Going on Vacation, How to Prevent Phantom Drain From Bricking My Model 3?

Going on Vacation, How to Prevent Phantom Drain From Bricking My Model 3?

I am guessing that in order to prevent phantom drain from draining my batteries down to zero, I just leave my car plugged in while I am gone. As soon as the battery goes below 90%, the car will charge itself back up to 90% again.

In case this doesn't work, will my car's batteries drain down to zero if I am gone for 4 weeks? 3 weeks? I mean, should I come back from vacation sooner so I won't come back to a ruined car?

I saw this infographic;

The infographic says that my car will lose 5.1 miles per day. So, in 30 days, I will lose 153 miles. Since my car has a 90% charge range of 230 miles, I should still have 77 miles left, even if the car fails to recharge itself while I am gone and left it plugged in?

Bottom line; will my car be ok if I left on vacation for 1 month and should I leave it plugged in?


RichardKJ | 4 gennaio 2019

Just leave it plugged in and have a good vacation. If you wanted you could lower the charge setting to 60%.

M3phan | 4 gennaio 2019

Yes. Leave it plugged in. This is Tesla’s recommendation. We’ve done three separate 2 week plus trips and left it plugged in; it was fine. If you can’t avoid the temptation of checking on your plugged-in car while on vacation by opening the app. (waking the car), make sure to put it “back to sleep” (force close the app). : )

tomasrey88 | 4 gennaio 2019


why put it to 60% charge limit? The delivery guy said 90%.

lilbean | 4 gennaio 2019

Keep it plugged in. I left mine unplugged for three weeks and it only lost 30%.

jjgunn | 4 gennaio 2019

Should set it for 50%. Delivery guy is wrong

tomasrey88 | 4 gennaio 2019

ok, set it for 50 to 60%, but why? I can't go against what a tesla employee said without good reason.

tomasrey88 | 4 gennaio 2019

ok, set it for 50 to 60%, but why? I can't go against what a tesla employee said without good reason.

RichardKJ | 5 gennaio 2019

One of the Tesla battery gurus said that the optimum charge level for the battery is 62.5%. So ideally you'd try to keep the charge as close to 62.5% as possible all the time, i.e. very short driving and charging sessions. Since that's not reasonable and not why we bought these cars with huge batteries, we fall back to the 20-80% (or 20-90%) regimen for daily usage. There's no significant harm in leaving/maintaining the battery at 90% for extended periods, but the battery will be slightly happier at a lower charge level.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 5 gennaio 2019

One of the first owner videos I ever watched for Tesla Model S...

Bjørn Nyland | 'Tesla Model S: Vampire Drain After 27 Days in Winter' (4:20)

He left his car unplugged in Norway for nearly four weeks when he travelled to Thailand to get married.

jordanrichard | 5 gennaio 2019

Why on earth are people making this more complaicted than it is. Leave the car plugged in, put the charge level to whatever you want below 90% and the car will take care of itself.

Can’t plug it in, charge it to 90% and go on with your vacation. If via the app you see the battery getting down to 20%, contact a trusted friend/family member/neighbor and have them bring the car some where to charge it up.

Magic 8 Ball | 5 gennaio 2019

As I understand it bricking is not a thing anymore. Apparently the car shuts down at a low battery level and you simply have to recharge to get it going again. I don't think it is good practice tho'.

tomasrey88 | 5 gennaio 2019

I'll charge it to 90%, then set it on 70% and keep it plugged in. Just in case....

Thanks, guys!

Tronguy | 5 gennaio 2019

There's such a thing as Overthinking.
The **manual** says:
1. Don't charge it up to 100% unless you're about to go on a trip.
2. If you're not using the car, leave it plugged in. And, specifically, the car's batteries and charging system isn't like that of a cell phone: It won't hurt anything, the battery management system is Superior.

Then: Occasionally, Musk and other **Tesla** people say: 90% is OK.

Everything else: Individual users madly theorizing based upon incomplete (i.e., they don't have access to the schematics and firmware) understanding of how the battery/battery management system works.

I, personally, am a great believer in manuals. If a manual for X says, "This is how you do Y", then doing Z is contraindicated, unless there's clear, convincing proof from some reliable source. And that source has to be doing more than guessing.

So: Set it to $RANDOM number. I'd just put it at 90% because that's what the dealer guy said to use, and I'd trust somebody with possible access to Real Manuals than $RANDOM users on the nobody-can-tell-if-you're-a-dog Internet. And leave it plugged in, since that's what the manual says.

Magic 8 Ball | 5 gennaio 2019


thedrisin | 5 gennaio 2019

Keep it plugged in 90% or less. I have not seen any emprical data that any level is better.

k96732 | 22 agosto 2019

You know, when you leave it at the airport, for me there are no chargers to keep it plugged into. I wished people actually answered the original question. Is there a way to put the car in sleep mode from the app? I left my car at 60% and I see that I am losing 5 miles a day.

hokiegir1 | 22 agosto 2019

@k96732 - There is no way to force sleep mode -- however when you don't open the app, it allows the car to enter sleep on it's own. Opening the app wakes the car, which will contribute to drain.

wiscy67 | 22 agosto 2019

I just read an article about an owner who left his M3 at a friend's garage without being plugged in for 63 days and lost 100 miles.

hokiegir1 | 22 agosto 2019

We left after work Friday, came home late Tuesday. The car was parked outside with cabin overheat on w/ AC (Atlanta temps were 95 high, 80 lows during this period and the car was in the sun, but did have a sunshade in the windshield). I opened the app twice a day (to keep COH active), but had Sentry off. We did an update on Monday remotely. We lost 3%. If I hadn't opened the app daily, it likely would have been less.

M3BlueGeorgia | 22 agosto 2019

- Park under cover while on vacation, if possible.
- Don't have Sentry mode on.
- Don't have any third party applications running
- Ignore the car while on vacation: Don't check it daily, or even at all until you are ready to activate the A/C

You should get a background loss of 2 to 3 miles a day. Perhaps less.

If you park it in the sun, usage will be higher because cabin overheat protection might kick in.

hokiegir1 | 22 agosto 2019

Oh-- forgot to add that I have TeslaFi connected as well.