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Milage loss overnight due to frequent pinging from new Comcast gateway

rdonner

New Member
Apr 5, 2015
1
2
Cherry Hill, NJ
We recently "upgraded" our Comcast gateway to a new XB7 model (from XB6) which, indeed does offer faster Wifi speeds. We noticed that our Model 3 (but not older Model S) was losing 10 to 15 miles while sitting in the garage overnight. Tesla investigated and found that the car was being pinged by the MAC address of the 5 mHz wireless interface many times each hour and was being woken each time. We disconnected the car from our home network and the problem disappeared. These XB7 gateways are common in the industry but I have not seen any other reports of this. It is possible to reduce the pinging frequency by eliminating our home mesh network but this is not a viable option for us. Anyone else with a Comcast XB7?
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
7,650
8,434
Riverside Co. CA
I dont have that equipment. With that being said, if the router has 2 wireless networks, try connection to the 2.4 one and not the 5 mHz one. The car will connect to both, but its been my experience that it seems to "work better" on the 2.4 (legacy) network.
 
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jrweiss98020

Tessa's Tesla
Jan 9, 2020
412
290
Edmonds, WA
The 2.4 GHz band has longer range, the 5 GHz band has more bandwidth when in range. If you are on the 5 GHz band, try switching to the 2.4, because bandwidth just doesn't matter.

OTOH, I got rid of my Comcast gateway because of its bad behavior, and bought a cable modem and router.
 

Phlier

Bluebird
Jun 12, 2019
1,374
1,701
Utah
We recently "upgraded" our Comcast gateway to a new XB7 model (from XB6) which, indeed does offer faster Wifi speeds. We noticed that our Model 3 (but not older Model S) was losing 10 to 15 miles while sitting in the garage overnight. Tesla investigated and found that the car was being pinged by the MAC address of the 5 mHz wireless interface many times each hour and was being woken each time. We disconnected the car from our home network and the problem disappeared. These XB7 gateways are common in the industry but I have not seen any other reports of this. It is possible to reduce the pinging frequency by eliminating our home mesh network but this is not a viable option for us. Anyone else with a Comcast XB7?
I'm not sure if this will solve your problem, but it is worth trying, at least.

If your router supports it, setup a "Guest" network, and connect your car to it.
I dont have that equipment. With that being said, if the router has 2 wireless networks, try connection to the 2.4 one and not the 5 mHz one. The car will connect to both, but its been my experience that it seems to "work better" on the 2.4 (legacy) network.
Great advice... the OP states that his older Model S doesn't have the problem he's experiencing with his Model 3. According to this article, only Teslas made after February of 2018 support 5ghz WiFi, with 2.4Ghz being the only option on cars built before that date. If his Model S is too old to connect to 5ghz wifi, it'll be using the 2.4ghz, and since that car isn't experiencing the problem... well, the rest is obvious. :)
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
7,650
8,434
Riverside Co. CA
One of the things I absolutely was looking for, when I upgraded my traditional router + extender setup to something that supports mesh networking, was the ability to still have separate SSIDs. I really (really really) dont like those mesh networks that basically only broadcast one SSID, and then "helpfully" put the device on the band the router thinks it should be on, without giving the owner choice in the matter.

This really messes up some IoT type devices, and also removes flexibility in exactly this situation. My own model 3 (born on date nov 2018) will "connect" to the 5 ghz wifi network, but the car doesnt really "need" the extra download speed, and its flaky connecting to it as well, even though there is a mesh network node about 7 feet from the car, on the wall above it.
 
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DeltaOne

Member
Mar 19, 2021
51
30
Mount Airy, MD
Tesla investigated and found that the car was being pinged by the MAC address of the 5 mHz wireless interface many times each hour and was being woken each time. We disconnected the car from our home network and the problem disappeared.
After thinking about the problem you describe, I can't imagine a scenario where the Xfinity gateway would ping the car.

I think it's more likely that the 5 GHz signal is border line weak where you park the car. The car is alternating connecting to the WiFi and then later losing the WiFi...so it connects again. Over and over again.

We know that the 5 GHz signal doesn't travel through walls as good as a 2.4 GHz signal. There are many ways to check the WiFi signal strength around your home and property. I have a method that uses a free Apple app on your iPhone. Let me know if you want more details on this.

I pickup my Model 3 today. I'm a little worried about WiFi signal strength where the car will be parked. If I need to I'll add another WiFi access point on that end of my house so that the car gets a good WiFi signal.

If I'm right about your situation you could also add an access point closer to the car. Or create separate networks for 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz on your Xfinity gateway and have the car join the 2.4 GHz network.
 

DeltaOne

Member
Mar 19, 2021
51
30
Mount Airy, MD
I just checked my WiFi signal strength where the Model 3 will be parked. I suspect the 5 GHz band will be unusable, the 2.4 GHz band may be questionable. 2.4 band was reading about -85 dBm. My research indicates that low to mid-70's are considered workable.

I've had the radio in my access point, for the 2.4 band, set to low power. I cranked it up to high power and the reading was -75 dBm. So, that may work.

The only downside to having the 2.4 band set to high power is that devices will be more likely to connect to the slower 2.4 band than the faster 5 band. But my son argues that the 2.4 band is plenty fast enough for a mobile device.
 

DeltaOne

Member
Mar 19, 2021
51
30
Mount Airy, MD
If a Tesla encounters weak or no WiFi when parked at home, will it default to the LTE connection? Meaning will it use LTE to communicate with the Tesla cloud for stats and such?
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
7,650
8,434
Riverside Co. CA
If a Tesla encounters weak or no WiFi when parked at home, will it default to the LTE connection? Meaning will it use LTE to communicate with the Tesla cloud for stats and such?

It will always prefer wifi, so would likely do what you mention above (drop and connect, drop and connect). If you wanted to force it to use cellular at home, you can simply not connect it to your home wifi. The car will still upload data (eventually) and will let you know when you have an update to download, but actually downloading those updates will usually need to happen on a wifi connection.

If you dont want to re configure / add nodes etc to your network, you can simply not connect it to wifi at home, then, when the car tells you it has an update, either park closer to a node with better signal and connect to wifi then, and download the update, then disconnect and remove the connection. You could even increase your wifi network strength (since it sounds like you have equipment that supports that and know how to do it), only when you do the above.

Tesla vehicles get updates, on average, every 2-6 weeks or so, so you would be doing that roughly about that much. I decided to put a wifi access point in my garage, so I didnt have to worry about it.
 

Phlier

Bluebird
Jun 12, 2019
1,374
1,701
Utah
I just checked my WiFi signal strength where the Model 3 will be parked. I suspect the 5 GHz band will be unusable, the 2.4 GHz band may be questionable. 2.4 band was reading about -85 dBm. My research indicates that low to mid-70's are considered workable.

I've had the radio in my access point, for the 2.4 band, set to low power. I cranked it up to high power and the reading was -75 dBm. So, that may work.

The only downside to having the 2.4 band set to high power is that devices will be more likely to connect to the slower 2.4 band than the faster 5 band. But my son argues that the 2.4 band is plenty fast enough for a mobile device.
I ended up getting a range extender that I placed in the house as close to the garage as I can get it. I'm able to get a very good 2.4 ghz connection, but 5ghz is iffy.
 

jrweiss98020

Tessa's Tesla
Jan 9, 2020
412
290
Edmonds, WA
The only downside to having the 2.4 band set to high power is that devices will be more likely to connect to the slower 2.4 band than the faster 5 band. But my son argues that the 2.4 band is plenty fast enough for a mobile device.
Many devices have settings to auto-connect to a preferred band. Works best with a router that allows different SSIDs for each band...
 

DeltaOne

Member
Mar 19, 2021
51
30
Mount Airy, MD
You could even increase your wifi network strength (since it sounds like you have equipment that supports that and know how to do it), only when you do the above.
Good info, thanks. I'll first turn the power up on my access points radio and see how that goes. If that doesn't work I'll add an outdoor access point on my carport.
 

DeltaOne

Member
Mar 19, 2021
51
30
Mount Airy, MD
I ended up getting a range extender that I placed in the house as close to the garage as I can get it. I'm able to get a very good 2.4 ghz connection, but 5ghz is iffy.
Yeah. I'm going to try turning up the access points radio (it's on low now). I'll try medium, then if necessary, high. If that doesn't work I'll add an outdoor access point.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
7,650
8,434
Riverside Co. CA
How does it "clog up" the network?

Sometimes the car can be pretty darn "chatty" and it chooses when to upload / download data. Depending on what speed internet connection you have ( and what you are using it for / how many people inside are using ), it could certainly slow things down. With so many people having kids now home schooled on video conferencing, (some people with both themselves, significant others, and multiple kids) limiting random upload / downloads might help.
 

DeltaOne

Member
Mar 19, 2021
51
30
Mount Airy, MD
Yeah. I'm going to try turning up the access points radio (it's on low now). I'll try medium, then if necessary, high. If that doesn't work I'll add an outdoor access point.
So, turning up the power on my nice UniFi access point didn't help at all.

Just playing around, I dug out an old Apple Airport base station. Apple made these things between 2008 and 2018. I'd guess mine is from the 2008 to 2010 time frame. It's been sitting on a shelf, unused, for at least 4 to 6 years...maybe longer. In its temporary location, it's only about ten feet closer to the car than my nice UniFi access point. And it only broadcasts on the 2.4 GHz band. And it connected to the Tesla easy peasy. And the signal is strong too.

So...one more experiment. Back to the nice UniFi access point. Create a new SSID that only broadcasts on the 2.4 GHz band. Turn the power up to max. No go...the Tesla sometimes sees the signal, sometimes it doesn't.

WiFi is weird...
 
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