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Charging port Question

2Cybers

Member
Aug 31, 2014
46
14
Gainesville, GA
I would like to know how the charging port operates. When I press the screen or the cable, I hear a sound - to me the sound is an electric solenoid sound. I know there is a magnet involved in the door, so I assumed the door opened by a solenoid moving out to open the door. Did some testing tonight and that does not appear to be correct. Another option I thought of is the door is held shut by an electromagnet and the opening happens when an electro-magnet is de-energised.

Occasionally I hear the sound, but the port does not open - this is the observation that created this question.

Finally, I am about to leave on a road trip out of Atlanta - and I will be very low on charge when I get to the first SuperCharger 247 miles from home. So I really would like to have any tricks on port opening if it gets stubborn. Can it be pulled open with say a bent paper clip? Pried open with something like a small flat bladed screw driver?
 

AMPd

Active Member
Nov 27, 2012
4,526
3,894
Northern California
Not sure how the charge port machanism works, so I can't chime in on that
However, are you planning on driving the 247 miles non stop? Might be a bit tough to reach depending on terrain, weather conditions and driving style
 

roblab

Active Member
Jul 15, 2008
3,556
2,624
Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
I would like to know how the charging port operates. When I press the screen or the cable, I hear a sound - to me the sound is an electric solenoid sound. I know there is a magnet involved in the door, so I assumed the door opened by a solenoid moving out to open the door. Did some testing tonight and that does not appear to be correct. Another option I thought of is the door is held shut by an electromagnet and the opening happens when an electro-magnet is de-energised.

Occasionally I hear the sound, but the port does not open - this is the observation that created this question.

Finally, I am about to leave on a road trip out of Atlanta - and I will be very low on charge when I get to the first SuperCharger 247 miles from home. So I really would like to have any tricks on port opening if it gets stubborn. Can it be pulled open with say a bent paper clip? Pried open with something like a small flat bladed screw driver?

The sound is the solenoid pushing up the locking pin that slots into the bottom of the charge cable. It does not do the door, but checking to see that nothing is stuck in the port. The car will not move if anything is in the port.

You can pop the port open pretty easily. The magnet that holds it is pretty weak, and I don't know just how it works: Solenoid would have to be always on. But you can open it by hitting your four fingers away from the magnet, past the hinge. Or you can pry it, I guess. Either way, it is not strongly held. Sometimes when the latching solenoid clunks, my port door pops open just from the vibration -- not often, though.

And the new ones are made to open and close automatically. I wonder if you can pop them on the other side of the hinge. The sales guy just pushed his finger over the magnet end, and it powered open.
 

Electricfan

Active Member
Aug 24, 2013
1,250
283
Houston
So it sounds like your charge port door doesn't open all the time? This is a pet peeve of mine. If you have one of the cars with the "extra glue" on the magnet, take it to the service center and make them install a new charge port. No excuse for this. Lots of people have posted about this problem.

One guy posted that for the first six months he had his car he carried around a flat-blade screwdriver to "convince" his charge door to open. Sickening, for such an expensive electric car.

But until you can get to the service center, yes you can open it by banging on it back near the hinge or using the screwdriver - but if you're going to pry it then using something plastic rather than metal would be better.

Good luck on your trip.
 

scott2613

Member
Jun 3, 2013
121
39
Wisconsin
There have been changes to the charge port. The newer ones with the tech package auto close and are able to be manually opened just by pressing the front edge. The non tech ones don't auto close as far as I know and they do not open by pressing the front edge either. I tried a non-tech one built around the same time mine was (Dec. 2014) and that was the case.I know the earlier ones can be manually opened by pushing the open charge port button on the screen and rapping sharply (carefully) on the tailight near the charge port door. I had to do this on my old P85+ in the winter occasionally until they replaced it.
 

cgiGuy

Active Member
Jul 9, 2013
1,500
1,081
Everywhere, Nowhere
I had my MS in for some work last week and I "complained" that the charge port door started making a high-pitched "squealing" noise sometime after one of the software updates. Wanted to confirm it was a change, versus my charge port door failing (since I'm getting close to the end of my initial warranty). Here is the response:

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 8.12.54 AM.png


He said something about it helping with charge port doors that don't open properly.
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Mar 8, 2012
19,813
23,173
Texas
I had my MS in for some work last week and I "complained" that the charge port door started making a high-pitched "squealing" noise sometime after one of the software updates. Wanted to confirm it was a change, versus my charge port door failing (since I'm getting close to the end of my initial warranty). Here is the response:

View attachment 92439

He said something about it helping with charge port doors that don't open properly.

Well, now we know. The door activation is done by mice, and the high pitched squeal sends the mice out of their den to open the door.
 

2Cybers

Member
Aug 31, 2014
46
14
Gainesville, GA
cgiGuy your reply attachment is very interesting. Would please post what Tesla Firmware version you have? Obviously if this is the version that has the sound would be useful. But even if you have had a second one since the sound appeared, that would put limits on things.

My version of 6.2 is 2.5.36

Gordon Potter
Atlanta, GA USA

aka 2Cybers on this forum
 

Brass Guy

Active Member
Jan 5, 2014
1,157
947
Holbrook, MA
I don't know for sure, but my guess is there's a permanent magnet holding the door closed and a coil energizes to counter the polarity allowing it to release.
roblab is correct, the solenoid sound that is heard is the cable locking mechanism; not the door actuator.
I haven't tried to open the door by force, but when the metal button came off the door it seemed like it was fastened to the magnet pretty strongly. I would not be comfortable prying it without the electronic release. I have "assisted" it after driving through an ice storm.

- - - Updated - - -

The newer ones with the tech package auto close ...
IIRC, this had nothing to do with the (retired) tech package, but was and still is included in all D varieties of Model S.
 

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