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Fix your door that won't open

Skotty

2014 S P85 | 2020 3 P19"
Jun 27, 2013
2,511
1,853
Kansas City, MO
Well, here goes... rear driver side door presents but does not open, now out of warranty. What I'm not sure about is whether I should just dig in this weekend, as it's most likely a broken wire, of if I should defensively buy microswitches first, in case the switch itself has something wrong with it. I'd hate to spend a ton of time taking out the mechanism, find out it's the switch, and have to put it back and do it all over again after getting the part. Tough call.

Also toying with idea of getting kit. One of the aftermarket companies has one. Would be nice if it was rock solid after repair so that I know it won't break again for a loooooooong long time.
 

Magellan55

Member
Aug 30, 2018
385
352
Chapel Hill, NC
When I'm about to invest a lot of time in a repair which is mostly labor, I typically try to buy the part beforehand. Worst case you have a spare micro switch for the next broken door handle. I hear the plastic snaps that hold the trim in place are single-use items, so you might want to buy those as well. Good luck on the repair!
 

Moxenon

Member
Dec 23, 2017
5
0
Amstetdam
Dear tesla drivers. if someone needs the parts for the handle. I have them in stock. cheap. for only € 50 ex shipping costs. quality is top never breaks a lifetime warranty.
 

Ostrichsak

Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
3,597
3,635
Colorado, USA
So to you $55 is cheap for switches that run for around $4 referenced here?
Both the microswitches & paddle gear hinges can be had for less than $4 each yet there are numerous places online selling them for between $50-$75 each.

There's people absolutely trashing other member's for sale threads here over a 10% disagreement in initial list price of their car in the name of protecting the innocent. But a vendor marks up parts 2,000% that more members are likely to need & I don't see anyone caping up for the innocent. Weird. I mean, it's almost as if they've got some ulterior motive of personal gain from destroying a car listing. /Sarcasm
 
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CuriousG

Active Member
Dec 1, 2015
1,532
1,495
Elk Grove, CA
I think his package includes a custom stainless steel paddle gear. (He may not even be referring to the switches.)
This makes more sense and based on their previous post on trying to source the part, sounds like the person has made their own. You would think they would post with picture what is included rather than a vague post.
 

Marc_GA

Member
Oct 7, 2015
48
34
Atlanta, GA
I was only charged $1.82 from the service center for the last one. The previous was similar priced but they didn't even bother charging me.

I've had 3 failures fixed (1 under warranty replaced, 2 done myself).
My last door just broke and I will replace this weekend.

Hopefully the new part last longer, it seems like it will.
 

CuriousG

Active Member
Dec 1, 2015
1,532
1,495
Elk Grove, CA
I was only charged $1.82 from the service center for the last one. The previous was similar priced but they didn't even bother charging me.

I've had 3 failures fixed (1 under warranty replaced, 2 done myself).
My last door just broke and I will replace this weekend.

Hopefully the new part last longer, it seems like it will.
Ugh. I recently turned off all door handles other than driver so that will make them last longer (theoretically). I haven't had to replace any of mine but I can only imagine that this will be an eventuality.
 

Skotty

2014 S P85 | 2020 3 P19"
Jun 27, 2013
2,511
1,853
Kansas City, MO
For Tesla S back door, a couple of tips I didn't run across before (from doing the work myself). Maybe someone else has mentioned it, but I looked around and watched some videos but this wasn't clear to me until I discovered it myself.

1) There is a rubber cover over the upper back corner of the door. Pull this back, as it provides access to the rear upper nut, and also serves as a great view hole when removing the front upper nut.

2) Make the window go ALL the way up by pressing in the door latch on the car. I've seen this mentioned, but that mention seemed to suggest it provides "wiggle room". But it made it sound optional. It's really not. It's required if you want easy access to the front upper nut. To get to the front upper nut, when the window is ALL the way up, go through the round hole in the door (you will likely have to remove a sticky paper-like cover from the hole).

Note the images below.

tesla-handle-1.jpg tesla-handle-2.jpg tesla-handle-3.jpg
 

Skotty

2014 S P85 | 2020 3 P19"
Jun 27, 2013
2,511
1,853
Kansas City, MO
The repair job on my back door is complete.

Unusual tools that helped:

1) Poppet pulling tool. They usually sell these at auto parts stores. It's got a curved forked end and is great for prying out the door panel and removing poppets when necessary.

2) Magnet on a stick. I don't know if these things have a proper name, but it's usually a magnet on a telescoping antenna thing. You never think you will need these until you do. I lost my socket in the door and this pulled it out nicely.

3) Toothpicks. I saw someone else mention this trick. They are about the right size to align the handle in the hole before tightening the nuts back down.

4) Zip ties or zipper dippers or whatever you Canucks call them. You'll have to cut a couple off to do the handle wiring and will probably want a couple small ones to secure the new wires.

I did not have to loosen the bar thingy that is half in the way when trying to remove the handle from the door cavity. I did have to rotate the handle assembly about 90 degrees though.

Careful when removing the door panel; hang onto it when it pops off. If it falls it will yank the power connectors and potentially damage them.

It should be noted that while I was repairing the door a Taylor Swift album was playing in the car and no world ending paradoxes occurred.
 
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fsch

Member
Sep 21, 2015
151
177
Montreal, QC
Here's a new one, for me at least: position sensor wire torn appart both ends!

This is the 10th (or 11th?) door handle change or repair on my car. This time, it's the passenger front door, with the motor sound, so I thought it was the broken gear problem. I purchased one, with a couple of micro-switches, just in case, and started the job today. Indeed, the gear was broken and I fixed it.

However, after removing the black panel to access the door handle assembly, I found a piece of wire at the bottom of the door interior. After some investigations, I found that it's the wire connecting to the position sensor (Interlink Electronics) that was torn away, both from the sensor PCB and from its connector. (See picture, orange (connector) and red (PCB) circles.) No idea how it got caught in such a way that both ends were torn this way. I tried soldering them back, but it looks like the copper pads on which two of the three wire were soldered on are gone from the PCB too. So it looks like I'll need to purchase a new position sensor.

Several weeks before the broken gear problem, the four door handles stopped coming out on pressing that specific handle. But since they come out on fob detection or by pressing the other door handles, we only seldomly needed to get the handles out by pressing this particular handle, and actually took the habit to press on another door handle if needed. I now realize that this torn wire problem prevented the position sensor from sensing handle being pressed.

I was wondering if there is any other function to this sensor? In principle, the 3 microswitches are sufficient to operate the door, except for this "present on press" thing, isn't it?

teslaPoigneeFilsBrises.jpg
 
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fsch

Member
Sep 21, 2015
151
177
Montreal, QC
P.S. With the gear repaired and the door reassembled, it operates as before: the door operates normally but the car handles don't come out when this handle is pressed.

I forgot to mention that at the bottom of the door interior, I also found the rubber pad supposed to cover the handle assembly. So I suspect that, once the pad fell, the wire could be caught by the corner of the window while lowering it, and the window motor can certainly apply sufficient force to tear away the position sensor wire.
 

kajsidog

Member
Nov 28, 2017
33
31
Florida
Tesla prices update:

Took my handle out Saturday after the last was covered under goodwill but would have been $750. Didn't want to pay that. Saw it was just the harness. Went to pick up a new one today from Tesla and was told they're $140 with no warranty. It seemed to be made of the same brittle wires as before, not like the upgraded aftermarket ones I've seen online. I was also told replacing the whole handle would be $280 and comes with the normal year warranty. Had I known that I wouldn't have taken the time to even diagnose.

Also learned replacing the gauge cluster is more than the center screen by a few hundred bucks. I think I'll hold off and live with the bubbles.

Service continues to be a growing pain with them, really weird to walk in and be greeted by ipads today. It took about twenty minutes to learn the above info with no other customers present.
 

F444

Member
May 11, 2020
6
0
Ontario, Milton
Hey guys,

I’m a new member just joined to say thank you to everyone who contributed in the article. I was able to fix my passenger side door handle on my 14 S85. Works fine now used all existing micro switch ripped off the back of it and used hot glue to make a seal around it and soldered the wire that fell off.

However some minor issues which popped up since:

  • I couldn’t get the top door handle bolt on even with the window trim off so I just left it out.
  • I accidentally did something that has left my window loose and it isn’t aligning properly when I close the door. The window going up when the door was closed ended up peeling some of the black rubber insulation and it doesn’t go up all the way unless the door is open.{Main issue} I can basically move the whole window up from the corner so when the door closes it over laps on to glass instead of sitting in the rubber.

  • Sorry if it’s confusing not sure how to explain it any advice if someone knows which bolt is tied with the window adjustment would be great
 

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