This article was originally written in 2017 and applied to Model S only. In the main the guide is still useful, but is due for a full review.
Out of the showroom, the car is pretty much ready to go but here are a few things that many Tesla owners buy straight after or just before collecting.
Full list (click for details):
- Home Charger
- Decent car cleaning kit
- A Snow Foam Lance
- Tyre Pump
- Decent phone holder
- Decent phone cable and charger
- A front and rear camera system
- A Type 2 Cable
- A decent extension cable + Dribox 330
- Tesla Remote S App
- Paint Protection
- Alloy Wheel Protection
- Trunk Mat Kit
- Brighter Puddle Lights (when doors open)
- Brighter rear boot lights
- Extra LED panels in boot
- Custom Puddle Lights
- Boot Liner
- Coat Hooks
- Spare Battery
- Spare Tyre / Wheel
- Torque Wrench
- Locking Wheel Nuts
- Sleeping Bag
- Personal Vinyl Touches
- Other customisations
The Must Have products:
A home charger
- Millaissolutions Car Detailing Valeters Wash and Rinse Two Bucket System - 20 litre Buckets
- Set of 2 Buckets and Grit Guards, Premium Quality, Prevent Swirls and Scratches when Washing Your Car, 20 Litre Buckets with Lids
- AUTO RAE-CHEM GRIT SHIELD & HEAVY DUTY 20L BUCKET WHITE - For 2 Bucket Car Wash Method + FREE SHAMPOO + WASH MIT + MICROFIBRE TOWEL
- Lambswool Car Mitt With Grit Guard Bucket Two Valeting Bucket Wash and Rinse System Bundle
The car shampoo etc that you will use will vary depending on if you’ve got the car paint protected or not. If it is just the bare paintwork then you will want one that leaves a slight wax finish, if you have paint protection you probably want no-wax/films etc left on the paint, see my recommendations on this guide. I recommend you research paint protection further, it is best done when you first get the car.
Never use a sponge – they’re flat surfaces and
if when dirt gets attached they can leave awful looking swirls, get a stone caught and you’ve just ruined your paint. Use a wash mitt instead.
Even if you’re not serious about cleaning cars, using one of these is extremely fun but actually it will give a superior clean because the more dirt you remove before you clean the car by hand the less likely you’re to scratch or mark your paint. So grab a Pressure Washer + Snowfoam Lance (make sure it has the correct fitment for your pressure washer) + the actual snow foam (or this brand), spray and then leave for 10 minutes, then pressure wash off and continue to wash the car using the Two Bucket Technique.
These tyre pumps are popular in the group, simply keep it in the frunk or garage and check the tyres every month or so, it will save you energy (increase in distance) + reduce tyre wear.
Tesla sells a tyre repair kit (cheaper versions below) which you might find useful for emergency situations where you cannot call for assistance or don’t have any other option, it’s important to remember that although these are effective once you’ve used it it’s unlikely that it will be possible to make a more permanent fix to a tyre afterwards, alternatively a more traditional fix might be better suited.
The Tesla built in system is OK but you can’t access the screen easily so grab one of these if you want to use Waze Maps etc (in order of popularity of UK Tesla Owners)
- Abstract Ocean (Magnetic Slimline) or cheaper Amazon version
- Brodit Pro Clip Angled Mount 654922 (Lower Screen) (Amazon Link)
- Brodit Pro Clip 654921 Center mount (Vent mount)
- Kenu Airframe (be careful if you have a P car, likely to come off)
- Best Car Phone Holder 100% Universal Magnetic Dashboard Mount Kit by wuteku | For All Vehicles, Phones & Tablets | iPhone X,8,7 Galaxy S8 S7 | 2 Discs & Plate Inc | Top Rated by Uber Drivers
- JUNWER Universal Magnetic Car Mount Ultra-Compact Phone Holder for iPhone X / 8/8 Plus, iPhone 7/7 Plus / 6s / Samsung Galaxy S8 / S7 / S6 and more
- Phone Holder,Mpow Magnetic Car Phone Holder,Universal Car Phone Holder,Magnetic Dashboard Car Phone Mount,Mobile Phone Car Cradles for All Vehicles&Phones,for iPhoneXS/XR/X/8/7/6,Galaxy9/8/7/6,LG,etc
- Car Phone Holder , Mpow Windscreen Car Mount Grip Flex Universal Long Arm Windshield Car Cradle with Extra Dashboard Base for iPhone 11 Pro Max/11 Pro/11/Xs Max/Xs/Xr/X/8/7, Samsung S10/S9 Note LG,etc
Model 3 comes with a wireless charger in the centre console, but many owners need USB chargers.
- Anker Quick Charge 3.0 39W Dual USB Car Charger, PowerDrive Speed 2 for Galaxy S7/S6/Edge/Plus, PowerIQ for iPhone XS/XS Max/XR/X/8/7/6/Plus, iPad Pro/Air 2/mini, LG, Nexus, HTC, and More
- Anker 24W Dual USB Car Charger Adapter, PowerDrive 2 compatible with iPhone XS/MAX/XR/X/8/7/6/Plus, iPad Pro/Air 2/Mini, Note 5/4, LG, Nexus, HTC, and More - Black
- Car Charger, RAVPower Mini 24W 4.8A 12V USB Car Cigarette Lighter Adapter Chargers 2-port with Blue LED for iPhone 12 Mini Pro Max/XS/XR/XS Max, Galaxy S10, and More with iSmart 2.0 Tech – Black
Depending on where you plan to store your phone you may want a longer cable:
- Anker iPhone Charging Cable Lightning Cable 2-Pack 1.8 m Nylon iPhone Cable MFi Certified for iPhone XR iPhone 7 iPhone X iPhone 8 iPhone 6S iPhone 6 iPhone 7 iPhone XS/XS MAX / 8 Plus Grey
- Anker Micro USB High Speed Sync and Charging Cable, Red, 1.8m Length, Pack of 2
- Micro USB Cable Charger, RAVPower 5-Pack in Assorted Lengths (1ft, 3ftx2, 6ft, 10ft) - Fast Charging USB Data Cable for Android Smartphones, Battery Pack and Tablets
Teslas have Sentry mode which records when the car is parked up, but many owners also install front and rear dash cams which record 24×7, including when driving.
Install and forget it is there, one day it might save you a massive insurance hassle. The beauty of the Tesla is you can have this recording 24/7!
The recommended cameras:
You might want to grab a decent MicroSD card as well, you should aim for as much as possible but 32GB-64GB should be fine for most people.
You can install yourself or do what most Tesla owners do and get a 3rd party to install:
This will depend on your requirements but I’ve had to use an extension cable around 10 times this year.
It is ideal for weekend trips away, AirBnb* trips or charging at family/friends overnight where the standard Tesla cable won’t reach (common issue).
Lots of UK members (including myself) buy cables from Industrial Extension Leads, remember you MUST always unwind all cables when charging. I personally own the Double Socket 20M 2.5mm 13amp Heavy Duty Cable (pictured above) and would highly recommend it. Ensure you buy one with at least a 2.5mm thick cable (like the one above) and remember anything over 20M should be 4mm minimum to reduce voltage drop.
Don’t use a standard extension lead unless you’re desperate as they can & will overheat (potentially causing a fire etc), if you have no option ensure you unwind completely, reduce the amps down to 5amps and check the plug for excess heat often, if you NEED the speed then slowly increase the amps up whilst checking for excess heat often.
To place your UMC / extension cable in whilst charging to ensure they don’t get soaked, the UMC is water resistant but can’t be submerged in water. Buy from Amazon (+ fits in rear dropped trunk so ideal for storage as well)
Download from iOS Apple app store. Quicker to load than the Tesla app, more functions (e.g. open sunroof more than vent, Apple watch, Breadcrumb tracking, Camp Mode, Vampire Drain, Trip Statistics, Website to control your car etc). Worth the money in my opinion all the UX is a bit fiddly.
See my guide on my paint protection (third party website)
You can upgrade the existing puddle lights with ones from Abstract Ocean (around £35 delivered to UK), alternatively consider replacings these with custom Puddle Lights (See below)
You can upgrade the existing LEDs in the boot with ones from Abstract Ocean (around £35 delivered to UK) – The photo above shows before and after upgrading the LEDS.
Alternatively, install some extra lighting in the rear boot, Simon Holbon charges £50 if you’re having a dash camera installed at the same time, it made a massive difference in my car. More installers on here.
Do not drill any holes into the door, it will invalidate your warranty! The Tesla already has holes ready for these, although it’s not officially for this. Car Door Ground Shadow set from eBay – Photo thanks to Sam Elsokari
You may never use it, but it might be useful if you don’t get your car serviced every year. 2 pack for £1.60
129 lb. ft (175 Nm) is the correct setting and mine were nowhere near that, make sure this is checked when the car goes in for service/tyre change etc or do what I just did & do it yourself by purchasing:
– a 21mm Draper Expert Hi-Torq® Wheel Nut Socket for £14 from local store, however, in hindsight I should have purchased this set for £19
– a Halfords Professional Torque Wrench 60-300Nm (with lifetime warranty) for £89.99 > http://www.halfords.com/workshop-tools/tools/spanners-wrenches/halfords-professional-torque-wrench-8-60nm*https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/membership
↪ Remember 10% off everything at Halfords for Cycling membership (anyone can get this for reference from https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/membership for £21)
↪ They also do a smaller version (40-200Nm) for £10 less > http://www.halfords.com/workshop-tools/tools/spanners-wrenches/halfords-professional-torque-wrench-40-200nm*
Replacement tyres for Model S can be difficult to find sometimes, so having one stored at your local tyre depot is a good idea, failing that buy one and put in the garage.
If you get them, spray with silicon as they often go rusty! Many owners don’t bother as aesthetically they’re not great, you can buy the tool to unlock for less at Halfords and someone would need a lot of time and effort to remove your wheels.
For the inevitable charging at 2am at a supercharger in Norway or for other road trips where you want to lay under the stars. Use the Remote S app to keep the car fans running.
From the outside many Teslas look identical. Try something different like wheel stickers etc. http://www.rpmtesla.com/ with discount code 15%OFFMP should get you all of these.
- Should I remove the Tesla Logo from my car?
- Things to check when you pick up your Tesla
- A guide to Milton Keynes for Tesla Owners
A big thank you to everyone who helped supply photographs, I’ve contacted everyone for permission.
*the majority of links on this page generate funds for the group if you purchase however some of them currently don’t and the money is generated to the writer of the article. This doesn’t change the price you pay (in fact some of the links will save you money) but this automatically helps to pay for equipment to produce better videos on YouTube etc. So for that I thank you, if you do buy something please let me know in the comments.
updated 20th Nov 2020 – by Simon Verona but requires further review