Do Teslas Have OBD2 Port? (Each Tesla Model Included)

do teslas have obd2

I guess, the question that brought you here is “Do Teslas have OBD2 port?”, well today I am gonna answer just that.

In fact, if you are interested in cars, that’s a completely normal question. After all, how do you diagnose a Tesla if there’s no OBD II port? 

Also, another question that maybe bothers your mind is – What should I look for when there’s no combustion engine?


So stay with me through the end of this article to find all of these answers and more.

Let’s dive right into it.

Do Teslas Have OBD II Port?

tesla obd port

The short answer is yes. But let’s first answer one question.

Why Was The OBD II Designed?

Simply put, the OBD standard was designed to monitor vehicle emissions. This allowed testing centers to monitor if the cars were meeting their emission standards. It was a big breakthrough back in 1994 because it simplified the vehicle’s emission system and that helped bigger manufacturers to produce vehicles according to these standards.

But let’s get back to the main question.

Which Tesla Models Have OBD II Port?

The older models like Model S and Model X have a standard OBD port which is located right under the dashboard and from there you can troubleshoot alerts.

This was primarily to comply with emissions and regulations, even though these vehicles do not produce emissions. In other words, they were legally required to have one, not because they needed it.


Also, an OBD-II port is not particularly useful for these vehicles, because the shown data is meaningless without a combustion engine.

But as the years passed, Tesla got a special dispensation to drop the OBD 2 standard and created their own called Diagnostic Port.

That’s why newer models like Tesla Model 3 and Model Y are equipped with the so-called Diagnostic Port. This port is located at the back seat of the vehicle where you can plug in a Tesla adapter.

How To Scan A Tesla?

Tesla vehicles have 3 levels of diagnostics. It’s not like plugging an OBD2 scanner and leaving it there. 

They are as follows:

  • Level 1 Basic Diagnostic
  • Level 2 Cable Diagnostic
  • Level 3 Tesla Toolbox

Let’s cover each of them in more detail.

Level 1: Basic Diagnostic

tesla basic diagnostic

As an owner of a Tesla, you just can’t miss the big screen. Through the center console display, you can access a lot of information about the vehicle which provides a range of diagnostic capabilities.

Here are some of the main features:

  • Vehicle Status Information: In this menu, you can access information about the vehicle status which includes battery charge level, tire pressure, energy consumption, and more.
  • Warning Messages: If the car detects a problem with low battery, high energy consumption, or higher motor temperature everything is displayed on that screen to keep you updated.
  • Software Updates: When a software update is available for the vehicle, a notification will be displayed on the center console.
  • Service Mode: In some cases, a Tesla technician may use a special service mode on the center console to perform diagnostics or maintenance procedures. 

Level 2: Cable Tesla Diagnostics

cable tesla diagnostics

There are some aftermarket scanners that can provide additional diagnostic features beyond the ones in the center display. Usually, you can connect this scanner to the vehicle diagnostic port and you can get additional data from the vehicle’s systems.

Here are a few examples of aftermarket scanners that you can use for Tesla diagnostic:

  • Scan My Tesla: This is an app that works for Android and iOS, when used with a compatible OBD-II adapter, can read and display a wide range of data from the vehicle, including battery health, temperatures, power usage, and more.
  • OBDLink MX+: This is a Bluetooth OBD-II adapter that can be used with a variety of apps to read diagnostic data from the vehicle. It’s compatible with both Android and iOS devices.
  • Washinglee OBD2 Diagnostic Cable for Tesla: This is a cable that connects to the vehicle’s diagnostic port and can be used with a laptop or mobile device to read diagnostic data.

Level 3: Tesla Toolbox

The third level is the authorized Tesla Toolbox. With this tool, you can perform the deepest levels of diagnostics. Usually, this toolbox isn’t available to the public and it can only be purchased by authorized dealers.

Here are some of the features that you can perform:

  • Diagnostic Information
  • Software Updates
  • Configuration Changes
  • Maintenance Procedures

This a web-based tool and it functions like a pass-thru between Tesla services and the vehicle and showing who is currently working on that car.

Here’s a quick video that briefly explains the functions of the Tesla Toolbox:

Keep in mind that diagnosing Teslas isn’t like diagnosing any other vehicle. You should carefully read the instructions when using more advanced tools to avoid damaging the car and potentially disrupting the warranty.

Do Teslas Have OBD2 FAQs

Do Teslas Have Trouble Codes (DTCs)?

No. The main difference between a Tesla and a standard vehicle is that Tesla’s faults are based on a current event that happened while the standard vehicles use fault-based troubleshooting.

Do All Electric Cars Have OBD2?

Yes, but the functionality is somewhat different. In electric vehicles, the OBD-II port is often used for other types of diagnostics. For example, it can provide information about the battery’s state of charge, the health of the battery cells, and the status of the electric motor, and other vehicle systems.

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