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Anyone Else Need to Push Up Gear Lever 2-3 Times To Get To Reverse??

I've heard of this, but I don't get it.

What's happening? Does it just do nothing?

I sometimes have it beep at me and tell me to push the brake pedal (shown on screen). I don't always need to do this, but when it tells me to then I do, and then reverse works fine.

Could be that the same common issues they have with the signal stalk not working correctly also happens to the gear stalk. It makes sense, I highly doubt they're significantly different parts. I do have a problem with the signal stalk and that's being replaced in a few days, they're very aware of that issue.
yeah I definitely have foot on brake when I do this...never have this issue when I go into drive...only reverse.

Assuming this is not the delay for the car "starting" when you first hit the brakes before putting in gear, it sounds like you indeed need to make a service appointment. This is an easy swap and shouldn't take long.


Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
Redmond, WA
Happens to me all the time, seems to be when I first get in the car and want to reverse right away. Maybe the computer is still waking itself up and takes a few seconds? Seems like all of the indicator icons are lit up during this time too so could make sense.

Same here. R or D, it doesn't always do anything the first time if I try too quickly after pressing the brake. Waiting a second works.

This is only on the 3; I haven't hit this on my other Teslas.


Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
San Diego
Its getting quite annoying. Now it rarely goes into reverse on first try. Usually I have to do it 2-3 times now and usually very slowly and deliberate.

Anyones else's gear level like this???

Guess if Im the only one I should get it fixed ...I was really hoping to avoid their service center !

As a controlled experiment, press the brake, put on your seat belt, queue up some music, wait 5 more seconds, and then try going into reverse. Do that quite a few times and see whether the problem happens.

I suspect this is just software. I've noticed it too but I do think it's related to how fast I try to get moving. I never notice it when I've been sitting in the car a while. But it's inconsistent so it is difficult to track down.

It doesn't seem related to contactor closure - I definitely have had this problem even in the case where the car is in idle mode (with contactors closed) before I get to it. Obviously the car is not going to go anywhere with the contactors open. But that's a separate and understandable issue (and it requires significant effort to be fast enough to have a problem with that).
I assume this is an intentional delay for things like system checks, to get the electronics powered up and the oil circulating before the motor moves. It could just be an intrinsic limitation due to some system powering up. This happens when you put your foot on the brake, not when you get in and sit down. It takes a few seconds in my car after hitting the brake before it will release the parking brake.
We have this?

The motors and reduction gearbox are oil lubricated and cooled. Every EV I know of has oil in the reduction gearbox, some use it in the motor as well. It’s a semi-pressurized system on the model 3, so there’s a pump and even a filter. I don’t know if it’s waiting for flow, or just timed, but presumably it flushes the gears before the motor turns. This is a very good thing.

I assume people expect this means you need to change it like in an ICE vehicle. It’s not subject to significant heating, thermal cycling, combustion byproducts, and metallic particles like a piston engine. It might never need to be changed over the life of the vehicle. I suspect Tesla is more or less seeing how things do in the field before they say that though. It’s probably massively dependent on moisture ingress.

It’s totally possible to make a long life dry gearbox. But at the speeds it turns at, the precision and surface finish would have to be absurd so it’s not really economically viable. The motor is cooled by the glycol loop in S/X. 3 uses the same oil and it goes through a heat exchanger to dump heat into the glycol loop. This is a better design.
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I knew about the coolant, and the lubricant in the reduction gear but that wouldn't be under stress (more like a diff where you can go the life of a car without changing anything). I took from that post that there was oil in the actual motor which would be odd.

The reduction gear deals with essentially 100% of the rotational stress. It's the thing between the motor and the wheels (simplified).
The oil is used to cool the motor, but I’m not sure specifically how. I’d assume it would indirectly cool the windings and pass through the rotor as well. I’d assume the motor assembly isn’t flooded, if that’s what you’re getting at. The battery is heated by using the motor, and the motor can only dump it’s heat into the glycol loop through a heat exchanger from the oil system. The oil also washes the bearings, which should go a long way to ensure long service life.

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