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Tesla First Timer

Your first drive: a quick overview.

Getting in: Put the Tesla key in your pocket or your purse. As you approach the vehicle, it will automatically unlock. If you are approaching a Tesla Model S, the door handle will present itself so that you can open the door. If you are approaching a Tesla Model X, the door will automatically open. If these don't happen, then just press on the door handle.

Unpluging the charging cord from a Tesla charger: If you are plugged into a Tesla Supercharger or a Tesla High Power Wall Connector (HPWC), press on the button on the top of the handle. Wait until the light on the charge port turns light blue. DO NOT attempt to pull out the charging cable until the charge port color turns to light blue. Once the charge port color turns light blue, you may safely pull out the cord.

Unplugging the charging cord from a J1772 Level II charger: If you are plugged into a J1772 Level II charger, you will observe an adapter plug between the charging cord and the Tesla charging port on the car. Hold onto the adapter while you push the release lever on top of the charging cable plug. Wait for the charging port color to turn light blue. Hold onto the adapter and pull the adapter out of the charging port. You will then be able to unplug the adapter from the charging cable. If the adapter remains in the charging port when you pull out the charging cable, put the charging cable back onto the adapter and start over again.

Starting the car: Sit in the drivers seat. Put your foot on the brake. The stick on the right side of the steering wheel is the shift lever. Up is Reverse, Down is Forward, and pushing in the button on the end puts the car in park. Shift the car into Reverse, Forward, or push the park button, and the car powers up! There is no "Start Button" to push. The car will take just a few seconds to power up and you are ready to go!

Look Ma, no sound! Unless you have the radio or climate turned on, the car is dead silent. You can't tell whether it is turned on or off just from the sounds from the car. Even when the car is moving, you will hear nothing from the car other than the sounds of the tires on the road and the wind. Keep in mind that pedestrians can't hear you either. So, be cautious when traveling at low speeds near pedestrians. Often they will not notice you approaching at all. When backing up, be sure to check all 3 mirrors in addition to the rear view camera to make sure there are no pedestrians approaching the rear of the car.

Accelerating: Press the accelerator pedal very gently. Electric cars have instant torque. The car will accelerate very fast if you are not very gentle with the accelerator pedal. After driving for a few minutes, you will quickly adapt to how little pressue you need to place on the accelerator. Another thing you will find strange at first is the regenerative braking. As you ease up on the accelerator pedal, you will find that the car decelerates very fast. Until you get used to this, you will swear that the brakes are being pressed. As you ease up on the accelerator pedal, the motors feed their energy back into the battery causing the car to slow down very quickly. Unlike a gas powered vehicle, you will find that you can pretty much control the speed of the vehicle just using the accelerator and only need to use the brake when bringing the car to a complete stop at traffic lights and stop signs.

Parking the car: Bring the car to a complete stop using the brake. Push the button that is on the end of the shift lever. That puts the car into park. You are done! There is no other parking brake. When you push the park button, the parking brake is automatically engaged.

To be added soon: Autopilot including adaptive cruise control, automatic lane changing, ludicrous mode, self-parking, summon, doors and smart suspension.

Model X Spoiler: Don't try to adjust it. There is no controls for it. It opens, closes, and adjusts by itself based on speed and parking.

Emergency brake: Only use this in the most extreme emergency. The regular foot brake should work find in all circumstances. Pressing twice on the park button on the end of the shift lever engages emergency braking. But only use this in the most extreme of circumstances. It will not stop the car any faster than using the regular foot brake. It is only to be used if the regular brake completely fails.

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