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Holy Hot Handles, Batman!

Discussion in 'Model S' started by StephRob, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. StephRob

    StephRob Member

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    Today I parked my car in direct sunlight for about two hours (11am-1pm) and the sun was directly on the driver side door handles during that time. The temperature was 77 degrees. (Don't hate me for living in a fabulous climate!) When I returned to the car after two hours, the driver side handle was scorchingly HOT!! Like so hot, I could barely stand to touch it hard enough to make the handle pop out. Even the rear side of the handle was extremely hot when I pulled on it. I guess it's the price we pay for those beautiful chrome handles. (Well, that and fingerprints!)
     
  2. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Yeah. Noticed that for the first time this weekend too and it was only 80 degrees. This summer will be tough.
     
  3. Zextraterrestrial

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    And that's why it is really nice living in Humboldt ( + I picked a couple of lbs of chanterelles today + some king bolletes,can't wait for the morels...yummy )



    HAHA Doug ! fwp's too many fresh mushrooms
     
  4. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    When I lived in Death Valley (yes, people live there - I swear), it was standard operating proc to grab a wet towel when going outside to 1) open my car, and then 2) use it to cool off the steering wheel enough that I could touch it.

    Kind of hoping I'm past that now.
     
  5. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    Another reason to buy the proposed Tesla gloves... with touch capable fingertips.
     
  6. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    So now Tesla needs liquid cooled door handles? Will people be gluing rubber strips on them?
     
  7. xhawk101

    xhawk101 Active Member

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    Like

    from my Samsung galaxy s3
     
  8. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    It seems incredible that the sun could make a chrome handle this hot. My black car has black metal door handles, and even baking in the sun all day, they have never been too hot to actually get in the car without burning myself. Sure, they're hot, but nothing like you describe. All you have to do on Model S is give it a little push and it slides out. With my car, you have to grab on to the (conventional) handle which is fully exposed to the sun and pull.

    Given that these things are electric and motorized, you don't suppose there was/is some sort of electrical overheating situation going on, do you?
     
  9. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

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    I'm going to err on the side of believing this report here. In the midwest during the summer time, it gets pretty hot (95-100 on some days), and I've made the mistake more than once of not covering the steering wheel and touching the metal on the car. Chrome has low emissivity, so while it may take a long time to heat up, once it heats up it isn't going to emit energy very well. From my recollection in stores, pressing on the handles requires 1-2 seconds before the handles extend. That's more than enough time to burn your fingers. So, I'm slightly concerned about this. Fortunately, I park in a garage during most times.
     
  10. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

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    The handle is presumably pressure sensitive, so you could press it with something other than your hand? Such as an elbow, wallet, etc?
     
  11. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    #12 dsm363, Nov 7, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
    You can use the keyfob to extend the handle then use your shirt or something to open. Shouldn't be a really big deal.
     
  12. tdiggity

    tdiggity Member

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    I used to have a metal shift knob and in 90+ degree heat would make the shifter so hot that it was hard to shift. So, I could see this being an issue. I wonder if you can add some felt to the inside of the handle or something...
     
  13. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    It's a tap (not 1-2secs) and you can also just use the fob.
     
  14. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't trying to discredit the report, but rather was wondering if it could be an electrical overheating situation.

    It gets pretty hot in Southern Ontario in the summer too, and I have certainly had my share of "too hot to touch" steering wheels and vinyl seats etc. over the years. Thinking back, the last car I had with chrome door handles was a 1980 Chrysler, and again, I never experienced anything like this even when the car baked in the hot sun all day.
     
  15. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Sometimes I find that material appearance can be misleading in terms of heat retention.
    There was an ATM I used to use which has a shiny brushed aluminum panel where you can set a deposit envelope down to sign it.
    Even though it seemed almost mirror reflective it would get unpleasantly hot whenever the sun would shine on it.
    I guess some materials can be visible light reflective but still absorb IR.
     
  16. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    Perhaps the interior of the door is heating up because of the paint absorbing the sun's radiation and because the handle is retracted into the door's interior it heats up by convection/conduction. As was pointed out earlier, with low emissivity it wouldn't cool by radiation very well at all so it winds up at the temperature of the door's interior.

    A conventional door handle is hanging out in the ambient air temperature, so it's not going to get unusually hot.
     
  17. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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  18. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

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    Thanks. I have another test drive Saturday, and I'll give this another look. Maybe I've been tapping it incorrectly in the stores.

    - - - Updated - - -

    As I understood the OP, it was the outward facing chrome piece that was hot, but I understand that aluminum is low as well in terms of emissivity. I suppose the two together could be causing the high temperatures of the recessed door handle.

    I guess time will tell.
     
  19. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    That makes sense. I'll bet this is the explanation.
     

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