Are you interested in learning how to reboot your Tesla Model 3? First, let me tell you a little story…

I had to call tech support from my desk at work a while ago. Our conversation went something like this:

Tech Guy: “Good morning, this is tech support. How can I help you?”

Me: “Good morning. I’m having trouble accessing my network drive.”

Tech Guy: “Okay sir, I can help you with that. Did you try restarting your computer?”


Tech Guy: “Sir, will you please stop screaming and try it.”

Me (after restarting my computer): “That worked, thanks a bunch!”

Cars + Computers

If you’re like me you struggle with computers on a daily basis. Love it or hate it, most cars today have computers integrated into them in some fashion. The Tesla Model 3 is no exception. Tesla is a very unique car company as we mentioned here. Tesla’s Model 3 is somewhat phenomenal in that the touchscreen found in the center console allows the driver to control just about every facet of the car from this device.  Mike Hanley of put it this way:

“From its focus exclusively on electric cars to the way it sells and services them, Tesla has charted its own course nearly every step of the way. Knowing that, it’s not surprising that the automaker wouldn’t feel compelled to put a traditional 8- or 10-inch screen in the dashboard of its Model 3 compact luxury sedan. Instead, the Model 3 has a 15-inch touchscreen mounted in front of the dashboard that’s the main interface for most vehicle systems — everything from the direction of the dashboard vents to the navigation system.”

Help! Where’s Tech Support?

So what happens when your system isn’t behaving and you need to reboot your Tesla Model 3? You can call Tesla’s support center at 877-798-3752. Please show them more kindness than I showed my company’s tech dude. You can also try to reboot the system and get things back to normal. When it comes to rebooting your system, there are essentially three options: soft, hard, and what I like to call ludicrous. We here at highly recommend that you start with a soft reboot and progress to a hard reboot if that doesn’t work. We will tell you about the ludicrous method but can’t recommend that you try it. As the name suggests, it should only be attempted by the criminally insane…

Soft Reboot

The simplest and easiest reboot is the soft reboot. If the touchscreen in your Model 3 is acting up, or you’re having connectivity problems with your Bluetooth device, try this method. Think of this option as being similar to re-starting your smartphone when it is giving you grief. Follow these steps in order:

  1. Put your car in park.
  2. Hold down the scrolling buttons on your steering wheel. After a few seconds, your touchscreen should turn off.
  3. After a short weight (usually around 30 or 40 seconds) the iconic Tesla emblem will appear on the touchscreen and your home screen will appear automatically.

While you can technically perform this reboot while the car is in operation, it isn’t recommended that you do so. It is always best to stay distraction free while driving and wait until you can find a safe place to park before rebooting.  Although YouTuber “LivingTesla” isn’t able to solve his particular problem in the video below, he does succeed in providing an excellent demonstration on performing a soft reboot in the Model 3. You can check out this video here:

Hard Reboot

If your issue is not fixed by performing a soft reboot, try a hard reboot. Instead of just restarting the touchscreen, a hard reboot will power down both your touchscreen and the car’s Central Processing Unit (CPU) and then power them up again. Follow these steps to perform this type of reboot:

  1. Put your car in park.
  2. Hold down the scrolling buttons on your steering wheel just as you did with the soft reboot but also depress the brake pedal.
  3. After the touchscreen shuts off, continue to hold down the scrolling buttons and the brake until the Tesla emblem re-appears.
  4. Your car will once again be ready to drive after all systems are turned back on.

Unlike with the soft reboot, this type of reset CANNOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES be performed while the car is in operation. Doing so could cause your car to be disabled, cause a dangerous situation, and make other motorists very angry with you.

Check out this concise and easy to follow videos from Matthew and Rodrigo of the “Electric Gains” YouTube channel for a demo:

Ludicrous Reboot

If both soft and hard reboots don’t fix the problem, fear not dear readers! There is a third option. Crazy you say? Sure. Just crazy enough to work. The ludicrous reboot is not recommended by Tesla or, but it does exist and it is floating around on the web. Because it is already out there, I feel okay writing about it. To perform this reboot follow these steps:

  1. Put your car in park.
  2. Open the front hood and take the cover off of the 12-volt batter that is near the windshield.
  3. Using a 10-mm wrench (yes it must be 10-mm, no other size will do) unhook the cable from the terminal of the 12-volt battery.
  4. Wait 30 seconds and re-attach the cable.

Apparently, this solution was discovered by Tesla mechanics, but Tesla won’t endorse it as a viable option because it involves actually monkeying with the 12-volt battery and they don’t want you doing that. If you’re brave enough to try however, it is guaranteed to completely shut-down and re-start your car. If you’d like a video tutorial on the process, check out this one from YouTuber “Tech Forum:”


Anyone out there ever have the need to reboot your Tesla Model 3? Did you perform a soft reboot or a hard reboot? Any of you crazy cats ever dare to attempt the ludicrous reboot? Any other tips or ticks you have for getting your car’s computer back up and running? Please leave us a comment and share your thoughts.

Source | Image: Tesla

Source | Videos: LivingTesla, Electric Gains, and Tech Forum via YouTube