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Do Teslas Have A Heated Steering Wheel?

Do Teslas Have A Heated Steering Wheel?

Heated steering wheels were invented and patented by Richard D Miller in 1962 and accepted in 1965. Nowadays, a heated steering wheel is a common feature in most mass-produced cars and is no longer a reserve for luxury cars. 

However, it may be a redundant feature in warmer countries but necessary in colder regions. And if you’ve been wondering whether your Tesla has a heated steering wheel, here’s the answer.

All Teslas sold after November 2021 come with a heated steering wheel. Previously, it was a feature reserved exclusively for the Long Range Teslas. Therefore, some older version Tesla cars don’t have inbuilt heating elements and hardware components to heat and regulate heat to the steering wheel.

If your car lacks the heated steering wheel feature, you’ll have to buy one from a store. Currently, Tesla doesn’t retrofit heated steering wheel hardware in older models that lack the part.  

How to Turn On the Heated Steering Wheel Feature

In 2021, Tesla started remotely activating the heated steering wheel feature in its Model 3 cars purchased earlier in the year. 

The heated steering is a standard feature on all Model 3s delivered after November 1, 2021. 

Unfortunately, some Tesla owners may not know that their cars have the heated steering feature. 

If you’re one of them, here’s how you can activate the feature.

  • Display climate control by touching the fan icon on the touchscreen. 
  • You’ll then touch the heater icon to show the heaters tab. 
  • Touch the steering wheel icon to turn on the steering wheel heaters.
  • The steering wheel will then adjust to a comfortable temperature.

In simpler terms, 

Go to your heated seats page on your car’s touchscreen. Press the fan icon for the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. 

On the left side of the page, you’ll see a tab that brings up the heated seats option. 

Look out for an icon that resembles a steering wheel and press it. It will turn red, signifying that your steering wheel is getting hotter.

You Can Use Voice Activation to Heat Up Your Steering wheel

Alternatively, you can activate it using the “turn on the heated steering wheel” voice command. 

If you don’t know how to activate voice command, here’s how. Push the right button on the steering wheel and tell it to turn on the heated steering wheel feature.   

Advantages of Using the Heated Steering Wheel

We all dread placing our hands on a freezing steering wheel after coming from a warmer indoor setting. 

As a result, most people opt to install third-party heated covers on their Tesla cars. If you belong in such a category, you don’t need to worry anymore. is slowly releasing software updates in their cars to activate the heated steering wheel feature. Is it necessary to do so? Well, yes. 

Here are some benefits that come with a heated steering wheel.

Increased Grip and Control

Cold hands are stiffer and, hence, less responsive than warmer hands. And just like all systems, the human body has a small window of temperature that allows for optimum performance. 

Any significant deviation from this will affect your attentiveness, comfort, and response. 

Keep your hands warm; you will be able to drive better and focus on the road if you’re more relaxed.

Suitable for People With Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Raynaud’s phenomenon is a problem that leads to reduced blood flow to the fingers and, at times to the toes, ears, knees, and nose. It can happen due to emotional upsets, stress, or cold. 

Drivers showing signs and symptoms of Raynaud’s problem should drive with their hands and feet protected from the cold. And that’s where the heated steering wheels come in.

Comfort on Colder Days

I always prefer to drive without gloves as it gives me better control and feel of the car. However, there are times I find doing so to be so uncomfortable and hence forcing me to resort to wearing gloves.

If you’re like me, you need a Tesla. Heated steering wheels are now a common feature in Tesla cars.

How Much Power Does the Various Tesla Heating Features Consume?

A “downside” with electric vehicles (EVs) is that they lack the excess heat generated by the engine. In gas and diesel-fueled cars, this heat is used to warm their interiors. 

However, since electric vehicles use motors, they’re naturally colder and have to use heating elements to warm up the cabin, seats, and steering wheel. And, they have to draw the power to heat the elements from the battery reserve. 

Like turning on your AC in a fossil fuel car, heating your Tesla lowers the battery’s mileage. 

Seat Heaters

Your seat heater elements consume approximately 57 watts per hour to keep each seat warm. When compared to the defroster, this is a minimal amount of energy. 

And it’s low because your body provides insulation that prevents excessive heat loss when seated. 

Additionally, if you turn on two seat heaters, the heating element consumes 114 watts per hour.

Steering Wheel Heater

Surprisingly, the steering wheel heater consumes more power than a single-seat heating element. It uses 95 watts per hour to heat the steering wheel to the desired temperature. 


Defroster, Heated Wipers, HVAC (High)

The rear window and side mirror heaters use 285 watts per hour. That’s significantly greater than having all five seats in your Tesla Model X heated. 

Heated wipers and nozzles use 95 watts per hour, while turning the HVAC on and on “Hi” (82F) consumes 6.4 kilowatts per hour.  

Final Remarks

Tesla cars have some of the best levels of automation in the electric vehicles (EV) segment. And one of its great features is the heated steering wheel. It’s beneficial to warm your hands in winter. 

Furthermore, I don’t recommend changing a lot of comfort and driver-assist features while on the road. 

And if you must, turn on the Traffic-Aware Cruise Control (TACC) (Tesla’s version of the adaptive cruise control) first before engaging your Tesla app or display panel.

Zach Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! Having owned a wide variety of vehicles in my life, I was astounded at how hard it can be to find answers to common automotive questions. Rather than sit idly, I decided to create this website to help others!