Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register
  • Want to remove ads? Register an account and login to see fewer ads, and become a Supporting Member to remove almost all ads.
  • The final cut of TMC Podcast #29 is available now with topics time-stamped. We discussed the Tesla Cybertruck's expected 1 MW Ultra-Fast Charging capability, the Tesla Semi Delivery Event, the coming Model 3 refresh (project "Highland"), and more. You can watch it now on YouTube.

To "Sentry" or not to "Sentry"....that is the question

MikeeUK

Member
Oct 28, 2019
67
70
UK
I used to keep Sentry activated whenever I was parked but for quite some time now, I have switched it off due to battery drain (particularly on longer trips away where I'm trying to avoid recharging away from home as the drain can reallly affect the range). As an aside, I also feel the flashing of the headlights each time Sentry is activated could attract some unwarranted attention and actually make the vehicle more at risk....I know there have been a few comments from others about this in the forum although who knows whether it really makes things worse.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, Sentry was off while I was parked for 4 days in a car park as I didn't want to come back to a low battery state. On return, I found was a deep scratch which I initially thought was malicious damage but on closer inspection, looks like it could have been from someone opening a car door (high type 4x4 or crossover's rear door) while the vehicle was parking/moving next to me. Whether that's the case of not, it doesn't really matter as it's likely to cost me £900 to fix according to a couple of body shops due to the difficulties in respraying the pearlescent finish.

It's more than likely that Sentry would have caught this if it was from another vehicle so in hindsight, my decision to leave it switched off has been somewhat of a false economy. There was no CCTV covering the area I parked in and the local Police have quite understandably closed the case due to lack of resources to investigate so I'll either need to claim on insurance (£250 excess and increased premiums for xx years) or pay out of my own pocket (any thoughts on this would be appreciated as it's a work lease car).

Plenty of "life lessons" here but I'm wondering how many people also switch off Sentry for the same reasons as me? I wish the drain could be optimised so that it didn't affect the battery as much but as you may have guessed, Sentry is going to be switched on from now onwards.


Car Damage.jpg
 

WllXM

Member
May 4, 2022
973
1,119
London
Gutted. That's basically Murphy's law applied to Sentry. Damage will only occur when you don't turn it on...

I have it turned on by default as my car still feels new to me, but for a long parked period like yours, I would probably have done the same and turned it off to avoid losing ~20% battery. (It's around 4-5%/day @rowedav ). And I guess at some point I'll disable it and turn it on just for dodgy areas... Will see..

I guess for next time you won't mind the battery drain so much and keep it active, or otherwise will park in an area where external CCTV is available.

I must say Sentry was one of the reasons I chose a Tesla too, as I had a similar experience in the past so I'm glad to use it even if it costs some extra kWh...until it pays off it seems...
 

Durzel

Well-Known Member
Jul 17, 2019
5,184
4,260
Bath, UK
Elon has promised that Sentry will be made less obvious (lights flashing), but like most promises it could be months or years before it actually happens. I too feel like the lights flashing can be antagonistic to people, or just cause them to try and make it do it again, etc.

That said I wouldn't leave Sentry off when I'm out and about, I'd just budget for spending an extra bit of time at whatever charger I need to go to. if I was leaving it somewhere for several days I'm not sure what I would do to be honest :(
 
  • Like
Reactions: MikeeUK

WllXM

Member
May 4, 2022
973
1,119
London
Elon has promised that Sentry will be made less obvious (lights flashing), but like most promises it could be months or years before it actually happens. I too feel like the lights flashing can be antagonistic to people, or just cause them to try and make it do it again, etc.

That said I wouldn't leave Sentry off when I'm out and about, I'd just budget for spending an extra bit of time at whatever charger I need to go to. if I was leaving it somewhere for several days I'm not sure what I would do to be honest :(
Yes that's the sad thing about Sentry.
The place where I would want to use it the most is when left at an airport car park for the holidays.
Except you can't do that or you're pretty much guaranteed to get back to a flat (or <20%) battery...

Until they fit 3kWh trickle chargers in every spot I guess, then it won't be an issue anymore...
 
  • Like
Reactions: MikeeUK

MikeeUK

Member
Oct 28, 2019
67
70
UK
Quick straw poll ref claiming on insurance vs paying for the repair myself:

Insurance claim = £250 excess
Pay myself = £900....when I get new quotes and delcare the claim as £900 Vandalism/Malicious Damage, the premuim increases by £115
I have 20+ years without ever claiming along with protected NCD on my policy (for what it's worth!) so my initial thoughts are to claim on the insurance as even if I'm paying increased premiums for the next few years, it'll take some time to hit £900 and it should work out cheaper.

Am I missing anything here or is it better to keep myself free of insurance claims and swallow the cost myself?
 
Last edited:

WllXM

Member
May 4, 2022
973
1,119
London
Quick straw poll ref claiming on insurance vs paying for the repair myself:

Insurance claim = £250 excess
Pay myself = £900....when I get new quotes and delcare the claim as £900 Vandalism/Malicious Damage, the premuim increases by £60
I have 20+ years without ever claiming along with protected NCD on my policy (for what it's worth!) so my initial thoughts are to claim on the insurance as even if I'm paying increased premiums for the next few years, it'll take some time to hit £900 and it should work out cheaper.

Am I missing anything here or is it better to keep myself free of insurance claims and swallow the cost myself?
Given the cost & the fact you have protected NCD and even if I'm wary of insurers, I would go for that route if I was in your position.
You're 'saving' £590 the first year (900-250excess-60add. premium).
Claims stay for 5 years so assuming 60*5 you're still winning ~300 at the end.
Of course you're never guaranteed that they won't up your premium by £200 next year though as it's a complete black box, but given your history, I don't know, it would seem worth the risk... YMMV...
 
  • Like
Reactions: MikeeUK
Given the cost & the fact you have protected NCD and even if I'm wary of insurers, I would go for that route if I was in your position.
You're 'saving' £590 the first year (900-250excess-60add. premium).
Claims stay for 5 years so assuming 60*5 you're still winning ~300 at the end.
Of course you're never guaranteed that they won't up your premium by £200 next year though as it's a complete black box, but given your history, I don't know, it would seem worth the risk... YMMV...

And even if they do increase the premium next year, there's nothing stopping you from shopping around and switching...
 
  • Like
Reactions: MikeeUK
At airports I decided to leave it on for a day and then turn it off. Most people are away for a week and they tend to fill them switching the areas on a rolling day basis. Enabling on day 6 and day 13 should get people returning after the week/2 week break. You can always look at live sentry to see if cars are starting to leave around yours to judge this.
 
Quick straw poll ref claiming on insurance vs paying for the repair myself:

Insurance claim = £250 excess
Pay myself = £900....when I get new quotes and delcare the claim as £900 Vandalism/Malicious Damage, the premuim increases by £115
I have 20+ years without ever claiming along with protected NCD on my policy (for what it's worth!) so my initial thoughts are to claim on the insurance as even if I'm paying increased premiums for the next few years, it'll take some time to hit £900 and it should work out cheaper.

Am I missing anything here or is it better to keep myself free of insurance claims and swallow the cost myself?
To give you piece of mind, your premium should not be affected.

As its a non driving non fault claim.
I had my mirror pinged off my car in 2020 (Luckily it was parked outside my house and my CCTV caught everything) and it did not affect my premiums at all.

Im not sure how you would prove you werent in the car or driving at the time, but if you can it will help you and your premiums if you do decide to claim.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rowedav and MikeeUK

JamiePP

Member
Supporting Member
Apr 26, 2022
102
80
Hertfordshire
I used to keep Sentry activated whenever I was parked but for quite some time now, I have switched it off due to battery drain (particularly on longer trips away where I'm trying to avoid recharging away from home as the drain can reallly affect the range). As an aside, I also feel the flashing of the headlights each time Sentry is activated could attract some unwarranted attention and actually make the vehicle more at risk....I know there have been a few comments from others about this in the forum although who knows whether it really makes things worse.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, Sentry was off while I was parked for 4 days in a car park as I didn't want to come back to a low battery state. On return, I found was a deep scratch which I initially thought was malicious damage but on closer inspection, looks like it could have been from someone opening a car door (high type 4x4 or crossover's rear door) while the vehicle was parking/moving next to me. Whether that's the case of not, it doesn't really matter as it's likely to cost me £900 to fix according to a couple of body shops due to the difficulties in respraying the pearlescent finish.

It's more than likely that Sentry would have caught this if it was from another vehicle so in hindsight, my decision to leave it switched off has been somewhat of a false economy. There was no CCTV covering the area I parked in and the local Police have quite understandably closed the case due to lack of resources to investigate so I'll either need to claim on insurance (£250 excess and increased premiums for xx years) or pay out of my own pocket (any thoughts on this would be appreciated as it's a work lease car).

Plenty of "life lessons" here but I'm wondering how many people also switch off Sentry for the same reasons as me? I wish the drain could be optimised so that it didn't affect the battery as much but as you may have guessed, Sentry is going to be switched on from now onwards.
I guess there’s a Q as to whether you’d have bothered pursuing the person who damaged your car, which would send you down the insurance route. Even if non-fault, still would impact renewal premiums.

It is a shame that airports don’t have trickle charge facilities.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MikeeUK

STS-134

Active Member
Aug 8, 2021
1,463
2,340
SF Bay Area
I generally always leave Sentry on in supermarket or large warehouse (Costco) parking lots and other lots with fast turnover of vehicles; damage is possible whenever a vehicle next to you pulls in or leaves and the more of those incidents you have, the greater the probability of damage. The high number of shopping carts also increases the probability of the vehicle being damaged. But at work, Sentry is always off. Generally people come in the morning and leave in the evening and there's no turnover of vehicles during the time I'm parked there. Is damage possible in this scenario? Sure, but I don't think it's worth keeping the car awake all day because you're talking about only 1-2 incidents in many hours vs. perhaps 2-4 incidents per hour elsewhere.
 
  • Like
Reactions: M1tch and Jason71

GeorgeSymonds

Active Member
Moderator
Mar 16, 2018
2,553
2,869
UK
We tend to pay for this type of thing, similar man maths to you although we know a sole trader paint shop guy who’s great but not really set up to deal with insurance companies - kind of a half way house between a smart repair and proper panel beating body shop - and his quotes are a fair bit less. When places quote and they know it’s insurance I get the feeling the prices go up.
 
My excess is £700, so I’d probably avoid using insurance in this case. With yours being lower it’s definitely a viable option.

I’ve had the car for 7 months and have not ever switched sentry mode off. At home I have to park my car in a private car park which is easily accessible from the street and not covered. I have no way to charge at home, but I get my charge for free as a benefit from my workplace. I never really have a reason to turn sentry off as I’m in the office 3 days a week and would rarely go through the entire battery even with sentry left on between the dates I’m in.

The only thing I need to watch out for is I save so many dashcam clips that my sentry storage can sometimes only have enough room for a few clips, which means it might miss something important.

Hope you get the paintwork resolved soon without much bother. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: MikeeUK

tivoboy

Active Member
Jun 12, 2018
2,511
5,919
palo alto, ca
Not sure tbh. I've seen figures of 10% per 24hrs but I guess it would depend on the number of activations. I'll be monitoring mine to see what the drain looks like.
I usually think more in MILES/HR of usage. Historicaly, pre FSDb I could count on somewhere around 1 mile/hr usage.. overnight might be 8-10 depending. Lately, its nearly double that. I think there is Sentry optimization that comes and goes based on what release one is on, priorities, etc. I can't imagine that the usage and sensors, tracking today is using 200% of past times. Hopefully, it WILL go back down to something more like 1m/hr or LESS, it really shouldn't use that much.

for the OP, it's hard to tell from the photo, but that actually looks like it MIGHT just be buff-able.

It actually doesn't really look like a door to me, more like someone leaning or sitting on the C pillar hip with keys in their pocket or something like that. or maybe a briefcase with a zipper pull that they leaned on the hip and slid sideways, something like that..
Doors don't make straight lines horizontal, unless the car making the mark is MOVING somehow.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: MikeeUK
I used to keep Sentry activated whenever I was parked but for quite some time now, I have switched it off due to battery drain (particularly on longer trips away where I'm trying to avoid recharging away from home as the drain can reallly affect the range). As an aside, I also feel the flashing of the headlights each time Sentry is activated could attract some unwarranted attention and actually make the vehicle more at risk....I know there have been a few comments from others about this in the forum although who knows whether it really makes things worse.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, Sentry was off while I was parked for 4 days in a car park as I didn't want to come back to a low battery state. On return, I found was a deep scratch which I initially thought was malicious damage but on closer inspection, looks like it could have been from someone opening a car door (high type 4x4 or crossover's rear door) while the vehicle was parking/moving next to me. Whether that's the case of not, it doesn't really matter as it's likely to cost me £900 to fix according to a couple of body shops due to the difficulties in respraying the pearlescent finish.

It's more than likely that Sentry would have caught this if it was from another vehicle so in hindsight, my decision to leave it switched off has been somewhat of a false economy. There was no CCTV covering the area I parked in and the local Police have quite understandably closed the case due to lack of resources to investigate so I'll either need to claim on insurance (£250 excess and increased premiums for xx years) or pay out of my own pocket (any thoughts on this would be appreciated as it's a work lease car).

Plenty of "life lessons" here but I'm wondering how many people also switch off Sentry for the same reasons as me? I wish the drain could be optimised so that it didn't affect the battery as much but as you may have guessed, Sentry is going to be switched on from now onwards.


View attachment 872448
Unless it got the license (licence) number Sentry mode can't help
 

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