Model 3 range drop around same battery capacity mark

Model 3 range drop around same battery capacity mark

I have an AWD LR M3. I drive fairly conservatively due to the traffic patterns on my route during my commute and eek out about 175-190 Whr/mile during the summer days in NYC vs the 250-290 Whr/mile during winter.
I have never charged the car to 100%, max being 90%. Have had the car since early November 2018, and have added about 6500 miles since ownership.
For the most of it, I have charged my car to 70% capacity, which has put me at or around 218-221 range at charge completion.
I drive about 19 miles each way (home-work).
After a full 70% charge (220 mile range) and driving to work for about 19 miles, I will have about 204-205 miles of range still left (as I said 175-190 Whr/mile). Car sits in a garage with network connectivity (AT&T LTE gets coverage) and the temps are ideal to prevent battery drains. When I'm done with work, there generally isn't any range loss.
When I drive home later in the day - after another 19 miles - the range on my car will read 189-190 miles. An hour after or so later (or sometimes even after 20 minutes), the range is 180-181. This has consistently been the case for me no matter what I do. If I stop the car with around 190-185 miles left, the car will "lose" about 9-10 miles just like that. I have observed this consistently for the past 3 months.
continued in the next post...

cchirag | July 16, 2019

...continued from above
I understand that there are temperature changes, but for the most part, the weather has been fairly ok in the last month and a half with overnight temps being in mid 60s and day temps being about 70s/80s (keep in mind my car is indoors during work hours shielded from the bludgeoning heat during weekdays)... I just don't know where these miles end up going...
All I know is that this range loss occurs exactly at the same battery capacity. Keep in mind that in the winter this range might have been diminished even more due to frigid temps and not having enough know how to determine the cause of the drains (and chalking it up as vamprie drain due to battery attempting to keep it self warm).
The conditions/temps have changed for the better and these drains should not be happening. Since it happens at the same capacity level, this makes me point to a battery or firmware issue. I have seen times where my range has magically "increased" a few rides later on (say for instance my range will go from 160 to 165 after parking the car), but this does not happen every time. My driving style has been pretty consistent and talking to tesla service has not resulted in anything concrete. When I did discuss this with them it was cold and they chalked it up as "battery needed to be warmed". So what now, battery needs to be cooled? I don't think so.
Even weirder: I once noticed the drain from 190 to 180, put the car to charge, the car charged to 70% and indicated about 220 miles. Then when I got to pick up the car, the range on the car read 229 miles. WTF is going on? Do I need to re-calibrate the battery?
Any advice? Anyone else notice these things?


Magic 8 Ball | July 16, 2019


WantMY | July 16, 2019

@Magic you are exceeding your brain capacity with big word, not words, just a word.

Magic 8 Ball | July 16, 2019

Bet you had to look it up : ).

tdwin2000 | July 16, 2019

Are you using cabin overheat protection? Are you using Sentry mode? These things will drain you battery and together could be the culprit for your battery draining so much.

gballant4570 | July 16, 2019

I have not seen anything like what you describe, but my charging habits are quite different. I charge to 90 % daily, no matter how many miles were driven that day - 20, or 150. I leave the car plugged in when I am not driving it. I charge to 100% about once per week, by using an extra morning charge from the previous evening's 90% charge. I charge that high because I have a higher mileage day every Tuesday - today was a bit over 250 miles. I've had the same charging habits since I took delivery in early Oct. last year, about 13.5k miles ago.

My suggestion, if you are interested, is to stop thinking about your charging so much. Its easy to get caught up in over analysis. I've never checked the range estimate an hour or so after returning home - I just plug it in, and it will charge at the scheduled time of midnight. If your wh/m is EPA basis or below, you'll be doing better than fine. There is some evidence that broad cycling of the battery (charge to 100%, drive 250 miles, charge to 90-100%, that sort of thing) helps calibrate the SOC miles estimate algorithm.

cchirag | July 19, 2019

Apart from the obvious trolling, I did notice that the "Cabin Overheat protection" setting was enabled.
That being said I disabled it immediately.
Charged the car to 90% (278). Drove for a few days without any meaningful drops.
But as soon as i stopped the car when the car was at 196, after an hour the battery read 190 when I got back in after coming out of the temple. I then drove for a half mile, parked the car at 189 capacity. Not sure what the capacity was when I woke up but it didn't drain much from what I can tell. Keep in mind that this is without the Sentry mode and without the Cabin overheat protection.
I do have a USB stick for tesla cam which really doesn't hurt battery drain.
I understand battery drains due to weather, overheat protection and all. But I do not understand why the battery drains and shows me a lower number shortly after being in the 190s and 180s range...
Maybe I should just take the car on a long drive once and see if this is still the case...

Joshan | July 19, 2019

@gballant4570 +1000000

I am almost identical to you, except that I have never charged to 100%. But the rest describes me perfectly when it comes to charging.

I got my M3 on January 5th and it has 13,200 miles.

This morning at 90% charge it was at 279 miles.

At 100% charge that is 310 miles....

Joshan | July 19, 2019

open a ticket with Tesla and have them pull the logs. they can tell you what was draining it during that time pretty easily.

lbowroom | July 19, 2019

Car arrives with a hot battery and a predicted range based on that temp. Battery cools down after a while and the predicted range reflects that with a lower number. Keep in mind this is all predicted range. Batteries are chemical, not digital.

lbanworth | July 19, 2019

I bought my M3 AWD LR in Dec. 2018. It now has 23,000 miles on it and I still have full battery capacity. I always charge to 80% (never higher) and never go below 30%. I also spent the first 5 months of ownership charging at a Tesla Supercharger every single day! I had 6 months free supercharging from purchase and the charger was located .3 miles from my home so to me it was a no-brainer! I was told by more than a few Tesla owners not to charge at the supercharger often because it would eventually shorten the life of the battery. I charged every single day for 5 straight months and still have 100% capacity!!! This battery is amazing to say the least!

cchirag | July 19, 2019

There are several different usage patterns here. And all with their own merit. Everyone here who claims to charge maybe just stop to think for a second: what if you didn't charge everyday? You are essentially never going to know about your car's battery's condition until, well, I don't know. Just because your use case is different doesn't make me an over-analyzer. I too want to just enjoy the car, and I don't necessarily want to charge everyday. If notice a one off drain, I'm likely to chalk it up as a fluke, but consistent drainage at the same capacity mark is suspicious.
I am not doing anything that would explain the drops at the exact same range/capacity. My routine is the same every single time. I am driving from work to home on those days. Once I deviated and went to my parent's house and when I was ready to go back home the same day the battery was 10 miles depleted in minutes. It was slightly colder that day. And this was right at the same problematic capacity levels.
As many others, I have never charged to 100%. I only charge to 90% max, and never go below 40 miles available (which would be somewhere above 10%).
I raised this with tesla once and a very knowledgable tech gave me a rundown of how efficiently things are being done behind the scene that things it needs juice from the battery... if that was the case this should be happening every time I stop, not at this specific capacity level.
Will ask them to pull the logs again and give me a more thorough response...

edhchoe | July 19, 2019

change the display to percentage.
you notice 1% drop at most.
stop fretting about the little things in life.
take a deep breath and enjoy the view.

Bighorn | July 20, 2019

That the battery has an anomaly at a certain SOC is an extremely remote possibility. More likely, it’s a temperature dependent thing based on battery cooling after arrival. Fortunately, you have the ability to follow your hypotheses by charging to different levels to see if it is based on the SOC or time of day/temperature differences. Loss of range (or gain) while parked is nothing new and why one cannot assess the battery’s potential based on a day of errands. These are all estimates since range cannot accurately be measured. Academically interesting, but not something to be occupying service personnel with. .

taekyou | July 20, 2019

I am not an engineer, but thought about it with my science background. I came to my own analysis and no one surprisingly mentioned it (to say the least, I have not seen it anywhere). Here's my analysis: Input and output energy must match according to the law of thermodynamics. So, some losses that we are not aware is normal.
What I noticed is that my M3 makes high pitch noise for a while after I parked. While I was searching for Tesla mechanical stuff, I thought that it might be the converter which charges 12 V battery. M3 uses 12 V battery and it is replenished by the main battery through this converter. ICE cars use alternator to keep charging the 12 V battery, but Tesla has no alternator. Therefore, the 12 V is charged from the main battery. Although it is being charged while you are driving. The shortage must be replenished even after you park the car. That's the noise that I hear after I parked the car. I am not a Tesla engineer and I am not 100% certain about it. But, it made a sense to me and kept understanding it that way so far. No more hysteria.

Bighorn | July 20, 2019

Yeah, no. Absolutely not.

ywang | July 20, 2019

About the range, I have LR RWD for almost a year now, I am in Houston, it uses a lots of AC in summer. I charge 90% to 287 miles approximately, but I only can get 140 miles driving distance in reality, if I park outside for 8-9 hrs during work, It burns 17-20 miles on the meter ( I keep cabin temperature protection on ), l drive 120 miles/week and charge at home once /week. I have tinted car ( including windshield and roof), see a mild improvement. How about you?

Bighorn | July 20, 2019

Totally expected if you’re talking about a week’s worth of driving with all those auxiliary demands. Range is for planning trips, not long term driving a week out.

ywang | July 20, 2019

Thanks for answering me. By my estimate, if you are planning a long trip, you probably have to estimate 30% AC+ancillary use of the electricity . For example, if you charge fully to 325 miles, you probably should planning to recharge around 200 mile distance, right? I haven't had long trip experience yet.
Another question unrelated, I have been enjoying Iphone keyless entrance/operation for a year, recently I broke my Iphone and had screen shattered, it was replaced. But for some reason, my car no longer recognizes me, I am forced to use the card key now for a week. I have rebooted car and Iphone with no resolve. The same time I updated software ( early access program), not sure if it is phone problem or car software bug, anyone has the same problem? Thanks in advance.

Bighorn | July 20, 2019

No, the AC isn’t that significant a draw over the course of a few hour drive. Draws 1-2 kW, so less than 5% penalty. I’ve driven rated range before with the AC going—it’s barely noticeable, if at all. The heater in winter draws about thrice as much. I would rarely drive more than 200 miles at a pop and I routinely do thousand mile days. Charging beyond 80% is inefficient, I stop whenever possible usually around the 100 mile mark, to optimize efficiency.

msmith55 | July 20, 2019

There is a problem with battery calibration, where the battery management system loses calibration, and this causes range loss. This will correct it's self when you charge to 100 percent, and discharge to below 20 percent, but beware, you will not get any more miles than the BMS shows until after the correct miles show. And the battery may suddenly go dead with miles shown remaining.

Bighorn | July 20, 2019

Again, no.

gballant4570 | July 20, 2019

Last week, my car started showing 275 miles after a 90% charge instead of 278-279, quite consistently. I'm not going to worry about it.