There are lots of items on our Tesla that we don’t give much thought to. Until they stop working. Our door mirrors are one of these items. There’s always a solution. I’m a mechanic, and we’ll have your mirrors back working shortly.
The top reasons your mirrors won’t fold include the following:
- Autofold not activated
- Frozen mirror mechanism
- Your Tesla is at a specific location
- A fuse is blown
In this article, we’ll examine why your mirrors won’t fold and how to get them working properly again.
Autofold Not Activated
A computer chip controls every part of your Tesla. This includes your door mirrors. You can set up how your mirrors respond in different settings and locations, but all actions must be specified in Settings.
For door mirrors to automatically fold, we need to set this up in Settings
- Select Controls
- Select Mirrors
- Select Mirror Autofold
When you exit and lock the car, the mirrors will automatically fold. So, the first job is to check if Autofold has been deactivated. This can be a common issue if more than one person can access the Tesla.
Many people are caught out as the preset needs to be saved in the Adjust Mirrors Option. Select Fold or Unfold and Save. Otherwise, this will revert to the previous selection on your next journey.
It’s always good to check a fact is a fact. After selecting the fold option, exit your car and lock it to ensure your mirrors are folding.
I often use my folded mirrors as a visual as I walk away from my car to ensure it’s locked.
I usually have so much going on, trying to get to the store, kids asking questions, checking my phone, and then suddenly thinking, Did the car lock? You can give a quick glance back to reassure yourself.
Mirrors Are Frozen
Tesla door mirrors not folding could very well depend on where you live. Tesla doesn’t like extreme heat but even more so dislikes extreme cold. Any drop in temperature below zero degrees and your mirrors can likely freeze and temporarily stop folding and unfolding.
This is more likely to happen if it has rained and then freezes.
Even though the mirrors are not folding, this doesn’t mean that they are not trying to fold.
The motors are still being activated. This is why Tesla recommends turning off or deactivating the Autofold if you live in an area prone to zero temperatures. This can be done by
Going to Settings
- Select Controls
- Select Mirrors
- Select Mirror Autofold – turn off
There are several ways to deal with frozen mirrors if the weather is not constantly freezing but just occasionally.
- Defrost Mode
If you know that your Tesla is frozen, you can defrost it through the App
- Select Settings
- Defrost Car
This action will melt snow and ice on the windows and mirrors. However, it won’t defrost the mirror mechanism. The movement mechanism of the door mirror itself might be frozen because it was raining before it froze.
The glass on the mirror itself might have defrosted, but the mechanism can’t move as it is still frozen. This can put undue pressure on the motor and cause it to fail.
The next step is deicer. A can of deicer is definitely your friend if you live in a cold climate. Deicer is made with Methyl Alcohol which has a much lower freezing point. Unlike salt-based products, deicer won’t damage any car components.
If your mirror’s glass has defrosted, but it won’t fold, try spraying with a deicer to get them moving again.
It’s not easy to manage a Tesla in a cold climate. Teslas were designed and created, after all, in California, where although towards the West, they do have cold winters for the majority, it’s sunshine all the way.
How can we overcome cold climate problems?
For most Tesla owners, a cold blast of weather at some stage over the winter is inevitable. To protect your mirrors from damage, you should:
- Turn Autofold off
- Always have deicer to hand
- Park in a garage if at all possible
The last point I know is not always possible, but even a carport will give some shelter if a fully enclosed garage is not an option.
Your Tesla is at a Specific Location
Not everyone has the luxury of a garage; even if you do, it could be tight on space if another car is parked alongside you.
Tesla has saved you from folding your mirrors and readjusting them on the next journey if you have to park in a tight squeeze.
You can link your Tesla with a specific location.
When paired with a specific location (home or work), as you approach the door, mirrors will automatically fold when you are within 25 meters of the location.
This item must be set up and activated in your App or Onscreen.
- Select controls
- Always fold mirrors at this location
But what if your mirrors are not folding? The reason is because of your speed. If you are traveling above three mph, the mirrors will not fold. Three mph is pretty much at a standstill. I know when I pull into my driveway, I’m almost certainly going more than three mph.
But it is an explanation if you have set up your mirrors to fold and can’t understand why it’s not activating at a specified location.
There’s a Blown Mirror Fuse
If your mirrors are not folding and you have ruled out the weather or a preset being the problem, then we need to go back to basics. It could be a blown fuse. There are two paths to take if this is the case:
- Contact Tesla Service Center
- Try and identify and replace the fuse
Contact Tesla Service Center
The decision to contact Tesla is twofold. One, you might not be mechanically minded and don’t want to get involved in the bowels of your Tesla, and two, Tesla doesn’t really want you digging around in the fuse box.
This is apparent by the absolute lack of wiring diagrams or even fuse box fuse designation information. This is unusual for a car, but your Mr. Musk is a unique character, as are his creations.
To book a slot at your local Service Center, you can do this through the Tesla App.
- Open App
- Select Service
- Select what the problem is
- In ‘Details’ give a full description of the problem
- Add photos if necessary
- Enter the address for the Mobile Service
- Confirm a date and time that suits
- Check that your cell information is correct
Tesla will determine whether the repair can be done at your specified location or whether you need to bring it to a Service Center.
With a blown fuse, it’s more likely to be a mobile service.
Replace the Fuse
Replacing the fuse is the other option. It is a bit more involved but not impossible with the help of a Voltmeter.
Firstly we need to locate the fuse box. There are several in the Tesla models, up to three behind covers in the frunk and an additional box in the car’s interior cabin.
The fuses in the frunk are usually more heavy-duty, connecting items such as heaters, touchscreen, and battery management.
The fuse box inside the car is located in the footwell (either the driver or passenger side depending on the model you have)
- Model S – Passenger Side
- Model 3 – Drivers Side
- Model Y – Electronic Circuit Breakers
- Model X – Driver Side
The panel at the center console needs to be removed. It’s held in place by plastic clips. Don’t pull too hard, or the clips will break or crack. The fuse box is located all the way in beside the pedals. Some of the floor covering will also need to be removed.
As said, there is little or no information about the wiring diagrams for any Tesla, and what is available doesn’t mention the door mirrors. Not to worry, I have a workaround, and here it is. You’ll need a volt meter and some patients.
Test your fuses as follows:
- Your Tesla needs to be powered on
- Set Voltmeter to 20 volts DC
- Place the Negative probe (-) Black in contact with metal on the car – the door latch is a good point of contact.
- With the Positive (+) probe, carefully test each fuse. Place the probe on both the right and left sides of each fuse in turn.
When you place the probe on either side of the fuse, they should both read more than 12V. If the fuse is blown, one side will say 12V, and the other will read 0V. This fuse needs to be replaced.
Do not remove a fuse unless you are sure it has blown. Individual fuses can be connected to other modules; removing them can break the circuit and potentially cause the module to fail.
If you find the fuse is blown, then it is ok to remove. There is a small white plastic fuse puller on each fuse box. This is specifically designed to pull them out.
Each fuse has a number on it; this is the Amp rating of the fuse and must be replaced with the identical fuse Amp rating. Swapping out a blown a fuse for a larger Amp fuse could cause serious damage and potentially a fire should the circuit encounter a short.
When you lift it out, you will see that the tiny filament wire is broken.
Tesla uses a range of different fuses, some double-pronged and some triple-pronged. They also use Micro2 fuses. The Micro and the triple are not as widely available, so be fully prepared with various options before you begin the task.
There are several fuse boxes in each Tesla, and each model is different—many people like getting to know their Tesla better and like nothing more than investigating problems.
Tesla definitely doesn’t make it easy for you to fix problems on your car, so if you’re not entirely comfortable carrying out repairs, then I would advise you to speculate a few hundred dollars with Tesla Service Center and let them fix your mirrors.
Here are a few common questions folks ask about Teslas:
I’ve written a ton on common Tesla issues, which hopefully you won’t ever experience, but if you do, we have you covered with these posts:
Check out the Tesla troubleshooting page for problem Teslas.
Check out the Tesla charging page for common Tesla charging problems.
Check out the Tesla category page for a list of popular Tesla posts.
If you are curious about other EV models, check out the EV FAQ category.
The Tesla steering wheel has a range of functions, from turn signals to voice commands. But during everyday use, should the steering wheel be hot? Let's look at reasons why it might be. Reasons...
One of the great advantages of owning a Tesla is using your phone as a key to drive and lock/unlock your car. But what if your phone won't work? Here's a quick fix. Read on to find out what to...