Tesla Model S Vampire Drain Returns For Some Owners With Firmware 6.0


Some Firmware 6.0 Notes

Some Firmware 6.0 Notes

It’s back…well, sort of.

Several Tesla Model S owners are reporting that the dreaded vampire drain has returned to the Model S in certain Firmware 6.0 versions.

The problem, it seems, is that some Model S EVs are affected by Firmware 6.0 in a negative way.  Even when selecting “sleep always,” affected vehicles don’t go to sleep.  This inability to sleep leads to high draw on the vehicle’s battery pack, resulting in up to 12 miles of range lost overnight.

Some owners are reporting that even the latest Firmware 6.0 version (there are several 6.0 versions out there already) does not cure this vampire drain.

If you recall, vampire drain was a big issue for Tesla.  The automaker tried on several occasions to push out updates to reduce the drain.  Firmware 5.0 largely cured the issue:

Tesla Model S Firmware 5.0 Adds Sleep Mode to Cut Vampire Loss By Up To 75%

However, it now seems that at least some of the vampire drain has returned, at least for affected Model S sedans.

Oddly, not all or even most Model S owners on 6.0 are reporting this issue, so we aren’t entirely sure what the cause is.  Therefore, we’ll ask, have you experienced the return of vampire drain since getting 6.0?  If so, what firmware version is your Model S on right now and what’s the drain you’re experiencing?

Category: Tesla

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24 responses to "Tesla Model S Vampire Drain Returns For Some Owners With Firmware 6.0"
  1. Steve Jackson says:

    Yes, I’m getting drain of around 10 miles/night when not plugged in. Tesla suggested it has to do with my leaving the car “awake” so it would respond to the app more quickly.

    2013 model S85. 6.0, 1.67.43.

    1. vdiv says:

      It takes ~3kWh/night or hundreds of watts to keep a cellular radio on?!

      1. Andrew says:

        It’s the computer and electronics that stay on, which iirc draw about 200W of power. Times 10-12 hours, that’s quite a few miles of range.

        1. vdiv says:

          Wonder if with all of the hardware changes since inception the computer has changed as well. In this day and age of 22nm processors and flash storage 200W for a computer seems a lot. Maybe with the change in weather the TMS is running more often.

      2. ClarksonCote says:

        I think it’s ludicrous for their design to draw that much power. Completely unacceptable.

        At the same time, I’m surprised they couldn’t have chosen an FPGA to augment their design and boot up the creature comforts in mere milliseconds.

        With this kind of power draw, it makes you wonder if they’re running SETI@Home or something in the background.

        1. Bill Howland says:

          Maybe they never heard of slow-clocked cmos.

          This reminds me of the way sewer flow is monitored in the new sewer pipes in my town. Along the main route, there are 100 amp electric services on people’s front lawns or fences (about 50 meters in total for a town that once was 110,000, but is now more like 75,000), along with big stainless steel boxes and explosion-proof conduit fittings, etc, and in places, 4 meters per Block…

          I contrast this with the way the private company monitors oil flow through a underground pipe line, also in the town: a 3 x 5 sized solar panel above a very small plastic (but still corrosion resistant) box, that puts out 1.4 watts at 24 volts in peak sunlight.

          I can guess what’s inside for the power supply : A small lithium or lead acid storage battery, along with a computer whose avg power consumption is around 10 – 25 mw. It probably has a cmos clock chip which NMI’s the main processor to ‘wake up’ and take a flow reading, then go back to sleep until the next report. The whole “complex” is so diminutive you might not even notice it driving by. But this is another example of a private company doing things the most cost-effective way (and using solar), than a town gov’t that seems to look for the most expensive way to do a problem.

          As far as Software 6.0, it would be interesting if someone would produce a ledger of the wh / mile of the S, with various tires, and also the drain (10 kwh, 13 kwh per day, or whatever), in very warm, warm, cool, cold, and very cold ambients. It would be a very useful chart and it would be unique because to my knowledge the information doesn’t either exist or its being kept under wraps.

  2. Khai L. says:

    Wasn’t there an issue with the 12v batteries that caused the problem to appear to be vampire drain? I remember david nolan’s article about his. And immediately after they replaced the 12v battery, the vampire drain was no longer an issue. Turned out his 12v (because was defective) was being constantly recharged by the main battery.

    1. scottf200 says:

      Life With Tesla Model S: Electric-Draw Vampire Slain, At Last
      … An hour later, Musk tweeted, “The writer of this article has a problem with his 12V battery, so main pack was constantly charging it.”
      Shortly thereafter came this tweet: “It was fixed this weekend, so he should try the test again.”

  3. Andrew says:

    I’ve noticed my app being immediately responsive sometimes, even though I have it in sleep mode all the time. Haven’t been tracking close enough to see if the electronics stay on (ie. Reduced range) but the problem might be related…seems like something in software is intermittent.

  4. Anon says:

    They’ll get it sussed out…

    Every time someone says, “Vampire Drain”, I imagine a guy named Count Ampula, who says in stereotypical fashion, “I vant… to suck … your raaaaaaange!” 😉

    1. James says:

      L 🙂 L

      Soon teenage girls will begin swooning over Teslas!

  5. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Tesla just need to add a power button and call it done.

    It doesn’t take long to “boot up” the system and it is about the same amount of time to buckle up and check the mirrors….

    1. mike w says:

      Really? that’s how my Leaf works. A few seconds time delay is acceptable to save that amount of energy IMHO.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        That is about how every plugin car works…

        I think the “button” less feature is cool. But recovering from sleep is always kind of “issue” even for average electronics. I just don’t think it is worth all the efforts and energy spent on it…

  6. Mikael says:

    Maybe these Tesla car guys could ask some Silicon Valley people to fix their computer problems…

    Ooops 😉

  7. James says:

    For a guy pushin’ the half-century mark like me, I have to admit “software uploads, firmware updates” and such scare me a little. I know it’s Silicon Valley – but I just think of how many times I jumped on an app or Android update only to discover some features I enjoyed don’t work anymore, or the whole dang thing is just screwed up. I fall for these updates because I want “the latest thing”. Having a Windows 8.1 computer, the term, “Automatic Updates” gives me the hives.

    1. James says:

      One day, if I’m fortunate enough to own a Tesla, I’d like to have manual updates only set and let the early adopter types do the R&D for me – just wait to see if all the bugs were worked out.

      Glitches and re-dos are common for software. Not sure if I want to find one as I’m hurdling down the freeway that might constitute a major safety hazard.

      I keep thinking of that poor police officer and his family in the last minutes of their lives – driving the Camry with push-button ignition and him panicking and trying to stop the 100mph car.

      We all thought: “shouldn’t a police officer know what to do in such a situation?”. Not really – as when that happened, I rechecked my Prius owner’s manual and realized I didn’t know that to emergency cut-off override the ignition requires a prolonged 30 second button push! How could anyone expect anyone to know this? The Camry he owned had a key ignition.

      1. James says:

        * Toyota played the floormat card.

        My advice? Let the buyer beware. Try and think about contingencies. In this techie world there are new concerns to ponder.

      2. jeffhre says:

        I wouldn’t suggest “hurdling” down the freeway.

  8. Priusmaniac says:

    The Tesla is a fantastic car because it is electric with a long range battery and an excellent motor, but indeed it could fall into an exaggerated i-thing tendency that could make it less desirable in three ways:

    1) Unwanted updates with potentially undesirable effects

    2) Privacy concerns about trips and many other informations

    3) Owner’s car unwanted deactivation from a distance with no protection code

  9. ssdajoker says:

    While y’all test out the Beta hardware, I’ll wait for the Model 3!

  10. martinwinlow says:

    Maybe there isn’t any actual drain at all but just an issue with the firmware that is *reporting* a drain. That might be a lot more difficult to pin down. MW