About the car

100 things you never knew about your Tesla (Model S & X edition)

Last modified: 2020-02-23

15 min(s) read

  1. There is a ‘kidnap button’ in both the frunk and boot in case you accidentally lock yourself in…..or deliberately lock a small child in there.
  2. Emergency rear doors release pulls are located in front of the rear seat cushion on both sides (Model S) so you can always open the rear doors from inside in the rare event of a complete power loss [video]. On Model X they’re inside the rear speakers in the door [explained / video].
  3. You can turn the touchscreen into a notepad and if your artwork is good enough you can publish it to Tesla.
  4. The rubber base in cup holder lifts out easily for cleaning.
  5. The rubber floor of centre console lifts out easily for cleaning (close the phone holder first!).
  6. The parcel shelf slots behind the rear seat (see photo below) when not used and perfectly covers the aperture of the rear boot section. (On non D pre facelift cars it also fits in the frunk in the microwave hole if folded in half).
  7. The audio system volume reduces automatically when you open the door.
  8. The avatar of the dash screen and main screen reflects all options fitted to your car from Tesla-wheels, spoiler etc.
  9. The Homelink page reflects your car colour and if it’s day or night.
  10. To reboot the main screen – hold both steering wheel rollers until the main screen goes black. (Learn more)
  11. To reboot the sub/dash screen – hold both upper steering wheel buttons until the dash screen goes black. (Learn more)
  12. The demist button can be double tapped to bring it up to full power – full fan and full heat. (Learn more)
  13. Most sunglasses will fit into the space the two armrest cup holders make and allows you to slide the armrest over to cover them up.
  14. Pressing the Park button when you’re parked presents the door handles if they’ve retracted. Handy when waiting for someone as they approach the car.
  15. The floor of the trunk (which covers the lower trunk/wine cellar/coffin) can fit or be stored in the bottom of the wine cellar itself.  If you have the rear kids seats it can also just about be squeezed behind the rear seats too (see video below).

  16. Pressing the Park button when you’re driving will apply the parking brake to slow the car down in the event of main brake failure (extremely unlikely) [discussion] this is known as “Dynamic park brake mode”.
  17. The centre headrest at the back is lower than the outer two so the view isn’t blocked as much as it would be if they were all the same size.
  18. Touching the interior dome lights turns them on and off (easier than using the centre screen).
  19. Drag down the Navigate button to automatically select your Work or Home – the car automatically bases it’s choice of Home or Work on location and time. Dragging down takes you home, dragging to the right takes you to work.
  20. You can program and save the driver seat for a ‘laptop’, ‘eating’ or ‘snoozing’ profiles for use at Superchargers. Create a new profile, move the seat and name it accordingly.
  21. To leave the DRL/parking lights on switch the lights to ‘on’ in the settings and then exit the car otherwise they go off automatically a short while after you lock the car. Failing with the car off, reach back in and turn the parking lights on. To turn the running lights off (e.g. in Channel tunnel; get out and shut the door.
  22. When going away on holiday turn ‘off’ always connected to conserve battery power. [Learn more about conserving energy when not using the car]
  23. On receiving software update double tap the countdown clock on ‘install now’ to skip the 2-minute wait.
  24. If you stay in the car whilst it does a software update be prepared to hear some strange noises, these are normal but don’t sound right for a car.
  25. During a software update, if you find yourself outside the car and needing to get in but the doors won’t unlock you should be able to open the boot and climb in to unlock the rear doors, you can then move the front seats forward and stretch across to open the front doors. Or just wait the 5-45 minutes for the software update to finish.
  26. If your key stops responding due to a flat battery in the fob you can always lay the key on the passenger side wiper and you should be able to gain access to the car (or you could always use the phone app). On a Model X it’s situated here (between the front and back doors, ground level).
  27. If your key stops responding due to a flat battery in the fob you can always get the car to start by putting the key fob in the centre armrest cup holders or hold it above the 12v accessory socket.
  28. You can open the charge port by pressing it as long as the key is on you (Facelift models with motorised flaps)
  29. You can open the charge port by pressing and holding the trunk release button on the key fob.
  30. If you press and drag any of the app icons in the top row you can send that to either the top or bottom part of the screen! Must make time to read the manual instead of randomly finding out these things!
  31. To force release a charge cable press the brake pedal and exit your car. There is also a manual release cable behind a carpeted flap inside the boot where the charge port is.
  32. It’s good practice to replace both batteries in both keys at the same time to prevent any issues.  CR2032 batteries are cheap as chips* and 2 spare ones in the glovebox will save your skin one day.
  33. There is an easter egg giving you a rainbow road on main dash screen on auto pilot – select cowbell in the slide down screen on the Telsa T and then pull the cruise control lever 4 times.
  34. If you pop the frunk but don’t lift it up after a while it secures itself on the secondary lock position (and locks in the ‘open’ position if that makes sense).
  35. To report a software bug to Tesla press the voice control button and say “Report” followed by the issue you have noticed. Tesla review these and make changes to software if needed.
  36. The lower the battery level that you begin supercharging with normally the faster the car will charge. [Learn more about supercharging]
  37. Try to time your charging to finish just before you leave so you don’t use energy heating the battery from cold.
  38. Pulling and holding the cruise control lever will set cruise to the speed limit of the road you’re on…..sometimes!!
  39. Summon will steer away from obstacles in the cars path……sometimes!!
  40. The vanity mirrors, both sides, are hidden behind the sunvisor flaps on a Model X.
  41. The Tesla logo is actually a cross-section of an AC induction motor.
  42. For additional security turn the car into Valet mode when not in use (e.g. when parked at your home whilst away on holiday)
  43. At traffic lights you can press the brake pedal hard once stopped to put the car into hold mode.  It won’t creep forward while you rest your foot waiting for the lights to go green. This saves putting it into Park and the interior light doesn’t come on and the door handles don’t pop out.
  44. The steering wheel has a lane change warning (it rumbles) if selected in settings.
  45. The Model S key black outer shell is available as a complete spare part for about £10 so you can always make your battered key look brand new again. The key itself costs around £120 inc VAT to replace.
  46. The wheel centres are only £5 each (£21.46 including VAT for 4) so when the salt on the roads attacks them after 3 years you can replace them and make it look new again for next to nothing.
  47. The phone app can be used as a key to drive the car if you lose the key just ensure you remember the password and a quick security tip is to have a unique password just for your car so if another online account gets hacked they cannot log into your Tesla app!
  48. Use profiles instead of changing screens looking for commonly used setups like km instead of miles or energy instead of miles left etc (see photo below).                               
  49. Siri on iPhone will now lock/unlock your car, flash the lights, sound the horn and tell you’re the range/charge level.
  50. The metallic surface covering/coating of the windscreen of a model S is different depending on the age of the car. On early ones it’s blue and red on others (later ones) if viewed through polarised sunglasses.
  51. The speedo displays a correct speed reading (so I’ve been told). It’s not 5% too fast etc, it’s calculated through road speed and checked with GPS.
  52. When it’s cold and travelling alone it is more energy efficient to put the driver seat heater on rather than heat the whole cabin with air con.
  53. Your annual mileage will at least double after buying a Tesla, remember to inform your insurance company.
  54. Leave the wipers in Service Position in the evening when frost/snow/ice is forecast for the morning. Preheating the car should do the screen and allow the wipers to work straight off. Owners with Subzero (cold weather) Package; stop smirking…. [Learn more about winter and driving a Tesla]
  55. TOGUK sticker increases the chance of someone at a supercharger waving, saying hello and generally being friendly [discussion on best positions + the stickers also work on your other cars]
  56. On cold early winter mornings, you never need to scrape the iced windows by using the phone app (or Alexa/Google Home skill MyValet) to warm it first and you’ll also step into a toasty warm car.
  57. When you raise the suspension it remembers the location and automatically rises at that point from then on – handy for speed bumps and inclined driveways.
  58. Create a profile called exit which has the seats back – although this is not a problem with firmware 44 and later as it is now a feature.
  59. Autopilot and cruise control automatically slows down the car to a stop if you unlatch the seatbelt for whatever reason!
  60. There is a hidden storage pocket on the front of the drivers seat in some prefacelift cars.
  61. The towing eye is a left-hand thread.
  62. Although Tesla will organise a tow this is only if it’s a warranty issue, so it’s worth getting additional breakdown cover from someone like the AA*
  63. Within the Eurotunnel if you open your boot fully it probably will hit the roof of the train (Model S)
  64. Leave the main screen sat nav on display the whole route view and using the driver/dash sat nav screen means you’ll spot a stupid route easier.
  65. Mute / pause the stereo by clicking in the left hand wheel.
  66. A Neato Robot Vacuum does, in fact, fit and clean the interior of a Model X [video] – If you put back seats down it will do the boot too! It fits perfectly under seats and reversed out easily! Should also fit in the Model S as well.   
  67. Automatic Reversing tilt mirrors. Can be adjusted to see exactly where your alloy wheels are in relation to the kerb.
  68. Turn the heated rear screen on to get the wing mirrors to defrost + it warms the AP1 fwd camera de-mist too.
  69. When using auto lane change on the motorway, only partly engage the indicator. If you push the wholeway position it will fail or abort the move.
  70. If you are washing your car and don’t want the mirrors to keep folding in, unlock car with fob and leave the fob out of range.
  71. Don’t walk away from the car with the fob in your pocket whilst passengers are in the car. It makes a very loud noise if you do! (unless you switch off the motion/intrusion alarm! It still goes off if you open the door, unless you switch alarm off completely). Although some owners say this is not true if a passenger is in the front seat alone but the alarm will go off if people are sat in the rear.
  72. When you press & scroll the wheels on the steering wheel it shows different dash displays.
  73. If you leave passengers in the car and walk away from the car with the key and the passenger presses the screen it will stay on along with the music etc
  74. Pressing the right scroll wheel twice when it is set on fan speed toggles between custom setting and auto.
  75. In dirty weather carry a small damp cloth in a plastic bag in the boot. Use it to clean the rearview camera lens or put some opticoat / ceramic glass protection on to keep it cleaner longer. (or just wiping with saliva and finger)    
  76. You should have a Tesla branded screen wipe in the glove compartment (if a new car)
  77. It is easy to change the colour of the interior door armrest lights – and it costs peanuts. Simply buy this and cut it to length.
  78. Snow/Ice covering the front of your car can force Autopilot to cancel, carry a cloth to clean the \front end on long distance trips
  79. Put an elderly relative (or child) in the passenger seat and then activate summon from outside the car and film the reaction (priceless).
  80. When in Spotify (and using the free premium Tesla account), you can save favourite albums/songs/artists and follow playlists to allow for easy access via the home screen of spotify.
  81. If Spotify fails to login multiple times do a main screen reset and it will then login [Reset instructions]
  82. On a Model X pressing the key once will shut all the open doors (be careful an easy way to annoy your partner as it closes on their head)
  83. The powered tailgate/boot can be stopped from closing/opening by pressing the rear button on the key or by grabbing it/stopping it with your hand. The same is true with Model X self closing doors.
  84. When filming the lights on a Tesla they will sometimes appear to flash in a random pattern [video example] this is an optical illusion due to the LED lights and the frame rate of your camera.
  85.  When you change the air suspension to 007 mode in the Model X, the ‘Driver’ door button becomes ‘Diver.’ and the ‘Driving’ menu option becomes ‘Diving’
  86. There is a coin holder in the doors of Model S (next to the handles), not perfect but a useful spot.
  87. Model X has hidden coat hooks (Look for a little square of plastic on the falcon doors, it pulls down so you can hang a hanger from it. Note: This doesn’t appear to be the original function of this so be careful and don’t hang anything heavy from it)
  88. Model X uses the same rooftop sensor that prevents the doors from hitting things to also control how high the boot opens. Be careful of items that the sensor may have missed (e.g. pipes, different levels and Eurotunnel).
  89. “The coolest feature for me is how a reasonably anonymous looking car (in the case of the MS) can gain so much attention just by parking it pretty much anywhere….. How you get thumbs ups just driving down the road…”
  90. If you’re ever unfortunate enough to be involved in a car crash Tesla will/should automatically contact you and pro-actively be there to help.
  91. The posts at superchargers are easy to hit if you’re not concentrating [Learn more about supercharging]
  92. Everyone talks about how fast Tesla’s are, but the surprising thing is how slow they go as well. Electric motors don’t stall like ICE so they can creep at ¼ mph if you want. I find it makes driving in traffic so much more pleasant
  93. Having a CHAdeMO adapter opens you up to ~1000 extra rapid chargers across the UK
  94. Model S floats and can drive through high water but it’s not advised and may result in a destroyed car.
  95. The blower vents actually have a closed position. Wondered why the rear ones weren’t doing anything poked about then all of a sudden the kids were cooling off!
  96. The referral scheme has secret levels giving money cannot buy experiences (e.g. drive the boring machine, see a Space X launch up close, free Tesla Roadster etc)
  97. Tesla can remote diagnose your car but can also login to your Tesla home charger as well, if there is a fault they will send out a new unit.
  98. 16A commando is super-common at campsites & boating marinas but very rare everywhere else. If you plan to camp with your Tesla consider a 32A > 16A blue commando adapter as the included Tesla adapter is too big for these smaller 16A connectors. [Discussion]
  99. You can rename your trips by tapping the words ‘Trip A’ or ‘Trip B’ etc. 
  100. Supercharger buttons will open all charge ports within about 20m range! If you park near a supercharger most likely you will return to an open charge port. On non-facelift cars this can be annoying if you only realise once you’ve sat back in the car.
  101. OK, so we lied and you get a few extra ones: If you want to get good range heed the three criteria. Acceleration, anticipation, and speed. Nothing else gives more range. And use Range Mode to kill the back motor when driving at constant speeds + it reduces the power used by the heating or air con. [Learn more]
  102. The speed limit sign grows in size if you exceed it. You can also get the car to chime when you exceed it.
  103. The speed digits go red when you go above about 140mph.
  104. The icon showing that autosteer is available actually rotates to match the rotation of the steering wheel.

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Remember modifying your vehicle may invalidate part of your vehicle’s warranty.
Therefore, be careful and check with Tesla if unsure. Also any modifications will most likely need to be OK’d with your car insurance company.

To the best of our knowledge, these guides are correct and factual. However we take no responsibility if something does go wrong.

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