Most of the time, there are straightforward ways to perform a task using the car’s interior touch screen. But some tasks are two or three levels deep in the software. To activate the windshield wipers, for example, you have to tap the screen twice to turn them on and then a third time to change the speed. Or you can click the end of the left wheel stock to pop up the wipers’ menu on the screen for speed adjustment.
These tips were tested on a Model 3 and its horizontal display, which is also found on the Model Y—and is coming soon to the Model S and X. That update should unify the software across all models, but for now, these features are up and running on the Model 3 and Y, and most should work on the pricier models, too. Read on for more ways to simplify your Tesla driving experience.
Better Turn-By-Turn Navigation
On Model 3 and Y, the touch screen is split into sections with the map on the right and a view of your car driving on the left. Normally, turn-by-turn directions appear on the right side with the maps. A late December 2020 software update, however, adds support for moving those arrows closer to the driver. When you are navigating to an address, tap on the reverse camera, and the turn-by-turn arrows and names will move.
Navigate Home With a Swipe
Most people use navigation to get to work or return home. It’s not because they don’t know the way, but because they’ll get alerted to traffic or accidents as they drive. Instead of tapping the navigation bar and then tapping on saved home or work addresses, swipe down on the navigation bar before tapping it. If you’re at home, it will automatically direct you to work. If you’re at work, it will navigate home.
Send Directions From Your Phone
Instead of looking up destination addresses on your phone and then in your car, you can send them from your phone to the car. Pretty much anywhere you encounter an address or map location, share it to the Tesla app, and it will deliver that waypoint to your car’s navigation system. The next time you get in your car, the directions will be waiting for you.
Tell Your Car to Chill
If your Tesla joy rides have resulted in a few speeding tickets, you might want to try Chill Mode. In the driving settings menu, switch between Standard and Chill driving modes to alter the levels of acceleration. Chill Mode provides a smoother and more even ramp-up to speed—especially for those with a lead foot. (In the dual-motor Model 3 and Model Y, you can pay for Acceleration Boost to improve the car’s 0 to 60mph speed. If you do this, it will change the wording of Standard driving mode to Sport.)
If you’re still getting familiar with your electric vehicle and want to bridge the gap from your internal combustion engine, turn on Creep Mode. In this case, creep refers to slowly rolling forward or backward. When on, this software setting will continue applying torque while the car is in drive mode. This mode may also benefit those living in especially hilly areas.
Turn Fans On and Off With a Tap
Tapping and holding the fan icon along the bottom row of the touch screen to control the ventilation is a game-changer. Typically, when you tap the icon, it brings up the whole A/C and heating menu, which takes up a third of the screen. Instead, long-press on the button for two seconds, which bypasses the screen and toggles between on and off.
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Safety for Teen Drivers
Whether it’s for new teen drivers or someone else borrowing the car, limiting the car’s top speed is a useful feature. Just tap Controls in the Tesla mobile app. You can also see the car’s real-time speed and location in the Location section.
Adjust Model Y’s Hatch Height
There have been at least a few forum posts about drivers accidently hitting the top of their garage doors when the Model Y’s rear hatch lifts to full height. To change it, open the door manually to the desired level and then hold the close button for three seconds. This will set the door’s memory.
Open the Charging Port With the Charger
There are multiple ways to open the tiny charging flap that covers the charging port. You can tap on the touch screen inside the car, or tap on the charging cover itself. If you’re charging at a Supercharger station or have an official Tesla charger at home, you can also click the button on the plug that goes into the port when it’s next to the cover. The cover will pop open automatically; no need to touch it.
Have some Tesla tips of your own? Share them in the comments below.
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