Leaving Your Tesla Parked (for a long time)

Leaving your Tesla parked for an extended period of time can lead to Tesla battery drain, also known as phantom drain.  This means that the Tesla is losing battery range, even when it is not being used.

Because it is an electric car with technology, there are some settings that remain on constantly, that lead to this drain. It is normal for the car to lose ~1% battery per day. Other factors, such as cold weather, may increase battery loss. 

These tips also apply to if you have your Tesla in the middle of nowhere with no place to charge and need to conserve battery.

I also did a Youtube video on this, so check it out here

Tips to Limit Tesla Battery Drain

  1. Turn OFF Sentry Mode

This is Tesla’s parking dashcam. I did another blog post on How to use Sentry mode here. If you leave Sentry mode on, you can lose 5-10% battery loss per day. This varies depending on the number of sentry mode events. Of note, sentry mode does automatically turn off if the battery is less than 20%

    • Go under “Safety” → Toggle Sentry Mode to Off 
    • You can also turn Sentry mode on and off via your Tesla phone app
tesla sentry mode
Sentry Mode On
sentry mode off
Toggle to Turn Off Sentry Mode

2. Turn OFF Cabin Overheat Protection 

Leaving Cabin overheat protection on means that the Tesla will turn on the AC when the temperature gets too hot. However, this can lead to significant battery drain. There is also an option for “No AC” means that if it gets too hot, the turns fan on, instead of the AC, which drains the battery less compared to AC. 

  • On your Tesla screen, go to “Safety” → Cabin Overheat Protection → “OFF”
  • You can also access this on your Tesla phone app 
cabin overhead protection
Cabin Overhead Protection
cabin overheat protection
Change Settings on Phone App

3. Avoid constantly checking the Tesla phone app

Each time you open the Tesla phone app, the Tesla has to “wake up,” which can further drain the battery if done repeatedly.

tesla phone app
Avoid Checking Phone App Repeatedly

4. Turn OFF Summon Standby Mode  

This only applies if you have the Full Self Driving Package. 

Keeping standby mode “on” keeps FSD system “on” when parked, so when the car is summoned, there is less delay. However keeping it on also leads to battery drain. 

tesla standby mode
Turn Off Standby Mode

5. Charge your car to a higher state of charge

It’s not healthy to keep your Tesla to 100% for an extended time, because this can lead to battery degradation. Therefore, depending on how long you’re leaving your car, I would charge it to 80-90%.

6. Remote start your car 

If it’s going to be an extended time such as 1 month, I recommend having a friend drive and charge your car. You can remote start the car via your Tesla phone app, without having to provide a key. 

remote start tesla
Remote Start your Car via Phone App


While Tesla battery drain (aka Phantom drain) is normal, you can limit the battery loss by following the tips above!


The opinions and views expressed on this blog are solely personal, Everyday Chris.  Everyday Chris is not affiliated with or endorsed by Tesla. It is neither inferred nor implied that products recommended by Everyday Chris nor recommendations given by Everyday Chris are authorized by or in any way connected to Tesla. This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full Terms & Conditions for more information.

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