Model 3 Support

Software Updates

Over-the-air software updates introduce new features and improve existing functionality to make your Model 3 safer and more capable over time.

As soon as a software update is available, you will receive a notification on your touchscreen and through your Tesla app, including estimated duration. You can choose to install the update immediately or schedule it for a future time. Your Model 3 will be unresponsive during the update, so we recommend choosing a time you won’t need to drive.

Note: You can also tap the alarm clock icon at the top of your touchscreen to revisit your update details at any time. 

Explore your interior

Driving

Your Model 3 is always ready to go. With your Phone Key or key card, just place your foot on the brake, and use the gear selector to the right of the steering wheel to shift into gear and start driving. To park, press the silver button on the end of the gear selector. After you park, simply take your Phone Key or key card with you, and exit the vehicle – it will turn off automatically. 

Opening the Doors

To open the doors while sitting inside, press the button located at the top of the interior door handle.

The front doors are also equipped with a manual release that can be used in the unlikely event that the Model 3 has no power. The manual release should not be used routinely, as continued use may damage the window trim. 

Owner's Manual

Access the Model 3 Owner’s Manual on your touchscreen. Go to “Settings” and tap on “Service” to view. You can also view the Charge Cable Manual for additional vehicle and charging information.  

Climate Control

Tap the fan icon to adjust the climate control settings. Adjust the vent levels, air speed, temperature and more from the central menu. When the face-level vents are selected, grids will appear to customize airflow. Tap on the air-stream icons to toggle between a single or dual stream of air. Drag the icons to position the direction of airflow.

Note: rear vents are controlled manually.

Opening The Console and Charging Your Phone

There are two storage compartments and two charging connections in the Model 3 center console. If equipped, the premium console contains an additional two USB ports in the rear as well.

Armrest compartment: Lift the armrest to reveal a spacious compartment, and a 12V outlet. Push down to close.

Forward Compartment: Two panels cover the forward compartment storage. To open, push down lightly on either side of the seam between the panels. The panel under the touchscreen serves as a phone dock, which you can also lift to access your front USB ports. To close, gently push down the panel. 

Phone Key and Key Card

Phone Key

Connect a Phone Key to unlock your Model 3 without ever taking your phone out of your pocket. We recommend the Phone Key as the primary method of accessing and starting your vehicle.

To connect your phone as Phone Key:

  • Have your key card with you, and ensure your phone and Bluetooth are on and discoverable.
  • Open the Tesla mobile app and tap on “Phone Key”.
  • Follow the step-by-step instructions

When pairing is complete and within range of your Model 3, the Phone Key status will change to “Connected”.

Note: A paired Phone Key uses Bluetooth frequencies instead of a network connection to communicate with your Model 3. This means that if you’re parked in an underground parking garage with no cell signal on either your phone or your car, you can still lock, unlock, and start your vehicle without issue. 

Walk Away Lock

You can lock your Model 3 without taking your phone out of your pocket by turning on the “Walk Away Lock” feature. On the touchscreen, just select “Settings” then go to “Locks” to turn it on. 

Key Card Entry

Your Model 3 comes standard with two key cards for easy entry and operation. A key card is convenient for when your phone is not accessible, out of battery, or if someone else needs temporary access to your Model 3, such as a valet.

To lock or unlock, tap your Model 3 key card on the center of the pillar to the right of the driver’s window. To start your Model 3, tap your key card behind the cup holders, place your foot on the brake pedal to start.

Note: Access cannot be granted from the passenger side of the vehicle.

Mobile App

Your Model 3 can also communicate with the Tesla mobile app via standard mobile network connection.

If you need to get an additional driver access or more information, visit our Tesla mobile app support page here

Enhanced Autopilot

How to Engage

If configured on your car, your Model 3 will indicate that Traffic-Aware Cruise Control and Autosteer are available by presenting a gray steering wheel and speed dial icon below your speedometer. When available, press down on the gear selector once to engage Traffic-Aware Cruise Control, or twice to engage Traffic-Aware Cruise Control and Autosteer. The Traffic-Aware Cruise Control and Autosteer icon will then highlight blue to indicate that they are engaged.

To deactivate Autopilot, move the gear selector up and release, or press the brake pedal. Icons will return to gray or disappear to indicate that the Autopilot features are no longer active. Other driver or vehicle inputs may also cancel one or both Autopilot features. For example, with both TACC and Autosteer engaged, you may manually steer the wheel to cancel Autosteer while TACC remains engaged. To learn more about Autopilot and its additional features and operation, please review your Owner’s Manual.

While using Autopilot features, it is your responsibility to stay alert, drive safely, and be in control of the vehicle at all times. Ensure your hands are always on the wheel, and you are monitoring the in vehicle alerts for any notifications, warnings, or status changes.

Charging

Charge Anywhere

Your Tesla can charge anywhere – where you regularly park, along your route, and at your destination. Learn more about charging options and plan a road trip in your Model 3 here

How to Plug In

Open the charge port door by:

  • Outside your car: bottom right-hand corner of the charge port door when your car is unlocked, or an authenticated Phone Key is nearby.
  • With any Tesla charger: press the button on the charge cable handle while the cable is connected to a power source, and near the charge port.
  • On your touchscreen: on the car status on the touchscreen, touch the charging icon. Select the lightning bolt icon and select “Open Charge Port”

You can monitor your charging status from anywhere using the Tesla app, or by looking at the Tesla ‘T’ LED next to the charge port, or the charge screen on the touchscreen.

Charge Port Lights

The Tesla ‘T’ LED will illuminate different colors to indicate the charge status of your car.

  • Blinking green: The ‘T’ LED will flash green to indicate that your vehicle is charging. Based on your state of charge, your LED will flash more rapidly when low, and gradually slow as charging completes
  • Solid green: Charging is complete
  • Solid amber: Charge cable is not fully latched. Press and hold the button on the charge cable handle and wait for the LED to turn white. Then remove the cable from the charge port, release the button and insert fully
    • Do not hold the button on the charge cable handle when you insert the cable, or it will not properly latch
  • Blinking amber: Your car is charging on a reduced current
  • White: Charge port is unlatched and the cable is ready to insert or remove
  • Red: Your car has detected a charging issue

Contact Tesla Customer Support for further charging assistance at 1-877-798-3752 or ServiceHelpNA@tesla.com.

Recommended Charging Habits

Your Model 3 will automatically charge to the set limit whenever you plug in. We recommend setting your charge limit to meet your daily needs, and only charging beyond daily needs when going on a road trip.

If you live in an area where you can take advantage of time-of-use rates for electricity, or would like it to begin charging at a predetermined time, we recommend enabling Scheduled Charging. Just tap the lightning bolt icon on your touchscreen and turn on “Scheduled Charging” set your desired starting time. 

Owner Support

Customer Support and Roadside Assistance

Tap the Tesla ‘T’ icon on your touchscreen to contact the Tesla Customer Support and Roadside Assistance team directly from your car. To learn more about services provided, review our Customer Support and Roadside Assistance page.

Towing

If you need Roadside Assistance, our Roadside team is available 24/7 at 1-877-798-3752.

If your Model 3 needs to be loaded on a flatbed or trailer, it is equipped with Transport Mode that allows the car to be free rolling. We do not ever recommend towing your Model 3 with the wheels on the ground as it may cause permanent damage.

Hazard Lights

To turn on your hazard lights, press the button with the red hazard icon directly above your rearview mirror.