After almost three years of ownership, the door handle of my Model S (driver’s door) recently broke. This is a known issue amongst Tesla Model S owners, but after three years, I thought I was being lucky and wouldn’t have to go through this. Wrong. Anyway, since my car was still under warranty, here’s how much it cost to fix it: $0. The process was smooth and fast, I’m sharing all about it below. However, if your warranty doesn’t cover the fix, it can get a bit expensive. I break down the costs and offer a DIY alternative.
Experience getting a Model S door handle fixed by Tesla
I was able to schedule an appointment with Tesla’s Mobile Service via the app within the next week after the door handle broke. While waiting, I learned one very useful trick: even with a broken door handle, you can tap on it and the door would still open (even though the handle won’t come out). That was unexpected and very practical.
On the day of the appointment, the fix took only about 20 minutes. Easy peasy. The technician shared the most common reason why the handles break is because of pulling too hard. Considering Tesla has recognized the problem and it’s taken me three years to break one handle, I think we’re good.
One good thing is that I didn’t have to re-apply the chrome delete to the handle (I had a spare vinyl but it was nice not to have to do anything at all).
How much does it cost to fix a Model S door handle?
If you’re handy, you can for sure get it done for less than that. However, take into account that Tesla is now on Gen 3 of the Model S door handles, which is what I got when I got mine replaced. If you buy the pieces in the aftermarket, you will most likely find Gen 1 or Gen 2 pieces.
The most popular and affordable Model S door handle repair kit is this one by EV Tuning, which you can get at Teslarati’s online shop for $174.99.
«The kit includes a stronger machined stainless steel gear, a new e-clip for retaining the pivot gear on the shaft, Original Equipment Panasonic replacement micro-switches, push nuts to hold the vapor barrier securely, and new door panel clips.»
Check out Electrified Garage’s tutorial on how to repair and rebuild a Model S door handle with the above mentioned kit:
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