Tesla Model X Falcon Wing Doors vs Garage Door – With Solution – Video

FEB 9 2016 BY MARK KANE 33

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X – image form 2012

Back in 2012, Tesla Motors claimed that the Model X Falcon Wing doors would fit most garages.

But in the end, as noted in one of the recent reviews, the uploader noted that in his case, the Falcon Wing doors can’t be fully opened when garage doors are closed.

But that isn’t the worst part of the problem, and this is something we ourselves had not considered when originally watching Tesla demonstrations of the Model X operating inside garages.

The problem issue is that if/when you open the Falcon Wing doors, and then open the previously closed garage door to exit the garage thereafter, the doors on the cars can be contacted by the garage door if still open at this point.

A solution for this problem is making the garage door smart by adding additional sensors and a relay.

Here is the quick DIY solution:

How to protect the Tesla Model X Falcon Wings from a moving garage door

Tesla Model X vs. Garage Door

Tesla Model X vs. Garage Door

One of the issues with the Falcon wing doors, at least in my garage, is that when the garage door is closed the Falcon Wing doors extended above the door’s track. So if you out of habit happen open the garage door after opening the Falcon Wing doors, you will have a bad day.

Sure the force limit sensor on the door, if set properly, is supposed to stop the door after impact – but not before leaving a mark.

At first I thought to add additional normal garage door sensors , but they only stop the garage door while it is closing. Our concern is with the garage door opening.

To work around this issue, I ordered two pieces of equipment. A reflective sensor and and AC outlet relay that could cut the power to the garage door.

Seco-Larm E-931-S35RRQ Enforcer Indoor/Outdoor Wall Mounted Photoelectric Beam Sensor

Iot Relay – Enclosed High-power Power Relay

12V DC Power-Supply
Four-wire cable

I mounted the reflective sensor on the wall – above normal walking height but below the garage door track – and wired it up to the AC outlet relay.

Now, as soon as either Falcon Wing door is raised, the sensor beam is triggered and power to the garage door is cut, causing the garage door to stop immediate. As soon as the Falcon Wing door is lowered, the garage door can be activated again.

One drawback with this simple solution, is that IF after you get home you start closing the garage door and then open the Falcon Wing door. The power to the garage door will be cut, even though the Falcon Wing door is in no danger. As soon as the falcon wing door is closed, you can continue to close the garage. Small price to pay for some peace of mind.”

Categories: Tesla


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33 Comments on "Tesla Model X Falcon Wing Doors vs Garage Door – With Solution – Video"

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Use two sensors in parallel, one for the garage door in a “not safe” position and one for the Tesla doors in a “not safe” position. This way if you are closing your garage door, opening the Tesla doors won’t be an issue. It will also allow you to open the garage door to a safe point even though your Tesla doors are already open.

A better solution would be leaving the falcon wing doors off the Model X.

In addition to garage door interference issues, the falcon doors eliminate the utility of the Model X roof for cargo, making it more a luxury minivan than an SUV.

Ultimately, these doors will be seen as a problem to a solution to a problem that never existed.

+1 I would have loved to have a Model X 70D but because of the Falcon wing doors and the goofy windshield I will not.

I promise you the falcon wing doors are a solution to a problem that DOES exist in the real world of CUVs (though perhaps not typical Tesla owners thus far). When you are your children’s primary carer and want to use a normal sized parking space, you’ll understand.

If you want to go adventuring off road, up some mountain track, don’t complain your Model X wasn’t designed well for that, it wasn’t designed at all for that. It is suppose to be one of the uber-safe 4×4’s that NEVER leave the road (BMW X5, MB GLC, Volvo XC60/90, VW Tureg, Range Rover, etc…), except when parking on the curb outside your kids’ school that is. 😉

Disclaimer: Range Rovers inparticular are actually good off road, but in the vast majority of cases that is not what they are used for.

Two kids and two mini-vans later, I had ZERO issues with sliding rear doors and considered them a godsend when trying to load infants in car seats into the middle row seats.

A few years later when the kids could get in/out on their own, the powered sliding doors saved our other cars’ doors untold dings in our tight garage (and numerous other cars out in public).

The ultra tight parking space Tesla used as an example where falcon doors might be superior is a moot point to me. I wouldn’t park my X next to such an ass-hat who would later ding my $100,000 vehicle when they tried to get in their car!

Only problem is you are driving a mini-van. Only a specific group wants to do that.

That’s what the Model X is. A minivan, but an electric one.

Yeah I had (have) no issues with driving a van. In fact, I made my living for many years driving a company one (also with sliding rear doors). GREAT form factor with incredible utility. My only dislike was the fuel economy (18mpg in town).

I really don’t care for a chrysler and my kids are grown but I cheer their new PHEV van.

Sliding doors were rejected on aerodynamic grounds. If someone could solve that it would be quite a solution.

And that’s why I wish the 3 would have sliders, like the Renault 1007 did.

I just want to carry 2 kayaks on the roof. The falcon doors preclude that and I’ll stick with my statement that falcon doors are a problem trying to be a solution.

It is likely you would not reach next supercharger on highway with cargo on roof. Drag would kill range. So it is better to eliminate possibility of it.

As for the doors, opening to sides in typical narrow garage isn’t convenient either. The proper solution for Tesla would be never open these wings so high that they would go above opened garage doors. They have all kind of sensors in the car and should be able to figure it out when it is needed. Then you may bump your head to these wings though :/

I dunno, I can go on SC trips with a 12′ paddle board strapped to the roof of my MS–cannot see kayaks being that much worse since the SUP acts like a big wing

I have no problem with falcon wing doors in my garage.

I think the Falcon wing doors look awesome and it seems really handy when putting children in the car. The x is an awesome car but obviously besides the high price not to everyone’s liking. So be it.

I do think they sometimes seem a little flappy or unstable when opening or closing fully. Hope tesla won’t need to repare lots of broken doors in the future, if it’s under warranty that would be bad for business….

kosee said:

“I do think they sometimes seem a little flappy or unstable when opening or closing fully.”

If you could expand on that, give some details, I’d appreciate it.


This wasn’t the first car to have issues.

My 2011 volt’s hatchback door opens SO HIGH it hits the underside of the garage door and will scrape the paint if the garage door is attemted to be closed.

My workaround? Open the garage door fully before opening the hatchback, and close the hatchback door prior to closing the garage.

My CMax hatch is electronic and can be programmed to autostop and not hit the low garage door.

The hatch on the MS works the same way.

They just released SW to provide intermediate opening positions for the FWD–I can see them making that location aware in the future like the do with Homelink and the air suspension.

Clever solution.

My garage is so low that anyone egressing from the back would have to crawl out from under the falcon wings.

OTA software updates (Feb 8-9, 2015) to have new opening positions and ability to stop at any point. OTA for the win. Stuck with some goofy UI stuff on both my 2011 and 2016 Volts. Wish they did OTA updates and fixed problems the masses found or consider problems that GM didn’t.
Tesla X OTA info:

I was certain there would be some unforeseen problems with falcon-wing doors in the garages of MX owners. Interesting to learn what one of those problems is.

Seems like a great opportunity for someone to design and sell an IoT Wifi controlled Door Opener solution, that talks to your Tesla and vice versa.


A magnetic proximity sensor (used on CNC machines for instance) would solve the problem if mounted on the top of the garage door. You’d just need good moving cable management… 😉


This is too expensive of a solution!!

The better (and much cheaper) solution is to attach a furing strip to the underside of the garage door track. This way the FWD’s will stop right below the height of the opened garage door.

Saw the idea on TMC somewhere.

Couldn’t he also back into the garage or use summons to back into the garage, instead of pulling in nose first? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

We could do this project with simpler mechanical limit switches, too, but?

Tesla’s whole approach is automation, doing it for you, a moniker of a generation. For me, rolling up sleeves is mental therapy. I’m in that dwindling 5-10%. Many in that other 90+% might see coolness outweighed by intimidation.

It would be difficult to mount limit switches to detect the Falcon Door and you would need 2 of them. Also, it’s better to have non-contact switches.

Just park your car in reverse.

Should give you enough space to open the garage door safely.

Well, Tesla should have designed a Tesla branded garage door opener (and doors while they are at it) for this specific application.

Just imagine how many orgasm it would give to those Tesla fans/owners when they see the big red T logo light up when the garage door opener is in operation.

If the Model X was available with both falcon wing and conventional doors, how many customers would choose the former?

Unless Tesla starts offering an option for another rear door style, I guess we’ll never know.

All this talk about the falcon doors is very interesting from the standpoint of the social and maybe also brain sciences. We humans are a species of habit and things that are different from earlier things are automatically seen as negative in the initial phase.