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How to Minimize Battery Drain When Your Tesla is Parked

Pearl White Tesla Model 3 Parked

By: Otaiba Ahsan

If you’ve had a Tesla for long enough, then you’ve likely experienced vampire drain when the car was parked. In other words, the battery percentage was less than what it was when you first left. This can be inconvenient at times, especially in situations where you don’t have a charger readily available. Continue reading for how to minimize battery drain when your Tesla is parked.

What is Vampire Drain?

Both the electric vehicle (EV) and Tesla community have helped coin clever phrases, like frunk (front trunk), that are unique to EVs. The term vampire drain is another one and refers to your Tesla losing charge while it’s parked. This is caused by the need for continuous power by different features that are available in the car. Sentry Mode, Cabin Overheat Protection, Dog Mode, and several other functions contribute to this loss of charge.

Another phrase that’s commonly used in the Tesla community is phantom drain, which is when the vehicle loses battery while parked due to energy loss when the car is completely off or idle. The key difference between the two is that vampire drain is a product of your Tesla’s computer systems using power to monitor the battery health and using other features, whereas phantom drain is simply due to energy loss from the car being off or idle.

While both types of drain ultimately decrease your charge when parked, it’s important to understand the key differences.

How to Minimize Battery Drain

There are several ways to help minimize vampire drain. Here are some tips to lessen the loss of charge:

1) Sentry Mode

When in your Tesla, you can toggle this feature by tapping Controls > Safety > Sentry Mode and then you can turn it on or off. You can also follow the same steps to do the same in the mobile app. It’s important to adjust the settings so that it excludes home, work, or favourites. That way, when you’re in places where you know you don’t need Sentry Mode, your car won’t consume as much energy when parked.

2) Cabin Overheat Protection

This feature can be adjusted by tapping Controls > Safety > Cabin Overheat Protection when in your vehicle or in the app. Turning it off will certainly save battery when parked, but it might be a better option to choose the No A/C setting so that the cabin is still cooled, but doesn’t use the air conditioning consumes more battery.

3) Dog and Camping Modes:

Some owners may unnecessarily leave these two modes on when they’re not needed. Of course, they both use power when the car is parked which will drain the charge. Be sure to turn off the two features, and also try to park in optimal locations so that they’re not needed in the first place.

The Bottom Line

The steps on how to minimize battery drain when your Tesla is parked are simple. Factors like Sentry Mode, Cabin Overheat Protection, and Dog or Camping Mode all impact the charge levels when parked. There are settings for both Sentry Mode and Cabin Overheat Protection that adjust the use of those features when they don’t need to be. Moreover, parking in optimal locations will limit the use of Dog or Camping Modes.

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