Please refer to this video if you're fitting the puddle lights in a Model 3 (around the 15 minute mark):
Q: I can't get the plug to fit into the bulb
A: Tesla have used a few variations of the plug. They're all basically the same, but it does mean that we've had to design the socket to accommodate all the options. If you experience issues, please check the following:
- There are 2 pins in the socket, they line up with the connector. Sometimes these pins can become bent when inserting the plug at a slightly off-angle. Slide the plug in at a slight downward-facing angle to ensure it easily engages with the pins. If all else fails, in most cases, you can simply bend the pins up very slightly using a flat-blade screwdriver.
- If the plug is very tight (but still makes a connection) then don't worry, it's not going anywhere. When fully inserted it should snap into place, but sometimes a variation in either the plug or socket will make it more difficult. There's no need to force it though, it will not become disconnected.
Q: The puddle lights are making a high-pitch noise when plugged into my Model 3
A: Although we can't completely explain why, the solid-state fuses in the Model 3 are causing this issue, and normally reset after the car goes through a sleep cycle. Sometimes it can take a couple of cycles for the circuit to 'settle' with the new bulbs, but once it does, the whine should go away. The car normally sleeps after 4-6 hours of inactivity, so typically overnight. During this time the solid-state fuses go through a soft-reset, and that normally stabilizes the circuit, after which there won't be any further issues.
Q: The projection is pointing the wrong way
A: Each bulb will have an L or R sticker, for Left and Right, so first make sure that you have the correct bulb installed. Although the image is rotatable, there should only be a need for a minor adjustment if the correct bulb is used. To rotate the projection, do this before fully inserting the bulb into the door, as getting it back out can be a bit of a fight. On each side of the bulb, you'll see a small plastic lug that can be moved with a fingernail, spudger or small screwdriver to rotate the image. The total rotation is about 60 degrees each way, so by combining which way you insert the bulb and the rotation of the image, any angle can be accomplished. Please see below for more details.
Q: How do I remove the bulb from the door?
To accommodate the projection unit, the bulb is about 1mm wider than the factory bulb. To remove the bulb, simple pop it out of the hole using a spudger. This will release the first part of the bulb, and the wider black part will probably still be inside the door. Now, grasp the bulb on the long-sides (this is important - if you pull the bulb out fusing the short sides, you might pull the clear lens off), and give it a good wiggle while pulling it down. The bulb should then pop out.
Q: I have a Model 3, and the window dropped/raised when installing the bulbs. Has this caused any damage?
Nope. For reasons only known to Tesla, when a bulb is removed from the door, the window toggles up or down, as it would when the door is opened or closed. It does it again when plugging in the new bulb, and it's possible the car will report that the emergency door release was used, and that it shouldn't be. Either way, once the bulbs are installed, there's no lasting effects, it's just a quirk of how the doors are set-up.
Q: My lights go out after a minute. Is something wrong?
Nope. The projection film used in these bulbs is quite sensitive to heat. We exclusively use a long-life film, but to ensure this is the case, the lights will timeout after a minute or so.
Q: The projected image appears skewed, is this normal?
The slight skew on the projected image is due to the Model 3 doors (as opposed to S & X) having an angled mounting point for the lights. Rotating the image a little will, to some extent, compensate for it, but it will not be perfectly symmetrical. We've tried to improve this by adjusting the image, but that doesn't really work, as the effect is even more pronounced if a customer wants to rotate the image to a different angle.
How to Rotate the Projected Image
You can rotate the image to any angle, and there's a couple of ways to do this. The easiest way is to apply pressure on the rotation lugs, shown below:
Take a small flat-blade screwdriver and rotate the projection cylinder by pushing on the lugs. This can take a little force, but don't worry.
Be careful where you have your fingers - if the screwdriver slips be sure not to have your finger in the way (this is experience speaking!).
By rotating the lugs, you should be able to achieve ~80 degrees of rotation each way, which should be enough to find an orientation you're happy with. If not, or if you're not able to rotate the lugs, there's a plan B:
Carefully release the clear lens buy using a small screwdriver to apply a little pressure on each short end of the bulb. It's a gentle process, just push the screwdriver in, and rotate gently to lift the lens. Do this evenly on both sides, and lift off. Although the lens looks symmetrical, it's not, so make sure you note which end is which, as one end is slightly larger to accommodate the circuit.
Once off, you'll have two parts:
you can now manually rotate the projector "tube". The tube is removable, so if it does come out, be sure to insert it the same way, otherwise the image will be distorted (like looking through a telescope backwards).
When putting the clear lens back in, try to apply pressure on both ends at the same time - it will go on much easier if both sides snap in at the same time, as opposed to getting one side in, then the other.