Instructions for Transporters

DO NOT TRANSPORT WITH WHEELS ON THE GROUND

The motor(s) in Model 3generates power when the wheels spin. Always transport Model 3 with all four tires off the ground. Ensure that the tires are unable to spin at any time during transport.

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Warning
NEVER TRANSPORT YOUR VEHICLE WITH THE TIRES IN A POSITION WHERE THEY CAN SPIN. DOING SO CAN LEAD TO SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE AND OVERHEATING. IN RARE CASES EXTREME OVERHEATING MAY CAUSE THE SURROUNDING COMPONENTS TO IGNITE.
Model 3 being towed with rear wheels on ground and front wheels lifted by a tow truck and a red "X" to indicate this should not be performed.
Model 3 being transported with all four wheels on ground behind an RV and a red "X" to indicate this should not be performed.

Do not transport Model 3 using any method that is not specified by Tesla. Adhere to the instructions provided in the following sections and observe all warnings and cautions provided. Damage caused by improper transporting of your vehicle is not covered by the warranty.

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Note
Tesla is not liable or responsible for reimbursing services not dispatched through Tesla Roadside Assistance.

Approved Methods for Transporting

A flatbed truck or comparable transport vehicle is the recommended method of transporting Model 3. The vehicle can face either direction when using a flatbed.

Vehicle on a flatbed truck.

If Model 3 must be transported without a flatbed truck, then wheel lifts and dollies must be used to ensure that all four wheels are off of the ground. This method may only be used for a maximum of 55 km, and must not exceed the manufacturer speed rating of the dollies. With this method, Tesla recommends the vehicle facing forward so that the front wheels are lifted and the rear wheels are on dollies.

Vehicle being towed with front wheels lifted by a tow truck and rear wheels on dollies.
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CAUTION
Enable Transport Mode (see Activate Transport Mode) before winching Model 3 onto a flatbed truck (see Pull onto the Flatbed Truck). If Transport Mode is not available or the touchscreen is not accessible, self-loading dollies or tire skates must be used to load the vehicle into the approved transportation position. Tesla is not responsible for any damage caused by or during the transport of Model 3, including personal property damage or damage caused by using self-loading dollies or tire skates.
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Note
Transport Mode is only intended to allow for winching Model 3 onto a flatbed truck or repositioning the vehicle out of a parking space. While in Transport Mode, the tires are allowed to rotate slowly (under 5 km/h) and for a very short distance (less than 10 meters). See Activate Transport Mode. Exceeding these boundaries can lead to significant damage and overheating that is not covered by the warranty.
Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
Warning
Model 3 is equipped with high voltage components that may be compromised as a result of a collision (see High Voltage Components). Before transporting Model 3, it is important to assume these components are energized. Always follow high voltage safety precautions (wearing personal protection equipment, etc.) until emergency response professionals have evaluated the vehicle and can accurately confirm that all high voltage systems are no longer energized. Failure to do so may result in serious injury.

Activate Transport Mode

Transport Mode keeps the parking brake disengaged while winching Model 3 onto a flatbed truck. When active, Transport Mode displays a message indicating that the vehicle will remain free-rolling. To enable Transport Mode:

  • Low voltage power is required. You will be unable to use the touchscreen to activate Transport Mode if Model 3 has no power.
  • Model 3 must detect a key. Transport Mode is available only when a key is detected.

To activate Transport Mode:

  1. Ensure Model 3 is in Park.
  2. Chock the tires or make sure Model 3 is secure.
  3. Press and hold the brake pedal, then on the touchscreen, touch Controls > Service > Towing. The touchscreen displays a message reminding you how to properly transport Model 3.
  4. Press and hold the Transport Mode button until it turns blue. Model 3 is now free-rolling and can slowly be rolled (no faster than walking speed) or winched.

To cancel Transport Mode, shift Model 3 into Park.

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Note
If your vehicle is equipped with a low voltage Lead-Acid Battery (see Jump Starting the Low Voltage Battery): Transport Mode may cancel if Model 3 loses low voltage power after Transport Mode is enabled.
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CAUTION
If the electrical system is not working, and you therefore cannot use the touchscreen to activate Transport Mode, use self-loading dollies or tire skates. Before doing so, always check the manufacturer's specifications and recommended loading capacity.

Pull onto the Flatbed Truck

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Note
If Model 3 has no low voltage power, you need an external low voltage power supply to open the hood or use the touchscreen.
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CAUTION
To avoid damage, only pull the vehicle onto a flatbed truck using a properly-installed tow eye. Using the chassis, frame, or suspension components to pull the vehicle can result in damage.
  1. Locate the tow eye. The tow eye is located under the carpet in the front trunk.
    Arrow pointing to the tow eye in the front trunk.
  2. Release the tow eye cover by pressing firmly on its top right perimeter until it pivots inward, then gently pulling the raised section toward you.
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    Note
    The tow eye cover is connected to the vehicle's black negative (-) terminal.
    Arrow pointing to the vehicle's tow eye cover.
  3. Fully insert the tow eye into the opening, then turn it counter-clockwise until securely fastened.
    Tow eye installed and an arrow showing that it is rotated counter-clockwise.
  4. Attach the winch cable to the tow eye.
    Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
    CAUTION
    Before pulling, make sure the tow eye is securely tightened.
  5. Activate Transport Mode.
  6. Pull Model 3 slowly onto the flatbed truck.

Secure the Tires

The vehicle's tires must be secured onto the truck using the eight-point tie-down method:

  • Ensure any metal parts on the tie-down straps do not contact painted surfaces or the face of the wheels.
  • Do not place tie-down straps over the body panels or through the wheels.
Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
CAUTION
Attaching the tie-down straps to the chassis, suspension or other parts of the vehicle's body may cause damage.
View of the rear wheel with tie-down straps installed.

Jump Starting the Low Voltage Battery

If jump starting Model 3 using another vehicle, refer to that vehicle manufacturer's instructions. The following instructions assume you are using an external low voltage power supply (such as a portable jump starter).

To determine whether your vehicle is equipped with a Lead-Acid or Lithium-Ion Battery, navigate to Controls > Software > Additional vehicle information.

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CAUTION
Model 3 cannot be used to jump start another vehicle. Doing so can result in damage.
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CAUTION
Avoid short circuits when jump starting Model 3. Connecting cables to the wrong terminals, touching leads together, etc., can result in damage to Model 3.

Jump Starting the Low Voltage (Lead-Acid) Battery

Animation showing the following procedure.
  1. Open the hood (see Opening Hood with No Power).
  2. Remove the maintenance panel by pulling it upwards to release the trim clips that hold it in place.
  3. Remove the cabin intake trim panel by pulling it upwards to release the trim clips that hold it in place.
  4. Connect the low voltage power supply's red positive (+) cable to the red positive (+) terminal on the low voltage battery.
    Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
    CAUTION
    To avoid damaging Model 3, do not allow the positive cable to contact other metal components, such as the battery tie-down bracket.
  5. Connect the low voltage power supply's black negative (-) cable to the black negative (-) terminal on the low voltage battery.
  6. Turn on the external power supply (refer to the manufacturer’s instructions). Touch the touchscreen to wake it up.
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    Note
    It may take several minutes to receive enough power to wake up the touchscreen.
  7. When external low voltage power is no longer required, disconnect both cables from the terminals on the battery, beginning with the black negative (-) cable.
  8. Reinstall the cabin intake trim panel by placing it back in its original location and pressing down until it is secure.
  9. Replace the maintenance panel by placing it back in its original location and pressing down until it is secure.
  10. Close the hood.

Jump Starting the Low Voltage (Lithium-Ion) Battery

  1. Open the hood (see Opening Hood with No Power).
  2. Remove the maintenance panel by pulling it upwards to release the trim clips that hold it in place.
  3. Remove the red cover and connect the external low voltage power supply’s red positive (+) cable to the red positive (+) jump post.
    Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
    CAUTION
    To avoid damaging the vehicle, do not allow the positive cable to contact other metal components.
    low voltage power supply positive cable connecting to positive terminal.
  4. Connect the external low voltage power supply’s black negative (-) cable to the bolt located between the brake fluid reservoir and the front trunk. The bolt is used as a grounding location for the external support.
    low voltage power supply negative cable connecting to negative terminal.
  5. Turn on the external power supply (refer to the manufacturer’s instructions) for 20-30 seconds.
    Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
    CAUTION
    If you leave the power supply on for longer than 30 seconds, the low voltage battery may not self-recover and the vehicle might not be able to shift into Drive. Disconnect the power supply and the low voltage battery to enable another battery self-recovery attempt.
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    Note
    If attempting to activate Transport Mode (to winch the vehicle onto a flatbed truck), the low voltage battery is not required to self-recover. Leave the power supply connected continuously until the vehicle has been secured.
  6. Open the driver door and wait two minutes.
  7. Ensure the vehicle is able to shift into Drive.
  8. Replace the maintenance panel by placing it back in its original location and pressing down until it is secure.
  9. Close the hood.