Model Y owners manual

Tesla Model Y Owners Manual Reveals Off-Road Assist, 12V Battery Details, Heating Pump, And More


The Tesla Model Y owner’s manual revealed some details about the all-electric SUV crossover, including its Off-Road Assist feature, 12V battery, and heat pump. The Model Y owner’s manual doesn’t seem too different from the Model 3’s, except for some slight details that have been tweaked.

One of the more notable differences in Tesla’s Model Y versus the Model 3 would be its Off-Road Assist capability. According to the manual: “Off-Road Assist is designed to provide overall improvement when driving off-road. In addition to allowing the wheels to spin, Off-Road Assist balances the torque between the front and rear motors to optimize traction.

Off-Road Assist improves traction on rough and soft surfaces where one side of the vehicle may [lose] traction while the other side still has traction. When Off-Road Assist is on, the accelerator pedal provides more gradual torque, which is useful for crawling at low speeds (for example, over rocky surfaces). When enabled, OFF-ROAD displays on the touchscreen above the driving speed.”

The Model Y’s Off-Road Assist capability was an unexpected surprise to some. Tesla depicted the Model Y as more of a city car, so for it to have off-road capability was a little surprising. The feature should make the Model Y a lot more useful for families who are fond of weekend trips, however, as they can use their vehicles for camping trips to areas like the beach. 

The Model Y’s heat pump was another surprise, based on comments about the Model Y’s heat pump by the Tesla community. Many were unsure how to feel or what to think about the heat pump in the Model Y.

The manual explains: “Model Y uses a heat pump to maximize efficiency; therefore, your air conditioning compressor and external fan may run and make noise even when the outside temperature is cold, and your vehicle is heating or supercharging.” The Model Y’s heat pump may prove useful for owners who use Camp Mode often and for extended periods. The heat pump would probably be particularly valuable with Camp Mode during the winter months.

Another useful feature in the Model Y would be its inductive phone charging ports, which can charge Qi-enabled smartphones at up to 15W of power. In total, the Model Y has four USB ports. Two USB 2.0 ports are located at the front compartment of the center console, and the port closer to the driver is compatible with USB-C. There are also two USB-C ports at the back of the center console for passengers in the rear seats. 


Credit: Tesla

Some other Model Y details that were brought up by the Tesla community were its 12V battery, towing capacity, and smaller wheel seats.

Several people in the Tesla community were surprised to see that the Model Y still had a 12V battery. Many believed that Tesla would not use a 12V battery for the Model Y because the EV automaker has talked about getting rid of it in the past.

“Most systems use 12v battery to close the contractors and enable the ~350v system. I’m assuming Elon has mentioned they’re moving away from this?” commented John Hodder in Green’s post about the Model Y manual.

Third Row Podcast elaborated on the subject: “in 2017 [Tesla was] talking about moving away from [12v batteries] because 12v battery does die sometimes.”

Model Y Pics

Overall, people had mixed feelings about the Model Y’s 12v battery, which was is in stark contrast to the community’s reaction to the SUV crossover’s towing capacity and smaller seats.

According to the manual, the Model Y is not equipped with towing capacity. However, the manual does suggest that the Model Y could be fitted with towing capacity in the future. Some assumed that towing capacity might be a feature that Tesla will make available later on for some monetary value.

It must be noted, however, that the owner’s manual most people are talking about was for the Model Y released in North America. Tesla vehicles in North America usually aren’t equipped with towing capacity. It would be interesting to compare the Model Y released in North America to the one in Europe.

People also noticed that the space of Model Y’s rear seats were also a tad bit smaller than Tesla’s Model 3. The Model Y is supposed to be bigger than the Model 3, given that it is an SUV crossover, so many people weren’t too happy about the smaller space for passengers the rear seat.

Some people questioned buying the Model Y just because of the space in the rear seats. So it could be a small factor that might affect the SUV crossovers sales in the future. The Model Y is expected to outsell the Model 3. Only time will tell if that prediction turns into reality.

Model Y deliveries officially started yesterday. Model Y reservation holders were notified about their impending delivery earlier in the week. As the first orders are delivered, Tesla begins another phase in its mission to bring about the advent of the electric vehicle.

Special thanks to resident Tesla hacker Green for bringing the Model Y to Tesmanian's attention.

Featured Image Credit: Tesla

About the Author

Claribelle Deveza

Claribelle Deveza

Longtime writer and news/book editor. Writing about Tesla allows me to contribute something good to the world, while doing something I love.

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