Last updated on April 18th, 2023 at 11:17 pm
Before selling your Tesla vehicle, it’s necessary to have your personal information erased.
Your vehicle can now record your data more than ever before, which could be used against you, especially by a dishonest buyer.
Also, you’ll no longer be responsible for any more overstay fines or supercharging fees your Tesla may incur. While also ridding it of any other personal data.
So, this article contains a detailed guide on clearing personal data from your vehicle and much more.
When selling your Tesla vehicle, you can perform a soft reset or hard reset to erase any personal information you may have linked to your vehicle. The soft reset reboots the instrument cluster, touch screen, or your entire vehicle. While a hard reboot completely disconnects and restores the power of your Tesla’s computer before a reboot.
By carefully going through this article, you’ll be able to remove any personal data/information linked to your Tesla before you put it up for sale.
How Do You Reset Tesla Before Selling it?
Here’s a detailed instruction on how to perform a reset on your Tesla.
#1. Soft Reset
A soft reboot will reset the software on your devices while keeping them powered, like resetting the button on your modem or phone.
However, your Tesla vehicle can reboot without recharging or draining the internal software.
Tesla has two kinds of software reset for its vehicles. Which are:
- Touch screen reset
- Complete vehicle reset (this is also known as power cycling in your Tesla’s owner’s manual).
When about to perform a soft reset, you have four options to choose from, which you can choose based on which is easier to perform.
That said, here they are:
#1. Option One
Using your car’s steering wheel, you may perform a soft reset on a Tesla. Then, you can use the scroll wheel to navigate through the site.
Performing a soft reset on a Tesla requires a basic process. Start by tightening the grip on both buttons until your screen blacks out.
Then, keep them firmly on the wheel until the Tesla logo appears. Then, let go.
Alternatively, you can:
- Press down firmly on the two scroll wheels on both sides of your steering wheels for a couple of seconds.
- Exactly after ten seconds, push down on the buttons.
- After ten seconds, you should be able to reset the main screen.
- Typically, you’ll hear a clicking sound during the rebooting process, which shouldn’t worry you.
#2. Option Two
Restart your computer with the top button (the MX and MS only). Try holding both buttons above the scroll wheel on both sides of your steering for only a few seconds.
If you can press down on these buttons for at least 10 seconds, your touch screen should be able to reset automatically.
#3. Option Three
This option can completely reset your steering wheel by pushing down the brake pedal.
Here’s how you can do this:
- First, enter your vehicle, and shut the door behind you while in.
- Push and hold on to the brake pedal for some seconds.
- Press and hold firmly on both buttons on your scroll wheels for seconds.
- You should be able to reboot the driver’s touch screen if you hold down on the buttons for more than 10 seconds.
- Keep a firm grip on the brake pedal until the system completely restarts.
Note: You may need to press both scroll wheels on the steering (MX and MS). Or just the scroll wheels on the steering wheel (MX and MS) (M3).
#4. Option Four
Ideally, you’ll need to shut down and reboot your Tesla vehicle here.
This option works better in a quiet environment as it would be more beneficial for you to listen to the automobile; otherwise, you can focus on the clock.
- Get in your Tesla and shut the door behind you. You’re not required to press any additional buttons here.
- The service menu should appear when you press the service button.
- Then, from a drop-down menu, select “Power Off.”
- Occasionally, the screen may go black. So, allow the machine to turn off for some seconds.
- Allow it to idle for some minutes after you have shut off the vehicle.
- Finally, press down the brake pedal to start the car.
#5. Option Five
Most people prefer this option, as resetting your Tesla vehicle to factory mode isn’t tricky.
Thus, you can find the procedure for a factory reset in Tesla under the following: From Controls, click Settings, then Service and Reset, then Factory Reset, and Erase and Reset.
#2. Hard Reset
To perform a hard reset on your Tesla vehicle, you’d need to disconnect the 12V after the electronics are drained of its battery and reconnect it.
This method is most suitable if you live far from a Tesla service center. Or if a mobile tech is too busy to help you out.
This hard reset requires you to go close to your Tesla’s high voltage and innards equipment.
Because performing a complete hard reset ideally disables a computer’s power. It’s similar to removing the battery of your phone.
Also, as a precaution, it’s always best to detach any USB devices from your computer before executing a system reboot.
I am doing this would prevent some subsystems from being shut down using USB devices like phones.
While a hard reset is the easiest way to remove all personal data from your vehicle, it’s best to try this if the process for a soft reset proves too cumbersome.
Thus, a hard reset can effectively remove personal information from your vehicle. But it also has some drawbacks that you might have yet to consider.
That said, we’ll now examine the pros and cons of a hard reset in the table below.
|Permanently erases data in local storage.||Data is erased only in local storage.|
|Easy and straightforward to carry out.||Data that you have not backed up will be lost.|
|It puts your Tesla in its newest form before the sale.||It may affect the battery life of your vehicle.|
|It will make it run smoothly for the new owner.||If you carry it out properly, you may avoid getting stuck, leading to more problems.|
How Do You Remove Your Account From a Tesla?
By following these steps, you can remove a vehicle from your Tesla;
- First, sign in to your Tesla account on a laptop computer or desktop at tesla.com/teslaacount.
- Then, from the list of options on your screen, select ‘Manage’ next to the car you plan on removing or selling.
- Scroll down and click on ‘Remove Car.
- If you’re transferring to a new recipient, submit their account information. Otherwise, select “Skip this Step’.
- Afterward, you’ll need to submit your request.
- Finally, you’ll receive an email from Tesla requesting you approve your removal request.
- Open and accept this request, and your removal request will be final.
Once you complete these steps, the buyer will receive an email prompting them to receive the vehicle.
However, if the recipient still needs to get a Tesla account, they’ll need to create one. For example, if they’re buying their first Tesla.
Regardless, you can directly transfer to ‘Unknown’ to remove the car from your name. You’ll have to write ‘Unknown’ in the name field of the mail and then send it to the email address.
Also, supercharging fees, upgrades, and other features may not be transferable when transferring ownership.
So, after the removal, you can find your previous ownership documents or lease/loan documents under the ‘Previously Owned’ section of your Tesla Account.
Can You Perform a Factory Reset on Tesla Without a Password?
Yes, you’ll have to put in your password to perform a factory reset on your Tesla. Tesla vehicles require a password to perform a factory reset.
But this process varies slightly per your model’s computer. And it depends on whether you wish to erase your SD card.
Nevertheless, there is little of a primary difference in this reset process. But it would help if you consult the specific instructions for your own Tesla model.
And you can easily find the instructions here for any particular quirks.
8 Things To Do Before Selling Your Tesla: A Vital Checklist
One primary reason people leave their data on their Teslas while putting them on sale is that they don’t know they’re doing so.
Thus, it would be best to ensure you’ve successfully erased all personal data from your vehicle before selling it.
That said, below are eight essential things you need to do before putting your Tesla up for sale:
#1. Factory Reset
Before selling your Tesla vehicle, it’s always best to clear any personal information and restore it to factory settings. Doing this will ensure your data before you sell your vehicle.
Your Tesla might provide this feature, but it only removes some of your data from your account.
So, it’s always best to go through your vehicle to check for other things you might have missed particularly.
#2. GPS Data Removal
Although GPS is helpful on your vehicle, it also provides a lot of personal information about you.
Before selling your vehicle, it’s best to clear all saved routes, driving places, and favorite places from your car.
This information provides where you live and your likely arrival time, which could be dangerous, especially if the data gets into the wrong hands.
#3. Disconnect Bluetooth
Bluetooth pairings can hardly be used against you but can likely be used to access your devices, which someone may use to retrieve any of your account information.
Although, the new owner needs to be close to perform this action. And, if you’ve yet to erase your GPS information, they’ll know exactly where to find you.
#4. Sign Out of In-Vehicle Apps
Be sure to log out of any apps you use on your vehicle. Also, check that your Tesla app doesn’t automatically add your username and password when logging in.
Some apps may be optional. However, mobile payments are common with Tesla vehicles, which could provide a link to your bank account.
#5. Delete Contacts
Here, your contacts are vital as a buyer knowing your name, may contact them and impersonate you. Similarly, the new owner can also use your call history to have a good time.
You might have yet to store this information deliberately, but it’s still possible for many vehicles to automatically add your contacts when you connect your phone to a USB port.
#6. Clearing Storage Drives
Suppose your Tesla has a hard drive; you should wipe and remove it from your vehicle before selling it.
Similarly, it’s also best to check and remove any storage slots (SD card readers). Finally, it’s also essential that you look out for USB drives.
Even though you add them to play music, they may also store your data.
#7. Delete Garage Access
Ensure to remove any feature which permits your vehicle access to your home.
Tesla vehicles can often open garage doors at the touch of a button, which a fraudulent buyer can use to gain access to your house.
And can be worse if you still need to remove your GPS information or if you sold or plan to sell the vehicle at your house.
#8. Remove Your Physical Items
It’s easy to forget personal data on your vehicle’s app, but it’s easier to miss a few physical items.
So, permanently remove physical items such as documents from your vehicle before selling it.
Though you might store them in your glove compartment, you should also look underneath the car seat. Or in other small corners to ensure you have caught everything.
Your aim should be to remove any item containing your name or other personal information, like your address, from the vehicle.
Hey, I’m Michael Davis, a 35-year-old with a degree and a love for cars and tech. Since I was a kid, cars have been my thing—so much that I even thought they ran on magic beans! Fast forward, and I’ve built Vehicle Army, your one-stop-shop for easy-to-understand car facts.