How to Put a Tesla in Neutral: Complete Guide for All Models

July 9, 2024

Understanding how to put a Tesla in neutral is crucial, whether you are navigating an automated car wash or managing an emergency situation. The methods for shifting into neutral can vary according to the Tesla model you own. This guide will walk you through the various steps for different Tesla models and explore some additional features and precautions to keep in mind.

Shifting Into Neutral: Different Models, Different Methods

When it comes to putting your Tesla in neutral, the process differs depending on the model:

  • Model 3 & Model Y: Hold the gear stalk up for one second.
  • Model S & Model X: Locate Neutral between Drive and Reverse on the gear shift.
  • 2021+ Model S and Model X: Tap the car icon on the screen and hold the Neutral button.

It's also important to know how to shift out of neutral. Always press the brake pedal first when going slower than 5 MPH. In addition, the car will automatically shift into Park if you exit the vehicle while it's still in Neutral.

Using Transport Mode

Tesla's Transport Mode allows the car to stay in Neutral after you have exited the vehicle. This is especially useful for towing purposes but should be used with caution as it prevents the car from rolling spontaneously.

The Tesla Logo and Its Evolution

The Tesla logo has a deeper meaning as explained by Elon Musk. The 'T' represents the cross-section of an electric motor, inspired by Nikola Tesla's first induction motor. The logo symbolizes the basics behind how Tesla's electric vehicles generate movement.

Tesla Logo

Over time, Tesla's logo has evolved from the original shield emblem to a minimalist design with a pronounced curve at the top, along with a red color scheme introduced in 2017. This design aligns with Tesla's philosophy of minimalism and simplistic approaches to problem-solving.

Shifting Modes in a Tesla Model 3

How to put a Tesla in neutral in a Model 3 can be a bit tricky, especially if you are going through an automated car wash. When parked, the drive mode strip displays on the side of the touchscreen, allowing you to shift the car by swiping up for Drive, swiping down for Reverse, or touching P for Park and N for Neutral. If you attempt to shift when it's prohibited by the current driving speed, an alert will display, a chime will sound, and the drive mode won't change.

Tesla Model 3 Dashboard

Importance of Knowing How to Put a Tesla in Neutral for Car Washes

Understanding how to put a Tesla in neutral is essential for a smooth car wash experience. For instance, the owner of a 2021 Tesla Model 3 had difficulties shifting the car into neutral at a drive-through car wash. After multiple attempts and struggles, they managed to do it but were unsure of the exact issue. This highlights the importance of familiarizing yourself with your car’s features to avoid such inconveniences.

Car Wash

Ensuring your safety and the safety of your vehicle while using any gear-shifting feature is paramount. Knowing the specific steps for your Tesla model can make these routines efficient and glitch-free.

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