With winter weather starting to arrive in the United States, several owners of Tesla’s entry-level Model 3 are finding flaws with several components that seem to be affected by the combination of low temperatures and precipitation, with the issues ranging from inconvenient to alarming.
The mildest of these problems is an automatic wiper feature that some owners have found to be intermittently functional. With precipitation increasing in some parts of North America as winter sets in, this issue could be inconvenient for a lot of owners, although manual activation of the wipers still remains a somewhat obnoxious option.
Our research discovered that one reddit user recently complained that because the wipers are hidden beneath the hood, they can’t be pulled away from the windshield manually to stop them from icing in place, much like you would in a normal car. Additionally, the wiper blades’ length means they have trouble dealing with heavy slush or ice on the windshield.
Another issue reported by at least one owner has to do with the underbody. According to the social media post below, their Model 3’s composite underbody shield has separated from the car, sagging low enough to scoop up slush from the road in significant quantities.
However, one of the most common complaints we discovered from Model 3 owners so far, is that the car’s flush door handles can ice over, therefore limiting access to the handle itself. Unlike the automatic wipers, not being able to get into your own car is certainly a huge and somewhat dangerous inconvenience. And even if the handles don’t freeze, some have found that the Model 3’s frameless windows are freezing shut. And because the window fits between a trim piece along the roof’s edge, opening the door itself can be a challenge if the window freezes closed. If for some reason your force your door open, closing it again with the window frozen up will cause an air or water leak, as the window pane may not be able to duck underneat the chrome window liner.
Ironically, one victim of these cold weather issues is the editor of Tesla fansite Electrek: Frederic Lambert. Lambert took to social media to share some of his own frustrations with his Model 3 and the cold weather.
Not all Model 3 owners face cold-weather issues such as these, some of which may be related to giving their cars inadequate time to thaw out before driving, though word of the issues is rapidly making its way around owners’ circles.
Some Model 3 owners affected by the freezing issues may want to look into another product from an Elon Musk-run company—with at least one having repurposed a Boring Company flamethrower to clear snow from their car.
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