How Much Battery Does Tesla Sentry Mode Use? - Car, Truck And Vehicle How To Guides - Vehicle Freak (2023)

Sentry mode is one of the clever features developed by Tesla over recent years. It is a feature that most people find themselves using regularly.

However, since the feature is relatively new, especially to those who have never owned an electric car before, there are a lot of questions about it. The power consumption of Tesla Sentry Mode remains a question most people want to be answered.

Sentry Mode, according to Tesla, drains the battery at the equivalence of the Tesla covering one mile per hour. So, if you left your Tesla in Sentry Mode for eleven days (the equivalent of 264 miles), you’d most likely return to a dead Tesla. In comparison, a Tesla parked without Sentry Mode can go up to twenty days without charging.

The term “vampire drain” is used to describe this phenomenon, as power appears to be drawn away while the car is not in use.

Tesla, on the other hand, has a solution; a 20% fail-safe. If the battery falls below 20%, Sentry Mode is switched off. This prevents your Tesla battery from dying completely, although it makes your car more prone to theft.

The Tesla Sentry Mode

Tesla’s Sentry Mode is an advanced security feature that uses the car’s built-in cameras to detect and record suspicious activity.

When activated, Sentry Mode enters a “Standby” state, using minimal power while continuously monitoring the surroundings. If Sentry Mode detects a potential threat, it switches to an “Alert” state, activating the car’s alarm system and recording video footage of the event.

When a more severe threat is detected, such as an attempted break-in, Sentry Mode switches to the “Alarm” state, sounding the car’s alarm and notifying the owner of the event.

(Video) 🎓 Tesla Sentry Mode: A Very Very Very In Depth Walkthrough Guide // #3

For Tesla owners with the Tesla app, you will get an immediate push notification on your phone with a link to the footage of the incident.

Sentry Mode is designed to provide peace of mind when you leave your Tesla unattended. By deterring potential threats and providing evidence in the event of a break-in or vandalism, Sentry Mode can help you feel confident that your car is safe and secure.

How to Enable the Tesla Sentry Mode

How Much Battery Does Tesla Sentry Mode Use? - Car, Truck And Vehicle How To Guides - Vehicle Freak (1)

When you need to activate the Tesla Sentry Mode you can use the sub-menu available via the touchscreen. Then, you need to go to “Controls” > “Safety & Security” > “Sentry Mode.”

You can also enable and disable the feature using your Tesla app. To do this, open the app and select “Sentry Mode” from the menu on the left-hand side. From there, you can enable or disable the feature, as well as view footage from any events that have been recorded.

Sentry Mode must be physically activated at each time since it automatically goes off. The feature can only be used when the car is parked and Dog Mode is disabled. You will also need to install a USB to enable video footage recording.

The Sentry Mode Battery Usage

Tesla’s Sentry Mode sounds like a great idea especially for protecting your car. However, the downside to this feature is that it does drain your battery.

Even though it does not involve any screen time or driving, the Tesla owner reports that it consumes battery life at a rate of one mile per hour. With a range of 262 miles, that translates to 262 hours, or 11 days, before the battery is completely drained.


Keep in mind that the Sentry Mode is switched off when the car reaches 50 miles of charge or 20% battery life, leaving 212 hours of Sentry Mode usage in this scenario.

In the highest range the Model S with 370 miles of power in the battery, Sentry Mode can be utilized for 320 hours which is roughly under two weeks.

How to Deal With Tesla Sentry Mode’s Battery Draining Problem

Although Sentry Mode drains power faster in the Tesla it is an essential feature. It’s critical to know how to cope with this battery drain and keep your Tesla charged and still on Sentry Mode when it isn’t in use.

Here are some methods for preventing battery drain on your Tesla while on Sentry Mode:

Park at a Charger

How Much Battery Does Tesla Sentry Mode Use? - Car, Truck And Vehicle How To Guides - Vehicle Freak (2)

Parking at a charger is the easiest solution for dealing with the battery drain. This way, you can keep your car on Sentry Mode without worrying about battery life.

All you have to do is find a garage with long-term access to a charging station. Tesla allows the use of Sentry Mode even when the vehicle is plugged in and charging.

Limit 3rd-Party App Usage

Using a third-party app to enable Sentry Mode will result in a battery drain. While there are some benefits to this, it’s not worth it if you’re trying to conserve battery power. Limit the usage of third-party apps to when you need them and be sure to disable them when they’re not in use.

(Video) 20 Tesla Hidden Features You'll Actually Care About

Plan Ahead

Whenever you want to leave your car parked for a long time, you should plan by ensuring that your car has enough charge. This way, you can avoid battery drain and keep your Tesla on Sentry Mode without worry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should You Use Sentry Mode?

The car’s cameras are constantly rolling when Sentry Mode is enabled. The vehicle’s main computer, or “brain,” is also actively engaged. And although Auto Pilot isn’t turned off, it does operate at a lower power while Sentry mode is active.

Keep in mind that recording only begins when motion is detected; however, because the device stays in its “Standby” mode otherwise, there can be a significant Power drain. So think before you press the button to avoid any headaches later on down the road.

Do Tesla Cameras Record All the Time?

The TeslaCam folder is divided into three subfolders: Recent Videos: Dashcam continuously saves footage to Recent Clips in 60-minute cycles while recording.

Unless you manually save it, the footage is overwritten every hour. For each clip, four videos are recorded, one from each camera (front, rear, left, and right).

How Much Battery Does Tesla Sentry Mode Use? - Car, Truck And Vehicle How To Guides - Vehicle Freak (3)

What Is the Red Dot on Tesla Screen?

A red dot on the Tesla screen when parked refers to the Sentry Mode being on. The dot will be present as long as the system is active.

Do All Tesla Cars Have Sentry Mode?

All Tesla cars produced after August 2017 can enable Sentry Mode. The mode comes as standard in all Model S, Model X, and Model Y cars.

(Video) Tesla's 'Sentry' mode mode turns your car into recording surveillance camera

How Do You Know If Sentry Mode Is on Tesla?

There are a few ways to tell if Sentry Mode is active. The first is to look for the red dot on the center touchscreen. If it’s present, that means the system is armed and recording.

You can also check the status of Sentry Mode in the “Controls” tab of the Tesla app. Finally, you can activate or deactivate the system by double-pressing the alarm icon on the top right corner of the touchscreen.

Which Other Cars Have Sentry Mode?

Sentry Mode is a Tesla-exclusive feature. However, other car companies offer similar features that serve the same purpose.

For example, Audi’s “Vehicle Protection” system uses sensors to detect break-ins and provide video footage of the event. BMW’s “Remote Protection” feature also uses sensors to detect break-ins and sends an alert to the owner’s smartphone.


Sentry Mode is a great way to keep your Tesla safe, but it can also drain the battery if you’re not careful. When the sentry mode is on, a Tesla drains the battery at a rate equivalent to the Tesla covering a mile per hour. When fully charged, the sentry mode will take about eleven days to fully drain the battery’s power.

To avoid battery drain, park at a charger or limit the usage of third-party apps. You should also plan ahead by ensuring that your car has enough charge before leaving it parked with the sentry mode on for a long time.

Tesla has a solution in the form of a 20% fail-safe; the Sentry Mode is disabled if the battery falls below 20%. This keeps your battery from completely dying, but it makes your car more vulnerable to theft.

For more related Tesla topics, here are our other posts:

(Video) Tesla Sentry Mode | Model 3 Tip of the Week

How Long Can a Tesla Idle With the Heat on?

Why Are Tesla Tires So Expensive? How Long Do They Last?

How Many Miles Can a Tesla Last? (Tips to Extend the Lifetime)


1. Tesla Model 3 Range Test Explained | Your Mileage May Vary
(Alex on Autos)
2. Tesla Setup Guide for 2023 Model 3 & Y (BEST SETTINGS)
(Jeremiah Jones)
3. TESLA: VERY IMPORTANT Flat Tire Lessons (Flat Tire Part 2: Facts)
(Wham Baam Teslacam)
5. TESLA: 30 Tips To Maximize Battery Range & Efficiency (For Any Ev Really)
6. Tesla 2021 Buyer’s Guide | Model S, 3, X, Y
(Ryan Shaw)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Jonah Leffler

Last Updated: 11/28/2022

Views: 6075

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (65 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jonah Leffler

Birthday: 1997-10-27

Address: 8987 Kieth Ports, Luettgenland, CT 54657-9808

Phone: +2611128251586

Job: Mining Supervisor

Hobby: Worldbuilding, Electronics, Amateur radio, Skiing, Cycling, Jogging, Taxidermy

Introduction: My name is Jonah Leffler, I am a determined, faithful, outstanding, inexpensive, cheerful, determined, smiling person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.