Sunday, February 16, 2020

Stopping window squeaks and noises with Gummi Pflege Stift

Since day 1, the drivers side window has squeaked. It is most pronounced when the vehicle moves up and down, i.e. going over a bump or when stopping and starting. Opening the window slightly, makes it go away and also gently pressing against the top part of the glass with the window closed while driving makes it go away too.

I was especially able to determine root cause when driving on a long trip as it became irritating whenever the road surface was not perfectly smooth. So either the seal there was too stiff or metal behind the seal that is causing the squeak of the window on the seal.

I tried removing and re-seating the top part of the driver's door seal and also talked to support. The consensus was that rimless windows are subject to this. Well, I have 2 other cars with rimless windows, my GT-R that is 11+ years old, and therefore has gone through 11 winters and summers, does not exhibit any of these problems. The seals on the Model 3 seem rather stiffer, compared to other cars.

So the solution ended up applying a liberal amount of  Gummi Pflege Stift at $12 from amazon to the door seals in multiple locations.
The key to stopping window squeaks in Model 3
I first tried first applying it to the outside surface, but the issue only went away for a few days. Then I applied it to the inner part of the seals for a complete fix:

Friday, February 14, 2020

DIY Tesla Logo Visor Ticket Holder

For 10+ years you use a feature in cars and simply assume that every car has it. Then one day, you get a new Model 3 and realize when upon entering a parking ramp that the usual spot for putting the parking ticket in the visor simply doesn't exist. So now the ticket ends up behind the visor sometimes, or in the console in so many different places, or in the wallet. Repeat procedure in reverse when leaving the ramp trying to look for the ticket. Frustrating first world problem.

Anyways, I was on two very long flights recently and decided to put some rusty college skills to use and design my very own ticket holder. I wanted to to be a simple thin minimalist clip that follows the contours of the Model 3 visor and can hold one tiny piece of paper for me. Function before form!
Then the idea of extending the shape into a Tesla logo dawned upon me - because that is what a design engineer at Tesla would most likely do. The result:
DIY Visor Ticket holder for Model 3 in the shape of a Tesla logo 
And here it is in white, which was my first prototype in white:

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

DIY Second Layer Door Seals and Gaskets

One of the items that was recommended by Amazon's "others who bought this, also bought" feature was Basenor door seals kit for the Model 3 to reduce wind noise, etc. So I ordered one, and after a quick assessment, I promptly returned them. I don't like writing negative reviews, but these were badly designed and would have been a waste of time and money. I made a quick video about the problem to warn others:


Since the bug to improve the door seals had bit me, I started to do some research and started looking for other seals. Nothing decent existed on the market. I ended up using my GT-R as a model for where additional door seals ought to be placed. Besides sound, good seals should keep water and road debris out, so the door jambs stay cleaner. Therefore, my test bed has been checking how much dirty rain water and car-wash water ends up in the door jambs over time. Since air is a fluid too, this is as scientific as I can get given the cost/effort of this mod, as opposed to sound measuring equipment.

After using the seals for a good month - driving through rain, snow & slush and going through the car wash 3 times - I can say that it is almost as good as it will get. I have add one additional seal section to perfect it. I cannot scientifically test the road noise, but on a recent 286 mile trip from/to home,. I noticed the car was much quieter in terms of whistling/wind noises. 

Because the GT-R was designed to cut through air, it has some interesting and rather visible seals outside the doors and along the hood gap. Based on these patterns and the desire to only purchase seals with genuine 3M adhesive (and not some Universal knock-off), I ended up with ~33ft/10m of these two seals 1. B-shape seal(not D), and 2. Z-shape seal for my DIY project. 
B-shape and Z-shape seals
So I manufactured a second layer of door seals for all 4 doors by combing the seals as follows:

Monday, February 3, 2020

Install Wireless Charging Pad my New Pixel 4

So I got a Pixel 4 as an upgrade to my Pixel 1 and one of the features it has is wireless charging. I had it on an old Samsung phone ages ago, but was not a fan because of the blue lights emitted from  the charging puck.They were super annoying at night time in the bedroom rendering the wireless charging useless for me.

Wireless charging makes sense does make sense in the car for sure, specially when there is a specific location to place the phone as in the Model 3. However, I do still carry a 12 V USB fast charger. There have been times I am going to the airport for a trip at 5 am (which I tend to do a lot) and realized my phone wasn't plugged in overnight or the charger cable got kicked out by the kids or the vacuum cleaner. Fast charging has saved my butt, so that is my backup now in the Model 3, since wireless charging is not fast enough.  I keep the 12V USB charger unplugged to minimize any phantom Model 3 battery drain.

To install this simple mod to support wireless charging for the Model 3, I order this TapTes Wireless Charging Pad from amazon with ran about $35 with a coupon. It was a good deal.
TesTap Wireless Charging Pad installed with Pixel 4 charging,

The installation was super simple....