Many car owners are hesitant when it comes to other people driving their car, especially people they do not know. When you are making an investment in a Tesla you want to be sure your car is safe and the valuable information stored in the car’s system is not accessible to others who get in the vehicle.
The Model 3 Valet Mode will limit max speed, restrict acceleration speed, lock private compartments, and hide personal information. It is ideal to turn on when someone you do not know will be accessing or driving your car, and it can only be turned off with a 4-digit PIN of your choosing.
Tesla Valet Mode is an ideal functionality for a car that is as highly sought after as the Tesla. From how to access Valet Mode, to reasons it is valuable for Tesla owners, this article will dive into the information behind Tesla’s high-tech functionality that keeps your car safe. Keep reading to learn how the Model 3 Valet Mode guards your Tesla from any potential valet issues.
Tesla is famous for providing updated features and fixes in response to complaints from customers. They deploy these changes via their over-the-air updates that users can download as a software update in their home garage. These updates only take about 25 minutes, but they can install completely new features to the car. Because of their huge push towards customer service, as well as making the car usable and convenient for their drivers, Tesla released the original Valet Mode in 2015.
The previous functionality of Valet Mode was by using a Valet Key that limited the car’s speed, engine RPMs, and restricted access to the glove compartment. However, the key was, unfortunately, difficult to use for drivers.
When Chevrolet offered the innovative change to the clunky Valet Key by implementing a virtual Valet Mode, Tesla followed along. Some of the reasons the Valet Key was done away with are due to these factors:
- The physical key can fall prey to hackers
- The physical key can be difficult for drivers to use
- It can be easy to lose the physical key, as it is not used as often
In 2015, the Tesla software update allowed users to download the Valet Mode as a setting on the touchscreen of their car. It wasn’t as simple in the beginning for Tesla owners to turn this aspect of the car on, but flash forward a few years, the Valet Mode is now user-friendly and very useful.
In July 2020, at a resort in San Antonio, a Tesla Model S was taken for a joy ride by a valet attendant. The whole experience was caught on the TeslaCam, a built-in dashboard camera that is used by the autopilot functionality in the car. As if this wasn’t bad enough already, the valet attended got in a crash and the car was wrecked.
The valet attendant turned on the Cheetah Mode feature in the car and could not handle the speed, so he ended up crashing the car into a wall and damaging it extensively. If the owner had engaged Valet Mode prior to handing off his car, then this would not have happened.
For those owners who want to protect their valuable assets when valeting at a restaurant or hotel, it is important to figure out how to effectively use Valet Mode to protect your car.
Valet Mode will enact the following safety options:
- Limit Top Speed
- Limit Acceleration Speed
- Lock Front Trunk and Glovebox
- Disable Autopilot
- Hide Personal Information
- Hide Previous Navigation Locations
When you turn Valet Mode on, the car’s operation system will immediately limit the top speed to 70 mph and maximum power will be reduced significantly, so the 0-60 mph time will not be the same as when the Tesla is in standard operation.
In addition to speed controls, the front trunk, and glove box are locked so no one but the owner will be able to access these compartments of the car.
Valet Mode also disables Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Homelink access, and the “places” button on the map. So all of your information will be secure as well, and no one will be able to connect a device to your car or look at your saved addresses.
How to Use Valet Mode on the Model 3
Now that you know the benefits of Valet Mode, let’s go over how to use it.
We will look at how to turn on Valet Mode from both the car’s touchscreen as well as the mobile app, how to cancel Valet Mode, and which custom limitations you can set when selecting Valet Mode.
Turning On Valet Mode
To Turn On Valet Mode:
- Put the Tesla in Park
- Click ”Controls”
- Click “Driver Profile” Name
- Click “Valet Mode”
- Set 4-Digit Pin
You can also use the mobile app to turn Valet Mode on and off, assuming the vehicle is parked, by clicking ”Security” and then “Valet Mode”.
When the Valet Mode is activated, the touch screen will display “Valet” as the driver profile. When Valet Mode is enabled, the other driver profiles will not be visible.
When it is the first time you are setting up Valet Mode, it is ideal to do it through the car’s touchscreen so you can set up a user PIN. This will ensure you do not run into trouble later when you want to access the regular Mode.
It is important to remember, if your PIN to Drive setting is enabled then you will have to enter the driving PIN prior to creating or entering a new Valet PIN. After your car is put in Valet Mode, it will override your PIN to Drive setting and the Model 3 can be driven without needing to enter the driving PIN (but it will still be limited to the Valet Mode limitations).
After the Model 3 is parked, you can turn off Valet Mode by clicking the Valet Driver Profile name and entering the 4-digit PIN you set earlier.
Alternatively, you can turn Valet Mode off with the mobile app. By doing so, it is not necessary to enter the PIN in the car because you are logged into your app already.
Once Valet Mode is turned off, all settings associated with the most recent driver will become available again.
When the Tesla Model 3 turns on Valet Mode, these restrictions will be applied to keep your car safe:
- Speed becomes limited to 70 mph
- Acceleration is restricted to “Chill”
- The front trunk and glovebox will lock
- Voice commands are disabled
- Navigation system does not show previous locations (like home or work)
- Autopilot features become disabled
- Allowance of mobile access is disabled
- Homelink (if applicable) is not available
- Driver profiles are not available
- The touchscreen will not display the list of keys that are able to access the Model 3
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are disabled, and you cannot view or add a new device
Though these features make the joys of having a Tesla a lot less fun, they will protect your car from anyone that wants to take it on a joy ride. It is simple to turn Valet Mode on and off and will stay in a restricted Mode until you choose otherwise.
How to Adjust Maximum Speed for Valet Mode
The maximum speed for Valet Mode defaults to 70 mph, but you can customize it to your preference.
To change the max speed for Valet Mode:
- Click “Controls”
- Click ”Safety”
- Toggle ON “Speed Limit Mode”
- Set a 4-Digit PIN
- Set Maximum Speed
Valet Mode will set the default maximum speed to 70 mph, but by setting and turning ON Speed Limit Mode, you can set a custom maximum speed that cannot be changed without your PIN.
The maximum speed for Speed Limit Mode will need to be set on your Tesla’s touchscreen the first time, but after that, you can turn Speed Limit Mode on-and-off from your mobile app.
When To Turn On Valet Mode
Though many cars now have virtual Valet Modes to keep someone’s car protected while others are driving, the Tesla needs these capabilities even more due to its autopilot capabilities.
Tesla autopilot functionality currently allows the car to self-park and change lanes once the driver turns on the turning signal. Autopilot can be turned on by any user so it is important to have Valet Mode on so someone can not take advantage of this function, especially since they may not know how it works.
Another reason you may want to turn Valet Mode on is when your teenager is asking to drive your car, even if you have a high level of trust in your child it can keep them from speeding or using functionality that could become dangerous for a new driver.
You can also choose to use only the Speed Limit Mode for your teenager, so that they can still access navigation, the glovebox, and other features.
And lastly, the most obvious reason to turn on Valet Mode is when you are valeting your car and an attendant will be driving your car. The only tip you should consider is informing the attendant on how to put the car in drive and park, as many Tesla drivers report confusion from valet attendants when the Valet Mode is on.
All Tesla vehicles come with Valet Mode. This includes both new Teslas and used Teslas.
You can also expect ongoing updates to the functionality of Valet Mode in future software updates. As the system becomes smarter and more security-focused, the Valet Mode will be easier to use, deploy and set up in your vehicle.
Yes, you can still charge your Tesla while it is in Valet Mode.
This can be valuable when you visit a valet location that has destination chargers on site. The valet attendant will likely plug your Tesla in to charge while it is parked.
Smart Summon can not be used while in Valet Mode.
The reason smart summon will not work while Valet Mode is enabled is because the summoning feature needs the navigation to connect with your phone and Valet Mode turns off all navigation options. It is good to know that smart summon is still in developmental phases so it could be possible that it will eventually work harmoniously with Valet Mode.
However, if your Tesla is parked in valet and you’d like to use Smart Summon, you can simply disable Valet Mode on your smartphone app, and proceed with using Smart Summon.
There are a few other features that will not be accessible during Valet Mode.
The most obvious feature that drivers will not have access to is Ludicrous Mode, which is designed to allow drivers to access the full acceleration power of the Tesla. This mode is only included on some Tesla’s anyways.
As discussed previously, all navigation features will be disabled as well. This keeps the owner’s private address and locations protected.
Be sure to activate Valet Mode anytime you are pulling up to a valet station, or are allowing someone who you do not know to drive your vehicle. This will give you enhanced peace of mind that your investment is being driven with added safety features enabled.
The Tesla Model 3 is a fun car to drive and many people like to take advantage of the 0-60 mph thrill and the amazing autopilot capabilities, but those functionalities should be for the driver’s use only.
Now that you know what Valet Mode is, and how to use it, your Tesla should be much more protected in future valet situations.