Tesla’s “Cabin Overheat Protection” Explained

One of the many software features in a Tesla is the Cabin Overheat Protection Package.

The summer heat sometimes can be worrisome, especially when the car is exposed for hours under direct sunlight and once the temperature exceeds  140F, it poses a threat to humans.

Therefore, Tesla rolled out this package to curb any excess heat in their cars.

This package is just part of the climate control system that makes the cabin comfortable by reducing extreme temperatures.

Find out in this guide what the Tesla Overheat Protection is all about.

What Does “Cabin Overheat Protection” Mean On a Tesla?

The Cabin Overheat Protection is a way to keep the interiors of a Tesla cool even in the scorching heat.

This overheating protection is a part of the climate control system that uses ventilation or air conditioning to keep the car cool for hours, so long as the vehicle has enough battery.

How Exactly Does the Cabin Overheat Protection Feature Work?

This feature automatically comes on when the cabin temperature exceeds 40 degree C. The Overheat Protection uses the car’s air conditioning system to cool the cabin once the temperature gets to that degree.

It acts as a safety measure for preventing the car from becoming too hot for the electronics.

The cabin overheat protection can, in a way, extend the range of your battery power by reducing the amount of energy needed to cool the cabin while in motion.  

When the temperature reaches the set limit, a notification will be sent to your Tesla to alert you that the Cabin Overheat Protection has been activated.

Is Cabin Overheat Protection Really Necessary?

It is not compulsory to always activate the Cabin Overheat Protection anytime you leave your Tesla because the climate control already works to ensure your cabin has a cool temperature.

By default, the climate control is already set to auto. This climate control automatically adjusts and maintains the heating, air conditioning, air distribution, and fan speed.

When we look at the basic functions of climate control, it basically tallies with that of the Cabin Overheat Protection.

However, the idea behind the creation of the Cabin Overheat Protection is only if you leave your car parked in the sun for long hours. This feature works only for 12 hours once you exit the Tesla or until your battery drops to 20%, whichever comes first.

Thus, the Cabin Overheat Protection is not really necessary once you have climate control except if you need to leave your car under the sun for long hours.

How Do You Turn It On and Off?

To activate or deactivate the Cabin Overheat Protection system is pretty easy to navigate through. To turn it on, simply do the following:

  • Touch the controls 
  • Tap on safety
  • Tap on the cabin heat protection 

This gives you three options, they include:


Under this control, the air conditioning comes on only when the cabin temperature exceeds 40° C and if the selected temperature is available both on the Tesla mobile app and in the cockpit.

However, before you can tailor or customize the temperature, it requires the latest version of the Tesla mobile app.

No A/C

Under this control, the fan only comes on when the temperature exceeds 40° C.

This method is a better way of conserving energy as it takes less power but it cannot guarantee to keep the cabin temperature below 40° C. If the temperature is very harsh, it might exceed the limit.


This control simply lets you disable the Cabin Overheat Protection.

Another way of activating this feature is to use the mobile app. Tap on the controls, then swipe up on the bottom menu and choose your desired settling under the Cabin Overheat Protection.

Also, from the mobile app, you can decide to always get a notification when the COP is activated. To get this notification, go to the profile, tap on the settings and then on the notification.

You get an alert when your car is terribly hot or if you probably left a pet or a child inside the car. This notification can simply come in as a lifesaver. Do not underestimate its importance.

How Do I Know If My Tesla Has Overheat Protection?

Your Tesla will have the Cabin Overheat Protection as it comes standard on all their models as it is a part of the climate control system.

You would easily find it when you scroll through your Tesla touchscreen by navigating through the control> Safety and then scroll down till you see the particular package, then choose. 

Also, you can find it out if you have the Tesla app. Log into it, search for the climate section and slide to the bottom drawer. There you will see other climate options like the Dog mode and camp mode.

Please also read our article for more information about the Tesla Dog Mode

Do All Tesla Models Have Overheat Protection?

As emphasized earlier, the Cabin Overheat Protection comes standard on all Tesla models. Thus, you do not have to worry whether your car comes with this feature because it does.

Also, the CEO, Elon Musk, recently stated through his Twitter account that an updated feature of this cabin overheat protection will soon be released. 

This new update will allow users to manually adjust the activation of the Cabin Overheat Protection as against the previous method that only comes on when the temperature reaches 40degrees. 

If we’re being factual, 40 degrees is terribly hot and some car owners do not want to have to wait for the cabin temperature to reach that level before the Cabin Overheat Protection comes on.

While talking about the new features of the COP, Elon also advised that all Tesla owners should never leave a child or a baby in the car with the Cabin Overheat Protection. If there’s a need to do that, other climate controls like the Dog mode or Camp mode should be activated.

This happens because, even with the HVAC system activated, the cabin temperature may still be very hot and this can put the life of your child or pet at great risk.

For more information about how to get the best out of your HVAC system, check out our article about the Tesla Camp Mode.

Why Do Tesla Cabins Tend to Overheat?

One major reason the interior of a Tesla can overheat is if there’s an extreme outside condition or an automatic shut-off. It could also overheat if the car is unable to maintain a cool temperature.

Well, this is understandable because anything left under direct sunlight can overheat, especially vehicles that come with lithium batteries.

Electric vehicles can overheat because they come with batteries that generate heat and when the heat becomes too much, it can cause a problem. Thus, it is important to always park your car in a cool shade away from direct sunlight.

There are other important steps to take to prevent your car from overheating.

  • The first thing to do is to implement this cabin overheat protection that we emphasized earlier.
  • Secondly, it is best to leave your windows slightly open just enough to keep some air flowing in and the heat flowing out.
  • Thirdly, you can put a vent visor on your window. A vent visor is simply a device attached to the windows of your car that limits the amount of sunlight and wind entering the vehicle.
  • Lastly, you can also make use of the steering wheel covers and seat covers to protect the car material.

Make sure to also read our article about whether Teslas can overheat.

How Does Using “Overheat Protection” Affect Driving Range?

The Cabin Overheat Protection operates by drawing power from the car’s main battery. Although, it does not drain so much power but it can affect the range of the battery.

A Tesla owner and a YouTuber Alex Venz reported that he left his Model 3 parked and exposed directly to the sun during his entire eight-hour workday.

When the battery drain was calculated, although this experimentation was not completely accurate but was a rough guess, it was found out that Alex loses about 12 miles per day when he leaves his Tesla in the sun and the Cabin Overheat Protection comes on. 

He added that, whenever the car is left in the garage and is simply idling, he loses about 3 miles. He claimed his garage wasn’t hot enough to activate the Cabin Overheat Protection.

Thus, this is clear proof this feature can bite into the driving range of the Tesla and as a safety precaution, it was only designed to last 12 hours before it goes off or probably when the battery reaches 20%.

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