madquadbiker

Well-known member
First Name
Tony
Joined
May 23, 2020
Messages
186
Reaction score
197
Location
Weston Super Mare, UK
Vehicles
Nissan Navara NP300, Smart fortwo, Honda TRX700XX, Honda MSX125SF.
Occupation
Retired
Country flag
I broke a door handle off of my car during the winter of 2019-2020. It was unhelpful.

I ripped the door handle of my Mazda5 off while trying to get the sliding door moving, after I hasdalready pried the obvious ice off.

It was around 0F (-17C), so the plastic was more brittle than usual. "Wintery mix" (at around 32F/0C) had come through the day before, and then the temperature dropped to around 0F by morning. I was also running a little late.

A sharp little yank was my best shot at getting the door open. I failed to modulate it properly, and the door handle came off in my hand.

Most door handles are more durable than that.

And they really need to be pretty strong in order for vehicles to operate in "real weather", because I have yet to see a reliable alternative to a sharp little yank on the door.

Here in the Midwest, I'm expected to be at work on time the morning after an ice storm -- if a little ice or snow got in our way, we'd never get any work done!

Hopefully Tesla's novelty door handles are up to the task.

What could possibly go wrong?
Advertisement

 

Don Easterly

New member
First Name
Don
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
4
Reaction score
6
Location
Alaska
Vehicles
Cybertruck
Occupation
Sales
Country flag
Why? The door opens itself. Breaking a door handle to open a frozen door seems unhelpful.

-Crissa
I haven't seen the model x device, but I imagine something that would break the 'lightly-frozen-to-the-seal' that is the daily default state for someone that doesn't park in a garage here between Halloween and Easter.

I can't imagine any kind of device that wouldn't be more complex and more expensive than a handle that could overcome the 'iced over the door edges' state that we get from time to time. I've never broken a handle but there are days it takes a 225lb man one both hands and some body english to break it open.


1617370333004.png
 

Mr.Dee

Active member
Joined
Mar 8, 2021
Messages
41
Reaction score
99
Location
MN
Vehicles
Lots
Country flag
I haven't seen the model x device, but I imagine something that would break the 'lightly-frozen-to-the-seal' that is the daily default state for someone that doesn't park in a garage here between Halloween and Easter.

I can't imagine any kind of device that wouldn't be more complex and more expensive than a handle that could overcome the 'iced over the door edges' state that we get from time to time. I've never broken a handle but there are days it takes a 225lb man one both hands and some body english to break it open.
I agree with you, but there are a few people here who have never seen a day below 28°F that are about to tell you that you're wrong 😂
 

Crissa

Well-known member
First Name
Crissa
Joined
Jul 8, 2020
Messages
5,944
Reaction score
7,807
Location
Santa Cruz
Vehicles
2014 Zero S, 2013 Mazda 3
Country flag
I can't imagine any kind of device that wouldn't be more complex ...
A solinoid with a shim is less complex than a door handle.

I agree with you, but there are a few people here who have never seen a day below 28°F that are about to tell you that you're wrong 😂
That you think a door handle is a good lever puts it to doubt your mechanical advice.

I may choose to live somewhere it freezes infrequently, but I grew up on a beach where every morning we had ice all winter. And a hundred to three hundred inches of rain annually.

-Crissa
 

Mr.Dee

Active member
Joined
Mar 8, 2021
Messages
41
Reaction score
99
Location
MN
Vehicles
Lots
Country flag
That you think a door handle is a good lever puts it to doubt your mechanical advice.
To consider either the door handle or the solenoid as a lever in the context of this problem would be an incorrect assumption in the first place.
 

Don Easterly

New member
First Name
Don
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
4
Reaction score
6
Location
Alaska
Vehicles
Cybertruck
Occupation
Sales
Country flag
A solinoid with a shim is less complex than a door handle.


That you think a door handle is a good lever puts it to doubt your mechanical advice.

I may choose to live somewhere it freezes infrequently, but I grew up on a beach where every morning we had ice all winter. And a hundred to three hundred inches of rain annually.

-Crissa
I sell industrial solenoid valve operators for a living. The handle isn't the lever. The door is the lever. The door hinge is the fulcrum. The point where the ice is holding is the object being lifted. Both the solenoid operated piston and the human pulling on the handle are using them same lever. A full grown human that can brace against the b pillar with the other hand and use their body weight has multiple advantages over the solenoid. A solenoid capable of exerting the same force as a human in this thought experiment would be more complex and much more expensive than a handle. Solenoids are rarely used to do hard work. They are more often used to switch on or off other things like pneumatic or hydraulic systems and those do the hard work. No doubt a hydraulic ram could open the frozen door, but that's not simple or cheap.
 

Crissa

Well-known member
First Name
Crissa
Joined
Jul 8, 2020
Messages
5,944
Reaction score
7,807
Location
Santa Cruz
Vehicles
2014 Zero S, 2013 Mazda 3
Country flag
To consider either the door handle or the solenoid as a lever in the context of this problem would be an incorrect assumption in the first place.
Weird, I didn't consider the solenoid the lever. The shim is the lever. It has a point of force and an inclined plane that it strikes a hardened point at the longest point on the door's lever. (Levers moving levers!)

But yes, a handle is a lever. You didn't know how handles work?

You pull on the handle, it's a lever which actuates the latch. It's a moving part. Which is why it's a poor place to apply force to use the door hinge as a fulcrum against a frozen door.

Sorry, you guys are just straight up wrong.

-Crissa
 

carpedatum

Well-known member
First Name
Dave
Joined
Feb 19, 2020
Messages
63
Reaction score
110
Location
SF Bay Area
Vehicles
Ridgeline, R1200RT, 4285 Express
Country flag
I've seen my share of frozen doors and have broken off a frozen door handle of my own (decades ago, on a Swedish-built Saab, right from Trollhättan, even). In the land where block heaters rule and one occasionally has to pour hot water on a door seal and/or handle to get in, I think the CT will do fine with no handles.

Door handles are a liability. Solving all the problems one must solve in order to get rid of them will certainly require some creativity, but if a bunch of smart vehicle engineers just started with one premise - namely "What all would we have to do to practically eliminate handles?" - and they actually do that, then I'd expect to soon be looking at handles like I currently look at carburetors.

Tesla may not have demonstrated a no-handles vehicle yet but we know they have some good ingredients for that recipe. Keys certainly aren't needed - nobody's questioning that anymore. Tesla's certainly got the test facilities needed to check things out in extreme weather (and is getting better at using them). A Tesla can already predict (under at least some circumstances) when it will be wanted and preheat itself. Reports of frozen charge ports have dwindled owing to evolution there.

Plus the engineers get a great budget to play with. Basically most of the money saved from not punching rectangular holes in stainless steel panels, plus all the handle hardware, installation and test time, liability under warranty, etc.

Can't wait to see what they come up with!
 

Mr.Dee

Active member
Joined
Mar 8, 2021
Messages
41
Reaction score
99
Location
MN
Vehicles
Lots
Country flag
Sorry, you guys are just straight up wrong.
-Crissa
I try not to make a habit of arguing concepts of physics with those who do not understand as they have no will to believe they could be wrong. However, I've seen many of your posts here and I believe you are a very intelligent person who has a good grasp on the world around you, so let's have a go.

Your first mention of the word "lever" was used in the context of the physics definition, which assumes the use of a fulcrum and an inherent mechanical advantage. However, this definition is not true in this scenario. Both the door handle and the similarly located solenoid are located on the same side of the equation relative to the fulcrum, so neither has any mechanical advantage over the other. In fact, the fulcrum is not even considered a fulcrum in this scenario so neither the handle or the solenoid has a mechanical advantage over the ice! The expected relative motion of the door and door frame makes this is a pure tension scenario. If you could reach inside and disconnect the door hinges (fulcrum) before pulling on the frozen door handle, you would not have altered the force applied to the ice.

Also, there is no automotive engineer that would force a solenoid to act on an inclined shim as a "lever". The maximum force that a solenoid or actuator can apply is when its axis is normal to the surface. An inclined surface would only subtract from it's opening force and increase the side load on the device and it's mount to the structure. There is no advantage to that.

In reality, neither option has an inherent mechanical advantage over the other. It simply comes down to which can apply more force, the person or the solenoid. As mentioned by Don above, it's unlikely to have a cost effective solenoid outperform the human here.

All this just to say that nobody is saying that a solenoid WONT work. I think most people are saying that a solid door handle DOES work and offers the user more control in extreme environments. Like I've said before, I welcome the solenoid if it works. Otherwise, I'd prefer a big stainless handle.
 

Don Easterly

New member
First Name
Don
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
4
Reaction score
6
Location
Alaska
Vehicles
Cybertruck
Occupation
Sales
Country flag
Sorry, you guys are just straight up wrong.

-Crissa
[/QUOTE]
Weird, I didn't consider the solenoid the lever. The shim is the lever. It has a point of force and an inclined plane that it strikes a hardened point at the longest point on the door's lever. (Levers moving levers!)

But yes, a handle is a lever. You didn't know how handles work?

You pull on the handle, it's a lever which actuates the latch. It's a moving part. Which is why it's a poor place to apply force to use the door hinge as a fulcrum against a frozen door.

Sorry, you guys are just straight up wrong.

-Crissa
my opinion remains straight up my opinion. I hope I'm wrong but that remains to be seen.

I don't mind the electric latch. I just want some way to get a grip on the door in the event it doesn't open once unlatched. If the leading edge of the rear door was recessed a bit to allow finger purchase on the trailing edge of the front door for example.
 

Newton

Well-known member
First Name
Newton
Joined
Apr 2, 2020
Messages
758
Reaction score
925
Location
East Bay Area, CA
Vehicles
p̶r̶i̶u̶s̶ c̶,̶ y̶o̶t̶a̶ p̶i̶c̶k̶u̶p, ⼕丫⻏🝗尺セ尺ㄩ⼕长
Country flag
@Mr.Dee i'm not sure how the ice breaker works, but you can very easily put a lever on the working end of a solenoid to increase force. Why use a 40lb solenoid when you can use 10lb with some mechanical advantage?
 

OneLapper

Well-known member
First Name
Mark
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Messages
389
Reaction score
751
Location
NE Conn
Vehicles
BMW 328d Sportswagon
Country flag
I think we can safely assume the "ice breaker" is not a solenoid.

I'm quite certain it's a motorized actuator of some sort. Something with a substantial gear reduction to provide enough force to break the ice.
 

carpedatum

Well-known member
First Name
Dave
Joined
Feb 19, 2020
Messages
63
Reaction score
110
Location
SF Bay Area
Vehicles
Ridgeline, R1200RT, 4285 Express
Country flag
I think we can safely assume the "ice breaker" is not a solenoid.

I'm quite certain it's a motorized actuator of some sort. Something with a substantial gear reduction to provide enough force to break the ice.
Why is breaking ice preferable to melting it? I'm still a little lost on this idea.
 

Mr.Dee

Active member
Joined
Mar 8, 2021
Messages
41
Reaction score
99
Location
MN
Vehicles
Lots
Country flag
Why is breaking ice preferable to melting it? I'm still a little lost on this idea.
Being able to melt it would be preferable in my opinion, although I don't have any experience with it.

The difficulty I see is that the contact area between the door and door frame is wide, like 4-5 inches wide maybe? And probably a 10 ft perimeter? You'd have to heat all that in a relatively short time period. Probably not a difficult problem to overcome though, especially for Tesla.

The main reason I prefer a heated solution is the fact that the Cybertruck has frameless windows. With an ice breaker or even a manual door handle, you run the risk of shattering the window when the door breaks free but the glass is still frozen to the vehicle. The heated solution would help solve that problem.
 

Crissa

Well-known member
First Name
Crissa
Joined
Jul 8, 2020
Messages
5,944
Reaction score
7,807
Location
Santa Cruz
Vehicles
2014 Zero S, 2013 Mazda 3
Country flag
In reality, neither option has an inherent mechanical advantage over the other. It simply comes down to which can apply more force, the person or the solenoid. As mentioned by Don above, it's unlikely to have a cost effective solenoid outperform the human here.
There is an inherent mechanical advantage to applying the force at the furthest point on the door from the hinge. Which you cannot do from a handle.

Even more, the lever that's being applied is the shim, as it sticks against the latch plate.

You yanking on a handle are not using a lever in any way that it's designed for. The handle is a lever to disengage the latch. But when the door is iced, you need to break the seal... The handle doesn't do that. The actuated shim can, because it's touching the structure of the door and the door-as-lever directly.

-Crissa
 
Advertisement

 
Advertisement
Top