Tesla Model 3 Emergency Response Guide Shows New Details


Can’t NDA emergency responders

Information about the Tesla Model 3 continues to dribble out. With the car presently being delivered to Tesla employees and investors who, we imagine, have all signed non-disclosure agreements (NDA), the usual firehose of knowledge from proud new owners is but a trickle. Still, there are sources from which to glean insight. Take “affordable” Tesla’s Emergency Response Guide, for instance.

Manual method to open front doors

Not only is it uniquely informative, it offers insights not found in the owner’s manual. We’ve heard that the chassis of the Model 3 is part aluminum and part ultra high-strength steel, but which material is used where? Well, a look at the diagram above answers that question quite nicely. Thanks, Tesla!

Besides information really only needed for emergency responders or those salvaging crashed or flooded vehicles, like the locations of airbags and their inflation cylinders, there is a wealth tidbits scattered throughout the document. Did you know, for example, that if you go through the procedure to put the car in “tow mode,” which allows the car to stay in neutral without someone in the driver’s seat, it will cancel and the parking brake will be applied if it exceeds five miles per hour? We didn’t.

Also, if for some reason the button that opens the front doors ceases to properly function, you can pull up on the front part of the window switch assembly, as shown in the image on the right, to exit the vehicle. (Please note, though, manual opener is not present in the back seat.)

Importantly, for those who might do some maintenance at home, like changing the oil changing tires, jacking up the vehicle should only be done at the four lift points (see page 25). As the manual mentions several times, it is important not to breech the belly where the battery is located. If that energy storage cell happens to short out and catch fire, it can take 3,000 gallons of water to douse the flames and cool the car down. Forewarned is forearmed, right?

Finally, this last tip: if you can not open the hood to access the front trunk (frunk), there is a workaround using an external 12-volt power supply. Simply push on the top of the round tow eye cover on the driver’s side of the fascia, and pull out. Attach the red and black wires you’ll see to the appropriate leads of your power source, and voila! You’re welcome.

If you want to read the entire document, just click here.

Source: Teslarati, Tesla

Categories: Tesla

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38 Comments on "Tesla Model 3 Emergency Response Guide Shows New Details"

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I wonder about the car wash where you need to leave the car. If you put in the neutral and leave the car it says it will automatically go to park if you leave the drivers seat?

Also, it appears the model 3 has electric resistance heating from the pictures?

I’ve never seen one where you leave the car when it goes through the wash.

Are you sure you’re not leaving the car for people to manually detail your car? Lol.

Los Angeles is full of car washes where you hand the car over to an employee and they send the car through unoccupied.

Agreed. The car washes I use in the Bay Area get turned over to the attendant and then the car goes through empty.

I’ve been thru both types here in Kansas City; both those where they insist you leave your car, “for liability purposes” they say; and those where they want you to stay in the car, and drive out the other side when the wash is finished.

Most of the car washes here in NJ the car goes through empty. I am sure they thought about this but from the description it sounds like it will go into park.

Where have you seen a car wash that goes over 5 mph?


The Model S/X (and probably the 3) have a “tow mode.” When you engage this mode, the car will remain in neutral, even if the driver gets out of the car. Without the mode engaged, the car will automatically enter “park” when you get out.

Owner’s manual? Anyone? Bueller?

Nobody gives a fig what you whine about after all your endless whining about fm and Bluetooth ended up being a big fuss over an OTA update. Huge nothing burger. Can’t wait for you to blame you incessant whining endlessly over an unconfirmed rumor.

Ask an innocent question, and I get accosted by some Tesla fanatic. These people really make IEVs a less welcoming place and give a bad name for EV proponents.


This is you desperately trying to find Anything to whine about.

Sadly you can’t even admit you made a big deal out of nothing. And now you are trying to do it all again.

Even worse than trollish whining about Tesla and its cars is trolls who whine over being called out as trolls.

And don’t bother trying to pull a butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-my-mouth innocent act about your concern troll posts, Bro1999. You’ve spent a great deal of time and effort to establish yourself as a Tesla hater and troll. You’ve made your bed; now lie in it.

Emphasis on “lie”.


Everyone pity the poor victim.

I mention the owner’s manual in the 2nd paragraph.

Don’t believe it has all the same sorts of info, like, where are the cuts to be made to disable high voltage systems, etc.

Is there an online version somewhere? Always some interesting tidbits of a vehicle listed in there.

None that I can find yet. I imagine one will surface soon.

Yes all Teslas have electric resistance heating. It’s way less efficient than a heat pump but much less costly and less prone to failure.

The heat pumps on 2013+ Nissan Leafs have been found to have a high likelihood of failure after 3-4 years with regular use and they have been costly to replace off warranty.

Please point me to any details you may have on the high incidence of heat pump failure in the newer Leafs.


Heat pump should not be any more prone to failure than air conditioning. It is just a valve that reverses the refrigerant in the system and is far more efficient than resistance heat. I know Tesla also uses waste heat from the drivetrain as well, but don’t understand why they don’t use a heat pump.

A heat pump heater is only adequate in mild to moderately cold conditions. Any car that’s driven in areas where it gets bitterly cold in the winter need a resistance heater as a backup.

I’m not saying that Teslae don’t need heat pump cabin heaters, but if you’re going to have only one heating system in the car, it’s better if it’s a resistance heater even though that’s a hit to range. However, there’s no question that it would be best if all BEVs had both, unless they are intended to be driven only in mild climates.


You have reading comprehension problem. A heat pump is basically extra valve to electric A/C with some minor mods to ensure efficient 2-way operation. That is all. It doesn’t take any significant space.

Resistance heat strips are needed in any case and they also don’t take significant space or cost. There aren’t any “only one heating system fits here” dilemas for serious automaker who can develop its own components.

WHat? Any sort of A/C *is* a heat pump…!!

Where is the hampster that turns the generator for the electricity? 🙂

Contacting Tesla right now. The world needs to not only know where the hamster is, but what to feed it.

That’s looks like one pissed off Pussy Cat!…….lol.

A specific procedure must be followed for taking the Bolt through an automated car wash. I am sure Tesla has something similar.

1. Start the vehicle or switch the vehicle into service mode.

2. Open the driver’s side door while applying the brake.

3. Shift the transmission into NEUTRAL.

4. If the transmission indicator does not display neutral, start the process over from step one.

This procedure allows the driver to exit the vehicle when the transmission is in neutral. However this condition will only last until the driver’s door is opened. When the driver’s door is opened with the transmission in neutral, the parking brake will engage and the transmission will immediately shift to park.

I’ve put mine through a couple times. One time they just had a person sit in it through the car wash. The other times it went through empty.

I guess they found out the trick you speak of after washing a few Bolts. God knows they’ve probably washed a lot of them by now. They’re all over the place.

The Model 3 can’t be towed if going more than 5 mph? Does that mean I can’t pull it behind my RV?

If it is like the Bolt you cannot tow it with all four wheels on the ground. The drive wheels must be on a dolly.

The manual door openers are way better than the ones in ELR. ELR’s are on the floor and pretty ugly. And hard to clean.

I don’t see the rear doors manual opening latch. Does it mean that when 12V battery is dead, only the front doors can be manually opened, but not the rear doors?

There’s a pickaxe behind the driver’s seat under the warning label that say: “In case of emergency break glass to get out”.
Relax people, Tesla got you covered.

“(Please note, though, manual opener is not present in the back seat.)”

I’m beyond skeptical at this. I flatly don’t believe it. No auto maker, or at least no first-world auto maker, would make a car in which it was impossible to open the rear doors if the car’s power fails.

More likely, the rear doors use standard manual door opening mechanisms, so don’t need any “emergency release” lever.

I’m surprised there’s no manual way to open the rear doors from the inside, unlike the front (the video a few days ago by OCDetailing said the same thing) — looks like a safety issue to me: in case of a serious accident that breaks the low-voltage electrics — how do rear occupants leave the vehicle quickly?

Also suprised that the frunk release is electric — whatever for? who needs yet another component that can break? I’ve yet to hear of a traditional hood release on any car malfunctioning without a frontal accident.

Tesla is “cutting edge”, so overcomplicated features is their game. See the X’s falcon wing doors. Lol

It strikes me as a bad design that the hood can’t be opened manually. Having to attach an auxiliary battery to open the hood seems ridiculous to me. It’s nice that they thought of the problem and came up with a work around, but it seems like a self inflicted issue.

I think Tesla is going way overboard with the “no manual switches” thing. I’m afraid there are going to be too many things that can break, and it’s all really unneeded complexity.