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Plugging in a car that doesn't belong to you?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by mattmass, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. mattmass

    mattmass Member

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    Hey All,

    In my apartment there's one other MS besides mine. I've bumped into the owner exactly once, at our apartment's J1772 charger. He was great, and we compared notes for a bit. He then mentioned to me that he had to travel for most of the summer and would be forced to leave the car parked for ~ 3 months. He was fairly sure it would drain completely. I offered to help out however I could, perhaps just by plugging the car in periodically. He thanked me, but never contacted me about it. My car loses around 1% per day (auto-present handles off, always connected off), so with those settings I think he could make it 2 months easy. 3 months might be tricky.

    Now, we're more than 2 months in, but I'm not sure exactly how long. I just realized that there is a 110v plug inside a maintenance closet close-ish where he's parked. With an extension and my UMC, I'm fairly sure I could plug his car in. I'd need to get management's approval, but they are fairly cool. I do not have his key, but I've heard that you can open a charge port without one. If I did it, would my UMC then be stuck in his port? Perhaps more importantly, I don't have his permission to mess with the car. I'm not sure everyone would appreciate some stranger poking around.

    So, what do you think I should do?
     
  2. tom66

    tom66 Member

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  3. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    1. Set the slider to the lowest position in the daily range.

    2. Plug into the 120V outlet.

    3. Check occasionally with the App.

    If he leaves it unplugged for three months, he might require Tesla to start the car for him. I'm pretty sure that if it goes into deepest sleep, the 12V battery will not get charged and will be dead.
     
  4. pgiralt

    pgiralt Active Member

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    Even if you manage to plug in without the key (which I think won't work anyway) you definitely can't unplug without the key.
     
  5. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    You can definitely plug in without the key, and you're right that it's impossible to unplug without the key.
     
  6. pgiralt

    pgiralt Active Member

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    Doesn't the car have to be unlocked for the charge port to open?
     
  7. Dborn

    Dborn Confirmed

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    Is it perhaps worth contacting Tesla service with his vin and asking them to contact the owner ( having checked the logs) and making him the offer of your assistance? He may have understood that you would be doing it and thus he felt there was no need to contact you. If you do it this way, then service would probably be able to unlock the charge port remotely. Overall, you are much better off with having the owners knowledge and consent.
     
  8. mattmass

    mattmass Member

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    This sounds like its confirming what I was concerned about. Plugging in is possible, but unplugging is not. I'm not sure he'd even appreciate someone messing with his car anyways - so I'm kind of relieved.
     
  9. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    No. My nightly chores are to let the dogs out and plug in the cars, I never take the keys with me.
     
  10. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    I've plugged people in before parking at Santana row when I was finished. I'm sure they appreciated it.
     
  11. DavidB

    DavidB Aug 2013 S85

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    The owner might not appreciate someone messing with the car, but a note on the windshield informing them of an outlet they could use might be appreciated.
     
  12. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    If they parked in an area for charging and none was available, ( several parking spots are served by a single charger ) I think it would be appreciated!
     
  13. mattmass

    mattmass Member

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    I think you are right. In this case, however, they parked the car in an area well out of the way, far from the charging spots, because they knew the car would be sitting for a long time. I don't think they were aware of an outlet nearby. The build management has previously told me that aside from the public charger, there were no outlets anywhere in the garage.
     
  14. Larry93428

    Larry93428 Member

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    I wouldn't touch his car. You made your offer, doing your part.
    If the owner returns after 3 months and finds a scratch you may be suspect.
    The suggestion above about Tesla contacting the owner is the best, safest approach.
    ~Larry
     
  15. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    Do you have the auto-opening/closing door on your car? (D models)

    Because I'm pretty sure when I left my key at home, and went to plug in my car, the chargeport door wouldn't open, and I had to get the key, unlock the car (well I guess it does this automatically) and only then would the chargeport door open.
     
  16. LetsGoFast

    LetsGoFast Active Member

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    I actually just realized that I could plug the car in without unlocking it just recently. I do have the automatic door.
     
  17. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    You definitely can plug in without unlocking. You can also unplug a UMC without unlocking. Not from the car, of course, but from the wall. So you'd be stuck without your UMC. Plus, I agree with the consensus - it's a nice thought but you made the offer.
     
  18. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    Keep in mind that his car could be set to 100% (range mode).

    If you plug it in, it may sit at 100% for a month, which may do even more damage than not plugging it in.
     
  19. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    I just went to my car during lunch, and intentionally left the key at my desk (I got my phone), you can NOT open the chargeport door on my car (70D, June 2015) without the car being unlocked.
     
  20. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    Interesting. My P85, March 2014 allows it from the UMC handle button/Supercharger handle button/HPWC button. I've successfully used all three. I'm assuming you were using the UMC handle button, right? Sometimes it takes a few presses/holds to get it to pop.
     

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