Accessorizing the Tesla Model 3

If you’ve come here from one of my other Powerwall pages, you might be surprised to know that the Powerwall was not the first Tesla I ordered – just the first that Tesla could deliver. My other Tesla order arrived a few weeks ago, three and a half years after it was ordered.

Sucking down those solar KWhs, baby!

There’s plenty of reviews about what this is, and why you’d want one, so I’ll just cover some of the recent accessory gear that applies to Australia specifically. If you find this post useful, and would like to buy a car that feels like it’s from the future, please use my referral link https://ts.la/michael16401 and we’ll both get some free Supercharging power.

Exterior stuff

For accessories, most American Tesla owners use Amazon and 3rd-party sellers like Abstract Ocean/EVAnnex, but these guys are pretty expensive for us here in Oz due to freight expenses – I found Aliexpress and eBay sell the same gear for considerably less, with free freight, so the only real challenge is finding them. I’ll cover the accessories first – bold links are to seller pages for these.

Mudflaps

There’s none included by default, and if you want to avoid getting road crap on the door sills and bumpers, there are some fairly-inoffensive ones on eBay for under $20.

Other than the slightly-rusty screw, these fitted perfectly, and it took about 5 mins to fit each one after removing the wheel. They come with screws and pushpins. The front two require you to drill a pilot hole for the screw into the plastic guard liner, the rear ones don’t.

Wheel caps

The bare rims look pretty good under the Aero covers, but the bolts are basic uncoated steel and there’s a big hole in the centre of the rim. I added the centre cap and covers full set from here AliExpress for USD 35. The centre cap looks machined from alloy, but is actually plastic, and the black caps are just plastic and press-fit over the steel bolts.

Valve Stem covers

AliExpress to the rescue again for USD 12 – these are machined aluminium:

Lift pads

If you are going to hoist the car, it has a set of 4 holes under the sills that are intended to be used as lift points, and a standard scissor jack can’t do the job unaided. Hence these lift pads – 4 for USD31 from eBay:

You can put one of these in a standard hydraulic floor jack, or all 4 of them on top of the flat lift-pads that come on the hoists that most mechanics use, for when it comes time to rotate the tyres.

Roadside emergency stuff

The Model 3 has roadside assist from Tesla for the duration of the warranty, so there’s no spare, jack, etc included – they expect you to wait for the NRMA to arrive and solve a flat. I could probably repair a puncture myself in less than 15 mins, so the following are tucked into the boot sub-basement:

Wheel brace from eBay for USD 16 – has 4 different socket sizes, and expands out to make it easy to undo tight bolts.

Puncture repair kit from eBay for USD 12 – these are durable enough for multiple uses and you can fix a tread puncture with the tools easily.

Compressor from eBay for USD 32 – plugs into cigarette lighter socket under the centre armrest.

Still working on a jack – a cheap scissor one with a flat top should suit, just waiting to come across one for free as these are common-as.

Door strike covers

The strike is just like one on any other car, a shiny steel piece, so it tends to stick out against the dark paint – a set of stick-on covers was USD 13 from AliExpress – a steel piece with fake carbon-fibre appearance:

Boot and frunk struts

The factory struts are not intended to actually lift the boot and frunk up – these boot-strut replacements from eBay will do the job for USD 16. You just press the button in the phone app or on the centre screen, or press the unlock pad above the licence plate. To fit, just use pliers or flatblade screwdriver to pull the metal cover off the end of the cup, and the strut will pop off.

And these frunk struts will do the same for the frunk for under $20 AUD from eBay:

Roof gap filler tube

There’s a trench around the glass roof panels – water can’t get in, but it can make a slight buzzing sound at 100+ km/h. The gap on my front windscreen-to-centre joint was a little tighter on the passenger side and the rubber piece would not stay put when under tension around the entire centre glass panel – I cut it into pieces and left it to just fill the front and middle trenches just fine. AliExpress for USD 10:

Frunk Liner

The fronts of pretty-much-all fossil cars are full of hot and greasy engine parts, leaky pipes and wire tangles. The Tesla front-trunk or “frunk” is just a handy plastic tub where you can put shopping or small children – if you want to store things there, a liner from AliExpress for USD17 would ensure spills are easy to clean up – it’s made of a kind of thin rubber called TPU:

Interior Accessories

Phone charging is provided for via 2 USB ports in the front centre console – if you want to wirelessly charge a recent iPhone or Android via Qi charging, AliExpress will provide for USD24:

This unit can charge 2 phones vertically, and it lights up the orange LEDs when a phone is detected. An iPhone XR in a case worked fine. A set of USB splitters was included, so the USB ports can still be used for data and cable connections whilst the wireless charger cables are connected. The orange block below is an 8BitDO wireless gamepad receiver, and the USB drive is a Sandisk Type-C and Male-A USB Dual Drive for the Dashcam and Sentry video storage (eBay $22 for 64Gb). The Male-A end of the Dual-Drive plugs into the splitter, and the Type-C end lets you connect it to an Android phone to review/delete the clips recorded.

Also pictured above is one of the rubber floor mats that come in a set from AliExpress for USD9 that includes the cup holders, and all the centre console trays – good for making spills easy to clean up:

The centre console has no easy way to easily store small items, so a tray that sits above the USB cable area takes care of this from AliExpress for just USD6 – the rubbers were included, it just sits there:

Phone holders that are in the driver’s line-of-sight can be a little tricky as the Model 3 Dashboard has few places to attach them. I found this one on AliExpress for USD6 that uses a magnet to hold the phone, and a suction cup that clamps onto the back of the screen:

It looks very unobtrusive from inside:

Game pad for Tesla Entertainment

Yes, you can watch Youtube or Netflix in your Tesla, but if you want to game, you can do that too. There is plenty of coverage of this unique feature, so the most common question is “what gamepad works?”. I picked this wireless one from 8BitDO (the most expensive part @ AUD $61.95, sourced locally) along with the matching receiver. The gamepad gets charged via Type-C (same as my phone) and will also work with PCs, Androids, RPi and others as a game input device. To get it to work with Tesla, just power it on before you start the arcade games.

Puddle Lights

Replace your OEM puddle lights with logo projector puddle lights – these are USD 10.79 for 2, and consist of a LED behind a lens. The OEM light is just pressed into the bottom of the door and can be pried out with a flatblade. It’s part of the door circuit though, so the car will show an alarm state whilst it’s disconnected. The AliExpress lights come with suitable adapter cables. The logo is slightly fuzzy as the light socket is on an angle.

Sunshade for windscreen

A custom-fitted sunshade worked out at USD 12.62 and is made to fit into the exact shape of the windscreen. It’s equipped with an elastic band to keep it folded when not in use.

The sunshade is retained in place by simply pushing the fold-down visors forward a little.

Brake and accelerator pedals

These are silver and rubber backed – the brake one replaces a plain rubber pad, the accelerator one fits directly over the existing accelerator pedal. USD 12 from eBay. A little tricky to fit – you need to stretch them over.

Door Button stickers

The OEM door-release buttons are a little small and un-labelled, so these are easier to describe when you are telling new passengers how to leave the car. AliExpress for USD 2.70, more than you need are included.

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