Can a Tesla Jump Start Another Car? (Or Vice Versa)

A friend’s battery is dead and you’ve got a car that can do it all—automatically adjust cruise control, stream music from the internet, and park itself from your phone. Surely you can hook up the ol’ jumper cables and give your pal a charge to help them along. Right? Wrong. 

According to the Tesla owner’s manual itself, the Model 3, S and X can not be used to jump start another car. Since electric vehicles are powered by lower-voltage batteries than internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, they don’t have enough power to jump ICE cars safely. Tesla warns that jumping another car with your Model 3 could cause damage. (You can however jump start your tesla using another car)

Source: Tesla Owners Manual

How Do I Jump Start A Car Without Using My Model 3?

If you’re not currently in an emergency situation, the best solution is to purchase a lithium ion jump starter. They are travel-sized batteries with jumper cables.

To use a lithium ion jump starter, simply hook up the attached jumper cables. The positive (red) cable should hook onto the positive section of the dead battery, while the negative (black) cable will clamp onto the negative section of the battery.

How to use Jump Starter on a Dead Car Battery

Then, turn on the previously dead car. Lastly, carefully remove the clamps attached to the lithium ion jump starter.

Alternatively, you could flag down another non-electric vehicle in the vicinity and ask for them to jump the car in question. Another option is to call a jump starting service to travel to your location. 

Can My Model 3 Be Jump Started By Another Car?

Your Model 3 can be jump started by another car or a portable jump starter. 

But it’s tricky to get into the front trunk when your Tesla doesn’t have power. Here’s how you do it:

To pop the hood on your uncharged Model 3, you need to remove the tow eye cover. Then, pull out the two red and black wires.

Tesla Model 3: Opening The Frunk with 12V Power Supply / Jump Start

Using either a portable jump starter or another car and some jumper cables, hook up an external power source to the red and black cables. Only then will you be able to open the front trunk to jump start your battery.

From there, locate the maintenance panel towards the inner part of the front trunk and remove it. From here on out, it’s the standard operating procedure for jumping any vehicle.

Red to red, black to black, and turn on the dead Model 3. 

Let’s Recap

Do not jump start other cars with your Model 3. It might damage your vehicle and, frankly, it is not worth the risk.

Instead, consider purchasing a lithium ion jump starter to have for emergencies. You’ll be the belle of the ball in a surprising amount of grocery store parking lots. 

You might be tempted to click on one of the many YouTube videos of people jump starting other cars with their Model 3, but this is your sign. Don’t use your Model 3 to jump start other cars! 

The inevitable bill from your mechanic is going to make what is probably already a bad day much worse.