Bjorn Nyland offers his thoughts on Sentry Mode and the power it uses.
Everybody loves Tesla's sentry mode. Well, at least everybody that doesn't get caught by sentry mode vandalizing or crashing into a Tesla, that is. However, one thing that isn't talked about too much is how much power is consumed by having sentry mode active.
When I first got my Model 3, I used sentry mode all the time. It didn't take me long to realize how much power the system uses. The first week I had my car, I dropped it off at a local shop to get it ceramic coated and to put paint protection film on the front end.
I left sentry mode on without even thinking about it. The process was going to take a few days and I left the car there with close to 70% state of charge. However, as I checked the car's status on my app, I quickly noticed the state of charge dropping a percent every couple of hours. If that kept up I may not have enough charge to make it home after the 4 to 5 days it was going to be the shop.
Once the state of charge hit 50% I disabled sentry mode. I learned my lesson pretty quickly. Sentry mode is an awesome feature to have, but it is power hungry!
Bjorn Nyland, the well-known electric vehicle YouTuber, and Tesla aficionado has discussed this issue before, and recently released a video where he analyzes the power consumption of sentry mode and asks the question: Is it worth the energy it uses?
My experience with sentry mode is that it seems to consume more power in my car than what Nyland records. After watching this video I'm going to do some more testing myself and record exactly how much vampire drain I witness.
After recording how much energy sentry mode uses, Nyland converts that into electricity cost in Norway where electricity is relatively inexpensive, as well as in Germany, where electricity is much more expensive. He uses the relatively low annual cost of powering sentry mode all year long as evidence that it is indeed worth using regardless of which country you live in.
That all makes sense, but then Nyland lists the cost of repairs for Teslas in various European countries. His point is that if you didn't have sentry mode on, you may have to pay out of pocket for the repair to your Tesla. Whereas if you had sentry mode on, you'd catch the perpetrator and they would have to pay for the repair.
I'm not sure how automobile insurance works in Europe, but here in the US, your insurance - either comprehensive or collision depending on the incident, would cover the cost of repairing your car. I can't imagine anyone buying a Tesla and then not having a decent insurance policy to cover unexpected incidents.
So Nyland's argument about the cost of repairs isn't really the best way to make the case for using sentry mode, in my opinion. Sentry mode is definitely still worth using, and I have my sentry mode set to activate whenever I'm not at home.
However, if I leave my car at the airport for more than 3-4 days, I have to turn sentry mode off or it will drain the battery so much that I'll have to go out of my way and stop at a supercharger on the way home. And honestly, after returning from a trip I don't want to extend my drive home by 30 or 40 minutes, I just want to get home.
What's your experience with sentry mode? Have you had any issues with it draining too much energy and you too had to turn it off? I'd like to hear with other Tesla owners have experienced. Please let us know in the comment section below.