The Tesla Model 3 offers many convenience-focused features, but it can also be susceptible to certain issues, such as a door that’s difficult to close. So what can you do if your Tesla Model 3’s door isn’t closing? We researched this concern for you and have information to share that will help.
The best way to fix the door of a Tesla Model 3 that doesn’t shut properly often depends on the underlying problem. Keep in mind that this main issue can originate from different concerns ranging from a non-calibrated power window actuator to frozen door handles.
Once you troubleshoot the issues related to the door of your Tesla Model 3, you should be able to use the appropriate solution with minimal risks of errors. So keep reading as we talk about these possible repair solutions. We’ll also discuss these underlying causes in greater detail.
Why Won’t The Door Close On My Tesla 3?
Your Tesla Model 3’s door might be encountering certain underlying issues, making it more challenging than intended to close. Some of these potential problems are:
Power Window Actuator Not Calibrated
Some Tesla 3 models may have power window actuators that don’t possess the proper adjustments. As a result, the door won't shut if the window is closed.
A workaround for this issue is to keep the window open as you shut the problem door. Another option is to calibrate the window using a few relatively straightforward steps that you can follow in a later section of this post.
Certain Tesla Models 3s might also have misaligned doors. Oftentimes, it may still be possible to close the door, but a visible gap might be present. If left unchecked, your car could be broken into.
Requires Breaking In
Your Tesla Model 3’s door might require you to break it in before it can close properly. Take note that the term "break-in" used in this context means to use the fixture until it becomes ready to use. Your Tesla Model 3’s door might be fresh from the manufacturer, making some of its assemblies and parts stiff or sticky.
Walk-Away Lock Feature Is Off
In theory, your Tesla Model 3’s doors and trunk should lock automatically if the vehicle doesn’t detect the key fob within range. But it might also be possible that the feature is off, leaving the doors and trunk open even while you walk away from the vehicle with the key fob.
Frozen Door Handles
Both the Tesla Model Y and 3 have flush outside door handles. Although the design has some advantages in accessibility, it can pose a problem during cold weather. The door handles become difficult to operate if they freeze.
How Do You Fix A Tesla Model 3 Door Not Closing?
In this section, you’ll learn some possible solutions that you may try based on the reason your Tesla Model 3’s door isn’t closing properly or at all.
Calibrate The Power Window Actuator
Calibrating or re-calibrating the power window actuator may help close your Tesla Model 3’s door properly. You can follow these steps if you need to close the window before you can shut the vehicle’s door:
- Close the problem door as tightly as possible.
- Raise its window through the control panel by the driver’s seat.
- Hold the window’s position for at least 15 seconds.
- Lower the same window as far as possible.
- Hold the lowered window’s position for at least 15 seconds.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3, then hold the window’s position again for at least 15 seconds.
- Test the door by closing it to check if you calibrated the window successfully.
If the Tesla Model 3’s door still fails to close while the window is shut, the vehicle might have other defects encountered during manufacturing. If so, contact the carmaker to learn what your options are.
Realign The Door
The door on a Tesla Model 3 might sag, causing it to be difficult to close. If so, you may only need a door alignment bar and a socket wrench for this procedure. With those tools in hand, follow these steps to realign your Tesla 3’s door:
- Open the problem door.
- Attach the door alignment bar to the appropriate hole at the inner side of the Tesla Model 3's door.
- Close the door with the alignment bar up to the allowable position. The bar should help the door stay open.
- Attach the socket wrench to the alignment bar. Then turn the wrench to align the door.
- Remove the socket wrench and alignment bar.
- Close the door and see if it shuts properly. If it doesn’t, repeat the previous steps until you achieve a proper door alignment.
You can also watch the video below to see a visual guide on the steps mentioned above:
Turn On Walk-Away Door Lock
A paired smartphone needs to be nearby for you to activate this feature. If this initial step isn’t complete, follow these steps before proceeding with the rest of the procedure:
- Turn on your smartphone and the touchscreen panel on the Tesla Model 3.
- Turn on the Bluetooth on your smartphone. If the Tesla Model 3 can’t find your smartphone, ensure that the mobile device is discoverable.
- On the touchscreen panel, go to the “Controls” section and tap the Bluetooth icon.
- Tap “Add New Device,” then press “Start Search.” It should show your smartphone on the list after the vehicle finishes its search.
- Select the phone you want to pair from the list.
- A set of numbers should appear on the touchscreen panel and your smartphone as a security measure.
- Confirm the pairing if both sets of numbers matches.
With your smartphone connected to your Tesla Model 3, follow these steps to activate the Walk-Away Door Lock feature:
- Tap the “Controls” icon on the Tesla Model 3’s touchscreen panel.
- Select “Locks,” then scroll down to see the “Walk-Away Door Lock” toggle switch.
- Change the switch to the on position.
- Close the door and walk away from the vehicle. The headlights should flash and the side mirrors should fold if the activation of this feature is successful.
You can also watch the video below if you need a visual representation of this procedure:
Operate A Frozen Tesla Door Handle
If you can't close or operate the door because the handle is frozen, don't pour hot water over it. The quick temperature rise might make the handle's material brittle, which might also cause it to break. Instead, follow these steps:
What You’ll Need
- Clean towel
- Prop the door handle as much as you can while holding a clean towel.
- Point the WD-40’s straw onto the handle and spray for about 1 second.
- Remove the towel and attempt to pull the handle further.
- If the handle doesn’t budge, spray an additional amount of WD-40.
- Repeat the previous steps until the door handle works as intended.
Watch this video to gain additional insight into this process:
Is The Tesla Model 3 Expensive To Maintain?
The Tesla Model 3’s annual maintenance cost is about $3,587. At this price point, this particular vehicle is about 30% less expensive to care for than other similar cars. Owners should expect to pay for different maintenance services, such as:
- Tire rotation
- Clean and lubricate brake calipers
- Clean and/or replace the cabin air filter
- Refill or replace the brake fluid
Repair and maintenance costs may also vary based on existing damages. For example, the video below shows one owner spending over $49,000 to repair his Tesla car after being sideswiped by a truck:
At this point, you might be on the fence about purchasing a Tesla. If so, you can read our post on the cheapest Tesla to aid you in finalizing your purchasing decision.
How Long Do Tesla Cars Last?
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, tweeted that a typical Model 3 should last from 300,000 to 500,000 miles, or approximately 1,500 charging cycles. But consumers report that the Tesla Model 3 is one of the most reliable vehicles made by the carmaker. On the other hand, the Model X scored the lowest.
You can also read our post on how long the tires last on a Tesla if you want more information on this particular topic.
Remember to troubleshoot your Tesla Model 3’s door before attempting to repair it. Then use the correct solution based on your troubleshooting efforts. If successful, your vehicle’s door should close properly.