Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Saw VIN 184XX, highest VIN I’ve seen: headlights still not flush with body

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,364
14,041
West Vancouver, British Columbia
I looked for the thread for posting VINs spotted but could not find it. I see a lot of Model 3s in my area; last week in just 40 minutes on the 280/85 freeways I saw 5. This morning in San Mateo I got an up close look at VIN 184XX (I’m not giving the exact VIN) and overall it looked great. But the headlight enclosures still don’t properly align with the bumper, an issue I have noticed in varying degrees with every Model 3 I’ve seen up close. Here are some photos, first of the car (with mine in the background) then of the left headlight (which is almost a flush fit but a bit high on the side) and then the right headlight (which is about 1/4” off all along the curve back towards the wheel). It’s a small thing, but I remain disappointed that Tesla can’t seem to get it right.

31D92823-9752-4BEB-A8B1-39AA2032B871.jpeg


ED636AE7-E4BE-4E73-B5EC-7B189DC45D5E.jpeg


601DF5BA-6C51-4F93-8059-D2528490EFB7.jpeg
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,364
14,041
West Vancouver, British Columbia
I thought it was posted before that the headlights pretruding like that on the bottom side is done by design to cool the headlight housing.
If so, I have yet to see a 3 where the housings both were protruding out the same amount.

However, I don’t find that theory credible: the headlights are all LEDs which produce no heat. And how would having them stick out a quarter of an inch along the bottom edge effect their interior temperature?

The reason the housings stick out by varying amounts is simply because they just don’t fit correctly.
 

juanmedina

Active Member
Mar 31, 2016
2,312
6,056
SC
If so, I have yet to see a 3 where the housings both were protruding out the same amount.

However, I don’t find that theory credible: the headlights are all LEDs which produce no heat. And how would having them stick out a quarter of an inch along the bottom edge effect their interior temperature?

The reason the housings stick out by varying amounts is simply because they just don’t fit correctly.


I don't known man. Search the forums that's what the Tesla service techs told some guy.
 

MattMatt

Member
Aug 12, 2016
75
205
Los Angeles, CA, USA
However, I don’t find that theory credible: the headlights are all LEDs which produce no heat.

Just to be clear LED's produce plenty of heat, not nearly as much as incandescent or halogen, and not in the IR light spectrum, but you need beefy heatsinks for high output LEDs. Look at 1000 lumen bicycle lights and such, plenty of effort goes into designing the heatsink to keep the LED cool.

If you want to dive down the rabbit hole, check out the wikipedia page on the topic.
 

azred

Active Member
Apr 12, 2016
1,906
2,219
Chandler, AZ
I thought it was posted before that the headlights pretruding like that on the bottom side is done by design to cool the headlight housing.
I posted that comment after being told so by three Tesla mechanics. And they were emphatic about it. I had several fit and finish issues and none were disputed except this one.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Esme Es Mejor

vinnie97

#WalkAway
Jul 24, 2014
1,110
392
southwest
You can verify for yourself how prone to heat production even 5w LED bulbs are by handling one after being powered on for 5-10 minutes within an enclosed fixture. The LEDs used within the Model 3 are many times brighter so do the math...
 

juanmedina

Active Member
Mar 31, 2016
2,312
6,056
SC
Elon talked about the measuring stick being wrong vs the model 3 SPEC. What is the spec for the headlights? Flush or protruding? How do we find that out factually?

On the letter Elon said that they need to be working to get that point....

Send him a tweet and see if he replies.
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,364
14,041
West Vancouver, British Columbia
Okay, I stand corrected, the headlight LEDs produce some heat. However, my 2017 Model X has all LED headlights and they do not protrude from the body, they are flush.

I do not find it credible that having the Model 3 headlight enclosures protrude 1/4” along the lower edge would somehow cool the LEDs to any significant degree. And of the approximately a dozen Model 3s that I have ran my fingers along the edges of the headlight enclosures, the amount they protrude has varied from almost undetectable to 1/4”, and the amount is almost always quite asymmetrical.
 

Rashomon

Member
Mar 10, 2014
260
1,233
East Troy, WI
If so, I have yet to see a 3 where the housings both were protruding out the same amount.

However, I don’t find that theory credible: the headlights are all LEDs which produce no heat. And how would having them stick out a quarter of an inch along the bottom edge effect their interior temperature?

The reason the housings stick out by varying amounts is simply because they just don’t fit correctly.

LED lights are more efficient and generate much less waste heat than incandescent lights. Fortunately for them, incandescent lights project most of that waste heat away in infrared light (IR) in the beam itself — which is why they can act as heat lamps, and why cooling isn’t a big issue. (Melting plastic headlight lens if they’re too close to the bulb can be a problem, however). LEDs have essentially zero IR in their beam so you have to get rid of the heat by conduction and convection. Also, most LEDs fry if you get them much over 85C. All-in-all, that makes cooling LED headlights a huge problem, enough so that many early ones had fans. The biggest problem is cooling when a vehicle is sitting still with lights on, with no airflow other than from natural convection. If you want to avoid a fan, that requires well designed heat sinks and space for air to move by natural convection.
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top