Teslas come with many ownership benefits, but one of the most exciting is their over-the-air (OTA) software updates. These updates happen about once a month or so and they can add new features, improve functionality, and fix bugs. When a new Tesla owner gets their vehicle, one of their first questions is why they are not getting the latest software update. Long time owners may also wonder why other people are getting updates before they do. So if you are one of these people and want to know when your car is going to be updated, this guide is for you.
Here are some factors which affect software updates and some tips for dealing with the update process:
Tesla rolls out their updates in batches, not all at once. So the first thing to know about updates is that a new release will not immediately go out to all eligible vehicles. The reason for this is most likely to avoid making potential bugs an issue on every vehicle at once. So if you see other people with newer software and it’s been a couple days or even a couple of weeks, be patient – your car will update.
New Vehicle Updates
The other thing to keep in mind is that if you Tesla is new it will most likely be on a stable factory software version for around 2-8 weeks. This is not “old” software, but it may not have every new feature that the most current general release software has. This ensures that you can get to know your new car without having feature changes or bugs introduced.
Most of the time the factory software version will end in .101, .102, etc. (xxxx.xx.xxx) rather than the usual format (xxxx.xx.xx or xxxx.xx.xx.x) This is not always the case, but if you see this irregular software version in your new car, it is a factory version. Factory versions may receive minor updates (e.g. from xxxx.xx.101 to xxxx.xx.101.2)
Tips For Getting Updates Quickly
In order to download updates your vehicle must be connected to wifi. So while you will get an alert about updates without wifi (if you have premium connectivity), you won’t be able to install it until you are connected. If you prefer to get updates as soon as you can, make sure to go into your vehicle’s settings and adjust the software update preference from normal to advanced. To do this open the settings from your vehicle’s screen then select Software Controls > Software > Software Update Preference. You must have software version 2019.16 or later to change your update preference. This does not guarantee faster updates, but it gives you a chance to potentially get them faster. the only potential downside to this is that the software will have been tested for less time and therefore may be more likely to have bugs.
There are a lot of theories out there about various ways to get the vehicle to update sooner. Some people say that if you toggle the update option from normal to advanced several times it will initiate an update. This will not force an update. People who say this method works are most likely just waking their vehicle when there is already an available update. Because the vehicle checks for updates automatically upon waking, the update shows up as they happen to be in the software settings trying to force an update.
FSD Beta Update Delays
If you have FSD you have the option to opt-in to the FSD beta program which will give your vehicle more advanced FSD features. You must first qualify by getting a high safety score from safe driving. Next you will have to wait to be added to the beta program. The number of people in FSD beta is limited, so wait time will vary.
If you have the beta version of FSD you may find that you are not getting the latest updates as quickly as other people. This is normal. Tesla is giving you the proper software version needed for FSD beta in your vehicle which may not be the newest version.
Contacting Tesla About Updates
Is your car new? If so, there is no need to contact Tesla about software updates. Most people with questions about “delayed” updates or “old” software versions either have a new car and/or are only a few weeks past the most recent update. In both of these cases the only option is to be patient. Using the Tesla app to contact Tesla service or set up a service appointment will not result in a faster update. They will will not push an update unless there really is a problem with the process. They will most likely inform you that you are on the current software version for your vehicle and cancel your appointment. The only case where you should seek help for software updates is in the very rare case that your updates really are frozen.
There are only a few instances where you may want to get service involved for an update. If you have had your car for a while and have not received updates for several months, you may want to submit a service request through your Tesla app. Generally this won’t be a problem though and problems with updates are rare. As previously mentioned, software updates are not released to everyone at once and new cars usually do not receive updates for up to two months. Even if you know someone with the same model vehicle, you may receive an update before or after them. There is no way to control when your car will get the most recent update. The only other case where there may be an issue worth contacting service about is when the download or installation process freezes and a reset doesn’t resolve the problem. Otherwise, just trust the process and your updates should happen when they are supposed to.
Depending on the model year, model, features, hardware versions, and your location, you may or may not be eligible for an update. Older versions of vehicles will receive fewer updates than newer vehicles as their hardware becomes outdated. If you are eligible for an update remember that it will not be released to everyone at once.
How To Track Current Software Versions
The easiest way to track new software versions and see rollout speed is through the Teslafi software tracking page. Teslafi is a third-party data logging app which tracks stats of Teslas. Their software tracker will show you the various software versions which are running in the Tesla fleet. It will also show you how many Teslafi users are on each software version. Just keep in mind that these numbers are only people who use this app and they can not count vehicles which don’t use their app. You do not need the app to see the software tracker. You can visit this tracking page directly on their website: Teslafi Software Tracker
How To See New Software Features
To see the details of each software version you can check the release notes. If you have the update this can be done from your vehicle’s touchscreen. If you don’t have the update yet, or if you are not near your vehicle, this information can be found on the Not A Tesla App software updates section. Their website also has other useful information such as upcoming features and updates which have not been released yet.
As you can see, in almost all cases the only thing needed to receive software updates is wifi and a bit of patience. While it may be frustrating to not have the latest update when others do, there are good reasons for rolling out software the way that Tesla does. This isn’t a smartphone where a major software bug is an annoyance. It’s a vehicle that needs to be safe, reliable, and predictable. Trust the process and let your vehicle update when it’s supposed to. Enjoy driving your vehicle and the advanced features that it already has. Your updates will arrive when they should.