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Charge Port door didn't open

Kianaf808

Member
Jul 1, 2020
22
2
Honolulu
I was at a charger this morning and my charge port door would not open from the car's screen nor my Tesla app. is this a common problem? I finally got it to open by pushing on the door and having it open. After charging, it closed ok. Thank you very much!
 

nickID

Member
Dec 16, 2018
168
228
US
I haven’t experienced that specific problem, but I do know you don’t have to push on the door to open it. You just have to touch it.
 
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SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,188
10,056
SF Bay Area
OP had same issue with my 2018 Model 3 charge port door recently while trying to charge at home. This first happened back in September. Couldn’t access in any fashion, tried them all even two wheel reboot. App gave an error message. I had recently received an update. I scheduled service with details but next day it opened and continued to let me charge since then until 12/7 when it wouldn't open again. A few times in between it seemed to hesitate for a few brief seconds but it did open. While standing near the charge port I heard a mechanism sound like it was trying to close the closed door. Not every time but on a few occasions. Service canceled my appt after I was able to charge but said they’d keep it as open and let them know if I continued to experience issue.

Jump to 12/7. Again at home about to charge. Sent bug report and used same text thread with SvC to request service with details again what I tried and results. Again could hear mechanical sound on occasion. I had requested mobile if possible. My first appt got postponed for 5 days because part diagnosed (replace charge port door) wasn’t in stock but do have a mobile appt for Tuesday now. They weren’t initially sure if it was the door or sensors. Thankfully we have our Model S to use and I was above 100 range miles when the issue reappeared otherwise would have been tempted to pry the door at that point (which can damage the charge port door/mechanism btw). Thankful at least I was at home already and with covid and lockdown could wait for service to my house. I did have range to make it to SvC but was okay to wait for it at home. While the triggered door is cool, when it doesn’t open and you need to charge wish it could be opened manually as well.

I’d at least suggest sending a bug report in listing the time you started to supercharged and couldn’t access it and follow up with a service request to have them at least look at your from your SC timestamp. Definitely want to avoid being low on charge and away from home or SvC.
 
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elptxjc

Member
Dec 15, 2019
833
264
El Paso, TX
Doesn't the charge door have a mechanical way of opening it? Like pushing it slightly, and it pops open when car is unlocked? It'd be pretty stupid if there's no easy way to open it if the electric actuator fails somehow. Curious about that.
 
Dec 26, 2019
194
103
Silicon Valley
Doesn't the charge door have a mechanical way of opening it? Like pushing it slightly, and it pops open when car is unlocked? It'd be pretty stupid if there's no easy way to open it if the electric actuator fails somehow. Curious about that.

Yes. There's a charge-port release cable in the trunk.

See the section Manually Releasing Charge Cable in the Charging section of the Owner's Manual.

The latest Manual is "Software version: 2020.44". Does anyone compare versions and report on what changed?
 

Stanwood Steve

2018 Performance Model 3
Mar 30, 2019
136
183
Stanwood, WA
I had this happen only once (I've had the car for 2.5 years with over 45k miles on it). I was able to pry it open with my fingers and get the car charged, but this hasn't happened since. I believe the charge port release process is designed to manually release the charge cable from the charge port, not to open the charge port door. I could be wrong though. In any case, I haven't had any significant issue with the charge port door, and it has not repeated the issue.
 
Dec 26, 2019
194
103
Silicon Valley
I believe the charge port release process is designed to manually release the charge cable from the charge port, not to open the charge port door.

Thank you, @Stanwood Steve! I had misread the owner's manual text where "charge cable" ≠ "release cable":

Pull the charge port's release cable downwards to unlatch the charge cable [AFTER ensuring the car is not actively charging].​

About opening the chart port door, it lists these methods:
  • Push the button on the Tesla charge cable [plug].
  • Touchscreen > app launcher > charging app > Open Charge Port.
  • Touchscreen > cards > charging icon > Open Charge Port.
  • Press the bottom of the charge port door when the car is unlocked or an authenticated phone is nearby. [I have to wake up the car for this to work.]
  • On the key fob accessory, hold the rear trunk button for 1 - 2 seconds.
Also:
  • If the charge port latch is frozen in icy weather, thaw it by enabling preconditioning in the app, or scheduled departure preconditioning, or (in some vehicles) turning on the rear defrost in cold conditions.
  • Do not try to force the chart port door open.
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,188
10,056
SF Bay Area
Mobile came out today to replace my charge port door. Tech said usually when the door doesn’t open it’s related to the sensor but that wasn’t my case (situation described in post above in thread). Under warranty. Texted me he was about 10 minutes out and then spoke by phone when he arrived to ask if he had authorization to access car. Took 1/2 hour total and no need to be there. Here in California they also as part of goodwill check tire pressure and thread wear. Good to know no action needed there or no need for tire rotation. Love mobile. Asked him to let us know when he was about to leave, texted me, so we could plug in while he was there to make sure car would charge.

98BF73B9-2944-4E86-B3E8-1302E318F745.jpeg
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,188
10,056
SF Bay Area
From what I understand the sensor issue involves that triangular piece that some people have had fall off. Remember a few people a while back posting they had this issue on their car and believe the part was later improved.
 

Gasaraki

Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
2,079
1,440
Syracuse, NY
Yes. There's a charge-port release cable in the trunk.

See the section Manually Releasing Charge Cable in the Charging section of the Owner's Manual.

The latest Manual is "Software version: 2020.44". Does anyone compare versions and report on what changed?

That the the charging cable release NOT the charge door. The charge door can just be pried up manually. The motor for it won't break, it's fine.
 

mc2002tii

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 16, 2018
38
29
Maryland
We just had the charge port door replaced a couple weeks ago on our 2018 after it stopped working. We had to manually pry it open for a few days while we waited for our appointment.

I think it took less than 15 minutes for mobile service to replace the part.
 

Biscuitman

Member
Oct 22, 2019
303
145
Ottawa
For the last couple of mornings my charge door would not open also.
In my situation at -5C it may be weather related , something OP should not be having in Hawaii.
When I went into the trunk to pull what I thought was the cable release for the door, the whole housing popped out of the
trunk lining ;( Very flimsy. I now realize the cable is for the charging cord being stuck, my bad. The charging door really should have some sort of manual release .
 

slimpilot

Member
Mar 31, 2019
15
6
Minneapolis
I had a similar issue about a month ago. They sent the mobile service out and it was determined I had to bring it in for service. Not positive what they changed out, but they did replace the unit that receives the signal to open the door. In other words it was not an issue with the door itself but rather a signal issue.
 
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SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,188
10,056
SF Bay Area
I had a similar issue about a month ago. They sent the mobile service out and it was determined I had to bring it in for service. Not positive what they changed out, but they did replace the unit that receives the signal to open the door. In other words it was not an issue with the door itself but rather a signal issue.

The part should be on your invoice, like mine was, even if done under warranty. Might be helpful to some if you can indicate the part.


OP I agree with the person who said in Hawaii (Honolulu area) it doesn’t seem like you should be having that issue. Maybe if you are high up the mountain above the city and mornings are near freezing; in which case try prewarming your car on high through the app (i also turn on the windshield defroster to really get the air moving) so the heated air reaches the charge port door and cameras. See if that helps. You should not be pushing on the door or prying it as it could end up damaging the mechanism.

If it’s the sensor mechanism or door like in my case, at some point it will fail and maybe not under the best circumstances or location. I would report it under your phone app’s Service request, mentioning it happens in the morning and ask if they can look at the logs around that time and call you about it.
 
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Kat Jacks

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Sep 26, 2020
126
95
Maine
I think mine just was stuck. Maybe condensation. It is stuck most mornings when i charge at 6 am
Can you charge it overnight? Maybe soon after driving it for the day? If you have a garage it's easy to plug in to an ordinary outlet.
 

rodjpr

New Member
Sep 29, 2020
4
0
Florida
Had the same issue with the charge port door, it would not open from the car's screen nor my Tesla app or manually by pulling the release cord. I had to pry it open while trying to open via the app and it finally open. The port door was really stuck, and I was afraid that I might break it by prying out the door. Anyway, I am thinking on making a Tesla service call for my 2019 Model 3.
 

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