What Is Tesla Sentry Mode?

Tesla Sentry Mode adds extra security to your Tesla when you’re not around.
Written by Brad Marley
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Aug 9, 2022
There is no shortage of technology found on the Tesla, and Sentry Mode just adds to the capabilities. This mode helps to keep your car safe when you’re not around to keep an eye on it.
Tesla’s Sentry Mode debuted in 2019 on all Model 3 vehicles as a way to fortify the brand’s anti-theft efforts. When activated, it monitors the car’s surrounding area for threats while the vehicle is unattended. 
When a minimal threat is detected, it displays a message on the touchscreen warning that the cameras are recording. If a major threat is detected, Sentry Mode will activate the car’s alarm.
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What is Tesla Sentry Mode? 

Sentry Mode is designed to protect your vehicle when it’s left unattended by continuously monitoring the surrounding area, similar to a home alarm system
If Sentry Mode detects a minimal threat, such as someone bumping up against your Tesla, it will display a message on the touchscreen to alert the person that cameras are recording.
If Sentry Mode detects a severe threat, like someone breaking into the car, it will activate the car alarm, increase the brightness of the center display, and play loud music.
Once the car switches to this “Alarm” state, you will receive an alert on your Tesla app. You will then be able to download a video of the incident. 

How to turn on Tesla Sentry Mode

Turning on Sentry Mode is easy when you follow these steps:
  • Go to Car Controls on the touchscreen
  • Under Safety and Security, press the button for Sentry Mode
That’s it!
Once Sentry Mode is enabled, your Tesla will monitor itself for threats, both minor and major, while you are away from the vehicle. 

How long can you leave Tesla Sentry Mode on?

Since you have to turn on Sentry Mode manually, it’s reasonable that you would turn it back off when you’re done using it or when you are driving the car. When you’re parked in your garage or in a secure area, there is no need to keep it on.
Using Sentry Mode for too long will drain your Tesla’s power. A Tesla loses one percent of its battery charge every two to three hours that Sentry Mode is enabled, so it would drain completely after about 12.5 days of constant use. 

Which Teslas have Sentry Mode? 

Sentry Mode is found in the Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y. 

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