Will Sentry mode work in model S AP2 cars or just AP 2+?

Will Sentry mode work in model S AP2 cars or just AP 2+?

I have a model S 90D built in December 2016 which makes it an AP2 car. Curious if Sentry will work in my car or not? And any idea when it’s going to be released? Thx!

Boonedocks | 12 février 2019

Thank goodness for us pre-paid FSD problem that will be getting HW3 in 2024. :/

inconel | 12 février 2019

I think AP2 as well.

Boonedocks | 12 février 2019

Personally I think you are right @inconel. If not Elon definitely needs to temper his tweets even more.

EVRider | 12 février 2019

The dashcam requires HW2.5, so why do you think Sentry Mode won’t?

Boonedocks | 12 février 2019

In believe 2.0 may have enough processing power to do it when sitting still and not having to be running the AP software simultaneously. But no-one knows and we probably won’t for a month or two according to EST ElonStandardTime delivery

dmanincali | 29 avril 2019

Just got 12.1.1 on my HW2.0 Model X and it finally has Sentry Mode.

sr.smr | 30 avril 2019

I also received it on my AP2, but not the version that downloads your videos to a thumb drive - at least it did not state that in the release notes and have not tried it. I believe it does record an alarm to Tesla's cloud and sends a notification to your mobile app, which is a huge benefit and am quite satisfied with this version. I already have the two-channel Blackvue to supplement recordings.

EVRider | 30 avril 2019

@sr.smr: If you have HW2, you can’t record Sentry Mode video on a USB. Maybe that will change someday, but for now the video is only saved in the cloud. I don’t think Tesla has told anyone how they can access that video if they need it.

Q Q | 30 avril 2019

@evrider: can you cite a source for the idea that for sentry mode, "...the video is only saved in the cloud"? I can't figure out why people believe that. Was it stated somewhere? I am of the belief that my AP2.0 car (which just got Sentry Mode with 2019.12.1.1) just lights up the screen and (maybe) sends me a notification if someone messes with my car. But if it does upload to the cloud, how would we access those videos? Who would you contact? Thanks!

RedJ | 30 avril 2019

@Q here’s a screenshot from my HW2.0 model S on 2019.12

RedJ | 30 avril 2019

No indication on how one would access the files uploaded to Tesla though.

diamonds2 | 1 mai 2019

I just posted this in another thread:

Someone is reporting at the TMC forum that IRO dashcams will continue to record while parked, with Sentry Mode activated on HW 2.0 vehicles. (I have not tried it yet).

EVRider | 1 mai 2019

@diamonds2: Is that because Sentry Mode causes the dashcam to continue to receive power after you've left the car? I have a TopFit dashcam, which is similar to the IRO model -- I'll try to remember to check that out the next time I use Sentry Mode. I actually do have HW2, but that shouldn't make a difference in this case.

diamonds2 | 1 mai 2019


Yes, the individual that reported this says that the dashcam continues to receive power after leaving the car and activating Sentry Mode.

EVRider | 2 mai 2019

In my previous reply, I meant to say I actually do have HW2.5 (not HW2), but it still makes no difference.

DRFLGD | 2 mai 2019

Does everyone else also need to turn on Sentry Mode every time you leave your car?

Yodrak. | 2 mai 2019

"Does everyone else also need to turn on Sentry Mode every time you leave your car?"

I've found that I do not, although I originally thought I would have to.

DRFLGD | 2 mai 2019

That's odd. Why do I have to? | 2 mai 2019

On using a non-Tesla dashcam, the operation/recording has zero to do with Sentry mode. It has everything to do with how it is wired in. If you wire it to a switched power connection, then there will be no recording when parked. I strongly recommend connecting to a always-on power connection. Lots of ways to do it as I explain here with photos:

Also some of the better dashcams, like those from BlackVue only record when movement occurs while parked. Some dashcams are not quite as smart, and require an extra power wire to tell it if you are parked or not. Then some of the cheapest one just record all the time, which is not bad, but provides less video for the size SC card you use (i.e. an event gets overwritten sooner in this case).

EVRider | 2 mai 2019

@DRFLGD/@Yodrak: Unless something changed in the very last update, Sentry Mode has to be enabled every time you want to use it.

DRFLGD | 2 mai 2019

EV: That's what I thought. I have the latest update (12.1.1).

sr.smr | 3 mai 2019

I have 2019.12.1.2 with HW 2 and sentry has to be enabled every time you use it. I wonder if HW 2.5 also needs to enable sentry every time you use it.

Anthony J. Parisio | 3 mai 2019


Jesperj | 3 mai 2019

Sentry mode "works" on HW2, but it doesn't record video. I went back and forth with Tesla about this when I got it in 2019.12. This is what the support tech told me:

"I am so sorry should have researched this further. That is the answer to the issue then. Sentry mode is an enhancement to the Dash Cam feature and being that your vehicle was produced prior to 2017 it renders it ineligible for the Sentry Mode at this time. "

This is contrary to what Elon has said multiple times and contrary to the release notes. I think Tesla is failing to properly train their support personnel on this, and that they are confusing things. We have Sentry Mode, sort of, but not really. Here are some places where Elon directly contradicted this:

What works today on AP2:
Today you can turn on Sentry mode. It will display the Sentry mode warning screen, and play the loud music. However, it's a bit like putting a fake alarm sign on your lawn to warn people that you have an alarm when you in fact don't. You do have an alarm, but the only functional difference between this sort-of-sentry-mode and the alarm we had before is the warning on the screen. However, it's better than what pre-AP2 owners have. Thieves now have a supremely easy way to tell which cars are protected and which ones are safe to break into because they don't have Sentry mode or their owners didn't turn it on.

Allegedly, Sentry Mode will today send recorded footage to Tesla for all AP2+ cars, but the support rep explicitly said it depends on Dash Cam, which we do not have, so that part of the release notes is likely wrong, unless someone has data to contradict it. It would be rather astonishing if the car could send dash cam footage to Tesla, but not save it on a local file system, so I think the release notes are actually incorrect.

What will work tomorrow.
Assuming that Elon was correct in that anyone who purchased the Fully Self Driving features will indeed get the FSD computer, presumably all this will be resolved then as that computer does support the dash cam, and thus supports full sentry mode.

However, for now, it appears that Tesla has divided customers into three groups:
1. True sentry mode customers - Those who are on AP 2.5, and who have real sentry mode
2. Sort-of-sentry-mode customers - Those who have AP 2.0 and basically just have a center console that shows that the car has an alarm
3. Non-sentry mode customers - AP 1 and non-AP customers. We can probably refer to them as "marks" from now on.

EVRider | 3 mai 2019

@Jesperj: Why do you assume the sales rep is right and the release notes and Elon are wrong? I think that's a bad assumption -- sales reps are often wrong, but I don't recall ever seeing an error in the release notes.

sr.smr | 3 mai 2019

@Jesperj, the sentry mode for AP2 cars does provide notification on your app of a break in, which is a major benefit as it basically takes the place of the $250 alarm add-on that for all practical purposes is no longer necessary.

Jesperj | 4 mai 2019

@EVRider, it was tech support, not sales, but I don’t actually know who to assume is right at this point.

@sr.smr good point. I missed that.

RAR | 4 mai 2019

The release notes for 2019.12.1.2 correct the error in the release notes for 2019.12.1.1 regarding Sentry mode for HW 2.0 vehicles. In the Alert state the notification appears on the screen, but no recording occurs. In the Alarm state notification is sent to the mobile ap.

EVRider | 4 mai 2019

@RAR: Thanks for the correction. Guess that clears things up, at least until Elon tweets something that says otherwise. :-)

PagemakersS75P3 | 4 mai 2019

@TeslaTap I have had the IRO Cam for about 8 months now. When I first installed it it definitely would turn off when the car powered down.

I’ve just installed 2109.12.1.1 today and for the first time I’ve got Sentry in my 2017 HW2.0 S.

Now I notice that the IR Cam is permanently on all the time when Sentry is on.

I can confirm this with the Tesla Stats app. With the car off and locked up I turn Sentry on and the IR Cam turns on. Turn sentry off and the IR Cam turns off so with respect your comment above is incorrect. | 4 mai 2019

@Pagemakers - Thanks for noticing that. I guess it depends on which switched power source you tap into or maybe all switched power is left on when in Sentry mode. Makes some sense. Still, it would be better to tap into an always on circuit, so if you forget to turn on sentry mode, the non-Tesla dashcam still records events.

sr.smr | 4 mai 2019

Why does sentry mode turn off by default every time the car is turned off? I wish it could stay on all the time so it is one less thing to remember to turn on before leaving the car.

PagemakersS75P3 | 4 mai 2019

I guess because of battery usage. | 5 mai 2019

Pagemakers nailed it. Imagine leaving your car for 10 days at the airport with 120 miles of range remaining. With Sentry mode on you might only have 25 miles of range when you get back! Remember Sentry mode takes about 24 miles of range per day, down to 20%. Once it gets to 20% , you'll lose 2-3 more miles a day for normal vampire load.

Hopefully, Tesla will add some options, like # of hours to remain on after exit and/or ability to add geo-locations where it is auto-disabled (i.e.home, airport, etc).

akikiki | 5 mai 2019

All these comments about Sentry mode are so interesting.

There was a common saying that, you can’t make everybody happy.
Now it seems there’s no making anyone happy.

First there was no Sentry mode. So there was no need to worry about when it’s on. Just a lot of complaining there was no Sentry mode even though there was no Sentry mode or promise of one when the car was purchased.

Now that a Sentry mode (regardless of its features) has been added, there’s complaints of having to enable it after each drive.

If the car is updated to allow turning Sentry mode on automatically, there will be plenty of people that complain of its battery drain.

Dash cam
All these complaints because 2.0 cars can’t get the Tesla dash cam feature and again it was not promised at time of purchase. All these no dash cam complaints that can be resolved by simply adding a cheap or better after market dash cam. Even if the Tesla dash cam comes to AP 2.0 cars with the new chip, so what? Run them both/all. You can’t have too many security options.

cki.jimbob | 11 mai 2019

There’s going to be another update that allows you to add a “safe location” where sentry mode will not turn on, so anywhere else you park, it’ll automatically turn on. This will be a feature you can turn on or off.

EVRider | 12 mai 2019

The Sentry Mode enhancements are available in 2019.16, which has started rolling out (actually, trickling out...). The enhancements are to have Sentry Mode enabled by default, with the ability to be able to exclude certain locations. That should make most of you happy. :-)

siennamarie80 | 4 juin 2019

I have a 2015 S that I love, sadly no sentry mode or new anti-theft for me. I’ve had both rear corner windows broken with nothing in the car in the last 30 days. Has anyone used and had success with any other kind of alarm system that also covers the glass breaking? I’ve been trying to find some after market products without much luck. I’m stuck between trading up for security features or putting my money into a decent alarm. Haaaallllp please! | 4 juin 2019

@siennamarie80 - Why not buy the Tesla intrusion alarm?

I got it and haven't had a break in yet (although I haven't had a breakin beforehand either).

siennamarie80 | 4 juin 2019

@teslatap I was told my car isn’t compatible-It’s only for cars built after September 16, 2015 :(

mgpg | 4 juin 2019

This is stick-on alarm and warning sign combo I was considering buying. | 5 juin 2019

@siennamarie - Yikes, I forgot it was only available on newish cars.

rxlawdude | 5 juin 2019

Funny. She didn't look newish.