Tesla Dashcam Inquiry: Is an Additional Dashcam Necessary for Your Tesla?

Have you ever considered getting a dashcam for your Tesla? With the increasing popularity of dashcams, it's no surprise that Tesla owners are wondering whether their car needs an additional one. While Tesla does offer a built-in dashcam feature, it's not without its limitations. In this article, we'll explore the benefits and drawbacks of using Tesla's built-in dashcam and whether it's worth investing in an additional one.

First, let's take a closer look at Tesla's built-in dashcam feature. The feature, known as "TeslaCam," uses the car's built-in cameras to record footage of the car's surroundings. The footage is saved to a USB drive plugged into the car's console and can be viewed and downloaded later. While this feature is certainly convenient, it does have some limitations. For example, the footage can only be accessed when the car is parked. Additionally, the footage can be overwritten if the USB drive runs out of space, so it's important to regularly transfer the footage to another device.

Exploring Tesla's Built-In Dashcam System

If you own a Tesla, you may already be familiar with the built-in dashcam system. This feature allows you to record video from the front, rear, and side cameras of your Tesla. The recorded footage can be used as evidence in case of an accident or as a way to capture memorable moments during your travels.

To access the dashcam feature, you need to have a USB drive with at least 1.8GB of free space. Once you insert the USB drive into the front console of your Tesla, the dashcam feature will automatically start recording. You can also manually start and stop the recording by tapping the camera icon on the touchscreen.

The dashcam feature records video in a loop, meaning that once the USB drive is full, it will start overwriting the oldest footage. However, if the dashcam detects a significant impact, it will save the footage from 10 seconds before and after the impact to a separate folder on the USB drive.

It's important to note that the built-in dashcam system on Tesla vehicles is not a substitute for a dedicated dashcam. While it can capture footage from multiple angles, it does not have some of the advanced features that dedicated dashcams offer, such as parking mode, motion detection, and cloud storage.

Tesla's built-in dashcam system is a useful feature that can come in handy in case of an accident or to capture memorable moments during your travels. However, if you want more advanced features and better protection for your vehicle, it may be worth investing in a dedicated dashcam.

Reasons to Consider an Additional Dashcam

If you are a Tesla owner, you might wonder if you really need an additional dashcam. After all, Tesla vehicles come equipped with a built-in dashcam system that records footage from multiple cameras. However, there are several reasons why you might want to consider adding an extra dashcam to your Tesla.

1. Additional Coverage

While Tesla's built-in dashcam system is great, it only covers certain angles. An additional dashcam can provide coverage from different angles and perspectives, giving you a more comprehensive view of any incidents that may occur on the road. This can be especially helpful in case of an accident, as it can provide additional evidence to support your case.

2. Higher Quality Footage

While Tesla's built-in dashcam system is decent, it doesn't provide the highest quality footage. By adding an additional dashcam, you can ensure that you are capturing the highest quality footage possible. This can be especially important when it comes to reading license plates or identifying other important details.

3. More Control

By adding an additional dashcam, you can have more control over your footage. This can include things like adjusting the angle of the camera, choosing which footage to save, and more. Additionally, third-party dashcams such as those from Vantrue come with features like parking mode, which can help protect your Tesla when it's parked and unattended.

Overall, while Tesla's built-in dashcam system is good, there are several reasons why you might want to consider adding an additional dashcam to your Tesla. Whether you're looking for additional coverage, higher quality footage, or more control over your footage, an additional dashcam can be a great investment.

Comparing Tesla's Dashcam to Vantrue Options

If you are considering adding an additional dashcam to your Tesla, you may be wondering how Tesla's built-in dashcam compares to other options on the market. Vantrue offers several dashcam models with different features and price points. In this section, we will compare Tesla's dashcam to Vantrue's options in terms of video quality and resolution, storage capacity and management, features and functionality, and cost considerations.

Video Quality and Resolution

Tesla's built-in dashcam records in 1080p resolution and has a wide-angle lens that captures a 360-degree view around the car. Vantrue offers several models with higher resolution, including 2K and 4K options, as well as a variety of lens angles. 

Storage Capacity and Management

Tesla's dashcam stores footage on a USB drive that plugs into the car's console. The drive can hold up to 1 hour of footage, which is overwritten in a loop. Vantrue offers dashcams with larger storage capacity, ranging from 32GB to 256GB, and some models also include features such as automatic file deletion and parking mode recording.

Features and Functionality

Tesla's dashcam is integrated with the car's software and can be accessed through the touchscreen display. It has basic features such as manual recording and automatic recording when an impact is detected. Vantrue dashcams offer a range of additional features, such as GPS tracking, Wi-Fi connectivity, and voice control. Some models also have built-in screens for viewing footage on the device itself.

Cost Considerations

Tesla's built-in dashcam is included with the car and does not require any additional cost. However, Vantrue's dashcams offer additional features and customization options that may be worth the investment.

Overall, Tesla's built-in dashcam provides basic recording capabilities, while Vantrue offers a range of additional features and customization options. Consider your specific needs and preferences when deciding whether to add an additional dashcam to your Tesla.

Installation of Vantrue Dashcams in Teslas

If you are considering installing a dashcam in your Tesla, the Vantrue N2 Pro and Vantrue X4 are popular options that are compatible with Tesla's electrical system.

Compatibility with Tesla's Electrical System

Both the Vantrue N2 Pro and Vantrue X4 are designed to work with a wide range of vehicles, including Teslas. They are equipped with a voltage detection feature that automatically turns the dashcam on and off with the car's ignition, ensuring that it won't drain your Tesla's battery when it's not in use.

Mounting and Aesthetics

The Vantrue N2 Pro and Vantrue X4 are compact and easy to mount on the windshield or dashboard of your Tesla. They come with a suction cup mount and a 3M adhesive mount, so you can choose the option that works best for your vehicle.

In terms of aesthetics, the Vantrue dashcams blend seamlessly with your Tesla's interior. The black casing and sleek design make them almost invisible from the driver's seat, minimizing distractions while driving.

Integration with Tesla's Infotainment

While the Vantrue dashcams don't integrate directly with Tesla's infotainment system, they do come with a built-in LCD screen that displays footage in real-time. You can also connect the dashcam to your computer or smartphone to view and download footage.


In conclusion, while Tesla's built-in dashcam is a useful feature, it may not be enough for everyone's needs. If you frequently drive in high-risk areas or want more control over your footage, installing an additional dashcam may be worth considering.

Keep in mind that adding a dashcam may require additional setup and maintenance. However, the added benefits of having a dedicated dashcam may outweigh these potential drawbacks.

Ultimately, the decision to install an additional dashcam in your Tesla comes down to your personal preferences and driving habits. If you value the added security and peace of mind, it may be worth the investment.

While you're at it, check out our curated selection of Vantrue dash cams that are compatible with Teslas here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the capabilities of the built-in dashcam on Tesla vehicles?

Tesla vehicles come equipped with a built-in dashcam that records footage from the front, rear, and sides of the car. The dashcam continuously records footage while driving and saves the last hour of footage to a USB drive that can be inserted into the car's USB port. The footage can be used to capture accidents, thefts, or other incidents that occur while driving.

How does Tesla's Sentry Mode compare to traditional dashcams?

Tesla's Sentry Mode is a security feature that uses the car's cameras and sensors to detect potential threats to the vehicle. When Sentry Mode is activated, the car will record footage and alert the owner if it detects any suspicious activity. Sentry Mode can be used to capture incidents that occur when the car is parked, such as break-ins or vandalism.

Can you manually adjust the settings of the Tesla dashcam, or is it automatic?

The Tesla dashcam settings can be adjusted manually through the car's touchscreen display. Users can choose to enable or disable the dashcam, adjust the recording quality, and choose which cameras to record from.

What is the resolution and quality of the footage captured by Tesla's dashcam?

Tesla's dashcam records footage in 1080p HD resolution, which provides clear and detailed footage of the car's surroundings. The footage is saved in a loop, with the oldest footage being overwritten by the newest footage.

Is there a need for an additional dashcam if your Tesla already has one built-in?

While the built-in dashcam on Tesla vehicles is capable of capturing high-quality footage, some users may prefer to install an additional dashcam for added security and peace of mind. An external dashcam can provide additional angles and coverage of the car's surroundings, and can be used as a backup in case the built-in dashcam fails.

How can you view and manage the footage recorded by the Tesla dashcam?

The footage recorded by the Tesla dashcam can be viewed and managed through the car's touchscreen display. Users can access the footage by inserting a USB drive into the car's USB port and selecting the "Cameras" option on the display. The footage can be played back, saved, or deleted as needed.