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

BillN

Member
May 15, 2022
217
206
Kent
One thing I WOULD really like to see for Sentry mode is SOME sort of SCHEDULING..
Tessie app
76D8FDB0-FDF6-4739-9D44-C2F583808D25.jpeg
 
To sentry or not really depends on how often sentry will be used in a week, where you park - is it a busy car park and will activate recording more times and just how long the vehicle is parked there. I have sentry activated but not at home location - I don't tend to do a great mileage as I'm retired - so the small drain occasionally doesn't make a difference to me - but it would If I was still working and leaving the car every day for 8 plus hours in a busy car park.

Prior to the Tesla I had two Blackview cameras on my Focus RS - one to the rear and one to the front - they were much better in every respect to Teslas offering, Better picture quality, never failed to capture something, they also have knock sensors (sensitivity adjustable) - so if someone opens a door onto your car it starts recording and of course when they drive off you get their plate. If there is movement in the field of view - they started recording and they only drew a few watts - cant remember exactly what they were in idle and recording modes but I also fitted a "Power Magic" box - this monitors the battery voltage - again settable to either 12.5 volts or 11volts at which point it would disable the cameras - I always left them switched on, 24 hours a day and they never ever drained the 12v car battery. I believe Blackview also do a backup battery - which is charged by the car and when you switch off and park up it will power the cameras for weeks without taking a single watt from the car battery.
If I wasn't retired, I would definitely fit them to my Tesla and switch off sentry, they also recorded sound - not cheap mind you - about £300 each, I used two separate Blackview's but they do make a unit that has two cameras as an all-in-one package, and all are HD or super HD 4K. I actually regret leaving them in my RS when i sold it as I overestimated the functionality of Telsa's system.

As for those people that damage other's cars and drive away I'm afraid that's human nature - we are inherently dishonest as a species, makes my blood boil, and if you catch them, they always say - they didn't know - even when you review camera footage and you see them look at the damage to theirs and your car - bloody liars.

As your car is a lease you may as well just touch the scratch in with a Chipex kit and leave it until the lease is up and you have to have other work done - It will be cheaper in the long run.
 

BillN

Member
May 15, 2022
217
206
Kent
Probably not the right place to post this but I've often wonderered...if you use tessie, teslafi,etc does it override the tesla app? Do they get into conflict? Or do you have to have all depart schedules, exclude sentry at home, etc all turned off in tesla app?
Haven’t had any issues with conflicts - but don’t really use depart schedules any where. Tessie generally reflects Tesla, and vice’versa.
 
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We go to the airport the day before our trip to pick up a rental. Then the next morning we will drive it to airport to turn it in and catch our flight. Generally costs less than $50 for the peace of mind of not having our car screwed with. Plus no long term parking fees. Then another rental or Uber going back home. We dont do the Uber going to the airport because the last thing we need is someone knowing where we live and that we will be away for a while.
 
We go to the airport the day before our trip to pick up a rental. Then the next morning we will drive it to airport to turn it in and catch our flight. Generally costs less than $50 for the peace of mind of not having our car screwed with. Plus no long term parking fees. Then another rental or Uber going back home. We dont do the Uber going to the airport because the last thing we need is someone knowing where we live and that we will be away for a while.
Probably easier to drop family and luggage around the corner, nip back home to drop off the car and then order cab from the corner of a random street.
 
This has happened to me too! Mine was not as egregious, but it did scratch the car. I didn't notice it until washing and didn't even attempt to go back and look through sentry clips to find it...nothing can be done even if I find the person that did it. Sentry, good, but not for this type of stuff.
 
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I tried using Sentry for the first time today and it seems pretty useless unless I'm missing something as it totally missed the car being damaged.

It recorded a couple of people walking past my car in the car park, missed someone slowly backing their car down the side of mine by accident (scraping the paint and denting one door) then recorded me looking at the doors 10 minutes later!

Luckily the person who backed into my car came and told me so hopefully insurance will sort it but I thought that this was the sort of thing Sentry was meant to catch?
 
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?
The answer is:
The insurance companies has these guys called "actuaries" who carefully price the insurance so as just to make it painful enough for you to claim, that you avoid claims whenever you can. The calculation also gets their money back, on average, by the premium increase.
So for average damage that you think probably happens to a lot of cars (I think this would be an example) I would assume the premium increase is going to essentially cause you to pay out of pocket either way.

But more importantly, just do the numbers - you'll have an initial increase that will fade over time, plus your deductibles and whatnot, and just see what it adds up to. Simply put, will you be paying the extra 115 for more than 11 months ? (probably) so... pay for it yourself. Plus you don't have to do the paperwork.

The insurance company always wins the bet on small stuff.
 
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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

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...
I keep Sentry on with exceptions for "Home" and "Work", where I already have 24/7 camera coverage ;). So far I haven't felt the need to disable it due to range concerns, but by chance (and a bit of planning) my travels have involved fast and frequent charging infrastructure.

More to the point, my luck seems to be poor as I returned home from the gym one morning to find a decent scrape on the passenger side rear quarter of the bumper. I thought this would be a sure catch but Sentry only returned a few harmless passers-by, no culprit. I went back a few days in the captures in case I had somehow managed to go that long without noticing such damage and no contact with the car was captured by the cameras. I was extremely disappointed as I've been a regular at that gym for about a year and would likely be able to recognize whoever hit my car given how sparsely populated it is when I go.

Naturally the gym didn't have any of their own cameras pointed in that direction so now I have to live with the frustration of knowing that the responsible party is likely lifting weights only meters away from me on a daily basis and I'll never know who. To make matters worse, I'm the only blue Model 3 owner that I've personally seen there, so there's a chance they know exactly who I am and still haven't owned up.

Turns out Murphy's law applies to me as well, except in my case damage will only occur when Sentry doesn't wake up. If someone hits your car, and no Sentry is around to see it, did it make a sound?
 
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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
That's been keyed or perhaps a nosey kid losing balance on his bike
Looks a pain to fix as well

Have you looked into if it can be fixed by a mobile repair?
 
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MikeeUK

Member
Oct 28, 2019
69
70
UK
That's been keyed or perhaps a nosey kid losing balance on his bike
Looks a pain to fix as well

Have you looked into if it can be fixed by a mobile repair?
Have not looked at mobile repair as the two bodyshops I've been to so far have both said the same....it's a deep scratch and they only way it will look like new is with a respray...and the pearlescent paint is the complication as it takes time to get it matched/blended properly.

I've decided to pay for the repair myself rather than go via insurance due to the excess and the x-years of increased premiums.
 

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