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Advice needed on waking up Model 3 [salvage car sitting for 1 year unplugged]

disem

Member
Sep 28, 2021
11
0
Sarasota
OK, so I have a Model 3 that has been sitting for over one year. The main battery has drained and will not wake up. The app will not connect to the car. Tesla "mothership" can't connect too. I have called the mobile service and the technician said his computer won't connect to the car too, because he thinks the main battery has shut down to protect itself and several modules won't work because they are powered by the main battery. He cauld not even run diagnostics. When a charger is plugged in I get a "charging stopped" message. So my question is how to wake up the main battery? Can I charge the battery by connecting a DC charger directly to the battery terminals?
 

bbell

Member
Sep 14, 2018
133
226
Niagara
You are going to need to get the 12V system up so that the computers are working.

The manual will show you how to get the frunk open on page 17.

Then you will need to get the 12V battery under the cover charged or replaced (since sitting dead for a long time most likely has killed it). You might be able to get the car temporarily powered up with a power pack/charger.

One option would be to get mobile service to come and replace the 12V battery, then you would have them on site to help power up the car the rest of the way.
 
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disem

Member
Sep 28, 2021
11
0
Sarasota
12V battery is good. Screen comes on. All electrics inside the car work. Charging port flap operates. Headlights, blinkers, horn and soon are working too.
 

bbell

Member
Sep 14, 2018
133
226
Niagara
12V battery is good. Screen comes on. All electrics inside the car work. Charging port flap operates. Headlights, blinkers, horn and soon are working too.

From the description I thought the car was totally dead, you are at least in a better spot then.

That is interesting, does the screen show a good data connection LTE or Wifi?

Once that is up I would expect they would have at least some remote access to the car.

As far as getting the main battery up perhaps someone here has dealt with a similar issue and would have some insight.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,509
13,411
Riverside Co. CA
OK, so I have a Model 3 that has been sitting for over one year. The main battery has drained and will not wake up. The app will not connect to the car. Tesla "mothership" can't connect too. I have called the mobile service and the technician said his computer won't connect to the car too, because he thinks the main battery has shut down to protect itself and several modules won't work because they are powered by the main battery. He cauld not even run diagnostics. When a charger is plugged in I get a "charging stopped" message. So my question is how to wake up the main battery? Can I charge the battery by connecting a DC charger directly to the battery terminals?

IMO you have the car towed to a tesla service center and have them diagnose it for you (and be willing to pay for them to do so, because sitting unplugged for a year is likely not covered under warranty).
 

disem

Member
Sep 28, 2021
11
0
Sarasota
From the description I thought the car was totally dead, you are at least in a better spot then.

That is interesting, does the screen show a good data connection LTE or Wifi?

Once that is up I would expect they would have at least some remote access to the car.

As far as getting the main battery up perhaps someone here has dealt with a similar issue and would have some insight.
The connection is good, but the firmware is very old, so it won't update to the newest. Also I don't want to update to the latest firmware, because if I decide to root the car, it won't be as easy.
 

StellarRat

Active Member
Jan 8, 2014
1,524
1,511
Pacific
You might have killed your main power. Li-ion batteries are not made to sit uncharged for a year. I think the manual states somewhere that you should not leave it unplugged for extended periods.
 

jkeyser14

Member
Jul 30, 2012
177
134
Baltimore Area
You might have killed your main power. Li-ion batteries are not made to sit uncharged for a year. I think the manual states somewhere that you should not leave it unplugged for extended periods.
Lithium Ion batteries can sit for up to 5 years actually. They have very little self-discharge. The problem is that the car's computers always have some parasitic draw which runs the battery down.
 

StellarRat

Active Member
Jan 8, 2014
1,524
1,511
Pacific
That
Lithium Ion batteries can sit for up to 5 years actually. They have very little self-discharge. The problem is that the car's computers always have some parasitic draw which runs the battery down.
That hasn't been my experience with the smaller ones. They seem to die if you ignore them for too long even if they aren't doing anything.
 
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jkeyser14

Member
Jul 30, 2012
177
134
Baltimore Area
That

That hasn't been my experience with the smaller ones. They seem to die if you ignore them for too long even if they aren't doing anything.
Then you are buying batteries from a shitty manufacturer who can't assemble the cells properly. I work in the automotive industry and can tell you that any Samsung, LG, Saft, Energizer, etc. will have a VERY low self discharge rate. Just look at your typical "good until" date on any energizer primary (non-rechargeable) lithium battery. It is likely 6 years.
 

Wennfred

Active Member
Supporting Member
Apr 4, 2019
3,052
2,125
San Diego
Try the contractor disconnect, it’s under the back seat. This should get things started.

 
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MaskedRacerX

Member
Dec 13, 2020
386
470
Vilano Beach, FL
The connection is good, but the firmware is very old, so it won't update to the newest. Also I don't want to update to the latest firmware, because if I decide to root the car, it won't be as easy.

Can you connect to any external services from the car? Like any web, etc., wondering if it's really connected.


Try the contractor disconnect, it’s under the back seat. This should be things started.

Wow, that's a nice bit of info to add to my KB, thanks!
 

disem

Member
Sep 28, 2021
11
0
Sarasota
I strongly believe Tesla has through about the car being left unused for prolonged periods and they have built in a protection feature which shuts down the power consumption once it reaches a critical level. The main battery shows about 230 volts when measured with a multi meter at the terminals. See the video here -
 

Sam1

Active Member
Sep 11, 2019
1,318
1,279
NV
if you have your setting to automatically charge, have you left the charging cable plugged up for a few hours to see if that does anything? if not, ar you able to change the settings on the menu to do that and let it sit for a few hours?

I'd try this and then do the hard reset by unplugging the pack management cable and 12v battery as referenced above.
 

StellarRat

Active Member
Jan 8, 2014
1,524
1,511
Pacific
I strongly believe Tesla has through about the car being left unused for prolonged periods and they have built in a protection feature which shuts down the power consumption once it reaches a critical level. The main battery shows about 230 volts when measured with a multi meter at the terminals. See the video here -
I'm sure they do something to provide as much protection as possible. Let us know the outcome. I'm interested.
 

MaskedRacerX

Member
Dec 13, 2020
386
470
Vilano Beach, FL
You should be able to connect to your house wifi.

Yeah, that's what I was going to suggest, someone had asked if they had "WiFi or Cell" and they didn't clarify.

Unless the car has been like "blacklisted", if it's running the OS/display, and you're connected to WiFi, I would be shocked you couldn't connected to the car (from the App).
 

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