Dear Tesla Owners, Tapping Your Charger on Your Taillight Does Nothing Good

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Jul. 9 2022, Published 12:59 p.m. ET

If you’ve ever wondered why Tesla owners tap the charger on the taillight, you’re not alone. Others have been demanding the answer to that very question on social media.

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“Can someone explain to me why Tesla drivers tap the charger head on the taillight before plugging it into their car?” one Twitter user wrote in all caps in May 2021. “Bro, why?”

That October, someone else tweeted, “Can somebody explain to me why Tesla owners always tap the charger plug on the car before plugging it in?”

And just this March, another Twitter user wrote, “I don’t own a Tesla, so I have a question: Why do you tap the charger before putting the charger in?”

TikTok users claim you can tap the charger to the taillight for faster charging, but it’s an urban myth.

According to TeslaToro, some Tesla owners believe tapping the charger to the taillight will help with charging speed or connectivity. People who promote this theory think that the tap-tap on the taillight nixes static electricity, clears debris from the charging pins, or even “aligns electrons,” whatever that means.

Indeed, a recent TikTok video about charging a Tesla, one user made sure to tap the charger on the taillight. “Don’t forget to tap for fast charging,” the video’s narration says.

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But that’s just an urban myth, TeslaToro reports. “Obviously, except for in the most unusual circumstances where something is interfering with the charging connection (ice, dirt, random object), there is no reason to tap the charging cable against the car,” the site adds.

You do tap the charge port to open it, and the charge port is close to the taillight, but that’s about all the good tapping will do.

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Tapping your taillight with your charger “scratches your taillight and makes you look like a trademark dork,” one person said.

YouTube user The Electric Man also debunked the taillight-tapping trick in an October 2021 video. “I’m sure everybody wants to know if tapping your taillights does anything to your Tesla,” The Electric Man said, knocking his charger against the taillight of his Tesla. “And the answer is… no.”

In the comments, other YouTube users agreed with The Electric Man’s short and sweet myth-busting. “Short answer: no,” one person wrote. “Long answer: no and it wastes time.”

“It does do something,” another person commented. “It scratches your taillight and makes you look like a trademark dork.”

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Others joke that that’s how you charge the “blinker fluid” or calibrate the “flux capacitor.”

When someone shared The Electric Man’s video on Reddit’s r/TeslaModel3 subreddit, Reddit commenters were astonished that people even believe the taillight-tapping theory.

“Seriously… this was a question?” one asked.

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Another person wrote, “I see, at minimum, three variations of the same video every day. Tesla owner gets out of car. Tesla owner grabs the charger. Tesla owner almost plugs it in. Tesla owner catches self, proceeds to tap the tail light. Tesla owner taps until satisfied. Tesla owner plugs in the charger. Makes me want to f—king blow my brains out.”

And other commenters brought the funny, like the Reddit user who quipped that tapping the taillight is “how you charge the blinker fluid.”

Another commenter, meanwhile, said that it “calibrates the flux capacitor.” (Note to the younger readers out there: Don’t go searching your Tesla manual for “flux capacitor.” That’s a Back to the Future reference.)

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