Freezing rain can be a real pain for any car owner since it essentially turns your vehicle into a single solid block. And before the days when you could preheat your car, you really had no choice but to start physically chipping away at the ice in order to get inside the vehicle, start it and then let it warm up.
Thankfully, in many modern cars you can turn the heating inside on remotely and this will save you a lot of hassle, as well as a few frostbitten fingers. The remote preheating function is especially useful when the vehicle has flush door handles, like the Tesla Model 3 - you would risk damaging the body and paint if you tried to break the ice in order to get the handles to pop out.
But you really don’t have to do any manual labor of any sort to get your completely frozen Model 3 ready for the road (as well as nice and toasty inside). All you have to do is turn on the heating via the Tesla app on your phone, according to this video published on the Tesla Owners Online YouTube channel, shot by Trevor Page in Ontario, Canada.
The time it takes obviously varies depending on how thick the ice is - the thicker it is, the more you have to wait, but in this case a lot of the ice was gone after 30 minutes. Trevor had to wait for another 30 minutes before the front door handles would pop out when pressed; by that time, most of the ice had melted away from the heated glass parts of the greenhouse.
The only real issue that remained after that point had to do with the charging cable. After an hour of letting the car warm itself up, the connector was easily detached with minimal wiggling, but the flap that covers the port did have some trouble closing.
Trevor’s solution to the flap problem is for Model 3 owners to cover the open charge port area with a plastic bag if the weather forecast says freezing rain is expected. It is the trickiest part of the car to defrost properly, so it’s best to prevent it from icing over in the first place.