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Tesla Supercharger Won’t Start – Top Reasons Why!

Recently, I embarked on a road trip, topping up my Tesla only to be met with a sinking feeling when the Supercharger was not working. It’s a problem many face, and understanding the common reasons behind this issue can be the key to a quick solution. It’s crucial to read, find out, and solve this problem effectively. Often, the Tesla Supercharger won’t start due to reasons that include a Faulty unit, Insufficient Funds, or Battery Protection measures kicking in During Cold Weather. Other times, it could be Problems with your Tesla itself, especially if the Range is Below 5%.

In my case, I had recently been to a nearby Supercharger zone to change my Tesla, but it doesn’t work. After that, I tried the same thing in 3 different zones, yet my Tesla won’t charge at any Supercharger. This predicament led me to identify the causes and apply the following techniques to fix the bugs: Reboot & reset the Tesla, Clean the Supercharger port, Insert the charger the right way, Heat the battery, and plug the connector into the port. Although these steps might seem easy, they require attention to job, learn the techniques in detail, and understand the procedure. So, Let’s Go and tackle these issues head-on to ensure our Teslas are charged and ready for the journey ahead.

Try This Fix When Tesla Won’t Charge at Supercharger

On a recent road trip, my Tesla faced the dreaded issue of not charging at the Supercharger. I discovered that the fixes for this are generally simple and require no tools, except maybe a pair of pliers and some basic safety equipment to avoid mishaps. If you find yourself in this predicament, Take a look at the given methods to resolve the bugs effectively. Often, a bit of troubleshooting, cleaning, and ensuring a secure connection can get your Tesla back to charging smoothly, ensuring your journey continues without a hitch.

Method #1: Basic Fix

When my Tesla stubbornly refused to charge at the Supercharger, I knew it was time for some DIY troubleshooting. The first and simplest method I tried was a Reboot. Sitting in the driver’s seat, I pressed and held the 2 scroll buttons on the steering wheel, Left and Right, and waited patiently for the system to complete the reboot. This process is akin to restarting your computer and can often clear minor glitches that prevent charging.

However, when a simple reboot doesn’t cut it, it’s time to Power Cycle the Tesla. I changed the car into P (Park) mode, then touched the screen to navigate to Controls > Safety & Security > Power Off. A firm click on the Power Off bar, and a two-minute wait to complete the power cycle, might just do the trick. Remember to hit the brake pedal or open a door to wake up the car afterward.

For more persistent issues, a Hard Reset might be necessary. I Opened all doors, windows, front trunk, and back trunk, then powered off the Tesla (go to Controls > Safety & Security > Power Off and click). After the screen goes all black, I Got out, removed the battery cover, and used a pair of pliers to carefully remove the negative post, ensuring the terminal wasn’t contacting any other parts. After waiting for around 1 minute, I reconnected everything, closed up the car, and hoped for the best.

Remember, while these steps might seem straightforward, they require a good understanding of your vehicle’s mechanics and some basic safety precautions. If you’re ever unsure, it’s best to consult with a professional or reach out to Tesla’s customer service for guidance. And always ensure your Tesla is in a safe condition before testing it out on the road.

Basic Fix of telsa supercharger

Method #2: Wipe Out the Tesla Charger Port

When faced with a Tesla that won’t charge, Method #2: Wipe Out the Tesla Charger Port can be a straightforward yet effective solution. Start by approaching the charging port; on your car’s touchscreen, click on Controls and select the Charging Port icon resembling lightning bolts. Alternatively, simply unlock your Tesla, press the bottom of the Charging port door to open it. With the port now accessible, take a small brush or a clean rag and gently wipe the surface of the charging port to remove any dust, locate and clear out snow or anything else that might obstruct the connection. This simple yet meticulous cleaning can often resolve charging issues, ensuring a snug and effective link between your Tesla and the Supercharger.

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Method #3: Plug the Charger Properly into Tesla

In the quest to resolve a Tesla that won’t charge at a Supercharger, Method #3: Plug the Charger Properly into Tesla stands out for its simplicity and effectiveness. Initially, you need to get out of your Tesla and ensure the charging port is open. Then, firmly take the Supercharger connector and insert it into the Tesla Charging port with a deliberate left-to-right motion. Continue this action until you hear a small clicking noise which will confirm a secure connection. Many users overlook this basic step, but ensuring the charger is properly connected can often rectify charging issues and get your Tesla back on the road in no time.

Method #4: Heat Up the Battery Before Plugging

In colder climates, Method #4: Heat Up the Battery Before Plugging can be crucial for Tesla owners facing charging issues. Before you even reach the Supercharger, go to your phone’s Tesla app, click on Climate, and then select Defrost Car to ensure your car and its battery begin to warm up. It’s essential to have your app connected to your Tesla to perform this remotely. Wait for about 30 – 45 minutes to sufficiently defrost the car charging port and melt down any snow. As you enter the location of a nearby Supercharger in your navigation and select where you want to go and charge, your car’s battery will continue to warm up. This period of driving will help ensure your battery stays heated, optimizing it for a successful charge upon arrival.

Faulty Supercharger

When my Tesla displayed a stubborn refusal to charge at a Supercharger location, I was hit with the sinking realization that the issue might not be my vehicle, but a Faulty Supercharger. With approximately 140 Supercharge locations throughout the USA, it’s possible to encounter a station that’s experiencing technical difficulties. Despite Technicians constantly checking and being remotely connected to the Tesla network, some units may still cause trouble. If you find your range pretty low and roll up to a Supercharger only to realize your car can’t charge, don’t automatically assume the problem is with your Tesla. Often, it’s not actually your car but the Supercharger’s fault.

In such cases, the best thing to do is switch to another Supercharger at the same location and try charging again. If it works, fantastic! If not, consider trying another on the other side, or a second bank of chargers. Don’t hesitate to ask someone who has recently used a stall how everything went. If the issue persists and seems to be a fault true to your Tesla, you have a couple of choices: search your Tesla App for an alternative Level 2 charger, or call Roadside Assist. And always remember, if in doubt, try calling the support number listed on each Supercharger to ask about your location and stall numbers you’ve tried; they can help assess if it’s the Supercharger’s fault or a fault in your Tesla.

Faulty Supercharger

Insufficient Funds

While some lucky Tesla owners enjoy the perks of Free Supercharging, several others must pay to juice up their vehicles. If you’ve ever approached a Supercharger and found your Tesla refusing to charge, the issue might be Insufficient funds. It’s easily overlooked but crucial to regularly check which category you fall into via the Tesla App under Manage > View Details. Here, you’ll see whether you have Free Unlimited, Pay Per Use, or Timebound Supercharging. If your card is declined or your account reflects Insufficient funds, it could be a simple case of having an outdated Credit or Debit Card still linked to your account or a recently replaced one that’s lost or stolen. To avoid this frustrating scenario, update your Tesla account with your new card details promptly. Remember, even if you know every spate of losing your card, it’s crucial to think about and update everything, or you might find yourself rejected at the charge port, wondering why something so easily solved wasn’t addressed sooner.

Tesla Battery Protection

When your Tesla refuses to charge at a Supercharger, it might be an act of Tesla Battery Protection rather than a malfunction. After Supercharging quite a lot recently, for several reasons like frequent trips or lack of access to Level 2 or Level 1 chargers, the onboard computer might limit access to rapid charging to protect the battery’s longevity. This is because more frequent fast charging causes the cells to get hotter, which can quicker degrade them. So, when you top up your charge and find it not working, it doesn’t mean your car can’t charge; it’s likely the system trying to reduce the stress on your battery just a little more before allowing you to Supercharge again. This Tesla network feature ensures the best for your high-voltage battery, so switching to a slower charge for a while might just be the prudent thing to do.

Tesla Battery Protection

Cold Weather Supercharging

When the temperature plummets, you might find your Tesla struggles with supercharging, especially in extreme weather conditions like the biting cold. It’s not that your car doesn’t like the chill; it’s that the onboard computer may limit or not allow supercharging to protect the battery. Tesla uses DC for supercharging, requiring a higher voltage and temperature compared to AC, and cold ambient conditions can cause the high-voltage battery to drop in temperature, making supercharging not available or significantly slower. There are ways around this: if you know you’re going to Supercharge in temperatures zero or below, schedule a stop in your Navigation. This will allow your car to precondition, meaning it will bring the batteries up to an optimum temperature by the time you arrive at the location. This small step can make a big difference in how quickly and efficiently your Tesla charges in the cold.

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Cold Weather Supercharging

Problems with Your Tesla

When your Tesla doesn’t charge at a Supercharger, it’s not always the car’s fault, but sometimes it is. Upon arrival at the Supercharger, ensure you plugin the charger correctly; if not done right, charging won’t go ahead. Tests are run by both the Supercharger cable and your Tesla to check that everything is safe. An important check is ensuring a complete seal between the charger and the charge port. If the light on the charger is temporarily blinking green, then turns red, it might show that it tried to start but failed. The actuator, a small plastic clip in the plugging-in system, completes the connection, but if it’s faulty or intermittently working, charging can’t occur. If pressing the release button doesn’t pull the lever back inside, it’s a sign the seal is incomplete, and the Supercharger will abort the charging session. Before you think there’s an issue with your car, it’s advisable not to play around with anything connected to the charging area or the high-voltage battery. If in doubt, contact your Tesla Service Center for professional assistance.

Guide to Charging Lights

Understanding the Guide to Charging Lights on your Tesla can be pivotal when facing charging issues at a Supercharger. All Green lights indicate that charging is proceeding with No Problems. Top Light Green suggests there is Power but not charging, prompting you to Check car connection. No Green with Red Light Flashing signals Unsafe Electrics, and it’s wise to Press Reset Button. As the number of Red Lights Flashing increases, the issues vary from Self Check Failed to Contact Failed, Loss of Ground, Circuit Break, and Heat Fault. Each scenario requires a different response, like Unplug and Replug, Contact Electrician, or Move Charging to a Cooler Place. If you encounter More than 6 Red Lights Flashing or No Lights at all, indicating a Faulty Connector or No Power, it’s best to Contact Tesla or Check Power sources. Navigating these signals effectively can save time and ensure your Tesla is back on the road swiftly.

Range Below 5%

When your Tesla’s range drops below the magic 20%, particularly when it’s depleted to 5% or just above, charging at a Supercharger might not go as smoothly as you’d expect. Tesla recommends keeping the Tesla range between 20% and 80%, but sometimes life takes over, and you can’t get to a charger in time. Whether you’re on a long road trip or faced a power outage at home and haven’t had the opportunity to top up, you might pull into a Supercharger location and find that charging doesn’t go to plan.

However, don’t despair immediately. There’s usually a reason your car is not charging, and understanding it can help you remedy the situation. When the battery is nearly flat, the onboard computer of your Tesla, in its wisdom to protect the battery from potential damage, slows the charging process. This might look like no charging is taking place at all, but in fact, the computer is slowly preparing your battery for Supercharge. This precautionary step could take anywhere from 10-15 minutes before actual Supercharging takes place, especially if the battery is low and the outside temperature is cold.

If your battery is not low, there’s a possibility that something else is at fault. In scenarios where your battery is less than 10%, it will inherently take longer to kick in. My advice? Leave the charger plugged in and allow it to begin. Remember, this slow charge issue is not the case with Level 1 or Level 2 charges, as they both use AC voltage, which is not as dramatic for your high-voltage battery. As an EV owner who has often pondered what happens if I don’t get to charge my Tesla, I’ve learned that patience and understanding the charging behavior in different scenarios are crucial. So, if you find yourself in a situation where it looks like you can’t charge, remember these insights and give your car the time it needs.

Why Is My Tesla Not Charging at A Supercharger?

Experiencing a Tesla Supercharger not charging can be perplexing, and before you head to a repair shop, it’s wise to spot the reasons that might be causing this error. Often, the issue is due to extreme usage where the Tesla might fail to recognize an external charger inserted into the port. This typically happens when internal errors pop in due to a variety of factors. For instance, snow or dust might be stuck inside the charge port or servo, creating obstacles when you’re trying to lock the Supercharger connector. This is particularly common when the temperature is freezing wet. Alternatively, the Supercharger connector may simply not be connected properly to the Tesla charger port. It needs a few seconds of careful left-to-right motion to insert it properly until you hear a reassuring clicking noise.


Another factor to consider is that Lithium-ion batteries are not able to charge effectively in weather below 20° C. In this case, your Tesla needs heating for around 4 – 5 minutes before charging can commence efficiently. This temperature sensitivity is a protective measure to ensure the longevity and health of your battery. Understanding these potential causes and how to address them can save you time and ensure your Tesla gets the power it needs. Remember, a methodical approach to troubleshooting can often reveal a simple solution to what might initially seem like a complex problem.

5 Things to Note Before You Charge at Supercharger

Before you head to a Supercharger, it’s crucial to be prepared. Here are five key points to ensure a smooth charging experience:

  1. Park your Tesla inside the designated line and set it to P (Park) mode. This ensures you are positioned correctly for charging.
  2. Get out of your car and insert the connector firmly. A solid connection is vital for effective charging.
  3. Register the ANPR at least 10 minutes before you reach your parking spot to ensure your Tesla is recognized by the system.
  4. Be sure to put the Supercharger on your map to help your battery heat up manually as your Tesla reaches its destination. This preps your battery for optimal charging.
  5. Ensure your battery is around 20 percent or above. If you have Low battery power, turn on the C heaters to the max to keep the environment warm, go to Climate Controls and turn off the A/C, and lower the air temperature so it doesn’t drain battery power and use much.

Remember, a little preparation goes a long way in ensuring your Tesla charges effectively and efficiently at a Supercharger.

Can I Charge To 100% At A Tesla Supercharger?

The question of whether you can’t or can charge to 100% at a Tesla Supercharger often arises among new Tesla owners. While technically possible, it’s important to understand that Tesla’s electrical standard limit for actual amps while charging is often set through the touchscreen charge option to optimize battery health and efficiency. Based on the outlet type, either 10–30 or 14–30, the flow is generally rated to charge up to 80% at the Supercharger. This is suggested to set the range to 80% to lessen congestion at high-use Superchargers and prolong battery life. However, if you really need that extra boost, you can adjust the charge limit by plugging in the connector and using the screen settings on your Tesla app to push for a higher charge. But remember, consistently charging to 100% can affect your battery’s longevity and is generally not advised for daily use.


If your Tesla won’t charge at the charging station, check your charging settings and set it to “immediate”. If problems continue, ensure your electrical panel and circuit breaker are functioning and look for any available updates in your Tesla charging station.

If your Tesla is plugged in but not charging, try disconnecting and reconnecting your vehicle to the Wall Connector. If the issue persists, turn OFF the circuit breaker servicing the Wall Connector, wait 10 seconds, then turn ON again before reconnecting your vehicle to the Wall Connector.

If your Tesla isn’t charging fast at a Supercharger, it could be due to various factors. Supercharging rates vary based on the battery charge level, current use of the Supercharger station, and extreme climate conditions. Typically, your vehicle charges faster when the battery is at a lower state of charge, but charging slows down as the battery fills up to protect its longevity and efficiency.

Tesla may block Supercharging for salvaged Teslas that have been repaired for a few thousand dollars, a standard practice for some. This is part of Tesla’s method of combating unsafe practices by disabling the salvaged Tesla’s ability to utilize the Supercharger network due to potential battery flaws. It’s a safety measure to ensure that modified or potentially compromised vehicles don’t pose a risk to themselves or the charging infrastructure.

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