Electric Tech Explored

Should You Get a Screen Protector For Your Tesla Model 3?

by James Bartlett | Updated: April 14th, 2022
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Worried about fingerprints or physical damage to your Tesla onboard computer screen? Have issues with glare? Not sure which screen to go for or whether they are a good investment?

Tesla Screen Protectors are not necessary, but they are useful if you’ve got kids. They come with various advantages and drawbacks depending on the type of protector you buy. Most people opt for glass screen protectors for durability. The cost of a screen protector ranges from $6-70 depending on the material used to make them.

What Are Tesla Screen Protectors?

Tesla screen protectors are covers that can be attached to the touchscreen of the onboard computer. They can be made of plastic or glass. Plastic screen protectors can be matte or glossy TPU plastic or polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film. Glass screen protectors are more common for Tesla screens today. These are more expensive but offer noticeable advantages.

What Is The Main Benefit Of A Tesla Screen Protector?

The main benefit of a Tesla screen protector depends on which protector you buy. Screen protectors can protect from knocks and scratches, reduce glare or reduce fingerprint smudges, or all of the above depending on which one you buy.

Model 3 Interior
Photo by Steve Jurvetson licensed under CC BY 2.0

Which One Should I Buy?

If you are looking simply to protect the screen from knocks and scratches – but not concerned about glare or fingerprints – buying packs of cheap TPU screen protectors which can be replaced periodically is a good option.

TPU has an elastic property and is very good at protecting against knocks and scratches. The material molds back to its original shape, provided the knock or scratch isn’t too heavy. For the sake of hygiene, it may be preferable to replace TPU screens every few months.

PET film screen protectors can be bought to provide some protection against knocks and scratches but they won’t provide much protection against glare. The main advantage of a PET protector over a TPU is the ability to leave it in place for longer periods of time.

These are simply after-market versions of the thin film added to the screen to protect it during manufacture and delivery to the customer.

Drivers experiencing glare as an issue should probably opt for the more expensive matte glass screen protectors. There are no matte PET film screen protectors. Matte glass protectors are also best for addressing the issue of fingerprint marks being left on the onboard screen from day to day. The matte protectors also address the issue of screen glare from sunlight.

Matte screen protectors can either be TPU plastic or glass. Glass screen protectors will also provide the highest level of protection against impacts, as well as negating the issue of fingerprints and sunlight glare.

Drawbacks of Tesla Screen Protectors

Supercharging board computer
Photo by Marco Verch licensed under CC BY 2.0

As with the benefits, the drawbacks of screen protectors depending on the type. Matte screen protectors add a “grainy” look to the screen, which some owners find unappealing. Gloss screen protectors only protect from knocks and impacts from hard objects and do not provide protection against fingerprints or sunlight glare. In fact, some say that glossy screen protectors make the fingerprint problem worse.

PET film provides little in the way of protection and is a low-cost solution for protecting the screens against scratches. The main drawback of a glass screen protector is simply the cost. However, the cost is a fraction of what you would pay for having the onboard screen replaced were it to be damaged.

Should I buy one? If so which one?

The answer to this question depends on your lifestyle. If you are the only person who drives your Tesla and you take care of it well, a screen protector isn’t necessary. If you live in a climate with little sunshine, you also may not benefit from the anti-glare properties of screen protectors.

However, if you share the car with someone or have children, buying a screen protector might be a good idea.

Costs of Screen Protectors

Going up in order of cost, Tesla screen protector prices are approximate as follows (in USD). A TPU screen protector for a Tesla costs $6-8. This is cheap but bear in mind that it may need replacing from time to time. A PET film protector will last longer and will cost $9-15.

There are no options between matt or gloss in this category.  Tempered glass screen protectors range from $30-70.