Too hot to "handle"?

Just had my model S for a month, and I've noticed that when I park my car outdoors at work (so about 8 hours) in the california sun, the door handles facing the sun are really too hot to grab on to and pull. I give 'em a quick yank and let go.

I've never seen this written up anywhere else.
Not sure I can even think of anything to do about it (open the door with a towel?)
So just an observation of something not perfect about the design.

What do the folks in Arizona do?? Not park outside?


@sack, even in the NW (Oregon) today it was 90° sunshine and my wife yelped OUCH when she opened her door on the sunny side.

As a previous thread title went (I believe) "Holy Hot Handles Batman"!

I live in Arizona. Pardon me if I don't offer appropriate sympathy. :)

I remember someone mentioning applying Velcro (loops) to the inside surface of the handle to keep from getting burned.

You used to be able to lower the windows with the FOB so you could open the door from the inside, but for reasons they've never explained, Tesla took that away. Maybe if enough of us complain about the hot handle problem, which has been commented on extensively here on the forum, Tesla will bring that feature back with a touchscreen option to use it or not.

@stevenmaifert, supposedly the reason for removing the window lowering feature was that people were accidentally having the key fob pressed while in their pocket, but since they also removed the feature from the mobile phone app, that indicates it was apparently for a different reason.

I pull on the handle with one finger and do it very quickly...

On my MS at least, when I precool and walk up to the car, there is cool air blowing out around the handle. I suspect this is by design. It would thaw the handle in winter. I would just start the cooling 5-10 minutes early if it's a hot sunny day. Oh, I guess most of them are in Cali.

I tried a different type of tape or coating on each handle (silicone tape, felt furniture pad tape, plasti-dip, and velcro tape). After a year the felt furniture tape is still working well, the others didn't work very well. The velcro tape was good at first but the adhesive didn't last as long.

another thread,

I recall a couple more threads were out there at some point.
I also recall somebody reporting (on TMC, I think) that they had the handles vinyl wrapped (for appearance) and that reduced the heat problem as well.

A possible so-so solution could be to make sure that you park such that the door you want to open is not facing the sun. Then once inside if you need to open both sides of the car the person who gets in on the cool side of the car can open the hot door from inside.

@Rocky_H - That's the word on the street. I think if they returned it with an option on the settings menu to turn it on or off, everybody would be happy.

@stevenmaifert, I agree. Yes, optional would have been good, instead of just taking away that functionality completely.

Park in the shade and walk a bit further if needed, that way you get some exercise and keep them cool.

Suggesting that parking your car in a different position or location is a solution for the hot door handles is merely an indication of kool-aid addiction.

I love my car, but Tesla should have fixed this long ago. This problem has existed for 2 years and there is no evidence of Tesla addressing it, other than giving lip service. A simple insulating insert (as demonstrated by the DIY approaches using velcro or felt tape) would solve the problem.

Hope it won't take a lawsuit for 2nd degree burn to make the company fixed the issue. People with certain medical conditioners cannot feel and or react as quicly. TM should do domething about it.

I carefully put some gaffers tape on the inside of the handles. It has a nice non-slip feel and it's thin unlike velcro or felt tape. It works wonders in the Arizona summer. This is summer number 2 and it's still working great.

@minervo.florida | JULY 17, 2014:

"Park in the shade and walk a bit further if needed"

I often park in unshaded spots to avoid having sap or other debris fall from a tree on my car.

So I think this hot-handles issue remains a design flaw thing.

Ron :)

Well, Jaguar solved this by putting cheap, hollow plastic door handles on the XJ sedan. One touch creeped me out. It felt cheap and not at all like 96k. I guess as a native Zonie, I'm used to hot surfaces, because this has never bothered me with any car. If this really is an issue, just buy a pair of white cotton gloves and put one in your pocket. OTOH, you could approach your car and just say, "Open the pod bay door, HAL." :)

What do you mean? Doesn't your butler open the door for you? (He wears white gloves all time, anyway.)

Cindy123 got an upgraded handle, sweet!

Pre-cool via the app is usually sufficient on a hot CA day. I don't linger on opening if I've forgotten that step.

Forced to frequently spend business time in Texas the hot door handle has sometimes been a problem. For some time I pulled down the sleeve to my jacket and through the cloth grabbed the hot handle. However, I found a more perminent fix. That is to take a role of electrical tape and line the inside of the crome grip with a couple of layers of tape. Little warm, but no burn.

Carry a pot holder!

( chrome )

I've had my Tesla for a year now & I've never thought that the handles get that warm, let alone hot? I park in the sun at work everyday in the San Gabriel Valley (Los Angeles suburbs). Y'all must have sissy hands :)


The automotive industry has been manufacturing vehicles for over a century with all manner of metal, polished metal and even chrome door handles, yet there's been nary much of any, if at all, complaint about the handles being too hot from the Sun, so you'll have to excuse me if I question your motives in coming here to question Tesla Motors about theirs.

So have you some ulterior motive to your efforts here? Perhaps more of the same belittlement that some have been visiting upon Tesla Motors since they managed to do what a great many others said could not be done in bringing a market viable EV to the World?

Just trying to decipher your rationale for your effort here.

I mentioned this on another thread, had my door handles wrapped in matching pearl white: looks good and no burns. My wrapper charged me 10 minutes labor each door pull
old burt

I live in Phoenix where it's searing hot- everything gets super hot. On my car the door handles present themselves and open so quickly when I touch/pull the handles that I don't get burned. Yes, it' ho

Are your handles functioning properly?

We went to a meet and greet in Phoenix last Saturday and I was amazed how hot the door handles got on the 25 or so Model S's. I got my Vin today and one of the first things I will do is put some tape inside the door handles, that should do the trick.

@just an allusion, as you know the handles are retracted into the body and do not get air circulation that would help cool the handle. Darker body colors will exacerbate the situation since the handles are in close proximity to the body. This is unique to Tesla and I believe they should consider a plastic insert inside the handles. Have not noticed this issue on our Florida car which is white!

Chrome and/or stainless can cause SERIOUS burns, ask any boater

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