Tesla Model S Owners & Service Manuals

Tesla Model S: Using Sentry Mode

When Sentry Mode is turned on, the cameras and sensors remain powered on and ready to record suspicious activity around your vehicle when Model S is locked and in Park.

To store and retrieve Sentry Mode footage, ensure that Dashcam is on and a properly formatted USB flash drive is inserted into a front USB port (preferably in the glovebox) (see Using Dashcam).

If you want Sentry Mode to automatically turn on every time you leave your vehicle, touch Controls > Sentry Mode > On. There are three additional settings for customization:

  • Exclude Home: Sentry Mode does not operate at the location you set as Home in your favorites list (see Home, Work, and Favorite Destinations), but operates at any other parking location.

NOTE: To set up your Home location, touch Navigate and hold down Home, then enter your address. Touch Save as Home.

  • Exclude Work: Sentry Mode does not operate at the location you set as Work in your Favorites list, but operates at any other parking location. Set your Work location the same way you set your Home location.
  • Exclude Favorites: Sentry Mode does not operate at any location in your Favorites list, but activates at any other parking location.

NOTE: To recognize a location listed as Home, Work, or a Favorite, Model S must be parked within 32 feet (10 meters) of the saved location.

NOTE: Sentry Mode will not record video when Dashcam is OFF.

To manually turn Sentry Mode on or off for the current drive cycle, touch Controls > Sentry.

Manually turning Sentry Mode on or off using the touchscreen or the mobile app overrides your Home, Work, or Favorite exclusion preferences until the next time you drive.

Alternatively, you can use voice commands or the Tesla mobile app. To enable Sentry Mode using voice commands, say "Keep Tesla safe," "Keep my car safe," "Sentry on," or "Enable Sentry" (see Voice Commands).

Sentry Mode requires your Battery to be at least 20% charged. If the Battery falls below 20%, Sentry Mode turns off and the mobile app sends you a notification. Power consumption may increase when Sentry Mode is active.

NOTE: Software updates cannot be installed when Sentry Mode is turned on.

CAUTION: Do not rely on Sentry Mode to protect Model S from all possible security threats. While it may help deter some threats, no security system can prevent all attacks.

To view Sentry Mode footage, see Viewing Video Recordings.

Standby, Alert, and Alarm States

While in Sentry Mode, Model S may shift through three states as a response to its surroundings-Standby, Alert, and Alarm:

  • Standby. Model S is automatically "on standby" when you activate Sentry Mode. The cameras constantly monitor the surrounding area for possible security threats.
  • Alert. If Sentry Mode detects a possible threat, such as someone very close to, or leaning on, Model S, Sentry Mode switches to the Alert state, where:
    • Headlights briefly flicker.
    • The touchscreen displays a message indicating that cameras are recording.
    • Sentry Mode saves the most recent 10 minutes of footage prior to the triggered event to the USB flash drive (if available and installed).
  • Alarm. For major threats, Sentry Mode:
    • Activates the security alarm and the audio system generates a loud and unexpected sound.
    • Sends an alert to the mobile app on phones that are paired to Model S to inform you that the alarm state is triggered.
    • Saves the most recent 10 minutes of footage prior to the triggered event to the USB flash drive (if available and installed).
    • Returns to the Standby state after 30 seconds.

To silence the security alarm and audio system when the Alarm state is triggered, navigate to Controls > Safety > Disable Sentry Sounds. When enabled, the Alarm state still sends a notification through the mobile app and saves the last 10 minutes footage.

CAUTION: Sentry Mode may not activate the security alarm in all situations involving damage to the vehicle. Sentry Mode uses many factors to determine whether to activate the security alarm-all impacts may not be detected and the alarm may not activate in all situations.

NOTE: When the internal storage reaches full capacity, new recordings from Alert and Alarm events overwrite the older recordings.

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