Climate Controls

Overview of Climate Controls

Climate controls are available at the bottom of the touchscreen. By default, climate control is set to Auto, which maintains optimum comfort in all but the most severe weather conditions. When you adjust the cabin temperature while in the Auto setting, the system automatically adjusts the heating, air conditioning, air distribution, and fan speed to maintain the cabin at your selected temperature.

Touch the displayed temperature at the bottom of the touchscreen to access the main climate controls screen, where you can adjust your climate preferences. You can revert back to Auto at any time by touching Auto. Touch the power button on the main climate controls screen to toggle on or off. For quick access to common controls, touch < or > to display the climate popup.

Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
Note
The climate control system is powered by the high voltage Battery. Therefore, prolonged use decreases driving range.
Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
Warning
To avoid burns resulting from prolonged use, individuals who have peripheral neuropathy, or whose capacity to feel pain is limited because of diabetes, age, neurological injury, or some other condition, should exercise caution when using the climate control system and seat heaters.

Adjusting Climate Control Settings

Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
Note
Easily adjust your climate preferences, such as turning on the seat heater or changing the cabin temperature, hands-free by using voice commands (see Voice Commands).
Icon and element locations for Climate Controls
Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
Note
For one-touch access to seat heaters and defrosters, you can add these controls to My Apps. See Customizing My Apps.
  1. Touch to turn the climate control system on or off.
  2. Touch to adjust the climate settings for the front cabin.
  3. Choose where air flows into the front cabin (windshield, face-level, or foot-level vents). You can choose one or more vents.
  4. Touch to adjust the climate settings for the rear cabin. If set to Auto, the rear vents turn on automatically when the front climate system is on and a passenger is detected (see Adjusting the Rear Vents).
  5. Touch the driver's side seat icon to adjust seat heaters for the driver. The seat operates at three levels from 3 (highest) to 1 (lowest). The seat icon displays twisting lines that turn red (heating) corresponding with the set level. Auto, which displays when the climate control system is set to Auto, warms the front seats based on cabin temperature. For one-touch access to seat heaters, you can add them to the touchscreen's bottom bar (see Customizing My Apps).
  6. Touch to turn on the heated steering wheel (if equipped).
  7. Touch to turn on the wiper defrosters (if equipped). Wipers defrost for 30 minutes then turn off automatically.
  8. Touch the passenger's side seat icon to adjust seat heaters for the front passenger. The seat operates at three levels from 3 (highest) to 1 (lowest). The seat icon displays twisting lines that turn red (heating) to corresponding with the set level. Auto, which displays when the climate control system is set to Auto, warms the front seats based on cabin temperature. For one-touch access to seat heaters, you can add them to the touchscreen's bottom bar (see Customizing My Apps).
  9. When in Park, these settings display to allow you to keep the climate control system operating, even when you leave Model 3 (see Keep Climate On, Dog, and Camp).
  10. Touch to adjust how air flows from the front vents. See Adjusting the Front Vents.
  11. When Model 3 is in Park, touch Schedule to set a recurring daily time when you want Model 3 to be ready to drive by preconditioning the Battery and cabin climate and/or charging during off-peak hours (see Scheduled Charging and Scheduled Departure).
  12. Touch to control the flow of air inside the cabin. Air can be drawn into Model 3 from outside or air can be recirculated inside the cabin.
  13. Use the slider to adjust the fan speed.
    Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
    Note
    Adjusting the fan speed may change the selected setting for how air is drawn into Model 3 in order to increase or reduce air flow.
  14. Touch to turn the air conditioning system on or off. Turning it off reduces cooling, but saves energy.
    Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
    Note
    Because Model 3 runs much quieter than a gasoline-powered vehicle, you may notice the sound of the air conditioning compressor as it is operating. To minimize noise, reduce the fan speed.
  15. Touch to warm up the rear windshield. After 15 minutes, the rear window defroster automatically turns off. The exterior side mirrors are also heated whenever the rear window defroster is operating.
  16. The windshield defroster distributes air flow to the windshield. Touch once to defog the windshield (the icon turns amber). Touch a second time to defrost the windshield. Touch a third time to turn off and restore the air distribution, heating, and fan to their previous settings. In cold ambient temperatures, the exterior side mirrors are also heated whenever the windshield defroster is operating. See Cold Weather Best Practices for more information on preparing for cold weather.
  17. Touch Auto to turn the Auto setting on or off.

Climate Popup

Touch the temperature arrows on the bottom of the touchscreen to display a popup for easy access to some of the most common climate controls:

Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
Note
For one-touch access to seat heaters and defrosters, you can add these controls to My Apps. See Customizing My Apps.
  1. Touch to access the main climate controls screen.
  2. Enable or disable heated seats.
  3. Enable or disable the front or rear windshield defrosters.
  4. Modify the cabin temperature by dragging along the slider. You can also enable temperature splitting which allows the driver and front passenger to customize their own climate preferences. The front passenger can touch the temperature icon on the bottom of the touchscreen or the main climate controls screen to adjust. Touch Split again to disable climate splitting.

Keep Climate On, Dog, and Camp

The Keep Climate On, Dog, and Camp settings allow you to keep the climate control system running when in Park, even after you've left Model 3 or choose to stay inside the vehicle. These settings are useful when it is important to maintain the cabin temperature in hot or cold weather conditions. For example, when leaving groceries in Model 3 on hot days, you may want to use Keep Climate On to prevent spoilage.

Dog is designed to maintain a comfortable cabin temperature for your pet while you actively and frequently monitor this temperature using the mobile app (which requires both your phone and the vehicle to have cellular connectivity). When in Dog, the touchscreen displays the current cabin temperature to inform people passing by that your pet is safe. This setting is not intended for people, and should only be used for short periods of time while you stay in close proximity should you need to return to the vehicle in situations where the temperature can no longer be maintained.
Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
Note
If Dog and Sentry are enabled at the same time, Sentry defaults to Disable Sentry Sounds to protect your pet. See Sentry Mode for more information.

Camp allows you to power electronics through the USB ports and low voltage outlet in addition to maintaining the cabin temperature. The touchscreen remains on so you can play music, browse the internet, play games in the arcade, or watch shows in Tesla Theater. You can also control media and climate settings from a paired phone. Camp is ideal for remaining inside your vehicle, such as camping or staying with a child. While active, Sentry Mode and the vehicle alarm system are disabled.

To operate Keep Climate On, Dog, or Camp:

  1. Make sure the Battery's charge level is at least 20%.
  2. Engage Park. The Keep Climate On, Dog, and Camp settings are available only when Model 3 is in Park.
  3. If necessary, adjust the climate settings.
  4. On the climate controls screen, touch Keep Climate On, Dog, or Camp.
    Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
    Note
    You can also control Dog and Camp from the mobile app, by swiping up from the gray bar on the Climate screen.

The climate control system attempts to maintain your climate settings until you shift out of Park or manually turn it off. Avoid using Keep Climate On, Dog, or Camp when the battery charge is low. If the Battery's charge level drops below 20%, the Tesla mobile app attempts to repeatedly send you notifications reminding you to check on anything that you have left in Model 3.

Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
Note
Software updates cannot be performed when Keep Climate On, Dog, or Camp is active.
Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
Warning
Never leave a child unattended in your vehicle.
Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
Warning
Check local laws for any restrictions on leaving pets unattended in your vehicle.
Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
Warning
You are responsible for the safety of your dog or pet. Never leave them in Model 3 for long periods of time. Constantly monitor the vehicle temperature and their well-being. Make sure you have sufficient cellular coverage on your phone and time to return to the vehicle, if necessary.
Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
Warning
In the unlikely event that your climate control system needs service or is not working as expected, avoid using Keep Climate On, Dog, and Camp. Never rely on your vehicle to protect something irreplaceable.
Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
Warning
You can adjust and monitor the climate control system remotely using the mobile app. However, if you use the mobile app to turn off the climate control system, Keep Climate On, Dog, and Camp stop operating.

Adjusting the Front Vents

Model 3 has a unique horizontal face-level vent that spans the width of the dashboard. Using the touchscreen, you can pinpoint exactly where you want to direct the air flowing from this vent when heating or cooling the front cabin area.

Interior view of front cabin with callouts
  1. Driver vent and controls
  2. Passenger vent and controls

When the face-level vent is on you can adjust the direction of the air flow from each vent. To adjust the direction of the air flow, simply touch the radiating air waves from the corresponding vent on the touchscreen. The air flows in a single stream when centered or splits into mirrored air streams when air is directed outward or inward from the center of the vent.

Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
Note
You can direct the face-level vents toward the windows to help defrost or defog them.
Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
Note
When you split a vent into two separate air flows, the air flow in each direction is not as strong as when all air is flowing in a single direction.
Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
Note
Outside air is drawn into Model 3 through the grill in front of the windshield. Keep the grill clear of obstructions, such as leaves and snow.

Adjusting the Rear Vents

Model 3 has vents located at the back of the center console where air flows from when the setting is turned on from the touchscreen. To direct the flow of air in the rear cabin area, adjust the vents at the rear of the center console up, down, or from side to side as necessary.

Rear console vents with arrows pointing up, down, right, left

Cabin Air Filter(s)

Model 3 has one or more air filters to prevent pollen, industrial fallout, road dust and other particles from entering through the vents.

Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
Note
Cabin air filter(s) require periodic replacement. See Service Intervals.

Cabin Overheat Protection

Cabin Overheat Protection prevents the cabin from getting too hot in scorching ambient conditions. While not necessary to activate whenever you leave Model 3, the climate control system can reduce and maintain the temperature of your vehicle’s cabin. This can prevent the cabin from getting too hot after leaving it parked in the sun, making the vehicle more comfortable when you return. Cabin Overheat Protection may take up to 15 minutes to enable once you exit the vehicle. This feature is intended for passenger comfort and has no impact on the reliability of your vehicle's components.

To turn on, touch Controls > Safety > Cabin Overheat Protection and choose:

  • On: The air conditioning operates when the cabin temperature exceeds 40° C, or the selected temperature if available, on the touchscreen or mobile app. Customizing temperatures may require the most recent version of the mobile app.
  • No A/C: Only the fan operates to prevent touch surfaces from getting too hot.
  • Off: Disables Cabin Overheat Protection.

You can also enable Cabin Overheat Protection remotely through the mobile app by touching Climate. Swipe up on the bottom menu and select a setting under Cabin Overheat Protection (see Mobile App).

Cabin Overheat Protection operates until 12 hours has elapsed once you exit Model 3, or until the Battery energy drops below 20%, whichever comes first. Using Cabin Overheat Protection requires energy from the Battery, which may decrease range.

Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
Warning
Due to automatic shut-off, extreme outside conditions, or other potential inability to maintain the selected temperature, the inside of the vehicle can become dangerously hot, even when Cabin Overheat Protection is enabled. If you experience temperatures exceeding the selected temperature repeatedly, contact Tesla service.
Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
Warning
Never leave children or pets in the vehicle unattended. Due to automatic shut-off or extreme outside conditions, the inside of the vehicle can become dangerously hot, even when Cabin Overheat Protection is enabled.

Climate Control Operating Tips

  • When you use the mobile app to turn on the climate control system, it automatically turns off when the charge level drops to 20%, or if two hours has passed. To cool or heat the cabin for a longer period of time, charge the vehicle and re-enable your climate control preference through the mobile app.
  • If the climate control system is louder than you prefer, manually reduce the fan speed.
  • In addition to cooling the interior, the air conditioning compressor also cools the Battery. Therefore, in hot weather, the air conditioning compressor can turn on even if you turned it off. This is normal because the system’s priority is to cool the Battery to ensure it stays within an optimum temperature range to support longevity and optimum performance.
  • Even when not in use, you may hear Model 3 emit a whining noise or the sound of water circulating. These sounds are normal and occur when the internal cooling systems turn on to support various vehicle functions, such as maintaining the low voltage battery and balancing the temperature of the high voltage Battery.
  • To ensure the climate control system operates efficiently, close all windows and ensure that the exterior grille in front of the windshield is free of ice, snow, leaves, and other debris.
  • In very humid conditions, it is normal for the windshield to fog slightly when you first turn on the air conditioning.
  • It is normal for a small pool of water to form under Model 3 when parked. Extra water produced by the dehumidifying process is drained underneath.
  • Model 3 is designed to automatically maximize efficiency; therefore, your air conditioning compressor and external fan may run and make noise even when the outside temperature is cold and your vehicle is heating or supercharging.
  • To reduce the temperature in the cabin in hot weather conditions, the fan may turn on to vent the cabin when the vehicle is parked. This occurs only if the battery's charge level is above 20%.