Car is sitting in Philly Airport Bricking

Car is sitting in Philly Airport Bricking

I parked my car at Philly Airport to head to NC for my father's funeral. It's losing charge at such a high rate it will be empty by the time I get back on Monday. I wish someone had told me not to leave the car in an airport.

Roadside Assistance didn't have any answers except to hope for the best (that's literally what they said).

Any suggestions other than flying home to rescue the car and miss my father's funeral.

DouglasR | 9 febbraio 2013

The thread starter can, I believe, edit the title and initial post, and can also convert the entire thread to Private (as well as move the thread). The controls on my browser are on the upper left corner of the page. Others have said you get the controls by hovering your pointer over the Tesla logo.

Brian H | 10 febbraio 2013

Yes, the OP (original poster) gets those options showing up by hovering the pointer on "Tesla" (Edit and Delete). | 10 febbraio 2013

Seems like a nice future feature would be to have a screen that based on the current charge level, shows predicted range after a number of days if the car is left unused and not charging and some factor for weather. For example (with totally made up numbers):
10 miles - 67 days
50 miles - 39 days
100 miles - 18 days

DanD | 10 febbraio 2013

I can understand that people are sensitive when all news isn't rosy about Tesla. But this incident could have been prevented with better information about the car and better instrumentation.

Range Anxiety and now charge loss due to cold are big problems.

The lack of information caused me a great deal of anxiety and frustration.

DouglasR | 10 febbraio 2013

@Brian, that's not how it works for me. Hovering over the Tesla logo does nothing. However, there are "View" and "Edit" links on the far left of the bar that contains "Model X," "Model S," "Go Electric," etc. This is true for both IE and Chrome.

Robert22 | 11 febbraio 2013

The bottom line is that the battery will protect itself in all but the most extreme circumstances i.e. for 98% of us, it's not a real world problem. Couple this with the fact that it will send a distress signal out to HQ if in trouble, and you've got a low probability event (truly bricking) the majority of us will never need to worry about. Educating ourselves and future buyers should relegate this to "tempest in teapot" status.

Brian H | 11 febbraio 2013

Only the OP. You didn't start the thread. Check some other threat you did start.

Brian H | 11 febbraio 2013

typo: threat thread

Brian H | 11 febbraio 2013

Sorry, misunderstood. That's the same line as the T logo. And in FF I now see the same, 'View' and 'Edit'. Deletion is apparently no longer an option.

jbherman | 11 febbraio 2013

@DanD: I understand your frustration and your concern during a traumatic weekend, but with all due respect, your car was not "bricking." That term indicates that your battery was losing charge/decaying to a point that it would no longer be operational...ever--a catastrophic and very expensive loss. The information regarding charge loss and protection is readily available from Tesla and is in the owner's manual provided with the car or on your MyTesla page. What you seem to have been experiencing was anxiety over how much charge you would have on your return and whether you'd be able to make it home. Your car wasn't remotely close to "bricking." For me, it's not about sensitivity in regard to things not being "rosy" with Tesla. I've had my share of minor issues and am all for constructive criticism. It's about accuracy and providing unnecessary fodder for those hell bent on Tesla's failure. That doesn't help any of us.

Klaus | 11 febbraio 2013

@DanD, when you refer to the 2% loss per day, is that 2% of the total or 2% of the remaining charge? In other words 2% of 300 (or 265) is 6 miles a day (5.3) but 2% of let's say 150 miles remaining is 3 miles.
This all made more sense to me before I began typing. :(

LEKTR1K | 11 febbraio 2013

The owners manual says "Even when you’re not driving Model S, the Battery discharges very slowly
to power the onboard electronics. On average, the Battery discharges at a
rate of 1% per day. Situations can arise in which you must leave Model S
unplugged for an extended period of time (for example, at an airport when
travelling). In these situations, keep the 1% in mind to ensure that you
leave the Battery with a sufficient charge level. For example, over a twoweek period (14 days), the Battery discharges by approximately 14%." This seemed to change in 4.2, with much more rapid discharging when unplugged for extended periods.

It seems like we should have an option to put the car in the low-power consumption mode (that occurs automatically when the charge level drops below 5% in an idle car. Call it "airport mode"? I'm not sure how you wake up a MS in this deep sleep mode, but I imagine they could give us a way to wake up a MS in the low-power deep sleep, other than waking it to charge (it must detect the charger and open the port in the low power consumption mode?).

July10Models | 11 febbraio 2013

In the very early stage of production the Model S team is being very cautious about how much control they allow the user over the car's system. All it takes is one bone head user to mess up a vehicle and the Model S assembly line will come to a screetching hault. Tesla has plenty of orders to fill so this gives them time to idiot proof all the cars subsystem while releasing a comprehensive interface to realize the full pontential of the car. I can't wait for deep sleep mode to be actived.

DanD | 11 febbraio 2013

Another driver having difficulty with range in the cold

Hills | 11 febbraio 2013

@DanD, I am sorry you had a bad experience, even if the anxiety could have been avoided had more homework been done. Here is the full text of what someone else wrote. It was already posted once, but only the link in the prior post.

A Response to: Stalled on the E.V. Highway
Posted on February 8, 2013 by electricroadtrips 9

Mr. Broder,

My name is Peter, and I recently very successfully completed a very long, cross country trip from Portland OR -> LA -> NOLA -> Atlanta -> NYC in my Model S. I am only a Tesla customer, and have no other affiliation with the company.

It was great disappointment that I read your article today. It showed quite a number of missteps that could have been easily avoided, had Tesla done a better job teaching you about the car beforehand, and not repeatedly given you advice that was not only incorrect, but sometimes counterproductive. There is a learning curve to taking long road trips in an EV, especially in the cold, and it is a shame that Tesla did not better prepare you for this. Your article includes a bit of a postmortem on your trip, but that seems like Tesla again dropped the ball on giving you valuable advice on how you could have made the trip an easy success. Almost all the mistakes I have outlined below, individually, would have eliminated your troubles. If I may, here is my postmortem.


You did not fully charge the car at the Superchargers in Delaware. The Model S has two charge settings, “Standard” and “Max Range”. A Max Range setting will charge up the batteries fully (to the 265 EPA range). It appears you only charged to “Standard” with a range of 242. This setting is on the charge screen. This would have given you about 25 miles extra when arriving at the Superchargers in Milford CT. It should also be noted that you were only 14 miles from the Superchargers in Milford when you ran the car below 0 and needed to be towed.


You should have been advised by Tesla to plug in to something, anything when stopped overnight in temperatures down to 10 degrees Fahrenheit in Groton. Even a simple standard lamp socket would have eliminated your issues on the second day, and you would have started the day with somewhere between 90-100 miles to start with. I never had any issue finding, and being allowed to use, these on my trip. When charging for driving in the cold, charge whenever you get a chance, (i.e. when you stopped in NYC) even if it’s only for the hour that you are there.


The answer you got about “Conditioning” the battery when cold is completely incorrect, and simply aided to use up your mileage; In my estimate about 20 miles of range. Simply driving it would have warmed the battery and raised the “available” mileage as you drove. There have been a number of times, when very cold in the mornings, that I arrived at my destination with more range than I started with. Had you not done this, it is very likely that you would have been able to drive directly to the Superchargers in Milford.


Charge longer. I know this sounds silly now, but you should have charged for longer any number of times. You left Norwich KNOWING that you did not have the rated miles to reach your destination, yet you left anyway! Why anyone at Tesla “cleared” you to leave, and why you thought that heading out in the cold, without the rated mileage to get to your destination would have ended in any way other than poorly is beyond me. You stated that you know driving in cold requires at least 10% more energy, then you should have known that when you left the Superchargers in Milford you had approximately 160 miles round trip, add to this %10 for the cold and you need 176 miles of range. At 185 miles of range you are just setting yourself up for issues making it back, even if you hadn’t stayed the night. Staying just an extra 15 minutes at the Superchargers in Milford would have added almost an extra 70 miles into your car, and eliminated all other issues in your trip even without plugging in that night, and with the cold weather.


It doesn’t sound like anyone at Tesla informed you of the “Range” climate mode setting on the cars settings page. This would have helped you more than simply turning down the temperature as you did. This along with seat heaters would have done more to keep you comfortable while not reducing your range nearly as much. At the point in your drive that you knew you had real issues, you simply should have turned it off, or stopped by an outlet or EV charger for 20 minutes.


Don’t run the car down to 0! I don’t understand why anyone at Tesla gave you the impression that you should plan to run the car down to 0 miles left as part of your plan. This is the equivalent to Toyota letting you know that you can keep driving one of their gasoline cars further after you feel some hesitation from the engine running out of gas, “because there really is just a little more in there”. While it might be true, would you ever plan a trip that way?


When running low on charge, driving 11 miles in the wrong direction isn’t the smart move. It’s very unfortunate that you were sent 11 miles in the wrong direction to charge when running low. Since it’s the wrong direction, that now becomes 22 miles out of the way round trip, which as it turns out is a greater distance than you where from the Superchargers when you were picked up by the flatbed tow truck (14 miles). Better advice would have been to stop at somewhere like the Old Saybrook Inn which has an EV charger and was on your way, or any RV park many of which were on the way, any of which would, with that hour of charging you took, saved you from the tow truck.

Again, it’s a shame that a lack of knowledge and poor information turned your otherwise easily enjoyable trip into a nerve-racking drive and the need to be towed. I would like to extend you an offer to take another trip with me. We can take the same route, charge at the same locations, and I promise you won’t need your gloves inside the car.



jbherman | 11 febbraio 2013

Tweet from Elon Musk: @elonmusk: NYTimes article about Tesla range in cold is fake. Vehicle logs tell true story that he didn't actually charge to max & took a long detour.

portia | 11 febbraio 2013

@DanD it seems you are back, what happened to your car when you came back to the airport? how many miles left? did you have to do anything special to get it home? your report should be useful data to others who may park the car at the airport.

DouglasR | 11 febbraio 2013


Yes you can delete a thread. Just move it to the forum called "None Selected." Don't try this with a thread you want to keep (or at least, keep the "moved" thread on an open tab so that you can move it back).