10 things you should NOT do in your Tesla Model 3

Today we're going to discuss the 'things' that a Tesla Model 3 owner should NOT do to their car. To be clear, these are things that will NOT improve the ownership experience. These actions also will NOT extend the life of Model 3 components like the battery, seats, doors, and more.  

Above: Tesla Model 3 (Source: Vauxford / Wikipedia)

Kudos to the YouTube channel, Cf Tesla, for putting together these handy tips and tricks. It turns out the host of the channel owns a Tesla Model 3 AWD and uses the car for travel with his wife and three kids, so a lot of practical experience is behind this information. Before going any further, check out the video (see below).

Above: Don't do these 10 things with your Tesla vehicle (YouTube: Cf Tesla).

The notes below correspond with the video and should provide you with a helpful "guide" for what NOT to do as a Model 3 owner.

1) Don't use toxic wipes to clean the seats

The normal kitchen cleaning wipes contain detergents, antimicrobials, and other chemicals that may harm your Tesla vehicle seats. Using wipes that contain these types of toxic chemicals can reduce the lifespan of your Tesla Model 3 seats.

Using normal 'baby wipes' that contain mild chemicals and are intended for the delicate skin of infants is a far better approach to cleaning Tesla's seats. Do NOT use wipes that have harsher chemicals intended to remove fat and oil from kitchen utensils. Another popular approach is to use aftermarket seat covers to protect the original seats. 

2) Don't shut the door holding the glass window

The frameless windows of Tesla vehicles are designed much like other luxury vehicles from traditional automakers. While the frameless windows give the car a premium look, they also present possible misuse and a potential for breaking the glass. The following photo shows the wrong way of closing a Tesla vehicle door. 

Above: The wrong way to close a Tesla Model 3, S, or X door by holding the glass instead of pushing the door from the bottom (Source: Cf Tesla/YouTube)

3) Don't open the door manually from inside 

Car owners coming from a non-Tesla background are accustomed to opening the car doors using the manual handle/latch from the inside. However, in Tesla vehicles, the manual door release is NOT recommended — the manual door opening function in Teslas only exist for emergency situations and when the digital controls and/or the buttons have failed.

Above: Don't open Tesla Model 3 doors manually from the inside, the center touchscreen of the Tesla vehicles even shows a warning that this may cause damage to window trim (Source: Cf Tesla/YouTube)

To make the door opening button markings more prominent, Tesla owners might want to install stickers with an image that showcases the 'Door Open' function — this indicates to friends and family how to open the door(s) of a Tesla Model 3 from the inside.

4) Don't forget to plug in your car

It is highly recommended that you plug in your Tesla as soon as you park your car at home because the time you spend with your family (and sleeping through the night) can be utilized to charge your car. You can happily wake up with 100-150 miles added to the vehicle range for the next day's commute. This routine will help keep the batteries healthy and your car ready for road trips any time.

In addition, charging at home overnight in cold weather will also keep the batteries warmed up and help maintain range. Tesla Superchargers are good for quickly adding miles to your car but originally they were intended (only) to make long journeys possible for the Tesla community. They're not really meant to be used for daily charging.

5) Don't leave 'Climate On' while charging, except while Supercharging

Remember to turn off the 'Climate On or Camp Mode' function while charging at home or at a destination charger, because it will keep draining the battery and the charge rate will be lower. You can keep 'Climate On' if you're charging at a Supercharger station and you're playing video games or listening to music inside your Tesla. Reminder: at a V3 Supercharger, the rate of charging is much higher.

6) Don't turn off Regenerative Braking

Using regenerative braking (aka 'Regen') benefits a Tesla driver in two ways. It helps with overall driving comfort by offering basically a single pedal driving experience. You only use the accelerator pedal (called the 'gas pedal' in ICE age vehicles) and the car slows whenever you take your foot off the accelerator.

The 'Regen' function sends energy generated during braking back to the battery pack. This gives a Tesla (or other electric car) added range. This also results in longer life for your brake pads — you won't need to change them for a long time. Putting Tesla's regenerative braking in 'HOLD' mode (as seen in the following screenshot) provides you with an optimal result.

Above: Regen braking options in a Tesla Model 3 electric car (Source: Cf Tesla/YouTube)

7) Don't rest your phone on the center console or armrest

This tip may save you from a lot of (unnecessary) trouble — resting your phone on the center console, especially the center armrest in the front row, might present an awkward situation as the phone easily slides down between the seat and the center console, which is a very narrow place, making your phone hard to "fish out" — especially while driving.

Tip: Don't rest your phone on the center console or the armrest, as it can easily slide between in the gap on the side of either seat (Source: Cf Tesla/YouTube)

8) Don't put child seats directly on the car seats

This tip will save your original Tesla upholstery from getting damaged. According to Cf Tesla's experience and feedback from his viewers, putting child seats directly on Tesla car seats can actually indent them and if used long enough it can permanently crease the seats. How can you avoid this situation? One solution: use aftermarket Tesla Model 3 seat covers — the same goes for Tesla Model S and Model X seats.

9) Don't charge your battery to 100% every day

Charging your battery to 100% each time you're charging at home or at the Supercharger can decrease the life of your battery. The battery degradation process may be expedited earlier than you'd like if you keep charging to 100%. Instead, charging the battery to 80 - 90% each time will help the battery to last longer — as witnessed in an earlier post discussing 50,000 miles in a Tesla Model 3 and battery degradation.

Draining the battery all the way to 0% plays a role in faster degradation. In some situations your Tesla might refuse to accept charging if it is fully drained, you might need to contact Tesla support to get it back to normal.

10) Don't put weights on your steering wheel

Okay, this one is obvious. There are some idiotic videos out there with YouTubers using an orange, bottle, or rubber band on the steering wheel in order to dodge Tesla's Autopilot "nags" reminding you to keep your hands on the steering wheel. Please. Don't be a dummy. NEVER do this — remember your own safety and the safety of everyone using the road.


Written by: Iqtidar Ali, lead writer at Tesla news-focused website X Auto.