The Model 3 offers futuristic tech and class-leading EV performance at a price that the average person can afford.
Since it’s more like a computer on wheels, the Model 3 can emit a lot more beeps, chimes and audible alerts that can be confusing to figure out.
If you’re not why your Model 3 is beeping, this article is here to help.
Table of Contents
1. Autopilot Alerts
Beeps from the Model 3’s Autopilot feature are the most common ones you’ll hear while you’re driving.
Aside from adjusting the car’s speed and detecting other vehicles on the road, the Autopilot’s autosteer will detect lane markings and follow the road on its own.
The car will beep whenever you turn on Autopilot and also when autosteer is about to be disengaged to let you know that you should take over control of the steering wheel.
You’ll know when autosteer is active when the steering wheel icon turns blue on the main display/touchscreen.
The Autopilot will also beep in the following situations:
- Take your hands off the wheel too long
- Manually change lanes
- A vehicle cuts in front of you
- Another vehicle is in your blind spot
- Autopilot has trouble navigating/detecting the road
When Autopilot detects an issues, there will usually be a warning on the screen that accompanies the beep to let you know exactly what is going on.
2. Camera Issues
The Model 3’s cameras can have trouble seeing what’s ahead in certain conditions like if there’s too much glare from the sun or during heavy rainstorms.
Debris can also block the cameras, which the car relies on to detect lane markings, vehicles and road obstacles.
In such situations, the car will beep and warn you of the camera or Autopilot issues. The beeping is usually intermittent and goes away after a few seconds.
Here’s how owners on TeslaMotorsClub.com descried their experience:
“I’ve been getting an intermittent error that says “left door pillar camera blocked or blinded”. This seems to happen on the driver’s side only, and only when that side of the car is facing the sun. This does not seem like normal behavior. However, once I’m out of the direct sunlight, the error message goes away.”
“I have had one situation during very heavy rain and poor visibility, Auto Pilot declined to engage citing ‘poor visibility.’”
“I get the exact same message on my passenger side, fairly regularly, when the sun is in the “right” place. Usually the message disappears within a few seconds. I think sometimes the message can be triggered by a very brief sun-glare event… perhaps only for an instant… Which triggers the alert.’
If you’re constantly getting errors, warning messages and alerts, check the cameras for any debris or condensation that could be affecting its performance.
You might also have a faulty camera module if everything looks ok but you’re still getting constant errors.
3. Collision Warning
Even if you don’t engage the Autopilot, the Model 3 Collision Warning feature will always be enabled and will beep three times if it detects a dangerous situation.
Along with the beeps, the screen will also flash red.
Warnings from the front collision avoidance system are pretty obvious since you can immediately causing what’s causing it to go off.
However, the side collision system can also be easily triggered if you’re driving close to a wall, such as when you’re getting in and out of your garage, or if the side of the car gets sprayed with water.
Here’s how a few owners on the r/TeslaMotors subreddit described their experience:
“Could it be the collision warning? It’s usually three beeps and the car turns red, but it is easy to miss the visual indicator. It is bloody loud though.”
“I usually get lots of false warnings when I drive through a truck’s water spray in the lane next to me.”
“That’s the side collision warning. I drove my Model 3 down to LA and drove mostly in the HOV lane. I got the warning a few times when the wall comes right against the lane.”
4. Driver Monitoring System
Newer Model 3s have a Driver Monitoring System and cabin camera that detects your eye movements and what you’re doing inside the vehicle to make sure you’re paying attention to the road at all times.
It no longer just relies on your hands putting pressure on the steering wheel to verify whether or not you’re alert and able to take over control of the vehicle when the Autopilot disengages.
The Driver Monitoring System will beep twice and display a warning that says ‘Please pay attention to the road’ if you’re not looking straight ahead at the road.
After three warnings, the car will beep repeatedly and Autosteer will be completely disabled for the rest of the drive.
Some of the things that can trigger the Driver Monitoring System include:
- Staring at the touchscreen too long
- Holding your phone while driving
- Driver posture
Many people have complained that new software updates have made the Autopilot completely unusable since it constantly disengages even if you turn your head for a few seconds.
Some owners have said that wearing sunglasses helps alleviate the problems brought about by the aggressive detection system.
Covering the camera with tape can disable the system completely and reverts back to the old method of detecting that your hands are on the steering wheel to keep Autopilot turned on. However, this workaround disables the Full Self Driving mode.
5. Speed Limit Warning
The Model 3 has a speed limit warning that will chime if you go over the set threshold.
It can detect speed limits using traffic sign recognition and navigation data, but you can also manually set your desired speed limit in the Autopilot settings.
From the same menu screen, you can turn off the speed limit warning completely or choose to just display a warning instead of a chime.
6. Green Light Chime
The Model 3 will alert you with a soft chime if you’re stopped at an intersection and the traffic light turns green.
The car will also play the chime even if you’re several vehicles behind that car that’s directly in front of the intersection.
It’s quite useful if you want to take a short break and avoid continuously staring at the traffic light to anticipate when it will turn green.
You can enable or disable this feature by going to the Autopilot settings and scrolling to the bottom of the menu.
7. Gear Chime
If you have the gear chime feature enabled, you’ll hear an alert whenever you try to shift into Drive, Reverse, Neutral or Park.
You can turn off this feature by going in the Controls menu and selecting the Safety settings.
Even if the gear chimes are turned off, the car will still alert you with a chime if you try to shift into another gear that’s dangerous for the driving conditions.
For example, if you’re driving on the highway, it will chime if you intentionally or accidentally move the shifter up to reverse.
8. Park Assist
Like a lot of modern luxury vehicles, the Model 3 has Park Assist that can emit beeps to help you avoid fender benders when parking in tight spaces.
Although new Model 3s no longer have ultrasonic sensors, which is similar to radar, to detect nearby objects, a recent software update made it possible for the park assist to use the car’s cameras instead.
You can turn off the park assist chimes by going into the Controls menu and selecting the Safety settings.
9. Seat Belt Warning
If the Model 3 detects that there’s an occupant in one of the seats and the seat belt is not buckled in, it will make a continuous dinging or beeping sound as soon as you exceed 14 mph.
It will also emit a much louder beeping noise if you unbuckle your seatbelt while Autopilot is engaged. Unbuckling your seatbelt will also completely disable the autosteer function and you’ll see a red warning on the screen.
The seat belt warning will also be triggered if you put some weight on the seat such as a child’s car seat or a gym bag.
You can disable the warning for the rear seats by tapping the red warning icon for that particular seat on the touchscreen.
However, it can’t be disabled for the front passenger seat.
The seat belt warning can also go off for no reason if there’s an issue with the seat sensor or the seat itself.
A software glitch can sometimes also occur and cause the seatbelt warning to go off even if you’re buckled in.
Here’s how one Model 3 owner described their experience;
“Seat belt alarm sounding, no seat belt warning indicator. Fortunately, only happened once but nothing I could do short of parking the car and getting out would stop the alarm.”
You can try turning off the car, opening the door and locking it up again to try to clear out the software glitch.
In some cases, a warning on the screen that says “Safety restraint system fault’ usually appears along with a beeping sound.
If you suspect there’s a wiring or hardware issue, you can take the car to a Tesla service center for a proper diagnosis.
10. Trunk Issues
When you press the button under the trunk’s exterior handle to close it, a single beep is emitted.
This serves as a simple reminder to get anything out of the way as the powered trunk goes down.
If the trunk detects an obstruction while it’s opening or closing, it will stop and beep twice.
It can also beep and not open if the temperature is too cold and the mechanism is frozen.
In some cases, the trunk can also beep and stop opening halfway even if there is nothing in the way, which could indicate a software issue.
Here’s how one owner on the r/TeslaModel3 subreddit described their experience:
“Lately, I have noticed that when opening the trunk, occasionally for no reason I can determine, it will beep twice at the top of the opening. Not every time… but frequently. This happens, in the garage, outside, anywhere.”
If this happens all the time, you can try to reset the trunk’s opening height by opening it completely and holding the trunk button under the handle for a few seconds until it beeps.
11. Faulty Latch or Sensors
Just like any other modern vehicle, the Tesla Model 3 will start beeping if you drive with an open door or frunk.
If the doors, frunk and trunk are securely latched, but the car is still beeping and warning you that they’re open, it’s most likely caused by a faulty latch or sensor.
A few owners on the r/TeslaModel3 subreddit shared their experience:
“The sensor for the front latch broke and wont detect the frunk being closed. I can still drive no issue but the problem is that every second I get the annoying auditory warning beeps. Every second there’s a series of three beeps from within the cabin.”
“I was getting a touchless car wash when the rear driver’s side door opened itself. I finished the wash and closed the door, but the car doesn’t recognize that it’s closed. The window won’t go up all the way. The car will not lock. I see a door ajar warning and hear a beeping sound while I drive that I cannot turn off.”
The car’s door and frunk sensors can malfunction if they get wet after a heavy rainfall or after going through a car wash.
You can try wiping off and drying out the latches, then spraying some WD-40 or electronics contact cleaner on them to get rid of any moisture that could be causing the error.
The Model 3 and Model Y’s frunk latch has also been known to go bad, which can only be fixed by getting it replaced.
If the issue persists, you should contact Tesla and book a service appointment to get a proper diagnosis.
12. Software Glitches
Random software glitches can often cause random alerts and beeps even if all of the Model 3’s hardware is working properly.
You can try to clear out the software issue by holding down the two steering wheel buttons for a few seconds until the touchscreen boots up again. This forces the car’s computer to restart.
If this doesn’t solve the issue, you can try getting out of the car, and unlocking/locking the car a few times. In some cases, just leaving the car alone for a few hours can resolve minor software problems.
Some software updates can also mess up features that were working fine before and cause the car to start randomly beeping.
If you contact Tesla, they can sometimes manually force a software update to get rid of the problems the previous software version caused.
13. Hardware Failure
A few Model 3 owners have had their car suddenly display a “Vehicle Shutting Down, Pull Over Safely” error that’s often accompanied by continuous beeping.
When this message appears and the car continuously beeps, there might be an issue with an essential component like the drive unit or the high voltage battery.
Here’s how one owner described their experience on the r/TeslaModel3 subreddit:
“I was simply driving at the speed limit on a crowded street, and suddenly the car starts beeping, and treating me like I was ignoring auto pilot even though auto pilot was not engaged, as well as the car had no power with the accelerator, But I instantly saw that “pull over safely vehicle shutting down” message as well as the car being put into neutral, & when I managed to get off of the street and stop, I couldn’t put it into park or drive, and this alert staying on for about 45 minutes with constant beeping, and restarting the screen and the car did nothing.”
Another owner on r/TeslaLounge also shared their issues:
“I have a Model 3 and yesterday I ran out of power on the road for the first time. Got a tow, made it to a supercharger, charged my battery, and continued on my merry way. Only one problem remained. The alert message saying my vehicle is shutting down has stayed up. I could deal with this but the beeping is NON STOP, gets louder when music is on, and I need to drive 6 hours tomorrow.”
To get rid of the beeping, you can try the typical troubleshooting steps that would normally fix a software glitch like restarting the computer, locking and unlocking the doors, disconnecting the battery, or just letting the car sit for a couple of hours.
If this doesn’t fix the issue, it’s best to contact Tesla Service for a proper diagnosis.
14. Charger Issues
If your Model 3 is beeping while it’s being charged in your garage, it might not be the car at all and could be coming from your home charger.
One owner on the r/TeslaModel3 subreddit shared their experience:
“We had a power outage and one of our EV’s or our EVSE was beeping. It stopped after a few minutes though before I went outside to see what was beeping or chirping.”
Chargers can have errors if it experiences a power outage, an electrical fault or a wiring issue.
You can try plugging in the charger using another electrical socket to make sure there’s no problem with the electrical circuit.
You can also check the charger’s manual for any troubleshooting steps or contact the manufacturer for more advice.
Additional Steps to Consider
Check the Notification History
Analyzing your notification history can help you identify what’s causing your Model 3 to beep randomly.
To access the notification history, simply go to the Service menu and select Notification.
This will show you any errors or notifications that you may have missed, include the exact time and date that they occurred.
Doing this might give you helpful clues as to what’s causing the mysterious beeping.
Use a Diagnostic Scanner
Although the Model 3 doesn’t have a traditional OBD2 port, you can use an adapter cable to hook up an OBD2 scanner and see if you can find any trouble codes.
You can connect the adapter cable to the connector that’s hidden behind the rear center console cover.
Once connected, you’ll need to download a compatible app to read the codes. You can research the codes online or consult vehicle-specific forums for more advice and further troubleshooting steps.
Check for Recalls or TSBs
Check for recalls for your vehicle by going to the NHTSA or Tesla Service recall page to see if there are any outstanding issues with your car that may affect the alarm system.
Entering your VIN on the NHTSA website’s Safety Issues and Recalls page will also show you a list of TSBs (Technical Service Bulletin) for your specific vehicle. Look out for any known problems with the doors, electronics or software that may be related to your alarm issues.
A recall is issued by a vehicle manufacturer for issues that are safety-related, while a TSB covers components that may be malfunctioning but don’t compromise the safety of the vehicle.
Disconnect the 12-Volt Battery
Although some software glitches can be cleared out by holding down the steering wheel buttons, disconnecting the 12-volt battery completely powers down the car’s computers and allows you to do a full power cycle.
A weak 12-volt battery can also cause random errors and glitches to appear, so replacing it with a brand new one might be in order if the car is already a few years old.
How to Test the Battery:
- Before testing, remove the surface charge from the battery, this allows for an accurate reading.
- Power down the car and leave it unplugged for several hours
- Set the multimeter dial to the ’20 Volts’ setting.
- Make sure the car is turned OFF.
The multimeter will have a red probe and a black probe.
- The red probe is for making contact with the positive terminal.
- The black probe is for making contact with the negative terminal.
Measure across the battery terminals.
The meter should display a reading, if the battery is fully charged the voltage should be between 12.2 and 12.6 volts.
Anything under 12V and the battery should be charged or replaced.
Contact Tesla Service
If you’ve run out of ideas trying to troubleshoot the problem on your own, you can schedule a service appointment through the Tesla app.
You can either take it to the nearest Tesla service center or have a mobile tech come out to your location.
Once you schedule an appointment, you can start talking to a representative about your problem.
If you’re able to resolve your issue after consulting with a representative, you won’t be charged for the service as long as you cancel the appointment at least 24 hours in advance.