How Much Battery Does Sentry Mode Use? (Explained)

Last updated on April 18th, 2023 at 11:17 pm

When you own an incredibly luxurious car like Tesla, you’ll always have your heart beating fast whenever you park it in the open.

So, having a security system like Sentry Mode to watch over the car in your absence goes a mile toward giving you peace of mind.

But what do you do when Sentry Mode solely depends on battery usage? 

Sentry Mode uses nearly 1% of your Tesla battery life every two to three hours.  That means that in 24 hours, you’ll need more than 30% of the battery charge if you plan on driving the car with a functioning Sentry Mode. Additionally, your battery needs to be above 20% for Sentry Mode to function.

This article discusses Sentry Mode and why it requires that much energy.

Also, you’ll learn about its pros and cons, which will help you decide whether it’s worth the battery it consumes.

Does Sentry Mode Drain Your Tesla Battery More?

How Much Battery Does Sentry Mode Use

Without turning on the Sentry Mode, the battery life of your Tesla vehicle can run as long as possible without failing.

Sentry Mode drains so much battery that it’ll be almost impossible to leave it on and not return to a dead car.

Often, that happens when you park the car for days without regular checkups on the car; the Sentry Mode will drain the car to the point of shutting it down.

Besides the fact that Sentry Mode drains so much of your Tesla battery, it plays a crucial role in keeping your car safe.

As an anti-theft program, it watches your car’s surroundings via its external cameras and alerts you if it detects a threat.

Hence, you’ll have to decide which feature is more important to you; turning on the Sentry Mode with subsequent battery life depreciation or switching it off and risking the car to possible theft.

However, you can use these few tips to conserve your battery life while the Sentry Mode is permanently on.

#1. Strategize Your Parking

The aim is to ensure a continual battery charge after parking your vehicle. Strategizing means parking at spots where there’s access to a charging station. 

That way, while you’re away, your Tesla will have optimum battery level despite an active Sentry Mode. 

#2. Limit the Use of 3rd-party Apps

You’ll agree with me that all apps come with certain battery-draining capabilities. So, although you’ll always want to use apps to monitor your car, do it with moderation.

Limit the number of apps you use, which can contribute to the fast drainage of your car’s battery.

#3. Plan Ahead

Planning means preparing yourself against battery drainage. That means you must charge your battery fully before leaving the car if you aren’t back in time.

These tips will help you maintain the car’s battery life while running on Sentry Mode.

Why Does Sentry Mode Use More Energy?

The Sentry Mode is an anti-theft feature in your Tesla car that’s permanently on to alert you when it senses danger.

While it does that, it uses a series of cameras and sensors, which require a lot of energy to run.

While the cameras constantly scan the car’s environment for theft threats, the sensors alert you when there’s feedback from the environment.

However, Sentry Mode will not function if your car’s battery dies. A well-charged battery is important for its continuous functionality.

Due to the high battery-demanding nature of Sentry Mode, Tesla has a feature for you to turn it off at will.

However, doing that is risky and can leave your Tesla at the mercy of thieves.

Hence, a good knowledge of the pros and cons of Sentry Mode will help you decide whether it’s worth leaving it on or not.

This table explores some of those pros and cons.

Sentry Mode alerts you to all possible threats to your car.Sentry Mode drains your battery and affects battery life.
It saves you the cost of repairing or replacing your Tesla.Sentry Mode only works with a battery mode of 20% and above.
You can turn it off and on at will.It suspects all individuals equally as long as there’s a breach in the detection zone.

The pros of Sentry Mode are far more important than the cons it seems to have.

That’s because, with the regular alarm system, you’ll know when your car is at risk and make efforts to prevent it.

Sentry Mode will save you the cost of fixing or buying a new Tesla due to damages or theft respectively.

How Far Can You Go With Sentry Mode After a Full Charge?

With the rate at which Sentry Mode drains energy, you’ll have very little battery life to drive around with, and here’s why.

If you leave the Sentry Mode on after a full charge, it’ll drain as much as 1% of your battery every two to three hours.

That means, in 24 hours, it’ll take at least 8% of your battery life if you keep the Sentry Mode active. 

With that, you’ll have a week’s drainage of approximately 8×7 days, giving 56% of the battery.

Hence, assuming you do a weekly charge between 20% to 90%, you’ll have only 14% (70%-56%) of the battery life for driving.

Sentry Mode takes up about 80% of your total battery life with a single weekly charge. 

One way you can ensure the continuous run of your Tesla car amidst a working Sentry Mode is to ensure regular charging.

You should keep your battery above 50% per day to keep the Sentry Mode on while still having some for driving.

Often, you might wonder if it’s proper to leave the battery charging consistently or not. Well, here is my opinion about that.

Constantly charging your Tesla battery while the Sentry Mode is working has no negative effects; however, doing that can slow down the charging rate.

So, as long as you’re not concerned about constantly charging the Tesla for long periods, you have no worries. 

On the other hand, if you have difficulty keeping up with the Sentry’s battery demand, consider switching it off sometimes.

Putting off Sentry Mode to save battery can negatively affect you, but you can use scary stickers to keep thieves away from your car.

Such a sticker can have an imprint like “you’re on camera right now” to scare away anyone with negative motives for your car. 

That way, you can limit the use of Sentry Mode while giving your vehicle some protection.

Should You Keep Sentry Mode on Always?

Whether or not you should always keep Sentry Mode running depends on these factors;

#1. Your Location

If you live in an area with a high incidence of car theft, it’ll be safe to always turn on your Sentry Mode. 

That’s because, just like I stated earlier, Sentry Mode is a safety feature that uses cameras and sensors to alarm you of possible theft.

You wouldn’t want to park your car at night only to come out in the morning and find it missing. So, you’ll weigh the risks against the benefits in such a case.

After doing that, you’ll see that it’s better to deal with battery drainage constantly than to figure out how to buy a new Tesla.

#2. Battery Strength of Your Car

If you’re lucky enough and your battery doesn’t drain as much while Sentry Mode is on, you won’t have any problems.

#3. Regular Maintaining Habit

One issue that comes up from leaving your Sentry on for a long time is when it begins to affect the battery charging rate.

However, if you habitually take the Tesla for regular maintenance and upgrade, you’ll optimize it to cope with different situations.

You can leave the Sentry Mode running while still having your Tesla function normally.

Hence, leaving your Sentry Mode always on will have little or no effect on the car but rather protect it from theft.


#1. Does Sentry Mode Turn on Automatically?

Sentry Mode will only turn on automatically if you’ve set it that way. So, check to see that it has an automatic setting to your preference.

#2. How Can I Turn on the Sentry Mode?

You’ll find an option for the Sentry in the “infotainment screen” of your vehicle.

Go through the “Control” option to the “Safety and Security” display to locate the “Sentry Mode.” 

#3. Does Sentry Mode Turn Off Automatically?

When Tesla’s battery life reaches 20%, Sentry Mode will automatically switch itself off.

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