Can a Tesla Model 3 be Towed? (Tow Mode Explained)

The Tesla Model 3 is a superior vehicle built with your safety in mind, but emergencies happen to the best drivers. Whether you’re in a tight spot now or are preparing for all future situations, knowing the ins and outs of towing your Model 3 is critical to being an excellent Tesla owner. 

Luckily, you can tow your Tesla Model 3. However, according to the owner’s manual, it is critical that all four wheels are off of the ground. Ideally, a flatbed truck or trailer should be used to tow the Model 3, but traditional tow trucks can use wheel lifts and dollies to tow for a short period of time. 

How Long Can You Tow Your Model 3 For?

If your Model 3 is positioned safely in a flatbed truck or trailer and none of its wheels are on the ground, you can keep it there indefinitely.

However, if you had to use wheel lifts and dollies to tow the Model 3, you can only tow it for 35 miles (55 kilometers) before it can damage your car.

What is Teslas ‘Transport Mode’?

To tow your Model 3, you’ll need to use its Transport Mode. To activate Transport Mode, the Model 3 must have power and detect a key. 

The Model 3’s Transport Mode limits acceleration on the vehicle to 3 miles per hour (or 5 km/h) for 30 feet (or 10 meters). If rolled faster or for longer than these recommendations, you risk overheating the car.

Transport Mode is important for slowly rolling the Model 3 so you can winch it onto a flatbed for towing. Or, you could use Transport Mode to rearrange the Model 3 before beginning to tow it. 

When Transport Mode is on, the parking brake will be off. There will also be a message letting you know that the car is ‘free rolling.’

To use Transport Mode, make sure you are in Park. Then, press and hold the brake. While doing that, use the touchscreen to select Controls, then Service, and next Towing. 

You will see a message about how Transport Mode works and restrictions for towing the Model 3. Lastly, press the Transport Mode button.

Towing a Tesla Model 3 vs. a Regular Car

Towing a Tesla Model 3 has one simple rule: get the wheels off of the ground. For regular cars, that’s not a problem. 

Regular car wheels don’t generate energy that cause overheating.

Regular cars might be towed with a tow strap, dolly, a wheel lift, or a mix of these aids. Usually, unless a flatbed is used, there are at least two wheels of a regular car on the ground. 

The regular car is put in Neutral and away they drive.

A Tesla Model 3, on the other hand, must be put in Transport Mode. Then, it should be slowly loaded onto a flatbed or positioned with a wheel lift and dollies so that its wheels are suspended. 

In both situations, with both the Tesla Model 3 and regular car, vehicle owners should spend time making sure all bindings are secure. Safety is paramount when vehicles are being towed.


How do I contact Tesla Roadside Assistance?

To contact Tesla Roadside Assistance in the United States and Canada, you can call 1-877-79TESLA. If you are in Mexico, call 1-800-228-8145. 

For other countries’ roadside assistance phone numbers, check out this link. 

Another way to see these phone numbers for Tesla Roadside Assistance is to tap the ‘T’ at the top-center of the touchscreen. 

As long as you are under Tesla’s warranty, you have access to their roadside assistance programs. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 

Tesla understands emergencies happen at all times.

What Direction Should My Tesla Model 3 Face When Towing?

If you’re towing your Model 3 with a flatbed truck, the direction it faces doesn’t matter. 

But if you had to use wheel lifts and dollies, you should have the front end of the Tesla lifted. This would leave the rear wheels for the dollies. 

Where Is My Tow Eye/Tow Hook?

To find your tow eye (also called a tow hook), lift up the carpet in the front trunk of the Model 3. It is located in the upper left-hand quadrant. 

Can you tow charge a Tesla Model 3?

Press on its rounded portion gently until its opposite end lifts from the trunk and then pull the lifted end free. 

Why Do My Model 3’s Wheels Need To Be Off Of The Ground?

Towing the Model 3 with any of the wheels on the ground could potentially lead to damage. The wheels generate power, which causes overheating when towed over the recommend distance of 35 miles (55 kilometers).

That can lead to harm to the car and—in rare cases—ignition of surrounding areas. 

Who Is Qualified To Fix My Model 3?

Tesla Motors recommends using its service centers to maintain the most integrity in your Model 3’s performance.

What do I do if I need to be in Transport Mode and my Model 3 has no charge?

If you are without power in an emergency situation and need to get into Transport Mode, jump start your Model 3. 

Can I Tow Charge My Model 3?

Maybe you can, but you really, really shouldn’t. It isn’t covered under Tesla’s warranty, can cause damage to your vehicle, and is an unnecessary risk for an inefficient gain. 

Imagine this: every time you are going to charge your Model 3, you need a second vehicle with towing capabilities to wheel it around. That’s not a solution.

Skip the risk and go to the charging station. Alternatively, watch YouTube videos of other people doing it, so you don’t have to.

Can You Charge A Tesla By Towing It? (With Ford Raptor)


Towing your Tesla Model 3 doesn’t have to be complicated. If you remember that the wheels need to be off of the ground (no, seriously, get them off of the ground), then you’ll be a-okay. 

Now you have all the tools you need to keep your Tesla as safe as it keeps you.