Models S not communicating

Models S not communicating

I left my Model S in Florida garage two days ago. I'm in NY until January. I thought I left it plugged in, with 50% charge limit, at 20A. However, it's not communicating now. The App thinks it's communicating but it's not. It shows an empty battery with ---% (Dashboard app says "Not Charging"). I've never seen this before. Anyone know what it means? I'm concerned for battery drain over 2 months. It appears the car is completely shut down. Is that possible? At this point, it should still have near 50% and no reason not to respond. Any thoughts?

jimglas | November 16, 2018


hkried | November 17, 2018

What does Flagged mean?

DavidDJ | November 17, 2018

Wow really that makes their service center in Buena Park as well .... they wont pick up or return messages ... in fact unless your picking a new car they aren’t interested in talking to you at all ... they have quotas to meet.

EVRider | November 18, 2018

Is there someone who can check on the car for you? If not, try uninstalling and reinstalling the mobile app and see if you can connect.

@DavidDJ: I think you responded in the wrong thread.

hkried | November 18, 2018

No one down there to check for me, the car is locked in the garage. I'll plan for that next time.

Worth a try, I reinstalled app(s) and even rebooted the phone to clear any cache. No change.

I use both the Tesla app and the Dashboard for Tesla app. They both appear to be communicating. Dashboard actually spins on opening and says connecting to vehicle. However, I know neither is talking. I have an internet camera in the garage and I can see the car. I've tried things I could see, unlock to see lights flash and mirrors come out, flashed lights, even honk horn. Nothing.

I learn one interesting thing though. The apps are faking you out. I can lock/unlock the car and the lock icon shows the results. However, look at the other app and there's no change. Both apps retain the results of the previous command, even though it wasn't executed. Rather deceiving. It probably doesn't make any difference when things are working. But I don't know why they'd do that. Probably just to make it a smoother process and not have to wait. Maybe they keep trying and expect by the next time you sign-in it'll be completed. | November 18, 2018

If the app is not connecting to the car, the data shown is not likely to be accurate. Hard to say what is going wrong.

If the car truly wasn't charging, and it drained down to 0% SOC, the 12v battery will stop being charged from the main pack, and when it drains (using within 24 hours), remote access is disabled. This is a pack protection mode where it shuts itself down to conserve power, and should keep the battery safe for 4-6 months. If this did happen, when you return, you'll need to jump start the 12v battery to gain access to the car and move it.

Any chance remote access was turned off in the car? For example, if the car was in for service, they normally turn off remote access, but sometimes forget to turn it back on when they return your car. Other thoughts - perhaps the charging outlet is powered by a light switch and is off? Guess we won't know until you return to the car.

EVRider | November 18, 2018

Since you have a webcam in the garage, can you see if the car is charging? You should be able to tell if you can see either the charge port or the instrument cluster. If you see that it's charging, you have nothing to worry about.

hkried | November 18, 2018

I last drove it on Monday, 2 trips, 14 miles total. At 2:30 pm (Google Maps Timeline) I put it in the garage and thought I set it to 50% charge level and 20a charge rate, as I was planning. Tuesday it didn't leave the garage. I left very early Weds morning. I was rushed closing the house and the Airport shuttle arrived earlier than expected. About an hour trip to the airport and when I got to the gate I checked the app and it was already not responding. It's a 90D, the battery was around 50% on Monday. Two days seems soon to drop into a deep sleep mode.

Unfortunately, the camera is facing the front passenger side. and can't see the charge port side.

This 2013 video ( indicates less than 1% drain per day in winter. Florida doesn't have the cold, but I'm looking at around 52 days. It's going to be interesting.

When I get back I'll plug it in immediately. It doesn't need to move. If it's not plugged in, the plug (NEMA 14-50) is on the wall right next to it. It's right under the power panel, no switches, just a 50 amp breaker

If it is 0% SOC, how do you recognize the 12V needs a jump, and how do you do it? Wouldn't charging for a bit handle the 12V? | November 19, 2018

Hopefully it just a communication issue. If it does get to 0% SOC, the 12v battery is not charged and will quickly die. At this point, you can't charge and you can't even open the car. The 12v is required to operating locks, and the contactors to connect charging power to the battery. Depends on if your S is the newer refresh or older pre-refresh. On older cars, you pull off the black "oval" to get to the 12V posts. On newer cars there is a special way to open the frunk manually, then pull off the plastic covers to get to the battery.

hkried | November 19, 2018

Thanks. I have a newer refresh (2.0), took delivery Jan 2017. From the Responders manual, it looks like there's a cable release in the front wheel wells, both sides. Do I have that right? I'll do a little research on how to pull the covers to get to the battery.

If I get there, can I just use a regular battery charger for the 12V? I have a big Stanley 1000 Jump Starter and a small Anker Portable Jump Starter 2-n-1. I also have a B&D battery Maintainer which I think is like a trickle charger, that may not work.

From what I've read, it sounds like I may end up needing a new 12V battery. In fact, I'm wondering if it could be very bad timing and the battery needs service msg popped up. I'd guess that could shut down the communications. But it's only 2 years old, and very low mileage.

I planned to schedule service when I get back anyway. It would be the first service. Two years old, but only one years mileage. Somewhere around 13,000 miles and nearly half of that is two round trips NY <-> Fl. Guess I don't drive much. In Florida, I use the golf cart. In NY, I have an ICE that I'm trying to wear out. :-)

hkried | May 15, 2019

Sorry I took so long to update. I just stumbled on the post. It turned out to be a non-event. The car wasn't communicating simply because the MCU crashed. Two finger reboot and everything was fine.