If you ever find yourself in a situation where your Tesla runs out of power, knowing how to put it in neutral can prove to be an essential skill, especially if you need to have your car towed or moved.
As Tesla vehicles rely on electric power for their operation, things can be slightly different from traditional gasoline cars.
- Navigate: On the touchscreen, go to ‘Vehicle,’ then ‘Service & Reset,’ and select ‘Towing’.
- Activate Towing Mode: Follow on-screen instructions to initiate ‘Towing’ mode, disengaging the parking brake.
- Move Vehicle: Push or tow the vehicle as required. Note: steering and braking are limited without power.
Always refer to your Tesla user manual for specific instructions for your model.
Before we dive into the specific steps of placing your Tesla in neutral without power, it’s crucial to understand a few key aspects of your electric vehicle.
By doing so, you’ll be better prepared to handle different situations that may arise, ensuring the safety of yourself and your vehicle.
Understanding Neutral Mode and No Power in Tesla
Driving a Tesla offers a unique experience as it is an electric vehicle (EV) powered by a high-capacity battery. It is crucial to understand the neutral mode and situations where the Tesla might have no power to ensure a safe and enjoyable driving experience.
In a Tesla, the neutral mode disconnects the motor from the wheels, allowing the vehicle to roll freely. This mode can be helpful, for instance, when you need to push the car in case of an emergency.
To engage neutral mode, shift your Tesla’s gear selector to ‘N’ while the vehicle is stationary or moving slowly.
However, there may be instances when your Tesla experiences no power. This might occur due to a drained battery, a software glitch, or a malfunctioning component.
A Tesla’s range depends on the battery size, driving habits, and environmental factors. Pay attention to the estimated range displayed on the dashboard to avoid losing power.
When the battery reaches a critically low level, the vehicle enters a low-voltage mode to protect the battery and systems. In this case, it’s crucial to find a charging solution as soon as possible. Locate a nearby Tesla Supercharger or a compatible charging station to replenish the battery.
If your Tesla has no power despite having a charged battery, it could be due to a software issue or a hardware malfunction. In such cases, you should contact Tesla Support or visit a local service center for assistance.
Step-By-Step Guide to Put Tesla in Neutral with No Power
Putting your Tesla in neutral when it has no power may seem challenging at first, but it’s actually a simple process that can be broken down into a few easy steps.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you put your Tesla in neutral gear if it ever loses power.
First, make sure that you’re seated in the driver’s seat of the vehicle. Press and hold the brake pedal firmly with your foot. This is an important safety step, as the brake keeps the car stationary while you’re shifting gears.
Next, locate the gear stalk, which is typically attached to the right of the steering column. This stalk is used to switch between different gears, including reverse, neutral, and drive.
Since the touchscreen might not be functional in a no-power situation, you will have to manually shift your Tesla into neutral using the gear stalk.
Now, gently push the gear stalk up or down, depending on your Tesla model, and hold it in that position for a few seconds. You should then feel the car shift into neutral gear.
Note that some Tesla models might require you to push a button on the stalk before changing gears. Check your owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to put your particular Tesla model in neutral gear.
After you’ve successfully shifted your Tesla into neutral gear, you can release the brake pedal and the gear stalk. Your Tesla should now be in neutral, allowing you to safely push or tow it if necessary.
Tesla Models Differences and Neutral Mode
Tesla has various models, such as the Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Model S, and Cybertruck.
Each of these vehicles comes with a unique set of features, but they all have one thing in common: the ability to shift into a neutral mode when necessary, even without power.
Model S: The early Model S sedans can be put into neutral mode by using the touchscreen. To do so, press the Controls tab and then choose Neutral from the list of driving modes. For newer Model S vehicles, you can enter neutral by holding the shifter stalk up for a few seconds.
Model 3: With the Model 3, placing the car into neutral is quick and easy. Simply push the gear selector stalk (located on the right-hand side of the steering wheel) up and hold it for about two seconds. It will automatically switch to neutral mode.
Model X: Like the Model S, Model X owners can activate neutral mode through the touchscreen by pressing Controls and then selecting Neutral. Alternatively, for newer versions, hold the stalk shifter up for a couple of seconds to engage this mode.
Model Y: The process for the Model Y is the same as the Model 3, as they both share the same design and functionality. To engage neutral mode, push and hold the gear selector stalk upwards for two seconds.
2021+ Model S: This newly redesigned Model S has a more futuristic look and feel to it. The process to engage neutral mode is slightly different; here, you need to swipe your finger upwards on the left-hand side of the steering yoke where the virtual gear selector is, holding it for a moment to enter neutral.
Cybertruck: The Cybertruck, Tesla’s futuristic-looking pickup truck, will likely have a similar approach to the 2021+ Model S for entering neutral mode. As specific instructions are not available yet, considering it is not yet in production, it is safe to assume the process will be user-friendly and intuitive, like all other Tesla models.
Essential Tips for Towing Tesla without Power
Towing a Tesla without power can be tricky, but with the right information, you can ensure a smooth and safe process. In this friendly guide, we’ll cover essential tips on how to tow your Tesla when it has no power.
First and foremost, it’s important to contact Tesla Roadside Assistance, as they are knowledgeable about the specific needs of Tesla vehicles and can guide you through the process.
However, if that’s not possible, the following tips will help you get your Tesla on its way.
One crucial step is to safely put your Tesla in neutral, so it can be towed without damaging the motor or other components. To do this, locate the touch screen in your Tesla, go to the service menu, and select the option for Transport Mode or Tow Mode.
This will disengage the parking brake and allow the vehicle to move freely. If there is no power to access the touch screen, you may need to consult your owner’s manual for alternative ways to put the vehicle in neutral.
When it comes to selecting a tow truck, a flatbed is the best option for your Tesla. This ensures that all four wheels are lifted off the ground, minimizing the risk of damage during transportation.
If a flatbed truck is not available, you should use dollies to lift and transport the vehicle properly.
Here are some quick tips to keep in mind when towing your Tesla without power:
- Always use a flatbed truck, if possible, or utilize dollies with a traditional tow truck.
- Disable the automatic parking brake by activating Tow Mode on the touch screen or following the instructions in your owner’s manual.
- Attach the tow hook to the front tow eye, found behind a small removable panel on the front bumper.
Remember to never tow your Tesla with the wheels on the ground, as this can cause irreparable damage to the drivetrain and void your warranty.
Tesla Car Wash and Neutral Mode Usage
Taking your Tesla through a car wash can be a simple and stress-free experience. To do that, you’ll need to know about the neutral mode and gears while using a car wash.
Before taking your Tesla into the car wash, remember to fold in the side mirrors and disable any automatic wipers. After pulling into the car wash entrance, you might need to place your car into neutral.
This is because most automatic car washes require a vehicle to be in neutral gear so that it can be moved through the wash by the conveyor system.
To engage the neutral mode in your Tesla, follow these steps:
- Press the brake pedal firmly.
- Push the gear selector up or down slightly.
- Hold it there for a couple of seconds to shift gears.
Your Tesla will now be in neutral, and you can safely go through the car wash. Make sure to follow the instructions given by the car wash staff or posted signage.
If your Tesla has no power and you need to put it in neutral mode, follow this process:
- Open the hood of the Tesla.
- Locate the 12V jump start terminals near the windshield on the passenger side.
- Connect an external 12V power source like a jump starter or another car’s battery to the terminals.
- Make sure the center display is indicating that the vehicle is in tow mode.
- Engage neutral mode using the steps mentioned earlier.
Once you’re done with the car wash, remember to switch your Tesla back to drive mode. Gently press the accelerator pedal to disengage the neutral mode.
Be cautious when leaving the car wash area and re-enable your automated wipers and side mirrors.
Transport Mode for Moving a Tesla with No Power
If you need to move your Tesla without power, you can put it into Transport Mode. In a friendly manner, let’s walk through the simple steps to enable this mode, which will disengage the parking brake and make the vehicle easy to move.
First, make sure the vehicle is in Park, and all doors are closed. You should also ensure the driver’s seat belt is unbuckled.
Then, follow these steps:
- Locate the 12-volt battery, which is typically found in the front trunk (frunk) for most Tesla models. For a Model 3 or Model Y, the battery is located under the hood on the passenger side.
- Next, remove the battery’s positive and negative connection cables.
- Locate the correct jumper cables and connect them to the vehicle’s 12-volt battery. Make sure to connect the red cable to the positive terminal and the black cable to the negative terminal. Ensure the other end of the jumper cables does not touch each other or any metal surface.
- Temporarily connect another 12-volt battery to the jumper cables. This will provide enough power to allow you to enable Transport Mode.
- Turn on the vehicle’s touchscreen by pressing the brake pedal.
- From the touchscreen, select “Service” > “Towing” > “Transport Mode.”
Now your Tesla’s parking brake will disengage, and you can freely move the vehicle without any power.
Please keep in mind that while in Transport Mode, the vehicle’s power steering and electronic features won’t be active. This means steering may be more challenging and will require more force than usual.
Safety Considerations for Tesla Cars with No Power
In the event that your Tesla experiences a loss of power, it is important to prioritize safety to prevent accidents or mishaps.
Here are some friendly safety tips to follow:
First, be mindful of the brakes. In a Tesla, as in any electric vehicle, the primary means of braking is regenerative braking.
This system takes advantage of the electric motor, using its resistance to slow down the vehicle while charging the battery. However, if your Tesla has no power, regenerative braking will be unavailable.
In this case, you will have to rely on the vehicle’s traditional braking system. The good news is that, even with no battery power, Tesla provides safe stopping capabilities with its hydraulic brakes.
However, you may find that the brake pedal is harder to press and requires more effort. It is important to practice using these brakes so you are prepared for situations with no power.
Next, consider the role of the 12-volt battery. While you may not have power to drive your Tesla, the 12-volt battery is still present, providing limited power to vital systems like airbags and hazard lights.
In the event of an accident, it might be a good idea to disconnect the 12-volt battery to disable the airbag system and prevent it from unintentionally deploying. You can locate this battery in the front trunk or “frunk” of the vehicle.
Other features might temporarily stop working when the main battery is without power like the power steering or the electronic door locks. In this situation, to put your Tesla in neutral for towing or moving purposes, you should use the tow mode available in the menu on the touchscreen.
Lastly, it’s always prudent to have a roadside assistance plan as a Tesla owner. Should you find yourself with no power, contact your preferred roadside assistance provider or Tesla’s own 24-hour roadside assistance to help get you back on the road as efficiently and safely as possible.
By keeping these friendly safety considerations in mind, you can properly handle a no-power situation and protect both yourself and your Tesla.
Tesla’s Innovative Features for Convenience and Efficiency
Tesla has always been at the forefront of innovation in electric cars, providing a unique and exciting driving experience. These innovative features extend not only to their electric motor and Autosteer capabilities but also to the design of transmission controls and the convenience of charging stations.
Unlike traditional ICE cars, which have separate gears for driving in reverse or forward, Tesla vehicles have a simple process for shifting into neutral or reverse. Using the center console, drivers can easily control their car’s movement by selecting the desired direction, making the transition seamless and efficient.
This is made possible due to the electric motor, which can instantaneously switch between driving modes without the need for a complex transmission system.
Tesla vehicles are also known for their user-friendly center console, which offers an intuitive interface for managing various aspects of the car, such as climate control and navigation.
Through the center console, users can access features like Autosteer, a component of Tesla’s advanced driver-assistance features, which enable safer and smoother driving experiences.
As electric cars, Teslas rely on charging stations rather than gasoline to refuel. Tesla’s charging network provides fast and convenient access to charging stations in various locations, further enhancing the efficiency and convenience that Tesla owners enjoy.
Roadside Assistance and Maintenance for Tesla Vehicles
One of the perks of owning a Tesla vehicle is the availability of their dedicated roadside assistance service. Should you ever run into trouble, be it a flat tire or loss of power, Tesla’s team will be there to help.
They are available 24/7 and can be reached through the in-vehicle touchscreen display or by calling Tesla’s customer support.
As an electric vehicle, the maintenance requirements for a Tesla are somewhat different from those of a traditional internal combustion engine car. There are no oil changes or spark plug replacements needed.
However, certain components, such as the electric motors, drivetrain, and battery, may require servicing.
Tesla vehicles, whether it’s the Roadster or the Model S, are designed to be highly efficient and technologically advanced. The electric motors provide instant torque, powering the rear wheels and enabling impressive acceleration.
These EVs are also equipped with advanced features like adaptive cruise control and automatic parking, making maneuvering in tight spaces a breeze.
To keep your Tesla functioning at its best and maintain its efficiency, it’s important to have regular check-ups. Tesla recommends inspections every 12,000 miles or once a year (whichever comes first), with a focus on tire rotation, brake fluid replacement, and high-efficiency air-filter cleaning.
However, there are some aspects of maintenance that you can perform yourself. Always keep an eye on the tire pressure, regularly clean the touchscreen display to ensure smooth operation, and be mindful of debris like mud or ice that can accumulate around the steering wheel and other components.
This helps avoid damage to your Tesla’s advanced technology and keep it running in optimal condition.