How to Set Up Your Tesla Sentry Mode for Garage Security

How to Set Up Your Tesla Sentry Mode for Garage Security

Having Sentry Mode enabled while your Tesla is in the garage turns your vehicle into a garage security camera. Tesla has so many unique features that make life easier, both inside your car and outside. 

To set up your Tesla Sentry Mode, you’ll need to load the software to a USB drive. Then you can put the flash drive in your car and use it to keep video footage of what goes on in and around your Tesla vehicle.

Once you have your sentry mode set up, your garage can have its own personal security system to keep watch for any intruders as long as it isn’t too large of a garage. However, there’s some mystery around how to set up your Tesla Sentry Mode. Keep reading to for simple directions on how to set up your Tesla Sentry Mode.

How to Set Up Your Tesla Sentry Mode for Garage Security

Tesla really does think of everything when it comes to daily conveniences. With Sentry Mode, there’s no more wondering what’s going on around your car while you’re away. 

  1. Find your favorite 64 GB USB drive
  2. Insert your new USB into your PC and navigate to its folder.
  3. Click on “Drive Tools” and then “Format.”
  4. It would be best if you made sure the format is “FAT32”.
  5. Under the “Volume Label,” label it “TESLACAM,” It must be labeled “TESLACAM” in order for the Tesla car to recognize the USB.
  6. Make a new folder on the USB and label it “TeslaCam.”
  7. Next, eject the USB and go to your Tesla car. 
  8. Insert the USB into the USB port in your Tesla car; your car will let you know on the top of its interface that it’s dashcams are recording.
  9. The dashcams will continuously be recording while driving, and the footage will be saved in clips within the “TeslaCam” folder. There’s even an option to activate a feature that saves a clip of footage from whenever you honk your horn.
  10. To stop the dashcams from always recording, hold down the icon on the interface until it disappears.
  11. While the dashcams are recording, enable Sentry Mode by going “Settings” and then navigating to “Safety & Security.” 
  12. From there, you can enable Sentry Mode and when you want and don’t want it to be activated.
  13. To retrieve any footage after an incident, you must first start by removing the USB drive from the port inside of the Tesla car.
  14. Insert your USB drive into your PC and go to the “TeslaCam” folder.
  15. Inside of the “TeslaCam folder,” you’ll find all the clips that the vehicle ever recorded and saved.

Can I Use My Tesla Sentry Mode for Garage Security?

Sentry Mode can be used for garage security. But, it can also be used to monitor what’s going on wherever you park your car. The Sentry Mode is a really great feature as it deters anyone from damaging or attempting to steal your Tesla car while you’re away from your vehicle with the combined use of many of its many gadgets like its cameras. 

Tesla’s multiple cameras even ensure your safety in the event of an incident while on the road with recording features such as “save clip-on honk,” which has the car save its dashcam footage whenever you honk your horn.

Car thefts are a huge problem in the United States. Did you know that in 2017, it was estimated that a vehicle was stolen or attempted to be stolen every 40.8 seconds? Once Sentry Mode is activated, it enters a “standby” state and has the Tesla car’s cameras scanning the environment to detect any potential threats. 

In Sentry Mode, if a threat such as someone being too close to the car or someone is leaning on it occurs, then its “Alert” mode is activated where it begins to display a message on its interface that cameras are currently recording.

If this notification doesn’t alert the perpetrator and they do indeed attempt to break into the vehicle, then Sentry Mode will activate its “Alarm” state. 

In the “Alarm” state, the car alarm is activated, the center interface’s brightness increases, and music is played at maximum volume from the car’s speaker system. If that doesn’t scare away a perpetrator, nothing will. 

In the event of an “Alarm” state, owners will also be sent an alert to their mobile phone through the Tesla app. The owner will then be able to download a recording of the incident that begins ten minutes before the moment that a threat was detected by retrieving the video from the USB stick that was previously inserted into the Tesla car. 

There have been plenty of cases reported where Tesla’s Sentry Mode has prevented or caught thieves from breaking into cars. But, Sentry Mode has also reportedly been used to catch porch pirates that steal packages left by delivery drivers. License plates that are caught on Sentry Mode’s video footage are enough evidence to convict criminals and even recover lost items.

No more finding door dings and wondering where they came from. Sentry Mode can answer that question for you. Mystery dents on your vehicle are no longer an issue since it will all be recorded with Sentry Mode. 

When Not to Use Sentry Mode

Sentry Mode, unfortunately, drains one mile of the vehicle’s range per hour that it is activated. It’s best to be mindful of when Sentry Mode is activated, so this doesn’t happen. 

There are some other negative aspects of the Sentry Mode that go unspoken by Tesla. For one, the Sentry Mode doesn’t activate the vehicle’s interior camera, which could prove to be incredibly useful to capture more and better quality footage of perpetrators. 

Another issue is that unlike home security systems such as Ring, Tesla does not live-stream its recordings, so the footage that’s recorded must be physically retrieved from the car via USB stick. This, of course, can prove to be impossible if the car or even the USB stick is actually stolen. 

Sentry Mode also doesn’t record audio, which can prove vital if police need to identify a car theft suspect by their voice. While Sentry Mode is incredibly beneficial, it can’t prevent a crime from happening. But then again, only criminals can prevent crimes. 

Sentry Mode only gives you a recording of what happened after it occurs, so if someone does something like crucial your car, then there isn’t much you can do about it except filing a police report. 

Finally, if you’re trying to use Tesla’s Sentry Mode as the sole means of protecting your garage and its belongings, the garage itself will need to be small enough to be monitored by the Tesla cameras. Sentry Mode cannot monitor a giant garage.  

The Tesla Sentry Mode will only activate if it senses disturbances within a few feet and if you have a large garage with multiple entrances, then using your Sentry Mode to keep over your entire garage is probably not the best idea. 

Final Thoughts

Tesla Sentry Mode proves to be incredibly useful as a means of garage security, as long as your Sentry Mode is activated and working correctly. Sentry Mode is also only useful if the garage is within the viewing range of the cameras. Nonetheless, Sentry Mode is effective in capturing what goes on around your car, including the garage, which is a luxury reserved just for Tesla owners. 

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The articles here on are created by Greg, a Tesla vehicle and Tesla solar expert with nearly half a decade of hands-on experience. The information on this site is fact-checked and tested in-person to ensure the best possible level of accuracy.

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