Braking and Stopping

Braking Systems

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Warning
Properly functioning braking systems are critical to ensure safety. If you experience a problem with the brake pedal, brake calipers, or any component of a Model Y braking system, contact Tesla immediately.

Model Y has an anti-lock braking system (ABS) that prevents the wheels from locking when you apply maximum brake pressure. This improves steering control during heavy braking in most road conditions.

During emergency braking conditions, the ABS constantly monitors the speed of each wheel and varies the brake pressure according to the grip available.

The alteration of brake pressure can be felt as a pulsing sensation through the brake pedal. This demonstrates that the ABS is operating and is not a cause for concern. Keep firm and steady pressure on the brake pedal while experiencing the pulsing.

The word ABS within an amber circle
The ABS indicator briefly flashes amber on the touchscreen when you first start Model Y. If this indicator lights up at any other time, an ABS fault has occurred and the ABS is not operating. Contact Tesla. The braking system remains fully operational and is not affected by an ABS failure. However, braking distances may increase. Drive cautiously and avoid heavy braking.
Red exclamation point within a red circle with the word BRAKE underneath
If the touchscreen displays this red brake indicator at any time other than briefly when you first start Model Y, a brake system fault is detected, or the level of the brake fluid is low. Contact Tesla immediately. Apply steady pressure and keep the brakes firm to bring the vehicle to a stop when safe to do so.
Amber exclamation point within an amber circle with the word BRAKE underneath
The touchscreen displays this amber brake indicator if a brake booster fault is detected. Apply steady pressure and keep the brakes firm to stop the vehicle when safety permits. Hydraulic Boost Compensation will be active (see Hydraulic Boost Compensation).

Emergency Braking

In an emergency, fully press the brake pedal and maintain firm pressure, even on low traction surfaces. The ABS varies the braking pressure to each wheel according to the amount of traction available. This prevents wheels from locking and ensures that you stop as safely as possible.

If an alternative method is needed to bring the vehicle to a stop, press and hold the Park button on the drive stalk to apply the brakes and remove drive torque while the button is held.

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Warning
Do not pump the brake pedal. Doing so interrupts operation of the ABS and can increase braking distance.
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Warning
Always maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you and be aware of hazardous driving conditions. While the ABS can improve stopping distance, it cannot overcome the laws of physics. It also does not prevent the danger of hydroplaning (where a layer of water prevents direct contact between the tires and the road).
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CAUTION
Automatic Emergency Braking (see Collision Avoidance Assist) may intervene to automatically brake in situations where a collision is considered imminent. Automatic Emergency Braking is not designed to prevent a collision. At best, it can minimize the impact of a frontal collision by attempting to reduce your driving speed. Depending on Automatic Emergency Braking to avoid a collision can result in serious injury or death.
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CAUTION
In emergency situations, if the brakes are not functioning properly, press and hold the Park button on the drive stalk to bring Model Y to a stop. Do not use this method to stop the vehicle unless absolutely necessary.

Dynamic Brake Lights (if equipped)

If you are driving over 30 mph (50 km/h) and brake forcefully (or if Automatic Emergency Braking engages), the brake lights flash quickly to warn other drivers that Model Y is rapidly slowing down. If Model Y stops completely, the hazard warning lights flash. Flashing continues until you press the accelerator or manually press the hazard lights button to turn them off (see Hazard Warning Flashers).

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Note
Dynamic brake lights will not flash while Track Mode is enabled (see Track Mode).
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Note
When towing a trailer (if applicable), the brake lights on the trailer also operate as described above, even when the trailer is not equipped with a separate braking system.
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Warning
When towing a trailer (if applicable), always increase your following distance. Sudden braking may result in skidding, jack-knifing, and loss of control.

Brake Disc Wiping

To ensure brakes remain responsive in cold and wet weather, Model Y is equipped with brake disc wiping. When cold and wet weather is detected, this feature repeatedly applies an imperceptible amount of brake force to remove water from the surface of the brake discs.

Hydraulic Fade Compensation

Model Y is equipped with hydraulic fade compensation. This assists in monitoring brake system pressure and ABS activity for instances of reduced brake performance. If reduced brake performance is detected (for example, as a result of brake fade, or cold or wet conditions), you may hear a sound, feel the brake pedal pull away from your foot, and notice a strong increase in braking. Brake as you normally would and continue to press the brake pedal without releasing or pumping the brakes.

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CAUTION
In emergency situations, if the brakes are not functioning properly, press and hold the Park button on the drive stalk to bring Model Y to a stop. Do not use this method to stop the vehicle unless absolutely necessary.
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Warning
Always maintain a safe driving distance from the vehicle in front of you and exercise caution when driving conditions are hazardous. Brake disc wiping and hydraulic fade compensation is not a substitute for adequately applying the brakes.

Hydraulic Boost Compensation

Model Y is equipped with a brake booster that activates the brakes when the brake pedal is pressed. Hydraulic boost compensation provides mechanical assistance if the brake booster fails. If a brake booster failure is detected, the brake pedal feels stiffer to press and you may hear a sound when you press the brake pedal. To stop Model Y, apply steady force to the brake pedal without releasing or pumping. Drive cautiously and maintain a safe distance from other road users—brake pedal responsiveness and braking performance may be degraded.

Regenerative Braking

Whenever Model Y is moving and your foot is off the accelerator, regenerative braking slows down the vehicle and feeds any surplus power back to the Battery. By anticipating your stops and reducing or removing pressure from the accelerator pedal to slow down, you can take advantage of regenerative braking to increase driving range.

Vehicle deceleration due to regenerative braking may vary depending on the current state of the Battery. For example, regenerative braking may be limited if the Battery is cold or is already fully charged.

The power meter (a thin line in the touchscreen's car status area) displays real-time power usage:

  1. Represents power generated from regenerative braking, or power that is captured from slowing down the vehicle. Power being fed back to the Battery displays in green whereas power used by the regular braking system displays in gray.
  2. Represents power being output by the Battery, such as that used to accelerate the vehicle. When you press the accelerator pedal, the top half of the power meter fills with black (or white if the display is dark).
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Note
Installing winter tires with aggressive compound and tread design may result in temporarily-reduced regenerative braking power. However, your vehicle is designed to continuously recalibrate itself, and after changing tires it will increasingly restore regenerative braking power after some straight-line accelerations. For most drivers this occurs after a short period of normal driving, but drivers who normally accelerate lightly may need to use slightly harder accelerations while the recalibration is in progress. Touch Service > Wheel & Tire > Tires to select winter tires and quicken this process.
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Note
If regenerative braking is aggressively slowing Model Y (such as when your foot is completely off the accelerator pedal at highway speeds), the brake lights turn on to alert others that you are slowing down.
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Note
Because Model Y uses regenerative braking, the brake pads are typically used less frequently than those in traditional braking systems. To avoid the accumulation of rust and corrosion, Tesla recommends frequently pressing the brake pedal to apply the mechanical brakes and dry the brake pads and rotors.
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Warning
In snowy or icy conditions, Model Y may experience loss of traction during regenerative braking, particularly when in the Standard setting and/or not using winter tires. Tesla recommends using the Low setting in snowy or icy conditions to help maintain vehicle stability.

To Set the Regenerative Braking Level

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Note
The regenerative braking setting is unavailable for vehicles manufactured as of approximately January 2024.

You can use the touchscreen to change the level of regenerative braking:

  1. Touch Controls > Dynamics > Regenerative Braking.
  2. Choose from two levels:
    • Low: Limits regenerative braking. When you release the accelerator, Model Y takes longer to slow down and coasts farther than if set to "Standard".
    • Standard: Provides the maximum amount of regenerative braking. When you release the accelerator, Model Y slows down, reducing the need to use the brakes.

Stopping Mode

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Note
Stopping Modes are unavailable for vehicles manufactured as of approximately January 2024.

Regenerative braking decelerates Model Y whenever you release the accelerator pedal when driving. You can choose what you want Model Y to do once the driving speed has been reduced to a very low speed (almost at a stop) and both the accelerator pedal and brake pedal are released. While in Park, touch Controls > Dynamics > Stopping Mode and choose from these options:

  • Creep: When close to, or at, a complete stop, the motor continues to apply torque, moving Model Y slowly forward (in Drive) or backwards (in Reverse), similar to a conventional vehicle with an automatic transmission. In some situations, such as on a steep hill or driveway, you may need to press the accelerator pedal to continue moving or to prevent Model Y from moving in the opposite direction.
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    Warning
    Never rely on Creep to apply enough torque to prevent your vehicle from rolling down a hill. Always press the brake pedal to remain stopped or the accelerator pedal to proceed up the hill. Failure to do so can result in property damage and/or a collision.
  • Hold: Maximizes range and reduces brake wear by continuing to provide regenerative braking at speeds lower than with the Creep and Roll settings. When Model Y stops, the brakes are automatically applied without you having to put your foot on the brake pedal. Whether stopped on a flat surface or a hill, Vehicle Hold keeps the brake applied, provided your foot remains off the accelerator and brake pedals. See Vehicle Hold.
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    Warning
    Never rely on Hold to adequately decelerate or fully stop your vehicle. Many factors can contribute to a longer stopping distance, including downward slopes, and reduced or limited regenerative braking (see Regenerative Braking). Always be prepared to use the brake pedal to adequately decelerate or stop.
  • Roll: When close to, or at, a complete stop, Model Y becomes free rolling like a vehicle in Neutral. Therefore, if stopped on a slope, Model Y will roll downward. The brake does not engage, and the motor does not apply torque (until the accelerator pedal is pressed).
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    Note
    If you choose Creep or Roll, you can still use Vehicle Hold to apply the brakes. However, you will need to briefly press the brake pedal when the vehicle is stopped. See Vehicle Hold.
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    Note
    When Model Y is in Track Mode (see Track Mode), Roll is automatically enabled, regardless of your chosen setting. When no longer in Track Mode, Model Y reverts to your chosen setting.
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Note
Your preferred Stopping Mode setting does not sync to your driver profile.
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Warning
Press the brake pedal if Model Y moves when unsafe to do so. It is your responsibility to stay alert and be in control of the vehicle at all times. Failure to do so can result in serious damage, injury, or death.
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Warning
Do not rely on regenerative braking and your chosen Stopping Mode to keep you and your vehicle safe. Various factors such as driving with a heavy vehicle load, on a steep hill, or on wet or icy roads affect deceleration rate and the distance at which Model Y will come to a stop. Drive attentively and always stay prepared to use the brake pedal to stop as appropriate based on traffic and road conditions.
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Warning
Forward Collision Warning and Automatic Emergency Braking do not operate when driving at very low speeds (see Collision Avoidance Assist). Do not rely on these features to warn you, or to prevent or reduce the impact of a collision.

Parking Brake

To engage the parking brake, touch Controls > Safety > Parking Brake. Follow the onscreen instructions. You can also engage the parking brake by pressing and holding the button on the end of the drive stalk while in Park.

Drive stalk shown with an arrow pointing to the button on the end.

Use the touchscreen to manually release the parking brake (which also shifts Model Y into Neutral):

  1. Touch Controls > Safety.
  2. Press the brake pedal, then touch Parking Brake. If Model Y was previously in Park, it shifts into Neutral.
A read P within a red circle with the word PARK underneath
When you manually apply the parking brake using the touchscreen, the red parking brake indicator lights up on the touchscreen.
An amber P within an amber circle
If the parking brake experiences an electrical issue, the amber parking brake indicator lights up and a fault message displays on the touchscreen.
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Note
The parking brake operates on the rear wheels only, and is independent of the pedal-operated brake system.
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CAUTION
In the unlikely event that Model Y loses electrical power, you cannot access the touchscreen and are therefore unable to release the parking brake without first jump starting (see Jump Starting).
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Warning
In snowy or icy conditions the rear wheels may not have sufficient traction to prevent Model Y from sliding down a slope, particularly if not using winter tires. Avoid parking on hills in snowy or icy conditions. You are always responsible for parking safely.
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Warning
Your Model Y may display an alert if the road is too steep to safely park on, or if the parking brakes are not properly engaged. These alerts are for guidance purposes only and are not a substitute for the driver’s judgment of safe parking conditions, including specific road or weather conditions. Do not depend on these alerts to determine whether or not it is safe to park at any location. You are always responsible for parking safely.

Brake Wear

Model Y brake pads are equipped with wear indicators. A wear indicator is a thin metal strip attached to the brake pad that squeals as it rubs against the rotor when the pad wears down. This squealing sound indicates that the brake pads have reached the end of their service life and require replacement. To replace the brake pads, contact Tesla Service.

Brakes must be periodically inspected visually by removing the tire and wheel. For detailed specifications and service limits for rotors and brake pads, see Subsystems. Additionally, Tesla recommends cleaning and lubricating the brake calipers every year or 12,500 miles (20,000 km) if in an area where roads are salted during winter months.

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Warning
Neglecting to replace worn brake pads damages the braking system and can result in a braking hazard.