What Is Tesla Sentry Mode and How Does It Work?

Tesla entered the EV game to change it forever, with its Autopilot, Supercharger Network, Gigafactories, and Mega Banks being just a few of its innovations. Tesla engineers brought the same creative thinking to protect your car with Sentry Mode.

If it’s your first time hearing about it, keep reading as we’ll show you how Sentry Mode works and consider some of its limitations.


What Is Tesla Sentry Mode?

Sentry Mode is an anti-theft system used by Tesla that constantly checks your car’s surroundings once you lock it. Compared to a traditional alarm system that uses sound and light, Sentry Mode also incorporates cameras to record any threats.

Sentry Mode is disabled by default. So, if you want to add this layer of protection, you have to access the Safety & Security menu in your Tesla, or you can enable Sentry Mode through the Tesla app.

But, how does Sentry Mode actually work?

How Does Sentry Mode Protect Your Car?

With Sentry Mode enabled, it will constantly monitor your car’s surroundings. Once it detects an unusual move or presence, the system will record the footage for a short period before and during the threat.

The system enters the “Alert” state, and it displays a message saying the cameras are recording on the car’s touchscreen. If the system detects a greater risk, such as someone breaking one of the windows, it will enter the “Alarm” state, which turns on the alarm, blasts music to the fullest, and increases the touchscreen’s brightness.

Also, most importantly, the car’s owner will be notified through the Tesla app, alerting them to a potential issue. Then, the owner can view their car using Sentry Mode Live, a remote viewing option. It could be that your kids are too close to the car, and there’s nothing to worry about (other than the paint job!). Or, it could be someone is trying to bust in through the window, and if that’s the case, you can make an emergency call straight away.

What Are the Sentry Mode’s Limitations?

Sentry Mode sounds like a great way to protect your car against keyless car theft, but the system is not perfect. For example, it will turn off if you enable Dog Mode to keep your pets feeling cozy while you’re running an errand.

As you might expect, Sentry Mode increases power consumption. So if the car’s battery is at or falls below 20%, Sentry Mode will turn off, unless you’re using a Supercharger. When Sentry Mode turns off, you’ll receive a notification on your phone.

On that, if you want to avoid Sentry Mode-less times due to using a regular public EV charger, you should install a home charger instead.

Sentry Mode Keeps Your Car Safe

Tesla’s Sentry Mode is great if you often park your car in unsupervised public parking and worry about someone damaging it. However, the system has its weaknesses, so it shouldn’t be your only protection against car theft. Fortunately, there are more ways to protect your vehicle.

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