How Often Does Tesla Update Software? (Explained)

Last updated on September 12th, 2023 at 03:03 am

A thousand and one things could go wrong if your Tesla automatically shuts down on you because you neglected the update icon.

Just like every electronic device, Tesla requires an update from time to time to function correctly.

You should know how often your Tesla needs a software update. That way, you will avoid unnecessary circumstances.

Tesla updates its software regularly, typically every few weeks or months. These updates can include new features, improvements to existing features, and security enhancements. The manufacturers of Tesla vehicles connect them to the internet, which makes it easy to deliver software updates directly to the car.

If you’re still having issues with your Tesla software update, this article will help sort out those issues.

By the end of this article, you will satisfy your curiosity about everything you need to know about your Tesla software update.

Do Teslas Get Software Updates?

How Often Does Tesla Update Software

Yes, Teslas get software updates with new features to improve your riding experience.

One of the critical ways that Tesla stands out from traditional automakers is with its constant software updates for its electric cars. 

As a Tesla owner, you can expect regular software updates that provide new features and enhanced functionality that improve your driving experience. 

These updates are over the air (OTA), meaning you don’t need to take your car to a dealership or service center to get the latest software. 

Instead, the updates are pushed out wirelessly, and you can install them automatically while you park and charge your car.

One of the most significant benefits of these updates is that they keep the car’s software up-to-date and in line with the latest technologies and industry standards. 

Many of these updates include new features that improve your car’s performance. Tesla’s software updates are also essential for ensuring the vehicle’s security.

As cars become more connected to the internet and other devices, they become more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. 

Tesla’s OTA updates keep the car’s software and security protocols up-to-date. Another significant advantage of Tesla’s software updates is that they evolve your car’s features. 

Because software powers Tesla cars, the company can continually make changes and improvements without needing to modify the car physically. 

Therefore, you can buy a car today and expect it to improve with each new software update. 

Note that you should not ignore the update icon. Ignoring the update icon will expose your Tesla to unnecessary cyber attacks. 

Moreover, if you ignore your update icon for way too long, your current software will run out of date, causing your Tesla systems to shut down.

How Often Do Tesla Software Updates Happen?

Tesla software updates happen very frequently, often multiple times per month.

These updates happen over the air (OTA), including anything from minor bug fixes to major software updates.

The level of the updates is mainly due to Tesla’s development process, which allows the company to develop and deploy new features and improvements quickly. 

The timing and content of these updates can vary widely depending on several factors, including customer feedback, new regulations, the state of the industry, etc.

In general, however, Tesla releases updates more frequently than traditional automakers. 

One of the main reasons Tesla can update its software so frequently is its unique software development approach. 

Unlike other vehicles, Tesla can move quickly and make changes more efficiently than its competitors. 

Another factor contributing to the frequency of Tesla’s software updates is its customer base. 

Tesla has a large and dedicated following of people eager to test new features and provide feedback. 

The community of users often helps identify bugs and suggest improvements, which helps Tesla improve and refine its software more quickly. 

Tesla is working on several new features and technologies requiring significant updates to its existing software features.

To prepare for these changes, Tesla is constantly refining and improving its existing software, which leads to more updates frequently.

How Long Does Tesla Software Update Take?

Tesla software updates can take anywhere from a few minutes to over an hour to complete depending on the size and complexity of the update.

Factors affecting how long your Tesla software update takes include internet speed, vehicle model, and the update’s contents. 

When a software update becomes available for a Tesla vehicle, the driver will receive a notification on the car’s central touchscreen. 

The driver can then choose to download and install the update immediately or schedule it for a later time. 

It is important to note that the vehicle must be parked and plugged into a power source during the update process. 

Minor updates that do not require a vehicle restart, such as minor improvements to existing features, generally take only a few minutes to complete. 

You can download and install these updates over the air (OTA) without requiring the driver to act. 

Major updates, such as those that introduce new features or require the vehicle to restart, can take significantly longer to download and install.

However, Tesla has improved the update process as much as possible, and most updates can be downloaded and installed quickly and easily without issues.

How Much Does It Cost To Update Tesla Software?

Tesla software updates typically will not cost you anything.

According to Tesla, the updates occur at no charge to the car owner, and it automatically begins to function in the background. 

Special updates might cost you money depending on the type of update you need.

For instance, if you want to purchase certain features, such as Autopilot, you may have to pay for additional upgrades to access new features. 

Such features require additional hardware or computing power, and Tesla has to cover the cost of these upgrades. However, the software updates are free and do not require a separate cost. 

Note that Tesla vehicle owners who add hardware or upgrade their vehicles may include additional costs beyond software updates. 

For instance, upgrading to full self-driving capability may require additional hardware at a separate cost.

Here are some differences between software and hardware updates:

Software Updates Hardware Updates 
Software updates provide new features and improve the car’s performance. Hardware updates address issues concerning the physical parts of the car.
Tesla releases software updates regularly and often does this over the air.Hardware updates are less frequent; technicians do this during occasional physical maintenance. 
Most Tesla software updates are free of charge and included during the car’s purchase. Hardware updates involve replacing parts in the car and may cost a lot of money.
Software updates are small compared to hardware updates. Hardware Updates are bigger and more technical than software updates.

Why Is My Tesla Software Taking Too Long?

Here are some of the most common factors that can slow down your update process: 

#1. Slow Internet connection

Tesla installs software updates over the air (OTA), requiring a solid and stable Internet connection. 

The update process can significantly slow down if your internet connection is slow or unstable. 

#2. Large or complex Updates 

Some Tesla software updates are more significant than others and may take longer to install because of their size and complexity. 

Updates containing major feature additions or modifications may require more time than minor, routine updates.

#3. Hardware Issues

If your Tesla vehicle experiences hardware issues or errors not in line with a software update, the update may take longer than usual.

In some cases, Tesla may need to address hardware problems before installing the update. 

#4. High Traffic

If many Tesla owners try to install the same software update simultaneously, it can cause slow download and installation times.

When multiple people download the same update simultaneously, their devices compete for signal, slowing down the process. 

#5. Battery Level

Installs Tesla software updates require sufficient battery power.

If your Tesla vehicle does not have enough battery power, you may need to recharge it first before carrying out the update. 

What can you do to speed up your slow Tesla software update? Here are some tips: 

#6. Check Your Internet Connection

Ensure that your Internet connection is solid and stable. You can reset your modem or Internet connection or move your Tesla vehicle closer to your Internet connection.

#7. Check Your Battery Level

 Ensure your Tesla vehicle has enough power to complete the installation. If it does not, recharge the battery before starting the update. 

#8. Wait It Out

 If a Tesla software update takes longer than expected, it may be due to high traffic or a significant, complex update. In this case, waiting may be the best option. 

#9. Contact Tesla Support

If you suspect a hardware issue or other problem is preventing a successful Installation of your software update, contact Tesla support for assistance and guidance. 

It’s essential to address these issues or contact Tesla support for help if necessary.


How Can I Review Tesla Software 

You can easily review Tesla’s software by accessing the “bug report” icon on your screen. An icon will appear, asking for your feedback. Send in your review immediately. 

Can I Pay For a Software Update on Tesla?

Tesla does not charge for over-the-air updates. However, if you intend to make some advanced updates on Tesla, you can pay for them.

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