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Should I charge closer to 100% when I'll be away for nearly 2 weeks?

swb2734

Member
Jul 27, 2020
89
33
Austin, TX
I have a job for which I travel 100%. I'll be gone for 12 days at a time; I fly out on a Monday and don't return home until the next week Friday. And then wash, rinse, and repeat that next week. With the pandemic I've been working remotely from home. But when overall travel becomes safer again, I'll be back to traveling and being gone for 12 days at a time.
I still have yet to get a delivery date set for my Model 3. I've been reading up on the preferred charging practices for the best batter health of the Tesla. For the most part, I'll pretty much keep the charge somewhere between 20%-85% on any given day. I"m wondering about the Sunday before I fly out the next day for nearly 2 weeks. Since the batter discharges about 1% day, should I charge up closer to 95%+ when I know that I'll be away from my car for 12 days? Also, I live in an apartment complex on the 2nd floor and don't have any feasible wall charging options, not even the 120V outlet. So, my car won't be constantly plugged into a power source while I'm gone.

Anybody think I'll further damage the battery over time if I charge up to 95-100%, just before I fly out for 2 weeks of work, so that I have more of my charge when I ultimately get back home? Or just suck it up and keep charging the way I usually do, whether I plan to be gone for 2 weeks or not?
 

linux-works

Active Member
Dec 23, 2019
1,675
3,282
mtn view, ca
bad idea.

just turn your car entirely off.

but you don't really even have to do that. I have no home charging (at all) so I have to drive to a SC every few weeks and my car sits in its parking spot 99% of the time, now (sigh, I miss driving, but am in stay-at-home mode these days for obvious reasons).

my car sits for 2 weeks regularly with no charge. it never gets even close to 20 or 30%.

you'll be fine for 2 weeks if you turn off all 'drainables' like sentry.

charging above 80% is not good for the battery if the car SITS.
 

G26okie

2020 P3D-
Nov 15, 2019
160
109
South Florida
If sentry mode is off and the car isn't using cabin overheat in the sun, it will go into a deep sleep and barely use 1% a day. I would not charge it to 100 and let it sit.
 
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Zoomit

Active Member
Sep 1, 2015
2,199
4,136
SoCal
My car loses about 1% PER WEEK when sleeping in a moderate climate. In fact, the biggest drain is when a new software update comes out and wakes the car for the download and installation. So phantom drain is much, much less than it was years ago and is basically a thing of the past. Sentry and cabin overheat battery usage is real though and should be avoided in this scenario.

Here is what matters for battery health, in decreasing priority order:
  1. Do not let it drain and stay at 0%, especially when cold
  2. Do not charge it and stay at 100%, especially when hot
  3. Do not store it at very high or very low SOC (<10% or >90%)
  4. Store it between 15-50% SOC
So letting it sit below 50% is preferred as long as you can confidently know it's not going to drain down low. Test it over a few 12-day sessions and see how much drain you get. The drain could be higher in very hot or very cold conditions if the car tries to manage battery temperature.

Personally, I'd make sure Sentry and Cabin Overheat Protection are turned off and that the battery is somewhere around 50%.
 
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swb2734

Member
Jul 27, 2020
89
33
Austin, TX
My car loses about 1% PER WEEK when sleeping in a moderate climate. In fact, the biggest drain is when a new software update comes out and wakes the car for the download and installation. So phantom drain is much, much less than it was years ago and is basically a thing of the past. Sentry and cabin overheat battery usage is real though and should be avoided in this scenario.

Here is what matters for battery health, in decreasing priority order:
  1. Do not let it drain and stay at 0%, especially when cold
  2. Do not charge it and stay at 100%, especially when hot
  3. Do not store it at very high or very low SOC (<10% or >90%)
  4. Store it between 15-50% SOC
So letting it sit below 50% is preferred as long as you can confidently know it's not going to drain down low. Test it over a few 12-day sessions and see how much drain you get. The drain could be higher in very hot or very cold conditions if the car tries to manage battery temperature.

Personally, I'd make sure Sentry and Cabin Overheat Protection are turned off and that the battery is somewhere around 50%.

Thanks for the feedback from both you and "G26okie". When I'm away for work, I'd like to have Sentry mode turned on for most of the time so that I can know if someone accidentally dings my car while I'm gone and have any virtual proof of an incident. Our parking spaces are outdoors and a bit more exposed so I've already ordered an indoor/outdoor UV ray/rain protection car cover from a 3rd party designed to fit my Model 3 which will probably arrive before my car delivery date. That should hopefully help with cabin temperature as well as sun shades that I'll probably get after my car has arrived.
 

Wennfred

Supporting Member
Apr 4, 2019
2,954
1,889
San Diego
Turn off Data Sharing as well. Once you’re away from home, don’t check it, doing so will wake it up,

The other option would be leave it plugged in at 50% and set limit to 50% also set schedule from 12:15am to 5:45am this is the low peak hours.

Fred
 

Apprunner

Member
Jul 2, 2019
493
573
So-cal
Thanks for the feedback from both you and "G26okie". When I'm away for work, I'd like to have Sentry mode turned on for most of the time so that I can know if someone accidentally dings my car while I'm gone and have any virtual proof of an incident. Our parking spaces are outdoors and a bit more exposed so I've already ordered an indoor/outdoor UV ray/rain protection car cover from a 3rd party designed to fit my Model 3 which will probably arrive before my car delivery date. That should hopefully help with cabin temperature as well as sun shades that I'll probably get after my car has arrived.

The most damaging thing you can probably do to the battery is charge to 100% and let it sit. I'm sure if you did it once, you won't notice degradation but yeah...really not good for it. If you use a car cover, make sure the car is clean before you put it on or it will scratch the paint if there is dirt between the cover and car. I've had car covers before and learned it the hard way.
 
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swb2734

Member
Jul 27, 2020
89
33
Austin, TX
Turn off Data Sharing as well. Once you’re away from home, don’t check it, doing so will wake it up,

The other option would be leave it plugged in at 50% and set limit to 50% also set schedule from 12:15am to 5:45am this is the low peak hours.

Fred
Fred, since I live on the 2nd floor of an apartment complex, I won't have a wall charger or even a 120V outlet that I can feasibly connect my car up to. So, when I'm back to traveling for 12 days at a time, my car will be left unplugged.
 

rrolsbe

Member
Feb 18, 2017
220
126
Albuquerque
In a area that is secure and the temps are not extreme, l put my car in storage mode. In storage mode, I know for sure the traction battery and 12V battery will discharge VERY little over two weeks. I like the idea of not having to worry about discharge for any reason while not plugged in and none use for two plus weeks. I have put my car in Storage mode many times and the 12V battery only drops by about 0.1 to 0.2 volts per week and the traction battery always shows the same miles plus/minus two 2 upon return.

If you wait until the car enters sleep mode, you simply disconnect the negative terminal from the 12V battery no need to lift the connector under the rear passenger side back seat. In Storage mode the 12V battery and traction battery will see no charge/discharge cycles and you will save a few pesos on you power bill.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,554
3,220
Maine
Don't change your normal charging regimen. With Sentry on for 12 days, you could return to a low battery, <20% SOC, even if you start at 95% vs 85%, and the battery supercharges fastest when it's low, so, it won't take much more time to charge up.
 

21miDay

Member
May 26, 2014
189
133
Phoenix
Thanks for the feedback from both you and "G26okie". When I'm away for work, I'd like to have Sentry mode turned on for most of the time so that I can know if someone accidentally dings my car while I'm gone and have any virtual proof of an incident. Our parking spaces are outdoors and a bit more exposed so I've already ordered an indoor/outdoor UV ray/rain protection car cover from a 3rd party designed to fit my Model 3 which will probably arrive before my car delivery date. That should hopefully help with cabin temperature as well as sun shades that I'll probably get after my car has arrived.
If you have a car cover on, the sentry mode won't be helpful because the cameras will only see the inside of the cover.
 
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swb2734

Member
Jul 27, 2020
89
33
Austin, TX
If you have a car cover on, the sentry mode won't be helpful because the cameras will only see the inside of the cover.
That is very true. I didn’t even think about that. Thanks! I’ll have to really consider either option. I’m very much into security with my cars - I currently have an Owl Car camera connected to my current Mazda - since I’m usually away from home for weeks at a time. But I do want my car cover on while I’m away because I live in a very woodsy area with lots of trees and the occasional falling debris such as twigs that can scratch up my car. And the blazing Texas sun can be quite relentless.
 

XLR82XS

D M C
Jul 26, 2019
3,126
1,762
SWFL | Vegas
Turn off Data Sharing as well. Once you’re away from home, don’t check it, doing so will wake it up,

The other option would be leave it plugged in at 50% and set limit to 50% also set schedule from 12:15am to 5:45am this is the low peak hours.

Fred
This is good advice.
 

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