Can You Jump Start a Tesla?

Can a Tesla Be Jump Started?

Since 2003, Tesla has been on a mission to prove that electric cars could be better, faster, and more fun to drive than their gasoline-powered counterparts. They strive to bring clean transport and clean energy to the forefront of automobiles, creating not only environmentally friendly vehicles but also building their own cleaner energy generation and storage products. 

One frequently asked question about Tesla vehicles is: can a Tesla be jump-started? Yes, you can jump start a Tesla’s 12v auxiliary battery like a traditional car. The 12v battery is found under the front hood, and powers the vehicles electronics, not the motor. You cannot however jump start the Tesla’s main driving battery. The only way to power the Tesla’s main battery is to charge it.

With more and more Tesla cars in production and the fact that most people are not well-versed in how to take care of them, there are many simple questions that beg for answers. This is one—so let’s get started.

My Tesla Died: What Do I Do?

Teslas are electric cars. This means that they run on electricity only. Each car has two batteries – a main battery that powers the car and a smaller 12-volt auxiliary battery that gives power to the car’s safety systems and controls. When the Tesla is charged, the main battery makes sure that the secondary battery stays topped off. However, when the main battery dies, the secondary battery soon dies as well.

So, if your Tesla completely runs out of charge, you will need to follow these steps:

  • Call Tesla Roadside Assistance (optional) or your local towing company.
  • If the secondary auxiliary battery has completely died, you will need to jump-start it in order to load the Tesla onto the tow truck. 
    • Use a normal pair of jumper cables.
    • You cannot easily access the secondary battery, so you will have to locate the terminals found in the nose of the car that are placed there for attaching jumper cables.
    • Remove the nose cone with a prying tool. (The nose cone also houses the towing eye, so it will need to be removed anyway.)
    • Use a battery charger or trolley to jump-start the secondary battery with the cables.
  • Once the car controls are working again, go into the main screen and select Controls > Settings > Service & Reset > Tow Mode in order to allow the Tesla to be towed. This is similar to putting a gasoline-powered car in neutral.
    • If your Tesla is equipped with air suspension, make sure you set the suspension to Jack Mode before towing as well.
  • Have the tow truck bring your Tesla to the nearest charging station.

Once you’ve reached the charging station, you can set your car to charge and wait for it to be ready to drive again.

How Do I Know My Tesla is in Danger of Dying?

Just like gasoline-powered cars have fuel gauges that warn you when you are low on fuel, Tesla electric cars have warning systems in place to let you know when you are running low on battery power.

When your Tesla is getting low on battery charge, it will begin to warn you of the low charge.

  • The green bar under the speedometer will change to yellow when battery charge significantly depletes.
  • When there is about 5% of battery power left, the bar will change from yellow to red.
  • At this point, a dotted line appears to let you know that maximum power is limited. This means that the car will still run but will not reach maximum speed.
  • If you continue to drive the car until it reaches zero, you will have a red warning come up saying, “Charge Now!”
  • At this point, the car’s performance will become noticeably sluggish. It will still be able to reach 60 mph, but all the car’s processes will begin to slow down.
  • When the car fully runs out of power, it will sound a warning chime and display the command, “Pull Over Safely.”

Once you pull over to the side of the road, you should call Tesla Roadside Assistance or a towing service, whichever you prefer. Then you will follow the aforementioned steps to get your Tesla to a charging station.

How Far Can My Tesla Travel on a Full Charge?

Tesla began releasing cars in 2008 with the release of the Tesla Roadster and has since developed 4 more electric vehicles. Currently, only 3 Tesla cars are on the market: the Model X, the Model 3, and the Model S. The Model Y will be available in late 2019, and the new Roadster is expected to launch in 2020. Each model improved on itself – showing how dedicated Tesla is to its craft and its mission.

Tesla ModelDriving Distance Notable Features
Model S 2012Long Range – 335 miles
Performance – 315 miles
– ludicrous mode available for more acceleration
-option for self-parking and Smart Summon
Model 3 2016Standard Range Plus – 240 miles
Long Range – 310 miles
Performance – 310 miles
-option for full-self driving upgrade
Model X 2015Long Range – 325 miles
Performance – 305 miles
-Falcon Wing doors
-3 different seating configurations
-SUV-style that can fit 7 people
-ludicrous mode available for more acceleration
Model Y 2019 (will be available in Fall 2020)Standard Range – 242 miles
Long Range RWD – 336 miles
Long Range AWD – 314 miles
Performance – 298 miles
-compact SUV option that fits 7 people
-more affordable than other Tesla vehicles
-offers 4 different versions 
Roadster Originally 2008 (discontinued) Relaunch planned for 2023Planned Base Spec – 620 miles-seats 4
-removable glass roof
-multiple versions will be available
-aims to be the fastest electric car on the road

How Do I Keep my Tesla Charged?

If you are wondering how you charge your Tesla, there are chargers that you can use to charge your Tesla while it is parked at your home or work. There are multiple purchasable chargers available for your electric car, and they are:

  • Powerwall – This battery option is intended for home use. It is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery stationary energy storage product. It is used for recharging your Tesla’s battery and also stores electricity for backup power, off-the-grid use, and more. There have been two versions of Powerwall released by Tesla so far.
  • Powerpack – This battery option is intended for commercial use or electric utility grid use. It is also a rechargeable lithium-ion battery stationary energy storage product that can charge your Tesla’s battery and be used for a variety of other things like microgrids, renewable power integration, and voltage control. There have been two versions of Powerpack released by Tesla so far.
  • Megapack – This battery option was just released in 2019 and is a grid energy storage battery that is designed for battery storage power station use and has a capacity of 3-megawatt hours. Every single Megapack package includes the following: lithium-ion batteries, a circuit breaker panel, DC-to-DC converter units, and thermal management. 

In 2012, Tesla began installing Supercharger stations around the globe, which were 480-volt fast charging options on the go. As of 2018, there were 1,375 Supercharger stations and a total of 11,414 superchargers installed around the world. 

Additionally, in 2014, Tesla began creating its “Destination Charging Location” network. This operation installed Tesla chargers at hotels, restaurants, resorts, shopping centers, and more to add even more charging options for Tesla owners.

In Conclusion

Tesla has taken the electric car market by storm with some truly amazing vehicles. However, there is a period of adjustment when you switch from a gasoline-powered vehicle to an electric vehicle. You must pay attention to the battery charger on your car and get used to making sure it has enough charge to get to where you are going safely in case there is nowhere to charge your car during your trip.

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Hi, I'm Greg. My daily driver is a Tesla Model 3 Performance. I've learned a ton about Teslas from hands-on experience and this is the site where I share everything I've learned.

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