The ‘vampire drain’ reference place

PNWmisty

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It took me a few posts to realize this was a thread from Nov 2017...

Anyway, I am someone who cannot plug in at home currently, I live in a New York Apt building with no charging access, so when I first got my M3 I was obsessed with vampire drain and checked it every few hours. It's kind of ironic that the more people do to monitor this, the more drain you suffer from. In the early days people were congratulating themselves for installing TeslaFi to monitor the mysterious drain, and yet for many it was actually TeslaFi that was causing the issue. The fact that people still think TeslaFi's new features "put the car to sleep" rather than just not messing with the car's built-in energy conservation features, is testament to how you can create more problems for yourself by being overly-vigilant.

The car is pretty resilient to what it considers normal use, and it's also worth noting that most of the major 'drain' occurs in the first 24 hours of parking, which is a result of the battery cooling significantly, and the car taking time to go into a deep sleep and communicating with Tesla. It's also worth noting (in my experience this is true at least) that the car will often report a lower charge than it really has when the battery is very cold. I've had times when I've gained 1 - 2% of battery charge in the first 5 minutes of driving, despite Whr-useage in the 800's when first setting off.

I rarely use my car during the week, so on Sunday evening I'll often park up with anywhere between 60 and 85% charge (last night I came home with 87% charge) and when I'm ready to head off for a weekend retreat on Friday or Saturday, it's usually lost 3 - 4 % for the week over 5 days.

I would give two pieces of advice to new owners:

1) Change the settings to display state of charge in per-cent (%) rather than range. Psychologically 'range' messes with you as it's far too dynamic, making you paranoid when you see your car lose 2 or 3 miles of range before you've even gone half a mile to the highway. This isn't unique to EV's - my Golf GTI would show 'range' anywhere from 480 miles to 270 miles on a full tank, depending on how I'd driven the last 10 miles.

2) Let the car's energy management systems do what they're supposed to do - i.e. don't install 3rd party apps. I know that's an unpopular statement, but battery technology by its very nature is imprecise and you'll likely spend far too much time fretting about why you lost an extra 3 watt-hours last night, compared to the prior night. I'm also a geek and would love to know every last detail, but I also know that will make me want to micro-manage the car, and it will cause me anxiety. I'm not arrogant enough to think I know better than Tesla's engineers.
Wow! I wish more people brought such realistic perspectives like this. I would characterize much of the vampire drain concerns as borderline hysteria. Granted, I'm sure there have been some instances of OEM software induced vampire drain that were completely excessive but it seems like most people have normal and expected vampire drain.

Then there is the owner who has normal vampire drain but is hyper-concerned because they had one or two instances that appeared to be an excessive drain. I think this happens due to a combination of temperature and usage factors that cause the "remaining range" estimation to provide inaccurate numbers. I think the most common reason this happens is due to the battery monitoring system becoming out of calibration due to a number of charge/discharge cycles without ever taking the battery below 30% (where it can begin to more accurately recalibrate) or over 90% (for the same reason). Owners need to remember the range remaining is only an estimation and it can vary quite a bit under certain circumstances. In other words, not all vampire drain reported by the "Range Remaining" figures is even real energy loss. It could be more appropriately called "phantom drain", not because we don't know what's causing the drain but because the drain is not even real, it's the result of inaccurate battery state guestimates.
 
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FRC

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Before I got my car, I was very concerned about "vampire drain" after reading threads like this one. For about 3 days post-delivery I obsessively monitored my idle SOC to discover, at least for me, no problem. I don't think I've ever experienced anything in excess of 2%/24 hrs. I'm usually under 1%, I think. I really pay absolutely no attention to it any more.
 

webdriverguy

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Wow! I wish more people brought such realistic perspectives like this. I would characterize much of the vampire drain concerns as borderline hysteria. Granted, I'm sure there have been some instances of OEM software induced vampire drain that were completely excessive but it seems like most people have normal and expected vampire drain.

Then there is the owner who has normal vampire drain but is hyper-concerned because they had one or two instances that appeared to be an excessive drain. I think this happens due to a combination of temperature and usage factors that cause the "remaining range" estimation to provide inaccurate numbers. I think the most common reason this happens is due to the battery monitoring system becoming out of calibration due to a number of charge/discharge cycles without ever taking the battery below 30% (where it can begin to more accurately recalibrate) or over 90% (for the same reason). Owners need to remember the range remaining is only an estimation and it can vary quite a bit under certain circumstances. In other words, not all vampire drain reported by the "Range Remaining" figures is even real energy loss. It could be more appropriately called "phantom drain", not because we don't know what's causing the drain but because the drain is not even real, it's the result of inaccurate battery state guestimates.
Great point
 

Dr. J

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Assuming this is still *The* 'vampire drain' reference place: Bjorn Nyland posted an intriguing video in April 2019 about energy consumption of Sentry Mode. However, the more interesting part to me begins about 3:40 in where he pops out the dash cam USB stick and gets some amazing overnight results. Maybe I'm misinterpreting it, but it looks like the dash cam may be a serious vampire drain culprit. Anybody want to test it?
 

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Assuming this is still *The* 'vampire drain' reference place: Bjorn Nyland posted an intriguing video in April 2019 about energy consumption of Sentry Mode. However, the more interesting part to me begins about 3:40 in where he pops out the dash cam USB stick and gets some amazing overnight results. Maybe I'm misinterpreting it, but it looks like the dash cam may be a serious vampire drain culprit. Anybody want to test it?
Sentry mode adds ~1 mph to the fantom drain rate.
IMG_1381 2.PNG
 

PNWmisty

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Before I got my car, I was very concerned about "vampire drain" after reading threads like this one. For about 3 days post-delivery I obsessively monitored my idle SOC to discover, at least for me, no problem. I don't think I've ever experienced anything in excess of 2%/24 hrs. I'm usually under 1%, I think. I really pay absolutely no attention to it any more.
People have to obsess over something! :eek: ;)
 

Stats App

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Before I got my car, I was very concerned about "vampire drain" after reading threads like this one. For about 3 days post-delivery I obsessively monitored my idle SOC to discover, at least for me, no problem. I don't think I've ever experienced anything in excess of 2%/24 hrs. I'm usually under 1%, I think. I really pay absolutely no attention to it any more.
It's normal for new owners to obsess over phantom drain and efficiency.
 

garsh

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I haven't tried Sentry w/o the USB drive because I don't find Sentry w/o recording useful.
Funny! I'll try again: Forgetting Sentry mode, how about comparing having the USB drive in vs. removing it?
It's not an unreasonable thing to do though. You'd still get the benefit of the alarm going off, and the notification to your Tesla app. You just wouldn't be able to review video footage. IIRC, Tesla's long-term plan is to have the videos uploaded to Tesla's servers so that they can be viewed on a phone.
 

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[mod note: portion of post replying to prior moved posts moved to the Sentry Mode thread]

I was parked in NYC last weekend for 40 hours, and enabled valet mode as I handed over my key to the garage attendant. Once I saw the car had been parked, I tried to enable sentry mode and the app informed me that no can do when in valet mode, so I turned off valet mode, turned on sentry mode, and then I was able to re-enable valet mode. I left it that way for another 39 hours and then checked in with the car. An hour later I picked up the car and only had lost 1%, even with sentry mode on. I was pleasantly surprised it wasn't a lot more.
 
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Kizzy

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[mod note: portion of post replying to prior moved posts moved to the Sentry Mode thread]

I was parked in NYC last weekend for 40 hours, and enabled valet mode as I handed over my key to the garage attendant. Once I saw the car had been parked, I tried to enable sentry mode and the app informed me that no can do when in valet mode, so I turned off valet mode, turned on sentry mode, and then I was able to re-enable valet mode. I left it that way for another 39 hours and then checked in with the car. An hour later I picked up the car and only had lost 1%, even with sentry mode on. I was pleasantly surprised it wasn't a lot more.
Did you verify that Sentry Mode was still on? It has been my experience that enabling Valet Mode quietly disables Sentry Mode.
 

ATechGuy

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Did you verify that Sentry Mode was still on? It has been my experience that enabling Valet Mode quietly disables Sentry Mode.
Yes. I was quite surprised. It kept recording. Not a lot to see in a dark garage, but every once in a while, it would show a light coming on and a car would be retrieved or a new car would get parked.
 

MelindaV

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Yes. I was quite surprised. It kept recording. Not a lot to see in a dark garage, but every once in a while, it would show a light coming on and a car would be retrieved or a new car would get parked.
What FW release are you on? I just tried this same thing (enable Valet from the app, followed by enabling Sentry from the app). Both blue toggles moved over, but then the Sentry turned back off within a few seconds. trying to enable it again shows it can not be enabled while in Valet.
are you sure what you had seen for recordings was not just the most Recent? were there dated/timed folders in the SavedClips folder?
 

ATechGuy

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What FW release are you on? I just tried this same thing (enable Valet from the app, followed by enabling Sentry from the app). Both blue toggles moved over, but then the Sentry turned back off within a few seconds. trying to enable it again shows it can not be enabled while in Valet.
are you sure what you had seen for recordings was not just the most Recent? were there dated/timed folders in the SavedClips folder?
Yes. 2019.12.1.2
 

Mike

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I left it that way for another 39 hours and then checked in with the car. An hour later I picked up the car and only had lost 1%, even with sentry mode on. I was pleasantly surprised it wasn't a lot more.
Another data point: I parked my car without sentry mode on, nor cabin overheat on and I didn't ping it at all for 15 days.

I lost 8% over that time frame (0.5% per day).

I'm also on 12.1.2.
 

Nom

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I'm pretty happy -- thought I'd share this data point. Parked my car and left it alone for 5.7 days - no sentry, no checking the app, no nothing. Only lost 5 miles over that time. About 0.3% a day. Pretty damn good.
 

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I'm pretty happy -- thought I'd share this data point. Parked my car and left it alone for 5.7 days - no sentry, no checking the app, no nothing. Only lost 5 miles over that time. About 0.3% a day. Pretty damn good.
That really is pretty extraordinary overall. I think I’m lucky if I lose 1-3 miles each day, depending on battery SOC. Higher SOC seems to lose MILES, maybe similarl in the % terms. Its peaks and valleys though. Some nights, nothing apparent on the display. Others, 2-3 miles a night.
 

PaulK

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Me too. Some nights zero or 1 mile drain. Some nights (last night) it loses 10 miles.

Sometimes I can equate the large loss to the car downloading an update (I get a firmware update a day later), but other nights there is no apparent reason. I'm in the habit of swiping over to the iOS widgets page before bed - and almost always the car is "asleep".