Ice buildup within the door handle might prohibit the door handle from opening in harsh winter weather. The procedure for removing ice from a Model 3 door handle differs slightly from that of other door handles; you can typically remove the ice by hitting the door handle with the bottom of your fist a few times.
Caution: Before beginning the technique, remove any jewellery or things that could scratch the paint, and avoid using tools or undue force.
Note: Applying WD-40 to the pivot pins of your door handle ahead of time can assist avoid ice formation inside your door handle. See Applying WD-40 to Door Handle Pivot Pins for instructions.
Do the following to get rid of ice from the door handle:
- To open the door handle and release light or moderate ice buildup, press the back-most part of the door handle firmly.
- Working in a circular motion around the outside of the door handle, forcefully bump the door handle with the bottom of your fist to shatter and release the ice buildup.
- Use the bottom of your fist to forcibly bump the door handle, aiming for the backmost end of the wide part of the door handle. Increase the bump intensity as needed, then repeat steps 1 and 2 until the ice is gone and the door handle can be opened.
Caution: Never hit the car so hard that it dents; the force should be comparable to knocking on your neighbor's front door.
- To release any leftover ice buildup, open and close the door handle a few more times once it is able to move. Before entering the car, make sure the door handle is fully pressed in (retracted), and double-check that the door is firmly closed before driving away.
Disclaimer: Tesla, Inc. was not involved in the development of this document and did not provide any input or otherwise edit, review or authorize it.