Tips for minimizing Phantom drain

Tips for minimizing Phantom drain

I have been fighting phantom drain for a week or so, and finally managed to get it under control. Heres what i have learned.
My phantom drain was around 1 mile range lost per hour whenever the car was parked and not plugged in.

I had been using the tezlab app to monitor, and then added teslafi as well to try to figure out what is going on. Teslafi gives the detail i needed to figure this out - it basically tells you whenever the state of the car changes (i.e. between drive, park, sleep, charge).

At first teslafi showed that the car was not sleeping at all, which i guessed was the root of the issue. So, i disabled tezlab (by removing the app, and changing my Tesla account password), and avoided opening the Tesla app altogether (still running in background for locking / unlocking). According to Teslafi, the car still did not go to sleep, and the phantom drain was still there. So i started playing with the polling frequency in the Teslafi settings. The default is 1 minute, so I set it to 30 mins, and after a few minutes, sure enough, the car did go to sleep, and there was almost zero phantom drain while in sleep state. Yay!

But, the problem now is if I go on a short drive, less than 30 mins, Teslafi may not realize, and count that loss as range loss during sleep. So, I experimented to find what is the smallest poll frequency that still allows the car to sleep. The answer is 11 minutes. So I am guessing the car waits 10 mins after parking before it goes to sleep. Setting the poll frequency to anything less than 11 mins and the car stays in Park status. I still have the issue that if I go on a short drive less than 10 mins, Teslafi may not log that drive, but at least I cut my phantom drain to almost zero.

I am now wondering why the car waits 10 minutes before going to sleep. There is no perceivable user experience difference when unlocking the car from sleep state vs parked state - the car still unlocks instantly when I press the door handle, and the car wakes up immediately. It would seem like it would be better all around if the car went to sleep immediately when it is locked. That way I could set my polling frequency back to 1 minute, and not miss logging any drives in Teslafi.

So, the key takeaway for reducing phantom drain is to make sure the frequency with which the car status polled, either by the Tesla app, or any other 3rd party app or service is not more frequent than every 11 minutes.

Anyone else experienced this?

jjgunn | 15 mei 2018

Thanks for that info.

tezlab - sounds like an App to avoid.

Thanks for that tip too

billlake2000 | 15 mei 2018

What is your vampire drain now that you have it under control? What version of software?

Coastal Cruiser. | 15 mei 2018

Great detective work Ian.platt! There have been so many vampire posts, maybe this will help all those owners.

Just to play this back... you have it that both the tezlab and Teslafi apps poll the car at a prescribed interval. When either app polls the car it wakes up. Correct?

If so, perhaps Tesla could provide the back half of the solution on their end, by having the car ping the phone app when it wakes up (door handle activated, etc.). That way the stats on the app would stay accurate. Make sense?

As far as the 10 minute delay before going to sleep, I would suspect that there are other factors in play perhaps not visible that caused Tesla to set the balance point at 10min. Just a hunch.

mattjpeterson | 15 mei 2018

I use TeslaFi with a 1 minute polling interval and my car tends to sleep within a few minutes of being parked in most cases.

My "tricks":
* Tag my regular parking places (mainly work and home) as locations where all sleep modes are enabled (TeslaFi Sleep Mode, Nighttime TeslaFi Sleep Mode, Deep Sleep Mode)
* In Sleep Mode settings, uncheck "No Inside Temperature Reading"
* In Sleep Mode settings, Enable both Nightime TeslaFi Sleep Mode and Deep Sleep Mode and set reasonable hours for times when the car should always more aggressively try to sleep

The car may still occasionally wake up for a couple hours now and then (usually one 2-3 hour session a day for me) which I attribute to the car calling home to check for updates and upload Autopilot data. But otherwise is nearly always sleeping. My vampire drain is 2-4 miles/day.

Once the car is actually asleep, TeslaFi's further polling just checks to see if it's still asleep and will not wake it back up. Only using the Tesla app or pushing in a door handle or opening the trunk will wake up my Model 3.

djharrington | 15 mei 2018

My trick to have phantom drain of ~1kWh per day: don’t use third party apps which wake the car when not needed :D

Ian.platt | 15 mei 2018

@matt - per teslafi - sleep modes settings are not required for model 3 . It states this at the top of the sleep mode page. Do your tricks work on the Model 3 ?

@Coastal - I have tezlab disabled. I could not find a way to control the polling frequency for tezlab.

@bill - I only just figured all this out, so I don't have much data yet, but so far during sleep periods, drain is zero. The car does wake up for short periods randomly from time to time, and lose a few wh but its almost nothing.

H271 | 15 mei 2018

How do these apps get data from your car? I don't get it.

mattjpeterson | 15 mei 2018

@Ian.platt - I do have a Model 3 and that notice appears to be new. I did in fact log a sleep issue a couple weeks ago and he gave some guidance to maximize sleep which is encapsulated in my 'tricks' above so either that was a placebo effect or he was also not clear on the effect of TeslaFi polling on Model 3 sleep at the time. As an experiment though I'll try disabling sleep modes and see what happens.

12Brent | 15 mei 2018

+1 @djharrington. If you don't want phantom drain then quit constantly checking on the car through the app. You wouldn't sleep well either if I woke you up every 15 minutes.

mattjpeterson | 15 mei 2018

To be clear, no one is talking about constantly checking on the car through the app. We are using data logging tools that are designed to allow the car to sleep and only collect data when it's not sleeping. A primary use case for TeslaFi is to monitor vampire drain and make sure the car is sleeping enough.

Ian.platt | 15 mei 2018

I woke up my car, then tried changing the TeslaFi sleep mode settings per Matt's suggestion and just now got a txt that my car has gone to sleep :)
Here's what I changed: Unchecked BOTH "No outside temperature reading" and " No inside temperature reading" , time to try sleeping = 60, idle time before trying to sleep = 1, polling time while idle = 1.

So, it seems that TeslaFi sleep mode settings do affect Model 3 despite the message at the top of the page.

Thanks for the info Matt !

djharrington | 15 mei 2018

“A primary use case for TeslaFi is to monitor vampire drain and make sure the car is sleeping enough.”

I’m going to TeslaFi my wife tonight. Every 10 minutes I’ll ask, “Honey, are you asleep?” I just want to make sure she’s sleeping enough...

jjgunn | 15 mei 2018

"How do these apps get data from your car? I don't get it."

The guy that owns wrote an app that is using a python script to mine the data into a mysql database.

Now if you understand that sentence - head over to to learn more

Nothing sinister, however, I admit I haven't looked at the python script :-) ....yet

He's helping us learn more about our cars using the data. Think of your car as a giant cell phone on 4 wheels that's really fast

H271 | 15 mei 2018

Yes but where is he getting the data? Does the car publicize APIs? Is he scraping the Tesla app?

mattjpeterson | 15 mei 2018

Tesla has a semi-private (publicly accessible, but not publicly documented) API which its own app uses for controlling the car and gathering data. A number of services including TeslaFi use this API to capture data to allow owners to monitor their car. The API is connecting to Tesla's backend infrastructure, not the car directly. So it's not so much "Hey Matt's car, are you asleep?" as "Hey Tesla, is Matt's car asleep?"

H271 | 15 mei 2018

And how do we know anything about TeslaFis security practices? They now have MASSIVE amounts of data on our cars. Is it controlled? Publicly accessible on a poor S3 location?

chuck | 15 mei 2018

Please forgive a newcomer, but what is the purpose of TeslaFi and tezlab? Why should I want to ping my car once per minute?

Ian.platt | 16 mei 2018

"I’m going to TeslaFi my wife tonight. Every 10 minutes I’ll ask, “Honey, are you asleep?” I just want to make sure she’s sleeping enough..."

What if your wife has sleep apnea, and is not getting enough sleep which causes her to not have enough energy to get through the day. Would you want to know about that?

TeslaFi has found a way to passively ping the car to ascertain its status without waking it. This enables it to accurately monitor when the car is asleep and also exactly when Phantom drain is happening.

mattjpeterson | 16 mei 2018

"Please forgive a newcomer, but what is the purpose of TeslaFi and tezlab? Why should I want to ping my car once per minute?"

It's a data gathering tool which can be used to track your charging and driving efficiency, sleep/idle time, log your drives, etc. It's fantastic for data nerds that like to see everything that's going on with their car, better understand true range for various driving conditions, etc.

You absolutely don't need it. You can live a happy Tesla life without it.

The one minute polling interval allows it to have fairly high fidelity data. You can increase the interval if you want but then short drives (or portions of long drives) may be missed and your data will not be as accurate. If you only poll every 10 minutes it may completely miss the first half of a short drive across town.

M3R | 8 augustus 2018

@platt, can you explain more thru out how to setup on teslafi to put the M3 sleep? i have tried and it is still draining over a mile/hr. thanks

rjriker | 8 augustus 2018

Not sure this will apply in your case, but my drain was due to the automatic cabin temperature protection. In the summer heat in the garage with temps. exceeding 100 degrees outside, the cabin overheat protection was coming on at 81 degrees F and using up 2 miles per hour just sitting. I turned the cabin overhead protection off and now only use 14 miles in 24 hours, while sitting in the garage. I can live with that.

eandmjep | 8 augustus 2018

Dont ask why.Turn off hvac when exiting. I have seen only 2 to 3 miles per day.

M3R | 8 augustus 2018

I turned of HVAC, and Cabin overheat proction and still draining at rate of 1mile/hr

jjgunn | 8 augustus 2018

Something ain't right....

I let my MX sit for 6 days.

Lost a grand total of 8-10 MPH

Something seriously wrong if you're losing 1 MPH.

M3R | 8 augustus 2018

Scheduled to SC next Friday

M3R | 8 augustus 2018

I don’t know if it is the software bug. I am still at 28.24

janendan | 18 augustus 2018

Anyone know if the A/C comes on to cool the cabin, through the night, when it is awakened? Miami nighttime lows hovering around 85f. Losing 1-2KWh/ 12hr. night.

lycanag | 20 september 2018

I just got my Model 3 and yesterday had 12 mile loss. Playing more with the sleep settings didn't help. Only changing the polling when idle to 10 minutes got my car to sleep again. Once it was asleep it could poll and not wake it.

I am tempted to set my idle time before trying to sleep to 0 and try to sleep to 10 if I were to turn the sleep back on. Not sure how much data I'd miss of drives and idle but least I'd get it not to drain

Tesla2018 | 20 september 2018

How do you play with the sleep settings?

SolArray | 21 september 2018

My experience for minimal range loss (sitting idle in parking lot for several days lost 3 miles range/day)
- Don't set car to maintain temp (just start cooling/heating remotely via app soon before going to car)
- After car locks/mirrors fold, Go to your Phone: Turn off Location, Turn off Bluetooth, Turn off App (you're no longer in communication with the car)
- Don't run any third party apps. Just check your car next time you need it and "very little range lost" should be the result.

jefjes | 22 september 2018

@SolArray- I'm going to try your suggestions. I never had phantom drain problems until 34.2 and now I'm on 36.2 and it just keeps getting worse. I started keeping a log and last night parked in the garage plugged in, the car charged to 70% and only showed 211 miles of range which used to always be 217 before the 34.1 updates but has been getting worse. By 7:30 am, 4-5 hours after finishing the charge, the range dropped to 205 while just parked still plugged in and not being woke up during that time. I reported the drain to service and they told me they would escalate the issue to the local mobile service for our area and download the car information to try and figure it out but that has not occurred and that was 9/14/18. I contacted the local on another issue and told them about the drain and they said they were unaware and had not been contacted. They are supposed to contact me in the coming week so still waiting and mile just keep dropping.

jjgunn | 22 september 2018

@jefjes - the range "loss" you're seeing isn't an accurate value being shown on the screen. Ignore it. You still have 217.

Follow the directions in this thread. They do work

jefjes | 22 september 2018

@jjgunn- I hope you're right but it wasn't like this until 34.2 and I thought maybe it would go back to normal after 36.2 but just seems worse. I still have less than 3k miles and have only urban supercharged 1 time to 100% and it was the same day I got 34.2 and it started the next day. I'm sure it has something to do with sleep mode or something the car is doing since it doesn't seem consistent.

Thanks for the response and hopeful comment.

jdalton | 23 september 2018

I have a TMS100D since friday September 21st with firmware 2018.28.5 (yes I know...)
So the car goes to Deep Sleep mode but never to Sleep Mode ???
I changed my Tesla account the password and not restarted any app but the Tesla still never goes to Sleep Mode...
Any idea why ?
Thank you in advance for your help.

Nexxus | 25 september 2018


Check you settings. The new downloads have been known to reset them to the factory settings.

Nexxus | 25 september 2018


Check your settings. The new downloads have been known to reset them to the factory settings.

jefjes | 27 september 2018

Yep, checked settings and everything seems the same. This morning my 70% charge only got me to 195-mile range. Just keeps getting worse and no response from Tesla service on the issue in weeks after they said they would check my car data and local service would be contacting me. Sent another email to local yesterday but no response. It is getting down in the 40s a night now so maybe the cold weather causing the loss of range? I wasn't expecting this much loss until the 30s or below. I turn my AC off so the heater won't try to warm the interior and use the seat heater only when needed. Pretty big drop from 217 to 195 with the same 70% charge set. That's like a 10% drop in range in 3000 miles.

M3BlueGeorgia | 27 september 2018

Call the service number (not your local center) and ask them to determine what's going on.

Going to 195 from 217 isn't acceptable, but also isn't the end of the world. You probably have a battery problem, but they need to diagnose it and schedule you in for a repair. They have remote diagnostics.

Unlikely that anything you are doing is causing an issue, so just go ahead and use the car normally.

jefjes | 28 september 2018

@M3BlueGeorgia- I did call the service number that connected me to someone in Utah from Tesla. He recommended I turn off overheat protection and said keep logging and he would call me back the next day at a specified time. I explained that it lost most of the miles during a time it was parked in my garage when the highest temperature was only 61 degrees. He said to try it anyway so I did without any luck. The next day he called 3 hours late but still acknowledged there must be a problem and he would escalate the case and have service locally contact me after downloading data from my car. That has never happened as far as I know as local never contacted me.
After a few days, I had an unrelated problem so I called local to discuss it and ask about the drain issue. They said they were not aware of the drain issue and requested I take pictures of my other problem and send them for there review. I did that right away but no response so the next day I contacted them again via email and inquired if they even got the pictures. They responded that they did and would be discussing the issues with local about the proper recourse on the issue of the pictures but no mention about the drain.
I sent another email (since that at least got a response), and even though the response had said it would be 1-2 business days before I would be contacted there still has been no response since either by phone or email and that was a week ago today. So calling service didn't work and emailing hasn't worked either, it seems. I know they are super busy at the end of the quarter and I am still driving my car but just responding with "we are working on a resolution" would be nice.

jefjes | 28 september 2018

Just sent another email and Tesla called back right away this time. The tech told me they have parts on order for the picture issue and I discussed the drain issue with him and he said he would download my data and should be calling me back later today or Monday and if I don't hear from him by then to call him. Things may be looking up and patience is always a virtue. Still the best car ever and the best company ever!

wayne | 28 september 2018

What OS does TeslaFi run on? I don’t see it for the IPhone.

F | 22 oktober 2018

It's not an app. It's a site:

goatea | 9 januari 2019

I just installed Teslafi to check on my phantom drain. Am I to assume that now there will be more phantom drain using the app to check on my phantom drain ?

drbob | 12 januari 2019

I love TeslaFi and haven't had any problems with phantom drain.

I'd suggest giving it a try. Get 4 weeks free if you use my referral link (vs 2 without ): | 1 april 2019

Have you tried
It has a lot of features and the UI is more beautiful.

gene | 1 april 2019

@marcpujol Your site has no contact info, and no way to recover a lost password. :(

WardT | 1 april 2019

I parked my LR RWD M3 on 2019.5.15 software at LAX for almost exactly 7 days and lost 16 miles of range or 2.3 miles/day. I don’t have any apps except the Tesla app and we did not open the app during the 7 days. The weather was usual for LAX in March, pretty much perfect with day temps in the 70’s and lows maybe in the 50’s if that matters. One data point.

I don’t know the exact technical differences between my mirrors folded in and the car locked versus it being asleep. It seems to me when the car locks it also goes to sleep. The screen is dark when it locks. | 2 april 2019

@gene Sorry about that. We're making some changes on the landing page. We're fixing this.
You can contact me at or at +34 688864432

@WardT I believe the car waits for some time before going to sleep. It's usually about 10-15 minutes.
Sometimes the car needs to communicate with Tesla so it won't go to sleep.
Teslastics allows the car to sleep to minimize vampire drain.

Carl Thompson | 2 april 2019

"Have you tried It has a lot of features and the UI is more beautiful."

For this would I have to give the site access to my Tesla account and car either via giving my password or giving access via the API?

If so, no thanks! | 2 april 2019

Hi @Carl Thompson,

To get the information from the car we need to link it somehow. We are software developers, not magicians.

At the moment a token (it's like a code) is needed. And it must be generated using the tesla account credentials.
I hope Tesla will consider adding some kind of Social Login (just what Google does) to allow an easier integration with third-party apps.

Anyway, the tokens are inmediately invalidated if you change your tesla password.