Can You Upgrade A Tesla After Purchase?

One of the features of Tesla ownership is, very much like an Apple iPhone, owners can expect to receive free upgrades to the car’s software periodically. It increases the excitement of owning a Tesla and adds to owner involvement with the vehicle.

Yes, you can upgrade a Tesla after purchase. In July 2021, new software made in-car upgrade purchases possible. It is unnecessary to use the mobile app or Tesla’s website to purchase an upgrade; Instead, you can add the new features by selecting them on the center screen.

The owners enjoy the periodic upgrades that Tesla sends out over the air. Typical upgrades include enhancements to the navigation systems, cold-weather capabilities, revised range notifications, and many more.

Table of Contents

Upgrading A Tesla After Purchase

Tesla does transmit periodic upgrades to the Tesla fleet. There are other features that the client may not have chosen at the point of sale but subsequently decides to download.

This capability has always been available, firstly through Tesla’s website, and then through the Tesla mobile app, and from July 2021, by directly selecting the additional features through the Tesla cars central screen.

With the software version 2021.40.6, which was rolled out in July 2021, a separate icon titled “upgrades” can be selected, and the owners can choose various upgrade options.

Previously several Tesla owners, who used the Tesla app, complained that they were being charged for upgrades they did not request. The problem became so severe that Tesla was forced to create a whole refund program to reimburse unhappy customers.

What Type Of Free Upgrades Does Tesla Send?

The upgrades that Tesla loads automatically fix bugs, improve the speed of the software, and add features that make the Tesla ownership experience more enjoyable.

For example, with the updated software version 2021.40.6 in July 2021, referred to previously, Tesla added the following enhancements free of charge.

They Included “Add Stop” In The Navigation Software

This addition enabled Tesla drivers to add waypoints to their navigation’s route.

Tesla Added “TIDAL” To The Infotainment System

They added TIDAL streaming to the Media menu. With a TIDAL account, drivers can listen to TIDAL playlists or albums in high-quality audio by connecting to Wi-Fi and pressing Download on the selected content.

Active Road Noise Reduction Was Added

This upgrade enabled Tesla to reduce low-frequency road noise while driving on rough surfaces actively. 

The system uses seat microphones to measure the noise in the cabin then generates anti-noise through the speakers to create quiet zones around the occupants.

Tesla Added Cold Weather Improvements

Tesla drivers can use the upgrade to defrost the front windscreen while maintaining the climate settings when clearing ice and snow. 

Additionally, automatic battery pre-conditioning was optimized to consume less energy.

Rear Display Improvements

Tesla drivers can lock access to the rear display camera with the update.

They Added The Traffic-Aware Cruise Control Chime

A chime was added when activating the traffic-aware cruise control.

These are just some of the 11 upgrades added to Teslas in July 2021.

upgrade a tesla after purchase
Source: PCMag

What About Pay Upgrades?

In addition to the free upgrades which are periodically sent out, users can add more comprehensive capabilities to their Tesla for a fee.

Even if certain features are not selected initially, all Tesla’s are sold with the same hardware. It means that if a client decides to upgrade, there are generally no hardware updates required, and it is simply a matter of selecting, and paying for, the requested software update.

They Can Add Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Package For A Fee

The Tesla full driving capability was launched in 2019 and was not as smooth or seamless a process as owners who had purchased their cars between 2016 and 2019 thought it would be.

Tesla has always boasted some automation capabilities. With Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Package, these capabilities have been significantly enhanced to level 2 automation. Although drivers still must remain in ultimate control, the systems can perform all driving functions in certain conditions.

Unfortunately, additional capabilities come at the cost of $10,000 upfront or as part of a subscription payment of $199 a month.

Although Tesla owners who purchased their Tesla car between 2016 and 2019 were told that their vehicles had the hardware necessary to run the automated systems when released, this proved not to be the case.

After releasing the software in 2019, Tesla mandated that to run it would require a more capable computer. The original offer was that Tesla would upgrade the computer hardware free of charge if the owner purchased the software or took up the subscription option.

Tesla has changed tack again, and now, if the subscription option is selected, Tesla also requires a $1,500 upfront payment.

Premium Connectivity Is Available As A Cost Option Upgrade

Premium connectivity offers a much more comprehensive selection of in-car entertainment and includes access to the following services:

  1. Music streaming, such as Slacker and Spotify
  2. Netflix, Disney+, YouTube, and a few others; these services still require an individual subscription; however, they can use the car’s data connection to access the benefits of this package

The cost to add Premium Connectivity to the Tesla is $99/year.

Models With Dual Motors Can Add Acceleration Boost

Tesla predicts that owners can reduce the Tesla car acceleration times by ½ second with the acceleration boost upgrade.

Although with each model, there is a performance variant with more capable brakes, bigger wheels, and suspension, the software upgrade only addresses the power delivery from both engines.

The acceleration improvement does not match the performance variant; it does add some zest to the package. (The ‘Acceleration Boost’ upgrade costs in the region of $2,000 – dependant on the vehicle).

Ingenext has a lower cost (50% of the Tesla price) hacked upgrade, which achieves the same results. Tesla is actively looking to prevent these hacks, but as of March 2022, the software is still available.

Other Upgrades Are Available

Depending on the model and year of the Tesla, there are other upgrades available. With the latest software, the options for all the enhancements are listed uniquely for each model.


There are many things that Tesla has introduced that upset the other manufacturers’ status quo. One of the most significant is software updates that Tesla both makes available free of charge and those requiring payment.

Tesla owners now enjoy the benefit that companies like Apple provide their customers. Each year, Apple customers get a wholly refreshed software update, including new features and new ways of using old features. The same is true of Tesla.

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc, or its affiliates.

Similar Posts