Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Tesla Model 3 Vampire Drain (aka loosing mileage when stationary)

TimothyHW3

Active Member
Jun 2, 2019
1,032
726
Germany
We see a lot of new posts by new owners who are struggling with the concept of " vampire drain" when the car is parked over a period of time. The most tech savvy people know about this, but the ICE people, who are first time EV owners, struggle why their car is loosing "fuel" when stationary.
I would love it if we can direct new posters here and have the discussion in one, big thread.

In this video I am showing you how to get as low as almost 0 to 1 mile battery drain a day, which is a very, very nice value, by simply disabling the proper settings.




Also, as explained in this thread below, even though the connection is poor in the Garage, edge with no bars, I am not seeing 5% loss.
Losing 5% Parked Daily, Connection Issue?

Things to disable:
1.Wifi access - it will drain the battery, especially if downloading updates. Sometimes you have to actively disable wifi before exiting the car, I think it is a bug.
2. Sentry mode and remove or turn off the usb stick(hold the icon to unmount until it is no longer active). This is the main reason for vampire drain.
3. If the car is safe, disable car alarm. This draws around 1% alone too.

Optional
4. Disable mobile access.

And the most important, don't check on the car unnecessarily. It wakes it up.

Let me know how the test with your cars go.
 

TimothyHW3

Active Member
Jun 2, 2019
1,032
726
Germany
One important thing: To measure the battery drain you have to set the car to miles/km and NOT%, because % is not that accurate.

Also, with battery degradation you will see more % being loss, because 1 mile in a brand new battery is not the same as 1 mile on a 5% degradation battery- it is 1mile times 105%
 
  • Informative
Reactions: go2realize

vickh

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
3,151
709
az
Thx for starting this thread. Recommend forget Wifi access so you dont have to actively disable wifi before exiting the car? or will the car use LTE regardless? I'd rather d/l updates while driving.

What % are we talking about by doing this?
 

TimothyHW3

Active Member
Jun 2, 2019
1,032
726
Germany
At least on my slightly older 2019.20 firmware version, wifi is always on, even if I forget the network. I think it has to do with easy entry, because every time I turn into P and go into easy entry, the car has wifi enabled, even though I turn it off.
So I always make sure wifi is off when I leave the car. It might differ on your version or if you don't use easy entry.

Regarding the drain, please watch the video. I am looking at around 2kms or less a day. Like I said in the video, this depends on your outside temperature. Sometimes I even "gain" KMs overnight, once the battery settles down.

But it should be 0.5% a day or something. This is my normal degradation for almost 4 months. I don't update the car, because I like my current firmware version.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,758
3,495
Maine
There's a pretty wide range of vampire drain out there. According to the Stats app, it shows:
IMG_3617.jpg
 

TimothyHW3

Active Member
Jun 2, 2019
1,032
726
Germany
Not sure what that diagram represents.

Yes, there is a wide range, because people usually don't understand the car settings, nor understand how each feature affects their batteries.
Also, a lot of people grant access to third party apps. This is the first thing you should disable, forgot to mention it.

Would be great if people who had battery drain and follow the guides comment on this thread. The 5% guy is absent and never replied back so if you do report, make sure to mention your vampire drain before, your settings and what the outside temperature in your location was.
 

Incredulocious

LEAF → RAV4EV → Model 3 → Model Y
Mar 31, 2012
427
609
Scotts Valley, CA
Not sure what that diagram represents.
The Stats app (for iOS users) collects a bunch of statistics from its users' Teslas and plots your information relative to all other users of the Stats app. The given graph shows a plot of the "vampire" or "phantom" drain rate of all users of the Stats app so you can see how much your car loses as compared to others. For my car, I see 0.18 mi/hr – that's with WiFi enabled and Sentry Mode enabled (but disabled at home location where the car spends most of its time).
 

TimothyHW3

Active Member
Jun 2, 2019
1,032
726
Germany
Well I don't see how that will be helpful. Why should I compare my data to yours if I don't know your car setup or location, temperature etc.?
This is like plotting the electricity consumption of Eskimos with people from California or something...

And even if I had wifi on and sentry mode on we still can't plot stats between the cars, because I don't know what your battery temperature is, nor how often sentry triggered. So pointless.

And btw, 5 miles a day is about 2000 miles worth of electricity wasted. Not sure this is the way to "save the planet" if you can make small adjustments and lower that number to about 300miles a year...

By the way, I can't edit the main post, but I mentioned it in the video:

apps like this one here or TeslaFi drain the battery of the car, sometimes by a lot. You should disable their access as a first resort. I never granted any other app access to my car and never wake up the car with the Tesla App unnecessarily.
 
Last edited:
  • Informative
Reactions: jerseygirl18

JD M3

Member
Aug 31, 2018
95
155
Los Angeles
While some of the vampire drain is likely due to the settings you highlighted, I think that there is also a bug in the most recent firmware contributing as well for some people, so may not always be as simple as changing settings . Since updating to 2019.32.x, I've noticed massive vampire drain (20-25 miles per 24 hours). All of my settings are as detailed above with the exception that I have wifi turned on, which I need for updates, etc. These are the same settings I had before the update to 2019.32.x and was previously experiencing drain of approximately 1mi/day. When the car is parked in my garage, it cannot connect to LTE or obtain location data and I suspect that it is continually trying to connect which is draining the battery. Perhaps they changed the way the car functions in regards to connectivity and location in preparation for smart summon? I have both a model 3 and a model x and both cars have been experiencing this significant drain since updating to 2019.32.x. There is no drain during the day when parked at work with both LTE and location connectivity.
 

vickh

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
3,151
709
az
is the problem weak wifi or better not to have wifi at all?

I can put a repeater in my garage.
 

TimothyHW3

Active Member
Jun 2, 2019
1,032
726
Germany
While some of the vampire drain is likely due to the settings you highlighted, I think that there is also a bug in the most recent firmware contributing as well for some people, so may not always be as simple as changing settings . Since updating to 2019.32.x, I've noticed massive vampire drain (20-25 miles per 24 hours). All of my settings are as detailed above with the exception that I have wifi turned on, which I need for updates, etc. These are the same settings I had before the update to 2019.32.x and was previously experiencing drain of approximately 1mi/day. When the car is parked in my garage, it cannot connect to LTE or obtain location data and I suspect that it is continually trying to connect which is draining the battery. .

First of all ,you don't "need" updates unless there is an error or something useful like 200-250kW charging. Netflix and YouTube are useless to me (and should be to everyone)because they will only shorten the life span of the MCU and monitor. This will bring a repair cost of upwords 4000$. I'd rather use my 300$ 12" Tablet for that. You should also disable advanced update settings - let other people be the Beta Testers...

So you can easily disable Wifi and check how that goes for 2-3 days. (Make sure it is off before leaving the car, because it tends to go on!) And if that doesn't work, disable mobile access for a day or two and see if that helps too. Before you do all of that, make sure you hard reset the car with the break holding + both buttons for about a minute in P until you see a Tesla T on the monitor. Do the reset first, see if it helps for 1-2 days, if it doesn't move on to wifi, if that doesn't work then disable mobile access.

I have noticed that when the wifi is low, but on, the car will drain more than if it is not. And if it is on and connected, and you have advanced updates enabled, it will take ages to download the files and the car will never sleep. You can check after about 3-4 hours when the car is parked via app - if it doesn't say "waking up", then it wasn't asleep. Then the drain is normal.

Also, as always, change your mobile account password if you granted access to TeslaFi or other apps.

And remember to turn off car alarm proactively - it re-enables itself when you enable sentry mode and stays on unless disabled. Basically you have to monitor these settings every time before you leave the car for optimum results.

Quite frankly, I don't think the update has anything to do with it. It is more a combination of the above.
 

TimothyHW3

Active Member
Jun 2, 2019
1,032
726
Germany
is the problem weak wifi or better not to have wifi at all?
Weak wifi while loading updates is definitely a problem. The car will not sleep.
Also, Model 3s antenna seems weak. So even if you have Wifi on, searching and not finding anything, even then I have experienced double or triple the drain of 1 miles a day.

So I always suggest proactively turning wifi off before you leave the car, if you want low vampire drain.
 

JD M3

Member
Aug 31, 2018
95
155
Los Angeles
First of all ,you don't "need" updates unless there is an error or something useful like 200-250kW charging. Netflix and YouTube are useless to me (and should be to everyone)because they will only shorten the life span of the MCU and monitor.

No, no one NEEDS updates, but each update makes the car incrementally better in some way so it doesn't make sense to not update on the possibility that checking for updates will somehow significantly affect the battery life. I'm ok with losing a few miles here and there. Losing 20-25 miles per day is not due to the wifi or checking for updates.

Quite frankly, I don't think the update has anything to do with it. It is more a combination of the above.

All of the troubleshooting you mentioned have already been done with the exception of disabling the wifi. My wifi is full strength with my router right next to my cars. I have had the cars for a year and a half with the wifi on and never had a problem with vampire drain. I am positive that the wifi has nothing to do with the issue. The only thing that changed in the past year and a half on either car was the update to 2019.32.x at which time both started experiencing excessive vampire drain.
 

vickh

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
3,151
709
az
My car seems to be recording my garage while parked, I have sentry setting to off at home. Maybe I should pull out usb stick each time?


upload_2019-9-26_21-36-53.png
 

Amyshubby

Member
Aug 5, 2019
32
46
Long Island
Netflix and YouTube are useless to me (and should be to everyone)because they will only shorten the life span of the MCU and monitor. This will bring a repair cost of upwords 4000$.

I can't imagine watching YouTube and Netflix for a few hours a month while charging or waiting in the car is really going to have that much impact.
 

TimothyHW3

Active Member
Jun 2, 2019
1,032
726
Germany
No, no one NEEDS updates, but each update makes the car incrementally better in some way so it doesn't make sense to not update
Nope, definitely not true. Especially with Tesla, this is why we have so many .x.x.1.1 updates and some even get pulled by Tesla. Some even bricked some cars to a point where you had to tow the car to Tesla for them to reflash a firmware ( Videos on YouTube)

All of the troubleshooting you mentioned have already been done with the exception of disabling the wifi. My wifi is full strength with my router right next to my cars. I have had the cars for a year and a half with the wifi on and never had a problem with vampire drain. I am positive that the wifi has nothing to do with the issue. The only thing that changed in the past year and a half on either car was the update to 2019.32.x at which time both started experiencing excessive vampire drain.
I can only help, if you want to be helped...
Apart from the small increments I mentioned ( updates that come right after an update) there are also large map files that need to be downloading separately. These are large files of about 1-2 Gigs. You can check that under update tab. Also doing a hard reset might help and of course disabling wifi and/ or mobile access will give you a definite answer.
My car seems to be recording my garage while parked, I have sentry setting to off at home. Maybe I should pull out usb stick each time?
Yes, cleanly unmount the usb and unplug. The recording continues when it is red.

I can't imagine watching YouTube and Netflix for a few hours a month while charging or waiting in the car is really going to have that much impact.
Yes, normally you wouldn't imagine, if you didn't know that there is a design flaw( or on purpose?) In the MCU (board computer) due to a build in flash memory (called EMC, think of SSD) that burns out due to excessive logging. Just Google MCU fail or a video by Rich Rebuilds with a guy who hacks these things. They are rated for about 4 years of use. If you drive the car more often OR you have the MCU running with Netflix or Games this time will be reduced to the amount of you watching(not to mention the stress on the monitor and CPU). Couple of hours a month could mean 100 or 200 miles of MCU usage, which you could have driven instead. Multiply it by 12*4 years and this amounts to about 10,000 miles you could have driven instead of watching Netflix. As far the hacker guy goes, the Model 3 has a better MCU, but it is still built in and is probably rated for double the time. Most S models failed in around the 3-4 years mark and I have seen some fail at about 50,000 km(watch MCU fail Video by Canadian Tesla Martin). Replacement cost: 3-5000$
So yeah, this is OT, but wanted to explain it.
 
Last edited:

Amyshubby

Member
Aug 5, 2019
32
46
Long Island
Yes, normally you wouldn't imagine, if you didn't know that there is a design flaw( or on purpose?) In the MCU (board computer) due to a build in flash memory (called EMC, think of SSD) that burns out due to excessive logging. Just Google MCU fail or a video by Rich Rebuilds with a guy who hacks these things.

I googled it. I see older Model S had some issues. Has anyone confirmed the same unit is being used in the 3?

Perhaps there was a design flaw. Claiming it might be on purpose without evidence is unfair.
 

vickh

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
3,151
709
az
I googled it. I see older Model S had some issues. Has anyone confirmed the same unit is being used in the 3?

Perhaps there was a design flaw. Claiming it might be on purpose without evidence is unfair.

I agree and would hope the design flaw has been fixed on the 3 and even newer Ss.
 

TimothyHW3

Active Member
Jun 2, 2019
1,032
726
Germany
I googled it. I see older Model S had some issues. Has anyone confirmed the same unit is being used in the 3?

Perhaps there was a design flaw. Claiming it might be on purpose without evidence is unfair.

Did you watch the video I quoted, in it's entirety? The title is a bit click-baity(spoiler:no hackers), but the information this technician gives is priceless. It is not just "old" Model S. It is anything up until the Raven or 2.5 and the problem is not really solved, it is being prolonged with more storage(think of instead of 3-4 years, more like 6-8 years lifetime, depending on monitor usage)



At around the 8.50 mark he explains the EMC issue. And a little further he explains that what they did with Model 3 is basically add more storage. But they did not make it swappable(very easy fix) and they did not turn off the excesive and unnecessary Linux logging.

People didn't believe there was an IPHONE battery throttle, nor that VW would cheat on their emissions or why Apple would solder their RAM into motherboars - I believe what common sense tells me: If Tesla knew there was a design flaw in their MCU and that there is a very simple fix to the logging issue, why are they continuing to solder the EMC into the MCU instead of using swappable and not disable logging(5 sec fix)? If it quacks like a duck...

But like I said, this is OT. We should talk about vampire drain. If you wish, you can open a Model 3 MCU fail post and we comment there( there might be one already)
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top