Long Term Storage

Long Term Storage

I am traveling to England for a month and wonder if I should turn the car OFF? I will leave it plugged in, regardless. Any thoughts?

Rod in Evergreen, CO

djm12 | 5 May, 2013

Call 877-798-3752 and have Tesla document the recommendation or provide a reference to it in the owners manual. I wouldn't rely on the forum for a matter of this importance.

rodhoffman | 5 May, 2013

Just got off the phone with them - had to leave a message

rodhoffman | 5 May, 2013

Immediate call back - I love that! Basically you do nothing - after 48 hours the car goes into a sleep mode to minimize power use. The "Off" function only works when the door is open and you are inside (for cleaning the screen or similar issues) when you open the door it reverts.

I must tell you these guys have thought of a lot of things ahead of time and I am continually impressed. I have had had zero issues and will NEVER buy another ICE car!

Rod in Evergreen, CO

David Trushin | 5 May, 2013

Are you sure about those things? I would check again. I would think that with all the controversy about sleep mode no one at Tesla would use that word. And "off" doeesn't help when cleaning screen. Are you going to leave the car plugged in while you are gone?

rodhoffman | 5 May, 2013

Yes, I have not used off much but just tried it and you cannot shut off the car - only a deep hibernate that is automatic, and Yes I am leaving it plugged in.

I just returned from a two week trip and no issues in this regard.

It will be in my personal garage and as a check I called the Colorado Tesla center and received the exact same advice.

Dave-LasVegas | 5 May, 2013

I just got back from 3½ weeks in the UK, Belgium and Holland, and my Model S was fine. I left it plugged in to my 240V/50A garage circuit and checked on it a few times with the mobile app. The miles-available figure bounced around some as it discharged a little during the day and topped-off briefly in the evening. (I have it set to charge at night when it's at home.)

No problems whatsoever. Rest easy when it's plugged in.

Beavertail S | 5 May, 2013

I left mine unplugged in an unheated garage for 10 New England winter days. Lost a scary amount of power the first few days (monitoring via the app), then the car did seem to shut down as suggested in this thread. Tesla service was reassuring about this. I parked with 150 miles of estimated range. Came back to around 75 (I think), had 35 miles to drive and did fine in range mode.

mrspaghetti | 5 May, 2013

I am curious as to why some people choose not to plug in their car when leaving it for extended trips. Does the owners manual not recommend plugging it in? Do you not have access to an outlet? (at least 120v?)

nickjhowe | 5 May, 2013

for me, it is because there are no charging facilities at Miami airport.

jbunn | 5 May, 2013

Recommend if it's plugged in, leaving it on. You can then monitor it using your cell phone application.

sergiyz | 5 May, 2013

Just came back from a trip, leaving my car at the airport.
Started off with a full charge (270 rated miles), drove to the airport and parked with 237 rated miles (almost matching the distance).
The weather was pretty hot during the next couple of days.
I was checking on the car periodically, the charge was dropping at about 18 rated miles per day.
Came back after three and a half days, the car lost 68 rated miles, showing 169 rated miles remaining.
Drove back home with rated miles down to 113miles although it's a 33 mile trip. The average consumption was around 341Wh/mi, so it looks like either the calculation was off or it's factoring in something else since it dropped over 50 miles from where I started.
The car also looked like crap from all the dust and bird poo, so I don't think I'm gonna do it ever again, especially for trips over 3-4 days.

aristides.incha... | 6 March, 2014

What is the longest anyone has left the car both plugged and unplugged? Curious to know how the car will respond to my travel schedule. I leave home for about 4 to 5 months at a time.

DTsea | 6 March, 2014

@sergiyz, if you keep pinging the car with the mobile app you keep waking it up and starting vampire drain. If you leave it alone, it will lose less.

My local airport has weekly rates, and a bunch of 110V EV-only spaces, so when I go away I just plug it in and leave.

jbunn | 6 March, 2014

Have you ever been sleeping and your spouse keeps poking you and asking "are you awake?"

When you use the remote application to monitor the car, it wakes the car up, then it has to fall asleep again.

If your car is parked somewhere distant, and you can't do anything for it, monitoring it does what, exactly? (other than waste power)

Joshua Burstyn | 6 March, 2014



My spouse resents the fact that I sleep through the baby crying. Sorry dear - I honestly don't hear anything after I'm out and apparently I don't respond to finger poking past 11pm, either.

Anyways good idea RE: calling Tesla. I'd just plug the car into a 120v outlet and walk away. No need to worry otherwise I don't think?

Mathew98 | 6 March, 2014

@Jewsh - "My spouse resents the fact that I sleep through the baby crying. Sorry dear - I honestly don't hear anything after I'm out and apparently I don't respond to finger poking past 11pm, either."

I share the same sentiment.

I only respond to the finger poking to the wrong part after 11 PM.
Otherwise it's happy hour!

Joshua Burstyn | 6 March, 2014



fbramble | 6 March, 2014

This video might help

wcalvin | 6 March, 2014

Just leave it plugged in to 120vac and use VisibleTesla to start and stop charging in the middle of the night, topping it up to 50% or so.

Monitor via VS or the Tesla App. If it stops charging and you cannot remotely restart charging, phone someone to unplug and reconnect (this manual step is new with their firmware change for garage fire prevention) sometime in the next two weeks.

callisto | 6 March, 2014

Talking about leaving the car at the airport...
Houston Intercontinental Airport has Blink Network chargers. I asked Blink and they told me that if I left my car plugged in for an extended period of time, I would be charged for the entire time, whether the car was charging or not. I talked to the Mid South Parking people (who operate the parking facilities at the Houston airport) and they told me that Blink could not charge for charging time at any City Of Houston facilities. Now, I am afraid to leave my car at the airport thinking I may come home to some outrageous charging fee from Blink!

jbunn | 6 March, 2014

wcalvin, bad idea as explained above.

bryan, don't squat on a charger for more time than you need. The charger is yours to use when charging. Not borrow for the week.

callisto | 6 March, 2014

Then why does the Houston airport have 10 or 12 chargers in the long term parking area?

Brian H | 6 March, 2014

Ask the airport. They may have some special arrangement.

Rocky_H | 6 March, 2014

People, @fbramble has one of the best more helpful pieces of information on this, but unfortunately he just gave a link to the video and didn't tell what it was about, so I wonder if some people might skip it. The amazing Bjorn Nyland from Norway, who has done several other videos of trips with his Tesla, actually tested this out, with leaving his Model S in a fairly cold (but above freezing) parking garage for 27 days! As someone mentioned, it goes into sleeping mode after a couple of days and does pretty well. He lost about 20% of the range in that 27 days, so not too bad, but over 3 or 4 months, you might not do well leaving it unplugged.

jbunn | 6 March, 2014

Bryan, what part of "don't squat on a charger for more time than you need." was unclear? Why does Houston have 12 chargers in long term parking? Who the f___ knows? Probably because they are expecting a few obliviots.

Safeway has 12 gas pumps, but I would not have parked my ICE car at the gas pump and went grocery shopping. Just don't OK?

golftoday | 6 March, 2014

I leave my MS85 garaged for 6 weeks a couple times a year. PRE-vampire drain update, Tesla support told me to leave it plugged in to charge daily, but to reduce the amps for charging. I did check once a day via mobile app and I was losing about 10 miles daily. Mild climate LA.

I have not done this since getting the anti-vampire drain update.

Brian H | 6 March, 2014

obviously useless for long term parking, then. See the problem?

wcalvin | 7 March, 2014

jbunn: Are you referring to keeping car awake? That was what I was avoiding by recommending VT only for a few hours in the night.

jbunn | 7 March, 2014


I don't even care to speculate on why Houston put them there. Just commenting on general charging etiquette.

Electric cars should have long service lives. There are about 20,000 model S on the road now. By this time next year, an additional 30,000 for a total of 50,000. Then X comes on line, and two or three years from now we'll have perhaps 100,000 Tesla on the road. Around that time E will be getting ready to come on line, and in a couple years after that with a plant capacity of up to 500,000 cars per year.... And so on and so forth. And the Leafs, and the Fiats, and the BMW's and on.

Plug space is going to get very crowed, very fast. I don't think garages, utilities, and local municipalities have worked out the logistics yet.

jbunn | 7 March, 2014


My recommendation is to let it deep sleep and not wake it up at all. If you CAN plug it in, just plug it in and forget about it. My last overseas trip was 2-1/2 to 3 weeks. I did not have access to a plug, but the car did fine.

Waking it up with either the Tesla app or VisibleTesla uses the same API. That makes the car consume power.

No need to spend my time managing charging level by manually turning charging on and off remotely. Just set the car to charge to whatever level you desire, and it does it automatically.

The last thing I want to do is have to phone someone to plug and unplug my car because I've been fiddling with the charging schedule. Set it and forget it.

My car is meant to drive me around, not drive me to distraction. She's pretty independent, and does well on her own. Let her manager her own power.

NKYTA | 7 March, 2014

"Waking it up with either the Tesla app or VisibleTesla uses the same API. That makes the car consume power."

Just to add another note - the car wakes itself up occasionally. This is exhibited if you check with the app and it isn't sleeping. I haven't yet set up Visible Tesla, but I'm pretty sure you could figure out the frequency using it. Anyone have VT running all the time that knows this frequency?

steve | 18 August, 2019

We lost 22 miles of range while parked in the boonies for a week and barely made it to the closest charger.

We drove our 90D to Florence Lake campground in the Sierras, filling the battery at the closest Supercharger in Fresno. Left the car in the parking lot while camping for a week: no wifi, no cellular. Related settings:

Range Mode ON
Smart Preconditioning OFF
Energy Saving ON (Always Connected UNCHECKED)
Cabin Overheat Protection OFF
Allow Mobile Access ON

Those 22 miles of lost range (started at 102 miles, down to 80 when we got back) works out to about 7.6 kWh (over 1 kWh/day) or an average of 45 watts. Why does the car consume 45 watts when it's sitting unused?

Q1: Should I have turned off Mobile Access? (Our phones didn't have any coverage, so I assumed it wouldn't matter.)

Q2: Could I have unhooked the 12V battery to eliminate all vampire loads?

With only 80 miles of range we had a stressful 104 mile drive to the Fresno supercharger, but dropping 7000' in altitude made it possible with 23 miles of range to spare.

murphyS90D | 19 August, 2019

Disconnecting the 12 volt battery will stop range loss. Without 12 volts the HVB can't be connected to the car.
You better know how to manually open the hood in your version because without it you can't unlock the car. My January 2016 requires removing the nose cone and manually operating the two hood latches. It's hard to do in warm weather but really brutal to do when it is below freezing.

EVRider | 19 August, 2019

@steev: I think you could have found a newer thread to resurrect, but anyway — you left out one important detail: was Sentry Mode on?