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Older Gen Model S - door retainer clips

Hey guys,

Anyone know where to get the door panel retention clips for the older cars? I have a 2012 Signature Model S and went to Tesla to get retention clips because my door handle paddle gear broke. The clips they said are for my vehicle are actually not for my vehicle and trying to force it into my vehicle is going to break the clips or the hole in the door panel.

I called Tesla parts after realizing, and the one time I got to the service centre - they said they’re not sure if the clips are different and will call me back and then never did. Now, they never pick up their phone. Dealing with Tesla out of warranty is a nightmare. I said they can remove the door panel themselves (takes me 5 mins because it’s so loose), try replacing the clips and see that they don’t fit, I’ll pay for the 10 minutes it’ll take to do it because they don’t believe there’s a different clip. They said nope, they charge $210 to diagnose the issue, that’s before labour or parts. Flat rate $210 to even look at the car. Yet they’re the ones arguing with me that it’s the same retention clips, after I sent pictures they stopped responding.

Anyway, so here’s the clips. I found a video of them in Rich Rebuild’s old vehicle door handle replacement.

Here’s the video:

Here’s the screen shot I took of the clips, the same in my car:

1E620A8D-938D-4537-8E29-2FB0232E3CD0.png

C56302C5-B683-4A61-B816-15011660A993.png


Here’s the clips they gave me, that the newer cars seem to use:


B375CF26-1AC6-471B-88AF-7172A75B1FB4.jpeg



And here’s how my door panel sits when trying to use the clips they give me:


D444697C-C1DD-4BA0-9749-75C036F6D10F.jpeg


Does anyone know what actual clips the older vehicles use? Every time I try smacking it in as Tesla suggests a part of the retainer clip falls onto the ground. If I continue doing it I’m going to ruin the hole that the actual clips go in, if I haven’t already, and then we have a bigger problem.

I’ve tried calling other service centres nearby and none of them ever pick up, it just says to use the app and hangs up. The app, they don’t respond.

Or, if anyone has a part number for those older, longer, slimmer retention clips, that would also be helpful!
 
Have you tried an auto parts store, pretty sure they aren't uncommon. May have to pop one out of another door in order to have a sample with you.

Yeah, I might have to take that route.

The issue is I've opened and closed the door panel so many times now trying to get this to fit that I'm worried about breaking a wire or something at this point. That's why I'm willing to have them replace the door, if they charge me the 10 mins labour (takes me 5) to remove 3 screws, pull out the clips and put in new ones and re-install, especially if you're experts.

However my service centre wants $210 CAD to 'diagnose the issue' before charging for parts and labour to fix the issue. It's infuriating, and they don't even realize that the older cars have different clips (which is why I want them to do it in the first place).

However, upon browsing this forum - I was able to find this:

interior door frame panel holes in Tesla Model S 2014 are 5/16" (8mm) not 8.5. It's 5/16" since you can't get an 8mm to fit but almost. Most of the clips mentioned in this thread are for 8.5mm holes. There are clips for 5/16" and 8mm. Also color of the clips for 8mm holes are deep blue, not turquoise. I think this is better fit although white in color: D9539 - Tesla Clip [D9539] - $0.74 : Bel-Metric, Metric Hardware, Metric Fasteners, Metric Bolts, Metric Nuts & Time-Sert Thread Repair

Upon clicking on the link, it gives me an OEM part # 1015977-00-A. So that should help. It's ridiculous that the service center doesn't even have access to the fact that they changed parts on their own vehicle. This is about the third or 4th time they gave me the wrong part.
 
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I suggest you try going to either a auto upholstery shop or a auto glass shop to see if they don't have a door panel clip that may work. These shops have to remove door panels often and usually have replacement door panel clips to replace broken clips.
Never seen the older clips on your door card. Have you considered enlarging the holes in the door so the new type of clips can fit?

The issue is the newer clips also seem to be shorter. As you can see on the current clips there's a round part that limits how much of the clip can actually fit into the door panel.

I was hoping Tesla is able to find the part themselves, as I'm not 100% sure if the previous posters part is the same for the 2012 Model S. I will keep you guys updated on when/if I'm able to secure it so if anyone else faces this issue, they'll know where to go. Until then, I guess I'm driving the car like this.

If anyone wants to know what it's like to repair an older Tesla, feel free to ask me as I've taken so many aspects of this car apart with Tesla giving me the wrong parts .🤣

The service centers, aside from their atrocious diagnostic fee for every problem - really needs to keep better records of their own cars. How can you be fighting with the customer stating the clips given are the same when he's literally there with his car that has different clips and you won't even open the door panel to look at it without being paid $210. Scammers.
 
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To add my 2 cents for any newbie reading this and to provide backstory(I'm sure @JSD17 knows this already), those door panel "heart clips" are rated for a specific force rating. Every time we take the door panel on/off, those clips are weakened a bit. As any tinkerer knows, we only replace the clips when we accidentally break one (and I suspect Tesla Service is no different). Tesla's own service manual specifically say to replace the door clips after every use to ensure the 70lb retention rating. This is so when the airbags go off or the car is hit, the door panels remain in the door and not fly through the air as a projectile.

I have a 2012 as well and my rear door is the only one that uses the rounded clips you posted in your hand and the panel attaches just fine. All of the other doors have the original clips in your first picture and snap into a plastic insert in the door metal. I think if you remove the plastic retainer inserts in the door, the new rounded ones will fit.

From Tesla's parts catalogue, the new part in your hand picture is:
CLIP, HEART FLEX W WSHR 70 LBS RETENTION1025401-00-A

If any of this is wrong, feel free to correct me since I do NOT work for Tesla and am only going off my experience.
 
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To add my 2 cents for any newbie reading this and to provide backstory(I'm sure @JSD17 knows this already), those door panel "heart clips" are rated for a specific force rating. Every time we take the door panel on/off, those clips are weakened a bit. As any tinkerer knows, we only replace the clips when we accidentally break one (and I suspect Tesla Service is no different). Tesla's own service manual specifically say to replace the door clips after every use to ensure the 70lb retention rating. This is so when the airbags go off or the car is hit, the door panels remain in the door and not fly through the air as a projectile.

I have a 2012 as well and my rear door is the only one that uses the rounded clips you posted in your hand and the panel attaches just fine. All of the other doors have the original clips in your first picture and snap into a plastic insert in the door metal. I think if you remove the plastic retainer inserts in the door, the new rounded ones will fit.

From Tesla's parts catalogue, the new part in your hand picture is:
CLIP, HEART FLEX W WSHR 70 LBS RETENTION1025401-00-A

If any of this is wrong, feel free to correct me since I do NOT work for Tesla and am only going off my experience.

It seems you are correct, that's exactly what Tesla told me about removing the piece in the door. Wish I came back to check this sooner but I was calling around all day, haha.

Alright, I have found a solution for anybody in the future that reads this. I haven't tested this yet but after calling around multiple service centers, finally someone spoke to a tech that knew what was going on. Allegedly, cannot confirm as I have not tried it yet and am going to get a different service center to do the work as they only charge 15 minutes labour with no diagnostic - what a difference a new location makes, only 30 mins away too.

So basically, the reason the parts catalogue only shows that one trim clip is because it (allegedly) WILL work on the older vehicles. The old door panel retention clip was actually a two-part clip. So there's one side that goes in from the panel, and the second side (that round piece on the window side of the door panel that it goes into. You're supposed to remove that round piece and that is what will give clearance for the new trim piece to enter. So, that's why they only sell 1 clip and everyone tells you it fits, they're not actually aware that there's a second component to the old clip.

The issue is I've been pushing against the clip so much because Tesla kept telling me you can push it in, that now on the door panel side, the one where you insert the clip on the part you lift off seems a little bent. It should be okay, but do not want to risk damaging it any further than it needs to be, or finding out the tech was wrong and then opening and closing and risking bending another wire. I'm going to get Tesla to replace the door panel and re-install it. Hopefully they'll be able to do that without trying to gouge me for something else (i.e, door panel clip holder slightly bent, need to replace entire door). It seems almost too good to be true that they're only charging 15 minutes of labour (even though it's like a 5 min job) based on my experience with them.

So, as of right now it seems the solution is to take out the round part of the clip from the door connected part of the door panel. If anyone can confirm in the future that it works, it'd be great.
 
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I've been through this on the S, but I can't guarantee what your 2012 uses. It's likely these slightly smaller green clips: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07QXDTY2B . The newer years (like my 2017) still use these for the rear hatch and a few other places.

These are the slightly larger white clips in the doors and trim panels in case anyone is looking: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B09SF4Z373/

This might work, but I believe the original clips were 8mm. You might be able to squeeze these in also, but the actual procedure seems to be to take the door-attached circular part off and use the current clips (the second link you sent)
 
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