The futuristic allure of Tesla’s Model X, with its sleek design and advanced technology, is undeniable.
Yet, for all its innovation, like any vehicle, it isn’t immune to the occasional battery drain. It might seem like a paradox: a cutting-edge electric car that’s dead in the water.
And it raises the pressing question: How does one gain access to a seemingly impenetrable, powered-down Model X?
Let’s explore the safe and effective methods to crack open the doors of a lifeless Model X. Whether you’re an owner preparing for the unexpected or a curious enthusiast; we’re about to shed light on this electric enigma.
Understanding the Basics of Tesla Model X
The Tesla Model X is a cutting-edge electric vehicle with unique features, such as the eye-catching falcon wing doors. Before you delve into opening these doors, especially on a non-responsive vehicle, it’s important to gain a basic understanding of the car’s design and door mechanisms.
In the Model X, there are two types of doors – the front doors, which operate conventionally, and the rear falcon wing doors.
These innovative rear doors utilize a dual-hinge design, allowing them to open up and out in a way that saves space and adds an element of style.
To access the doors, the Model X is equipped with discreet, flush-mounted door handles. When the car is in working order, simply approaching the Model X with the key fob triggers the front door handles to present themselves.
Gently press on the door handle, and the front door will automatically open. For the rear falcon wing doors, simply press the handle for a moment, and the door will self-open.
If the vehicle is dead, you’ll need to follow different procedures, which will be discussed in the later sections of this article.
Keep in mind that the Model X is an all-electric vehicle, which means most of its features rely on electricity to function. When encountering a non-responsive Model X, it’s essential to consider factors that could cause the electric system to fail and how to address these issues safely.
Preparation Before Opening
Before attempting to open your Tesla Model X with a dead battery, gather the necessary items, and take the appropriate precautions.
Make sure you have your key fob, your smartphone with the Tesla mobile app installed, and a power source for the 12v battery.
Start by ensuring the key fob is in functioning condition. This is important since it could be why your Model X is not responding. Check the battery level of the fob, and if necessary, replace it with a fresh battery.
If the key fob is in working order, proceed by inspecting your smartphone’s connectivity to the Tesla mobile app. Verify that you are logged in and connected to your vehicle in the app.
Next, locate the 12v battery in your Tesla Model X, as this is the power source you will need to jumpstart to gain entry to the car. The 12v battery is located beneath the hood, under a plastic cover.
Familiarize yourself with the positive and negative terminals on the battery so that you can quickly and correctly connect jumper cables or a portable charger once you gain access to it.
Lastly, ensure you have a portable lithium-ion battery or another suitable power source for your 12v battery. This will come in handy for jumpstarting the battery and providing power to the vehicle.
How to Unlock the Tesla Model X
To unlock your Tesla Model X, you can use a variety of methods that involve buttons, touchscreen controls, and the Tesla mobile app. In this section, we will cover the different ways to unlock your vehicle with confidence and ease.
Key Fob: The Tesla Model X comes with a key fob specifically designed to resemble the car itself. To unlock the doors, press the top of the key fob once. If you want to unlock only the driver’s door, double-click the roof area on the key fob.
To open the front trunk (frunk), press the front end of the fob twice, and to open the rear trunk, press the rear end of the fob twice. Finally, to open the Falcon Wing doors, press the corresponding side of the fob twice.
Tesla Mobile App: If you have the Tesla mobile app installed on your smartphone, unlocking your Model X is as simple as tapping a button within the app.
After logging in with your Tesla account credentials, select the “Controls” tab, then tap “Unlock” to open the vehicle’s doors.
Walk-Up Unlock: With the key fob or a paired smartphone, simply approach the Model X. The car will automatically detect the key fob or smartphone and unlock the door as you reach for the handle.
Touchscreen Controls: If you are already inside the car but want to unlock the doors for a passenger, you can use the central touchscreen. On the “Car Controls” menu, select “Doors & Locks” and tap “Unlock Doors” to open all car doors.
Accessing Tesla Model X Manually
When you find yourself in a situation where your Tesla Model X is unresponsive due to a dead battery or system failure, you may need to access the doors manually.
Don’t worry, Tesla has provided a way to do this using a mechanical release for all doors. Follow these steps to access the vehicle, and remember to have the necessary tools handy.
First, locate the manual door releases. For the front doors, pull up the speaker grille on the driver and passenger side to reveal the mechanical release cable. Pulling this cable will unlock the respective door.
For the rear falcon-wing doors, there is a pull-cable release located behind the speaker grille in the rear trunk area. You may need a flathead screwdriver or tool to remove the speaker grille.
Once removed, you will find the pull cable. Pulling this cable will release the corresponding rear door.
Remember that for rear doors, the mechanical release is only a last resort, as using it may cause a small amount of damage due to the lack of power assistance for the falcon-wing mechanism.
Issues with Tesla Model X Doors
Tesla Model X is known for its unique and innovative falcon wing doors. However, they can sometimes pose problems for owners, especially under certain circumstances.
One such issue is when the doors become difficult to open due to ice or snow. This can be a common problem in cold climates, where ice forms quickly, but there are a few steps you can take to avoid this issue.
Firstly, always park your vehicle in a covered area or garage whenever possible to prevent ice and snow from accumulating on the doors.
Should you find yourself in a situation where ice has already formed, you can try pouring warm water on the affected areas to help melt the ice. Be cautious not to use boiling water, as it may cause damage to the car’s paint and components.
Another issue you might face with your Tesla Model X doors is encountering a locked door. This can happen if you unintentionally activate the child lock feature. When this feature is activated, the rear doors will not open from the inside.
If you find yourself in this situation, simply access the touchscreen controls in the front of the vehicle and navigate to the child lock option, then click on the icon to toggle it off.
Power Sources for Opening Tesla Model X
First, check if your Tesla Model X’s main battery has sufficient charge. If it has little to no charge, you will need a battery charger to replenish the energy.
Connect the charger to a power outlet in your home, and then attach the charging cable to the vehicle’s charging port. This should revive the battery, allowing you to unlock and open your vehicle.
In case the main battery is dead and a battery charger is not available, you can use an external 12V battery to provide temporary power. Locate the 12V jump-start terminals under the front hood of your Model X.
Connect the positive and negative cables of the external battery to the appropriate terminals on the vehicle. This should provide enough power to open the car doors.
While using an external battery, be cautious and always follow the safety guidelines. Ensure that the battery you are using is compatible with your Tesla Model X to avoid any potential damages.
Emergency Situations and Solutions
In an emergency with your Tesla Model X, it is crucial to remain calm and act quickly. There are a few situations that may require immediate action, such as a dead battery, electronic malfunction, or the inability to engage the brake pedal.
Dead Battery: If you find your Model X unresponsive due to a dead battery, there are several steps you can take. First, locate the 12V auxiliary battery. This is typically found in the front trunk area.
Using a 12V jump starter or another vehicle, connect the positive and negative terminals to the corresponding terminals on the auxiliary battery. This should provide enough power to unlock the car and disable the alarm system.
Electronic Malfunction: With any vehicle, electronic malfunctions can occur. For your Tesla Model X, a possible solution is to perform a hard reset. To do this, hold down both the steering wheel scroll buttons and the brake pedal simultaneously for at least 20 seconds or until the vehicle reboots.
This often fixes minor issues and restores the vehicle’s functionality.
Brake Pedal: In the unlikely event that your brake pedal becomes unresponsive, you can use the electric parking brake to safely stop the vehicle. To engage the electric parking brake, press and hold the “Park” button on the center console until the vehicle comes to a complete stop.
Be cautious of your surroundings and only use this method if the normal brake pedal fails to respond.
Dealing with Dead Tesla Model X
When you encounter a dead Tesla Model X, it can be frustrating and concerning. To handle this situation, follow these steps to open and revive your vehicle.
First, you should check if the issue is with the key fob or the car itself. If your key fob isn’t working, try replacing the battery or using the Tesla mobile app to unlock and start the car. If the issue persists, proceed to the next steps.
Next, determine if the main battery is dead, which can cause the Tesla Model X to be unresponsive.
To troubleshoot, use a battery tester to check the 12-volt battery’s health. If the battery is dead, you can jumpstart it, allowing you to unlock and access your car.
To jumpstart the 12-volt battery, follow these steps:
- Park another vehicle with a functioning 12-volt battery close to your Tesla Model X, or use a portable jump starter.
- Locate the jump post in the front trunk, or “frunk,” by removing the plastic trim covering.
- Attach the positive (red) cable clamp from the working battery or jump starter to the positive post on your Tesla Model X.
- Connect the negative (black) cable clamp to any solid metal part of the chassis of your Tesla, away from the battery.
- Start the helper vehicle if you’re using another car.
- After a few minutes, try unlocking your Tesla Model X using the key fob or mobile app. Once the car is unlocked, disconnect the cables in reverse order.
It’s essential to have your Tesla’s battery checked and replaced by a professional service center, especially if the issue keeps recurring.
In some cases, your Tesla’s battery may be in “siti” mode, conserving power to avoid complete drainage. If so, use your mobile app to wake up the car and disable siti mode. Once awake, you can unlock and operate the car as usual.
Tools for Opening Tesla Model X
To open a dead Tesla Model X, you will need a few essential tools. These tools will help you gain access to the vehicle without causing damage.
First, ensure you have the Tesla mobile app installed on your phone. This app is the primary tool for controlling various functions of your Model X, including unlocking the doors.
In case of a dead vehicle, the app may still be of some assistance. Make sure your phone’s Bluetooth is enabled and attempt to unlock the car using the app.
If the app fails to unlock the doors, locate and use the manual release points found within the Model X. To access these release points, you will need a sturdy, non-marring pry tool and a durable flat-head screwdriver.
These tools will help prevent damage to your Tesla’s exterior trim, door handles, and interior components as you work.
The pry tool will be used to gently remove the small plastic covers located at the base of the driver and passenger side doors. Beneath these covers, you will find a release button.
Pressing this button with the screwdriver should manually unlock the door.
Procedure for Opening Different Parts
For your Tesla Model X, you must follow these simple steps to open the different parts, ensuring you handle your car confidently and effectively.
To open the front and rear doors:
- Press the door handle gently to release it.
- Pull the handle to open the doors.
For the rear Falcon Wing doors, use the key fob, touchscreen, or door handle as follows:
- Key fob: Press and hold the rear door button for a few seconds.
- Touchscreen: Tap on the “Controls” tab and then tap on the corresponding Falcon Wing door icon.
- Door handle: Press the rear door handle to open the door.
Opening the Trunk
For the front trunk (frunk) and rear trunk:
- Front trunk: Press and hold the frunk button on the key fob, or tap on the “Controls” tab in the touchscreen and tap on the frunk icon.
- Rear trunk: Press and hold the trunk button on the key fob, or tap the “Controls” tab on the touchscreen and tap the trunk icon.
To open or close the windows, you can use the window switches on the door panels. Press down the switch to lower the window and release it to stop it at the desired position.
To close the window, pull up the switch until the window reaches the desired position.
Opening Front Bumper
To access the front bumper for towing purposes, follow these steps:
- Locate the two removable panels on the front bumper.
- Insert a suitable tool (e.g., a flat-head screwdriver) into the seam between the panels and the bumper.
- Gently pry the panels away from the bumper to expose the tow hook attachment points.
Accessing Rear Seats
When needing to access the rear seats, follow these simple steps:
- First, open the Falcon Wing doors following the aforementioned procedure.
- Slide the middle-row seats forward or backward using the switches on the side or back of the seat.
- Step into the space between the middle-row seats and carefully access the rear seat area.
How to Fully Open and Close Tesla Model X
To fully open your Tesla Model X, follow these simple steps. First, make sure your vehicle is unlocked and parked. Next, locate the door handle on the driver’s side door. Press and hold the handle to initiate the automatic opening process.
The door will lift upward in a smooth motion. You can also open the passenger and rear Falcon Wing doors by pressing on their handles.
To fully close the doors, ensure all passengers are seated and nothing obstructs the door’s path. Gently press the brake pedal to activate the closing sequence.
Alternatively, you can use the touch screen or the key fob to initiate the closing process. Press the corresponding door icon on the touch screen or the key fob button until the doors close. The motion will be smooth and controlled.
In case of a dead battery or if you need to manually open or close the doors, the Tesla Model X is equipped with manual-release latches. Locate the manual release latch beneath the front door armrest for the front doors, and in the rear, it’s hidden behind the speaker grille.
To open the front door, pull the latch gently. However, using manual release latches may cause damage to the automatic systems, so it’s recommended to use them only when absolutely necessary.
For the Falcon Wing doors, there is no manual release latch. Instead, you can disconnect the high voltage interlock loop connector, found under the rear side trim, in case of an emergency or loss of power.
After disconnecting, you can gently push the Falcon Wing doors upward to fully open them. Remember to reconnect the connector when it’s safe to do so.
Additional Tips and Tricks
When attempting to open a dead Tesla Model X, it’s essential to consider these helpful tips and tricks to ensure a smooth and safe process.
Firstly, remember that although this guide focuses on Model X, the techniques can also apply to other Tesla models, such as Model S, Model 3, and Model Y. Be cautious and attentive as you complete each step, as each model may have minor differences.
To access a dead Model X, it’s advisable to locate the speaker grille on the driver’s side door, which hides the mechanical key cylinder. Carefully pry the grille off to expose the cylinder, and then use your Tesla key to unlock the door manually.
As you work on unlocking the doors, pay close attention to the interior of your Tesla. Given that the battery is dead, the door handles and other electronic components may need to be treated with extra care to avoid any damage.