Tesla’s Door Handles: 9 Common Questions (Explained)

You’ve probably heard about Tesla’s great door handles and how different they are from those of other vehicles.

, you might want to know some additional details about them and how they work.

These are some answers to the most commonly asked questions about Tesla door handles.

1. How Do Tesla Door Handles Work?

Tesla’s fantastic automatically unlocking door handles are quite a phenomenon.

They work using a complex mechanism that is like no other mechanism in the market.

This is the door handle of the Tesla Model S.

In fact, many cars have hidden door handles that are flat with the door design.

When a keyholder approaches a Tesla Model X vehicle with these specialized door handles, they automatically unlock, and the door opens to greet that person.

The entire process seems flawless and highly convenient, but it has its ups and downs.

Other models, such as the 3 and S, do not have self-opening doors, but they still have attractive and convenient door handles. The S’s door handles will still automatically open as the driver approaches that car, for example.

Tesla uses a wealth of technologies to operate these door handles.

The technology consists of numerous actuators and micro switches that work together to create this user-friendly system.

The door handles don’t just unlock when the driver approaches. They also retract once the vehicle sets itself in motion. The door handles will also retract if the driver stops and takes too much time before entering the car.

For example, if the driver were to stop to have a conversation.

2. What Do You Do if a Tesla Door Handle Is Stuck?

It’s crucial that you don’t panic if your Tesla door handle gets stuck.

One common issue is that some door handles get stuck shut and stay flush with the car.

Some people have used duct tape to pull the door handle out enough for it to present itself. You can try that if you have tried easier solutions, and they didn’t seem to work.

Other people have used a card and a piece of string.

What you’ll do is slip the card into the door handle’s crevice and then loop a piece of string around the handle so that you can pull it.

This method has worked for people quite a bit, and it might also work for you.

Additionally, you can check the fuses for the door handles.

Some drivers had issues with their door handles because the motion from driving the car upset the fuses and caused them to come loose. The problem with the door handles acting strangely was apparently resolved once the individual changed the fuses.

You can check here when there have been design upgrades on each Tesla model.

3. How Do You Open a Frozen Tesla Door Handle?

It can be very frustrating to experience your door handle getting stuck on your Tesla. A sticky door can lock you inside or outside of your vehicle.

These are a few things you can do if you notice your door handles are stuck:

Knock on It a Little Bit

Many people had issues with doors getting stuck in cold weather.

One solution that worked for them was knocking around the area with the same force one would use when knocking on a friend’s front door.

This solution was effective for doors that seemed to get stuck and frozen because of the cold weather.

Preheat the Cabin

You can also use your convenient app to turn your Tesla on and preheat the cabin. By running the heat, you might be able to get the non-working handle to “thaw out” and engage so that you can get into your car.

If all else fails, you’ll need to contact the Tesla company, and you may also have to get your door handles repaired.

Because of their complexity, they are much more likely to have issues.

Unfortunately, failures in such advanced pieces of machinery can result in expensive repairs.

This is the door handle of Tesla’s model 3.

4. Are Tesla Door Handles Heated?

Tesla door handles are not heated.

However, engineers have devised ways to direct the warm air toward the doors in cold weather. Thus, you may find that your door handles seem warm while the door appears cooler.

That’s new Tesla technology at its finest, and it will only improve in the future.

5. How Often Does the Door Handle System Fail?

Tesla’s door handles have failed quite a bit over the years.

They used to frequently fail after about 20,000 miles of driving. The company has since then implemented numerous updates and upgrades to its technologies.

One such change was the cessation of using certain sensors and replacing them with solid-state systems.

Nowadays, the door handle issues are less frequent, but they still occur.

With such complex technology, it’s impossible to prevent all problems. However, the warranty covers door handle failures for a certain amount of time after a customer purchases a Tesla.

6. What Are Tesla Door Handles Made Of?

Tesla door handles are made of various plastic materials. ABS plastic is a commonly used product. Some door handles also have a chrome finish.

7. Are There Any Tesla Recalls Related To the Door Handles?

There do not appear to be any recent recalls of Tesla vehicles specifically for the door handles. Some Tesla models were recalled for other issues, however.

For example, the Model S was recalled for a seatbelt issue at one time.

No one was hurt because of the seatbelt issue, but the company needed to address it so that no one would see any harm. The problem was that the seatbelt was not connecting to the lap pretensioner.

The Model X has some recalls because of the Steering Assist motor bolt.

The company states that no accidents were reported for the issue, but they still wanted to take care of it before any such problems occurred.

Tesla was, however, subjected to lawsuits regarding their door-handle designs in the past. Some Model S versions had door handles that sat flush with the vehicle and would only extend when it was necessary.

The problem with the design is that it made it difficult for people to get the help they needed in an emergency.

Medics, police, or fire safety specialists would have a hard time accessing the vehicle of someone who had been in a crash, for example.

8. Do All Teslas Have the Same Door Handles?

Not all Tesla models have the same door handles. Only the X has the door handles and a system that causes the doors to open like eagle wings.

Other models have sophisticated door handles with many great features, but they are not the same.

9. How Much Does a Tesla Door Handle Replacement Cost?

Tesla door handle replacement can be quite expensive. You’ll need to pay for the complex parts they use for the door handle.

You’ll also need to pay the hourly labor rate for a qualified Tesla technician to do the work.

This cost will only fall on you if you are outside of warranty.

Otherwise, you can get work done under the warranty if you have the following problems:

Door Handles Will Not Extend

Sometimes, the door handles will not extend when they’re supposed to.

If this happens, you may have a severe problem with your door handles that a technician needs to address as soon as possible.

Door Doesn’t Unlock

Perhaps your door handles extend, but your door doesn’t actually unlock. That’s another issue some people have come across in their Teslas, and it’s a valid reason to contact someone for help.

Door Handles Will Not Retract

Maybe your door handles extend but do not retract once you get the car moving. That is yet another problem you’ll want to address.

You can expect to pay approximately $1,000 for each handle replacement.

You should now be aware of Tesla’s door handle technology, what to do if your door won’t open, and how much it will cost if you need to have your door handles replaced.


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