Should You Get a Tesla Y Roof Shade? (Read This First)

Should You Get a Tesla Y Roof Shade? (Read This First)

One of the most popular accessories that many vendors are selling for the Tesla Y is a roof shade to help block some of the sun coming in through the Tesla Y’s glass roof. Without something to block the ultraviolet light coming through the roof of the car, the inside of the Tesla Y can get unbearably hot in warmer climates.

Tesla Y roof shades are a good idea for anyone driving a Tesla in hot summer temperatures since they can help protect the vehicle’s LCD touchscreen and other interior components. The advantages of getting a roof shade far outweigh the disadvantages, such as minor quality control issues.

Tesla Y roof shades aren’t cheap, but for many people who live in blaring summer temperatures, they’re well worth the cost. Read on to learn more about the Tesla Y roof and why a Tesla Y roof shade might be a good investment if you own one.

Advantages of a Tesla Y Roof Shade

There are many reasons why Tesla Y roof shades have become popular along with the growth of the model brand. Here are a few benefits of using a roof shade with a Tesla Y:

  • Light build: The light build of the Tesla Y roof shade makes it convenient. Tesla Y roof shades are made of modern, lightweight materials that won’t add bulk to the vehicle’s interior design.
  • Easy installation and removal: Tesla Y roof shades are designed to be both easy to put up and take down. This design is convenient for drivers who only want to leave their roof shade up during the warmer parts of the year.
  • Multiple options: Tesla Y roof shades come in several options, such as mesh and opaque. These options allow Tesla drivers to customize the aesthetics of their car cabin while they keep it nice and cool.
  • Lower temperatures: Using a roof shade can dramatically reduce the temperature of the car interior over thirty degrees. This lower temperature can make a huge difference in comfort during the summer and warm climates. In some places, a car’s interior can get up to almost 140 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Cabin durability: Extreme high temperatures can have a detrimental effect on the materials inside the vehicle cabin, causing the plastic to fade and dry-rot more quickly than if the materials were kept in the shade. Consistently using a roof shade can help keep the inside of the Tesla looking new for years longer than if the interior wasn’t protected.

For less than sixty dollars in many cases, anyone can purchase an aftermarket roof shade that can add significant comfort to their Tesla Y cabin. Depending on how hot it gets in your home climate, it can be well worth the money.   

Disadvantages of a Tesla Y Roof Shade

Even though buying a Tesla Y roof shade comes with several benefits, there are some drawbacks to buying one, too. Here are some of the disadvantages you may run into if you purchase a Tesla Y roof shade:

  • Aftermarket product: Because almost all Tesla Y roof shades are aftermarket, this means that there isn’t the same guarantee of quality that there would be if you were buying an accessory directly from Tesla. Consumers need to carefully check user reviews and vendor reputations before purchasing a roof shade for their Tesla Y.
  • Can’t adjust while driving: Once the roof shade has been installed, it can’t be adjusted or uninstalled with a remote function or a button. Instead, the driver will have to pull over completely to install or remove the Tesla Y roof shade.
  • Sagging roof: Some users report that some Tesla Y roof shades have an issue sagging as low as six inches in the middle of the car roof. This sagging can cause a visual obstruction through the back of the car and can detect from the sleek aesthetics of the vehicle’s interior. Some aftermarket roof shades may sag worse than others.
  • Flimsy clips: Some Tesla Y roof shades are reported to have delicate and difficult-to-fix clasps that can make installation more difficult than necessary. Poor quality clips can reduce the convenience of being able to easily install and remove the roof shade.
  • Tesla roof shades are more expensive: While Tesla now offers an OEM roof shade on the Tesla website, these roof shades are significantly more expensive than aftermarket roof shades available online.
  • May not be as effective in temperate climates: A roof shade can make a dramatic difference in cabin comfort for Tesla drivers in hot climates, but in cooler climates, a roof shade may not be as useful.

Even though there are some disadvantages to using a roof shade in your Tesla Y, the advantages of shading the cabin generally outweigh the drawbacks of installing a roof shade. Compared to the cost of the Tesla itself, spending fifty dollars or so to test whether it improves your Tesla’s cabin isn’t much money to invest for some major benefits.

Do You Need a Tesla Y Roof Shade?

Whether or not a Tesla Y roof shade is worth the purchase depends on how badly the roof shade is needed. The main reason that roof shades are so popular on the Tesla Y model is that the car’s roof is made of glass. This means the interior of the cabin can get hot in warm climates.

What Causes a Tesla Y to Heat Up in the Sun?

The cause of a Tesla Y or any other vehicle interior heating up in the sun is due to a scientific phenomenon known as the greenhouse effect. (Source: University of Wisconsin)

This effect causes UV light coming in the car windows to radiate off the car interior as heat, but the heat cannot pass back through the glass from the inside. This trapped radiation can then cause the car’s interior to get unbearably hot over a short time.

Within an hour, a car left at 94 degrees Fahrenheit can reach up to 116 degrees Fahrenheit, with surfaces in the car such as the dashboard and steering wheel reaching up to 157 degrees Fahrenheit. As you can imagine, these extremely high temperatures are not good for any electronic components inside the Tesla Y’s cabin. (Source: Live Science)

The glass room of the Tesla Y makes for a stylish cabin interior, but the disadvantage of the added glass is that it increases the greenhouse effect on the car’s interior. The cabin of a Tesla Y can get even hotter than the average vehicle without an intervention like temperature control or a sun shade.

Alternatives to Buying a Tesla Y Roof Shade

For Tesla owners who would rather not buy a Tesla Y roof shade, there are a few alternatives that could help to relieve extreme high temperatures inside the vehicle in warm weather. However, each of these alternatives comes with its own drawbacks.

Parking In the Shade

One of the easiest alternatives to buying a roof shade for a Tesla Y is to commit to park in the shade on hot days. However, the downside of this solution is that not all parking lots have shaded areas. The other major disadvantage of parking in the shade is that even on cool days, car interiors have been recorded to reach well over 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

The advantage of parking in the shade when you can is that it helps protect the interior of the vehicle by reducing the greenhouse effect. It also has the added benefit of helping protect the exterior paint job of the car since direct sunlight can help the pain to dull and oxidize over time. 

Tinting the Roof Shade of Your Tesla Y

Other than parking in the shade to reduce the effect of heat on your Tesla interior, another method to reduce incoming UV light in the car is to apply a ceramic tint to the windows and roof shade. This reduces the temperature of the car interior and makes it less bright.

The disadvantages of using tint on the roof shade or windows of your Tesla Y are twofold. Firstly, window tint is not legal in all areas, so it’s a good idea to check ahead of time whether you’re legal on the road if you modify your Tesla in this way. Secondly, applying window or roof tint to the Tesla Y can void warranties on the vehicle since the glass contains delicate sensors. (Source: Tesla Forums)

Using a Windshield Shade in Your Tesla Y

If you don’t want to purchase a roof shade for your Tesla Y, another option for reducing extreme temperatures in the car’s interior is to use a windshield shade instead. These shades have the benefit of being easier to remove than the roof shade. While a windshield shade will not completely shield the car’s cabin from hot weather, it will at least help.

Even though a windshield shade will help reduce temperatures on the parts of the car cabin most strongly affected by the greenhouse effect, such as the dashboard and the steering wheel, a windshield shade alone is not as effective as a roof shade in searing temperatures.

Can You Order a Tesla Y Without a Glass Roof?

For Tesla owners who live in extremely hot climates such as the American Southwest, the question has frequently come up over whether the Tesla Y can be ordered without a glass roof since the glass roof is part of the vehicle’s premium package.

Other than the temperature issue, another concern that consumers have is that the glass roof is not as safe as a steel enclosed roof in a rollover accident. While this is true, Tesla vehicles also have a very low center of gravity that makes them less likely to roll over than other vehicle types. The Tesla Model X even earned a perfect rollover safety rating. (Source: Clean Technica)

The answer is that for now, the glass roof is the only option on the Tesla Y, so if you want a Tesla without a glass roof, you’ll have to go with another model. It is thought in the future that the Tesla Y will feature a non-premium model variant with a closed roof, but there is none in production as of Spring 2021.

How Much Sunlight Does the Tesla Y Roof Let In?

Even though many potential Tesla Y owners are concerned with the interior of the vehicle getting too bright or warm due to the glass roof, the UV-reflective layer in the glass roof does a good job of acting as a tint to help darken the car’s interior.

While it wouldn’t be considered as shaded as a car with a solid roof, users report that the car’s roof is tinted enough to gaze through comfortably without squinting or shading your eyes.

What Other Tesla Models Have a Glass Roof?

Other than the Model Y, the Model S also has the option for an all-glass roof. While other Teslas such as the Model 3 don’t come with an all-glass roof, they do have such a large windshield that they still provide a nearly panoramic view of the road.

Even though the Model S has the option for an all-glass roof, it also has the option for a solid roof. This makes it a good compromise for prospective Tesla owners who want a Tesla, but are concerned that an all-glass roof might not be suitable for their home climate. 

What Tesla Models Do Not Have a Glass Roof?

The Tesla Models 3 and X do not have a glass roof, and the Tesla Model S has a variant that is not a glass roof. There are plenty of Tesla options that don’t have a glass roof for people who would prefer not to have one.

However, the panoramic view offered by the glass roof on the Tesla Y is one of the most tempting attractions of the vehicle. This adds to the aesthetics of the car. It also increases road safety by minimizing blind spots and offering passengers maximum visibility.

Advantages of Teslas Without a Glass Roof

Even though the glass roof in the Tesla Y is one of Tesla’s most attractive new design features, there are some advantages of choosing a Tesla model that doesn’t come with a glass roof. Here are just a few of them:

  • Darker car interior: While some drivers want as much sunlight as they can stand in the car’s cabin, others find it easier to drive in glaring conditions with shade over their heads. Solid-roofed cars can be a better choice for people who have a hard time seeing in bright driving conditions.
  • Safety: Teslas are not likely to be involved in a rollover accident. However, in the case of a car wreck, cars with solid steel roofs are more sturdy and less likely to collapse than cars with a glass roof, even if it’s reinforced glass.
  • Price: Teslas with a solid roof tend to be older models, and these models are now significantly less expensive than newer models like the Tesla Y. For potential Tesla owners on a budget, this makes solid-roofed Teslas models the more economical choice.

Even though the Tesla Y’s glass roof is a popular design addition, it isn’t a feature for everyone. Luckily, there are other Tesla models to choose from if you’re not into the glass roof of the Tesla Y.

Why Do Tesla Y Glass Roofs Turn Orange?

An odd observation that Tesla Y owners have made is that occasionally, the glass roof of the Tesla Y will turn a burnt orange color after rainfall that almost makes it look like it has developed rust. So what’s the cause of this weird glass color?

The answer lies in Tesla’s glass technology. Unlike cheaper panoramic glass roofs, which may not even incorporate UV protection, Tesla roof glass contains a layer of UV-protective material that helps reduce the amount of heat being transmitted into the cabin of the vehicle. (Source: Car Throttle)

This high-tech glass somewhat reduces the need of Tesla owners to use a roof shade or other accessories to cool the car’s interior. Because of this state-of-the-art UV technology, many Tesla owners in temperate climates may not even feel the need to use a roof shade.

Tesla Y Glass and Wireless Technology

Along with keeping out dangerous UV rays, the glass roof of the Tesla Y as well as the windshield and the windows also differ from glass in other vehicles in another special way. Unlike other car glass with UV protection, the glass in Tesla cars is outfitted with technology that helps it conduct wireless signals easily while it prevents ultraviolet light from passing through.

Remote Temperature Control and the Tesla Y

There is one significant piece of technology in the Tesla Y that reduces the impact of temperature in the car from the glass roof, and that is the car’s capacity for remote temperature control. With the Tesla app, drivers are capable of starting the car remotely and setting the interior temperature to whatever specific temperature they want.

While this is a good way to ensure that the car is never uncomfortably hot when the driver returns to it, it’s also a way for drivers to prevent their car interiors from sustaining heat-related damage. Tesla has even included a software program called “Dog Mode” that sustains the interior of the vehicle at a safe temperature so that pets can safely be left locked inside. (Source: Tech Crunch)

When used in conjunction with a Tesla Y roof shade, the remote temperature control app in a Tesla Y can ensure that the interior temperature of the vehicle never reaches dangerous or destructive levels. For those drivers worried about the fragile electronics in the dashboard, this means leaving the car in an air-conditioned state is usually worth the trouble.

Does the Tesla Y have Ludicrous Mode?

The Tesla Y may have an all-glass roof that other models of the Tesla don’t have, but the one thing it doesn’t have is Ludicrous Mode.

This powertrain program is possibly one of the most famous features of the Tesla brand, and can boost a car’s acceleration up to twenty percent. Using the Ludicrous Mode, a Tesla can reach up to two hundred miles per hour. (Source: Forbes)

How Do You Activate Ludicrous Mode?

Ludicrous Mode is a software program that is launched through the Tesla’s main computer. Since Ludicrous Mode requires extra battery power, the mode has to be confirmed through touchscreen verification on the center console. (Source: Tesla Owners United Kingdom)

Tips for Using Ludicrous Mode

Ludicrous Mode is fairly cut and dry in the Tesla software system, but there are several steps that Tesla drivers can take to make sure they get the most out of driving in this mode. Here are some hints for driving in Ludicrous Mode:

  • Drive the Tesla on firm, clean asphalt that is clear of dirt or small stones. The high speed of driving over debris can throw it back up on the car and damage it.
  • Make sure that the car has already been driven for several minutes so that the brakes are warmed up before activating Ludicrous Mode.
  • Drop the suspension if possible. This will increase the safety of driving the vehicle at a high rate of speed by lowering the car’s center of gravity.
  • Use Ludicrous Mode in warmer weather to reduce stress on the vehicle.

Ludicrous Mode can be a fun addition to your sports model Tesla, but it’s good to know what you’re getting into before you decide to activate it.

Can You Add Ludicrous Mode After Purchase?

If you purchased a Ludicrous Mode compatible model but don’t have Ludicrous Mode on your Tesla, this software can be added to your Tesla via a live update after purchase at any time. However, potential buyers should be aware that this hyperspeed mode does not come cheap. Adding Ludicrous Mode to a Tesla will run you $15,000 for the upgrade. (Source: Tesla Motor Club)

Is a Tesla Y Worth the Money?

Tesla may have a reputation of making expensive vehicles, but this reality is quickly changing. The starting price of the Tesla Y is only $49,999, making it one of the most affordable Teslas on the market. Even though the Tesla Y doesn’t have some unique feature like the Ludicrous Mode, there are many other advantages to purchasing a model from the Tesla brand:

  • Electric power: The world might still be in the process of adopting the technology, but there’s no denying that electric-powered vehicles are the way of the future. And the good news is that electric cars like the Tesla Model Y are finally getting cheap enough that more people can reasonably afford them.
  • Digital support: One of the most special features of driving a Tesla is how seamlessly integrated the vehicle is with its software applications and customer support. The integration of the Tesla app into the Tesla operating system is an experience that is still unique to the brand.
  • Low maintenance costs: While the upfront cost of some Tesla models may be high, the yearly maintenance associated with owning a Tesla is relatively low. This is partially because many issues with Tesla vehicles can be fixed via a remote live service update that addresses the software directly. 
  • Environmentally friendly: As an electric vehicle, Tesla cars are minimally damaging to the environment compared to gas-driven vehicles. For car owners who are trying to reduce their carbon footprint, buying an electric car like a Tesla is a no-brainer. The electric power also makes it less expensive to power.
  • High safety rating: Out of all the SUVs on the road, the Tesla Model Y has one of the highest overall safety ratings and a perfect rollover safety score. Together with other safety features such as automatic emergency brakes, it is a very reliable vehicle from a safety standpoint.
  • Modern aesthetics: The Tesla brand features a minimalist, technology-forward design aesthetic that many people in contemporary society find sleek and attractive. The simplistic and modern design aesthetics of the Tesla are guaranteed to remain sophisticated and classic in the decades to follow.

Buying a Tesla is still considered a bit of a risk since this relatively new car brand still has the occasional growing pain regarding customer service support and design. But the improvements manufactured into every new iteration of the Tesla brand have proven that these electric vehicles aren’t going away anytime soon. For many people, they’re worth the purchase.

Tesla Y Is the Forefront of Tesla Technology

Tesla drivers may be divided on liking the all-glass roof design of the Tesla Y if they live in a hot climate, but one of the major advantages of buying a Tesla is that these vehicles are chock full of technology that effectively counters challenges to their base design.

For Tesla owners who want the best view of the road and a cool cabin while they do it, a Tesla Y roof shade is a good investment.

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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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