Tesla Tricks and Tips

Tesla Tricks and Tips

When I first got into the Tesla Model S my jaw dropped, I was like ‘NO WAY,’ a screen bigger then my iPad lol, it didn’t take too long to get used to, a simple user friendly interface, I thought it might be helpful to make a list of what the car instruments are capable of, also I have made a note on how to reset both the heads up screen and the MASSIVE 17inch iPad like screen, sometimes it freezes which can be annoying.

Please Note: Some of the Easter Eggs may not work depending on the Model you have e.g. a model with air suspension compared to the same model that has no air suspension, may not allow you to see the James Bond Easter Egg.

Let’s start off with the massive screen as it is the first thing everyone notices.

The icons on top of the big screen starts with the lock icon, on the top left hand corner, when you move off in Drive that will automatically lock the car, when you are stationary and have the car in Park, that lock sign will unlock, by having it in the unlock position the door handles will go back into the doors automatically after a short time, now if that happens you can use your internal door handles to open the door or double click on the lock icon for it to lock and unlock

Important for safety: When stationary and the lock icon is in the unlock position, if the door handles do go in after some time, the door can still be opened from the outside.

The second icon is to open the screen for your battery power, on this screen you can open your charge port, unlock your charge port if connected, it will show your range, you can change how much charge you would like, the two options are daily and trip which are self-explanatory, you can also have scheduled charging and set the charge current.

Moving onto the house icon, this one is to link your car to the garage door, so the door opens automatically when you approach it, the additional benefits of this is enjoyed in the states, when you press the summons button on your Tesla phone app, your Tesla will drive out to you…Amazing right!!!

The next icon only shows when there is a problem with the car and when you are not wearing your seat belts, you can’t miss this icon as it will make a Bing sound, every time something is faulty (can be annoying sometimes).

So now we arrive on the big ‘T’ icon in the middle, once clicked, this will display your Tesla picture and the vehicle model alongside with your name if configured in, to change the name of your Tesla just click on the text on the right hand corner, on the same screen it will display your total mileage, your vehicle VIN number and lastly your Tesla software version with release notes.

The next icon is an alarm clock logo, this is to notify you of any updates that are available for you to install over the air through 3G or Wi-Fi, when it appears first the colour of the icon turns to yellow, if you decide to postpone your update suited to your choice of time the colour will change to grey.

I think it’s time I shared you an Easter Egg…

Tricks: Tesla Team members photo, to access this nice picture, you press the ‘T’ icon located in centrally on top of the page, once you’re here, if you look carefully at your vehicle model which is shown on the lower right hand corner, you pressed and hold the Model Number for 10 seconds and you will see your car zoom off and display the Tesla Team, nice little trick.

Tricks: Now for the second Easter Egg, to see this, you press the ‘T’ icon again, now you see on the top right hand corner it says your vehicle name or whatever you have set it as, you select the text which should allow you to change your name or vehicle name to whatever your heart desires, instead try entering the number ’42,’ This should change the text to ‘Life, the Universe, and Everything,’ another nice little trick thanks to tesla.

Moving onto the next icon, this icon is for your Bluetooth for your phone, you can tap and configure your device from here, you can also stream music from your phone once connected to Bluetooth. You can also use your iPhones Siri but there isn’t a dedicated button to activate Siri from the screen, you will have to use your home screen button or voice automate.

Wi-Fi: you will see beside the Bluetooth icon there is a 3G sign showing a connection for your internet, this cannot be used to make telephone calls if you’re wondering, the same icon will change to Wi-Fi icon once connected to the internet via your home Wi-Fi, you can also configure your Wi-Fi devices from here, you can also use your phone as a portable hotspot.

Ok so we have got the top line of icons covered now on to the next line, which starts with the music icon, this is self-explanatory, by pressing this icon it gives various options such as the Radio, Spotify music which is unlimited on Tesla, Tune-in Radio if you have an account setup you can use this service for free as well and the last is My Music and Devices which allows you to stream music from your phone via Bluetooth or you can plug in your USB dongle in the two ports provided just below the two drink holders next to the 12V charging power port.

The next icon is for Navigation/Maps, which allows you to add your home address and work place alongside with your Favorite Supercharger, from here you can check all Tesla Superchargers around the globe.

Moving onto the calendar icon, I think they can improve on this by actually adding a calendar that shows full days and dates, at the moment it only displays the present day and next day events from your phone, the calendar displays events on your phone only when connected to your phone…..don’t really know if that’s what you call a calendar.

Going on to the next icon, looks a bit like stocks and shares but in reality it shows your consumption, an average and instant can be displayed over a 5, 15, 30miles.

Next we have the blue basketball hehe, it’s the internet just when we thought we have everything now have a full browser on a 17”screen, only restriction is no videography so don’t get excited lol, straight forward to use, additionally you can save your favorite webpage. A handy link for your Tesla homepage http://Qtes.la

The optical lens icon is for your rear camera, this can also be activated whilst driving not only on reverse, this is something I haven’t got around to understanding, the car allows you to watch a live feed from the rear of your car as a driving aid, but shouldn’t it turn off at a certain speed not that I want it to. Just saying they can add some sort of media player for your videos, or at least allow Wi-Fi connection that enables you to watch a movie whilst stationary, a debate yet to be settled.

Ok lastly we have the telephone icon, once you have paired your phone with the car via Bluetooth, you can use the dialer, see your contacts, and look at missed calls, incoming calls and outgoing calls with all calls as well, pretty nice interface.

Tips: There are two ways on how to minimize and maximize the screen, the first being the little square icon on the bottom left hand side of the screen above the volume key or vehicle controls if you’re in a left hand drive.

The second way is too double click on what you are trying to maximize, say for instance you want your internet browser as full screen, you would simply touch the internet icon twice.

Another interesting thing to note is that you can hold on any of the second line of icons and drag it down to which ever half of screen you want it on….nice

So now let’s check out the steering wheel, after all it’s the only thing you can hold onto with the exhilarating speed, or maybe you have the guts to use the Autopilot….hehe.

Voice Command Button is situated on the right hand side of the steering wheel this can be used for navigations and calls.

Right Scroll button is used to control the climate temperature, the fan speed, the display brightness and selecting different media modes i.e. FM, AM, DAB, Tune-in, Spotify and your Bluetooth device.

Menu button is situated below the scroll on the right hand side brings up the menu for the above functions, then you use the scroll button to navigate up and down, selecting any of those functions from the menu is simple, just press in the scroll button once to select the attribute.

Music Interface Button is situated above the left scroll button and can be used to skip a music track or radio station.

Left Scroll Button is used for volume up and down alongside with mute the entertainment system.

Music Interface Button this second button is the same as above but can back on radio stations and music tracks.

Tips: Every now and then the big 17” screen freezes so you will need to know how to reset it, you will click and hold the RIGHT and the LEFT scroll button for about 10 seconds, the big screen will turn off and reboot its self, you will lose your screen temporarily, not to worry looks scary at first but you will soon get used to it.

If ever you have the need to reset the speedometer screen then this is how it’s done, you press and hold the VOICE COMMAND button situated on top of the left scroll button and press the top music interface button together for 10 seconds it will reset the speedometer.

Please Note: When performing the two above resets of the digital screens, it is advised to be stationary and parked in a safe place, please do not try this whilst driving as it will make you lose concentration and be very dangerous, if the system crashes whilst driving you may lose the screen for a few seconds, so do not worry you will still have full steering and speed control including signal indicators.

LUDICROUS MODE EASTER EGG: If you slide the acceleration toggle on a P90DL from sport to ludicrous, and then hold it for 5 seconds will show you an animation of white stripes on black background, making it look like the car is zoomed off into the future, something like star wars space balls.

JAMES BOND SUBMARINE EASTER EGG: This feature works on Tesla Model S that has Air Suspension, by clicking and holding the ‘T’ on the centre console for about 5 seconds, a special menu appears asking for an access code, enter 007 and your car will turn into a submarine on the controls menu.

Quick overview on bottom icons

On the bottom left hand side you have the volume control for your in car audio, you also have the heated seat for both the passenger and driver, in between the temperature control you have the rear demister and front demister, there is also an on/off button for the heaters, you can also go into custom settings and select the fan directions.

Tips: Nice little trick if you tap the time on the top right hand corner three times, the time will re-sync to the time zone based on your location.

Tips: Sometimes it can take forever typing in website names directly into the browser, you can add these URLs on your phone calendar which can be accessed on the car calendar for ease of use, or if you already have it open in the browser you can add it to favorites.

Tips: A nice handy little tip for all you Tesla fans, you can use the USB port on the car to connect a mouse, you will see a cursor on the screen which makes it easier browsing, happy days soon we going to have skype.

How to use Cruise Control and Auto Pilot

When cruise control is active, if you tap the cruise lever up/down the speed will go up/down by 1MPH, if you click the cruise control lever up/down it will increase/decrease by 5MPH

To use the Auto Pilot you will have to enable this in the main controls settings, navigate to controls>Settings>Driver Assistance, from here you can enable or disable Auto Pilot, then once you are drive along the motorway/highway, if you double tap the cruise control lever towards yourself twice the car will go into Auto Pilot.

Please Note: For the safety of yourself and the passengers please Keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times.

You can cancel Cruise Control and Auto Pilot by pressing in the end of the cruise control lever slightly to cancel or push the cruise control lever forward, if you tap the brake pedal this will disable both the Cruise Control and Auto Pilot, whilst driving if you tug the steering wheel it will disengage the Auto Pilot but leave the Cruise Control on, you can also set the distance from your car and the vehicle in front simply by twisting the cruise control stick to the desired distance, from 1 car length to 7 car lengths.

Few Extras

There is a small open slot on the driver’s seat at the bottom for your personal secret storage.

In Emergency’s

Emergency front trunkLocated below the glove box there’s a secondary mechanical latch to open the front trunk.

Emergency rear door leverThere’s an emergency mechanical door release for the back doors in case of electronic failure, this is located under the front edge of the seat covered by a carpet cutout.

Window Convenience: If you press and hold the ‘roof’ button on your key fob this will open all the windows.



In case your key fob battery goes dead the car can be unlocked by placing it on the passenger side window windshield wiper.

You can also start the car with a dead key fob by placing it in the cup holder of the arm rest, you should change your battery at Tesla under warranty.

Whenever charging your car Tesla once you walk away from it or lock it, you will not be able to disconnect the charger until you have opened the door again, this is a safety feature.

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