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Model 3 + Snow Exposure = Frustration

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by Amendale, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. Reeler

    Reeler 8th Year of Pure EV

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    I came back from a few days on the road to my car at the airport covered in about 2-3 inches of wet snow. My wipers were on automatic an freaked out so i menued through the several soft buttons to get them off. Opened my trunk to have all the snow on top roll onto the now covered rear window and all that slide into my trunk.

    Trunk is unusable on a snow day compared to the prior cars I have had with a similar configuration. No thought was put into a larger moat between the rear window and trunk. Suffice to say, keep your Model 3 garaged or move to the Bay Area.
     
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  2. mswlogo

    mswlogo Active Member

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    I don’t know of any car I wouldn’t wipe off the snow before opening the trunk. Even if I had to use bare hands or my sleeve, I’d always wipe it off. Or just partially lift it to get brush out or something.
     
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  3. StealthP3D

    StealthP3D Member

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    I also find this thread baffling because I've had less problem with frozen windows/doors than with my previous ICE cars. It makes me think a couple of people have plugged weep holes at the bottom of their doors or something? I did take the normal preventive measures I need to take with all my cars (see my previous posts) since I'm often in the alpine areas in the winter but everything has functioned flawlessly except for having to give the door handle a couple of pounds with my fist when it's particularly bad. But that is second nature to me because this climate is bad for frozen door/window seals.

    I did use Gummi Pfludge on the rubber door seals instead of special spray dielectric grease I normally use. In December I came back to my Model 3 after a day of storm skiing and 3/4 of the car was encased in ice/snow with the ice being a good 1/4" thick. Just brushed the loose snow off the trunk area, popped the trunk, got my ice scraper out and scraped the ice coating off the windshield and rear window. The doors opened fine with a couple of quick hits to the door handle, no drama, ever.

    I'm also baffled by people that say they've had cars that didn't require a couple of good pounds to free up stuck door seals in a real winter climate after an icing event. Every car I've ever owned has had frozen doors and maybe it's because of my silicone and Gummi Pfludge treatments but the Model 3 seems less susceptible to door/window icing if anything.
     
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  4. StealthP3D

    StealthP3D Member

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    Are you new to snow country? I always clear the snow before entering the trunk area on all my cars as snow sliding off the back window into the trunk is a common problem. I did make a mistake once when I was a little late on my departure from my ski cabin. I had a thin coating of ice on my rear window but it was bonded so I loaded up the trunk and departed. I had a bag of garbage to drop off at the community dumpster on the way out. The mistake was I turned on the rear defroster. It's so fast that in the two minutes it took me to get to the dumpster it melted a thin layer of water between the sheet of ice and window so when I opened the trunk it all shot in there like a glacier that had cut loose!

    But I didn't complain on an Internet forum that the car is unusable in snow country, I made a mental note to not use the rear defroster the next time I encountered such conditions and would be opening the trunk within the next couple of minutes.
     
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  5. Amendale

    Amendale Member

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    I've had this issue on previous cars. Just something you have to be cautious about in the winter.
     
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  6. Amendale

    Amendale Member

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    Maybe you've been lucky so far. Or maybe I've been unlucky.
     
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  7. des16

    des16 Member

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    I have experienced all the problems noted in this thread. And I have had similar problems with previous cars. Granted, I have been in BMWs and Audis for 25 years straight. Of particular note is that my current BMW 435 has frameless windows and it has been exposed to the worst weather imaginable. Not once did I ever have an issue opening the door or with the windows.
     
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  8. Shateam

    Shateam Member

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    This is a common issue with frameless windows and so it’s not a Tesla specific issue. My previous car was a Mercedes which had frameless windows and it exhibited the exact same behavior in freezing conditions.
     
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  9. ricohman

    ricohman Member

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    That is true. BMW was also hindered by this years ago.
     
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  10. Amendale

    Amendale Member

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    #70 Amendale, Jan 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
    The intent of this forum isn't really to argue whether this issue is unique to Tesla or not. I'm just saying that it seems to be an issue, and what people have done about it if anything.

    So far through others feedback and my own research I would suggest the following for the Model 3 in the winter:
    • Apply silicone lube around the outer edges of the door seal to prevent the door/window freezing shut at these locations
    • Apply dry lube onto the bottom edge of windows to prevent freezing at this location. The dry lube supposedly prevent smearing of the windows
    • If above fails try to use credit card or de-icer at the bottom edge
    • I've also applied silicone lube into the door handle pocket and charging jack lever. Will update to see if good results experienced
    • Turn off mirror folding for the winter, to prevent having to worry about another thing to de-ice
    • Turn off automatic wipers, at least when you know snow is coming, to avoid them turning on while windshield hasn't been cleaned yet and potentially damaging the mechanism
    • Tesla seems to be working on a solution to prevent freezing inside the charge port. Standby for update from your SC or contact them for more detail
    • Preheat whenever possible
     
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  11. des16

    des16 Member

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    It may have been a problem with BMW years ago, but it is not on the current BMWs with frameless windows, which in fact operate the same way as the Tesla -- dropping down a fraction of an inch when operating the door handle. Maybe someone at Tesla should tear-down the BMW window and copy what they have done. For those of us who have been frozen out of our Teslas, it is incredibly frustrating. And while I appreciate all the suggested silicon sprays, etc, they simply do not solve the problem.
     
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  12. Skione65

    Skione65 Member

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    @StealthP3D,

    Does the Gummi Pfledge leave any visible ‘residue’ on the inside of the windows where the window presses against the seal and slides up/down from the fully closed position in the winter mode? Would love to use it but am wondering if it will smear the window appearance at all.

    Ski
     
  13. Garlan Garner

    Garlan Garner Well-Known Member

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    I disagree: They absolutely do solve the problem.
     
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  14. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    Didn't BMW tear down the Model S and copy it? Or was it Mercedes? I can't remember..
     
  15. Shateam

    Shateam Member

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    Fair enough.

    For rubber seals, I use this. Has worked reasonably well for me over the years...and its a German product so it should appease our BMW, Audi and Mercedes loving friends on the forum. :)

    https://www.amazon.com/nextzett-91480615-Gummi-Pflege-Rubber/dp/B004B8GTQG?ref_=Oct_BSellerC_15718591_0&pf_rd_p=b3d48077-90be-57b4-a259-1870730a722e&pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-6&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_i=15718591&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=ZK8122ADQA713KT87VR1&pf_rd_r=ZK8122ADQA713KT87VR1&pf_rd_p=b3d48077-90be-57b4-a259-1870730a722e&tag=tmc064-20

    Edit: sorry for the long URL. The product is called Gummi Pflege.
     
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  16. Garlan Garner

    Garlan Garner Well-Known Member

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    What?

    I don't know who copied who...or why that would matter in this discussion.
     
  17. richyrich

    richyrich TM3 LR RWD

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    You're not unlucky, you're just living the reality of the TM3 in proper winter. Sorry you've got such a backlash - I'm further north in Ottawa (-21C right now) and living these issues most days. Some are definitely unique to the Model 3 but lots of people on here and elsewhere get VERY defensive about any winter issues with the car and assume other people are morons. Sad but true. I suggest posting in the Canada forum - more people are familiar with the issues and we're more polite. ;-)

    The issues I deal with on a regular basis, as backup for what you're experiencing:
    1. Charge port - any moisture getting into the charge port causes havoc and it happens easily - freeze-thaw, road spray or carwash:
      • I was one of the early people stranded when my (garaged overnight) TM3 wouldn't let me insert the cable until I unfroze it with a hairdryer from inside; then wouldn't let me remove the charge cable the next morning - had to take my wifes car and call Tesla, hence...
      • The "Ranger Unfreeze" solution that I still use to this day when the charge port locks up is heat on HI for 2 hours with rear seats down. Please don't try to tell me this is normal. I'll deal with it, I knew I was getting a v1 product, but it is, without doubt, a design flaw. I guarantee the charge port lock will be redesigned so moisture can't get in and freeze in a way that causes the mechanism to jam.
      • The major ongoing implication of this issue is I don't wash it a lot - that may seem minor to some people but here, at this time of year, large parts of the car are crusted with salt so it's a necessity to wash it sometimes. With any other car I'd be washing once a week or so; I only wash the TM3 when I know I'll have time to deal with the consequences.
    2. Door handles - these freeze most nights in the garage (slightly warmer than outside, I guess it gets a little humid?) and definitely if the car gets any moisture near it - spray from the road, freeze-thaw results or washing. Because of the design (which I love) and tight spacing between the handle and surround, the ice jams them up. I and my family have developed a "thump" we do with the heel of our hand on the wider part of the handle which frees it. You then have to remember to push it back in manually as the ice stops the retract mechanism/spring (?) from working. If you don't the door just bounces back and you have to climb out to do it. Yes I've have frozen door handles on other cars but the design here adds extra issues and they don't go away once you free up the handle like most cars. Not the end of the world but another thing I am sure Tesla will tweak the design of.
    3. Windows - this is the least of my worries and yes, a coat of silicone on the rubber solved it for me. On this one I agree that it's a common issue with an easy fix, but this is absolutely the most trivial of the winter issues.
    #1 and #2 are my main pet peeves. I always knew winter would be the real test of this car and it has proved to have some issues. Luckily they're not show-stoppers but I really wish people would stop mindlessly defending the vehicle when they haven't lived these issues, been stranded by them or had to deal with them over and over again. I've driven 24,000kms since June, much of that in winter so I feel I've got a pretty solid set of experience at this stage. I can guarantee that this car was not long-term-tested in a freezing climate for everyday usability issues like these. If anyone from Tesla is reading, I volunteer to do exactly that for the Model Y! :)
     
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  18. StealthP3D

    StealthP3D Member

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    No, it won't smear on the window. It dries to a protective film. It does make the seals look slightly blacker and shinier so I think it seals the pores of the rubber which causes the ice have more difficulty freezing to it.
     
  19. Amendale

    Amendale Member

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    Did you also use silicone on the bottom gasket, or some kind of dry lube as suggested in this thread?
     
  20. richyrich

    richyrich TM3 LR RWD

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    Got some in a spray can, sprayed on a cloth then wiped all around the frame rubber. Worked for me but not saying I’m an expert.
     

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