How To Put Tesla In Neutral

Have you ever wondered how to put your Tesla in neutral? It’s a question that more Tesla owners are asking, especially given the unique gear shifting system of these electric cars.

This guide will simplify this process, explaining step-by-step instructions on safely shifting your Tesla into neutral regardless of the model or year. Stick around and unravel the mystery of navigating through your Tesla’s gears!

Key Takeaways

  • To put a Tesla in neutral, follow these steps based on the model: for Model 3 and Model Y, push the gear stalk halfway up and release it; for Model S and Model X, push the gear stalk halfway down twice.
  • Remember to always press the brake pedal before shifting gears in your Tesla.
  • If your Tesla lacks power, you can still put it in neutral by pressing down on the brake and simultaneously pushing up on the gear stick for an additional second.

How to Put Your Tesla in Neutral

To put your Tesla in neutral, follow these steps based on the model: for Model 3 and Model Y, shift into neutral by pushing the gear stalk halfway up and releasing it; for Model S and Model X, push the gear stalk halfway down twice to engage neutral.

Steps to Shift into Neutral (Model 3 & Model Y, Model S & Model X)

Switching your Tesla to neutral is not hard. Here are the steps:

  1. Sit in the driver’s seat.
  2. Press down on the brake pedal.
  3. Push and hold the gear stalk into the first position, either up or down.
  1. Get inside your car.
  2. Step on the brake pedal.
  3. Gently push the drive stalk halfway up if it’s in Drive or halfway down if it’s in Reverse.

Shifting Out of Neutral

You can shift your Tesla out of neutral. Here are the steps:

  1. Push the drive stalk down briefly. Do this if you were in reverse to get into neutral.
  2. Look for an informational icon on your screen. This icon shows that you’re now in neutral gear.
  3. You can also use the touchscreen to change gears. Open Controls, press and hold the Neutral option on the drive strip.
  4. The gas and brake pedals are not used while shifting gears.
  5. Your Tesla may have a safety stop feature, which puts the car back into park mode if you unbuckle your seat belt or open the car door.
  1. Push up or down on the gear stalk into first position
  2. Keep holding it there until your car shifts into neutral.

Entering Tow Mode

Putting your Tesla car into Tow Mode is a simple task. Here is a quick guide on how to do it.

  1. First, press the brake pedal hard. This is very important.
  2. Next, tap the car icon on the touchscreen. This will open the controls.
  3. Then, go to “Service” and choose “Towing.”
  4. You will see an option that says “Transport.” Select this.
  5. Press and hold this button until it turns blue.

Putting a Tesla in Neutral without Power

If your Tesla is not powered on and you need to put it in neutral, follow these steps:

  • Hold down on the gear lever for one or two seconds.
  • This will shift the car into neutral even without power.

Tips and tricks for using neutral mode

When using neutral mode in your Tesla, there are some tips and tricks that can come in handy. First, make sure you engage transport mode when putting your car in neutral through the touchscreen controls.

This will prevent the car from automatically shifting back into park after a certain period of time.

Another tip is to familiarize yourself with the specific steps for shifting into neutral based on your Tesla model. The Model S and Model X require you to press and hold the gear stalk towards Neutral, while the Model 3 and Model Y have a different process involving tapping Controls on the touchscreen, selecting Vehicle > Gear > Neutral.

Remember to always press the brake pedal before attempting to change gears in your Tesla. This is an important safety measure that ensures proper control over your vehicle.

Lastly, if you’re planning to take your Tesla through a car wash, remember to use Car Wash Mode instead of shifting it into neutral manually. Car Wash Mode disables features like automatic wipers and folding mirrors to avoid any potential damage during the cleaning process.

By following these tips and tricks for using neutral mode in your Tesla, you’ll be able to navigate various situations effectively while ensuring optimal performance and safety.


Putting your Tesla in neutral is a simple process that can be done by following specific steps depending on the model and year. Knowing how to shift into neutral is crucial for situations like automated car washes or moving the car without engaging a gear.

By familiarizing yourself with these instructions, you can confidently put your Tesla in neutral whenever it’s necessary.


1. How do I put a Tesla in neutral?

To put a Tesla in neutral, you can either use the gear stalk on the steering column and select “N” or access the touchscreen display and tap on the “Controls” menu, followed by “Gear,” and then select “Neutral.”

2. Can I put my Tesla in neutral while driving?

No, you cannot put your Tesla in neutral while driving as it is not recommended for safety reasons. The vehicle should be stationary when shifting to neutral.

3. What is the purpose of putting a Tesla in neutral?

Putting a Tesla in neutral allows the wheels to rotate freely without any drive force from the electric motor. This can be useful when towing or moving the vehicle manually.

4. Are there any limitations to putting a Tesla in neutral?

Yes, there are certain limitations to putting a Tesla in neutral. For example, some models may require an active key fob or authentication via PIN before enabling this mode.

5. Can I start my Tesla from neutral?

Tesla vehicles typically start in Park by default when you turn them on. They do not have a traditional gear shift lever like many other vehicles with positions for Park, Neutral, Drive, etc. Instead, Tesla vehicles use a system called “Drive Mode” or “Gear Selector” where you can choose between Park, Reverse, Neutral, and Drive through the touchscreen display.

To start your Tesla, you would generally follow these steps:

Sit in the driver’s seat with the key fob present or use the mobile app for keyless entry.
Press the brake pedal.
If the car is not already in Park, use the touchscreen to select the “P” (Park) icon.
The car is now ready to drive. Release the brake pedal, and the car will remain stationary in Park.
To shift into Drive or Reverse, you can use the touchscreen again.

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