Tesla Model 3 Camera Recording Feature: Complete Guide

Navigating the complexities of Tesla Model 3’s camera recording feature can be a daunting task. The dashcam system in this technologically advanced vehicle is capable of capturing valuable footage making your drive safer and more secure.

This comprehensive guide will smoothly steer you through every detail, from enabling settings to viewing recordings. Let’s jump right into getting the best out of your Tesla Model 3’s camera capabilities!

Key Takeaways

  • Tesla Model 3 has a camera system with Dashcam and Sentry Mode. The Dashcam records video as you drive. It can film from the front, left, and right side of your car at once.
  • You use the dashcam by first making sure your car is in park. Then you touch the Dashcam icon on your vehicle’s touchscreen to start recording.
  • Sentry Mode is a tool that spots risks when your car is parked. This feature tells you when there’s trouble close by and even lets you see what happened from your phone!
  • To view videos, remove USB device and plug it into a computer or viewer capable of reading .mp4 files. Each folder will have three or four video files sorted by timestamp for each camera angle.
A Tesla Model 3 on a scenic road trip captured through landscape photography.

Understanding Tesla Model 3’s Camera System

The Tesla Model 3’s camera system consists of a built-in Dashcam and Sentry Mode, both designed to leverage the vehicle’s external cameras for surveillance, safety, and convenience.


Dashcam is a part of the Tesla Model 3 camera system. It saves video as you drive. The videos show what happens all around your car. You need a USB drive in the car for this to work.

Dashcam films from three sides at once: front, left, and right side. This gives you a full view of everything going on outside while driving or parked. Many drivers use it to help them see things they missed when driving or to catch events that happen near their cars while parked.

To make Dashcam start recording, you have to turn it on first inside the settings menu.

Sentry Mode

Sentry Mode is a key security feature in Tesla cars. This tool keeps an eye out for any risks when your car is parked. The cameras on your Tesla are always on, ready to spot suspicious activity.

Sentry Mode tells you when there’s trouble close by. It starts recording as soon as it gets a proximity alert. You will get an alert too if anything seems off around your vehicle. You can even see what happened right from your phone!

How to Use Dashcam

To utilize the dashcam feature, first ensure your Tesla Model 3 is in park. Next, touch the Dashcam icon on your vehicle’s touchscreen to begin recording. The system automatically organizes your video recordings for easy access and viewing later.

Ensure car is in park

Make sure your car is not moving. This means you need to put your Tesla Model 3 in park. It has to be sitting still with the gear in the parked position. After this, you can use the Dashcam feature.

Your car being motionless is a must for using it. So, before touching any icons on the touchscreen, check that your vehicle is stationary and safe.

Touch Dashcam icon on touchscreen

You can use the Dashcam on your Tesla Model 3 with a simple touch. Look for the Dashcam icon at the top of your car’s touchscreen. Just tap it! This takes you to the Viewer. Here, you can watch all video recordings from your camera.

Before doing this, make sure you have a formatted flash drive plugged in. You need this for the Dashcam feature to work right.

Organizing and viewing video recordings

You can view and sort video clips on your Tesla’s touch screen. First, park the car. Then tap the dashcam icon. This is where you’ll see all of your recorded videos.

It’s easy to pick out a clip. Just tap on it, then press play to watch right away. Can’t find what you need? Scroll through until you see what you’re looking for. Use this feature any time to help with speed checks or if you have been in a driving incident that needs proof.

Storing videos takes no extra work or cost too! As long as there’s space in your USB drives, Autopilot cameras will keep recording live footage while driving.

A person in a Tesla Model 3 uses the dashcam in a city setting.

Detailed Guide on Using Tesla Model 3 Camera Recording Feature

Your Tesla Model 3 can record live video. This is the work of the dashcam feature. The dashcam needs a USB drive to store videos. You need to plug in this drive in your car’s front USB port.

Now, you are set to start recording.

Turn on the recording by tapping ‘Controls.’ Next, tap on ‘Safety & Security.’ After that, pick ‘Format Dashcam USB Drive.’ You will find it at the bottom of the screen.

Want a break from recording? Just tap on pause button! It is easy to spot it—it looks like a red dot—to stop or start recording anytime while driving.

You can also save recorded clips from the past hour—all you have to do is touch and hold dashcam icon until you see a check mark.

Did something interesting happen along your path? If yes, then capture such moments with Tesla’s function called ‘Record Button’. To use it just press once and it stores last ten minutes of saved footage.

To view what was captured you’ll simply remove your USB device and plug into a computer or viewer capable of reading .mp4 files. In each folder, there will be three or four video files shorted by timestamp—one for each camera angle (front narrow, left repeater etc.).

How to Use Sentry Mode

The Sentry Mode feature on the Tesla Model 3 offers enhanced security by allowing you to monitor your vehicle’s surroundings remotely; in this section, we delve into how to enable this function and manage recorded footage via the Tesla app for optimal safety.

Continue reading to fully grasp this invaluable aspect of your car’s capabilities.

Using the mobile app

You can use the Tesla app on your phone to view live video from Sentry Mode. First, tap ‘Security’ on the app. Next, choose ‘Sentry Mode’. Finally, click ‘View live camera.’ This lets you see what is happening around your car in real time.

At home or out and about, keep an eye on your Tesla with this easy-to-use mobile app feature.

Remotely viewing surroundings

You can use the Tesla app to see around your car. This is thanks to Sentry Mode. Go on the ‘Security’ part of the app, pick ‘Sentry Mode’, then tap ‘View‘. Now you can check out what’s happening near your parked Tesla!

The Live Cam lets you watch live videos from inside and outside the car. It’s part of Sentry Mode, a smart security system for cars. The cameras keep an eye on things that seem risky while your Tesla is parked.

Enabling in Settings

Turning on Sentry Mode is easy. First, go to the Controls menu on your Tesla’s screen. Next, choose Safety and then pick Sentry Mode from the list. Make sure no one is in the car before you do this.

Always lock all doors too. This feature helps keep your Tesla safe by recording things that happen close to it when a nearby movement sets off an alert.

Advanced Features

Delving further into the features, we will explain how to optimally use USB drives for video storage, discuss similar threads and support options available for any hitches experienced while using the Tesla Model 3 camera recording feature, and address common troubleshooting issues along with frequently asked questions.

Use of USB drives

You need a USB drive to use some key features of the Tesla Model 3. Plug the USB flash drive into one of the front USB ports. Make sure your device holds at least 64 GB. The car uses this for storage.

You get alerts on your mobile app if Sentry Mode is on and there’s no USB drive in place. For Dashcam, you must have a right set up of the USB drive. If you look, you’ll find that your car has a ready-to-use pre-formatted flash drive for saving videos from both Sentry Mode and Dashcam.

Similar threads and support

You can find help in many places if you need it. There are many similar threads and support forums for Tesla Model 3 owners. In these places, people talk about their cars a lot. They share tips, tricks, and how-tos.

If you have a question or problem with your car, try looking up your issue first. You might find that someone else has had the same issue before. This way, you can learn from their experiences and get help faster!

Troubleshooting and FAQs

Let’s talk about common issues and answers for the Tesla Model 3 camera recording feature.

  1. My car is made after February 2018, but I can’t use the camera feature. What do I do?
  • Check that your car’s software is up to date.
  1. I am not getting alerts on my mobile app during Sentry Mode. What could be wrong?
  • Make sure you have set up Sentry Mode in your car settings.
  1. Is there a limit to how much video footage Dashcam can record while driving?
  • You need an external storage device for storing the recordings.
  1. My Sentry Mode doesn’t seem to detect threats. Am I doing it wrong?
  • Sentry Mode is smart and keeps an eye out for things around your parked car.
  1. Is any USB drive ok to use with my Tesla Model 3?
  • Some USB drives work well, others may not be compatible.
  1. Where can I learn more about these camera features?
  • Look for threads and get support from people who share their experiences online.
  1. Can I view my surroundings remotely using the camera system?
  • Yes, you can watch it via the mobile app.
  1. What steps should I take if the recording feature doesn’t work properly?
  • Seek help from advanced security features FAQs or contact Tesla support over phone or email.


Now you know how to use the camera recording feature of your Tesla Model 3. Make full use of dashcam and sentry mode while driving or parking. Enjoy a safer ride every time with Tesla’s smart features.

Happy and secure driving!


1. What is the camera recording feature in Tesla Model 3?

The camera recording feature in Tesla Model 3 is a built-in system that records and saves video from all cameras on your car.

2. How do I use the camera recording feature in my Tesla Model 3?

You can use this by setting up an external storage device, then enabling ‘Dashcam’ or ‘Sentry Mode’ through the safety settings on your car’s touchscreen.

3. Can I view recorded videos inside my Tesla Model 3?

Yes, you can view recorded dashcam and sentry mode footage directly from your car’s touchscreen.

4. Do I need any special equipment to use this feature?

To use this feature, you’ll need a USB flash drive or SSD with enough space to store the recordings.

5. What happens if my storage gets full while using the camera record function?

Once storage is full, older footage will be automatically overwritten unless it was marked as protected due to an event such as a collision or alarm trigger.

Jonathan Rice

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