How to set up Tesla Text Messaging to send and receive messages

July 27, 2021
By Nuno Cristovao

Teslas have the ability to send and receive text messages. Any message you receive while connected to the car will display the sender's name on the screen. You can then have the car read the message to you or dismiss it.

Being able to receive text messages is as simple as pairing your phone and turning on a few settings. If you'd like to reply or send a text message, you can do it completely through your voice.

How to Set Up Text Messaging

Tesla how to set up text messaging

  • Tap the Bluetooth icon at the top of the screen to go to Bluetooth settings.
  • You'll see a list of phones and devices paired to your car. You'll want to pair your phone now if you haven't done so already.
  • You'll need to make sure the phone you're setting up messaging for is already connected. Then tap the name of your device on the left side.
  • You'll see options for that device on the right side. You will want to have the "Sync Messages," option turned on. It may also want to turn on the "Chime on New Message" option if you'd like the car to have an audible alert every time you receive a new message. If you leave this option off, the car will still display a notification on the car's screen, but without a chime.

How to Send a Text Message

The only way to send a text message through your Tesla is using your voice.

Tesla how to set up text messaging

  • On a Model S or Model X, tap the voice button on the top right side of the steering wheel.
  • On a Model 3 or Model Y, push in the right scroll wheel to start a voice command.
  • Then use the voice command, "Send text to Name", Name being the person in your phone's contacts that you'd like the message to be sent to. You'll need to have your contacts synced to your car in order for this to function.
  • If you'd like to send or view text messages already sent during your trip. You can tap the Apps button (denoted by a ^) and choose Phone. From there tap the Messages tab and you'll see a list of all the contacts and messages you have sent and received during this trip. Messages already on your phone or sent in a previous drive will not show up here.

Tesla how to set up text messaging

How to Receive a Text Message

If your phone is connected via Bluetooth and you have the sync messages option turned on, you'll now receive an alert every time you receive a text message.

You'll hear a ding and the alert will appear on the screen along with the sender's name. The message will be obscured until you choose it to be shown and read.

  • Model 3 or Model Y
    • To view a text message and have the car read the message to you, press the right scroll wheel.
    • To dismiss a message, you can press the right scroll wheel twice.
    • To dictate a reply, you press the right scroll wheel once, followed by your reply. Once you're done, you can press the right scroll wheel again to send the message.
  • Model S or Model X
    • On the instrument cluster you will see different options that you can select with the scroll wheel and the select button that will let you view, reply or dismiss the text message.

Tips

Car doesn't recognize a name

If the car has a hard time recognizing a name in your phonebook, there are a couple things you can do. You can duplicate the contact on your phone, giving the second contact a name that the car will recognize. Alternatively, you can favorite the contact. By favoriting a contact you'll be able to easily start a text message with them by going to Apps (the ^ icon ), Phone and then Favorites. Each favorite or contact has a Call icon next to their name along with a Message icon that you can use to start a new conversation.

Re-dictate a message

If you have a Model 3 or Model Y, and you reply to someone, only to have the car not understand what you said, you can dictate your message again by pressing the right scroll wheel in twice. On a Model S or Model X, you have a selectable option to let you re-try dictating the message.

Stop reading a message

If the car is reading a long text message and you'd like to stop it, you can press the right scroll wheel two times to dismiss the message.

Playback volume

Although it would be a great feature, there is currently no way to adjust the volume at which text messages are read.

Troubleshooting

If you're not receiving text messaging in the car you will want to confirm that your phone is paired and connected. You'll also want to confirm that the 'Sync Messages' option is turned on in the car's Bluetooth settings.

You'll also want to check your phone's Bluetooth settings to make sure the phone is sharing the relevant data with the car. You'll want to go to Bluetooth settings and find your device which you're connecting to, which is the car in this case. It should be labeled as Tesla followed by the model and the name of your car. Then you can tap on the ( i ) icon for iPhone's or the gear icon for Android and you should see device specific settings. You will want to be sure that the car is sharing contacts and notification or text message data with the car.

If you're still having trouble, you may want to try rebooting your car. If it still doesn't work, you can try unpairing the phone and repairing it again. Delete the device from the car's Bluetooth settings and also delete the car from your phone's Bluetooth settings. You can then repair and enable text messaging again.

Keep in mind that sending group messages or replying to group messages is not currently supported on some devices, including iPhones.

Tesla Insurance launches in Arizona and Ohio; now offered in five states

January 20, 2022
By Nuno Cristovao

If you've had a Tesla for a few years then you probably remember what it was like getting an insurance quote for the vehicle.

Tesla insurance

Experiences vary, but it was not uncommon to come across insurers who would not insure a Tesla or who asked for an extremely high premium.

In fact, the problem was so big that Tesla decided to do something about it. They released their own car insurance division.

Tesla launched Tesla Insurance in 2019. Unfortunately, it was only offered in California at the time. Car insurance laws vary by state so Tesla needs to be approved in each state they want to do business in.

Tesla only expanded beyond California in the second half of 2021. In October Tesla expanded to Texas and last month Tesla added on Illinois.

Tesla is now expanding even further. As of today, Tesla is now offering car insurance in Arizona and Ohio as well.

In a tweet last year, Elon talked about the slow regulatory process for offering car insurance and mentioned that Tesla was looking to offer insurance in New York as well.

The regulatory process for approval to offer insurance is extremely slow & complex, varying considerably by state. Tesla is hoping to offer real-time (based on actual driving history) insurance in Texas next month. Probably next year before we get approval in New York.

-Elon Musk

Tesla determines your car insurance rate using their Safety Score algorithm, which is similar to Progressive's Snapshot rewards. Once you approve Tesla to collect driving data, they'll monitor your vehicle for harsh stops, fast turning, and following too closely.

Your insurance rate will then be based on your driving habits and your chances of getting into an accident.

Some drivers report having much lower rates with Tesla Insurance, while others report that their rate was lower with their current insurance company.

If Tesla offers insurance in your state, you may want to consider getting a quote directly on their site to see if you can lower your premium.

View All How Tos

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2021.44.30.11.

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

Days Until Next Release

4

Estimated days until version 2022.4 is released.

Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.

Subscribe

Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.

Follow Us

Sponsors

Find out how to become a sponsor and have your site listed here.

Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2021.44.30.11.

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

Days Until Next Release

4

Estimated days until version 2022.4 is released.

Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.

Subscribe

Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.