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Model 3 Door Handles - Here is how they actually work

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by vortexz, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. vortexz

    vortexz Member

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    I saw that many people were wondering how the Model 3 door handles are actually working, so here is a very detailed video about it:


     
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  2. Two9A

    Two9A Member

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    So, an electric motor to drive the door open? There's a definite sound of a motor running when the handle is pulled, and an almost imperceptible lag between pulling the handle and the door beginning to open.

    I was hoping for a purely mechanical door, to eliminate a point of failure.
     
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  3. furyheimdall

    furyheimdall New Member

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    [​IMG]

    In this picture, the door handles look differently.
    There could be options.
     
  4. ZAKEEUS

    ZAKEEUS Member

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    They said that is an older prototype and we would be getting the L shaped handles.
     
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  5. coco81

    coco81 Member

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    They look different but have the same mechanism... you have to push the rear side of the handle (drivers side) to open it. The L shaped looks more intuitive.
     
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  6. FloridaJohn

    FloridaJohn Member

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    I think you might be right. I saw a video someone took at the rides during the reveal that showed the driver pushing a button to open the driver door. If that is the case, then the handle on the outside is really just used to swing the door open and not unlatch the door mechanism.
     
  7. Luke42

    Luke42 Member

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    #7 Luke42, Apr 25, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
    That door handle looks like it will be a disaster when covered with ice, unless the electric motor is strong enough to crack ice with the long moment on the end of that handle...

    I suppose you could work around this deep flaw by wasting energy on a special heating element in the handle (and make me wait to open the door). Or you could just out conventional door handles on it.

    I'd rather have conventional door handles.

    P.S. I live in the Midwest, and plan to park my Model 3 outside in my driveway. (Our 1-car garage is used mostly for woodworking.)
     
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  8. Xaff

    Xaff Member

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    While I see your point, Tesla would never go for conventional door handles due to aerodynamics. This is the same reason the S and X have flat door handles while driving.
     
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  9. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    The Model S door handles work fine in icy cold. Just ask the Norwegians, who have bought thousands of them.

    I'm sure that Tesla is smart enough to ensure the same capability in the Model 3.
     
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  10. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it sounds like there is a powered mechanism that causes the handle to angle outwards and then you grab the narrower part of the handle and pull the door open. Very cool, I think.
     
  11. Skotty

    Skotty 2014 Model S P85

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    Icing is a corner case that won't happen that often. When it does, you'll just have to break the ice off probably. I don't see that as a design fail, more like just a weather annoyance. I remember I once had to get in my car through the trunk and exit through the sunroof because of icing. That car was entirely mechanical. Wasn't really a design issue. It was just weather.
     
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  12. Luke42

    Luke42 Member

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    #12 Luke42, Apr 25, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
    Have you ever tried to chip ice off of a car? The mechanical disadvantage you get from being on the short end of a lever (which is what this recessed door handle is) really is one of the worse ways to do it.

    The Model S door handles have been problematic. Many owners have had them replaced. They don't always work, even in the showrooms.

    I'm not convinced that a company in California has a deep understanding if snow and ice, just because they don't experience that sort of weather there.

    I'm stoked about the Model 3, but I do have concerns - and this is one of them. Especially since conventional parts-bin door handles work very well in the real weather we get in not-California.

    Hopefully a Tesla engineer reads my comment and makes they make sure they've solved this very real problem that I encounter daily during the winter. If those flush door handles are any good in ice, they need to explain why and how it works -- because their design is very counterintuitive to those of us who have to deal with the issue in real life. I'd *love* to see a demo of these flush mount door handles with a garden hose and a deep freezer showing that their design works when covered with rime ice...

    But I'm very skeptical of their current design, based on the hundred or so times I've had to chip a car out before going to work. When the painted surfaces of the car are covered with rime ice, you just leave it there, for fear of scratching the paint with your removal tool - but that's not a viable option when the door handle is under the ice. Maybe bring out a hair dryer to melt off the snow and ice while I'm trying to get the kids to school and myself to work? LOL.
     
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  13. diamond.g

    diamond.g Member

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    Does any of Tesla's vehicles have mechanical linkage between the outer door handle and the locking mechanism? Seems like the whirring noise that folks heard was the door latch unlocking allowing the handle to pull the door open. If that is the case having a 'real' door handle won't make sense as it won't be connected to anything.
     
  14. Socom

    Socom Member

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    I really wouldn't worry about the handles icing. If you know its going to be icy, use the "remote start" to heat up the car before going out and that should be enough to thaw it enough to chip it away.
     
  15. Big-T

    Big-T Member

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    I'm not worried about the ice (I live in Seattle) but this sort of design just seems sub-optimal from a day-to-day usage sort of thing. The section of the handle that comes out isn't particularly long, there doesn't seem to be a ton of leverage - by that I mean since the open handle is at an angle relative to the door only your first finger or two are doing any of the work. It's just weird. I hope something more traditional or at least more model S like makes it into production (I believe it was the matte black car that had different handles)
    I suppose if it was motorized that would help, but I don't mind a low tech solution when it comes to door handles.
     
  16. Xminus6

    Xminus6 Member

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    Does pre-heating the car's interior alleviate that concern? You can run the car's climate control remotely and automate it if you want. That might make the overall heat envelope of the car warm enough to prevent icing or melt ice.
     
  17. hobbes

    hobbes Active Member

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    From what I understand the handle is moved mechanically by the force of your hand, while the door is unlatched electrically.
     
  18. Luke42

    Luke42 Member

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    #18 Luke42, Apr 25, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
    You use the door handle to yank the door open after the ice gets in the seams between to door and the car. I've probably put a good 50lb pull on the door handles on my Toyota at times. And that's assuming you can get to the door handle at all (not a problem with conventional door handles).

    With sliding doors on my minivan, I sometimes have to climb inside, unlatch the door and shoulder-check it to get it open. An alternative (when rear facing car seats are installed) is to roll down the windows, grab the window frame, and give it a sharp yank to free the door. And that's on a car where they actually thought about this stuff. Having to do that is acceptable on a $10k beater, but not so good on a $35k forever car.

    Conventional door handles don't impede the process of opening a car that's covered in ice. This is a serious design requirement that Tesla needs to consider in order to sell cars outside of mediaterranian and tropical climates, and I haven't seen any indication in the current design that it's been considered at all.
     
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  19. tdelta1000

    tdelta1000 Active Member

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    Manual or automatic... It wouldn't bother me because I think the handles fit into the Tesla ethos.
     
  20. DR61

    DR61 Member

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    You might want to know that the highest average snowfall in the lower 48 states occurs in California about 180 miles from the Tesla factory. There are plenty of snow testing areas near the factory.
     
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