By Cars.com EditorsAugust 8, 2022
About the video
What to Know Before Renting a Tesla Model Y and Model 3
So chances are right now you are standing in an airport parking garage, staring at a Tesla model Y or a model three that you've just rented.
And they've given you this little piece of plastic and you're wondering to yourself, how the hell do I get into this car with this little piece of plastic? And what you've done is you've Googled. How do I get into a Tesla? And that's led you to this video. Well, don't worry, We are actually gonna teach you how to Tesla. We're gonna go through all of the aspects of renting a Tesla and how to actually use one, Even if you've never touched one before. we've even arranged this video in special segments. And we'll actually include the different topics in the time codes listed below in the description. Let's begin here is how to Tesla. All right, first things first. How do you get into a Tesla using just a key card? Pretty simple. You place it on the B pillar right here. You hear the thing go, booboo pup. The mirror will open up and now you can open the car. Opening the car, can be a little tricky as well. See the door handle. Put your thumb on the fat part. Pull with your hand opens up pretty easily. Is it a bit awkward? Yes. Why'd they do it that way? I don't know. Okay. You've gotten into the Tesla and now you wanna drive it but you're gonna notice that there's no on off button. There's no start-stop switch. Things just turn on when you sit down but in order to drive the car, you have to take that key card that they gave you and you have to place it just behind the cup holders that will bring things to life but the car still isn't ready to drive. In order to do that you then have to put your foot on the brake. (car beeps) Now things light up and the car is actually ready to drive. It's best to then take that key card and just put it in the cup holder for safe keeping. Don't forget that you've put it in the cup holder because you have to take that card with you when you leave the car. Otherwise it actually won't lock. Now, once you're ready to drive, in order to actually put it into gear you use the stock that you have here. It's very similar to a Mercedes-Benz system. in order to put it in reverse press... (car beeps) all the way up. Now you've put it in reverse. Neutral is one tap down and drive is all the way down. The park button is the button on the side. The thing that will be the most obvious to you if you've never been in a Tesla before is the fact that there really aren't any buttons in here. We'll call it simple design. In fact, there's really only a handful of actual buttons in the entire interior. You have these two on the steering wheel. Your hazard flashers are in a button here on the roof. You've got a door release button on every one of the doors that helps to open the door. You've got window switches and that's pretty much it. you're wondering how do you adjust things like the mirror position and the steering wheel? Well, almost everything is done through this central touch screen. You push this little car icon on the left and that brings up the control panel. And from here you can do things like adjusting your mirrors using the buttons on the steering wheel. You have the left one the right one that moves it up, moves it down. Or if you wanna adjust the steering wheel position same thing, left button moves the steering up down in and out. The voice commands can also be pretty helpful if there's a control that you wanna adjust and you really can't find where it is in the touchscreen. you simply push the button, adjust temperature to 71 degrees. And it does so, it turns on the climate control for you. To adjust the headlights and windshield wipers. It's very similar to adjusting the other controls in the vehicle. You would touch the little car icon on the left side of the screen, and that brings up the control panel. Now up at the top are your headlights. Normally they're set to automatic including automatic high beams. If you wanna turn them off you could do it through the touch screen here but pretty much just leave them on automatic. To adjust the windshield wipers, it's the same situation as adjusting the headlights. You push the icon, you call up the screen and here you have in the middle, the windshield wiper controls. Normally they're set to automatic. This car has rain sensing wipers, meaning whenever there's water on the windshield it senses it and it'll swipe the windshield. Maybe you wanna turn them off coz you're going through a car wash, maybe you wanna slow them down or speed them up. That control is right here. However, there's also a secondary control. If you push the windshield washer button which is on the left side stock it'll also swipe once and brings up a small version of the wiper controls right on the bottom left side of the screen. Using the Tesla navigation system is actually pretty easy. If you connect your phone to the car via the Bluetooth connection, you're gonna pretty quickly notice that it doesn't offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Which kind of stinks. If you want to control your playlist and audio through the Tesla system, but actually works pretty well in terms of navigation because the Tesla native navigation system does a couple of interesting things. First of all, it's easiest to actually use it just by using voice commands like this. (beep sound) Navigate to 1060 west Addison Chicago Illinois. And there it goes. Pretty easy. One of the neat features about the Tesla native navigation system is that it can actually direct you to a Tesla charging station. All you need to do is push the little lightning bolt symbol here and it pulls up all of the charging stations that are nearby. And once you've actually seen the list here, it shows you how many spots in that supercharger station are actually free. All you need to do is just pick one and it automatically routes you to that destination and then starts to precondition the car's battery to accept a fast charge. Tesla's cruise control is called autopilot, but don't let the name fool you. There is no such thing as a totally self-driving car for sale in the United States today. Maybe eventually but right now, no. Every semi-autonomous system requires you to pay attention to keep your hands either on the wheel or close by and to basically focus on what you're doing coz you are responsible for what this car does. However, in a Tesla there's two main functions for autopilot. First is a distance keeping cruise control, and you activate that by pushing down once on the gear selector. And that will hold you at the speed you're at. You can adjust that speed using the right scroll wheel on the steering wheel. You can adjust it up. You can adjust it down and you'll see what speed you've set it at right here. Now the second function of Tesla autopilot you're likely to encounter, is called auto steer. And you engage the auto steer by pressing down twice on the gear selector. You'll notice that the little steering wheel icon next to the gear indicator turns blue and you also have two blue lines indicating that the car is now self steering. Mostly, you can take your hand off the wheel briefly but it's always gonna ask you to prove that you're still there by every now and then adjusting the wheel a little bit or giving it a little nudge. What it's doing now is it's keeping the car in the center of the lane and maintaining a distance from the car in front of you at the set speed that you have designated. Auto steer does not work above 80 miles per hour. If you wanna disengage autopilot, you can either tap the brakes like on a normal cruise control or you can push up once on the selector and you've disengaged the cruise control and auto steer And you're driving yourself again. So let's talk about range. How far can your Tesla actually go on the amount of battery power that it has left? Well, the number that you see up here is not actually the range. That is the predicted range based on the environmental protection agency's rating for the car. But that is always going to be wildly optimistic. That is not actually how far you have left to go before your Tesla runs out of juice. Instead if you really wanna find out your range you have to push this little icon down here which looks like a line graph and it brings up this screen. This is actually your range down here. Is the projected range based on the battery power you have left and it's available either predicted from the last 30 miles, last 15 miles, or last five miles of how you've been driving. And as you can see, it changes quite a bit. The predicted range on this car right now, based on the amount of battery capacity I have left which is about 65% is 129 miles based on the last five miles of how I was driving or 175 miles based on the last 15 miles how I was driving or 165 miles roughly based on the last 30 miles of how I've been driving. Those are a much better predictor of how much range you have left, than this number up here. Now why doesn't Tesla actually put the more accurate projected range up here? I don't know, That's just how they are. When it comes time to charge your Tesla you have a couple of different options but the best and easiest one is to simply find a Tesla supercharge station. You can either find them using an app on your phone like PlugShare or Google Maps, or you can actually find one using the Tesla's navigation system. There's quite a few listed and then it makes it pretty easy to get to. Now when you actually get to the station to charge the vehicle you have to open the charge port door. And there's a couple of ways to do that. You can either open it using an icon on the center screen inside. You can tap the bottom of the door or once you get to the supercharge station as long as the thing is unlocked, you can actually point the connector at it pepepew and it opens it up all by itself. Then plug it in and it should start charging automatically. The fee for this charge will actually be charged to your rental car agreement. So you'll be paying for it when the rental is over. It could take anywhere from 15 minutes to more than an hour to quick charge the car like this depending on which of the three types of Tesla supercharge you are plugged into. They have three different charging speeds, 72, 150 or 250 kilowatts. And don't be alarmed if the thing shuts off at only 80 or 90% of charge, there's a setting on the charging screen here inside to limit the charge to that level coz it saves battery life on the car over the long term. To give you a real world example, adding 50% charge to our own cars.com Tesla model Y, has taken an average of about half an hour across all supercharge types. Make sure you plan for this time if you're taking your rented Tesla on a road trip. If you don't have a Tesla supercharge nearby perhaps you're charging at a hotel or a shopping mall charger, you'll need an adapter that snaps into the charge port and lets you use non Tesla level two chargers. Now a level two charger is not a fast charger. If you want to fast charge your Tesla you need to go to a Tesla supercharge or have some kind of a Tesla facility Instead. If you're able to charge overnight or you're spending a few hours somewhere a level two charger works just fine. Simply snap the adapter, which should be provided in a special kit somewhere in your Tesla into the port. Snap the charger connector into that and follow the instructions on the charger itself. You'll likely have to provide a credit card. It's rare to find juice for free anymore these days. When your car is finished charging, you gonna wanna unplug it and get it off the charger as quickly as possible. If you let your car sit idle still plugged in at the charging spot After it's done charging, you could be charged an idling fee and that fee can very quickly rack up to be a lot more expensive than the actual charge itself. So when the thing is done charging go get your car, move it somewhere else. It's just really good charging etiquette. So when you've got your car plugged in and you're waiting for it to charge anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or so what are you gonna do with yourself? You can maybe go get something to eat if there's something nearby or you can sit in your Tesla and let it entertain you because the entertainment functions in a Tesla are really impressive. Well, they've actually vary from impressive to stupid to why the heck would they do that? Let me show you what I mean. Say you're sitting here and you wanna entertain yourself. There is the arcade function where you can actually play games on this big central screen using the steering wheel and pedals like racing games. (ambient music) I'm better at driving the real car than I am this fake one. Or maybe you'd like to sing some karaoke. ♪ Fly me to the moon. ♪ ♪ Let me play among the stars. ♪ The toy box function has all kinds of interesting stuff in here. Maybe you wanna lay down your own beats. You've got a synthesizer in here. Maybe you're with somebody you like a lot and you just wanna get cozy and romantic. So they've got a nice roaring fire and some lovely music and you can get comfortable with somebody as well. It's even blowing warm air out of here to simulate the fire itself. Or if you got a carload of 10 year old boys, there is the emissions mode in which the car will (fart sound) play (fart sound) fart noises on command from any of the four seats. Or you can actually assign it. Good Lord to fart on command If you hit the horn or the turn signals. why does it do that? I don't know. You'll have to ask Elon on that one. There's a lot more to explore in terms of the entertainment options in this Tesla but in the interest of a shorter video you're just gonna have to go play with the buttons and figure that out yourself. Now when all else fails and you can't find what you're looking for on Google or the internet, there is the digital owner's manual which is included in the touchscreen as well. Simply push the car icon on the left and then service. And then you'll see owner's manual, click that and it brings up an entire digital copy of the owner's manual. And it's pretty easy to find things in here. The owner's manual, you can either search by topic or just browse the various topics that are in there. And hopefully what you're looking for will be somewhere in there. So you've gotten to where you're going. You wanna get out. You wanna shut the car off. You wanna leave it, but there's no off switch, right? So what exactly do you do? Well, once you've put the car in park you open the door either by using the button on the top or there's actually a lever at the front of this panel here but it really does prefer that you use the button because it lowers the window a little bit in making it easier to get in out. And it doesn't damage the trim. Once you've done that, you open it up, you take your card with you, Get out of the car. Shut the door. And you should see things turn off. Now to lock it. You can either hold this to the spot, you'll hear it poop. And then you walk away. But do not forget to take the card with you. As long as this card is still in the car, it will not lock. So that pretty much covers the basics of renting and using a Tesla model three or a model Y. Now the video doesn't cover everything about the vehicle but there's a lot of stuff in there that you can learn. If you just play with some of the buttons. Now, a Tesla model S or a model X which are a little bit larger than the model three and the model Y, do operate a little bit differently but those are very uncommon as rental vehicles, you might actually see a Polestar two in the rental vehicle aisle, but those operate a lot more like a normal conventional vehicle. Now I hope you enjoy your first experience with a Tesla. And if you frankly like one enough to look into buying one, you can look up everything about the Tesla model Y model three and the entire lineup and a lot of other EVs as well on cars.com.
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