How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Tesla Door Handle – Repair Cost Guide

If you have a Tesla and the door handle fails, you will not be able to auto present the door handle.  Being presented with the door handle is half the fun when owning a Tesla.  You will need to fix it to get the full enjoyment of your Tesla.  If you have a new Tesla, the door handle should be covered by the warranty.  If the warranty has expired, you will need to fork out the money.  I will explain how much it costs to replace a broken door handle on a Tesla.  Please be seated.

How much does it cost to fix a Tesla door handle? It will cost close to $900 to fix a Tesla door handle that is not covered by a warranty. It is difficult to fix on your own because it would take a detailed technical manual to troubleshoot and then to buy the parts necessary could be hard to accomplish. 

If your warranty is void and you wish to repair the door handle on your own, here are the steps.

How do you fix a Tesla door handle on your own?

To fix a broken Tesla door handle you have to be patient.  It is not an easy task but it can be done.  If you have an older Tesla Model S, you may be experiencing one of the following problems with your door handles.  You will need to determine which problem you are encountering before you can attempt to fix it:

  1. The handle is not presenting.  It remains flush to the door and you cannot get a hold of it to open the door.  This scenario is frustrating because you know that you cannot simply pull out a screwdriver and pry it open.  This presenting problem can also be that there is just a small portion of the handle appearing that is still not large enough to grip onto.  Perhaps you can also hear a weird clunking sound when it tries to surface.
  2. Another problem that could be happening is the handle is popping up, but when you pull on it, the door refuses to open.
  3. The third problem is that it pops out, you can open the door, but it does not retract back into the door.  This will cause problems with the aerodynamics of your Tesla.

To fix a Tesla handle that is not presenting correctly, you will need to replace the motor that is geared.  This motor is designed to push out the handle to present it above the surface of the door.  You will need to check to see which part number is necessary for your model year since there were numerous variations of this geared motor.  It has to be replaced since there was a problem with the spindle that controls the paddle or the cog. It was not solid enough to survive the constant opening and closing of the handle.  It was brittle and it was breaking apart.

One part number that I have noticed online is 1042845-00-BClick here for pricing on Amazon for this part. The pricing was low at the time of writing this article.  Again, check with a representative with Tesla to ensure that this part number is correct for your specific Tesla.  I would be careful if you intend on buying this part from a third party.  They seem to charge ten times that amount. They claim that they make it out of stainless steel, but I do not feel that this type of material is necessary for a Tesla door handle mechanism. Now that you are aware that shopping around is a good idea for the geared motor, I will explain what is necessary to buy to fix the unlocking problem that some owners are experiencing.

To protect the surface of your Tesla Model S door handle, I recommend the Oubolun Door Handle Cover, click here to see the correct pricing on Amazon.

If your door fails to unlock, it is best to know what is happening internally when you pull on the handle.  It is not your strength that is unlocking the door, your force is simply activating an electro-mechanical part in the door mechanism.  In other words, do not pull harder thinking that this is the only way to unlock the door.  You will end up damaging the components even further. By lightly pulling on the handle, you are telling an electronic component to release and unlock the door for you.  What could go wrong is that this signal is not reaching the mechanism, it could even be sent to the wrong location.

What you might have to do is replace the wiring loom that includes all of the microswitches.  The part number that is being mentioned in forums for Tesla is 1016009-00-x.  Do a quick search on google to locate companies that offer this part number.  Nevertheless, still check with a Tesla mechanic to see if this part will work in your version of the Tesla S model.

You can purchase this part from third parties.  They claim that their wiring loom works in all versions of the Model S.  I would verify customer comments to ensure that others are ok with the mechanism.  If you decide to pay more for the part by getting it directly from Tesla, you can do so.  It might be a good idea so that you can end up with a wiring loom that works for you.  A wiring loom problem can be nerve-wracking, but when what needs to be done if you are not able to get the door handle to retract?

If the handle does not retract for your Telsa, I just wanted to warn you that you are in the minority since not a lot of owners have encountered this problem.  Nevertheless, you can fix it.  It could be that the loom is not allowing the handle to retract, and replacing the loom may correct the situation.

Before buying and installing a new wiring loom, you can just try to re-align the wiring loom that you presently have. This will mean that your cost will be zero because you would not be installing new parts.  If you had just replaced the handle, you will need to disassemble and reassemble it since it could be that the housing is what is catching onto the handle not allowing it to close.

There are numerous videos on youtube that highlight how to make these repairs and doing it yourself could end reducing the cost greatly.  If you are wary of buying the separate parts since they are hard to match to your Tesla year and model. you can search online for a kit that is for replacing the door handle mechanism.

How does the Tesla Door Handle Motor work?

I have mentioned the individual components of the Tesla door handle mechanism and even how to replace a few of them.  Perhaps we need to step back to see how the door handle motor works in case someone asks you why you are able to fix it on your own.  You will be able to explain how it works and you were able to troubleshoot the problem. Here is a great video that explains how the motor works and even how to remove the motor that is connected to the control module.

  1. There is only one connector that connects to the inside of Tesla from the door handle motor.  Has two sets of wires, one receives the power from the car and the other set waits for the signal to activate the device.
  2. The signal goes down this wiring assembly into the control module.
  3. If the signal tells the control module to present the door handle, a tiny motor will push out the handle. One typical signal is that the driver simply walks close to the car.  The handle will magically pop out for him or her.
  4. Also, the door handle will be presented by pushing on the door handle.  This force will signal to the control panel to activate the motor to pop out the handle. This special signal alerts the control module through the use of two microsensors (on each side of the back of the handle)
  5. If you wanted to remove the wiring to get a closer look at the components, you will need to cut into the zip-ties. You can easily from the harness (first set of wires) by unclipping it close to the mechanism once you have removed the zip-ties.
  6. Once the wiring has been disconnected, you will have access to the motor just by unbolting it.
  7. The motor is a 12v DC motor that has a gear drive that interacts with the microswitches. This motor usually comes from Hong Kong and it is 29 mm wide.  It is a small motor that Tesla seems to assemble to the mechanism themselves. If you were to test it with a drill battery, you will see that the motor reverses polarity in order to present or retract the door handle.

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