Certain Tesla models suffer stuck, frozen door handles this time of year, but a new device aims to solve that issue.
As covered by Jalopnik, the problem concerns the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y. These models have sleek, flush door handles that lack the motorized mechanism seen on the Model X and Model S. When temperatures get below freezing, it only takes a little condensation to freeze over them and jam them shut. With no protrusions to grab onto, it can be quite difficult to open the doors. Owners have experimented with everything from a deft knock with a fist, to using hairdryers to melt the ice. However, a new stick-on door handle available on Amazon aims to eliminate the problem entirely.
The part is a simple piece of plastic that gives the Tesla a more typical door handle you can actually grab on to. Instead of having to press in to lever out the other side of the handle, the stick-on device gives you something to grab onto and pull. The handles come in a set of four.
The handles attach to the original Tesla door handles using a long strip of 3M adhesive tape. After installation, it's recommended not to wash the vehicle for a few days, to allow the tape to bond properly. This may sound like a flimsy solution, however, the tape attaches along the full length of the door handle. Plus, due to the design of the Tesla handles, as one pulls on the handle, it rotates, and you're basically pressing down on the other side. It's unlikely a set of these handles will last the life of the vehicle, but it's conceivable that they could hold up for a single winter season.
Obviously, Tesla chose to use flush door handles for a reason. Outside of the aesthetic benefits, they also provide an aerodynamic advantage in terms of drag reduction. With that said, don't expect these stick-on handles to affect your range too negatively. In the winter conditions they're designed for, the cold will play a much greater role in reducing the car's range.
The stick-on handles are available in a variety of colors, and cost around $30 to $50 depending on which Amazon seller you buy from. Reviews are limited, but the basic concept appears sound. If you've tried them out on your own car, be sure to sound off in the comments below.
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