Frozen Teslas leave drivers out in the cold - but the solution is simpler than you might think

A little elbow grease should free up a frozen Tesla door handle, at least according to the owner's manual
A little elbow grease should free up a frozen Tesla door handle, at least according to the owner's manual Copyright Tesla / Giphy
By Tom Bateman
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The electric cars from California can freeze over in low temperatures, leaving drivers locked out. Luckily, the solution is surprisingly simple.


Sometimes, the best solution is the low tech one.

Tesla owner Matt Smith discovered as much after posting a video of his electric car's frozen door handle.

During the winter, freezing temperatures can cause a Tesla's aerodynamic door handles - which sit flush to the EV's body - to stick, leaving their owners unable to get in.

The issue is well documented, and Tesla's manual for the Model 3 includes a handy guide to solving the issue.

In short: whack it.

Not too hard, though: Tesla suggests using similar force to "knocking on your neighbour's front door" to avoid denting your car.

One response to Smith's predicament came from a Twitter user who recommended getting physical, saying the €56,000 car is "not a Barbie doll".

Other Tesla owners showed off their techniques, from cracking the ice with their fists to using a hairdryer to set the stubborn handle free.

There is a more high-tech solution available. The Tesla manual recommends owners in colder climates remotely preheat the car at least 30-45 minutes before setting off.

The official Tesla app even has a "defrost car" function that can loosen up frozen mirrors, wipers, door handles and even the cover for the EV's charging port.

Frozen door handles could be a particular problem in one of the company's most successful markets.

Last month, figures from the Norwegian Road Federation revealed that Tesla was Norway's best-selling car manufacturer in 2021, accounting for 11.6 per cent of all new vehicle sales in the Nordic country.

EVs overall had their best year yet in Norway, making up 65 per cent of new car sales in 2021.

Norway has long encouraged drivers to go electric with tax incentives, lower road tolls and even free ferry trips for EVs.

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