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First Cold after storm day, frozen window from a snow flurry, disabled suspension

Discussion in 'Model X' started by mswlogo, Dec 3, 2019.

  1. mswlogo

    mswlogo Well-Known Member

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    First big storm past few days. I had taken the Raven with Tesla 19" on the snow and it was great (posed separate thread on that).

    Today was the first day I took it to work with a few flurries and sun in and out and cold.

    When I pulled in it was not in my usual spot and pulled into a snow covered bush. I pulled in a bit to far.
    When the car shut off I could hear the snow getting packed from car lowering itself. And the suspend hesitating and then squishing a couple times. Oops. Didn't give it another though.

    The car looked clean when I came out. 20F out and way later than usual.

    Went to open the door it didn't open. I could hear a motor in the door running. I thought not good. It was partially open and my reflex was to grab with my finger tips and help it along. I thought a motor was struggling to push door open.

    Motor was still running in door. Then I realized crap, the window didn't go down. It was the Window motor still running. Not good. I hit the top of the window and it went right down to open door position and motor stopped. Window ran normally after that. Phew. So I guess the whirring motor is a warning to not shut the door with the Window fully up ;)

    Then I get in. Hit the brake. "Suspension Disabled, Will not rise" on the dash. Oh that doesn't sound good. Then I thought maybe it was from pulling in and packing the snow down and it never properly lowered. As soon as I put in reverse and backed out the error went away (I forget if I had to move away or not now). Tested height and it worked fine. So I'm assuming it didn't properly lower and it was being overly cautious.

    So all in all not terrible. But cautiously optimistic all is ok.

    Now onto prevention

    Bit bummed about the window. Model 3 was pretty bad. I'm always leery of lubricants on windows and door gaskets.

    I had bought the gummi pflege for the Model 3 as backup and never used it. I had a couple windows squeak a few weeks ago as it got colder as they wedged into the top notch on the Model X. Sounded like it might be hard on the gasket and/or motor over time. The gummi pflege stuff is NOT really a lubricant. It's a conditioner to make gaskets flex, seal better and last longer. It could make it worse (partly why I never used it on Model 3). But I figured this couldn't hurt much here, I could access it and wash it off if need be. Smells real nice. How could something that smells so nice cause a problem ;). It worked perfect, for the squeak. Week later the opposite window squeaked, one swipe along the top door opening all good. I really doubt it made an issue here with the frozen window. The Window was still stuck with door open. And was almost surely frozen along the top door window flap/gasket.

    On some cars, usually on the inside there is a felt coated gasket along the glass. That is made to be dry. No lube. I forget what model 3 had there on the outside, I know it is felt on the inside on Model 3 and know it a rubber flap on the inside on the Model X (I had to fix an air leak, and posted thread about that).

    I think on the Model X it's just a rubber strip as well. I don't want streaks on the glass either.

    Should I try the gummy pflege on that top rubber outside flap? I think snow was on the car and melted from sun on driver side. Passenger side was completely normal. I don't want to start using a credit card and banging window. Yeah it happens to other cars. But never on any of mine in 40 years. Accept VW CC (also frameless) with SEVERE ICE (obvious prevention help needed). Never a problem with literally a few snow flakes that melted. Nothing visible on the ground or on the car.

    I don't want any "wet lubricant" for sure. And if it's a dry lube I'm not sure it can prevent flap from freezing to the glass.

    The Model 3 came up with I think a kind of ugly work around that tries to keep all windows down a smidge until you drive. It just kept reminding me it was a poor design and waved the work around in my face. I think the work around did help though. I hate when Software Engineers have to save the Mechanical engineers butts (I mange a team of Software, Electrical and Mechanical Engineers ;))

    I assume there are many folks here with more experience on the X windows freezing. Advice?
     
  2. greginfinity

    greginfinity Member

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    I don't have advice but I wish I did (other than scream at Tesla to frame the effing windows)! This is one of the things that holds be back from getting a Tesla. I have a garage but obviously drive to locations without a garage and this is such a common occurrence, some precipitation freezes on windows and handles. Guess which cars never have a problem unless it is some crazy ice storm... that's right: ones with framed windows, regular door handles, and mechanical latches.
     
  3. mswlogo

    mswlogo Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it's disappointing, but in no way a show stopper.

    Tesla wouldn't be Tesla is they were not brave enough to try new things. They don't get everything right, buy they sure get a ton right.
     
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  4. Fredneck

    Fredneck Member

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    This is what people get for driving a California designed car anywhere the temperatures get below freezing. I've been told that when my mirror couldn't be controlled by the car (remote service said the car reported that I had no mirror) the warranty doesn't cover "adverse weather conditions". In other words, freezing temperatures. Teslas are only guaranteed to work above 32 °F (0°C)... literally.
     
  5. mswlogo

    mswlogo Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I should have looked closer before I started this thread.

    It is "felt" covered rubber on the OUTSIDE. You cannot lubricate that. Model 3 might have been the same and probably why I never used the gummi pflege on the Model 3.

    This wide strip of felt covered rubber is a design flaw. It loads up with water and freezes to the glass. It's not the "frameless" window that causes the freezing. Also in hindsight, it was the window not going down that caused the door to not open (and I forced open).

    Even today, a day later, and garaged overnight at 45F. When I put the window up after the photo, the whole window looked like is was wiped with a wet sponge. The water is still loaded in the felt. So if it drops below freezing, even with no rain or snow it could freeze again. Until it dries out. And it can't dry out when it's cold, damp air and pushing against the glass.

    I think most cars make this felt strip much narrower. Ok, I just ran out and looked at my 2019 Volt with Framed Windows. Indeed it has felt too on the outside. But it's on a much narrower strip and it's kind of on the end of flexible flap. So it has much less surface are to bind and could "flex" and break away if frozen to the glass. And less surface area won't retain so much moisture in the first place. And since the Volt is framed it's no big deal if it did freeze. I'm sure you have tried to open a framed window at one point and it didn't. But you thought nothing about it.
    Sorry for the dog hair :) they are everywhere in my life.

    Here is the felt strip on Model X drivers door.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Fredneck

    Fredneck Member

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    If you use silicon lubricant on the felt I would bet that would repel the water adequately to prevent another freeze issue. That reminds me that I need to get some for my windows. My driver's side window will intermittently drag and reverse when putting it up. This makes it impossible to put up while driving when this happens. Yet another issue Tesla won't fix.
     
  7. mswlogo

    mswlogo Well-Known Member

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    I'm kind of nervous of any "lubes" on the felt. If could be the wrong stuff and may be impossible to remove.

    I agree it could make the felt absorb less.

    I think it should be a "Dry Lube" like this stuff. But again, I might create more problems and it might be really hard to reverse and try something else.

    Robot Check

    BTW, you might be able to recalibrate the window yourself. See the RESET Thread. I had an "invisible" obstacle and managed to clear it. If it auto upped it would reverse. If I nudged it up and it would close. But it was a PITA. But I did manage to fix it. It's a bit of a bizarre procedure. But it did work. You might have an phantom "obstacle".

    But if it's dragging that's another issue. Maybe just needs some lube ;)

    But seriously. Lubes can cause problems just like you are seeing. You lube it, and it works great. Then over time dirt sticks to the lube and now it's worse than no lube. And Service might recognize it and void warranty on fixing it. You have to be really careful with any lubes.

    A lot these tracks are designed to be lube-less, dry.

    I'm gonna wait and see how often it freezes and how easy/hard it is to resolve when it does happen. The Model 3 was annoying but only happened a few times. Luckily I have a garage.

    I might try the Vent feature if I suspect it could be frozen. Probably should do that today. Because felt was still wet this morning. Keeping windows down in garage if I know it's wet would help it dry out.
     
  8. Fredneck

    Fredneck Member

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    I would never use the teflon stuff you linked to. That sounds like it could be a problem and be nearly impossible to remove. The silicon lube will eventually dissipate. It doesn't attach dirt like petroleum lubes do. But to each his own. Let us know how it goes.
     
  9. jboy210

    jboy210 Supporting Member

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    Until you get this sorted, you might want to heat the cabin for a bit before you leave work. That will give any ice and snow a chance to melt away and free your windows.

    Also, just curious, but a lot of cars have frameless windows. How do people handle them in freezing weather? And you would think with all the Teslas in Scandinavia someone would have procedures for handing cold, wet, freezing weather.
     
  10. mswlogo

    mswlogo Well-Known Member

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    It really has little to do with frameless windows that the Window froze. But Frameless does cause a door issue when it does freeze.

    I think it's a bad design with too wide a swath of felt that can hold moisture and have tons of surface area to grip. That's why "other frameless" windows don't freeze so often as Tesla's do. Sure they will freeze on any car frameless or not. But not this easy.
     
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  11. Only Trons

    Only Trons Supporting Member

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    I agree that the window freezing issue is a big, big problem. I've had my windows freeze in the up position many times, which results in it being impossible or nearly impossible to open the door. I didn't buy a Model X thinking that it would be difficult to use in the winter!

    I've spoken with my local service center about this several times. I've told them this is a poor design. One of the first times I brought this to their attention, they had the nerve to tell me that this was all about "customer education." e.g. that I should know better. In follow on visits to my service center, I've been informed that they don't know of any effort being put into fixing this problem.
     
  12. mswlogo

    mswlogo Well-Known Member

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    This really doesn't seem like a hard fix. I think just the top outer (felt covered) window gasket needs a redesign, it's basically a long wide sponge. Almost an inch wide. I think there is plenty of room for alternative gasket that could be retrofitted. It's too much contact area for the felt. My window didn't freeze this evening. 34F out. But the felt gasket is still wet from yesterdays flurries. If it did get cold it would have probably froze again.

    It needs to be a thin "brush" against the glass, rather than a wide "sponge". The thin brush would let water drain right through (from rain, washing, or melting snow). And if by perfect bad timing it did freeze, If it's thin, it would just crack off when you open the window. It just doesn't need to be so wide to do it's job.
     
  13. BulldogsRus

    BulldogsRus Member

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    ...they offered the S and X from Day One: heated seats, heated wheel and heated windshield wiper nozzles, not to mention one of their biggest markets is in Norway.
     
  14. Fredneck

    Fredneck Member

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    It's not an issue of the window. I've had door seals stick in truly extreme weather. As you point out the problem is likely exacerbated by the felt. I wonder why they used that instead of rubber like every other automaker that produces cars for the entire world? Oh, maybe because Tesla has yet to learn the lessons taught by 100 years of auto making?

    One nice thing about the broad rubber seals on most doors. They flex a lot and so the ice breaks off a little bit at a time putting less stress on the rubber. Trying to slide open the window puts stress on all the ice at once making it very hard to break.
     
  15. Fredneck

    Fredneck Member

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    Yup, rather than design the car to work well in winter, they offer comfort features and gizmos. Yet the windows still get stuck in the winter and people can't use the heated seats, heated steering wheels or heated windshield wiper nozzles. I guess they can turn on the heaters from their phone app and imagine sitting in their cars.

    3,300 model 3s were sold in Norway last quarter out of nearly 100,000 total. Yes, a huge market!
     
  16. VikH

    VikH Supporting Member

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    FWIW, I have never had the windows freeze in the +2 years of owning the car and I live in MN. My seals are Gummi Pfledged.
     
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  17. BulldogsRus

    BulldogsRus Member

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    I have a BMW 3er cabrio with frameless windows, how is that any different than Tesla? You stated the car was built with CA in mind only, yet offers traction control, AWD, cold weather features and sells great all over the country, regardless of climate. Secondly, Norway has winters that on average are worse that what the US sees, and yet Tesla was the best-selling brand despite that:

    Tesla becomes best-selling brand in Norway, pushing electric car market share to almost 50% - Electrek
     
  18. mswlogo

    mswlogo Well-Known Member

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    #18 mswlogo, Dec 5, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
    I think other cars do use that felt on the outside. My Volt does. I think a lot of cars might. Seen the felt on many cars but can't recall how many were inside vs outside or both. But the one example I looked closely at (Volt) has it on the outside but so much of it. The Model is constrained (no room to flex), so that once water gets into the felt on the X it takes forever to get out. I think Model 3 was the same. Putting windows down and up in Winter you will often see them wet from moisture exposure from days before (more than any other car I've owned).

    I agree in extreme cold the seals for the door and the window can freeze too. But to be fair I have seen that on other cars too in extreme weather. I think treating gaskets (not the felt ones) could help a lot with that. Which is the best product is probably hotly debated. I've been adding gummi pflege as needed here and there where I hear windows squeaking. Not for doors freezing. I'm not suggesting gummi pflege is best to prevent freezing either. But I'll try it, because the stuff feels safe and not so permanent. Not sure how Model 3 vs Model X (or S) compares as far as doors themselves freezing. I've not had the X in extreme cold yet. The Model 3, Door handles were pretty bad (even when dry and cold). Windows definitely has issues (luckily I have above freezing garage, I'd hate any Tesla in New England without a garage) and last winter was not all that bad (for ice any way). But I did see a tendency for the door itself to get glued shut.

    The problem with the Windows is it can cause damage. Especially closing Model 3 with Window up if you don't notice it. I'm not sure how bad Model X is, if you close with Window up. Not sure if it reaches the chrome. Still not good for it. Model X, window motor was stuck on trying to pull window down. Model 3 did not do that. But there is definitely a Window issue, and personally, right now is my bigger concern. And Window not going down will prevent door from opening smoothly. And if you force it (like I did) it's certainly not good for it. The Window was way more of an issue than the door.

    I'm just gonna watch it for now. See how easy it is to recover from knowing what I know now or practices to help prevent trouble (like using Vent if I suspect it could be frozen). I never expected the failure the other day. It was a day after a snow storm, Sun in and out with flurries around 30F. Not a snow flake or frozen droplet on the car or the ground when I approached the car. But it was maybe 25F out when I left. It didn't take much to freeze that window. Model X was in garage the entire time of the storm the day before. This was it's first exposure (a snow flurry). So it was not prior moisture.

    And before someone repeats it. Preheating gets expensive at $0.23 / kWh. Not mention killing more trees with more CO2. So Preheating is fine by me for extreme conditions occasionally. But never on a routine basis.
     
  19. mswlogo

    mswlogo Well-Known Member

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    #19 mswlogo, Dec 5, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
    That doesn't mean everyone is educated on how well they actually work in those conditions.

    Door Handles Freezing.
    Windows Freezing.
    AWD Model 3 way to heavily RWD biased.
    Charge Port locks Freezing.
    Doors themselves Freezing (maybe more than other cars?)

    Pretty dismal if you ask me. And Frameless is mostly a secondary reason for the problems. The Windows shouldn't freeze so easily in the first place.

    All pretty easy problems to resolve and recognize.

    To be fair, Tesla has fixed the Charge Port locks on Model 3 freezing I believe.
    They did Software Patch Model 3 with a Hack to only put windows fully up when driving (when below ~40F) which helps, so they do know it's problem. But they could easily fix this mechanically. But my Model X has the same issue with Windows and it is not doing that trick. Model 3 might be slightly different. Because lowering Model X window, as far as I can tell would not prevent freezing.

    Elon needs to hammered on Twitter these issue. I think if he knew how prevalent the issues are he'd do more about it.

    P.S. The Windows Freezing is worst in areas where your above freezing during the day and below at night. I don't know how other parts of the country or world are. But if it's dry fluffy snow that blows off you may never see a Window issue.
     
  20. mswlogo

    mswlogo Well-Known Member

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    #20 mswlogo, Dec 5, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
    Like I said I think some areas are prone the right order of events more than others. If it's colder and dryer there you might never see it.

    Every car I've owned would have a Frozen Window (and/or door) once or twice in New England.

    You get Rain at 30F and your dead meat.

    Gummi Pflege is good stuff but you don't put it where the window freezes (pretty hard to get too), the felt.
    See the attached photo in my post above. That Felt rests against the glass, loads up with water and freezes to the glass.
    If it's 10F out and snowing, no problem (like MN).
    If it's Raining out at 33F during the day, drops to 20F by the time you leave work in New England you may be in trouble. It's all in the timing of the weather your exposed to.

    Gummi Pflege might help with your doors freezing shut in extreme cold. I'm not about to put that on the felt and I'm 99% sure it's the wide swath of felt that is the reason for the Window freezing. Window sticking to the gasket around the door opening may contribute to it as well, and gummi pflege might help there. So it with have a bit more power to break the felt free. So yeah it could help, here to.

    My window was still stuck with motor trying to pull it down with the door open. The only (primary) contact point left is the felt. I had to hit it on top to break it free. I had to hit pretty hard too. Made a big crack sound when it let go.
     

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