Tesla Model 3 - Quick Start Guide [With Pictures]

As a new Tesla owner, it can be a bit overwhelming. Tesla cars are very different from what we're used to (at least for us). Our quick start guide will help new owners familiarize themselves with their cars quickly.

1. Charging your car

You might have read from different sources about how frequent and how much you should charge your car. If you drive it daily, you should charge it to 90% or 95% maximum. If you plan to take long trips, then you should charge it to 100% before heading out. For daily commute, it shouldn't be charged to 100% because when you do, the regenerative braking doesn't work as effective as it should. Elon confirmed it in his tweet below.

In addition, you can leave it plugged in every night if you want, but there's no need. We only charge our Model 3 every few days when the battery dropped below 30%. We see no degradation at all. Our Long Range Model 3 still has 100% battery. It's been tested that Tesla battery only degrade 1 - 3% after more than 100,000 miles driven. It's really not a big deal at all. You can relax and charge your car as normal. There's no need to setup a complicated charging schedule, but it's your choice :-)

2. Open charge port:

The charge port is located on the left of the trunk. There're at least 3 different ways to open the charging port. The car must be unlocked to open the charging port. Note that it'll automatically close after 15 seconds or so, even if unlocked.

a. On the touch screen: tap the lightning icon on the left of your car icon. See below photo.

b. On the charging cable: press the circle button located at the top of the charging cable when you're near the charge port.

c. On the charging port cover: gently press the charging port cover itself.

3. Scheduled charging

On the touch screen, you can tap on the Battery Icon > Set your charge schedule

This is especially helpful when your electricity rate is cheaper during certain period of time, e.g. night time. You can just set the charge schedule and then plug in at anytime. The car only starts charging according to the schedule set by you.

4. Opening doors (from inside)

On the interior of each door, the door opening button is located at the top of the door handle. Press on it one time and the door will pop open.

5. Opening doors (from outside)

To open a door from the outside, you just need to press on the larger part of the door handle and then pull the lever open.

6. Emergency Door Opening (from inside)

There're 2 manual door opening levers for each front doors. There is no manual opening for back doors. To open the front door (on either side), you just need to pull up the lever.

Note that the window doesn't automatically rolled down if you use the emergency door opening lever. As noted, it should only be used for emergency situations.

7. Shifting to Neutral (N) gear

If you're in "D" or drive, do a half-pull in the upward direction and hold it there for 2 seconds. The gear indicator should change to "N" at this point.

If you're in "P" or "R", do a half-pull in the downward direction and hold it there for 2 seconds. The gear indicator should change to "N" at this point.

Note: to keep it in "N", you will need to sit in the driver seat. Otherwise, it'll turn back to "P" or park after a short amount of time.

6. Emergency lights

The button to turn On/Off the emergency lights is located at the top where your front dome lights are, right next to the rear view mirror.

7. Open glove box

There is no visible button to open the glove box. You can open it from the screen by tapping on the "Car" icon and the glove box button is located at the bottom left of the touch screen.

8. Child lock & Window Lock

You can turn it On/Off from the touch screen: Car > Lock > Child Lock & Window Lock

9. Locate super charger location

Tapping on the lightning icon will reveal available supercharger stations near you.

10. Turn on Rear Camera (on demand)

Press the round button on bottom left of the touch screen to manually turn On/Off the rear camera.

11. Manually release the charger cable (if it get stucked)

Open the trunk and locate the manual release cable (inside the trunk). It is located on the top left of the trunk, right behind the charge port. It should look something like the picture below.

To release the charging cable, simultaneously pull the manual release from inside the trunk AND pull out the charging cable at the same time.

12. Security and locking your car

Make sure you turn on the following setting via the Car icon > Lock

13. Sentry mode

Sentry mode isn't automatically turn on. It also doesn't turn on every time you lock your car. You will need to manually do it every time you want your car to be monitored via Sentry Mode.

To turn it on, go to Car > Safety & Security

14. Screen cleaning mode

Do not just start wiping your screen. You'll accidentally pressing on random buttons and cause any weird number of issues.

Make sure you turn on screen cleaning mode before cleaning you screen.


We hope that those basic info will help your familiarize with your Model 3 and driving your car in no time. Enjoy and remember to share.

You might be interested in: our Dashcam Bundle to setup your Dashcam recording. It's all prepared. All you have to do is plug it in.

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