Tesla Model 3 Frozen Door Handles

The Problem

While frozen windows and doors are a common occurrence on all vehicles during a winter freeze, the Model 3’s pop out door handles can also ice-up and not function when you need to get in your vehicle.

Here are some videos that document the issue with the Model 3 door handles frozen.

How to Remove Ice from Tesla Model 3 Door Handle

Tesla Support’s Method for Removing Ice

Tesla Support gives these step to removing ice from the Model 3 door handle:

  1. Forcefully press the rear-most part of the door handle to initially try to open the door handle and release light or moderate ice buildup.
  2. Working in a circular pattern around the perimeter of the door handle, use the bottom of your fist to forcefully bump the door handle to break and release the ice buildup.
  3. Aiming for the rearmost end of the wide part of the door handle, use the bottom of your fist to forcefully bump the door handle. Increase the intensity of the bumps as necessary, repeating steps 1 and 2 until the ice is removed and the door handle can be opened.
  4. Once the door handle is able to move, open and close it a few more times to release any remaining ice buildup. Make sure the door handle is fully pressed in (retracted) prior to entering the vehicle, and check that the door is fully closed before driving away.

Pre-Heat your Tesla model 3

Another option is to pre-heat your vehicle, although this will help with the window seals, it is unlikely to do much for frozen door handles as they are on the outside of the vehicle.

In this video, this Model 3 owner uses a transparent dental film overtop of his door handles:

How to prevent frozen door handle on Model 3

Silicone Lubricant

Use a silicone based spray like WD-40 Silicone Lube on the rubber around the windows and on the door handles to keep them from freezing.

Tesla Support outlines the steps to do this:

  1. Open the door handle and prop it open using a folded towel or other soft material.
  2. Attach the provided straw to the nozzle of the WD-40 bottle.
  3. Put on eye protection.
  4. Place the end of the straw next to the pivot pin and spray it for approximately one second, taking care not to accidentally spray other components.
    Note: Rest the end of the straw on the top of the spring around the pivot pin to better aim the spray.
    Warning: Make sure eye protection is worn when performing this step.
  5. Remove the towel or other soft material used to prop the door handle open.
  6. Pivot the door handle in and out approximately ten times.
  7. For a second time, place the end of the straw next to the pivot pin and spray it for approximately one second, taking care not to accidentally spray other components.
  8. Remove the towel or other soft material used to prop the door handle open.
  9. Pivot the door handle in and out approximately ten times.
  10. Perform this procedure on the other three door handles.

Park in a Garage

If you have a garage available, use it! This will keep your Model 3 from reaching freezing temperatures.

Even a carport or shelter of any sort can keep snow and freezing rain from falling right on your door handles and freezing them in position.

Don’t Wash Your Model 3 in the Winter

Some Model 3 owners have washed their car, and the next morning it has been frozen shut because the water wasn’t completely dried/removed from the window frame area and the door handles.

Avoid washing your M3 when temperatures are going to dip below freezing.

Main Image Source: TeslaInCanada.ca

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