Tesla Model 3 Owners Manual Hits Internet In PDF Form – Here Are All 160 Pages

3 months ago by Eric Loveday 69

Order Confirmation

With Tesla Model 3 orders just recently opening to a limited general public, one curious soon-to-be owner wondered if he could get his hands on a copy of the vehicle’s owner’s manual.

Turns out all it took was a simple phone call to Tesla roadside assistance (yes, you read that correctly) to obtain the holy grail of owner’s manuals.

We should note that the manual is dated some two months old, so there may have been a few revisions in that time, but nonetheless here’s the manual in all of its 160-page glory (via Chris Torella at Tesla Model 3 Owners Club on Facebook):

We’ll dive into some of the details found in the manual in the coming days/weeks, but for now enjoy yourself some heavy reading. It’s worth your time if you’re a soon-to-be Model 3 owner.

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69 responses to "Tesla Model 3 Owners Manual Hits Internet In PDF Form – Here Are All 160 Pages"

  1. bro1999 says:

    This could very well be one of the first cars where if a thief steals your phone, they can also steal your car.

    Nice to finally see the owner’s manual online at long last.

    1. Steve says:

      It’s actually more secure than if they stole your keys assuming you use TouchID or some other type of biometric input to secure your device.

      1. Steve says:

        I take that back, I didn’t realize you wouldn’t need to authenticate if your phone was locked.

        1. Nix says:

          If you are worried, you can log out of the Tesla app, and then the phone won’t work to open the door until you log onto your phone and log back into the Tesla app.

    2. Mister G says:

      Bro1999 aka Bob Lutz I have to admit you finally made a prudent comment LOL

    3. Nix says:

      What authentication do you have on your key fob to keep other people from using it?

      This is the same as stealing your car keys dating back decades.

      Actually, it is much better, because you can always call Tesla and have them intervene. Where with a key fob or physical key there is little most car makers can do in most cases to intervene.

      1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        I don’t think contemporary thieves are so stupid and would not know how to unplug SIM card or mobile antenna from the car. GPS and mobile network based alarm system are not news, but it only helps against random junkies.

        Stealing car keys is more difficult as people don’t carry them in their hands all the time.

        Anyway, it should be acceptable and convenient in low crime areas. Pure and high crime areas are not Tesla target markets anyway.

        1. Nix says:

          Stealing car keys and fobs is as easy as grabbing someone’s purse. Purses are often easier to get to than grabbing a phone out of somebody’s hands while they are holding it, because purses get put on the floor in restaurants or left in shopping carts, etc.

          Yet that is rarely how cars get stolen.

          I’m not seeing some huge new opening for car thieves.

      2. Warren says:

        Just like my wife’s old Corolla, our Bolt has the best thief protection there is.

        According to car worshipers, it is a tiny, compliance, clown car, that no real car person would want. πŸ™‚

        1. Dan says:

          My friend’s ratty looking 1998 civic with a club on the steering wheel was just stolen. They cut the steering wheel in four places to get the club off. Then they ditched the car and it was recovered.

    4. Someone out there says:

      Wireless key systems are pretty common now aren’t they? I don’t think Tesla is any worse than competitors but all wireless systems are vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks

    5. Recoil says:

      I would worry more about how they could steal the remote for your garage out of your bolt since a garage door opener doesn’t come with the car.

      As for a car being stolen I wouldn’t worry about it with the bolt as I could leave the keys in it with the windows rolled down in the middle of Compton and I would find it in the morning still sitting there as most people wouldn’t want to be seen in something so ugly.

    6. John says:

      Allread done in Norway. User name and Password to Tesla app was all they needed, obtained via a Fake tesla app installed to a phone – don’t know if Tesla has done anything to prevent social engineering to steal their cars, but this was not hard at all:https://www.forbes.com/sites/alanohnsman/2016/11/23/security-firm-sees-tesla-theft-risk-by-smartphones-hackers-using-owner-app/#12848d551fb0

  2. Tom says:

    Looks like a fluid change to battery coolant every 4 years/50,000 miles but no expensive annual maintenance. (page 112)

    1. Warren says:

      Yeah. I’m curious, since for the Bolt it is every 150K miles.

  3. SparkEV says:

    Page 133, “Using Model 3 for towing before
    Tesla-approved towing components and
    accessories are available may void the
    warranty.”

    This seem to mean Tesla may/will later provide towing components and accessories?

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Perhaps. One of our Usual Suspects keeps posting complaints that Elon once posted something about the Model 3 being tow-rated, but Tesla hasn’t yet officially said anything about that.

      Anyway, isn’t the “towing may void the warranty” disclaimer standard for passenger cars? So far as I know, that that really means is that if you bend the car’s frame unibody or otherwise abuse it by towing something a lot heavier than it ought to be pulling, or if you forget you’re pulling a trailer and damage the car by jacknifing the trailer while backing up, the damage isn’t covered by warranty.

      Hopefully repairs would be covered by your car insurance… can anyone speak to that with authority?

    2. Jeff says:

      Probably on the AWD version.

      1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

        Or they’ll wait until the Model Y.

  4. Warren says:

    Definite improvement for 12 volt battery service. The plastic panels can now be removed without tools. However, getting the frunk open will require a jump to get to a dead battery.

    1. Jamez Andhisminis says:

      According to that one video, On the driver side bumper, There’s a pop-out similar to a tow hook access that has a plug behind it that is a direct hookup to the 12V for jumping purposes. No need to open the hood to jump

      1. Warren says:

        According to the manual, it IS the tow hook access hole.

        1. Warren says:

          My point was that you can’t get at the dead battery without a jump.

          1. Warren says:

            The instructions for jump starting, on page 148, make it pretty clear they don’t want you jump starting the car from those cables in the tow hook access hole. They aren’t intended to carry that kind of current, but are only to allow popping the frunk.

            1. Warren says:

              It clearly says, on page 14, these terminals are only for releasing the hood latch, not for charging the battery,

            2. pjwood1 says:

              “that kind of current” likely isn’t what’s required to get a little pinion turning over all sorts of reciprocating metal bits.

          2. Nix says:

            umm… Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like if you have a dead 12v battery that you are trying to access, that you probably need a jump anyways for the 12v battery? So needing a jump in order to access a 12v battery so you can jump it doesn’t seem like too much of an additional burden.

            If you are replacing the old battery with a new battery, you would have the new battery to use to open the frunk.

            1. Warren says:

              Unless you were hoping to schlep the old one down to WalMart, to get a replacement.

              The whole idea of having every door, lid, latch and hatch on your car require a electric motor or solenoid to operate drives me crazy. We have become a nation of effete slobs.

              1. bro1999 says:

                Add in the fact you can’t even manually open the rear doors in case of total power loss…like I dunno, during a severe accident. What genius approved that?

                1. Rich says:

                  While this won’t stop me from buying my Model 3, I agree exclusion of a manual door release in the rear doors is concerning.

                2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                  br🀑1999 made another klown komment:

                  “Add in the fact you can’t even manually open the rear doors in case of total power loss…”

                  Now, is that in the manual? More likely, you’re repeating FUD you’ve previously posted.

                  1. bro1999 says:

                    Page 9. DUH
                    #learntoread

                3. Recoil says:

                  Hey bro at least there will be people sitting in the back of the Tesla as most would be happy to ride in it. You don’t have to worry about that with the bolt as most bolt owners don’t have any friends, people don’t want too be seen in it or they are too busy FUDing on every Tesla thread to actually get out.

              2. Nix says:

                LOL! Yea, the electronics for everything is a fact of life now. Our family company has a truck with roll up hand crank windows. A 16 year old kid was taking a ride in it, and had never seen hand crank windows before, only power windows. The kid cranked the window up and down over and over in amazement, and thought it was the craziest thing! Pretty funny.

                I’ve always got the battery first, made sure it solved my problem, and only then returned the core. That way I can take the new battery back if it turns out it wasn’t the problem, and they don’t have to dig up my old battery. But yes, doing it your way would reduce one more trip to the Walmart to return the core later for credit. *shrug*

          3. Bill Howland says:

            That’s true Warren, but in Tesla’s defense if you approach the car with either a new battery or a jump box (popular these days), you can use it to first open the Frunk, then later jump the main battery and or change it out.

            BIG IMPROVEMENT OVER THE “S”.

            (This was also the first place I saw the 12 volt battery as 33 amp-hrs, 9:1 reduction ratio, 75 kwh (rated) battery for Long Range).

            1. Warren says:

              Yeah. I was pretty surprised at 33 Ah, given the number of power operated things on the Model 3. Our Bolt has a 50 Ah battery, and only the windows, and door locks are powered on our LT.

              1. Bill Howland says:

                Well the owner’s manual did caution that if the high voltage battery was drained, the 12 volt battery would completely drain in 12 hours (only). The good part is there is an ‘economy efficiency’ mode that makes the HV battery last 3 times as long when sitting, but it didn’t specify what ‘features’ you lose when in economy mode. Have to wait for a Test Drive to find out.

                Other specs: 165 kw (221 hp) motor, and the Universal Connector included with each ‘3’ is to me a BIG IMPROVEMENT over the problematic ‘gen 1’ UC for the “S”, and “X”.

                First off, they limit the current to 32 amps – so if the construction is the same as the GEN 1 unit it should last much longer seeing as it is under much less strain.

                The other thing I like is that the adapters to change from 110 to an RV outlet (Nema 5-15 to 14-50) are at the BODY of the inline EVSE, NOT the attachment plug, thereby keeping a deliterious heat source AWAY from the home’s permanent recepticles.

                32 ampere car charger for short range, and 48 ampere car charger for long range (when using a HPWC, or J1772 adapter).

                1. Nix says:

                  The manual doesn’t actually say the battery “would” drain in half a day, it says it “could” drain that quickly. “could” typically indicates worst case results.

  5. Ct200h says:

    Check out the staggered tire sizes
    Tire Specifications
    Tire Size Location Size
    18″ Front/Rear P235/45R18
    19″ – Square Front/Rear P235/40R19
    19″ – Staggered Front
    Front
    P235/40R19
    Rear
    P265/35R19

    Maybe part of an option or performance package?

    1. Nix says:

      There are hints about bigger front brakes for “Plus” braking system under the brake rotor specs:

      Base Front: 12.6”/320 mm
      Base Rear: 13.2”/335 mm
      Plus Front: 13.98”/355 mm
      Plus Rear: 13.2”/335 mm

  6. Warren says:

    From my experience, and what I can gather, over on the Bolt forums, our Bolt has a 60 kWh pack, with little or no reserve.

    The so-called 50 kWh Model 3 is only 20 pounds lighter than our Bolt.

    The 75 kWh is only 289 pounds heavier than the 50ish kWh version. Part of that is the larger onboard charger.

    So I think it is pretty obvious that the base Model 3 actually closer to 60 kWh than 50 kWh.

    1. Doggydogworld says:

      “the base Model 3 actually closer to 60 kWh than 50 kWh.”

      Don’t module count and range imply a 2:3 ratio? The LR version isn’t close to 90 kWh….

      52/78 kWh works using an incremental weight of 5 kg/kWh (total weight 6 kg/kWh).

      1. Warren says:

        I a not suggesting the LR battery is bigger than 75 kWh. I am suggesting they are holding more of the base model battery in reserve.

        1. Rich says:

          For what it’s worth, the submission form to the EPA stated the Long Range version was 80kWh.

          1. Nix says:

            It is hard to tell if the 75 is usable or total. They don’t specify. The EPA forms imply that 75 is the amount that is usable.

            1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              It would certainly make sense if the battery maker (Panasonic)’s nameplate capacity was 80 kWh, but Tesla engineered the car to use a maximum of 75 kWh. That would be only a 6.67% reserve, which certainly does not sound excessive, considering that they’ll want to reserve at least 2% on the bottom, which leaves only 4.67% for a reserve at the top.

              The confusing difference between full (nameplate) battery cell capacity and usable capacity is likely one of the reasons why Tesla has stopped citing kWh of battery capacity, and started just talking about practical matters such as range and recharging time.

              Kinda frustrating for us armchair engineers, though! 😐

              1. Nix says:

                Yes, and add in any rounding that might be done to publish a number that ends in a 5 or 0, and it makes attempts at math even worse.

                I usually suspect rounding when a complex device is advertised with specifications that end in 5’s and 0’s. We already know that Tesla rounds all their other public battery sizes for 60’s, 70’s, 75’s, 85’s, etc.

  7. Nix says:

    It looks like the radio meme can be put to bed:

    “You can also play AM and FM radio.”

    1. pjwood1 says:

      Digitally streamed, or actual FM broadcast? I ask because modern technology will mean “drop-outs”.

      1. Nix says:

        Looks like both:

        “listen to Internet radio, stream music or podcasts (if available), or play audio files from a Bluetooth or USB-connected device. You can also play AM and FM radio.”

    2. bro1999 says:

      As soon as Tesla pushes out that OTA update for broadcast radio. πŸ˜‰

      1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

        It already has FM. It doesn’t have AM.

        1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

          Never mind. There had been discussion about a lack of AM radio.

          1. energymatters says:

            Lack of AM just keeps Tesla owners from having to hear all that Talk Radio….

      2. Recoil says:

        Bro I know the jealousy runs deep and someday if they don’t discontinue the bolt it may actually get over the air updates but then again those updates couldn’t fix all the problems the bolt has.

        Unless they have some hidden garage door opener, four wheel drive, Navigation, ACC, sun roofs, a nicer interior, faster acceleration all waiting to be activated by an over the air update.

        I guess Tesla could go GM route and just make you come in and swap out cars like I had to do with my volt to get an update. Then come back the next day to pick it up.

        The problem is most Tesla people have a life and are too busy with friends and family and not living in their basement constantly posting on Tesla threads to be running to the stealership to get an update.

  8. Warren says:

    Can anybody tell me if that tire inflator kit is standard equipment in the US version, or an extra cost accessory, like for the Bolt? And if so, how much does it run?

  9. Alan Wiersba says:

    The manual lists the turning circle for the Model 3 as 38.8 feet. But the turning circle of the Model S is listed as 37 feet at https://www.tesla.com/support/model-s-specifications

    So the Model 3 has a 1.8 foot WIDER turning circle? How can that be if it’s a shorter car with a shorter wheelbase?

    1. bro1999 says:

      Considering how large the Model S is, that is a good question.

      1. bro1999 says:

        Hell, a Honda Odyssey has a shorter turning diameter than a Model 3! Lol

        1. Nix says:

          Yup, the Model 3 is right around the same as the Honda Accord (38.1 feet for sedan, 39.6 ft for touring). Both have a wider turning diameter than the Honda Oddity.

          It looks like the Model 3 steering is configured with AWD in mind. AWD cars typically have wider turning diameters, like the Model 3’s target competitors:

          2017 BMW 340i xDrive: 38.4 feet
          2017 AUDI A4 Quattro: 38 feet

        2. Recoil says:

          Hey bro we all know that you like your subcompact bolt but the vast majority of people like to drive cars that look good and don’t look like they belong in your matchbox carrying case.

    2. Nix says:

      Alan, that implies that the front wheels don’t turn as far as the Model S. Probably due to different steering components.

  10. Rich says:

    Page 45 – Windshield wipers
    Tesla needs to add the ability to adjust wiper speed through the steering wheel scroll wheel. Requiring the driver to turn on and select wiper speed by touch screen is highly undesirable. I recommend upon “single swipe” it activates the scroll wheel (for 3 seconds?) allowing the driver to select the speed by scrolling up and down. In addition, 4 wiper speeds is inadequate. There should be 4 or 5 intermittent speeds and then a low and high speed. Basically, 7 speeds. Auto, then 6 speed steps between low and high.

    1. Nix says:

      For better or worse, it sounds like automatic rain-sensing wipers are the plan. So in theory you might only need to do a single swipe of the wiper once in a while and let the auto wipers take care of everything the rest of the time.

      Nice if they can make it work well. Annoying if they can’t.

    2. Mark.ca says:

      Absolutely. It’s pretty much the only legit concern about the M3. The auto function needs to be activated…not sure if they have it at this time.

      1. Nix says:

        Not activated yet for AP2 as of the 2017.46.8 50d6145 11-22-2017 OTA update.

  11. Reef Club says:

    Sitting here at Toyota getting my daughter’s ICE car serviced. Appointment with just an oil change and tire rotation…hope to get out of here in 3 hours! Using time to read the entire Model 3 Owner’s Manual. Thanks for posting.

  12. Dan says:

    In 2+ years when they start coming off lease a used Bolt will be the way to go. Don’t need no stinkin Tesla!

  13. Nick says:

    Here it is for download: https://goo.gl/DoKQWE

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