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Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by montgom626, Sep 10, 2013.
Had new door handles done by a Ranger. here are some pics in no particular order.
Man oh man.... I would have had a new set of speakers waiting!
I still think the door handles are overly complex for the intended purpose. I'll be in for at least two replacements myself whenever I get around to taking the car in. Both doors on the driver's side (front and rear) will occasionally pop open on their own when I put the car into Park. (At least I don't have to walk around to the other side of the car closing doors -- yet!)
This is going to be an expensive repair for cars out of warranty. You guys don't even want to know how much it costs to replace 1 handle. Hopefully the aftermarket comes up with a manual solution.
Press and hold key fob. Reach inside newly opened window, use interior handle.
Curious. how much does it cost?
it's actually not much more "complex" than new handles in audis etc. that have an electronic unlock button and lights in the handles as well.. I don't see how a tiny motor suddenly makes it "overly complex". Every manufacturer has been running cables and wires and electronics to their door handles...
My car is in today for it's forth handle replacement (drivers side rear replaced twice, passenger side rear once, now drivers door).
I asked if the new handles are any cooler and the service tech said that they no longer replace the handle part itself. Apparently it's $500 cheaper to save the handle and only replace the rest of the assembly.
I have no problems with that and I guess it's a good sign that Tesla is fine tuning their service procedures to minimize cost. Nevertheless, I think my extended warranty will pay for itself in handle replacements alone.
My last car had fully solenoid-driven door latches, but with a more conventional pull handle "triggering" the mechanism. Tesla has added the complexity of a motor running the handle lever in and out, and I believe this retracting handle is what is accidentally tripping the microswitch that activates the latch solenoid.
A solenoid is a pretty robust device. Essentially an electromagnet that pulls a lever. The addition of a retractable handle with a motor and gears is, IMHO, a LOT more complex, and it doesn't make the door one bit easier to open. In fact, it's worse as I discovered in the pouring rain. Whereas with a "regular" handle you can run up to the car and pull, with these you have to run up to the car, wait and then pull.
mknox .. "I still think the door handles are overly complex for the intended purpose."
I couldn't agree more. I understand the need to eliminate drag but why have a protruding handle at all? Just use a flush button - perhaps it could even be solid-state ie non-mechanical and use one solenoid to unlatch the door... and then lock it electronically - inner and outer buttons powered for 'unlocked', no power for locked. It almost seems that T went with the retractable handles simply because it looks cool. MW
It is most definitely a "cool factor" thing. To be fair, everyone that sees the car loves the door handles, but as an owner it gets old fast.
You still need something to pull on to open the doors though.
But the handles are so cool they are worth the mechanical complexity!
That opens up another can of worms. Doors need to be pulled open, even on a level surface. If you use a flush button, you need some way -- mechanical, pneumatic, magnetic, something -- for the door to open itself far enough for you to grasp the edge of the door to finish pulling it open so you can get in. This needs to happen reliably, and with enough force to work against gravity even when the car is parked uphill or on lateral slope, and without the force or speed of the door opening being enough to injure the person involved, or hurt the thumb/finger that's on the flush button when the door pops open. I can see all sorts of challenges just in designing the system, never mind using it. The protruding handle is, so far, the simplest and most elegant solution.
The retractable handles may or may not do much for drag (I don't know the facts), but they do look very cool. And so long as they show themselves to be reliable and functional over time -- something obviously still unknown -- then I have no problem with a company doing something to the car "because it's cool." So long as they don't sacrifice functionality and quality, adding beauty and coolness to a car is absolutely a positive. Everyone who sees my car loves the handles. Heck, I've had my car for over half a year and I still love the handles.
Cadillac CTS Coupe door handle. The "button" is behind the lip when you slip your fingers in to the opening:
This style looks better on a 2 door coupe. Not sure it would look as good on a sedan.
This is the handle used on the CTS sedan and wagon. It is still a solenoid-activated latch, but with a more conventional handle design that has a "normal" amount of travel when you pull it. My guess is that the aerodynamic drag associated with this handle design is inconsequential compared to the Tesla flush design.
EDIT: for some reason, having problems uploading images...
EDIT 2: there we go...