Tips, Tricks & Trends

Hidden Tesla Features Most Owners Don’t Know About

When it comes to Tesla, the brand is new and exciting. For many owners or Tesla fans, the cars already have so much to offer. But wait – there’s more! Tesla cars have a lot of hidden features that most owners don’t even know about. While some are useful, others are just plain cool.

Parking Brake

If you own a Tesla or have ever driven one, you may have noticed that there is no parking brake. To put the car in park, you simply press a button, and the car does the rest. This button is usually located at the end of the stalk extending from the right side of the steering wheel, but what most owners and even some Tesla sales representatives don’t know is that if you hold this button down for a few seconds, it initiates the parking brake. While you may not ever really find yourself in need of using a parking brake on your Tesla, it’s still comforting to old-school drivers to know that one is available.

A Tesla Model 3 is seen during the Vienna Car Show press preview
The Tesla Model 3 | Manfred Schmid/Getty Images

Adjusting the climate without opening the menu

Tesla owners may find themselves annoyed as they go through the on-screen menu to access the climate control features. While it’s only a few simple touches of the screen, you have to look down at the screen for a few extra seconds and that means looking away from the road. You can avoid going through the menu by tapping the on-screen temperature gauge, which automatically turns on the AC to that temperature. Hold the temperature gauge for 2 seconds and a small bar pops up on the screen and can be dragged to adjust the set temperature.

Engaging autopilot in traffic

It is generally understood that you cannot engage autopilot in traffic, obviously not while the car is moving but also if you were just stopped at a red light. This actually isn’t true. Drivers can engage autopilot while stopped in traffic by putting their foot on the brake and then engaging the ‘hill hold’ feature. Two small symbols light up on the screen that indicates you can engage the autopilot feature, and the driver can continue by just turning on autopilot like usual.

Man sitting in a Tesla using the infotainment screen.
Tesla | Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Putting your Tesla in neutral

In just about every car on the road, it’s obvious how you would put the car from park or drive into neutral, but that isn’t the case with Tesla. While it is more obvious with the Tesla Model X or Tesla Model S, it isn’t as clear with the Tesla Model 3. In the Tesla Model 3, you can put the car in neutral by doing a short series of steps. Starting by putting the car in drive and keeping your foot on the brake, simply raise the stalk on the right of the steering wheel part of the way up and hold for 2 seconds. The steps are easy to follow but may not be obvious if you’ve never been taught how to do it before.

Swipe functions

The infotainment screen of the Tesla has a small upward-pointing arrow in the bottom corner that opens a small tab with the driver’s preferred features. To access your number one preferred feature, you don’t even need to access the small tab, simply swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open the preferred app. This is also useful when using your navigation. To automatically input your ‘Home’ location into navigation, simply swipe down from the navigation search and your car will automatically bring up the navigation screen towards your set home.

Tesla is known for its innovative engineering and styling, but they also have a lot of cool features that make their cars just that much better. Whether you are a Tesla owner or just a Tesla fan, you probably still didn’t know about these hidden features.