This article will keep track of the Model 3 accessories I've TinkerTry'd, featuring a detailed walkthrough video, in 4K!. I'll be detailing why I'm keeping most items, and returning others. I encourage you to revisit and refresh for the latest updates based on my first-hand experience. Also consider dropping a comment below to share your experience with any of these products on your Model 3.
This is not a sponsored post, with all products purchased for my own testing and use, and affiliate links including Skimlinks fav.co shortened URLs that may need to be white-listed, disclosure details below. I do not own any stock in Tesla or the accessory companies featured below.
Table of Contents
- Tesla Shop
- Floor Mats
- Door Open Button
- Cell Phone Charging
- Center Console Rear (below arm rest)
- Center Console Cupholders
- Center Console Front
- Center Console Piano Black Finish
- Center Console Accessories Video
- Garage (Charging & Washing)
- See also all Tesla articles at TinkerTry.
Let's start with items you can order from Tesla's online store directly that aren't as horribly overpriced, since it takes the longest to arrive, especially if you're far from California. In my experience, ordering four items on Wed Jan 02 2018, I got shipment notifications for three of then on Fri Jan 04 2018, due to arrive 10 days. There seems to be no expedited order processing, and no upgraded shipping options.
I'm in New England, and I just got my Model 3 on Dec 23 2018, so yeah, it's very much winter! The roads are frequently salted here, so it was pretty urgent for me to find something to cover those dark black carpets with, quickly.
I initially the readily available on Amazon Prime ToughPRO Tesla Model 3 Floor Mats Set, but they simply weren't up to the job of containing dirt, and frequently, the front passenger mat would curl back from normal acceleration. An odd problem to have. They also have no lip around the edges to contain water and dirt. So I'll be requesting a refund on those.
I've gone ahead with ordering the Tesla frunk and rear trunk mats, actually made by WeatherTech, whose mats held up nicely in my previous car. I'm skipping the interior Tesla/WeatherTech mats this time though, since I want more of my Model 3's rugs protected, see what I chose in the Floor Mats section below.
From the Tesla Shop online store:
Model 3 All-Weather Cargo Mats
QTY: 1 $130.00
ETA Jan 14 2019 from Newark CA.
Model 3 All-Weather Cargo Mats
QTY: 1 $70.00
Model S/X/3 Tire Repair Kit
QTY: 1 $80.00
ETA Jan 14 2019 from Newark CA.
Model S/X/3 Cable Organizer
QTY: 1 $25.00
ETA Jan 14 2019 from Newark CA.
- 3D MAXpider KAGU Black All-Weather Floor Liners for Tesla Model 3: RWD, Dual Motor & Performance, 2 Front Seats, 1 Rear Seat Floor Liners
I spotted door release stickers at these 3 places:
- Nikola Pro direct sales Model 3 Door Exit Decals
- Nikola Pro on Amazon Model 3 Door Exit Decals
- Abstract Ocean Door Release Buttons
I tried both products, and am quite happy with the OEM look and feel, along with easy installation, of the:
- Abstract Ocean Door Release Buttons
If you remember to enter enter tinkertry (or TinkerTry or TINKERTRY) in the Coupon/Gift Certificate field and click Apply, you'll enjoy 15% off your first order!
I went with black. The little 3D stickers fit right over your door button. They have a slightly rubbery fee. Be sure to wipe with alchol first, then line the sticker up with the (dim) LED on each of those buttons.
Do my parents and other car guests still sometimes pull the lever instead of push the button? Yes. But perhaps a little less often for those taking their first ride in a Model 3. Only time will tell.
Would a large red X sticker to put over the emergency door handle release would be helpful? Maybe, but I can understand why there would be safety concerns in doing so. Would a sticker that channels light from the button LED into the car door icon be cool? Yes, but I doubt the Model 3's LEDs are bright enough for that to be effective. Maybe glow in the dark, instead of White?
Fastest wireless (Qi) charging for the two front passengers
Let's tackle this next. The built-in USB-C and Lightning connectors don't charge very quickly, and can be a bit cumbersome to slide your phone into. One of my sons who warned me was right, I should go with Qi wireless charging.
For Apple iPhones, Tesla's USB cables don't transmit audio signals over the USB cable either, so your Model 3 won't "see" an iPod to play music from. Once that reality set in, getting a way to charge as fast as possible over wireless seems very appealing to me, especially after driving my Tesla over 800 miles these first 2 weeks of joyful ownership.
For the fastest possible charging over Qi wireless, with drop-in-and-go simplicity, try this highly rated (but back-ordered) device, hoping mine arives by the 3rd week of January for me to update this article and let you know how it goes. Meanwile, lots of favorable reviews, such as this article, and this discussion in the Tesla Forums.
- Nomad Wireless Charger for Tesla Model 3
The built-in battery is said to allow the fastest charging rates, since those 2 Tesla USB ports wouldn't give enough juice for two iPhones at the max of 7.5 watts, for example. I do sincerely hope that the built-in battery can be replaced down the road someday.
Here's the friendly email I received soon after placing my order:
From: NOMAD email@example.com
Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2018 2:12 AM
To: Paul Braren
Subject: Your Tesla Charger
Thanks for your recent order for a Tesla Charger. We're stoked you decided to check out our gear. This is meant to be a reminder that the charger is currently on backorder and will ship out to you on or before January 15th. If you have any questions, please feel free to respond to this email.
- The Nomad Team
Jan 14 2019 Update
My Nomad Tesla Charger arrived! I let it warm up to room temp, then installed it in my Model 3, and so far, I'm very pleased with the results. None of the "cables are too short" issue that only a smattering of folks commented about, I'm very happy with this purchase. I even drove around a bit, and no tight turns were able to jostle my iPhone XS Max out of position. Charge rates seemed right around the expected 7.5 watt speed maximum that Apple allows, this is good! Going from 99% to 100% took almost half an hour, but the LED did go from Orange to White.
Fastest PD (Power Delivery) wired charging for the two rear passengers
First, order one of these:
For extremely fast charging of recent Apple products, using the 12V outlet in the center console, for rear and front passengers to use as needed:
- SCOSCHE Powervolt 36W Dual Port USB Type-C Car Charger with LED Power Indicator Compatible with All Power Delivery 3.0, 2.0 and Standard USB-C Devices - Black
Next, order two of these:
Route these to each side, so they don't get crushed on their way into to the seatback pockets, for easy access by the rear passengers. Alternative, one to left rear seat, and the other alongside the front seat passenger seat, left in the area near the seat belt latch for passengers to use if Qi just isn't fast enough. An extra benefit to this approach is a lack of USB cables sticking out for the 5th center-rear passenger to bump into, when getting in and out.
Finally, order one of these:
Low profile connection prevents any issues with clearance when you're trying to put your organizer tray back into place after leaving this unit plugged in to your 12V outlet. Now you can use the Scosche charger, and still have an available outlet for whatever else you need, including a couple more USB ports too.
- Car Socket Splitter, Te-Rich 96W 2-Way Auto Cigarette Lighter Splitter Power Adapter 12V/24V DC Outlet Extender 5.4A (Quick Charge 3.0 + 2.4A) Dual USB Charger for iPhones and Samsung Galaxy
Feb 09 2019 addition - I have a story to add. I was driving a fellow energy conference attendee to the Bradley Airport when he found himself with his rideshare being late, and his iPhone battery had become pretty low too. With only had 25 minutes in my Model 3 together enroute, I suggested he use my Lightning to USB-C cable for maximum charge speeds. He was pretty thankful to see his phone go right to over 30% charge during that short ride, and I'm so glad I was so very ready for this circumstance. My phone in the cradle, his getting used to place the call to cancel his ride-share whilst it was charging, and both of us happy.
Break glass (and cut seatbelt) in case of emergency.
There is some minor, distributed-over-a-large-area pinching force on the white Apple charging cables, evident in the flattened velour/suede texture, but there are no tight pinches when routed this way. I notice no noticeable damage to either cable, at least not yet.
The resqme is a clever name for this tiny tool that cuts seat belts and breaks windows, should the need arise. Seems wise to have one of these on board, and yellow seems especially easy to spot. Highly rated, yet affordable. Seems like a better idea to use the center console for this. After a wreck, I don't think you'd want to rely on being able to open the glove box, especially if your vehicle is sinking.
Hidden from this view, my new compact E-ZPass MA transponder is located here, even though you are supposed to put it here. I believe having a glass roof helps. I've checked my recent trips in my account, and they all read reliably from the new readers along the Massachusetts Turnpike that are part of the EZDriveMA system.
Image source here on Wikipedia.
- Custom Fit Cup and Center Console Liner Acessories for Tesla Model 3 2017 2018 2019 7-pc Set (Solid Black)
These fit at the bottom of all center console compartments, not really something visible, but could help prevent some wear, tear, and stains.
To allow the use of both front USB ports and the dashcam recording to USB flash drive function:
If you want to have some high bitrate FLAC files on a USB drive to put those 10 speakers plus subwoofer to good use, get one of these:
- SanDisk Ultra Fit 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive - SDCZ43-032G-GAM46
which also happen to work great for my many years of use for VMware ESXi.
If you want to use Sentry Mode and Dashcam functions, those need more write endurance, and it sure would be enjoy the fast transfer speeds to your computer when it comes time to take some video off for review and archive. Here's an excellent choice I'm using.
For automatic recording of Tesla Model 3 Dashcam footage, just reformat the drive as FAT32 using Rufus, then create a directory called
/TeslaCam in the root of that empty drive. Tada, it now "just works," with the dashcam automatically recording footage as you go, deleting the oldest video only when it has to. See also Clean Technica's How To Set Up The Dashcam In A Tesla Running Firmware v9.0 by Kyle Field, and Tesla's Discover Software Version 9.0 article, with Dashcam explained at this spot. No fancy dual partion stuff needed either, when using a USB hub like this. I found having a second USB drive also formatted FAT32 seemed to be seen just fine by the Model 3's display under USB, and FLAC playback sounded great.
To keep your center console wiring tidy, you may want to get one of these short cables to replace the far too long one that comes with the T5 Portable SSD.
- Type C to Type A Cable[3-Pack], CableCreation 0.5 ft Short USB C Cord with 56K Resistor, Compatible MacBook 12 inch, Galaxy S8/S8 Plus, Black
Hidden trash can
- Kleenex. Ultra Soft Facial Tissues, Cube Box, 50 Tissues per Cube Box, 4 Packs
Once emptied of tissue, this box becomes my disposable garbage can. No need to line it or clean it, just empty the contents from time to time, and discard the box itself once it gets too beat up.
Always helpful to have some of these on board.
Also handy for quick clean-ups, antibacterial hand wipes with no alcohol, so they should be very safe for wiping the Vegan Leather (vinyl) seats too.
- EV Wraps Tesla Model 3 Center Console Wrap - Carbon Fiber
Only took me about 1/2 hr to install, and it was very forgiving, having to peel off nearly the whole cup holder area when I had messed up with alignment, putting it back on came out just fine in the end.
- Abstract Ocean Ultra-Bright LED Lights - Model 3
Much much brighter trunk illumination than the ones Tesla includes with the Model 3. Installation too me all of 3 minutes, using a flat head screw driver to carefully pry the original LED out. I followed along with the install video, with more videos here
In the end, I chose the pricier LEDs, due to better quality and brighter illumination. I almost lost one of the LEDs inside the door as the cable was quite short once I released the original LED, but jambing my pinkie finger in there to fish around for it worked out fine, laying flat on the garage floor to do so. The integrated cable extensions of the Oznium LEDs that I also tried were nice, but Abstract Ocean sells extenders for such situations too.
These 2 items from that order page for all Model 3 LEDs cover all 7 light locations:
- Model 3 full set (excl. front footwells - 7 white)
- Front footwell lights (2 pack), White
This company isn't on Amazon, but their site features convenient payments via Amazon, PayPal, or Google Pay, avoiding the hassle of setting up an account. Here's a sample review:
John S.Verified Buyer
AO LED Lighting a huge improvement over OEM
I purchased the 7-light set of white LED's for my Model 3. It took me less than 2 minutes per light to change out the two trunk lights, four door puddle lights, and one glovebox light. All light provide significantly brighter illumination for getting into and out of the vehicle at night, and for seeing anything in the dark trunk. The install video is right on target, all wiring connections are clip-type, and there is no damage done to either the light housings or the OEM lights so they could be put back if you wished to do so. Great value for me, very positive results!
As mentioned above, I had also tried the Oznium Ultra-Bright Easy-Plug Replacement LED Interior Lighting Upgrade LEDs for Tesla Model S, Model X, and Model 3 - Light Bulbs Kit fits Trunk, Frunk, Door Puddle, Foot-Well, etc - (4 Pack), but they just weren't as bright, as seen at right. The lighting they cast didn't seem to be particularly even in color, or brightness.
Putting this emergency-use-only gear in the frunk leaves that wonderful below-trunk space (where a gas tank normally would be) available for groceries and such, so they don't move about.
- Black Diamond Spot Headlamp
Because you'll need to see what you're doing if broken down at night.
- Apace Vision Reflective Vest (2 Pack) | Lightweight, Adjustable & Elastic | Safety & High Visibility for Running, Jogging, Walking, Cycling | Fits over Outdoor Clothing - Motorcycle Jacket/Gear
Most new cars don't include a spare tire. If you experience a flat or break down, good to know you can contact Tesla Roadside Assistance and get free services those first 4 years or 50,000 miles. While waiting, you'll want to be sure you and your family and your car as as safe as you can be. Wear these if you must walking around at night.
- 3 First Alert 9.1.1 LED Emergency Beacon Flares with Storage Bag
Put these way down the road ahead of your stopped Tesla instead of flares. A whole lot safer and lighter to store on board, each requires 3 AAA batteries, so you might want to pick up a Energizer Ultimate Lithium AAA Batteries too, for extra long life in extreme temperatures.
- ProStar 10 Gauge SJTW 3 Conductor 50 Foot Extension Cord With Lighted Ends - Yellow
Thick gauge, highly rated, and ready to get you out of trouble, should you be kind of close to a regular outlet somewhere, in need of some charge. Yeah, you'll need to use this in conjunction with the Tesla Model 3 Model S/X/3 Gen 2 Mobile Connector Bundle your vehicle came with, and it's included NEMA 5-15 outlet adapter.
- Bell Automotive 00876-8 Pencil Tire Gauge
Much preferred over worrying about replacing batteries, at the cost of convenience and ease of use. As far as pencil tire gauges go, this one is top rated, affordable, and light.
- BAGS for LESS Clear Tote Stadium Approved with Handle and Zipper - 12x12x6
You can fit the 50 foot power cable, the vests, and the headlamp into this see-through bag. You'll have no trouble figuring out what's in there.
Finally, as others have noticed, when driving around 45 mph today with very strong cross-winds, I noticed a bit of wind noise was apparent from the inside, mostly from the top of the windshield. This might be reduced with the RPM Tesla Model 3 Wind Noise Reduction Kit. Or it could be just that there is so little engine noise, such wind noise is more pronounced on such EVs. I won't know more until I get a chance to test later in January 2019.
For that extra keycard kept in my wallet, this seems a much better way to hand to a valet, using this holder I keep in my glovebox, making sure to turn on valet mode first, of course.
Don't forgot to also put an envelope in there, with your:
- Proof of Insurance
to go right on top of the manuals that the car comes with in the glove compartment, and that cleaning cloth that's intended to clean the piano finish on the center console.
Elon Musk said Tesla will update vehicles with a feature that would open the glovebox automatically after a crash once the car has stopped.
Side view mirrors
I found this product worked quite well for getting me a great view of my blind spots. Mine are both adjusted outward as far as possible. It is odd that a car of this cost, with all those cameras many of which are not in use yet, needs such a low-tech product for now. It would be preferable for the car to have the usual warning lights in the side view mirrors itself to indicate when it's not safe to lane-change, but software changes and enablement of side cameras through software upgrades could make these mirrors a little less important in the future, especially if Tesla implements warning chimes.
- Ampper Blind Spot mirror, Rectangle HD Glass Convex Rear View Mirror, Strengthened Adhesive and Upgrade Stick Area, Pack of 2 (Upgraded)
I had also tried the High Definition Ultra Low Profile Blind Spot Mirrors from Abstract Ocean, but they failed to provide enough coverage beyond the sides of my vehicle, even when adjusted to point away from my car as far as possible. They just showed far too much of my own car, filling about half of the small circle of wide-angle view, at least from my driving position. Fishing line and Goo Gone worked nicely to remove them easily enough.
Here's a Model 3 Owners Club Podcast segment discussing the need for a chime warning for when lane-changing is not safe.
Feb 10 2019 Update - Look which article one of my sons just told me about:
- Tesla releases new software update with blind spot warning and auto-folding mirrors
Blind Spot Warning Chime
When making a lane change, you can now turn on an audible chime to warn you when a possible collision with a vehicle or obstacle is detected in your target lane. To enable the blind spot warning chime, touch Controls > Autopilot > Blind Spot Warning Chime
Will I still keep my blind spot mirrors? Probably, since when I'm not on Autopilot, I still prefer the single-glance instant awareness of what's going on in the other lane. This glance is done well before turning my head briefly to double-check before I flick the turn signal and begin the lane change.
Turns out the blind spot detection software isn't quite there yet anyway.
I have a detailed write-up on charging here:
- Charging your Tesla Model 3 at Superchargers on road trips and at home, with details to discuss with your electrician
Since I already have an available NEMA 14-50 outlet, this charger can safely be self-installed. The expected 40 amp charging rate for my Long Range Model 3 has been greatly appreciated, with me taking many mid-winter long range drives this year. It's a nice compromise between 32 amps max the included Gen 2 Mobile Connector Bundle tops out at, and the 47 amps that the Tesla Wall Connectors can do. That even faster option comes at the cost of bulkier clumsier cabling to the car, and the cost of an electrician visit to install/hardwire it. Any of these options can charge the car up from nearly empty most nights overnight, unless it's very cold out. Once your garage charging is all set, you can leave your Mobile Connector Bundle in your frunk.
First, hand wash at a touchless car wash, or go through a touchless car wash, or pre-clean pressure wash your car in your own driveway, see more details on my pressure washer choice below.
Once you've gotten the caked on salt (winter) or dirt (summer) off, you're ready for a rinsless car wash that I've found works well for my needs, and it can be done in your garage, in the winter!
Get yourself 2 packs of a dozen towels, one set for washing, one set for spray waxing and drying.
- 2 of Chemical Guys MIC_506_12 Professional Grade Premium Microfiber Towels, Gold (16 in. x 16 in.) (Pack of 12)
Next, never wash Microfiber towels with regular clothes detergent, use this instead:
Get yourself a bucket...
One gallon of distilled water per wash, purchased locally for under a dollar a gallon, or made with a water distiller.
Finally, some amazing car wash that can last for years, a capful per gallon
One-bucket car wash system
How do you wash your vehicle with just one bucket? I had to learn, I've apparently been doing it wrong for over 30 years. Here's the process, which is basically a summary of the video below:
- pour the gallon of distilled water into the bucket
- pour a capful of No Rinse into the bucket
- fold 24 Microfiber towels twice each, make one pile of 12 that will get wet, and the other pile of 12 that will be used to dry
- press the towels down into the bottom of the bucket, making sure they all get soaked
- remove a towel, squeeze enough water out of it so it drips slowly, and wipe across the top of the car roof to the windshield, then a second swipe back up to the top of the car
- flip the towel over, repeat for the next unwashed front-to-back strip, then toss that dirty towel into a laundry hamper (NOT in the clean bucket)
- unfold then refold the wet towel to keep getting a fresh 1/8 of the surface of the towel against the paint of your car, 2 stripes about 5' to 8' in length at time
- grab a folded dry towel and dry off the 4 strips you just cleaned, don't re-use, toss into a laundry hamper
- once all 8 quarters of each side of the towel are dirty, get a clean towel out of the bucket and repeat steps 5 to 8 until done
- when you're done washing your car, launder those towels right away in a separate load using that special detergent, since you don't want wet towels laying around to get moldy, also be sure to NOT use a fabric softener, since that will ruin the towels
Pre-wash your car
To pre-clean your Tesla, and your driveway and home, do you really want a gas powered pressure washer to maintain, polluting your neighborhood with noise and exhaust? Yet again, my 4 year old gas powered washer wouldn't start, so I've chosen Wirecutters top pick to replace it:
The best pressure washer
PUBLISHED JULY 20, 2018
With extra-large wheels, a long hose, a high-end induction motor, and a well-designed GFCI plug, this Ryobi model is the most user-friendly electric pressure washer.
We recommend an electric pressure washer for most homeowners since that type is easier to use and maintain than a gas model (gas washers are more powerful, but most people don’t need the extra oomph). The quiet-running brushless induction motor of the Ryobi RY142300 should last for years, and the machine’s heft helps make it really hard to tip over ...
The company’s three-year limited warranty is also the longest we found. The RY142300 costs a little more—$50 to $100 more—than the rest, but if you’ll be using it three or more times a year, it’s the best value.
See also the Ryobi product page at 2300 PSI BRUSHLESS ELECTRIC PRESSURE WASHER MODEL: #RY142300.
Also available at Home Depot online and in some stores for a bit less:
- Ryobi 2,300 PSI 1.2 GPM High Performance Electric Pressure Washer (Home Depot SKU 1002493748). Alternatively, you can use Wirecutter's affiliate link to help support their quality reviews.
Despite some favorable ratings, the Greenworks GPW1951 1950-PSI Electric Pressure Washer just didn't work out for me, with the hose to the pressure wand kinking up immediately, and clumsy handling.
- EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump, Digital Tire Inflator
This sucker, I mean pumper, is top rated here, here and here, is a best seller best seller on Amazon. Consensus like this is rare, and no AC powered units get such glowing reviews. Just set the pressure you want, just like at the gas station, and it automatically stops when done. Excellent!
- Slime 20332 Inflator Hose Adapter
I'm not a fan of the threaded connection the pump comes with, as I seem to experience a 2-3 PSI loss now matter how fast I try to disconnect. This adapter solves that issue, with only a brief puff of air heard escaping when the release lever is flipped.
- ABN Car Power Inverter Cable – 110V Wall Outlet to 12V Cigarette Lighter, 10 AMP AC to DC Converter AC Adapter for Car
Since I couldn't find any decent AC powered inflators, I'm likely to just zip tie this adapter to my inflator semi-permanently, and it's all staying in my garage for both of our vehicles.
I found this excellent Tezlab vs. TeslaFi video by Matt Ferrell.
TeslaFi - You can get 30 days free free, or 14 days free using the non-affiliate link. For the access token TeslaFi requires so it can get data from my car, I avoided sharing my Tesla.com credentials by creating this token on my Windows system with the simple and free Windows Tesla Auth Token Generator, and steered clear of the "Enable Controls" option in my TeslaFi account. For Mac OS and iOS, you can give Tesla Token a try.
I've rearranged what I keep in which center console compartment, adjusting the article above accordingly.
Added Amazon Shopping list, and made numerous updates to the article.
Added side view mirrors in new Exterior section above.
Added Anker USB C to Lightning cables above.
Nice to finally have decent weather, and some chances to finally wash my car by hand. Made a bunch of updates to the article above, based on 8,000 miles of travel these first 4 months of Model 3 ownership.
All Tesla related articles:
- Tesla Model 3 replacing my 13 year old Honda Civic Hybrid, let's see how that goes. So far, so good!
Dec 23 2018
I hope to also write an article about Tesla Model 3 charging options, and electricial wiring for your garage, stay tuned.