A VERY minor nitpick on turn signal, is it just me?

A VERY minor nitpick on turn signal, is it just me?

The turns signals location I am getting use to, but the number of 'auto' blinks bothers me. My Ford blinks ~5 times per touch, the Porsche, BMW and Audi seem to blink ~4 times. The Tesla blinks about 2.5 times which does not seem quite enough. I always want just one more blink to draw attention. The Ford is too much, but 4 seems right to me.

Is it just me? Seems like a very simple update if it isn't just me.

AmpedRealtor | 08. Mai 2014

I believe Model S blinks 3 times. I, too, wish I could customize that and change it to 4 or 5. Blinkers are to be activated to give sufficient warning to the cars around you that you are changing lanes, and should remain blinking during the entirety of the lane change. Three blinks is not enough for that, IMHO.

mrdaniel | 08. Mai 2014

In what context? Usually if I don't want to fully engage the blinker, but I want more than just 3 blinks, I keep light pressure on the blinker for a couple of blinks then let go. So if you want an extra blink just hold it for another second -- unless that's distracting?

DTsea | 08. Mai 2014

Yes its just you.

AreBeeAZ | 08. Mai 2014

It's just you ;-)

Rocky_H | 08. Mai 2014

@mrdaniel, Your answer makes no sense at all. That feature is implemented to accomplish a certain function. People are pointing out that it doesn't accomplish that function, and your response is "Don't use that and do something different!" That is completely missing the point.

I also agree. It's three blinks, and I would like it to be about 5. I want about 2 before I move, to let people know, and then a little more as I actually move over into the other lane, which I'm not going to do in one second by yanking the wheel.

mrdaniel | 08. Mai 2014

@Rocky_H: I see someone had to drive the ICE to work today.

No, all I was saying is when I want 3+x number of blinks I put a bit of pressure on it for x blinks and let go, and it will give me the result. It makes sense to me, because that's what I do!

centralvalley | 08. Mai 2014

Or, with all due respect, you could signal the way that I learned to drive 45 years ago in a '51 GMC pickup: just stick your arm out the window until you have completed your lane change! :) (Just a little levity, no malice intended!)

Salute | 08. Mai 2014

The # of blinks on the Tesla is the same as Mercedes which makes sense since they buy the steering wheel and controls from Mercedes. I am not sure Tesla could change it since it is probably built into the steering wheel circuitry.

carlk | 08. Mai 2014

My Porsche blinks 3 times too. Three times is usually enough. I just push it once more when needed.

BrassGuy | 08. Mai 2014

If you haven't changed lanes by 3 blinks, you're not near Boston; or the space you were looking at would've been taken up.

NKYTA | 08. Mai 2014

If 3 blinks aren't enough, just engage the stalk fully until such time as you are where you want to be, then disengage it. My issue is that if I'm listening to slacker, it is a bit hard for my old ears to catch the blinker sound, so occasionally I leave it on longer than I intend.

carlk | 08. Mai 2014

@Rocky_H "I want about 2 before I move, to let people know,"

Where do you live? This will never work in the Bay Area freeways. And even more so in SoCal freeways the few times I was driving there. You have to be assertive and signal, accelerate and turn at the same time when you see the gap. Many people would accelerate and close in if you give them advanced warning. Most people will back off and let you in when they see the real action, not just signal, though. I think they just don't want a timid driver to get ahead of them who turns out to be one of those "road boulders".

DTsea | 08. Mai 2014


you could just turn the signal on completely.... and turn it off when it has blinked enough times and you have completed the lane change. Problem with auto blinkers is if you change your mind and try to turn it off it auto blinks the other way. Confuses people.

Rocky_H | 08. Mai 2014

@mrdaniel: Quit being an ass. I know exactly how to use that workaround, and that's what I do, because the auto-turning blink doesn't accomplish what it's supposed to. Jeez! What is wrong with you people? We all know the other ways to turn on the turn signal for longer periods of time.

@Salute: Hmm, I hadn't thought of that. It may be somewhat hard-coded and not customizable because of that.

@carlk: Yes, I have noticed that difference about where you are. I live in Boise, where turning on your turn signal usually results in people making room for you, because people are nice here. When we go to visit my father-in-law and are driving in the Detroit area, though, you don't dare turn on your turn signal ahead of time, because everyone's reaction is always to speed up suddenly to close that gap to make sure you can't get in, because drivers are assholes there. I suspect it is that way in most really big cities.

I guess carlk's comment does explain why so many of you like it with only 3 blinks. In the big cities, you're using it only because you have to do it to comply with the law, but are avoiding at all costs turning it on before you are actually starting to move into the other lane to avoid someone noticing and cutting you off.

yung9670 | 08. Mai 2014

The 3 blink function is for a blitz lane change. If it takes you more then 3 blinks time to complete then it's the wrong function to use or a wrong move to make. I don't always know what I'm talking about, it's just an educated guess. Please don't jump on me.

JAD | 08. Mai 2014

@carlk - interesting, as my Porsche 997 definitely blinks one more time.

In San Diego people must be calmer as I like to touch the turn signal to let people know I am about to change lanes, the way to turn signal thing is suppose to work. In racing, we teach smoothness, so I am use to planned, well telegraphed changes, not darting around.

I just like the extra blink every car I have owned for the last 5+ years has done. Clearly not a major issue and yes there are numerous obvious work arounds. It is just a nice touch, and I wondered if others thought an 'extra' blink or two would be better. Doesn't appear to be a clear consensus.

Thanks for input, I won't make a software change suggestion unless the input changes.

SarahsDad | 08. Mai 2014

My old BMW M5 auto-blinked 3 times, same as my Tesla. Works for me.

mrdaniel | 08. Mai 2014

@JAD: I have no idea if the function is hard-wired -- it would be odd if it is -- but the computer processes the signal to display it, and so it is possible Tesla is able to look at the data to find out whether people would be better off with more blinks when making actions. As I noted above, it depends on context, too. It just seems like another optimization on a long list of optimizations. Thanks for raising the point, though.

jordanrichard | 08. Mai 2014

I agree, 3 blinks is too short to give proper notice that you are looking to change lanes. However, just push the stalk all the way down and presto, you get as many blinks as you want. By that I mean lift it up when it has blinked enough for you. Also, I don't know that this feature was intended for lanes changes. I think it was made for exiting rotaries which Europe is full of.

carlk | 08. Mai 2014

@Rocky_H It's not just to comply with the laws but the signal, kind of like brake lights, does give people a good warning even when it happens at about the same time as the car's motion change. On the other hand you should see how many drivers here who don't signal, one of my biggest pet peeves on the road.

@JAD My Cayman S only needs to blink three times because it's a more agile car. ;-)

diegoPasadena | 08. Mai 2014

I, too, agree with the OP. In fact, I sent directly to Tesla the suggestion to make the number of blinks adjustable to one's driving style. For mine, I'd like to have 5 blinks. To me, signaling is supposed to indicate what I'm about to do, not justify what I'm already doing. With this car's acceleration, even if a jackass tries to close up a gap after I signal, I can get in without incident, unless it's a gap I shouldn't be taking in the first place. The safest, most assertive technique in traffic - and the one that discourages "gap closers" most, is a good squeeze of the accelerator with a blink or two warning that I will change lanes, followed by three or so blinks while I smoothly complete the lane change without having to yank the car into the gap.

TFMethane | 08. Mai 2014

I don't think mrdaniel was being an ass. The OP makes a good point in the original question, and there are some people who will read this thread who wouldn't necessarily come up with the workaround of holding lightly for a second or two, then letting up.

It seems that there are a lot of specific customization requests that people want. Tesla had to make some decisions. This was one of them.

At some point in the future, thye may allow us to customize more of this stuff, but for now, I think we have to just enjoy the car as it is.

renwo S alset | 08. Mai 2014

Who uses blinkers anyway?

Bighorn | 08. Mai 2014

My horse

fatherandson | 08. Mai 2014

It's official. There is obviously nothing further to discuss about this car. I would like the last few minutes of my life back.

renwo S alset | 08. Mai 2014

Bighorn. Sorry, forgot about that, no offense to your horse. I only use mine when I am in a left-hand turn lane, with a left-hand stoplight and a large left turn arrow marked on the street. That way, nobody will wonder what I am intending.

PBEndo | 08. Mai 2014

I am reading mrdaniel's post and I don't think he is being an ass. Your responses, on the other hand......

Did you mean "blinders" on your horse?

Bighorn | 08. Mai 2014


No, but some people might...

Blinders are your high beams.

carlk | 08. Mai 2014

Just want to add three (or four) blinks seem to be an European only thing, or at least it was an European only thing. Most Japanese cars I've driven don't have the feature. You can lightly press to blink but it stops soon as you let go. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out MS has the three blinks feature.

david.baird | 09. Mai 2014

Acrually I agree, three is too short and five would be great - if it's software controllable then a setting mneu option would be very appreciated.

I don't suppose any other car forum would debate this kind of stuff because once the car was bought it would never be possible to change.

J.T. | 09. Mai 2014

@Lycanthrope +1 It's a mixed blessing. The fact that certain features can be added or tweaked, over the air, makes the discussions here more substantive (we're not arguing just for the sake of argument), but it also means that if changes are made some will be disappointed, because not everyone will agree a change should have been made. Can't please everyone. This Forum certainly proves that.

JAD | 09. Mai 2014

I started this thread saying it was VERY minor. Just annoyed me a little and I wondered if others agreed. And by the way, holding the turn signal for more than an instant bypasses the auto blink feature. So if you hold it for a second or two, it does not continue to blink 3 times after that.

So your only two choices are to hold it lightly for 5 blinks while turning the wheel (can be hard to do), or turn it on fully, then turn it off after five blinks (extra step in a car that simplified driving).

Again, very minor thing on a car that has really impressed me(and I know nice cars). I even think the seats are comfortable, just don't hold you in that well, so it is quite a statement that one of the biggest issues I have is the turn signal blink time!!! My MB, Audi and BMW complaint list is much longer and more significant.

mrdaniel | 09. Mai 2014

So if you hold it for a second or two, it does not continue to blink 3 times after that.

@JAD: Yes, I noticed that this morning. It must have been a change in the 5.9 software (also, I noticed a couple of weeks ago during the "Tesla Wink" discussion that single blink is also no longer possible).

Rocky_H | 09. Mai 2014

@PBendo, what made me say that was his sarcastic comment, "I see someone had to drive the ICE to work today." You think that's being helpful?

mrdaniel | 09. Mai 2014

@Rocky_H Please leave it out, man. I really want to keep it positive today. If you were having a real live conversation where someone describes what they do, which may not be valuable to you but may be valuable to someone else participating in the conversation, and then someone responds with "Your answer makes no sense at all" how would you react? Saying something like that is just uncalled for, and in the future the best thing to do is ignore it unless it is something way off base.

J.T. | 09. Mai 2014

"Looks like someone is having a case of the Mondays."

"You can get punched in the face for saying something like that."

Office Space

jjb94941 | 09. Mai 2014

Of course it's a nit in the great scheme of things. And the MS is an outstanding car with or without the proposed change.

But I agree with the OP. I use the instant blink whenever I change lanes and have also thought that 3 blinks isn't enough warning to other cars.

Not a bid deal at all. Would be nice to either have 4 or 5 blinks or even better, have it user settable. | 09. Mai 2014

A private posting generally weeds out a lot of the foolish, irrational, unhelpful and snarky responses you get from a public posting. The original posting raised a legitimate issue.

Rocky_H | 09. Mai 2014

@mrdaniel, yes, I'm sorry for that first response. I apologized for that in the other thread where you brought it up, and you're right.

Pungoteague_Dave | 09. Mai 2014

Three blinks is the right number to indicate lane change. Four or five is excessive. Our Porsche, MB and BMW's all have or had three blinks.

J.T. | 09. Mai 2014

@Carmel A private posting generally weeds out a lot of the foolish, irrational, unhelpful and snarky responses you get from a public posting.

You, sir, are an optimist. :-)

mrdaniel | 09. Mai 2014

@J.T: Saying something like "Someone has a case of the Monday's" is definitely a jackass comment. My comment about someone having to drive the ICE to work was intended to be comic relief -- oh, well!

Anyway, I apologize to Rocky_H for that.

J.T. | 09. Mai 2014

@mrdaniel I meant no criticism. It is a direct quote from the movie Office Space. If you have never seen it, I recommend it highly. Talk about comic relief.

AmpedRealtor | 09. Mai 2014

@ PD,

"Three blinks is the right number to indicate lane change."

For you. Clearly not for others.

mrdaniel | 09. Mai 2014

@J.T: Hah, either forums are really difficult to sense laid back v. aggression, or I am giving the impression that I'm too serious. Something tells me it is more the latter than the former. My comment was about the phrase itself, not what you wrote!

Captain_Zap | 09. Mai 2014

From what I understand, in today's Driver's Ed courses, they now teach you that you should never use your turn signal. This is because you would providing the enemy with strategic information. ;-)

renwo S alset | 09. Mai 2014

Capt. No, you don't use a turn signal, you are supposed to text them your intentions.

J.T. | 09. Mai 2014

@mrdaniel Until you are sure it's more pleasant to simply assume anything negative you might infer is just good natured ribbing.

It's hard to tell without inflections and facial expressions, that's where smileys help.

Low CG | 09. Mai 2014

I'd last about 5 minutes in the high-end car business.

carlk | 09. Mai 2014

@P_D +1. I have to believe those Germans know how to drive.

@Captain_Zap That's actually true. By the second or third blink you should already be in the next lane. Nothing else is better than this for sending the (right) signal to the other driver.

That said I have no problem if Tesla is to offer option of 4 or 5 blinks. It just does not seem to be that urgent imo.