Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
  • The latest TMC Podcast (#14) is now available on YouTube and all major podcast networks. We covered FSD Beta's exciting v11 update, Enhanced Autopilot coming to the U.S. and Canada, and more!

A Microcosm of what's wrong with Tesla service, the door handles

Zip tie. You can loop it around and use it to pull open the door handle until you figure out what you want to do about the problem. No need for a stick (or credit card)
Yup, had a loop of duct tape on both driver side doors for about a month as both broke within a week of each other. Finally found some time to go to the service center to pick up 2 paddle gear at $6 each and a LED module ($16 each). Took one afternoon to repair both doors. The rear driver door have both the paddle gear and LED broken basically one of the wire was worn out from the handle moving. The driver door just have the paddle gear replaced, LED was replaced under warranty a year ago. Both passenger side doors were replaced just last year, one under warranty and the other I have to pay for, though both received Gen 3 door up grade during the replacement. The driver side doors are now self repair gen 2s with new paddle gear and LED. BTW, I have a 2014 P85D with 116k mi. Hope all the doors hold up until I am ready to replace the S with a Cybertruck or Y.
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Azathoth
How do I know which version of the door handle I have in each door?

For the doors the handles have been replaced, I can see the version of the new parts in service receipts. What handle version would the be in a late 2017 Model S door that has not been replaced yet?
My late 2017 came with the new gen3. I’ve redone 3 paddle gears so far, so they clearly aren’t perfect yet. I have about 180000kms on it though.
My late 2017 came with the new gen3. I’ve redone 3 paddle gears so far, so they clearly aren’t perfect yet. I have about 180000kms on it though.
If you start to prepare for the winter and use silicone oli on the handles itself (on these horizontal sections) then they will last longer. At least I have not had an issue last three winters and still on version 2 handle’s.
A couple of years ago my driver side rear door handle (2017 Model S) stopped working - it would make a grinding whining noise when car wants to retract the handles (i.e. trying to turn the handle motor when the lever in is already in a shut position), and it would not present the handle but immediately unlock the door when the car wants to present handles.

I ordered a door handle assembly off eBay and tried replacing it, but the outcome was the same. Then I simply disconnected it and lived for 2 years opening the door from the inside. Finally got time to try and troubleshoot further. Decided to take apart the working right side door. After multiple various combinations narrowed down the problem to the door handle control module. If I would plug the left handle into the right door harness, it would react to the push and pull like it should, thought it tried spinning the motor the wrong way since the left and right handles are mirrored, but a removed motor (to avoid it pushing on an already shut lever) would spin reacting to the angle of the handle.

Putting the right door controller on the left side would stop the issue, but would not present the handle. At the same time putting the left door controller on the right side cause the right side to behave the same way left door was behaving, so the problem was pretty obviously in the controller being unable to react to the magnetic sensor angle.

I eventually put everything back together, leaving the left door control module disconnected. However, the right door now seems to have gotten partially broken as in it no longer presents the handle, but it does react to a handle push and opens the door.

Question: the part number on both door controllers seem to be the same, yet the controller somehow knows it's on the left vs right side as the motor direction is reversed. Would a replacement controller off eBay work on either side or does it have some "firmware" it needs to have programmed? Have an appointment with Tesla service Monday for a frunk latch recall check, will ask them about a replacement controller.
Do you really think they wouldn’t have had it fixed under warranty if they actually had a warranty? Like they just didn’t think of it? 😐

Doesn't every Tesla come with 4 year warranty? Surely a "2017 Model S" had warranty coverage "A couple of years ago".

(Background: I happen to own a 2017 Model S as well. Tesla has fixed my door handles many times under warranty. And recently a couple of times outside of warranty.)

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.