Battery died while on vacation

Battery died while on vacation

I left my car with something like 75% charge and sentry mode on. About 5 days into travel I got a message saying the battery was down to 21% and sentry was being turned off. Now 5 days later I have internet access again and am heading home, and the app won't connect so I assume I'm going to find a dead battery when I arrive tomorrow.

Any thoughts / suggestions on how to charge? My charging cables are in the front trunk, and I assume there's no way to open that let alone the charging port.

Thanks in advance..

mrburke | March 16, 2020

The owners' manual has instructions for opening the trunk with a dead battery.

Magic 8 Ball | March 16, 2020

If the case you can use what is on this video to get in Frunk.

Manual charge port latch is in trunk but you have to get in car first.

Joshan | March 16, 2020

Won't Sentry mode disable at 20% battery? or is that just the cabin climate stuff. | March 16, 2020

@michael521w - I think there is a reasonable chance the car will have power when you arrive. The car has likely shut off non-essential power draws like the cellular radio. Let us know what you find. It may take a minute or more to power up when you unlock.

Sentry mode consumes about 1 mile of range per hour of operation - so when parked for long times while not charging, it's wise to turn it off. You can even turn it off from the app. That's also why it auto-shuts off Sentry mode at 20% SOC, to leave the remaining charge with minimal daily drain.

Bighorn | March 16, 2020

So your headline is bogus? You don’t know the status of the battery, it sounds like. Who told you to leave Sentry on for a prolonged timeframe? Yikes. Maybe stop assuming anything ever. | March 16, 2020

To add to Bighorn's comment - the battery does not die. At 0% SOC, usually, a few weeks after 20% SOC, it will go into a very low power mode and stop charging the 12v battery to protect the main battery. It's estimated that the main battery can be safe for many months after that, but you will need to externally power12v to gain access to the car and allow charging.

If you go for a very long time - perhaps 6 months after 0% SOC, the main battery can fail and not be recoverable. At this point, you could consider the battery dead. I've never heard of anyone actually killing the battery in this way.

andy.connor.e | March 16, 2020

I've also never heard of someones Tesla using 55% battery in 5 days via sentry. Nor the last 20% in 5 days without usage.

Lorenzryanc | March 16, 2020

This does sound like a lot. Is it possible a door or trunk was left "open". That's a lot of drain.

hokiegir1 | March 16, 2020

@Andy -- that actually sounds about right to me. 1-2 miles per hour -- 24 hours per day, 24-48 miles per day, which 10% (~32 miles on a long range, ~24 on a SR+) is in that neighborhood.

The last 20%, unless it's been very cold where the OP is, was likely just the car in a deep sleep and not waking via app. It may not be dead, but might need to be right next to it to wake it.

andy.connor.e | March 16, 2020

dang! thats a 'killer'

sixstring09 | March 16, 2020

If you are losing 50% of your battery in 5 days you either have a problem with the vehicle or you left something on.

My M3 sits in the garage and loses about 1 mile every 3 days parked.

Bighorn | March 16, 2020

He had Sentry on, 6string. That and summon drains the battery.

lbowroom | March 16, 2020

Parked in a busy area sentry does indeed use a lot of power. Bighorn is right though. The cars probably not dead. Let us know.

sixstring09 | March 16, 2020

Hard to believe that Sentry draws more power than a refrigerator.

Thanks for the clarification. :)

andy.connor.e | March 16, 2020

really. sentry uses ~7.5kWh/day? pretty substantial.

Lorenzryanc | March 16, 2020

Doesn't sentry turn off after 12 hours? or was it 24? I know its 20% battery, but I thought there was a time factor to it too.

kaushal | March 16, 2020

If sentry mode uses 1 mile of range per hour, 120 mile in 5 days sounds about right. if it's an SR+, that's probably more than 50%

lbowroom | March 16, 2020

No time factor, that’s the cabin temp setting

lbowroom | March 16, 2020

I don’t understand why it’s so hungry either, just my experience parking at an airport was similar, I didn’t keep a log though. I turned sentry off on day 2.

lbowroom | March 16, 2020

Since it's a feature no other car has, I’m not complaining | March 16, 2020

@lbowroom - Sentry mode requires the AP processor and cameras to remain on, which consumes around 300 watts. It was a slick as a free feature addition. It's not required that anyone use it, so if you dislike the power consumption, you can turn it off. As others pointed out, there isn't anything like it available from any other manufacturer.

You can install four dashcams that would take about 10-15 watts, and run continuous recording, but it has no way to detect activity and try and scare someone off nor can it send alerts to you.

lbowroom | March 16, 2020

TT- you basically summarized my thoughts on it. As others pointed out? I pointed that out.

mariodamen | March 17, 2020

With the new upgrade 2020.8.1 I lose about 5% energy per day! Nothing like Sentry, Climate etc is turned on. Anyone knows what is going on?

hokiegir1 | March 17, 2020

@Mariodamen - If you have FSD (or the former EAP), make sure Summon Standby is also off.

sheldon.mike1010 | March 17, 2020

By now you must be home already. Please finish the story.

mrburke | March 17, 2020

@sheldon.mike1010 - Maybe michael521w's phone battery is dead ?

bhatiasham | March 17, 2020

I am losing the charge while car in garage. It went from 108 miles to 50 miles in 5 days in Northern CA. We are clod nights in high 40s to 50s. Is this normal losing 58 miles in 5 days?

bhatiasham | March 17, 2020

I am losing the charge while car in garage. It went from 108 miles to 50 miles in 5 days in Northern CA. We are clod nights in high 40s to 50s. Is this normal losing 58 miles in 5 days?

spuzzz123 | March 17, 2020

Turn off sentry mode and sentry standby. It should be better than that

michael521w | March 17, 2020

For whatever reason I couldn't access the owners manual at the airport - the app wouldn't let me and my phone wouldn't download the manual from the website, maybe had something to do with the weird airport wifi network I was connected to.

Got home this morning, battery was completely dead. Had to work all day so couldn't mess with it. Got back to it this evening, used the cables behind the tow port to pop the front trunk, then charged the 12V battery to get the charge port to open.

It's been plugged in to a regular outlet (that's all I have at the spot where it's parked) for about an hour and a half now, but still at 0% charge. If still dead tomorrow I'll call Tesla.

@Bighorn and others who want to crap on me for getting into this situation - spare me, it's not productive, hostile, and rude. What happened happened, I posted simply to ask for suggestions on how to resolve the issue.

sheldon.mike1010 | March 17, 2020

Thanks for getting back to us.
Hope to hear in the morning that you got about 25% and climbing on it!

mrburke | March 17, 2020

@michael521w - stuff happens. Hopefully you can successfully re-animate your M3
BTW - what is the current temperature where the car is ? And what color is the light on the charge port and what are the lights on the charge adapter doing ?

Magic 8 Ball | March 17, 2020

FISHEV is EVIL and is here just to create shitstorms, shit on Tesla, and shit on fanbois.

lbowroom | March 17, 2020

People’s suspicion is fueled by fish’s constant barrage of propaganda

bp | March 17, 2020

@michael521w damn, man. That sucks. I hope you figure out wtf went sideways there (call service!) and report back, because that definitely isn’t normal. BTW, FISHEV isn’t here to help you, or anyone; he’s just here to stir up SHIF.

bhatiasham | March 17, 2020

Hi spuzzz123 ,
My sentry mode is off and still lost 58 miles in 5 days. IS this normal or is there any guidelines for this which could be temperature dependent.

Bighorn | March 17, 2020

Make sure Summon Standby is also off as this has proven to be an energy hog as well.

bhatiasham | March 17, 2020

Thanks Bighorn. Will try that.

michael521w | March 18, 2020

After about 2.5 hours last night the car was still at 0% and the app had stopped waking it up. I took a guess that maybe the extension cord I plugged the charge adapter into was not up to the job (or a circuit breaker had flipped), and luckily there was a wall outlet within reach that I hadn't noticed before. Switched it to that and now after about 13 hours plugged in and charging at 1KW I'm up to about 20% and am ready to unplug and bring it home and/or for supercharging later today. So it looks like I'm in good shape.

Thanks to all who responded with positive and/or productive comments!

@mrburke - yesterday it was around 40, and I believe the temps while I was away were in the 40's as well. The charge adapter was animating green when plugged in to the extension cord but had gone dark after that first 2.5 hours, then started animating green again when plugged into the wall. Can't remember what color the charge port was, I barely glanced at it, just went straight to the app to verify it was charging..

Bighorn | March 18, 2020

The charge port goes dark normally after you leave the car. Charging may have been delayed if the battery were cold soaked and the energy was going toward warning the battery.

Bighorn | March 18, 2020


cnerfin | March 18, 2020

Bummer @michael521w. At least you can laugh ( at me) that you didn't have to get a flatbed to take you 9 miles to a supercharger (like I did with two annoyed teenagers in the middle of the night at christmas over the Tejon pass) because cold temperature, altitude, grade and user bravado don't mix... Computer said I had 60 miles and it didn't make it 25... that said hopefully Tesla has improved cold weather range with the Y's new heat pump... I also loose lots of range on my 3 while parked in cold weather even overnight... Save it trolls you cant say anything my husband, kids and I haven't said to already...

sheldon.mike1010 | March 18, 2020


mrburke | March 18, 2020

@michael521w - Lessons learned and Lessons taught. Thanks for sharing this information with the group.

michael521w | March 18, 2020

Update: brought it home a few minutes ago - message on screen says the 12V battery needs to be replaced soon. Scheduled service through the app.

@mrburke - no worries, yep this is not a situation I plan to get into again that's for sure

@cnerfin that sucks! I know what you mean though, I was nervous a few weeks ago driving in Vermont toward a charging station - 40 miles away and car said I had 40% battery left, but I was losing 1% per mile. That was too close for me, I turned around and went to a nearby Charge Point station and slow-charged for a little while

DiminishedSeventh | March 18, 2020

12V could be showing that error because it was drained. I would fully charge your car and see if that error persists. I guess it wouldn’t hurt for service to do some diagnostics as well. Not sure how old your vehicle is.

lbowroom | March 18, 2020

cnerfin - when this happened at Tejon, did you have a destination plugged into nav? If not and you were travelling uphill on the Grapevine, then that is completely understandable. When in nav, the car accounts for elevation change, when you're not, it doesn't.

the trolls are the ones who aren't contributing anything useful but "shade" toward Tesla

Magic 8 Ball | March 21, 2020

FISHEV is evil with his anti Tesla anti fanboi agenda. He claims he only wants to talk model 3 yet uses any opportunity, not model 2 related, to bash Tesla and Tesla fans.

FISHEV is an EVIL hypocrite.

Magic 8 Ball | March 21, 2020

*not model 3 related...

FISHEV | March 21, 2020

@Bighorn and the gang deleting other owner's posts on Model 3 does belong in Model 3 forum.