Tesla's Latest Software Update 2023.26 Adds More Features to 'Service Mode'

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla has added more health checks to its Service Mode
Tesla has added more health checks to its Service Mode
Not a Tesla App

On the heels of the previous updates Service Mode, Tesla is back with more features in update 2023.26.

Thanks to reader NinerByNature, we have a look at some new Service Mode health checks. The additions to service mode include tests for the steering wheel stalks, the low-voltage battery, airbags and other vehicle diagnostics.

Airbags Diagnostics

The new 'Airbags Screen' is the first upgrade. Here, users can check the status and availability of all vehicle airbags. This includes Tesla's newer far-side airbag, which helps prevent front passengers from colliding against each other. The diagnostic screen will display the location of each airbag and state whether it's operational or if there are known faults.

Tesla has added more health checks to its Service Mode
Tesla has added more health checks to its Service Mode
Not a Tesla App

Steering Wheel and Stalks Checks

The new 'Steering Wheel and Stalks' service is particularly useful for troubleshooting. With it you can verify the functionality of various key components like stalks, scroll wheels, steering wheel, parking brake, and horn, ensuring smooth operations and minimizing the chance of unexpected issues on the road.

Low-Voltage Battery

The low-voltage battery reading feature offers detailed data, including voltage, charge level, and current. These details let you check on the health of your low-voltage battery and potentially replace it preemptively before it becomes an issue. Most of the vehicle's electronics are run off of the low voltage battery, and a non-working battery could leave you stranded.

Camera Pitch Verification

Tesla has added more health checks to its Service Mode
Tesla has added more health checks to its Service Mode
Not a Tesla App

Last but not least, this update appears to allow you to verify the pitch of each of the vehicle's cameras. This is presumably used to verify whether the camera pitch needs to be adjusted, either physically or through Tesla's automated camera calibration feature.

Earlier today we reported on some 2023 vehicle models being recalled due to the front cameras being misaligned, and this feature likely helps diagnose those issues. The cameras play a critical role in the vehicle's functions, so it's paramount that they're aimed and functioning properly.

Building on Previous Service Mode Improvements

These updates build on the momentum set by the previously released service mode updates. Looking back at our June report, we noted Tesla's significant strides in refining its Service Mode. The update introduced diagnostic screens for seat belts, the HVAC system, and a unique feature for calibrating auto-appearing door handles on the Model S. The seat belt service menu provided a detailed visual of the safety equipment's interaction with the restraint control module (RCM), creating an additional safety-check tool for owners.

The HVAC system visualization offered an immersive understanding of the vehicle's climate control. Additionally, door handle calibration, specific to the Model S, allowed individual calibrations for these handles. Even though Service Mode was designed primarily for technicians, the detailed insights provided were a boon for owners who sought to troubleshoot and calibrate their vehicles effectively, provided they understood the implications of their adjustments. These features marked another incremental step in improving Tesla's Service Mode, setting the stage for the even more impressive updates in their latest release.

Tesla Targets Sentry Mode Vampire Drain: Upcoming Update to Slash Power Use by 40%

By Kevin Armstrong
Sentry Mode Update is Coming
Sentry Mode Update is Coming

In an exchange on X, Drew Baglino, Tesla’s Senior Vice President of Powertrain and Energy Engineering, addressed the concerns regarding the power consumption of Tesla’s Sentry Mode. Responding to a user inquiry, Baglino confirmed the company’s commitment to reducing the feature's energy use by approximately 40% through a software update expected in Q2, which begins on April 1.

This announcement follows feedback from Tesla owners regarding the 'vampire drain' experienced when using Sentry Mode, highlighting Tesla's responsive approach to customer feedback and its dedication to continuous improvement. Another X user stated that there should be a breakdown or battery usage. This information already exists, but Baglino politely responded: The energy app provides a wealth of information about where your energy goes. He also linked to our Not a Tesla App article explaining that system.

Understanding the Drain of Sentry Mode

Sentry Mode is an advanced security feature for Tesla vehicles, leveraging the car’s cameras and sensors to monitor and record surroundings for potential threats when parked. Sentry Mode has proven invaluable for vehicle security by activating various deterrents, including pulsing headlights and alarm sounds.

Despite its benefits, the feature’s energy consumption, referred to as “vampire drain,” has been a concern, with estimates suggesting a small yet consistent drain on the vehicle's battery life. By optimizing Sentry Mode's power usage, Tesla enhances the feature's efficiency and extends the usability for owners, particularly when parking for extended periods without access to charging facilities.

Battery Management: Recognizing the importance of battery preservation, Sentry Mode automatically deactivates when the battery level falls to 20%, ensuring that the vehicle remains operational for essential travel.

Activation and Customization: Owners can activate Sentry Mode via the vehicle's touchscreen or mobile app, with options to customize settings, such as disabling sounds or excluding specific locations, tailoring the security feature to individual preferences and requirements.

Tesla's forthcoming software update aims to significantly reduce Sentry Mode's power usage, making it more adaptable for various situations without impacting the car's range or battery longevity. This enhancement aligns with Tesla's commitment to continuous improvement via over-the-air updates, directly responding to customer feedback with practical solutions. Owners looking forward to this change appreciate the balance between maintaining Sentry Mode's security benefits and preserving battery life for everyday needs.

Tesla Adds 'Rose Gold' Cybertruck Wrap and Two Other New Colors

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla now offers Cybertruck wraps in five colors
Tesla now offers Cybertruck wraps in five colors

Remember when there was concern that the appeal of a Cybertruck would die down because there would be too many stainless steel beasts on the road? True story. If there was a concern, it appears to have been handled with wraps; not only Tesla’s wraps but more customized wraps are showing up on social media daily.

More Tesla Wraps

Firstly, Tesla has expanded its palette of Cybertruck wrap options, introducing three vibrant new colors. The chic Satin Rose Gold, the deep Satin Abyss Blue, and the sleek Slip Grey are joined in the lineup alongside the classic Satin Stealth Black and Satin Ceramic White. However, several Cybertruck owners are not waiting for Tesla wraps as more unique Cybertruck wraps are showing up on social media.

Priced at $6,000, while the newly introduced Satin Rose Gold and Satin Abyss Blue wraps are slightly pricier at $6,500. This differentiation in pricing reflects the unique appeal and quality of the new wrap colors.

Tesla outlines several key features and advantages of their Cybertruck color paint film, including:

  • A self-healing, urethane-based film that is significantly more durable and twice as thick as the average vinyl wrap, ensuring superior protection against scratches.

  • An environmentally friendly alternative to traditional vinyl wraps, covering all exterior stainless-steel surfaces of the Cybertruck, enhancing its aesthetic appeal and resilience.

Customized Wraps are Taking Off

Since Tesla wraps were introduced, the company has been criticized for the price point being far too high, while consumers can go to other wrap companies and get their own customized look. Even the unique wraps spotted on the Cybertruck before the delivery event are unavailable. But that is not stopping consumers.

It was after Investor Day in 2023 that Morgan Stanley's managing director, Adam Jonas, a well-known figure within the investment community and someone who has been dubbed a Tesla Bull. Jonas outlined several reasons why he believed the Cybertruck might not fulfill the grand visions held by Elon Musk and the Tesla team, describing it as potentially becoming a "financial side-show," a marker of cultural zeitgeist, and a niche product for enthusiasts.

Jonas argued that the Cybertruck, with its avant-garde design, might not align with this broader affordability mission. He believed that the unique aspects of Cybertruck would be lost and that "indescribable something," when several were on the street,

Yet, the landscape around the Cybertruck and Tesla's position within it has continued to evolve. Contrary to concerns, the burgeoning market for custom and aftermarket wraps for the Cybertruck tells a different story. This vibrant ecosystem of personalization options highlights the vehicle's position as a mode of transportation and a canvas for individual expression.

The concern that the uniqueness of the Cybertruck could diminish with its popularity overlooks the creative solutions that owners and enthusiasts have embraced. From bespoke wraps that offer myriad designs outside of Tesla's offerings to the DIY spirit that has taken hold among the Cybertruck community, it's clear that individuality remains a cornerstone of the Cybertruck experience.

Latest Tesla Update

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

More Tesla News

Subscribe

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Sponsors

Find out how to become a sponsor and have your site listed here.

Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

Latest Tesla Update

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

Subscribe

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.