Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Updating Software at Tesla Service Center

I can't connect my car to Wi-Fi at home (apartment) and tried phone tethering and used up my hotspot allowance with the last software update and didn't even get through the whole download. I've read in another thread that you can go to a Tesla Service Center and connect to Wi-Fi to get your update. Does anybody know if that applies to all service centers and if Wi-Fi extends throughout the SC lot? The Colma/Serramonte Service Center is right across the street from Target and it sounds easy enough to park and walk over to run errands and come back to an update waiting to install.

(I just got a flat repaired and they performed the latest download for me so I don't have anything currently waiting to download so I can try...so I figured I'd ask here first before attempting and possibly looking stupid by abandoning my car in the SC parking lot to run to Target :) )
 
The car should connect to the Service Center if you are in range. This will not force an update however, it's just a normal WiFi connection. You'll only get the update if your car was going to get it anyway. In my experience it does go outside the building a fair amount, but I'm sure that's location dependent.

You can use any public WiFi connection though- McDonalds, Starbucks, local library, etc. If you have WiFi at work you might be able to use that too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Snowball316
I believe I tried public Wi-Fi before and the car doesn't allow us to connect to Wi-Fi that has captive portal authentication (website splash screen to acknowledge and connect). My work's guest Wi-Fi also has captive portal authentication. I did find an article a while ago that involved some MAC address spoofing to work around it, but that sounded too complicated.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Snowball316
Whole Foods doesn't have a captive portal.
 

CliveBixby

New Member
Mar 15, 2022
1
4
USA
I believe I tried public Wi-Fi before and the car doesn't allow us to connect to Wi-Fi that has captive portal authentication (website splash screen to acknowledge and connect). My work's guest Wi-Fi also has captive portal authentication. I did find an article a while ago that involved some MAC address spoofing to work around it, but that sounded too complicated.
Yes it's possible for a tech-savvy person to clone/copy the MAC address shown in the car's wifi connection (the i/info symbol) to a phone/laptop etc. If it's gonna work are dependent of the combination of network card and the device driver. I'm using an old rooted Android phone for the task.

Disable car WiFi. Once the captive portal is accepted on the extra phone/laptop, disable WiFi on it, and the car then can connect without any questions.
 
You could also do the captive portal on your phone, and once that is going use tethering between car and phone.

As has already been said, this only really matters if your car was already chosen to receive an update. You can find other threads here for how to get your car into service mode (requires being at a service center). Once in service mode one option is to stage the software for a reinstall. But I’ve never used it and don’t know if it will update to newer version or just reinstall what you already have, nor whether it will install right away or if you need to hang out for a few hours before it finds it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: XPsionic
Back in the "old days" of 2018, if you pulled into the service center lot and connected to their wifi it would force a download of the latest software
That was never proven to actually do anything. I tried it multiple times in 2016/2017 without success. Even if it did, lots of people have dates way before 2018 when they think it stopped, probably because it never actually worked (post is Nov 21st, 2017):
https://www.reddit.com/r/teslamotors/comments/7egetg
 
@rpiotro , premium connectivity will not download software updates for the car.
I stand corrected. Apparently the standard connectivity will. From Tesla's site.


Features

Will cars with Standard Connectivity still receive over-the-air software updates?
Yes. All cars have access to over-the-air software updates. Learn more about over-the-air software updates and how to check for the latest version.
 
Yeah, it's not quite clear cut. Maybe I should have added some details. Your car gets notified of software updates on standard connectivity and premium connectivity. However it will ask that you connect to wifi to actually download the update, which you can later apply.

I think there have been cases where updates have actually been downloaded through connectivity, whether standard or premium. I believe those were rare and far between and for security reasons.
 
  • Like
Reactions: gearchruncher
I can't connect my car to Wi-Fi at home (apartment) and tried phone tethering and used up my hotspot allowance with the last software update and didn't even get through the whole download. I've read in another thread that you can go to a Tesla Service Center and connect to Wi-Fi to get your update. Does anybody know if that applies to all service centers and if Wi-Fi extends throughout the SC lot? The Colma/Serramonte Service Center is right across the street from Target and it sounds easy enough to park and walk over to run errands and come back to an update waiting to install.

(I just got a flat repaired and they performed the latest download for me so I don't have anything currently waiting to download so I can try...so I figured I'd ask here first before attempting and possibly looking stupid by abandoning my car in the SC parking lot to run to Target :) )
What do you do for charging in apartment life? I have a model 3 on the way, plenty of super chargers around but curious as to what you do.
 
I stand corrected. Apparently the standard connectivity will. From Tesla's site.


Features

Will cars with Standard Connectivity still receive over-the-air software updates?
Yes. All cars have access to over-the-air software updates. Learn more about over-the-air software updates and how to check for the latest version.


You can't download software updates over LTE, period. Premium or Standard.

You're misunderstanding what the manul says. It's stating that cars with standard connectivity still gets OTA updates, in general. Not that it gets it over LTE.

OTA does not mean LTE.
 
  • Disagree
Reactions: XPsionic
What do you do for charging in apartment life? I have a model 3 on the way, plenty of super chargers around but curious as to what you do.

I'm very fortunate that I get to charge at work for free. Pre-pandemic the chargers were limited to 4 hours per car, but now that everybody is working hybrid, there's plenty of chargers available and I get to leave it charging for 8+ hours every time I drive in to the office (3x/week). I'm hoping it remains that way, but there's been lots of talk with people at work ordering Tesla's with CA gas prices so high. Even with the 4 hour cap, adding 4 hours (100 miles) of charge each time I go into the office still works for me.
 
You can't download software updates over LTE, period. Premium or Standard.

You're misunderstanding what the manul says. It's stating that cars with standard connectivity still gets OTA updates, in general. Not that it gets it over LTE.

OTA does not mean LTE.

That's incorrect. Tesla does push updates through LTE if the update is recall related. I live in an apartment with no wifi and have gotten 2 updates over the last 12 months downloaded via LTE. Both times were when a recall related item is in the update, for example, disabling playback of sounds via external speaker while the car is in motion.
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top