By Mia Yamauchi
The frozen charge port – the bane of the winter months for EV drivers in colder climes. In frustration and desperation, several solutions have been offered on the Tesla Forums, with varying degrees of advisability.
Here at Plugless, we’ve come up with a way to avoid the problem all together with hands free charging. It doesn’t need the charge port, period.
Those still using plugs can check out some of the rather interesting solutions Tesla owners have suggested to combat ice:
Punching Your Tesla
Strangely enough, commenters on a Tesla forum and the unofficial Tesla Motors Club both claim that employees from Tesla recommended various physical blows to un-stick their charge port door. A comment from “Sklancha” recounted a situation in which a “thick layer of ice coated the entire car” when they were caught in an ice storm on a road trip. They had no access to hairdryers or other possible solutions. Sklancha claims that Tesla technical support directed them to “punch the door with side of fist–not too hard, but enough to break the ice.” Then slide a credit card under the door. They claim that it worked.
A comment from the aplty-named “Thumper” on the Tesla Motors Club forum claims that a Tesla technician once recommended “karate chopping” a particular spot near the charge port hinge. He said it made a stubborn door “pop right open.”
Before kung fuing your car, remember that ice and aluminum are harder than skin. And also that paint touch-ups are expensive. To be clear, we don’t recommend punching your Tesla.
Blow Drying Your Model S Charge Port
User “Ampfreak” on a Tesla forum said that unfreezing the port with a hairdryer worked fine at home, but added that “it can be a problem if you’re out in nature.”
Pouring Lukewarm Water Over the Model S Charge Port Door (Not Hot or Boiling!)
Pouring warm water over a frozen charge door was suggested by post author “Jesskidog” on a Tesla forum. Volt owner and Model 3 reservation holder “Yarblek” member wisely points out to to use only luke-warm water on a Tesla Reddit.
Prying Frozen Model S Charge Door Open with A Key
User “Sule” offers the simple solution of prying a frozen charge port door open with a small key. We would caution against trying to pry open a high voltage port door with a metal object. It also sounds like a simple way to scratch your paint.
3D Printing Your Own Tesla Logo Shaped Ice Scraper / Door Opener
Image credit: moiderizer
Got a 3D printer at home? You can download a template for a 3D printed Tesla ice scraper. It is actually a plastic Tesla-logo-shaped cookie cutter with a handle. Tesla forum commentators recommended using it to scrape ice and pry open frozen charge ports. Several comment authors on the Tesla Reddit seemed quite excited. User “Supratachophobio” exclaimed that they were “going to 3-D print these immediately.” At least if it doesn’t work as an ice scraper Tesla owners can make some great, brand-loyal cookies
Heated Model S Charge Door Retrofit
User “Bchachb” on the Tesla forum came up with the idea of a retrofitted charge port door with some kind of self-defrosting capability. That would be great…if it existed. The user may just have a great business idea.
Helpful folks including “Dborn” from Australia and “Gagstesla” from Southern California welcomed snowbound Tesla owners with open arms. “Move here!” was their solution to iced over charge ports. Trading sleet for sunshine doesn’t sound all that bad, right?
Skipping the Charge Port With Wireless Charging for Model S
If you’re tired of MacGyvering solutions to iced-over charge ports, there is a better way. Get hands-free wireless charging with Plugless. Your Tesla will think it’s plugged in (video) and you’ll be charging in any weather without the hassle of dealing with the plug or charge port. This is the way your Tesla was meant to charge.