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Phone key, automatic unlock?

Phone key, automatic unlock?

Got my Model 3 about 36 hours ago (yay) and love it so far. One thing that has not yet worked though, is the automatic unlock via the iPhone. I have the "Phone key" connected and setup, and I can unlock the car by tapping unlock in the iPhone app. But the thing where the car just unlocks as I come close to it, does not work, nothing happens and I have to bring up my key or open the app to unlock. I have bluetooth on always on the phone.

The delivery guy told me it could take a little while for that feature to start working, but will it take several days?

jamey.winchester | 17 juli 2018

To be clear, when you walk up to the car and push in the fat part of the handle, it does not unlock? This is how it is supposed to work now. It does not unlock by just being near, you have to try opening the door.

jvcesare | 17 juli 2018

Is Bluetooth turned on in your phone? The app buttons works via TCP IP, the walk up unlock works via Bluetooth. Also, does the app show "Connected" under Phone Key?

hoffmannjames | 17 juli 2018

You have to physically press the handle to unlock the car. Basically, approach the car while it is locked (side mirrors are folded in) and press the handle to open the door anyway. The mirrors should fold out, the door should pop open and the screen should start as soon as you open the door.

The car will no longer automatically unlock simply by you approaching the car. That was a security change since it would be too easy for someone to take advantage of the car unlocking when you are not in it yet.

lindgren.per | 17 juli 2018

Ohhh I actually didn't even try to open the door :I, thanks guys!

edroot | 17 juli 2018

I have about a 90% success rate with iPhoneX to unlock the car with bluetooth.

jamey.winchester | 17 juli 2018

lindgren - to be fair, they should have demonstrated and explained this to you when you picked up your car. Glad we could help!

hokiegir1 | 17 juli 2018

If my car is in a deep sleep (been more than about 10 minutes since i drove it last), I sometimes have to press the handle to wake it up....then wait a few seconds (you'll hear some sounds as it wakes), then press again for the door to open. Sometimes, doing this, the screen will say to use the card. THat's usually my clue that it's good to try again. :)

I've also noticed that the bluetooth field is REALLY short. For example, if my phone is in my purse on my shoulder away from the car, that is sometimes too far and i have to turn my body to bring it closer (or take my purse off my shoulder). Same goes for phone in back pocket versus front pocket. You wouldn't expect this to make a difference, but it does seem to. When I pay attention to all of this, I have about a 99% success rate. Without paying attention, I'm about 85% on the first try. ;)

Joho.keith | 17 juli 2018

I’ve had my 3 for 10 days and noticed a few issues with the keyless entry. The iPhone unlocking does not seem to work if you don’t have cell reception like in a parking garage. I needed to use the card to open the door even though the Bluetooth showed the phone was connected to the car. When I first set up the phone key at delivery, it was before Bluetooth pairing so the unlocking is via cellular connection to the car.
I used the card to open the car in my garage (phone wasn’t with me) and I noticed that the car does not lock itself if you don’t drive it. So if you go back to your car to get something out of your car in a parking lot and walk away, the car will remain open.

jvcesare | 17 juli 2018

@Joho.keith You should re-pair and re-setup your phone key. Also make sure your walk away lock option is enabled.

Joho.keith | 17 juli 2018

Once the cell signal was back, closing the app and restarting the app restored phone key function. It didn’t restore by itself. Bluetooth worked fine. No need to unpair and repair. Walk away lock is enabled and works if you drive the card after opening with the card. Auto lock works without driving if you use the phone key.

Joho.keith | 17 juli 2018

It reminds me of the very first software versions of the S in 2013. They haven’t anticipated all of the permutations for use of the phone key and card combinations.

hellojohnny | 17 juli 2018

Try turning on "Background App Refresh" to see if that helps with the bluetooth and app connecting to the vehicle.

It's under General > Background App Refresh > Turn on and select the Tesla App

Hope this helps!

Joho.keith | 17 juli 2018

App refresh was and is on. The behavior is reproducible so it’s the software. They’ll fix it at some point.

maki94118 | 24 juli 2018

The phone key acts up at times. Try restarting your phone. Tesla also recommend carrying your key fob just in case.

sack_stanford.edu | 24 juli 2018

My spouse has this problem with his Model 3: car doesn't always unlock when he presses the handle. He estimates it fails about 20% of the time. I can't wait until we get to the CA rainy season and that 20% is in a downpour!

I called support; they said to go to the service center and ask for Todd, the "driveway technician"
We went to the Palo Alto Service Center and asked for Todd. He was busy, so another fellow "helped" us: he told us 20% was about "normal". I said, you mean it doesn't work? I mean, if my servers had 80% uptime, my customers would flee!

Finally, Todd is free and says there is a problem with iPhone that when it turns off it doesn't wake up when you approach the car, sometimes. He suggested that we turn on the phone when walking up to the car. Eg. press the power button, or the home button to wake the phone up. And set the phone to 5 minutes to screen lock.

We're trying that to see if it works better (99.99% will do...).

MiloTrip | 25 september 2018

@sack_stanford.edu - I have only had my 3 a few weeks but can already say with confidence that the car 'wakes up' better if my phone's screen is up when I get in the car. Todd is right, although I am not sure that's all 'the iphone's fault'. I can approach and enter my car and the car's screen will remain off. I hit the break: no change. I put it in reverse: I can actually back up. I hit the home button on my phone: the car's screen turns on.

dalesmith1962 | 25 september 2018

I’ve had my car since 6/23. My iPhone 7 has only failed once to unlock my car. The phone needed a reboot.

dalesmith1962 | 25 september 2018

@MiloTrip, I’ve had the same issue where my car unlocks, I get in, press the brake, put the car in reverse, start driving, and then the screen comes on.

It happened three of four times in a one week span back in July. And happened once in August. Not since.

ICEMELT | 20 november 2018

What does 'Walk up to' really mean? If its Bluetooth, does it detect increasing signal strength?

What if the car is parked in the driveway which is less than 10 ft from the last room? Does that mean if the phone is in the room and Bluetooth connected, any stranger can walk up and drive the car away? I understand that the Bluetooth connection is not advertised.

rpc_in_va | 20 november 2018

My phone has to get within a few feet of the car before the Auto Unlock works, and I think it was less than 10’. I’ve seen a comment that there are three Bluetooth transceivers in the car, given that there are the three “ghost” connections listed under the phone’s Bluetooth config (iPhone 8). While not necessarily verified, it would explain how the car can determine the location of the phone via triangulation.

CorkChop | 20 november 2018

@Joho.keith "iPhone unlocking does not seem to work if you don’t have cell reception like in a parking garage"

So I hate to spoil your hypthoesis but cell reception has ZERO to do with unlocking your car.

From the online manual at https://www.tesla.com/support/model-3#phone-key-and-key-card: "A paired Phone Key uses Bluetooth frequencies instead of a network connection to communicate with your Model 3. This means that if you’re parked in an underground parking garage with no cell signal on either your phone or your car, you can still lock, unlock, and start your vehicle without issue. "

gballant4570 | 20 november 2018

You don't need walk away locking enabled for your phone auto unlock to work - or at least I don't. I have Android rather than iphone, but the auto unlock has worked flawlessly every time - over about six weeks....

CorkChop | 20 november 2018

@gballant4570 Yes, but I think they are using the Key Card. If you dont have your phone or you didnt use the Phone Key and you use the card, then you have to remember to tap the card onthe B-pilar when you leave it or it will stay unlocked.

carl | 20 december 2018

How do I unlock ONLY the driver’s door?

Carl and Barb

gwleong | 21 december 2018

My 3 has trouble unlocking the trunk upon walk up. Doors unlock fine. Have to open a door then the trunk will unlock when the button on the trunk us pressed.
Anyone else have this problem?
Worked fine for about 3 weeks of ownership then maybe 90% fail during the past week.

CorkChop | 21 december 2018

"But the thing where the car just unlocks as I come close to it, does not work, nothing happens and I have to bring up my key or open the app to unlock"

The car will not unlock as you approach. Press the door handle and it will unlock. Read the manual.

jefedezorros | 19 juli 2019

My phone key worked flawlessly when I first got the car mid June. Then a few days ago I changed my Tesla account email address (long story.. I set up an account then Tesla created a new one when I paid the deposit with ApplePay under a different email address).
I didn’t think about it but that actually logged me out of the app (makes sense now) and removed my phone key. And I was at work and forgot to bring a card with me. Luckily I could get logged back in and unlock and remote start from the app to drive home. Once there I grabbed a card and repaired my phone.
But ever since it just hasn’t worked the same. Often I try to open the door and it doesn’t know I’m there. If I unlock my phone then it works.

Joshan | 19 juli 2019

make sure to delete you phone out of the car and pair it again from the start. Also REBOOT YOUR PHONE. This really does work....

Penny_Witt | 19 juli 2019

I have had my Tesla 3 since last September 2018 and love it, but for the last 2 weeks I can't get my bluetooth to lock, unlock and start my car. I have tried reboot, checked my tether (android), checked the connection on the tesla (sometimes this has been off), but in the end, it keeps asking for my card. I am about ready to do a service appointment which is a 60 mile drive one way and requires time off during the week. Anyone have suggestions.

hokiegir1 | 19 juli 2019

@Penny - Is your phone in a bag or pocket? Sometimes that can prevent a good connection...particularly if your body is between the bag and the car. Also, see if the service center can do a mobile service instead of you taking the car in to them. They can even come to your work, so you don't have to take time off.