Storing for more than a month

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Joined
Apr 4, 2016
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16
Location
Toronto
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Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
#1
Hi folks,

I'm leaving my car parked in the garage for around 6 weeks while I'm away. Any tips on long term storage? So far I've read to keep the battery at 50% and leave it plugged in. Also to overinflate the tires to avoid flat spots.

Was wondering if this is correct and what tire pressure to set it at. Thanks!
 

PNWmisty

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Aug 19, 2017
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Anacortes, WA
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#3
Hi folks,

I'm leaving my car parked in the garage for around 6 weeks while I'm away. Any tips on long term storage? So far I've read to keep the battery at 50% and leave it plugged in. Also to overinflate the tires to avoid flat spots.

Was wondering if this is correct and what tire pressure to set it at. Thanks!
Yes, good advice. I would put the tires to about 48 psi.
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2016
Messages
16
Location
Toronto
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
#4
I left the car plugged in at 50% for about 10 days recently and I noticed the range would drop but it wouldnt charge back up to 50% unless I moved the charging limit bar on my app to trigger it. Isn't it supposed to top up automatically? Did I need to wait a few more days before forcing it to charge?
 

PNWmisty

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Aug 19, 2017
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Anacortes, WA
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#5
I left the car plugged in at 50% for about 10 days recently and I noticed the range would drop but it wouldnt charge back up to 50% unless I moved the charging limit bar on my app to trigger it. Isn't it supposed to top up automatically? Did I need to wait a few more days before forcing it to charge?
It will only begin charging once the level of charge has dropped below the threshold. This is likely because the level of charge naturally varies depending upon temperature, etc. and should only be considered a general indicator (much like the gas gauge on an ICE car). It will not charge a tiny bit each day but it will keep it in the general range you have set.
 

JWardell

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Joined
May 9, 2016
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4,203
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Boston
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Model 3
#6
I left the car plugged in at 50% for about 10 days recently and I noticed the range would drop but it wouldnt charge back up to 50% unless I moved the charging limit bar on my app to trigger it. Isn't it supposed to top up automatically? Did I need to wait a few more days before forcing it to charge?
If you set up a charging schedule it will recharge at for example midnight each night
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2018
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1
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Brick, N.J.
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Reservation
#7
Mine will be outside (covered) for month of January in northeast. Wondering if cold winter weather will affect battery and if there is anything I can do about it
 

garsh

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Pittsburgh PA
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#9
Mine will be outside (covered) for month of January in northeast. Wondering if cold winter weather will affect battery and if there is anything I can do about it
The battery itself will be fine until you get down to temperatures well below freezing (-20° C and lower). You won't damage the battery.

The problem is that batteries have trouble delivering and accepting high currents at low temperatures. So if the battery is cold-soaked, you won't be able to accelerate as quickly, and you won't be able to regen at normal full rate. You also won't be able to supercharge - the car will spend some time heating the battery first before it starts charging. But none of this indicates damage to the battery. It's just how they react in cold temperatures. If the battery temperature gets below -20° C, then I believe the car will start heating the battery (sorry, I do not have a reputable citation for that number, just random posts I found).

All that said, you should do as @PNWmisty says and try to leave the car plugged in as much as possible. Teslas encounter some loss of battery charge when left sitting, whether cold or not. It's usually not too much, but there are sometimes bugs in the software that cause higher discharge rates, and it would be bad to allow the battery to run down too far. Leaving it plugged in allows the car to automatically charge the battery back up if the state of charge becomes too low. And if you do encounter very low temperatures, the car will automatically heat the battery up from "shore power" instead of using battery power. This will also allow you to pre-heat the interior of the car when it comes time to actually drive it, which is a great convenience.
 
Last edited:

kort677

Top-Contributor
Joined
Sep 17, 2018
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442
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Ponte Vedra Beach FLA
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#10
Mine will be outside (covered) for month of January in northeast. Wondering if cold winter weather will affect battery and if there is anything I can do about it
if you are able to keep the car plugged in it would be better, even a 110 connection would be enough. you probably would need to get a heavy duty extension cord
 

Rick Rollens

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Dec 9, 2017
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Granite Bay California
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#11
I am not planning to drive my M3 during the winter months. Could use some advise on what is the best way to store the car while not in use. Should I keep the car plugged in at 110? Can I trickle charge the 12 volt battery? Do I shut the power down completely and continue to charge? Any good advise would be appreciated.
 

garsh

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#12
Definitely leave the car plugged into whatever power source you have available, whether 120v or 240v.

Consider putting the car up on jack stands to prevent the tires from developing flat spots.
 

kort677

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Ponte Vedra Beach FLA
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#13
I am not planning to drive my M3 during the winter months. Could use some advise on what is the best way to store the car while not in use. Should I keep the car plugged in at 110? Can I trickle charge the 12 volt battery? Do I shut the power down completely and continue to charge? Any good advise would be appreciated.
I'm curious, why won't you drive your car during the winter?
 

Toadmanor

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Jul 23, 2018
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Twin City area Minnesota
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#14
I also will leave mine for 5 or 6 months this winter as I escape from Minnesota to stay warm in California. My plan is to leave it plugged in to a NEMA 14-50 50 AMP outlet. I will set the change to 50% and roll the tires onto a bit of plywood to keep off the cement floor. My garage is heated and will be set to about 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

I am currently in California. I left on October 22 with the battery at 75%. As of a few moments ago it has dropped to 48% and has not yet charged.
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2016
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16
Location
Toronto
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Model 3
#17
So I left it at 50% and it was fine. It was at 247km and would drop to 225km roughly after maybe 3-4 days and then the charging would kick in and bring it back to 247km. As for the tires I had my brother ride around the block once a week to avoid flat spots. Seems to have worked out well.
 

TheHairyOne

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Nov 28, 2018
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Riverside CA
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#18
I read somewhere that the car will run off outlet power when plugged in, vs. battery. So if you plug it in, it won't really discharge as much in the first place.

Usually there's a 1% per day drop, but left plugged in it might not charge for some time due to less parasitic discharge.

Is that not what you experienced?
 

Toadmanor

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Twin City area Minnesota
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#19
I read somewhere that the car will run off outlet power when plugged in, vs. battery. So if you plug it in, it won't really discharge as much in the first place.

Usually there's a 1% per day drop, but left plugged in it might not charge for some time due to less parasitic discharge.

Is that not what you experienced?

This is quite true.
 

ADK46

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Aug 4, 2018
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532
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Adirondacks, NY
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Model 3
#20
Regarding driving in winter, there are types of cars where people want to see "never seen snow" in used car postings. A Model 3 borders on this type for two reasons: its cost and that some (like me) worry about the shortcomings of "designed in California". On the other hand, the less you drive an EV, the less sense it makes. You'd miss the joy of passing people shivering at pumps, backs to the wind. Ours replaced a utilitarian Prius, so (gulp) we're driving it in winter.

We have many cars we do not drive in winter. I've stopped worrying about flat spots - the thumping goes away after a few miles on the first warm day in spring. If you do store your Tesla, you can laugh while others debate the burning question: should you change your oil before or after winter? ;)