By: Otaiba Ahsan
Both the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y were game-changing cars when they were first launched. From their incredible speed and ever-improving software, these vehicles offer a breath of fresh air for the auto industry. However, when driving cars that perform so well and have several features to explore, it can be easy to forget about the simple things that every vehicle should have. I came to this realization when I found myself in a situation where the power socket was needed. Where is the low-voltage power socket on a Tesla Model 3 or Model Y? Continue reading to find out.
What are Low Voltage Power Sockets?
Automobile auxiliary power outlets, also known by many as the “car cigarette lighter,” was originally designed to power electrically heated cigarette lighters. However, in most modern vehicles it acts as a power socket that can be used to supply portable electronic accessories. These include phone chargers, electric air pumps for your tires, and more.
Typically, a 12-volt cigarette lighter receptacle will be needed to slot into the socket. The part that’s placed in the socket is generally wired to whatever portable electronic accessory you’d like to use. You can also purchase a low-voltage power socket-to-plug adapter, which allows you to use something like a laptop charger. Both the Model 3 and Model Y have a low-voltage power socket that is suitable for accessories requiring up to 12A continuous draw with a 16A peak.
NOTE: If your Tesla is manufactured after November 2021, power inverters plugged into the power socket must support 16V direct current (DC) input to function.
Location of the Low Voltage Power Sockets
There’s only one power socket in the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y. It can be found in the centre console’s rear compartment. When you open the centre console, look for a small circular socket with a cover on the side closest to the touchscreen.
NOTE: Power for the socket is only available when the vehicle is considered awake. Your Tesla will be awake when using features like Preconditioning, Cabin Overheat Protection, Dog Mode, Camp Mode, Sentry Mode, and more.
Warnings from Tesla
Tesla warns that both the power socket and the accessory it’s providing electricity to can become hot. Also, they state that excessive interference from the device can be avoided by not plugging in any non-Tesla accessories like power inverters. Lastly, if any warnings, lights, or alert messages come on from using a non-Tesla accessory, it should be pulled out of the power socket immediately.
NOTE: No attempts to jump-start your Model 3 or Model Y should be done using the low-voltage power socket. Doing so can damage the car.
The Bottom Line
Where is the low-voltage power socket on a Tesla Model 3 and Model Y? It’s located in the centre console’s rear compartment. You’ll see a round socket with a cover on it. The low-voltage power socket is a great tool to supply portable electronic accessories.