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Things you may not have discovered about your Model S?!

JoshG

Member
Jun 23, 2011
433
401
Things you may not have discovered about your Model S!

(Thanks for additions and suggestions... I've reformatted the original version of this and added submissions from others. Will try to maintain it if other suggestions/corrections come in.)

Tips and Tricks You May Not Have Discovered About Your Model S

Most of these are in the manuals, posted elsewhere on the forum, or should have been covered in your delivery training, but since everyone's experience and inclination are different, I've gathered them together in one place. Credit is shown for people who've asked for things to be added, even if they aren't the original poster of the info that may be elsewhere on the forum.

A) Steering Wheel Controls

1) MUTE/PAUSE: when listening to most audio sources, click left steering wheel roller button to pause and resume (or in the case of radio and some streaming services, mutes and unmutes the audio). Nice that this works regardless of what's displayed on your left-of-speedo info display. [JoshG]

2) MIC MUTE:
the left steering wheel roller button will mute and unmute the mic when on a call. [DaveVa]

3) RECENT CALLS: With a bluetooth phone connected, you can call up a list of recent calls and select one for redial without lifting your hands from the wheel. Click right-side "Menu" button on steering wheel, select the phone icon, and your recent calls will appear on the right-of-speedo info display. Right click-wheel can be used to pick and dial any entry. [JoshG]

4) IN-CALL FUNCTIONS: While on a call, clicking the right-hand "Phone" button on the steering wheel brings up a menu of choices such as hang up, mute microphone, or put the call on hold. Select from the options with the right scroll wheel. [Todd Burch]

5) SCREEN REBOOTS: Hold down the middle steering wheel buttons on both sides for a few seconds to reboot the main display.
Hold down the top steering wheel buttons on both sides for a few seconds to reboot the driver's console display. [Todd Burch]

6) TAKING SCREEN SHOTS:
Hold down the bottom steering wheel buttons on each side for a few moments to grab a screenshot. (Tesla service can access this. We might be able to later). [Todd Burch]


B) Center Console 17" Touchscreen & Telematics

1) FULL-SCREEN SHORTCUT:
Clicking an icon along the top edge for an app that's already displayed makes that one go full screen. Sometimes easier than clicking that tiny little "expand the window" button in the lower corner. Clicking it again in the top bar makes it go back to where it was. [JoshG]

2) APP SCREEN LAYOUT SHORTCUTS:
The "App" icons from the "Tray" at the top of your 17" screen can be dragged directly to either the top half or the bottom half of the touchscreen, depending on where you want that app to show up. You can also drag it to the miniature "top-half" and "bottom-half" icons that appear at the top of the screen when you begin dragging an app icon. [JoshG]

3) CHARGE SCREEN SHORTCUT: rather than going through the controls screen, you can simply tap the little Battery icon that is always at the top edge of the 17" screen. [JoshG]

4) BLUETOOTH CONFIGURATION SCREEN: tap the little bluetooth icon that is always at the top of the 17" screen. [JoshG]

5) SIRI:
iPhone 4S and later can use Siri when paired with your Model S. Mic and speakers in car will function for siri's voice input and output. However, as of now, there's no way to trigger Siri from the vehicle controls, you'd still have to press and hold your iOS device home button. [rlowenth]

6) TESLA "About" SCREEN: Pressing the tesla logo on the 17" screen brings up an image of your car, showing your VIN#, firmware version, and most recent firmware release notes. The image of the car on screen should match your actual car's color, wheel choice (?), roof type, headlights/fogs/DRL state. left turn signal or flashers state, and brake light state. (High beams, pano roof status and windows are not dynamically drawn to match their current state.) Nice tip from [stevezzzz]: This is one way to know if and when your brake lights go on due to regen braking.

C) Navigation System

1) SCROLLABLE NAVIGATION ROUTE STEPS : The window that contains upcoming turns and street names during navigation is scrollable. Click on a step and map will zoom to show that step on your route. Click the step again to return to normal route navigation [Nickjhowe]


D) Cruise Control

1) CRUISE UP/DOWN ADJUSTMENTS: when cruise control is active, tap cruise lever down or up slightly for - or + 1 MPH; push it further down or up for - or + 5 MPH. [JoshG]

2) SPEEDOMETER CRUISE SPEED MARKER: when cruise control is cancelled, but not turned "off", a marker is shown on your speedometer where you left the setting (and where it will return to when you hit 'resume'). [JoshG]

3) SUSPEND vs. CANCEL CRUISE CONTROL: Press in the end of the cruise control stalk slightly to cancel and reset cruise to zero but leave it "armed". (Whereas pressing forward on the CC stalk cancels it but leaves the set speed ready for a resume). [Todd Burch]

E) Other Driver Controls

1) WIPER SINGLE SWIPE: push in the end of the turn signal stalk to have the wipers do a single swipe without spraying cleaner. Push in further to have it spray with wash fluid. [Todd Burch]

2) MIROR TILT-ON-REVERSE:
Both side mirror tilt positions can be programmed when the car is in reverse. [Todd Burch]

3) EMERGENCY BRAKE: Hold the tip of the shifter lever in to engage emergency braking.
[Todd Burch] **NOTE, NEED SOME CLARIFICATION ON IF AND WHEN TO USE THIS... POTENTIAL SAFETY ISSUES AND/OR VEHICLE DAMAGE?

4) SIDE MIRROR DEFROST: Side mirrors do have electric defrost circuitry but there is no separate on/off for this as in some cars. Side mirror defrost comes on automatically with rear defrost function. [mlascano]

F) Interior Storage, Lighting, and Features

1) HIDDEN STORAGE POCKET:
If you have the Leather package, you have one small semi-hidden storage pouch for storing documents, charging cards, coins, etc.. It's on the leading edge of the driver's seat cushion. Not easy to find until you know where to look. [JoshG]

2) CHARGE ADAPTER HOLDER:
There's a recess built into the very back left side of the glove box that perfectly holds your J-1772 adapter so it's always at hand when you need it rather than going into the trunk where your other charging accessories are likely to be stored. Push the adapter in along the left side of the glove box until it snugly fits into the storage area. [JoshG]

3) READING LIGHTS: The four lights that come on as "dome lights" can also be individually turned on by just pushing on the lens. Turn it off by clicking it again. [JoshG]

4) AMBIENT LIGHTING BUZZ "WORKAROUND": Until it's fixed by Tesla, if your Ambient Lights are causing a buzzing noise to be heard, you can either shut off the Ambient Lighting from your touchscreen, or turn the display brightness UP to at least 85%. [Todd Burch]

5) EMERGENCY FRUNK OPENER: There's a secondary, mechanical latch beneath the glove box to open the frunk.[Qualcan]

6) EMERGENCY REAR DOOR LEVERS: There's an emergency mechanical door release for the back doors in case of electronic failure. Under the front edge of the seat covered by a carpet cutout. [efusco]

G) The Key Fob

1) ALL WINDOWS DOWN:
press and hold the "roof" (middle) button on your keyfob to lower all the windows at once. nice when walking up to a hot car. [JoshG]

2) DOOR UNLOCK WITH DEAD KEYFOB BATTERY: The car can be unlocked even when the battery in the fob is dead by placing it on the passenger side window by the windsheild wiper. [efusco]

3) CAR STARTING WITH DEAD KAYFOB BATTERY:
The car can be started even when the battery in the fob is dead by placing it in the cub holder of the arm rest.
[efusco]

H) Charging

1) RANGE CHARGE IS 'STICKY': Selecting a Range-mode charge is an option that will not go back to "standard" after the charge. Repeatedly charging in "Range" mode is not good for the batteries and Tesla cautions against frequent use, so user needs to remember to set this setting back to normal after a range charge. [JoshG]

2) CHARGE AMPERAGE SETTING IS GPS-AWARE: If you select a lower current limit at one location, the car will remember that setting and apply it for all future charging sessions at that location. Charging at another location will occur at the default amperage setting. [DaveVa]

I) Other Miscellaneous Tips

1) WASHING TIP: When handwashing your car, raise the vehicle to its "Very High" suspension position and then turn it off - less bending down and makes it much easier to spray out the junk in the wheel wells. [JoshG]

2) HOMELINK DIFFICULTIES? When programming homelink, it's easier if you hold the remote inside the frunk.
[Todd Burch]

3) PASSENGER DOOR CLOSING DIFFICULTIES? if your front passenger door is difficult to close, remove the drain plug on the bottom side of the passenger door. [Todd Burch]

4) PANO ROOF STOP: If you press on the rubber seal where the pano roof is seated while it's closing, it will stop. [Todd Burch]

5) PANO ROOF HATCH MAXIMUM HEIGHT: The hatch maximum opening position can be set by manually putting it in the position you want then pressing and holding the close button unti there's a beep (~3 seconds). [efusco]

6) CHARGE PORT: If you have trouble opening your charge port door via the button on the charge connector, try aiming it at the defroster lines on the back windshield, which is apparently where the antenna is for this function. [rlowenth]

7) WAKE & UNLOCK VIA TRUNK BUTTON: If you approach car from the back while its charging, pressing the trunk-latch button on the trunk will wake and unlock the car (assuming you have your key fob on you), and that will also release the charging handle so it can be removed. Saves you from having to take out Fob from purse/briefcase or first go to drivers' door and then return to charge handle for removalK [GeekGirls]
 
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Reactions: David29 and newtman

Todd Burch

Voltage makes me tingle.
Nov 3, 2009
8,151
32,573
Smithfield, VA
-Press in the end of the the turn signal stalk to the first detent for a single windshield wipe (no wiper fluid).

-To end a phone call, put the call on hold, mute, etc....press the voice control button while in a call.

-Press in the end of the cruise control stalk slightly to cancel and reset cruise to zero but leave it "armed". (Whereas pressing forward on the CC stalk cancels it but leaves the set speed ready for a resume).

-Pull toward you on the turn signal stalk to momentarily flash your brights (pretty standard on cars, actually).

-Hold down the bottom steering wheel buttons on each side for a few moments to grab a screenshot. (Tesla service can access this. We might be able to later).

-Hold down the middle steering wheel buttons on both sides for a few seconds to reboot the main display.

-Hold down the top steering wheel buttons on both sides for a few seconds to reboot the driver's console display. (I might have this swapped with the previous tip--not at my car now).

-When disengaging cruise, put your foot firmly on the accelerator so that when cruise turns off you don't instantly go into regen, also possibly activating the brake lights.

-Both side mirror tilt positions can be programmed when the car is in reverse.

-As of firmware 1.19.42 (v4.2), turn display brightness to 85% or higher when ambient lights are on to prevent buzzing.

-When programming homelink, it's easier if you hold the remote inside the frunk.

-if your front passenger door is difficult to close, remove the drain plug on the bottom side of the passenger door.

-The little detent in the sunroof opening slider is the quietest position (least aerodynamic buffeting).

-If you press on the rubber seal where the pano roof is seated while it's closing, it will stop.

-If you experience a very low frequency pressure fluctuation on certain roads (like you're inside a bass drum being thwacked), adjust the two set screws with bumpers on them inside the rear liftgate. This will stop the hatch from oscillating under certain road conditions.
 

fiksegts

Active Member
Jan 6, 2013
1,286
1,186
Miami
I didn't know you could hold down the steering wheel scroll wheels to change what is displayed on the left/right sides of the gauge display....
 

mlascano

S Sig #722
Dec 31, 2011
241
0
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Playing yesterday with the acceptor pedal trying to maintain it at the zero kW spot for coasting, I shifted into Neutral gear and the car coasts nicely (zero kW being used, and of course, no regen occurring), shift back into D to either engage regen or start accelerating again.
Done this many times on manual and automatic transmission cars, glad to see it's doable in the S for those instance you want to coasts and want to be able to take you right foot off the pedals for a bit.
 
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jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2012
19,959
23,898
Texas
Really?? Does this mean some sort of stronger parking brake, or something you use in motion if the brakes fail or the car is out of control?

It engages the parking brake, which has it's own set of pads.
 

efusco

Moderator - Model S & X forums
Mar 29, 2009
5,422
666
Nixa, Missouri, United States
The car can be unlocked even when the battery in the fob is dead by placing it on the passenger side window by the windsheild wiper.
The car can be started even when the battery in the fob is dead by placing it in the cub holder of the arm rest.
The hatch opening position can be set by putting it in the position you want then pressing and holding the close button unti there's a beep (~3 seconds).


We need to organize these, once a few more are collected, into a single page "tips" sheet that is printable and updatable.
 

brianman

Burrito Founder
Nov 10, 2011
17,536
3,004
-When disengaging cruise, put your foot firmly on the accelerator so that when cruise turns off you don't instantly go into regen, also possibly activating the brake lights.
I go a step further with mine. There are two types of disengaging cruise control for me: (a) slowing down and (b) switching back to "driver in control of speed".

For (a), I release and prepare to press the brake if needed.
For (b), I accelerate past the cruise control and then disengage it. (Rather than trying to find the cruise-control-equivalent pressure.)
 

efusco

Moderator - Model S & X forums
Mar 29, 2009
5,422
666
Nixa, Missouri, United States
There's an emergency mechanical door release for the back doors in case of electronic failure. Under the front edge of the seat covered by a carpet cutout.
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1359242795.279813.jpg

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1359242809.536341.jpg
 

vcor

Member
Nov 29, 2012
121
4
California
Most may know this, but not all that obvious - Tap the Tesla logo in the top center of the main display to see the battery size (85/60/40) and software version.
 

JoshG

Member
Jun 23, 2011
433
401
Most may know this, but not all that obvious - Tap the Tesla logo in the top center of the main display to see the battery size (85/60/40) and software version.
... and to read the latest firmware release notes.
... and to remind you of the exterior color of your car. :biggrin:

- - - Updated - - -

We need to organize these, once a few more are collected, into a single page "tips" sheet that is printable and updatable.
Print??? why print? how about just a page that looks good and can be bookmarked from our in-car browser? (Maybe a link from one of the emerging Tesla dash portal efforts!)

But I guess since I'm the OP, I'll volunteer to organize them into some categories and create a fresh post that's reasonably well formatted. There are already some really good ones here. Keep 'em coming!

--josh
 
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walla2

Member
Jul 15, 2012
499
221
... Print??? why print? how about just a page that looks good and can be bookmarked from our in-car browser?

Ask and ye shall receive:

INSTRUCT - TESLAMODS

I organized them in categories and reformatted some of the wording. Sadly, our site Teslamods.com (Desai and Walla2) doesn't look that great yet, but it is still a work in progress.
 

PureAmps

Model S P85 (#2817)
Oct 22, 2012
359
7
SF Bay Area
2) (Probably way too obvious, but I admit I didn't find it for 3 weeks!!!) You do know about the ONE small pocket for storing things within arms reach of the driver, yes? Small document pouch on the front edge of the seat cushion, between your legs. I felt pretty dumb when I finally found it. (possibly only on leather seat package?)

Thanks, that wasn't obvious at all, and I've had the car for a month! I just relocated my collection of various charging network cards there. It is kind of strange that there is not a similar pouch on the passenger side.
 

jomo25

Active Member
Mar 16, 2012
2,105
226
Scottsdale, AZ
Thanks, that wasn't obvious at all, and I've had the car for a month! I just relocated my collection of various charging network cards there. It is kind of strange that there is not a similar pouch on the passenger side.
I recall that these pockets were only in the Performance version seats? Or only in the leather seats? or something like that. Or are they in ALL cars driver's seats?
 

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