How to control lights on Model 3

Controlling Lights

Touch Controls > Lights on the touchscreen to control the lights.

In addition to the lights that you can control from the touchscreen, Tesla Model 3 has convenience lights that operate automatically based on what you are doing. For example, in low ambient lighting conditions, interior lights, marker lights, tail lights, and puddle lights turn on when you unlock Model 3, when you open a door, and when you shift into Park. They turn off after a minute or two or when you shift into a driving gear or lock Model 3.

Exterior lights (headlights, tail lights, side marker lights, parking lights, and license plate lights) are set to AUTO each time you start Model 3. When set to AUTO, exterior lights automatically turn on when driving in low lighting conditions. If you change to a different setting, lights always revert to AUTO on your next drive.

Touch one of these options to temporarily change the exterior light setting:
• OFF: Exterior lights turn off until you manually turn them back on or until the next time you drive.
• PARKING: Only the exterior side marker lights, parking lights, tail lights and license plate lights turn on.
• ON: Exterior lights turn on.

NOTE: Any exterior lights (for example, daytime running lights) that are required to remain on in your market region will turn on as appropriate when driving, when parked on specific types of roads, etc.
NOTE: If equipped with the premium package, Model 3 has a series of LED lights along the rim of the headlights, also referred to as “signature” lights. These lights automatically turn on whenever Model 3 is powered on and a driving gear (Drive or Reverse) is engaged.
WARNING: Always ensure that your headlights are on during low visibility conditions. Failure to do so may result in a collision.

A separate control is available to turn on fog lights (if equipped). When on, fog lights operate whenever low beam headlights are on. When headlights are turned off, fog lights also turn off.

Interior dome (map) lights:
If set to AUTO, all interior dome lights turn on when you unlock Model 3, open a door upon exiting, or shift into Park. You can also manually turn an individual dome light on or off by pressing its lens. If you manually turn a dome light on, it turns off when Model 3 powers off. If Model 3 was already powered off when you manually turned the light on, it turns off after 60 minutes.

If you turn on AMBIENT LIGHTS, interior ambient lights turn on whenever the headlights are on (if equipped).

NOTE: To control the backlighting on the steering wheel buttons, touch Controls > Lights > Steering Wheel Lights. If off, they do not turn on when headlights are on.

If you turn on Auto High Beam, your vehicle automatically switches from high beam headlights to low beam headlights when light is detected in front of Model 3.

If you turn on Headlights after Exit, the exterior lights remain on for a short period of time after you stop driving and park Model 3 in low lighting conditions.

If you turn on Steering Wheel Lights, the arrows associated with the scroll buttons are backlit in low ambient lighting conditions.

High Beam Headlights

Push the left-hand steering column lever away from you and release to turn the high beam headlights on continuously. To cancel, push the lever away from you again. To briefly flash the high beam headlights, pull the lever towards you and release.

The high beam headlights can automatically switch to low beam when there is light detected in front of Model 3 (for example, from an oncoming vehicle). To turn this feature on or off, touch Controls > Lights > Auto High Beam.

NOTE: Your chosen setting is retained until you manually change it.
In situations where Auto High Beam is turned on but the high beams are turned off because light is detected in front of Model 3, you can temporarily turn on the high beams by pulling the lever toward you.

The following indicator lights are visible on the touchscreen to show the status of the headlights:
• Low beam headlights are on.
• High beam headlights are on and Auto High Beam is disabled or currently unavailable.
• Auto High Beam is enabled and high beams are on. Model 3 is ready to turn off the high beams if light is detected.
• Auto High Beam is enabled but high beams are not on because light is detected in front of Model 3. When light is no longer detected, high beams automatically turn back on.

WARNING: Auto High Beam is an aid only and is subject to limitations. It is the driver’s responsibility to make sure that the headlights are appropriately adjusted for weather conditions and driving circumstances.

Headlights After Exit

When Headlights after Exit is on, the exterior headlights remain on when you stop driving and park Model 3 in low lighting conditions. They automatically turn off after one minute or when Model 3 locks. When off, headlights turn off when you engage the Park gear and open a door.

To turn this feature on or off, touch Controls > Lights > Headlights after Exit.

Headlight Adjustments

To adjust the angle of the headlights, touch Controls > Service > Adjust Headlights, then follow the onscreen instructions. You can choose which headlight you would like to adjust by selecting it on the touchscreen.

WARNING: Proceed with caution when adjusting headlights. Tesla has carefully calibrated the position of the headlights to be in an optimum position for most driving scenarios. Tesla recommends that you do not adjust headlights unless you are familiar with how headlights should be adjusted. Once adjusted, you will be unable to automatically restore them to their originally calibrated position.
Contact Tesla for assistance when adjusting headlights.

Turn Signals

The turn signals flash three times or continuously, depending on how far up or down you move the lever. Lightly push the turn signal lever up or down for a three-flash sequence. For a continuous signal, push the lever fully up or down.

The turn signals stop operating when canceled by the steering wheel, by moving the lever in the opposite direction, or lightly pushing the lever in the same direction once more.

The corresponding turn signal indicator lights up on the touchscreen when a turn signal is operating. You also hear a clicking sound.

WARNING: If you have purchased an optional Autopilot package and Traffic-Aware Cruise Control is active, engaging a turn signal can cause Model 3 to accelerate when using Traffic-Aware Cruise Control in specific situations. If Autosteer is active, engaging a turn signal may cause Model 3 to change lanes.

Hazard Warning Flashers

To turn on the hazard warning flashers, press the button located above the rear view mirror. All turn signals flash. Press the button again to turn off the hazard warning flashers.

Note: Hazard warning flashers operate even when Model 3 cannot detect a key (authenticated phone or key card).

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wesley weisenberger
2 years ago

why do the headlights go off in a model 3 when you close the driver’s door? I need the headlights to stay on so i can see what is in the mailbox.

Reply to  wesley weisenberger
2 years ago

Thats mentioned, enable “Headlights After Exit”

Maria R Addessi
1 year ago

Is night time we’re driving and the head lights do not switch to high beams and back to low
as needed automatically

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