Do Tesla Model 3 Mirrors Fold In?

By Zac Ludicrous •  Updated: 01/04/23 •  8 min read

Electric car enthusiasts can’t argue with the Tesla Model 3’s greatness because it’s brimming with amazing features that are both practical and aesthetically appealing. Its side mirrors are one of its underappreciated components, which prompted some people to wonder if the mirrors on the Tesla Model 3 fold in.

When you exit and lock your EV, the Tesla Model 3’s mirrors fold. Once you unlock your car, they will instantly open out, making driving easier.

However, is parking your only option if you want the exterior mirrors to fold in?

If you want to know how to adjust or make the side mirrors fold and if all Teslas have this feature, you should stick around and keep scrolling.

Do Teslas Come With Folding Mirrors?

Folding mirrors are standard on every Tesla. But did you know that electronically folding mirrors were optional in some of the earlier models? This was probably what led you to ask this question. 

The Version 9 software update in 2019 gave all Teslas the ability to electronically fold their mirrors.

You can turn your Tesla Model 3’s Auto Fold feature on or off and select whether you want to fold or unfold them.

Say goodbye to manually folding and unfolding your side mirrors (which you can still do) by saving specific locations. That’s because the Version 9 update includes location-based auto-folding.

By turning on this feature, your side mirrors will automatically fold whenever you arrive at a location that you frequently visit, such as your garage, workplace, preferred grocery store, and more.

You’ll find this time-saving and useful when maneuvering into tight parking spots and cramped garages.

It will give you a pop-up under Location Saved, where you can add or remove a location and decide whether you want your Tesla’s mirrors to fold in when you approach that location.

Why Folding Side Mirrors Are Helpful

There are many subtle benefits to having this feature in your exterior mirrors.

Other than making it easier for you to park, automatically folding mirrors also provide extra space for people to pass by your car without bumping into your side mirrors. It reduces the possibility of scratches and other damage.

Can you imagine briefcases, grocery bags, and elbows hitting your side mirrors? The horror!

And if you’ve taken advantage of Tesla’s Autopilot, then you may have noticed that it comes with Autosteer and Traffic-Aware Cruise Control. This guy who was using FSD or Full Self-Driving Capability saw his side mirrors automatically fold while driving near a truck!

Skip to 0:14 to see it in action.

There’s also an option to tilt your mirrors back to their original position when you’re shifting to neutral, park, or drive. There’s no need to open your window when it’s hot, raining, or snowing just to manually adjust your mirrors.

You can even tilt them down to see if it’s safe to back up and ensure there aren’t any children or pets running around. It will also help you see the bumpers of other cars, curbs, and parking lines better when reversing.

How to Adjust Tesla Model 3 Side Mirrors

do tesla model 3 mirrors fold in
Adjust your side mirrors by just pressing a button from your steering wheel. Credit to HowToTesla

We mentioned that you can turn on or off the Auto Fold feature by accessing Controls and then selecting Mirrors. Now let’s dive deeper into how it works and how to adjust the side mirrors.

You can select whether to adjust the left or right mirror by using the left scroll button on your steering wheel. The side mirror you chose can be positioned to your preference using the same button.

If you wish to adjust the mirror, scroll the left button up or down. Press the left scroll button to the right or left to move it outward or inward.

To Auto Fold:

To Auto Tilt:

To Auto Fold at Specific Locations:

In specific environmental situations, such as low light, or to lessen glare when driving at night, there’s an Auto Dim feature that you can use. All you have to do is follow the same process when folding and unfolding the side mirrors, but you’ll see an additional option that says Mirror Auto Dim. So it will be Controls > Mirrors > Mirror Auto Dim.

But the Auto Dim feature is only available on a few Teslas, depending on the date of manufacture and market region.

If you want to see how Auto Fold works, including in specific locations, check out this video from Tesla Tips by MTN Ranger YouTube channel:

Starting at 0:25, you’ll see where to find the Fold and Unfold Mirrors option and how the exterior mirrors move.

My Side Mirrors Are Frozen Shut. What to Do?

Have you ever noticed that whenever it gets cold out, the side mirrors on your Tesla Model 3 wind up getting frozen? In case it does, remember that you’re not alone, and there’s no need to freak out. Elon Musk responded “OK” after hearing Twitter users’ complaints.

Let’s go back to your Model 3 manual first though. The electronically folding feature of your side mirrors should be turned off throughout the winter, according to Tesla. And when it’s snow season, it’s the perfect time to keep in mind preconditioning and those winter driving tips!

Ice buildup can prevent your side mirrors from unfolding. And when your mirror’s motors attempt to unfold them, it could cause damage.

Darrell, aka nukem384, shared a YouTube video on how to use your Tesla Model 3’s heated side-view mirrors.

Jump to 0:40 to see how it’s done on your touchscreen or Tesla app.


Can you replace the Tesla Model 3 side mirrors?

Contact your nearby Tesla service center or schedule a service appointment to have your Tesla Model 3’s side mirror replaced if it needs to be fixed due to damage (or any other reason).

A Tesla owner shared a detailed experience of having his EV’s side mirror replaced when it broke. But if you’re interested in seeing how it’s done, you can also watch this video.

If you’re confident about your DIY skills, go ahead. If not, it’s better to ask for help.

Can you upgrade to auto-folding mirrors if you don’t have them?

Tesla will no longer be able to modify your side mirrors if you own an older Tesla model. They used to provide this upgrade where they would install the mirrors, harness, and door switch necessary for auto-folding outside mirrors, but they don’t offer it anymore.

Elon Musk intends to add autoconfigure to side mirrors as one of his steps toward a self-driving future, so it’s best to look forward with him than to look back.

Final Thoughts: Do Telsa Model 3 Mirrors Fold In?

do tesla model 3 mirrors fold in
It’s amazing when your car helps you stay safe by making one small movement. Credit to Teslarati

The automatic folding side mirrors on the Tesla Model 3 are an excellent example of how Tesla improves driving safety and convenience. 

While it’s parked, Auto Fold helps protect the mirrors from damage, and Auto Tilt gives you a better view when backing up.

Sometimes, it’s the little things that really matter!

Zac Ludicrous

Mechanical engineer by profession. TSLA shareholder before the hype. EV enthusiast all day long. Zac enjoys learning about the future of battery technology, autonomy, and EVs. He considers Tesla Model 3 the most important vehicle of the 21st century -- and is in a quest to improve the ownership experience of every Model 3 owner he possibly can.

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