All the Tesla Model 3 upgrades you should and can do yourself
Mar 13, 2019 · 5:02 PMTyler Hayes
This audio was generated using Microsoft’s artificial intelligence.
The aftermarket on car parts is extensive, to say the least. Tesla and its newest Model 3 electric car are no exception. The problem is that so many choices makes it a bit confusing on where to start with the upgrades and aftermarket modifications.
Here’s a list of some upgrades over default configurations to give your Tesla Model 3 (and possibly Model S and X as well).
New puddle lights in the doors
There are already existing lights that shine on the ground when getting in and out of the car. Those in-door lights can be easily popped out, unplugged and new ones connected — all in a few minutes.
Tesla enthusiast Michael Bodner produces Teslatunity on YouTube. “My favorite (and easy to do mod) is the Abstract Ocean Puddle Lights," he said in response to a question over Twitter. "Every time I open the doors at night, it's really great!”
While most of the replacement puddle lights from various companies provide fun graphics on the ground like a Tesla logo, they also provide a brighter light than the factory versions that might be a needed addition for dark driveways. Adding one new light to each front door will cost around $45.
Protective center console wrap
Puddle lights might be one of the easiest upgrades, but one of the first upgrades most people might consider is to cover the center console, between the driver and front passenger, with an adhesive. There are plenty of color and texture options available and the price runs around $50, depending on where it’s purchased.
The glossy black plastic looks nice on day one, but reports across various Tesla forums indicate that it scratches, and even the most cautious drivers can leave micro-abrasion scruffs.
This upgrade takes patience to lay the big sticker without bubbles, but there’s little skill needed beyond a steady hand.
Wireless phone charger
Tesla designed its Model 3 premium interior version with an area for two mobile phones to sit right under its 15-inch display. From the factory, the docking station contains cables for an iPhone and Android phone. Most modern mobile phones are now compatible with wireless Qi charging.
Jeda and Nomad both sell custom phone chargers made to fit the area like a glove. Both can be installed and set up in a matter of minutes and add the ability to have your phone re-charging, just from laying on the power mat.
Jeda is already on its second iteration of its wireless charging mat, and the second version allows for two phones to be positioned vertically or one to be placed horizontally and still charge. It also made small tweaks to the material and fit. Currently, it should be the default purchase for adding wireless charging to a Model 3.
The idea that a car can have a front trunk (frunk) and a traditional trunk in the back is attractive to most. Unfortunately in its cost-cutting efforts, the Model 3’s frunk only unlocks when it’s opened electronically. It doesn’t automatically raise like the Model S or X.
Tesla enthusiast and YouTube personality i1Tesla devised a solution in which he found struts initially made for Jeeps that fit perfectly and provide just the right amount of force to lift the hood, without bending it. Check out his video which details exactly how easy it can be to make the modification.
Rubber floor mats are an easy way to keep permanent stains and marks off the floor. Even better than floor mats for the front and back seats are some mats for the front and back trunks. There are dozens of options ranging from Tesla's own website to Amazon and beyond.
License plate holder
If you live in a state that requires a front license plate like California, you can use the one included with the car. It attaches via adhesive strips, but you better be sure you get it in the right spot the first time as it becomes semi-permanent. Removing it can damage the paint.
If you'd rather not risk messing it up or don't want a front license plate permanently attached, alternatives include The Bandit from 1975creations, which retails for $119. Other options generally secure to the grill directly under the front bumper and can be fastened and removed with a few screws.
Stay away from this upgrade
Not all upgrades are worth your time or money.
“The one to wait on is a dash cam,” Teslatunity YouTuber Michael Bodner told me. “It looks like we may soon be getting all of the cameras activated on the car and that will save everyone a lot of money and the ugliness of camera being mounted.”
Bodner is referring to Sentry Mode. While the Model 3 already has basic dash cam functionality from the front-facing camera, Sentry Mode adds camera views from all sides of the car to monitor while parked. Sentry Mode began rolling out in February 2019.
Tyler Hayes is an independent creator and not a representative of Bing or Microsoft.