HomeLink and Model 3 Explained – From Setup to Function

HomeLink and Model 3 Explained

The HomeLink Wireless Control System has been integrated into commercial automobiles since the 1990s. Its ability to trigger devices like garage door openers through radio frequencies has made it a desirable inclusion. This handy tool makes sense for Tesla vehicles in particular, which are already full of handy tools, but the HomeLink no longer comes installed in Tesla vehicles.

Tesla removed HomeLink from its standard vehicles, including the Model 3. However, Tesla owners can pay $300 aftermarket to install HomeLink into their Tesla vehicles, which can be done at any Tesla Service Center.

While this is certainly not as ideal as having HomeLink built into your Tesla vehicle, you may deem the cost of purchasing and installing HomeLink to be worth its useful features. Keep reading to learn more about what HomeLink can do in your personal automobile and how to integrate HomeLink in your Tesla Model 3, from setup to function.

What Is HomeLink?

While you may not have ever heard of the name HomeLink, you have likely seen HomeLink in action. HomeLink is a radio frequency transmitter that enables the user wireless control of nearby devices from inside their vehicle. There are plenty of devices that can be controlled by HomeLink, with the most common being garage door openers.

Here are some other examples of devices that HomeLink can control.

  • Front Gate
  • Home Security System
  • Interior Lighting
  • Exterior Lighting

If HomeLink is built into your personal vehicle, then you will likely find the three buttons to control HomeLink under your rearview mirror. If you installed HomeLink into your personal vehicle aftermarket, then those three buttons may also be located on your car’s windshield visor or on the ceiling module that controls the lights in your car.

Users of HomeLink often rave about the convenience and functionality of the product. HomeLink is compatible with nearly all garage door openers and gate systems, and it is a fairly simple process connecting your home devices to your HomeLink. HomeLink also requires little to no upkeep extrinsic to your vehicle, as it is powered by your car’s electric system.

Newer versions of HomeLink, including HomeLink Connect, allow for even more complex functions, such as setting up home automation scenes or providing information on the status of your home devices.

Why Did Tesla Remove HomeLink?

The Tesla Model 3 was one of the most anticipated commercial automobiles of all time and arguably the most anticipated Tesla vehicle. Originally announced in 2015, the Tesla Model 3 had accrued over 500,000 reservations before it was finally released to the public in 2017.

From 2017 to 2019, each and every Tesla Model 3 came with a myriad of impressive gadgets, including HomeLink. However, beginning in May of 2019, Tesla removed HomeLink from its newly manufactured Tesla Model 3 vehicles.

Although this meant that Tesla would no longer build HomeLink into their Model 3 vehicle, this did not signal the end of the relationship between Tesla and HomeLink. Following this announcement, Tesla began listing HomeLink as an aftermarket product on its shop website.

As a result, many view this change as a cost-cutting decision made by Tesla to improve its profit margin on its Tesla Model 3 sales. Selling HomeLink technology as a $300 aftermarket product adds a new avenue for Tesla to profit as there is still plenty of demand for HomeLink, particularly among the Tesla buyers’ market.

Thus, there are now two distinct versions of the Tesla Model 3, those manufactured before May 2019 with inbuilt HomeLink and those manufactured after May 2019 without inbuilt HomeLink.

How to Set Up HomeLink in a Tesla Model 3

If you are a proud owner of a Tesla Model 3 that was manufactured prior to May 2019, then you are fortunate enough to have HomeLink already installed in your vehicle. However, there are still additional steps to setting up HomeLink in a Tesla Model 3 beyond simply installing the technology in your vehicle.

If you purchased your Tesla Model 3 after the May 2019 cutoff point, then you probably do not have HomeLink installed in your vehicle. Thus, you have a few preliminary steps to acquiring HomeLink before you can begin setting up HomeLink in your vehicle.

For Tesla Model 3 owners who purchased their vehicle after the May 2019 cutoff point, there are four steps to acquiring and setting up HomeLink in your car.

  • Purchasing HomeLink
  • Installing HomeLink
  • Programming HomeLink
  • Troubleshooting HomeLink

For those who purchased their Tesla Model 3 before May 2019 and, as a result, have HomeLink built into their vehicle, you do not need to follow the first two steps. However, programming and troubleshooting HomeLink is still applicable to Tesla owners who have HomeLink already installed in their vehicles.

Now, let’s take a closer look at each of these four steps.

Purchasing HomeLink

If your Tesla Model 3 did not come with a built-in HomeLink, then your first step is purchasing HomeLink. Tesla sells HomeLink on its online store, so you will not need to make a trip to a Tesla service center or visit a third-party online store. The HomeLink is available in the store as Model 3/Y Automatic Garage Opener, and it is priced at $300.

Although this is certainly no small price, its $300 price tag also includes installation costs, so you will not be forced to pay any additional value for installing HomeLink in your vehicle. This cannot be said for any HomeLink products purchased at any third-party store.

Installing HomeLink

As you complete your purchase, you will be prompted to enter an address. Once the purchase is complete, the parts to install HomeLink will be sent to this address. When they arrive, you may schedule a service appointment through the Tesla app. This will prompt a technician to visit your address and complete the HomeLink installation in your vehicle.

Tesla asks that its customers do not attempt to complete the installation themselves. If you tamper with the HomeLink parts that are sent to your address before a Tesla technician arrives, your complimentary installation will be voided. This installation is already included in the price of the HomeLink, so there is little reason not to employ an expert Tesla technician to finish the job.

Programming HomeLink

Now, regardless of whether or not your Tesla came with HomeLink or you have purchased it aftermarket, you will need to follow these eight steps to program your HomeLink to your devices.

  • First, park your Tesla Model 3 so that the front bumper is directly facing the device you wish to program.
  • Then, ensure that the device’s remote control has a healthy battery.
  • Touch the HomeLink icon at the top of your Tesla’s touchscreen.
  • Navigate to ‘Create HomeLink’ and select which mode you would like to use: ‘Standard,’ ‘D-Mode,’ or ‘UR-Mode.’
  • You will be prompted to enter a name for your device. Then, select ‘Enter’ or ‘Create HomeLink.’
  • Select ‘Start,’ then simply follow the onscreen instructions.
  • Once the process is complete, select ‘Save’ to complete the HomeLink programming process.
  • Try it out to ensure that it is working effectively and repeat the process on any other devices you wish to associate with HomeLink.

Troubleshooting Problems with HomeLink

If your HomeLink is not working effectively or if there appears to be a problem with its setup, there are several methods you can take to troubleshooting the issue.

  • Make sure your receiver is in learning mode and that you are pressing the receiver’s LEARN button.
  • Make sure you have not reached the limited number of devices for your HomeLink receiver. Most receivers can only learn up to five remotes.

Final Thoughts

By the end of this article, you should know a bit more about what HomeLink can do in your personal automobile and how to integrate HomeLink in your Tesla Model 3, from setup to function.

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The articles here on ThatTeslaChannel.com are created by Greg, a Tesla vehicle and Tesla solar expert with nearly half a decade of hands-on experience. The information on this site is fact-checked and tested in-person to ensure the best possible level of accuracy.

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