Tesla Turn Signals Part 2: The FIX for Software-Controlled Hardware
Updated: May 12, 2022
Since my last post on the awful mechanics of the Tesla turn signal stalk, I went all-out trying to solve the issue creatively since I exhausted first-party Tesla options. On the way I discovered some awesome mods I think any Tesla 3 or Y driver may want to consider themselves, but most importantly- I've SOLVED the turn signal issue! At least solved it to the point where my personal issue (not being able to tell if the signal is on since hitting the stalk is extremely unreliable use to use) is absolutely taken care of.
It's thanks to one actually quite straightforward, really easy to install mod... the only real drawback is that it comes at a price of around $250- although if you wait for a sale you can snag them at $200 easily. If that pricepoint hasn't scared you off, then behold- the AbstractOcean Tesla 'S3XY Buttons':
This gizmo works over OBD2, which you might think your Tesla doesn't have- but right behind the center console (below the rear AC vents and USB-C ports), there's a little cover that you get a cable adapter for that converts the proprietary comms interface into an OBD2 interface. It's a 2 minute install (super easy). Then you plug in the 'Commander' unit (pictured above) and you're off to the races! Just download the S3XY app on your iPhone or Android, it'll connect over bluetooth automatically and you can configure those buttons to do anything you want in your car like open your glovebox or Frunk from anywhere you want wirelessly.
Along with the buttons, the main pull for this gadget is using the phone screen as a dashboard for REALLY neat features you can't see anywhere in the main UI or even aftermarket drivers-dash screens. It displays the speedometer of course, but also incredibly cool 'nerd knob' functions like how much torque is being delivered to the front and rear wheels live, how hard you're hitting the gas pedal, and (most usefully for me) the power draw or regen charge in precise Kilowatts, instead of just some vague horizontal bar on the main dash. Check out the UI (it's the center screen between the driver and main one), doesn't look too shabby!
And for the killer feature- the ultra-visible turn signals. Turns out this was a very sought after mode, but not by the public, by "Franks" who apparently complained to the degree I would if I were that kind of person (I'd personally suck it up until I design the software/feature/function myself, but thank god for guys like Franks). Here is his original complain in the S3XY app command center screen, and I couldn't agree with him more. Thank you Franks!!!
So this is what the end product and creators of the S3XY app came up with what you see on the iPhone screen in the video below. If you take a look at the main screen, you see that teensy, puny little green circle with a tiny white arrow flashing inside it, which is almost impossible to see peripherally- especially during the day. So this is literally EXACTLY what I was asking for in my original turn signal post, so simple yet so useful:
For a little bit of flair for the outside of the car, I also installed some kinda neat LED-lit tail lights from Bomely that replace the stock reflectors. They’re cool and I think do add to visibility and unique “hey that’s different” angles, but these were a nightmare to install. Either way they’re installed now and here’s how they look!