Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
  • Want to remove ads? Register an account and login to see fewer ads, and become a Supporting Member to remove almost all ads.
  • The final cut of TMC Podcast #29 is available now with topics time-stamped. We discussed the Tesla Cybertruck's expected 1 MW Ultra-Fast Charging capability, the Tesla Semi Delivery Event, the coming Model 3 refresh (project "Highland"), and more. You can watch it now on YouTube.

Help! Door handle motors won't stop working

So it snowed a got a little cold here in Boulder over the weekend. Noticed rear passenger door handle would not open. No big deal, thought maybe it was frozen. Front passenger door worked fine. After a few hours of driving around, parked at home (outside). Around 25 degrees. Car was parked for several hours and when I went outside, I heard the handle motors operating on both passenger side doors but handles won't open. I assume these motors work on the 12 volt battery? and eventually the battery would go dead. Car worked fine this morning but motors are still going but handles won't open. I already have a service appt in a few weeks but I'm scared that the battery will go dead. Any ideas of how to either open the handle or stop the motors from going? TIA!


Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
Austin, TX
Thank you. Weird that the paddle gear would break on two doors at roughly the same time. I guess maybe they froze and that caused them to break? Car is under warranty for about 4 more years so I guess I'll just get them fixed in a couple weeks.

yes, pushing against the frozen door handle was probably the final straw. I feel like they would be weakened by things like closing the door using the handle. Or anything that pushes against them while they are extending.
Probably broken paddle gears. Well known design flaw of the car.

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.