly since day one.

Maybe someone who has done it can chime in and describe the method more clearly.

mclary | 2014年10月3日

Put some silicone or Vaseline on it.


Captain_Zap | 2014年10月3日


I hear that silicone was a solution too.
Maybe there was excess adhesive as well.

Brian H | 2014年10月3日

Light-medium karate chop just left of the hinge!

xrayangiodoc | 2014年10月3日

Happens to me about one third to one half the time. The karate chop method then always works. I will bring it up during annual service. I live rather far from a service center. Nearest one is in Toronto (I'm in Buffalo). My US one is in MT. Kisco.

Sportsdoc | 2014年10月3日

I had the same problem and took it to the SC. They took care of it. Heat expands the plastic and the door catches on the side. Minor adjustment.

Blubash | 2014年10月4日

update: Thanks for the ideas, but service center replaced the charge port. Problem appears to be solved.

jay | 2014年11月24日

Tonight mine wouldn't open. it was frozen shut. A short time in a warm garage and it opened slightly, where I could pull it open and was able to clear out the ice.

Pilot_51 @US-MI | 2014年11月24日


Mine did that too during the first significant winter freeze last week. I tried opening it a few times, closed the garage (not heated, but attached and a little warmer) and went inside to put my stuff away, went back out after a few minutes and it opened fine. No ice was visible in or around the charge port.

Bighorn | 2014年11月24日

When mine freezes I just do the modified karate chop timed with the solenoid.

k.vistisen | 2015年10月7日

I had the same problem. A piece of Scotch tape on each magnet solved the problem completely.

Lawphilip | 2015年10月13日

My Model S is barely a month new and the charge port can't be open from the control panel. It makes a click, click sound and nothing happens. Thanks a lot to the karate chop method. It works.
Otherwise, my car is down to 70 miles and just enough to get to a sc.

douglash | 2015年10月13日

Had my MS since Jan 2013 and have had the sticking issue probably 15-20 times. In particular, it is exacerbated by heat, such as summer road trips down I5 in California with heat at 100 degrees at Harris Ranch. Was advised in the early days by Tesla phone service to bang lightly or push on the back end of the charge door to force it open (which eventually worked). It will come open but you need something not too soft and not too hard to open it. After hurting my knuckles, I now keep a small rubber mallet in the trunk. Works great. Wiping down the magnet connectors can help but seems to stick again when it gets hot.

genedr @ny-us | 2015年10月14日

get the SC to see if the taillight lens got slightly out of alignment. I had this problem fixed by their adjustment of the lens.
Could be part of the issue....

@mcclary-we have another suggestion where you can put the vaseline.

hpjtv | 2015年10月17日

Good to know I'm not the only one. Just happened to me tonight and I was able to find a solution by reading this thread. Thanks.

sule | 2015年10月18日

Well, I experienced that after a car wash in (very) sub-freezing temperatures... We are about to enter those again on the northern side of the planet :) | 2015年10月18日

@sule - Just carry your portable flame thrower. Melts ice in a flash. Just don't try it on an ICE car's gas cap or it might be more like a boom!

sule | 2015年10月18日

@TeslaTap: :) A bit stronger tap worked just fine :)

peter.nelson | 2015年11月15日

Just had this issue on my 85D in QLD, Australia. Solution from this thread (Karate Chop) worked fine and will apply some silicon or tape to the magnets.
Thanks for the tips folks!,

mchauvu | 2018年5月10日

i just had the same problem with my car- couldn't open the charge port via my app or from the touchscreen. even called tesla roadside assistance to make an appointment to get it fixed. didn't think of this forum until after i had called tesla. the karate chop worked! thanks for the advice. Still wondering if I should take it in.

brianp6621 | 2018年5月10日

Wait, I'm confused, you OPEN the charge door by pressing the button on the charger while near the door?

I thought the only ways to open the port were

1. Touchscreen
2. Push the door in while car is unlocked
3. Key Fob

pnajar | 2018年5月10日

#4. Push button on the charging wand, the part you plug into the car’s charging port

brianp6621 | 2018年5月10日

wow, never knew that. Does the car have to be unlocked or the fob near the car?

Rocky_H | 2018年5月10日

Wow, pressing the button is by far the method most people use to open it. I couldn't have really pictured someone would know all of the other ways except that one.

brianp6621 | 2018年5月10日

It never occured to me and not the way I was taught (and obviously never fully read the manual). I also do a lot of my charging away from home so I don't have that button to get into the habit about.

patriciamariekapp | 2019年3月23日

The karate chop works. Thanks!

mikefa | 2019年5月14日


i am experiencing the same problem on my old 2013 Model S just a couple of weeks after my extended warranty has expired

When i first experienced the problem, Roadside Assistance told me it would be a quick fix for Tesla just to replace the spring loaded magnetic cover for less than $200 ... they told me to use a used credit card to pry open the charging port cover .. it worked but took a lot of effort because it is a pretty strong magnetic holding the door closed... and the service appointment is approximately a 2 weeks wait

When the appointment was getting near, they quoted me $168 _ tax to replace the charging port door... But, when during the actual repair, replacing the spring loaded magnetic plastic cover did not solve the problem ... they said i would need to replace the charging port assembly which will cost an additional $650, but they will waive the additional labor fee. Paying $818 just to open the plastic charge port door was not feasible in my mind because the only thing holding the plastic door closed is a magnet and shouldn't cost that much just to change the demagnetized switch.

So, i have found a much more easier way to open the charge port door for the older Model S that used the magnetic latch rather than the newer motorized models on the newer Models S ... and i wthing it also works better than the KARATE CHOP ... all you have to do is go to the dollar store any buy a small suction cup hook (cost $1) and it works flawlessly and effortlessly in attaching to the charging port door and then pull it open. Buy 2 suction cup hooks to keep one at home, and one in the car in case you need to charge while on the road.

The charging port door can be opened at anytime ... but you will need to "unlock" the charging port in order to plug in the charger.

joe | 2019年11月6日

My charge port reported that the sensor failed. The door would stay open or sometimes would not open when needed without manual assist. I got out my can of Gun Oil (evaporates slowly compared with other oils). I squirted perhaps a teaspoon of oil along the rear edge of the door with the door closed and again from the inside with the door OPEN. From that time (about 10 days) no further malfunctions.