Fixing Tesla Model 3’s BIGGEST FLAW FOR $20

Fixing Tesla Model 3’s BIGGEST FLAW FOR $20

– You guys are right, the
missing instrument cluster or the binnacle dash you may call it,
behind the steering wheel in the Tesla Model 3 is
an issue, it really is. I’ve been able to adjust to
looking at it.. the speed and everything just to the right,
but navigation is really bad having to look all the way over. And at night time its especially
weird because it feels like your car isn’t on, you
don’t see any lights behind the wheel so it’s kind of a thing. But I’ve figured out a way
to almost fix it for around 20 bucks and I want to talk
about that here with you today. First though, lets jump back
to why this is a thing and where it actually came from. So to recap, the Model 3 is
Tesla’s reason for existing right? Their whole thing is to
transition us to more forms of sustainable transportation
and energy, the Model 3 being the mass market car, the one
that they’re gonna actually sell the most of overall and
will have the biggest impact on our environment. So this is really really important. And leading up to the Model
3, there weren’t too many details until we had an
unveiling in March 31st of 2016. At the unveiling, you
saw the interior, you saw the exterior, these were
basically the prototypes that were unveiled in L.A., and one of
the big things was that it had this big center display
instead of a typical dashboard behind the steering wheel,
and a lot of people are really wondering about that. Is this just a prototype, are
you gonna add something later? Perhaps you’ll add a heads
up display that projects onto the windshield like some other cars do. Everyone thought that there
was gonna be a solution here and Elon basically shut it all down. In May of 2017, Nick G on Twitter
asked, “Can we please have a central speedometer in the
3 for those of us who don’t want autopilot?” To which Elon answered, “No”. Then, Nick G responded again
“Does that mean it will have a heads up display (a HUD)?”. Again, the answer was no. A third question from Nick G
got a response, this has to be a record. “I’d still rather spend an
extra 50 dollars on a simple two inch LCD speedo
(speedometer) if nothing else. I strongly prefer it in the middle”. To which Elon responded “You won’t care”. Then James Locke asked a
more detailed question. “So does this mean no heads
up display in Model 3? How will Tesla handle speedometer
and instrument cluster information?”. Great question James. Elon responded with something
that I think gets to the heart of why this doesn’t exist. He said “The more autonomous a car is the less dash info you need. How often do you look at the
instrument panel when being driven in a taxi?”. Point Elon. And I think that this really
gets to the center of where Tesla wants to be, but if
you’re like me and you’ve driven autopilot, you know how far
it has to go I mean it hasn’t really even been updated in quite a while. So there’s really a long road
ahead before we get to the point when you think of your
car more as a taxi versus something you’re in control of. My estimate puts us at about
15 years out and I’ve actually spoken to engineers of
self-driving car programs, not with Tesla but with other
companies, who agree with this. Really to get to level five autonomy we have a long way to go. But Elon’s right, as the car
becomes more autonomous this is going to become less and less important. Now tons of you were upset about this. I didn’t seem to care that
much, I kinda fall in the less concerned camp, but some
of you were so enraged that you canceled your order and
I’m curious what you guys think now. But in general, I don’t see
this as a deal breaker though. Some people do. As I mentioned at the top of
the video, when you’re doing navigation, it is really
difficult if not almost impossible to know what your next turn
is without having the voice commands turned on and that
isn’t something I like. I don’t think a lot of
people enjoy that because it interrupts your music or your
podcast or maybe you have Youtube videos playing in the
background, whatever it may be It’s very intrusive versus how
it works in the Model S and X, where it’s inside
of that binnacle dash. It’s inside of the dashboard
right behind the wheel and you can see your next turn
right straight ahead. So as Tesla moves towards the
more autonomous thing and this doesn’t become an issue,
I’m not holding my breath. And knowing Tesla’s history of
meeting deadlines I wouldn’t suggest it for you either. So here’s the answer. You can buy a simple cell
phone holder and place it directly behind your steering
wheel, and it basically solves the problem. Now I have one that I’m
recommending and I’ll put a link to all the different ones
I tested in the description down below. This one I really like
because its magnetic . You pop a little piece of
metal into your phone case and then you just slap it on
when you get into the car. It’s not clips and any of those
kind of things and remember there’s no air vents to attach
the typical one a lot of people use for their cars. So you need something that
either mounts on the windshield or I prefer the actual dash itself. I even tested this at high
speeds and it worked really well. It didn’t even budge as I
basically went from stopped to full acceleration in my Model 3. Now this isn’t Ludicrous mode
and we’ll see what that’s like down the road, but as fast
as it is and as quick of the acceleration and all that,
it didn’t seem to bother this holder at all. And the other reason I really
like it is because of the quality of the materials. It really seems to match with
the Model 3’s kind of sleek, minimalist interior instead
of having something with big clips and wires or anything
else like that, it’s just really slim and beautiful and you kind
of don’t notice it if you’re not using it. And to make it even more
seamless, I set up an automation on my phone using something
called ‘Tasker’, which detects when my phone connects to
my Model 3 and automatically opens Waze. Waze is a navigation app but
you don’t have to be navigating to use it. It shows your speed, it shows
alerts from other users about maybe an accident or police up
ahead or something like that as well as it gives you audible
warnings if you go too fast. You can really configure it
in a lot of ways and I really love using that when I’m driving. And then once I reach my
destination I just grab my phone and go, as soon as my phone
disconnects from the bluetooth in the car it automatically
closes the app. So it’s been a couple weeks
now since I’ve set this up and I’ve been driving with it
and it works really well. I do think that Waze sometimes
could be better with it’s voice commands and it’s missing
some of that, but in any event, the idea about putting
the phone behind there seems to be a win for me. And I’m curious if you guys
have tried this or if you’re going to try it, what type of
holder you did, if you have a better app. I’d really like to know because
I love these kind of simple solutions to seemingly complex problems. And if you guys have found a
better way, I’m sure somebody has, then lets share that
information down in the section below. So thanks for watching, I
hope this helps you guys. Don’t hesitate at all to
ask me any questions in the comments on Twitter or on Instagram. And lastly remember, when
you free the data, your mind will follow. Thanks for watching and i’ll
see you back here next time.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. It’s interesting to see the difference in comments between those that have driven the model 3 vs those that haven’t. Not that everyone that has driven a 3 loves looking over to see the speed but the most hyperbolically negative comments seem to be those that have never been in one. Many people hate change. Look how many complain about the lack of headphone jack while most just got Bluetooth headphones and enjoyed the benefits of a lack of cables. I get my 3 in a few more weeks so we’ll see how I feel about it.

  2. Was hoping for some kind of heads up display or something. Instead got a dash board phone clip. "Idea if the century".

  3. That horrible center console is a deal breaker for a lot of people. Myself included. I enjoy driving and absolutely require a "behind the wheel" display. The way the center console just sticks out like an after thought is the ugliest design decision I've ever seen. As soon as Tesla capitulates and gives the public what they want, I will buy one.

  4. yes it's correct – i dont watch the instrument cluster in Taxis.
    but i even don't care if taxis are "sexy" or have "long range" whatsoever…

    so what is the point of owning a "sexy car" if i am only the passenger?

    for me – such a vehicle could be an ugly radnom shoebox on wheels which picks me up upon a buttonpress on my smartphone…

  5. Just having the one screen doesn’t bother me at all. It did take getting used to to remember the speed is not under the steering wheel. However not being under the steering wheel seems better to me now because it doesn’t matter if you are turning or what position you have the steering wheel set to. I also haven’t ever had a car that had built in nav before so I’m comparing it to my previous setup with having a phone holder in a vent and it seems much better and easier to see than that.

  6. Just took delivery last Friday of our M3 and I can confirm you get used to “side glancing” for speed etc., very quickly. If you have ever changed the radio station or adjusted the heating in your car, you can easily adjust to the M3’s instrument panel. This is such a non issue, seriously.

  7. better than waze… get a ODB2 bluetooth adapter, and get the Torque Pro app. you can build custom dashes, a full screen speedo/tac, scan fault codes, 0-60 and 1/4mi times, tons of features. even supports HUD mode so it flips the text on the phone so you can reflect it off the windshield.

  8. Hm… Was that it? an iPhone stand? Ben talks too much. Glad I read the answer below, I lost interest after 1 minute. Bye!

  9. My dad has a model 3 and he likes it because the way he sits he can't see the speedo because the top of the steering wheel cuts the speed off and looking right isnt that bad

  10. I never drive an S.
    Started with Tesla on the Model 3.
    Doesnt bother me that there is no display behind the wheel.

  11. Hi, Ben that was a pretty nice idea but i just discovered an option, its named hudway it shows info next to the windshield while being trasparent and it keeps that slick look.

  12. I like that it’s off to the side. In life you will get comfortable with anything as long as you use it enough.

  13. Here is something I noticed. If you lay your phone flat on the dash, you get a reflection in the windshield that can pass for a heads up display. But, it is a mirror image and all the writing is reversed. If some one could write an app, this would be great for a heads up display. Or simpler yet, just create an app with left and right arrows, current speed, and distance to next turn.

  14. Thank you for this video. But I'm still heart broken, because of this missing feature in Model 3. It was a deal breaker of my otherwise great enthusiasm for this car :-(.

  15. My 2 Cents……! But why would I spend 50,000 on a car and then adds a second redundant screen using my phone to solve my problem. The reason it's not in the dash is to cut down on costs in manufacturing period. basically you get what you pay for.

    I purchased a New 2019 Model S this year and am awaiting delivery next week and I too was not comfortable with the Ipad stuck in the center as my only information center when I drive. I actually went on a test drive and drove the top end model 3 and then the top end model S as I was torn between the 2 models when making my purchase choice.

    At the end of the test drive I summarized it as simple as I could and this is what I thought:

    The model 3 is a car for the masses, Small, affordable, simple and geared to the millennial generation.
    Best suited for young families, College kids and people on limited budgets.

    The Model S on the other hand represents a more Complete vehicle superior Tech package so it costs considerably more to build. But it feels like a normal car with Elegance, and priced in line with people who can spend a considerable amount more to get a more complete driving experience. Better suited for an older, more financial person who is not bargain shopping.

    The model 3 was a "Cute car:"
    The Model S was a "Gentleman;'s car"

    After the test drives of both cars, I didn't blink twice. This is why I purchased my Model S.

  16. This is probably the dumbest thing I've seen. I've had my model 3 since March '18 and glancing to the right is no different than glancing down to look behind the wheel.

    Plus you are blocking air flow.

    Mountain, meet mole hill.

  17. I don't see the problem with the navigation to the right. Isn't that how it was for YEARS when using a standalone GPS?

  18. 5:39
    Can you please give a file with this Tasker Profile?
    And is it possible to start "Radio FM" as well bevor and than Waze?

  19. Elon, was not right, he was very wrong & should try and come out of his crystal palace for a change! Sell a stripped down car now, around a feature (level-5 aut.) that doesn't exist yet..!?

  20. I noticed the same thing at night, the dashboard behind the steering wheel is a black abyss. For me, a low level ambient LED light would add depth to the console.

  21. The fact that you dont have turn-by-turn first person 3D nav is a bigger issue than having to look at the center for your speed. I've driven a Mini Cooper S for the last decade and its not big deal to glance at the center of your dash every now and then. Now the fact that a car that came out in 2002 had first person 3D nav and the Model 3 doesn't is the bigger crime.. correct me if the Model 3 has first person 3D Nav, I've never driven one.

    This is, yet again, the case of my iPhone with Google Maps being superior to a car's infotainment/Nav system. When will Automakers just give up and hand all the money to Google?

  22. To me, this is an absolute deal breaker. By Elon's logic, Model 3 should not have a steering wheel, either – you should steer it by dragging your finger on the center screen, in anticipation of level 5 autonomy.
    In my view, this is just a rather transparent excuse for cost-cutting.
    Smartphone in front of you is not the solution, either. I want info like my actual speed and applicable speed limits, as well as data provided by autopilot sensors (cars behind me ain in blind spots etc) also in my field of view.
    Worse, I saw somewhere that Tesla plans to go in this ridiculous direction for the next generation of models S and X. That simply means no Teslas for me. As simple as that.

    Ah, well… Tesla has performed its mission – forcing traditional car makers into EV age. My first EV will probably be Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia e-Niro, or, funds permitting, Jaguar i-Pace.

  23. Its actually pretty hard to be attentive of the road when on Autopilot….since the screen will constantly ask you to put pressure on the wheel. And if you miss it, which is not hard to do, autopilot gets deactivated. You have to constantly look at the road….then look at the screen. And yes gps in the center location is just a poor decision

  24. Just got my Kona Electric Ultimate. Has a HUD and centre cluster. It also cost at least $10,000.00 less than the 3.

  25. Speaking of situational awareness, I'm a pilot and I guarantee you that what pilots do in an airplane is WAY more complicated than moving your eyes a fraction of an inch to see your speed. I'm not saying that everyone should get a pilots license in order to drive a Tesla. I'm saying that it may be an issue at first because you're not used to it, but you will get used to it. Humans are capable of lots more complicated things than that.

  26. I agree with Elon. I don’t care. And I don’t agree with 15 years either. We’re a couple years away at most.

  27. Navigation screens are in various places on cars. NONE of my cars come with Waze and neither does the Model 3, so no matter where the navigation screen is in my case or in yours….,,.we still would have to use our phone to use Waze.

  28. Got my model 3 yday. First 500 miles trip today, 4 hours in the dark. No problem whatsoever with the central screen. Couldn’t disagree more

  29. Since model 3 doesn't have traditional RPMs to monitor the only thing you might need in front is the speed. An optional upgrade to project that would be nice. But other than that I see no use in having a instrument cluster on there. At that point it's an value add feature like in model S which has navigation, mini player and other car info displayed up there.

  30. I always use speed control and don’t need it and autopilot talks to you and any navigation system takes your eyes off the road.

  31. There's always something to complain about, nothing's perfect, but I think the Model 3 is almost perfect. The idea is to have less distraction not more! So, it's silly to install an phone mount behind the steering wheel. How often does a person use the navigation system, turn by turn?

  32. The year was 1967. I had to unscrew the gas cap on my '67 Harley to gage remaining fuel and plan next gas stop. I had to actually steer it. I had to actually not fall off or get killed by other drivers. I had to actually gauge when to start applying brakes, appropriate gear for speeds, use left and right feet for separate functions, left and right hands for different functions. No phone in pocket, GPS, or radio. Short story, I had to drive using brains and body in a coordinated fashion. WTF are we doing to ourselves? PS: I love my Model 3…especially on long drives with high gusts and crosswinds.
    And if judged solely on its entertainment system it again is the best car ever devised by man.

  33. When Elon unveilled that by the end of the year there will be full self driving cars! ahah
    15 years sound funny!

  34. I just went and re-watched this video after the 2019 Autonomy Day. This was just one year ago! Ben you should do a follow up video to this one just to laugh at how wrong your (and others) predictions were, reflecting on just how far Tesla have come in just 14 months.

  35. 15 years for self driving car? And you confirmed with legacy automakers and "expert"? In 2019 Tesla already handles highways and starts self driving on regular streets. Tesla needs another year or two to finish this.

  36. Sounds like you are not ready for change. I found it rather refreshing and cannot wait till November. Elon and his design team are brilliant.

  37. If you’ve never had a HUD you probably won’t miss it but I have one in my $29,000 Prius and I’m really going to miss it in my new model three. It really needs one. As brilliant as Elon is he sure is hardheaded.

  38. I hate the binacle dash on my Ford Focus Electric, the bulge necessary for it reflects on the windshield and blinds my vision on sunny days

  39. Ben… Just bought a Model 3… I disagree with your concerns on a single display. Your eyes need to move ever-so-slightly to the right to see all the information required to travel down the road. And for us drivers that are over six feet tall, it's a blessing not having to peek through the steering wheel to see this information.

  40. My problem with the display personally isn't the placement of the information, it's the anxiety that a cop will pull me over for having a tablet or computer mounted on the dash. This has happened to many people in the past and although I'm sure that I won't get pulled over and I know it would be quickly resolved, but the anxiety is enough to keep me on the fence about buying the car.

  41. This is a great idea but the biggest question is: How to solve this problem without killing the wireless charging capabilities of my iPhone X? From what I read, it looks like the metal stick you have to place on your phone will interfere and present your phone from wireless charging O.o. Can someone confirm or dismiss that? Any other magnet mount/holder solution that will not kill wireless charging?

  42. Why buy a cellphone holder when you are paying $60k for a car? We have HUD in cars worth $40k and even less.

  43. Now that I have had my Model 3 for two weeks this is not an issue for me. I am not sure why everyone is looking at their speedometer all the time. I just go with the flow with traffic. In fact now getting into my wife’s car I find it weird and cluttered. Even with directions I prefer the voice directions. To each their own, just wanted to provide a different viewpoint.

  44. For those that want to save 7 minutes of their life, he basically says to turn your $35,000+ car into an Apple Pro Stand, but for your phone.

  45. So you pay 60k EURO on a car than complain it has no dash speedometer? :)) why buy it in the first place if it is so badly thought out?

  46. I drive model 3 and I must say, you are solving a non-existent problem. Looking at a map distracts your attention – no matter if the map is behind your steering wheel or a bit to the right. Just imo.

  47. I like it eaither way. I can;t really afford a Tesla, but I'll get one one day. I'm a tech guy. Might have to just start saving for one.

  48. Hey Ben! Are you still using a phone as a speedometer like this video? Or did you get used to the centre display?

  49. I just deleted YouTube for recommending this video. As a new Model 3 owner, I expected better. Bye Felicia!

  50. WTF? Over 4 minutes of telling owners something they already know just to get a referral on the mount that you like.

  51. Why buy a car and try to make it look like another car. I didn’t like the look of the phone behind the steering wheel. Are you the same person selling all the other gadgets to fill up the model 3? I just want my 3 to arrive. We’ve been waiting 2 years here in OZ.

  52. head up displays are dumb. Do not put anything in front of a driver that obstructs her view or is distracting. A normal instrument cluster is the sensible choice. That is why almost every car in the world has one – along with round wheels.

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