See How Ice Wins Versus Tesla Model 3

APR 5 2018 BY MARK KANE 69

If you ever wondered how ice and low temperatures like 26 degrees Fahrenheit will affect the Tesla Model 3, after this video from Now You Know … you will know.

How Does Ice Affect the Model 3? (source: Now You Know)

As it turns out, the handles were frozen, but with special treatment, you can make them work.

However, entering vehicles with frameless doors requires lowering the windows electrically prior to opening the doors. To not damage anything, a hair dryer comes in handy.

Sometimes, those folding mirrors need to be cleared of ice too, so they can unfold. This seems like a lot of work.

If the car was charging, you might have trouble closing the charge door too, until the hinge is cleared of ice.

Cold Blast – 2018 Nissan LEAF Driven In Canada At -7°C (19.4 F) Video

Defrosting the windows from snow and ice takes several minutes. After eight minutes, the wipers take over to complete the job.

Plan accordingly and invest in a quality hair dryer if ice is often an issue where you reside.

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69 Comments on "See How Ice Wins Versus Tesla Model 3"

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This confirmed a lot of my Model 3 fears. I’m glad the door handle is manual, but I don’t like the window having to go down/up. I won’t have a hair-dryer to use when I get my car parked at the airport. I’ve never had to blow-dry a car before. I was also concerned about the charge port being finicky and it appears it is. Why didn’t they just make it a manual open?

If you pre-condition the car it will probably be fine. Just like a normal ICE, this is the reason for remote car starters. Also if you tap along the edges on the window it will break the ice bond.

My Subaru is frame less and doesn’t move but has the car has aged I now get a little wind noise from time to time.

Cars built in California, for California…
Frameless door windows are a bad idea.

As for doors getting frozen shut, lubricate the rubber seals with a “seal restorer” (usually silicone based). Your doors will open much easier.

No, pre-condition the car, warm up the cabin, and you’re ok.
BMW i3 does the same thing.
Also, you don’t need to scrap the windows then.

But preheating the cabin isn’t going to help w/ice on the charge port, and I’m guessing not on the exterior of the side windows. Also, this was at 28 degrees, which is a warm winter day where I live. Many days, during winter, my windows won’t go down, and that is after a warm cabin for a long time. It’s just that cold.

I think I’d look into buying a bunch of de-icer and keeping it on hand. It just sucks that Tesla had to make things fancier, which doesn’t work well for harsh conditions. I prefer the KISS approach, which is one of the appeals of a BEV for an ICE car.

Yes preheating makes a big difference with the outside of the windows. Keep in mind single pane glass is not a great insulator.

It doesn’t seem to do much in my cars in the past. Inside of the car can be toasty warm, but the windows are still frozen shut. I also don’t think it’s going to help w/loosening up the side mirrors.

I made no mention of the mirrors, only responded to your comment on the glass. I’m in Minnesota and have had several cars with remote starters. Warming the interior makes a huge difference with ice and show on the glass. There is no debate.

Thanks for your comments, Shaun.

Since my area (Greater Kansas City) is subject to comparatively frequent ice storms, the problem with frameless windows getting frozen shut sounds like a deal-breaker for those in my region. However, the voice of experience speaks louder than my qualms, so that greatly eases my concerns.

K, so what is the problem with the charge port? You will plug this in at the end of your ride not wake up in the middle of the night after a frozen rainstorm to plug in.

Did you watch the video?

Or…Californians freaking out over a little ice on their car!
My i3 (which has the exact same window setup) has never had a blowdryer taken to it. Most of us in places with real winters have scrapers and we’re not afraid to use it on our cars!

Am I hearing this correctly, the door won’t be allowed to open if the window can’t move up and down? Or is it just if you don’t want to damage the seal, but it will still let you open it?

That could be a deal breaker.

To my understanding, frameless doors in general are unable to open unless the window comes down a bit. One of the many reasons I’m not a fan.
Also the constant movement wears the seals fast compared to a framed door, where the window might not move at all for months.

I had a car w/frameless windows, but it didn’t need to do this. The glass just rested/pressed against the seal.

All frameless windows used to be that way, right back to the 70s.

But it seems like all the new ones have the window drop feature. I think because it is easier to get a good seal with less rubber (eg cost reduction).

I had 2 cars (both Benz) and one the 2005 CLK500 had to lower the window to open. The other an older slk did not do it. So i guess some do it and some don’t.

Because is a proud software company and they are preoccupied with thenext bigger touch screen

Yes, all you need to do is pre heat the interior using the App.
This guys wanted youtube hits over just being practical.

Clearly you’ve never parked anywhere that there isn’t any cellular reception…

Exactly. I regularly backcountry ski. Returning to the car at a remote trailhead with no cell reception in tough winter conditions sounds risky.

It is risky! All sorts of animals could get you before reaching your car in that “remote trailhead”.

One shouldn’t have to preheat their $50k – $100k car in order for it to work, let alone just to get the door open. Frameless doors suck. They suck even worse when the window has to be able to go down before opening them.

You can open the door without the window being lowered. It’s just not good on the window seals. That’s why Tesla says not to use the secondary door pulls on the front doors unless necessary — it does not drop the window when you pull them.

They know how to use pre heat. They were just testing all the worst possibilities for information sharing

This is exactly why I don’t like Teslas and will most likely never buy one. Elon insists on being too cute and clever instead of using proven car designs and practices. He over engineers everything and I hate it when people do that.

I’ve never once had to de-ice a car and I’ve lived in a lot of cold places. Even my frameless door Subarus were always fine.

Door handles create a lot of drag. The Model S handle was demonstrated to bust through ice when it opened, defeating this concern; the Model X is a haptic switch, so as long as you can make physical contact, the door will open. If you don’t like the Model III door handles, you should also not buy the Aston Martin Rapide (or however they are doing that trailing E), because Franz v.H. did the same trick on that design before moving on to Tesla.

I have encountered the charge port on my Model S freezing up after a car wash at below freezing temperatures. Yeah, hey, all these inconveniences detailed in this video are legit, but then so is pumping gas in January. The simple fact already stated about pre-heating the car with the mobile app. defeats most of these concerns. I think the charge port is the major exception.

What this video fails to show is the amount of sludge blocking the Tesla radar/ultrasonic sensor array makes the car not too self-driving in Winter.

I highly doubt the drag is significant at all.

> Door handles create a lot of drag.

No they don’t. It’s minuscule compared to the drag that mirrors create, which are required by law.

Flush handles are a fashion statement way more than they are practical.

Most Aston Martin Rapides are not daily drivers slogging through the ice, salt and snow…

Tesla. The company that has no need for prototyping and testing because their customers will put up with everything.

The Mercedes E-Coupe has frameless doors as well. It will lower the window no matter how much ice.

…and eventually damage the window motor. Cool story, bro!

My frameless windows open fine her in Canada. You just need a scraper, no need to warm up.

Finally I.C.E. wins over a Tesla M3!


First of all, 26F is not “low” as temps go. I live near Rochester, NY, where we don’t consider it “low” or “cold” until it’s below 10F or even in negative numbers. Second, this is a horrible design. And the people saying the fix is to preheat the car are being as shortsighted as were Tesla’s designers. At one time, my wife and I had a Toyota Celica with frameless windows, and we would run into this problem. Our solution was to GENTLY pound the window with the side of our fist to break up the ice. Even though it took only a minute or so, it was an annoyance. Finally, the biggest threat to Tesla in the next few years will be the arrival of more (and more conventionally designed) EVs. I don’t want an EV that’s pointlessly weird or cutting edge. I want one that works fine as a normal, modern car, but with electric drive. I suspect a lot of other people see this the same way, and will avoid Tesla and go to the Ford dealership where they’ve bought cars for years and get a FFE (or Nissan and a 60 kWh/TMS-equipped Leaf or…). Musk and… Read more »

..or..a Bolt will work nicely for you. Great conventionally designed car, with a nice electric powertrain.

Watch all the TSLA fanbois gang up on your for mentioning the Bolt in a Tesla article/accuse you of being a fake dup account.

Even when my Bolt was literally iced this past winter, all I would need to do is unlock the car via the FOB/app (door button not usable due to ice), then yank on the door handle. Easy in!

@ Lou: Agreed.

Complication is one reason why I cancelled my Model 3 reservation. I have safety concerns about the display, and now this story adds another issue.

I’m eagerly awaiting the Kia Niro EV.

Yes, I think the safety concerns with the controls/display are all to real.

I’m not in the market for a car that expensive, but it would be a deal breaker if I was.

I’m sure the car is great in many ways but I also think that many of the buyers are in an entranced state.

Frameless windows aren’t a Tesla thing. My last 3 cars were frameless windows, same issue with ice buildup on all of them. It’s a bit of an annoyance but less than having to fill up with gas in the winter. More companies are adding the flush handles so better get used to it.

Also they have these things called garages.

lame, same issues with all cars….. Tesla fever pitch. How bad does this guy want to be on youtube. Start the car from your app and have a coffee. Such a first world problem… really?

He has a pretty healthy following on his channel. He and his son have put out some excellent work.

Seems to be a badly misleading video. Frameless windows/doors for 10 years and I’ve never needed a hairdryer. Not to mention there’s maybe 3 times a winter(in the upper midwest) when there’s that significant of ice buildup it’s even noticeable.

What is misleading here?

Could also have been titled “Why you need A Garage in New England”.


Apparently, they get icy and snowy weather in New England.

Hey – Isn’t that a garage I see in the background?

I don’t understand you question…i thought all Americans keep their junk in the garage and their car parked in the driveway or street.

I can’t speak on behalf of all Americans, but my neighbors and I park our vehicles in the garage.

Why is he not using his Tesla flamethrower to melt that ice? I know he ordered one.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

I know right?!?!?!?


Ooops, Anonymous Troll Man,

I got it wrong. I knew he had a flamethrower – but didn’t pay attention to whether he had the one Elon was selling.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

IMHO, I thought it was a pretty informative video.
Good to know info. I’m at Truckee, Reno, Squaw Valley and Lake Tahoe often.

LOL…make sure you ware your sunscreen. The winters can be brutal there.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

The wipers……
Seems kind of sh1tty he had to swipe twice to get to the wiper control then had to touch it a few time to activate.

Just my Trollpinion.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Distracted driving bu design?

So, the model 3 can’t handle being parked outside when it’s freezing?

I never had to pre-warm or use air dryer to open either my Nissan eNV 200 (frames) or my Subaru Outback (frameless). Sometimes the Subaru stuck to the window padding, but could be coerced to let lose.

I’ve nerver seen this issue before (and yes, where I live we still have snow on the ground).

I do think the majority of his issue would have been solved if he just preheated for the 5 minutes BEFORE he got outside. I would think most owners would do that if they left the car outside.

One question and two comments:
Q: Can the wipers be left sticking out (so they don’t freeze to the windshield)?
C1: Keep door seals lubricated with silicone lube
C2: Close 2 layers of wax paper between door and frame to ensure it will open after a good ice storm.

Sure…I am at work and ready to go home and golly gee let me run and find a hairdryer are work. ” Hey boss can I borrow that extension cord for my hair dryer”. I owned a VW Eos that had windows that performed the same way and I am glad I leased that baby because here in Maine when I needed to get in that car in an emergency I am not waiting for a hair dryer. I pulled that door open and took off. Poor sucker who got that car after me likely had window issues. I hate these type of windows.

American Taxpayers funded junk …

Apparently Russian troll farms will hire literally anyone. 🙄

One wonders why a frameless window was really needed on the M3 in the first place.

Frameless windows look great on coupes, convertibles and those now rare hard tops without a “B” pillar. But the don’t really do much for a sedan. Most people open the door with the window up anyway.

Funny how he uses the screen to activate the vipers, certainly the viper handle on the steering wheel must be a lot quicker to use 🙂

He went out of his way to make it more complicated than it had to be, that’s for sure.

Frameless windows are crap and don’t solve anything.

I agree, they suck…but not for this “issue”. What i hate the most is that, no matter how much you care not to close the door by pushing on the window, they still rattle after some time. I do not see their purpose.