There are a number of reasons why your Tesla is not charging at home. In this article, we’ll look at the reasons why and how to get you motoring again.
A faulty charger is a common cause of a Tesla that refuses to charge at home. Other causes include a faulty outlet, circuit board fault, and a Tesla error.
You think your Tesla has been happily charging all night but to your horror, you go out in the morning and it’s either flat or barely charged at all. How annoying! Let’s look at why this may be and how to fix it.
Check Your Charger
The first go-to solution is your charger. Is there power? When the charger is working correctly the connector’s green lights will all be on and no red light is showing. We’ll look at all the light configurations in a moment.
- If no lights are showing, then there is no power getting through and you need to check your outlet.
- For any number of reasons, your connector may no longer be plugged in. Someone else needed the outlet, and unplugged your charger, or someone may have tugged on the cable and loosened it from the outlet.
- If this is the case, fantastic news, plug it back in. You’re just going to be late to wherever you were going. If this is not the case you need to check a bit deeper. Is there power going to the outlet?
- The power may be out in your house or a circuit may have tripped.
- Go to your circuit board and check if everything is in order. If it isn’t, flick the trip switch. If it trips again there is an overload or a fuse problem.
Go back to where your outlet is and have a look around to see what else might be plugged in. It’s possible that there is too much drain on that circuit. Try and unplug them and check again if your charger will work. If it does, then consider if the other plugged-in items are important. Do they need to be plugged in all the time? If they do, you will have to consider hiring an electrician to add a separate circuit for your Tesla charger.
If this isn’t the case then unplug your cable and bring it to a different part of the house. This may require an extension lead. If this then lights up your charger then there is a problem with the circuit in your charging area. Again, this will require an electrician. Don’t play around with electrics unless you are certified. If this doesn’t work, then the issue is with your charging cable. You may need to purchase a new one. They are available directly from Tesla.
Cable Lights and What They Mean
As I mentioned earlier your mobile connector has a series of lights on it, and depending on what they are showing should give you an indication as to what’s going on.
|All Green||Charging||No Problems|
|Top Light Green||Power but not charging||Check car connection|
|No Green – Red Light Flashing||Unsafe Electrics||Press Reset Button|
|No Green – 2 Red Lights Flashing||Self Check Failed||Reset Required|
|No Green – 3 Red Lights Flashing||Contact Failed||Unplug and Replug|
|No Green – 4 Red Lights Flashing||Loss of Ground||Contact Electrician|
|No Green – 5 Red Lights Flashing||Circuit Break||Check Outlet|
|No Green – 6 Red Lights Flashing||Heat Fault||Move Charging to a Cooler Place|
|More than 6 Red Lights Flashing||Faulty Connector||Contact Tesla|
|No Lights||No Power||Check Power|
We’ve covered most of ‘What to Do’ with each flashing light. The only one I’ll mention further is 6 Red Lights Flashing.
Tesla is somewhat sensitive to hot and cold climates. That’s not to say you can’t drive one in a snowy state or the desert but it does affect your charging. You are advised not to charge below -10°C and above +50°C. The same is to be said for your connector cable. If your temperature is below or above the required range it may not charge successfully.
Superchargers on a Regular Basis
Superchargers are Tesla’s gift to the nation. Well not quite, but compared to other EV charging networks you can see why Elon is the leader of the pack.
Superchargers may be the cause of your charging (or lack of) at home. The majority of Tesla owners charge their cars at home and rarely at a Supercharger. However, you may have had some extra trips or not had access to your home connector.
For whatever reason, you may have been Supercharging more than normal. Although it’s not damaging to your battery, it’s not something that Tesla recommends. Tesla recommends daily charging at home. Depending on the model you have you may be getting a warning if you are excessively Supercharging. It’s a software feature to protect your battery.
Limited Time or Set Time
This may be a possible reason for your car not to have charged enough or at all. There is the option to set a specific time for when you want your car to charge.
Schedule charging is set up in the Controls – Charging – Schedule Charging.
This may not have worked for a number of reasons. No power is available at the scheduled time. Tesla may not have been plugged in at this time, ie you may have been out driving. This will result in no charging for your scheduled time. The time limit set to charge may also not have happened for the same reasons or the limit set was not sufficient in length to charge your car.
Check Your Ports
It’s important that you regularly check your ports, both on the connector, at the outlet, and on your car. You should make it a habit. What are you looking for? Any kind of debris, fluff, leaves, bugs. Anything that shouldn’t be there needs to be removed before you plug it in. If there is anything there a full connection will not be made and can cause damage to the ports.
- If you live in a cold or very humid climate you need to regularly check for corrosion.
- Corrosion doesn’t go away, if you spot it you need to talk to Tesla about it.
Your car may still be charging but not fully, or intermittently. Do not clean the port with any kind of cleaning solution. If you feel it needs to be cleaned, unplug everything and clean very gently with a dry soft brush or a cotton bud. The key thing is to not introduce any further particles.
Reset Your Tesla
If you have tried all the above and still have charging issues you can try a Reset.
- Put your car in Park
- Press both scroll buttons on the steering wheel
- The interior screen will go black and the Tesla logo will reappear
- This process will take no longer than 3 minutes
You may have just needed an update to get things back on track.
However if all the above has had no effect and your car is still not charging you may be having battery issues. This is not a problem that can be fixed by you but only by Tesla. Your car is covered under warranty for 8 years or 150,000 miles. Hopefully, your car is within this window. It’s worth logging a call to Tesla on 1 (888) 518-3752 to schedule a visit. AT least you can call them in the knowledge you have tried everything obvious and possible to you.
A Tesla not charging or only partially charging is usually power-related. No power, or intermittent power due to bad circuits or bad connectors. Almost always sorted by doing a thorough power check.
You may find the following posts helpful:
Can I drive Tesla with the trunk open? (external link evjuicedup.com)
Tesla not waking up (external link evjuicedup.com)
Can I push start a Tesla? (external link evjuicedup.com)
What to do if Tesla has a flat? (external link evjuicedup.com)
- About the Author
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John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on Rustyautos.com. He’s been a mechanic for over twenty-five years and has worked for GM, Volvo, Volkswagen, Land Rover, and Jaguar dealerships.
John uses his know-how and experience to write fluff-free articles that help fellow gearheads with all aspects of vehicle ownership, including maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting.