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The Future of Steering: Exploring the Yoke Steering Wheel in Tesla Cars


A Yoke Steering Wheel or Steering Yoke is a unique type of steering wheel used in some Tesla electric cars, including the Model S Plaid and Model X Plaid. It is named after its resemblance to the yoke or control column used in aircraft.

Instead of a traditional circular steering wheel, the Yoke Steering Wheel is shaped like a flattened U-shape or a "yoke". The design eliminates the upper and lower sections of the wheel, leaving only the sides. The yoke includes two vertical grips, which the driver uses to steer the car by applying pressure.

The Yoke Steering Wheel is intended to provide a more futuristic and sporty feel to the driving experience, as well as improve visibility of the dashboard display. However, it has been criticized by some drivers for its unconventional design, as it can be uncomfortable to hold for extended periods and can make it difficult to perform certain maneuvers, such as making U-turns or parking in tight spaces.

How to Customize the Position of the Steering Yoke or Steering Wheel in a Tesla Vehicle

If you have a Tesla vehicle equipped with either a steering yoke or a steering wheel, you can easily adjust its position to suit your preference. Here's how you can do it:

  1. Go to the Controls menu on your Tesla's touchscreen display.

  2. Tap on the Steering icon.

  3. To adjust the height or tilt angle of the steering yoke or steering wheel, use the left scroll button on the yoke or wheel and roll it up or down.

  4. To move the steering yoke or steering wheel closer or further away from you, press the left scroll button to the left or right.

Remember, the specific steps may vary depending on the model and options of your Tesla vehicle. With this feature, you can customize the steering yoke or steering wheel position for a comfortable and personalized driving experience.

Fine-tuning Steering Effort in Tesla Cars

To tailor the steering system to your liking, you have the option to adjust the steering effort with the following steps:

  • Navigate to the touchscreen and tap Controls > Pedals & Steering > Steering Mode.

  • Select one of the following steering options:

  • Comfort: Decreases the amount of force needed to turn the steering yoke (or steering wheel). This setting can make driving and parking in urban areas feel smoother and less strenuous.

  • Standard: Tesla considers this setting to provide optimal handling and responsiveness in most driving conditions.

  • Sport: Increases the effort required to turn the steering yoke (or steering wheel), which can enhance the driving experience at higher speeds and provide a sportier feel.

Overview of Buttons

The steering yoke (or steering wheel) on your Model S provides all the controls you need while driving. Here's an overview of the buttons on the steering wheel:

  • Right turn signal (refer to Turn Signals section)

  • High beam headlights* (refer to High Beam Headlights section)

  • Left turn signal (refer to Turn Signals section)

  • Left scroll button (refer to Left Scroll Button section)

  • Horn (refer to Horn section)

  • Identifier that is always illuminated to indicate that the right scroll wheel can be used with cruise control.

  • Wipers* (refer to Wipers and Washers section)

  • Right scroll button (refer to Right Scroll Button section)

  • Voice commands (refer to Voice Commands section)

Note: that the behavior of the buttons for headlight high beams and wipers varies depending on whether you press or press and hold the button. Refer to the corresponding sections in the Owner's Manual for more information.

Left Scroll Button

The left scroll button on the steering yoke (or steering wheel) of a Tesla car serves multiple functions and can be used to:

  • Adjust the position of the mirrors and steering yoke (or steering wheel)

  • Control the wipers and media player

When using the media player, the left scroll button can be pushed to the left to go back to the previous song or station, or pushed to the right to skip to the next song or station. Rolling the button up or down adjusts the volume of the sound system.

Note that the scroll button adjusts the volume for media and phone calls based on what is currently in use, and the touchscreen displays the volume level and whether you are adjusting volume for media or phone. To mute the media volume or to pause/play an audio file, push the scroll button.

When adjusting mirrors, pushing the button to the left or right moves the associated mirror inward or outward, while pushing up or down positions the mirror upward or downward.

To adjust the position of the steering yoke (or steering wheel), roll the button up or down to adjust the tilt or angle, and press the button to the left or right to move the steering yoke (or steering wheel) closer or further.

When a menu displays on the instrument panel from which you can choose options, such as the wipers, use the scroll button to choose an option by scrolling up, down, left, or right.

Right Scroll Button

To control Autopilot features like Autosteer and Traffic-Aware Cruise Control in Tesla cars with a Yoke Steering Wheel, you can use the scroll button located on the right side of the steering yoke. Here's how:

  • Look for the steering wheel with a zoom box of the right scroll button. The blue arrows pointing up, down, left, right indicate its location.

  • While driving, push and release the button once to engage Autosteer or Traffic-Aware Cruise Control. If your Autosteer Activation is set to Double Click, a single push will engage Traffic-Aware Cruise Control only, and you'll need to push and release the button twice to engage Autosteer. To cancel Autosteer and/or Traffic-Aware Cruise Control, simply push the button again.

  • If your Model S is in Park, push the button twice to engage Summon (if equipped) automatically before exiting the vehicle. This feature is called "Starting Summon Before Exiting the Vehicle".

  • When Traffic-Aware Cruise Control is engaged, rolling the scroll button up or down will increase or decrease the set cruising speed, respectively.

  • Note that pushing the right scroll button to the left or right does not currently have any associated actions.

Heated Steering Yoke (or Steering Wheel)

The Tesla car features a Heated Steering Yoke, which can be warmed up by following these steps:

  • Touch the temperature icon on the touchscreen to access the climate controls (refer to the Overview of Climate Controls).

  • Select the steering yoke icon and turn on the radiant heat option, which will maintain a comfortable temperature for the yoke.


The car's horn is located on the right side of the yoke or steering wheel, and can be activated by:

  • Pressing and holding the horn button on the right side of the yoke.

To locate the horn button, look for the arrow pointing to the top leftmost button on the right side of the steering yoke.

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