Can You Jump-Start a Tesla Model 3—or Jump-Start Another Car With One?

By Zac Ludicrous •  Updated: 04/24/22 •  11 min read

With a car that can almost do it all, it’s natural for Tesla owners to look for ways to make the most out of their electric vehicle.

can you jump start a tesla model 3

And one of the frequently asked questions of new Model 3 owners is “Can you jump start a Tesla Model 3?” 

Then their follow-up question would be “Can you use your Tesla Model 3 to jump-start another car?”

If you’re looking for answers, you’re in the right place! We’ll even tell you what to do in case your Model 3 battery dies, as well as the tools you need to deal with it.

Let’s get right to it.

Can I Jump-Start a Tesla Model 3?

The simple answer is yes, you can jump-start a Tesla Model 3. You can use either a portable jump-starter or another car.

But before we dive deeper into that, it’s best to mention that electric cars that run only on electricity have two batteries: the main battery that powers the car and the smaller 12V auxiliary battery that powers the car’s controls and safety systems.

When your Tesla is charged, the main battery ensures that the 12V or secondary battery stays full. But if the main battery loses juice, then the secondary battery may die too.

So if your Tesla needs to be jump-started, it’s the 12V auxiliary battery that you will jump-start. The only way you can power the main battery is by charging it.

If you have experience in jump-starting a car before and are ready to jump-start your Tesla using an external battery charger or another car, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the tow eye cover, which is the large circle on the driver’s side front bumper. You can do that by pressing the cover’s top right until it pushes inward and then gently pulling the cover toward you. You can also find the tow hook here.
  1. Depending on your Tesla’s model and date of production, you’ll find two wires attached to the cover or they’ll be in the hole and need to be pulled out gently.
  1. Connect your car’s red positive cable to the 12V jump-starter’s red positive cable. Do the same with your car’s black negative cable and the jump-starter’s black negative cable.
  1. Applying power with the external jump-starter will open the front trunk or frunk. Once it’s open, disconnect the cables, starting with the black ones and then the red ones.
  1. Reconnect the wires to the tow cover and place it back by inserting the wires into the opening. Align the cover into position, starting with the bottom left corner, and push it into place.
  1. Remove the maintenance panel covering the 12V battery, found above the frunk. Without needing any tools, you can pull up about 12 clips out of place.
  1. On the passenger side of the car, you’ll find the cabin intake panel that you can also remove by pulling upwards on the clips.
  1. Reconnect the red positive cable to the 12V battery’s red positive terminal. Do the same thing with the black negative cable by reconnecting it to the black negative terminal.
  1. Turn on the external supply and wait for around 10 minutes. By this time, you should be able to power up its cable and see the touch screen turn on. Charging may be slower than usual, but give it some time to charge.
  1. Disconnect the cables starting with the blacks and then the reds. Replace both the panels you removed. As these things can break easily, make sure they’re aligned before pushing them back into place.

For a demonstration on how these steps are done, check out this YouTube video by Anthony Dyer:

Process starts at 1:50!

That’s it! Once you’re ready, drive to the nearest charging station or Supercharger to charge your car. Having sufficient charge on the main battery pack will eventually start charging the secondary or 12v battery.

And in case you’re wondering if it’s possible to charge your EV while driving, it’s not.

Can a Tesla Model 3 Jump-Start Another Car?

According to the Model 3 owner’s manual (including the Model S and Model X), these electric vehicles should NOT be used to jump-start another car. Tesla warns that using EVs to jump-start another car may cause damage.

Since electric cars are powered by low-voltage batteries compared with ICE or internal combustion engine cars, they don’t have sufficient power to safely jump-start other cars.

Even if you see other people jump-starting other cars with their Teslas, it’s not worth the risk and money to make your day worse.

Just like this video of a Tesla Model 3 owner who used it to jump-start his ICE car:


Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Even commenters on the video disagree with what he did.

What to Do if My Tesla Battery Dies?

If your main battery has run out of charge, there’s a big chance that your 12V battery may die soon after that. And when the 12V dies, that’s the only time you would need to jump-start your Tesla. 

There are three things you can do if your Tesla battery died: contact Roadside Assistance, use a portable jump-starter, or contact a tow truck.

Good to know: It’s possible that your 12V battery may die on its own after 2 to 5 years. It’s a good thing that Tesla thought about it, so they made sure your car will notify you about it two weeks ahead of time.

Call Roadside Assistance

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Alex T. Tesla (@blackmodelx)

When you have road problems, who you gonna call? Tesla Roadside Assistance! Credit to @blackmodelx.

When your battery dies, the first thing you should do is to contact Roadside Assistance. It’s a service for Tesla owners that’s available throughout the year, 24 hours a day, given that your car is still within the warranty period. 

For new Teslas, the warranty period runs for four years or 50,000 miles, while secondhand Teslas are covered for 1 year or 10 miles after buying it.

Warranties are also limited depending on how far you’re away from the nearest Tesla service center.

Although they cover flat tires, towing, and lockouts, additional services like out-of-range services or depleted battery charge aren’t covered. You’ll have to pay a fee, and the amount would vary across different regions or locations.

Reach them by dialing their number, which is 1-877-79TESLA (1-877-798-3752) if you’re within Canada and the United States. For those in Mexico, just dial 1-800-228-8145.

You can also use your Tesla mobile app by going to Controls and selecting Service.

If you do contact Tesla Roadside Assistance, be prepared with the information they would need to help you. Aside from your exact location and the exact problem you’re having, be ready to provide your VIN or Vehicle Identification Number.

The VIN is located on the windshield near the driver’s side of the dashboard.

Some Tesla owners who have tried using Roadside Assistance were disappointed because of a number of reasons, such as how they mainly focus on getting the car towed. 

But it seems like there are more people who are happy with the service and help they provide via text, call, or in person.

Get a Jump-Starter Power Bank

Whether you’ve experienced having a dead car battery or not, as soon as you own a Tesla, it’s best to get a lithium-Ion jump-starter. They’re travel-sized batteries with jumper cables to jump-start your EV.

Wondering what jump-starter power bank you can get for your Tesla? I found two products worth checking out.

NOCO Boost Plus GB40

NOCO is a well-known brand loved by many Tesla and other EV owners, as well as those who have ICE cars. It even has over 50,000+ reviews on Amazon! 

This smart battery charger comes with its own heavy-duty jumper cables or battery clamps, so there’s no need to buy them separately. 

It will make jump-starting a discharged battery easy just by pressing and holding the manual override to activate boost mode.

The video I showed you earlier on how to jump-start your Tesla using an external battery also used this exact product.


✅ Can be fully charged in 3 hours
✅ Multi-functional as it can charge phones and tablets and has an LED flashlight
✅ Has a manual override button to jump-start electric and ICE cars with dead batteries


❌ Quite pricey
❌ Many hoped that the length of the cables on the clamp would be longer
❌ Though it’s applicable for most vehicles, it’s not powerful enough for larger cars

**Disclaimer: This product is currently unavailable on Amazon, but we did find available stocks at Walmart.

Hulkman Alpha 85

Another crowd favorite for portable jump-starters is Hulkman. With more than 8,000 reviews and a 5-star rating on Amazon, I’d understand why these external batteries are often out of stock.

Plus, many reviewers think that the Hulkman Alpha 85 is worth its price, which comes with a two-year warranty.


✅ Can be fully charged in as fast as 1.5 hours
✅ Has a Force Start mode to jump-start a discharge car battery
✅ The company claims that its 2000 peak amps and 74 Wh capacity is enough to jump-start cars


❌ It’s size is not as compact as other portable jump-starters
❌ Speaking of size, a few users said that the cables are too short
❌ Doesn’t have a flashlight, which proves to be useful during emergencies

Buy Jumper Cables

Speaking of emergencies, we also found a jumper cable that you can keep in your car since your Tesla can be jump-started using another vehicle. As the saying goes, “Better to have it and never need it than need it and be without it.”

Energizer Jumper Cables

Everyone knows Energizer, and they’re a proven brand. They offer a wide range of cables, but this jumper cable with a 5-star rating and more than 16,000 reviews is considered a best seller because of its great features. And it’s enough to help jump-start your Tesla battery. Aside from small, mid-, and full-sized cars, it’s also suitable for SUVs and trucks.


✅ Includes a carrying bag and a 2-year warranty
✅ 16-foot length of cable that’s coated with thick vinyl
✅ Can be used in all weather conditions and can withstand down to -40℉


❌ Some reviewers complained that the clamps barely work

Get Towed or Transported

can you jump start a tesla model 3

Having your electric vehicle towed requires a lot of precaution, so you should always refer to your manual. In fact, another thing that you can’t do with your Tesla that can be done to a gas-powered car is be transported with the wheels on the ground.

It may cause overheating or damage because when a Model 3’s wheels spin, it generates power.

So if you don’t want to contact Roadside Assistance but you also don’t have a portable jump-starter, you can call a tow truck that uses a flatbed.

It’s a recommended mode of transporting your Tesla as it ensures all the wheels are off the ground with the help of wheel lifts and dollies.

Before you let your car get on the flatbed, you have to activate Transport Mode to ensure that the parking brake is engaged.

First, make sure that your EV is in Park and that the tires are secure. Then press and hold the brake pedal. From the touch screen, select Controls, Service, then Towing. After that, you’ll be reminded on how to transport your Tesla properly.

Press and hold the button that says Transport Mode until it turns blue. That will make your car free-rolling so it can be slowly rolled or winched onto the flatbed.

Please take note that the only time you’ll be able to activate Transport Mode is if your Tesla has low voltage power and it must detect a key.

Final Thoughts 

Now you know you can jump-start your Tesla using an external battery or another car, but you should never use your EV to jump-start another car to avoid risking any damage.

If you do end up with a dead battery (cross-fingers it never happens), you would know what to do. You can call either Tesla Roadside Assistance or a tow truck with a flatbed or be prepared with a portable jump-starter of your own.

But remember, prevention is better than cure. Always make sure that your car’s battery is always topped up to prevent getting stranded.

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.

Keep Reading