This article lists a wide variety of hints, tips & suggestions to help new (and experienced!) owners get the most from their cars.  It does not list anything which is included in the owner’s manual (which is available in electronic form inside the car, and also can be downloaded as a PDF from the My Tesla section of the Tesla Motors website).

Steering Wheel Controls


When listening to most audio sources, click left steering wheel roller button to pause and resume (or in the case of radio and some streaming services, mutes and unmutes the audio). Nice that this works regardless of what’s displayed on your left-of-speedo info display.

Mic Mute

The left steering wheel roller button will mute and unmute the mic when on a call.

Recent Calls

With a bluetooth phone connected, you can call up a list of recent calls and select one for redial without lifting your hands from the wheel. Click right-side “Menu” button on steering wheel, select the phone icon, and your recent calls will appear on the right-of-speedo info display. Right click-wheel can be used to pick and dial any entry.

In-Call Functions

While on a call, clicking the right-hand “Phone” button on the steering wheel brings up a menu of choices such as hang up, mute microphone, or put the call on hold. Select from the options with the right scroll wheel.


Hold down the middle steering wheel buttons on both sides for a few seconds to reboot the main display.

Hold down the top steering wheel buttons on both sides for a few seconds to reboot the driver’s console display.

Sending Diagnostics to Tesla

Hold down the bottom steering wheel buttons on each side for a few moments to grab a screenshot.  Tesla service can then access these from the car.

Use the voice command “report” and then describe your issue, and Tesla will receive a copy of your message automatically.

Center Console 17″ Touchscreen


Clicking an icon along the top edge for an app that’s already displayed makes that one go full screen. This is sometimes easier than clicking that tiny little “expand the window” button in the lower corner. Clicking it again in the top bar makes it go back to where it was.

App Screen Layout

The “App” icons from the “Tray” at the top of your 17″ screen can be dragged directly to either the top half or the bottom half of the touchscreen, depending on where you want that app to show up. You can also drag it to the miniature “top-half” and “bottom-half” icons that appear at the top of the screen when you begin dragging an app icon.

Status Bar Shortcuts

Many of the icons in the status bar (at the very top of the screen) are clickable, including the battery icon, airbag status icon, bluetooth and wifi icons, etc.  These take you directly to the relevant configuration options for that feature.

To force the car to update the clock and timezone using your current location, tap three times on the time in the status bar.

Tesla “About” Screen

Pressing the tesla logo on the 17″ screen brings up an image of your car, showing your VIN#, firmware version, and most recent firmware release notes.

Realtime view of lights

The image of the car on charging screen shows the realtime lights (including when your brake lights are illuminated because of regen braking)

Touch display in reverse to cancel camera/parking overlay

Scrollable Navigation Instructions

The window that contains upcoming turns and street names during navigation is scrollable. Click on a step and map will zoom to show that step on your route. Click the step again to return to normal route navigation

USB Mouse

If you connect a USB Mouse to the USB ports in the centre console a pointer appears on screen and can be used to navigate the menus (for example by a rear passenger).

Other Driver Controls

Emergency Brake

If you press the P (Park) button at speeds less than 5mph, the parking brake will activate which will abruptly halt the car.  Above this speed if you press and hold the same button, an emergency braking function is activated that brings the car to a stop.

Unlocking Doors & Deploying Handles

Press P (Park) when stationary to unlock the car and deploy the door handles (to allow a passenger to get in).

Interior Storage and Features

Hidden Storage Pocket

If you have leather seats, the front seats each have a small storage pouch at the front of the seat base. These are perfect for storing charge network RFID cars, change for parking meters, toll tags etc

Emergency Frunk Opener

There’s a secondary, mechanical latch beneath the glove box to open the frunk.

Glove Box Lock

The glove compartment locks when the car is locked.

Other Miscellaneous Tips

Leaving The Car Powered On

If you want to leave the car but not have it automatically power off, lock and activate the alarm, the best options are as follows:

Leave one door ajar

Simply leave your door ajar and the car will not lock, the AC will stay on, and any media will keep playing.

Engage Neutral

Rather than putting the car in P, you can leave it in N and manually engage the parking brake through the controls menus. This is the equivalent of leaving an ICE car with the engine running – everything will stay powered on indefinitely, but if someone wants to drive the car away they can do so without needing the key.

Note that the car will not charge unless it is in Park, so if you want to sleep overnight in your car, while charging, then there is currently no easy way to ensure that the AC system stays active while you do this.

Seat Pressure Sensor

If the car detects that there is nobody in the driver’s seat then it will engage the parking brake.  This can be very annoying if you are trying to squeeze through a small gap – if you unlatch your belt and lift yourself out of the seat to get a better view or to pop your head out of the window, the car will immediately drop into P.

Wiper Service Mode 

Wiper service mode only operates when the wipers are set to Off (not to Auto)

Activating Headlights

If you want to manually activate the headlights you can briefly engage the fastest windscreen wipe setting which turns them on automatically.