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Charge Port Door won't open - 5 day old car

Electricfan

Active Member
Aug 24, 2013
1,251
283
Houston
Anybody else with a car built in May having issues with the charge port? Mine wouldn't open without banging on it with the heel of my palm (the suggestion of the Tesla service people) from day one. Now tonight even that procedure won't open it. I was going to wait until they could service the car on July 1 to get it fixed, banging on it with my hand to open it (which hurts by the way), but now its refusing to open no matter what I try. Called Tesla again tonight and they "created a ticket" and said they might be able to move it up in the que. I was planning to go on vacation and drive the car to Tennessee from Houston Texas this weekend, but now that's up in the air. Frustrated - this is a problem a gas-powered car doesn't have - gas caps don't lock close and refuse to open - at least I've never heard of it.
 

taurusking

Member
Jul 12, 2014
885
43
East Texas
Did you try rebooting the computer screen...Also did you try opening the charge port door from the charge screen.

I know this is frustrating but you need to have it fixed..I hope Tesla will call you tomorrow and have it done at the service center
 

Electricfan

Active Member
Aug 24, 2013
1,251
283
Houston
Did you try rebooting the computer screen...Also did you try opening the charge port door from the charge screen.

I know this is frustrating but you need to have it fixed..I hope Tesla will call you tomorrow and have it done at the service center

Oh my goodness, yes - tried those things and more!! Believe me when I tell you I don't give up easily!! Tonight on the phone the service person gave me several suggestions and I tried all of them while he was on the phone with me. No joy though. I have 145 miles of charge on the battery. This will get me to work tomorrow and home again if they can't work on it tomorrow. But if they can't then its going to have to be parked and my vacation delayed.
 
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Chris TX

Active Member
Sep 30, 2013
1,531
186
Dallas, TX
Frustrated - this is a problem a gas-powered car doesn't have - gas caps don't lock close and refuse to open - at least I've never heard of it.

Oh, they sure do. Quite a few cars have servo/cable or solenoid actuated locks on the fuel doors. They fail a lot more often than the electromagnetic lock the Model S uses.

Check out this cool thing: stuck fuel door recall - Google Search
 

Electricfan

Active Member
Aug 24, 2013
1,251
283
Houston
Oh, they sure do. Quite a few cars have servo/cable or solenoid actuated locks on the fuel doors. They fail a lot more often than the electromagnetic lock the Model S uses.

Check out this cool thing: stuck fuel door recall - Google Search

Cool, I don't feel so alone now. Why don't they have some sort of manual method for opening it in just this situation? (if the door had a couple of screws that could be backed out to remove the cover that would do it - I'd sacrifice a little in looks for an emergency out in this situation) I mean this is pretty serious - I can't drive the car if I can't open the charge port and charge it.
 
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Chris TX

Active Member
Sep 30, 2013
1,531
186
Dallas, TX
Cool, I don't feel so alone now. Why don't they have some sort of manual method for opening it in just this situation? I mean this is pretty serious - I can't drive the car if I can't open the charge port and charge it.

It's electromagnetic. When power is removed from the coil, the door is magnetically shut. When power is applied to the coil, it counteracts the powerful magnet and allows the door to spring open. There's a little flap of felt inside the trunk, behind the charge port. Remove that. Don't unscrew anything, but check the connector at the bottom, and make sure it's pushed in all the way.
 

purplewalt

Active Member
Jun 9, 2013
1,630
584
Dallas, Texas
I had a loaner from the service Center (less than 80 miles on the car), and the charge port door would not open.
I finally used a plastic knife and pried it open.
There was some sort of adhesive on the face of the magnet.

It opened one more time, as it should, then I had to pry it open again next time.
As I recall, it was back in March...

I got some of the adhesive off the magnet, but I guess not all of it.

Hope the OP is able to get this resolved and take his car on his intended trip.
There is nothing like the first road trip in a Model S.
 

Electricfan

Active Member
Aug 24, 2013
1,251
283
Houston
It's electromagnetic. When power is removed from the coil, the door is magnetically shut. When power is applied to the coil, it counteracts the powerful magnet and allows the door to spring open. There's a little flap of felt inside the trunk, behind the charge port. Remove that. Don't unscrew anything, but check the connector at the bottom, and make sure it's pushed in all the way.

I looked - everything looks good to me. I pushed on the connectors - nothing moved. Tried to open again using the touchscreen button and the button on the cable but no joy.

charge port.JPG
 

Chris TX

Active Member
Sep 30, 2013
1,531
186
Dallas, TX
Yeah, that black connector on the bottom has the wires for the door release and the charge connector lock (little thing that pops up in the bottom of the port that retains the plug). If you can remove and re-insert that connector, it might do something. Also, did you try rebooting both screens?

Also, like purplewalt suggested, a plastic knife might work. Start by inserting it on the bottom and prying.
 

andydoty

Member
Jan 12, 2014
228
2
Massachusetts
I thought I read somewhere that the new servo activated charge port door was also easier to pry open with your fingernail (or something that won't damage the paint)? Reason being is they can freeze shut in the winter months and may require a little assistance. Is this true?
 

Blvr888

Member
Jul 1, 2013
68
0
Germany, Munich
I had the same experience once at the supercharger :scared:. It worked when I was simultaniously opening the charge port from the touchscreen and another person gently pressed on the charge port. If you don't have anybody to assist you can try the same by using your key fob (push and hold on the trunk) and try press on the port. Also I was trying to slide the credit card between the port and the body - but be careful not to harm the paint.

Good luck!
 

sublimaze1

8Dec2012 / Leeroy Jenkins
Sep 6, 2012
1,132
76
Basin City, TX
(probably not the answer you want ...)

I received my car back in Dec 2012 and for the first five or six weeks, the port door would sporadically not open. I started carrying a flat head screwdriver in the cable bag and would "convince" it to open.

After about six weeks, it opened without issue, so I am reasonably sure it was just a need to "work" it in.

The only time (since) it has failed to open was LAST THURSDAY WHEN THE FLIPPING CORSICANA CHARGER WENT DOWN !!!!!

<sorry>

I am better now...
 

MichFin

Member
May 8, 2015
303
61
Detroit, MI
That's the main problem with the car.... They made everything so cool and fancy it adds lots of potential for things braking. The model 3 will be much simpler in design and as such much more reliable. The great thing about this car is that from all the blogs the problems people encounter are almost all on the gadgets and not on the battery and motors.

I was stuck yesterday for few minutes trying to figure out why I couldn't remove the charging cord... Just to realize i didn't have the key with me :) 1 week in and loving it!!!!
 

Electricfan

Active Member
Aug 24, 2013
1,251
283
Houston
FIXED!!!

Learned two things I want to share:

1) In my case the problem was glue. The guy at the service center this morning said that Tesla changed the glue that holds the magnet on the door, and now it is sometimes oozing out and getting on the front of the magnet, which in turn glues the door closed! Clean the magnet on the door and the place it lands (see pictures below) with alcohol to get the glue off. My door now opens normally. Sure wish the service center would have done this in delivery preparation - seems a simple step and an obvious one given the pain and suffering a sticking door causes.

2) My brand new 2015 Model S does NOT have the fancy new charge port door mechanism. The fancy new charge port mechanism only comes with high end options - not sure which one but I didn't get any options because I took a gigantic financial bath trading my 2013 Model S for this one to get the auto-pilot feature. Anyway, what I learned is that the new fancy charge port door mechanisms have a manual release that you can access from the trunk if you take the little cover off - easy to find if you open the trunk and look where the charge port is on the outside of the car. The release is a black thing at the bottom of the mechanism. This release does NOT open the door! BUT, it will "unstick" the connector (the charging connector you shove into the port to charge your car) if it gets stuck in your charge port. This hasn't happened to me but I wanted to share this for you lucky souls with the fancy cars with all the options. One day I'll join you!

door 2.JPG
door 3.JPG
door1.JPG
 

martinwinlow

Member
Jun 18, 2012
362
-27
Isle of Colonsay, UK
Glad to hear it is sorted. For the benefit of anyone else finding this thread with a similar issue it is worth mentioning that if you can hear the click/clunk from the cars rear nearside when you press the 'Open Charge Port' on the touchscreen (or use any other method) then the chances are the issue is glue residue as the clicking noise means the opening mechanism and electronics is all working. Not 100% infallible but a pretty good indication. MW
 

Electricfan

Active Member
Aug 24, 2013
1,251
283
Houston
UPDATE:

It won't let me change the post above or I would change "FIXED" to "MOSTLY FIXED". Problem is that you can wipe the glue off, but it comes back!!! The door stuck again at a supercharger but only for a minute. I checked, and the glue was back! So now I clean the glue off the door regularly. Maybe someday it will stop seeping out from where ever it is.

But this answers another question - this is the reason I got the car delivered with a sticking charge port door. They wiped it off, but it came back. So my only criticism now is - they should have warned me to keep checking for glue. And the service people on the phone should have told me about it when I called - its bound to be one of the most prevalent reasons for charge port doors sticking.
 

Chris TX

Active Member
Sep 30, 2013
1,531
186
Dallas, TX
UPDATE:

It won't let me change the post above or I would change "FIXED" to "MOSTLY FIXED". Problem is that you can wipe the glue off, but it comes back!!! The door stuck again at a supercharger but only for a minute. I checked, and the glue was back! So now I clean the glue off the door regularly. Maybe someday it will stop seeping out from where ever it is.

But this answers another question - this is the reason I got the car delivered with a sticking charge port door. They wiped it off, but it came back. So my only criticism now is - they should have warned me to keep checking for glue. And the service people on the phone should have told me about it when I called - its bound to be one of the most prevalent reasons for charge port doors sticking.

I wonder if talcum powder would help.
 

JimmyAZ

Member
Mar 19, 2015
300
46
United States
Mine was intermittent in opening. I found that if I lifted the bottom edge of the door with my fingernail it would pop open every time. So I called the SvC and scheduled an appt. They weren't able to repeat the flaw until the second day at which time they replaced the whole charge port. Thank god they got it to happen. It can be very frustrating! Now it opens perfectly every time.
 

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