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Advice for backing up a straight narrow driveway

I've had my Tesla for three months and in that time I've scraped both the mirror and back wheel well backing up my straight driveway. It becomes narrow enough at the gate that I only had about 6" on each side of the mirror (12" now that I recently widened my automatic gate). After all this time, I've yet to find a strategy that seems full proof and doesn't involve making little adjustments every five feet. Most days I make it out in one go, but I'd like to almost never again veer toward the bushes or have to drive forward and then back again like Austin Powers.

What advice do people have specific to the Model S. I don't rely on the backup cam since my mirrors are usually a better gauge, but maybe I should use it more to straighten out (my driveway has straight lines on it that might help). Rear visibility is much worse than my thinner previous car, so I have a harder time gauging where the back of the car is. And my garage is just slightly offset, so I also need to do a little turning before I'm aligned with the driveway, so I can't just drive straight in and reverse without touching the wheel. Any advice would be appreciated because I'm really hoping I can keep driveway scratches down to at least every other year.

When learning to reverse to line up to a trailer I used the centre armrest as a 'sight' to line up with the 'target' - being the hitch on a caravan. If you can see all the way down the driveway see if you can find a suitable aiming point and use the centre headrest as your guide towards it.

You can get away with being fixated on a single point because you know the driveway is actually wide enough if you keep that one point correct.

Years ago I also had an extremely tight parking spot that relied on at least 4 turning points to fit in. When first parking there I had friends watching while we worked out the only way to get it to fit. The first part of the manoeuvre was that if I had 0.5" next to the drivers mirror when I started to pivot on full lock then I knew that I had 2" between a wall and the bumper as it turned!

Once the sequence was memorised it became second nature - to the amazement of passengers who hadn't seen it before.

If you can find suitable points to line up you will make your life much easier. If they aren't there now, see if you can add them - perhaps some solar powered garden lights to help you keep on track.

Have you considered leaving it in the driveway with an outdoor cover? Obviously inconvenient for charging but it sounds like the next scrape is going to really frost you.

Thanks for the detailed advice Mark E. I'll try and make use of center lines and focus on keeping in naturally straight.

I also do sometimes leave it outside the driveway, but either way, I'm going to be doing this drive somewhere between 500 times and 2,000 times over my life, so I might as well get good at it.

I am eagerly awaiting the addition of guidelines to the rearview camera display in a future update. I have these on my ICE, and I'm having a very hard time without them navigating around my garage door and other cars in the driveway. I never realized how much I relied on them to gauge whether or not I was backing up straight, but now I know!

Yep, I'm looking forward to that possibility too. Glad they can be added in software.

Are you reversing into your driveway or out of it? Personally I would reverse in, for a couple of reasons:

1:
At the end of a driving session you are already "in the zone" and probably have a better feel for the car size

2:
If you ever need to leave in a hurry, or for an emergency, it's much much easier to drive out forward.

Also, I would not use the camera, or the rear window, I would use the wing mirrors, or possibly just the drivers one. If you're keeping the drivers mirror less than 6" from the wall you must be clear on the passenger side, you don't need to look over there.

I have a curving & downward sloping driveway that I have become used to backing down in my ICE for 6 yrs. It's no different in the MS. The best way for me is to roll down the driver side window, & just stick my head out looking back, & keeping a steady distance (6-12") between wheels & edge of the pavement. The tricky part is the relatively narrow garage opening of 93", where I must be extra careful not to ding the mirrors.

Hah, I actually have to fold my mirrors in to get my car in the garage. You lot are spoiled.

I started another post a couple of weeks ago asking if others were having trouble backing up straight in their Model S. I find I almost always park crooked when backing into spaces in this car where I never had trouble with cars I've had in the past. I think it has something to do with the angle of the side mirrors and the wide flare in the back of the car.

Even when driving forward, I now get out of the Model S and check the distance between the wheel and curb on both sides at the touchless car wash. The metal guides are much closer together, so if the distance is equal before entering, I don't scrape the wheels. The rear camera does help show the center line of the car wash concrete when exiting.

If I was backing up into a driveway, I'd probably use the rear camera to attempt a solution. It does help me at one driveway where I need to keep the front from hitting. I know when to stop based on the image at the rear. One warning, Version 4.4 does give a wider view of the rear camera.

All my wheel scrapes are because of maneuvering at the gas station as part of entering and exiting to get the touchless wash. The tires look like new, but 21 inch wheels are not forgiving. The gray/silver wheel color tends to mask the gray/silver scrape. Since I have to look to find them, I don't plan on repairs until absolutely necessary.

I also had a lot of trouble the first time I tried to back into a friend's narrow driveway.

I learned that the rear camera is not centered in the back of the vehicle, it is offset a bit to the driver's side. So for example if you back into a parking space and carefully place the parking lines equidistant on either side of the backup camera's display, you'll find that you are not going to be centered in the parking space. Once you figure do center the car perfectly, you can note where the parking lines need to be on the display in order to make that happen.

Sorry, let me try again (sure wish this site had an edit mode):

I also had a lot of trouble the first time I tried to back into a friend's narrow driveway.

I learned that the rear camera is not centered in the back of the vehicle, it is offset a bit to the driver's side. So for example if you back into a parking space, and carefully place the parking lines equidistant on either side of the backup camera's display, you will find that you are not actually centered in the parking space. Once you figure out how to center the car perfectly, you can note where the parking lines need to be on the display in order to make that happen.

Flaninacupboard, I'm reversing out because my charging cable can't reach the Tesla if I back in. Otherwise I probably would just back in since it's easier to straighten out on the way in.

I use the mirrors to identify if I'm too close, but it doesn't keep me from sometimes veering in that direction and needing to drive forward again.


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