Battery draining too fast is one of the most common complaints among Tesla owners.
Hoping to resolve the long-standing problem, Tesla switched their cars to the new Li-ion battery, which is supposed to be the most reliable battery on the market.
However, these Tesla battery drain problems have persisted due to many reasons.
Let’s look at the seven main reasons.
1. Your vehicle could lose battery when parked due to a vampire battery drain
Tesla vehicles come with many technological components which are never 100 percent asleep, even when parked or turned off.
The vampire battery drain can cause your vehicle to lose range from a few miles per day to some significant amounts depending on the settings.
This may not be a huge issue if you use your vehicle to get to and leave from work. However, it can be detrimental when leaving the vehicle when you’re on holiday.
Your Tesla relies on computer systems to perform various functions, such as monitoring the health of your battery or opening doors when you walk to your car.
If you leave it running throughout the day, you could be losing 2% to 3% daily.
A 14-day trip can mean 50% battery loss. If you didn’t intend to charge along the way, you will likely not get where you wanted to go due to battery loss.
With the correct settings, your Tesla can lose 0.5% per day. Minimize vampire drain by reviewing all 3rd party apps and access.
If in doubt, change the Tesla password, which will automatically invalidate all third-party apps and prevent them from accessing your car.
2. Your audio and gaming system consumes too much power
The latest generation of Tesla Model X and Model S are equipped with powerful video game systems, boasting ten teraflops of power.
This is roughly equal to the PlayStation 5, which has an output of about 350 watts.
If you’re a gamer or have children who enjoy playing video games in the car and have been experiencing significant drops in battery charge, the culprit could be the gaming system.
Prolonged play can take a heavy toll on your battery, especially when driving a long distance.
The updated systems can draw significant amounts of energy from the vehicle’s battery pack rather than playing music.
Similarly, playing loud music also means more energy and power consumption.
It’s critical to note that not all sound or gaming systems consume vast amounts of power.
Premium sound systems don’t drain the battery more quickly as most of them use capacitors to regulate their electrical demands.
That means you may actually not notice a change in battery charge unless you’re a heavy user or your system is not power-friendly.
3. Your charging habits could be the culprit
Improper charging habits can accelerate the degradation of your battery, leading to the battery losing charge faster.
The first step to ensuring your battery is in good condition is consistently charging it. While this doesn’t increase range, it helps maintain it.
You also want to avoid Tesla’s Supercharger, which can stress your batteries.
Maintain a consistent charging schedule with a low-voltage wall charger to keep the battery ready for a trip, and only use the higher-voltage superchargers when it’s absolutely necessary.
Another bad habit every Tesla owner must avoid is charging the battery up to 100%.
Let your vehicle charge to a maximum of 90%, and make sure it doesn’t fall below 20% without charging. Low battery life can lead to low performance over time.
According to research referenced by Battery University, charging batteries to 100% offers less recoverability of capacity. The capacity loss is also accelerated when the battery is under increased heat.
That means higher temperatures induce higher stress on the battery, resulting in further battery degradation.
Leaving the battery at 0% for extended periods of time can cause a parasitic electrochemical reaction that could leave your battery in an irreversible state where it may no longer sustain a charge.
Experts recommend charging your Tesla every 2 to 3 days to keep the battery healthy.
We also have good tips on how to charge your Tesla faster.
4. You’ve activated sentry mode
Tesla has an anti-theft feature called sentry mode which can drain the battery while activated and, if ignored, can leave your battery dead.
The sentry mode guards your Tesla by continually monitoring the area around the car when unattended. It uses external cameras to watch for threats.
When turned on, it also means the alert and alarm modes are leveled up in case theft is detected. It will play the alarm and light up to brightness to alert you in the event of theft.
While it’s practical, it can drain your battery significantly if left to run for a prolonged period.
That’s because it uses many features that require charging.
The cameras, sensors, and alarms consume a lot of power, and you may end up with a dead battery.
Don’t worry if your vehicle gets to zero while you’re driving. Tesla has a failsafe to keep the battery from draining entirely and gives you several minutes to get to a charging station.
The failsafe activates when the battery is 20% and automatically switches off the sentry mode to save the battery.
5. The smart summon mode is on
The summon mode is an autopilot feature that allows you to call your car to your location. It’s a great feature, especially when traveling with a person with limited mobility.
However, it’s best to use this feature when necessary, as it can drain the battery faster than you expect. Always keep it off and only turn it on when you need to use it.
When it’s on, the smart summon constantly runs the GPS in the background, which causes it to drain large amounts of power.
Like the sentry mode, the smart summon also depends on sensors to drive and know which direction to turn while being summoned.
6. Your vehicle loses charge even when idle
When you turn off your car to enter your home or office, it’s critical to turn off 3rd party apps on the computer system.
Your vehicle has multiple systems running in the background, even when the vehicle is not in use.
Leaving these systems idle for a prolonged period can cause your battery to lose all its charge.
If you’re in an area where access to charging spots can be an issue, you may want to ensure nothing is running in the background when the vehicle is idle.
7. You’re constantly using the Tesla app on your phone
Tesla vehicles don’t go to sleep completely.
There will always be several systems running in the background, even when you think you’ve turned everything off.
For instance, if you left your vehicle at 21%, it will likely drain below 20%, and the failsafe mode will activate itself, whether the vehicle is idle or not.
This protective feature is designed to come alive to protect you. That’s why you will receive a low battery warning alert as soon as you turn on the vehicle.
Part of the power loss is caused by your opening and closing of the Tesla app when the vehicle is idle.
According to Tesla owners, each time you open your app, you automatically wake the car, leading to energy and battery loss.
When you park your Tesla for some time, maybe an hour, it will go to sleep by disconnecting the battery from the vehicle electronics.
These systems will rely on the 12V battery.
The car will wake itself after an hour and stay active for an hour while connecting the high-voltage battery to the vehicle electronics.
This helps refill the lost energy in the small battery. The computers will be taken out of their power-saving modes during these changes.
When you open the Tesla app when your vehicle is in sleep mode, it will disrupt its scheduled mode, which contributes to charge loss.
The Tesla battery is regarded as one of the best on the market today.
However, it’s not immune to conditions, human behavior, and wear.
That’s why many drivers have reported their Teslas draining more quickly than they thought, which leads to a replacement of the costly equipment or selling the vehicle.
That means it can drain faster than you expect due to the reasons we’ve mentioned above.
If you suspect your battery is draining faster than usual, it’s essential to investigate all the above reasons to stop this battery drain and fix the issue before it gets worse.
Remember to disable and turn off systems you don’t need whenever necessary to prevent battery and range loss.