Can I leave the Tesla parked without charging for a long time?

Can I leave the Tesla parked without charging for a long time?

I was wondering if I could leave a tesla 70d parked for more than a week and not charging without affecting the 12V battery and finding the car dead when I'm ready to drive it again.
I was told I have to charge the car everyday. Is that really true?

Tesltoronto | May 24, 2015

I have parked my 85D at the airport without charging for nearly a week. I did not have a problem when I came back. I have left if unplugged for shorter durations (2-3 days) with no issues so far.

I don't think generally you should not have a problem.

Tesltoronto | May 24, 2015

sorry the last sentence should read "I think, generally, you should not have a problem"

TeoTeslaFan | May 24, 2015

12V battery is not an issue. The main battery pack is. You don't have to charge every day. You need to charge enough so the charge level on the main battery pack doesn't drop to zero.

Enable energy saving mode to reduce vampire loss.

Here is a video about this subject:

Tropopause | May 24, 2015


You do not HAVE to charge it everyday. The 12V battery will periodically charge from the 70kW battery as needed. This is why Tesla advises that you leave enough charge in your 70kW battery to accommodate a 1% drain per day of inactivity.

If you plan to leave your car unplugged for 10 days, it will drain about 1% per day or 10%. Ensure you leave enough charge for the 10% (some drain more) plus your driving needs after returning to your car.

The Owner's Manual describes in more detail how this process works, particularly when the battery gets low.

ir | May 24, 2015

Weather is important as the car will engage heater / AC even when parked. It protects the battery in extreme temperatures. Thus using more power.

jordanrichard | May 24, 2015

Ash, I think where you are getting the "charge it every day", is a misunderstanding. Tesla says a plugged in Model S is a happy Model S. So they say to plug it in everyday, but you don't have to as others have said.

y.m.samandar | May 24, 2015

3 weeks, leaving mij car at the airport, was the longest time i went without charging.
I was suprised, only 75 km of range were lost !
I expected double.

Energy saving mode and "non connecting with my Phone" mode

ashcubano1 | May 24, 2015

oh wow thanks guys for all the rapid answers.
This was something that worried me. I'm still waiting for my 70D but this year I'm gonna be traveling and gone for a couple of weeks straight that's why the question.
But thanks I feel better..:)

Pungoteague_Dave | May 24, 2015

Make sure you leave it in the correct mode. I once mistakenly blew it and left our prior S85 for fast wake-up in a freezing airport lot (Norfolk). Upon return there wasn't enough range to get home, so had to go the opposite direction after the local level 2 at Whole Foods was out of order, and we spent five hours sitting and charging at a campground south of Virginia Beach. Epic fail, but totally my fault for not checking before leaving it parked for a week.

vlad22 | May 24, 2015

@ash. I don't know where you live. Leaving your ms anywhere in severe cold for longer then a day or two is not possible and will actually void your warranty, it's right in the manual. If cold weather is not an issue then not to worry. I posted earlier this year about the effects of leaving the car at -25 Celsius for a couple of days. I was so worried I even called tesla and they gave me the official ok to do so. The effects of severe cold are pretty dramatic.

PaceyWhitter | May 24, 2015

See I was thinking -25 Celsius sounded super extreme, but I put it in a calculator and it is -13 Fahrenheit. Cold for sure, but not what I was picturing. I blame poor American secondary education.

mathwhiz | May 24, 2015

The warranty exclusion @vlad22 cites is incorrect. Here is the excerpt referenced:

• Exposing the vehicle to ambient temperatures above 140°F (60°C) or below -22°F (-30°C) for more than 24 hours at a time;

sorka95032 | May 24, 2015

My battery drains 2% / day when not plugged in or driven, not 1%.

JohnRobVA | May 29, 2015

I've left my M85 out overnight a few times for 2-3 nights, and didn't set the Energy Saving mode or power the car all the down. Temperatures were between 55-80F. In all cases I lost 2-3 miles of range per night. Negligible for my purposes, but agree with other posters about not leaving it unplugged if the temps are extremely low.

Mark E | May 29, 2015

@PaceyWhitter - I still think -25 is extreme! ;) Here in Sydney anything even approaching freezing is considered very cold.

On topic - in reasonable weather (10-25 degrees C) I've left my car parked for a week at the airport with minimal loss. Power save and not always connected.

prp | May 30, 2015

You should read your tesla manual. The answer is there!
My S is on a boat for 45 days without charging, so I cant see your 1 week airport trip causing to much drama.

Captain_Zap | May 30, 2015

As your car sits undisturbed, it goes into deeper and deeper sleep as time goes on. It will hibernate to preserve itself. I have no idea the what the longest amount of time a car was left and undisturbed by apps.

CraigW | May 30, 2015

While you shouldn't be careless, I think this fear is somewhat like the range anxiety for people first buying a Tesla. The fears are out there, but they are essentially baseless - as long as you exercise common sense.

The example of the journalist who set out to try and 'brick' the battery is an example of not using common sense.

The car is amazingly well designed and will withstand more than an equivalent ICE. You can drive to 0 miles/km, but don't try to. You can discharge the battery, but take the proper precautions when leaving it for extended periods of time.

The fear is vastly overstated. Have fun with your car - it is an unparalleled enjoyment machine.

prp | May 30, 2015

Dont forget, petrol starts to go off after just 1 week of no movement, but no-one thinks about that when they leave an ICE car for a while.

Vatche.manoukian | July 11, 2019

If I'm leaving the country for 20 days and I leave my model S 250 mile range unplugged will the battery die and if so what harm would it cause if any, I don't want to leave it plugged in for 20 days?

tes-s | July 11, 2019

20 days is no problem. Leave it plugged in if you can.

billvb | July 11, 2019

Your charge will drain much faster if you leave Sentry mode on. We’ve left our Model X at the airport for up to 2 weeks with no problem prior to the release of Sentry mode, but we were very surprised to see the increased drain when we left it in Sentry mode; fortunately, I checked it with the Tesla app and turned off Sentry mode when I realized.

barrykmd | July 12, 2019

Also, avoid the temptation to check the car with the app. That will wake it up and cause more drain.

EVRider | July 12, 2019

Sentry Mode will sap 1-2 miles per hour, so definitely turn that off if you’re going to leave the car unplugged for a long time. All the more reason to take an Uber rather than parking at the airport.

barrykmd | July 12, 2019

The math of Sentry Mode power consumption doesn't make sense.

Assuming it consumes 1 mph of charge and you consume about 300 wh/mi driving, that means it consumes 300 watts. A standard dash cam uses about 500 mA at 12v or 6 watts.

How can Sentry mode recording consume 50x more power than a Blackvue?

murphyS90D | July 12, 2019

The MCU consumes a lot more power than a dedicated low power microprocessor.

Daisy the Road ... | July 12, 2019

There are many more cameras and it is using a computer system geared for self driving along whith other supporting hardware, including the HV to 12v down conversion. 300 watts doesn't seem out of the question.

EVRider | July 13, 2019

A regular dashcam is just recording video, but Sentry Mode is using the AP computer to analyze the video.