Model 3

Car now unlocks without Tesla app running

I don't usually keep the Tesla app running on my phone as I usually only drive on weekends. I went out to my car on Saturday opened the door and drove away. Later I realized that I hadn't started the app up first. I did some experimenting and found that as long as the phone is paired with the car and in close proximity that it will work as a key. This seems to be a fairly new behavior and I like it. Now I only need to start the app up if I want to preheat the car or do some other remote function. Has anybody else noticed this?

Comments

  • edited February 2019
    This is the way it has been since I got mine in December? It has a mini app that runs on the phone all the time, you probably just didn’t know. That would be horrible to have to wait about two minutes everytime for that app to start. I’d just used the card instead then.
  • edited February 2019
    I don’t know if that’s actually new behavior. The manual doesn’t say the app has to be running in order to use the phone key, and it shouldn’t be necessary since the car is using Bluetooth to detect the phone key. The manual does say that you have to remain logged into the app, but that might just be during the set up process.
  • edited November -1
    The problem is with people who have multiple cars. The app needs to be looking at the particular 3 for it to unlock with the phone.
  • edited February 2019
    @Bighorn has it pretty close. It is actually a bit more complex than that - although he is spot on if you have multiple Model 3 vehicles and likely if you just have a 3 and say an X or an S. If you have, like we do, an S and a 3, and Tesla / Solar City solar, then you have to periodically switch it to the 3, then you can switch it back to the solar. Then the little T icon will be in the Android notifications for several days. Seems to be about 5 days or so. After several days it will disappear - and it will then no longer auto unlock the vehicle. I then have to switch to the Model 3 for a moment and back to the solar and it will again work as a key for several days for the Model 3. It doesn't have to be constantly set to look at the Model 3.

    Of course when you want to use the "Send to car" feature to send an address to the vehicle's NAV, it doesn't work very well when the app is pointed to your solar. I have done that several times to my chagrin.
  • edited November -1
    @jerry
    If I switch over to the S to turn on the heat remotely, my 3 will not open until I swipe back to it in the app. There’s no active refractory period.
  • edited February 2019
    I very rarely have the Tesla App running and my doors unlock and I can drive. Your cellphone is paired to the vehicle via bluetooth so the app doesn't have to be running.
  • edited February 2019
    If you pone is set up as a Key and your Bluetooth is enabled that Tesla app doesn't have to be running because it's using the Bluetooth connection. If you don't want this to happen, turn off your Bluetooth and by doing this doors will not atomically lock or unlock.
  • edited February 2019
    Even if you weren't logged into the app, you can still unlock the car. That worked out great last week, when for whatever result, I weren't able to log into the app. I was still able to drive the car.
  • edited February 2019
    @Bighorn's experience mirrors mine. But I've had several recent instances where the app was "pointing" to the M3 but the car didn't unlock. No rhyme or reason I can deign.
  • edited February 2019
    Interesting. I'm glad I finally learned this, late as it was. I'm pretty sure that there had been times in the distant past when it would not open until I started the app. With the app running it worked 100% I'll keep the app off from now on and see how it does.

    I have never had two minute wait times for the app to connect. Usually around 30 seconds or less. I'd start it on Saturday morning and leave it running all weekend. Now I'll have to find some way to use all my newly freed up time :)
  • edited February 2019
    I'm pretty sure its always been like that. I don't 'open' my app to get in my car. The phone is in my pocket and I just walk up and open the door.
  • edited February 2019
    Just to be clear, I didn't open the app to get in the car, I just had the app running in the background and left my phone in my pocket.
  • edited February 2019
    Just to be clear, the door unlocking and driving of the car works through Bluetooth connection, the app works through cellular connection, no need to have the app open to access or drive the car.
  • edited February 2019
    When I say that my [phone as key works flawlessly, it is coming from an owner of a single Tesla. Maybe when the Tesla pickup comes out I can see how the app works with multiple Teslas....
  • edited February 2019
    Sorry man but that’s the way it’s always been.
  • edited February 2019
    After 5 years with an S and 9 months with a 3, I honestly think TESLA made a mistake relying on smartphones for so much of the user experience. My iPhone works 95% of the time to unlock which is OK but the S system never failed in 5 years. Any other car I’ve ever owned never failed. I wonder how it will be 7-8 years from now with new phone Bluetooth hardware implententations and new phone software. Phone tech moves rapidly, the car hardware will be static. The lack of satellite radio is another miss for me. When cell coverage is spotty, streaming stops. The XM in the S works almost everywhere except underground. I’m a very satisfied 3 owner but I understanding that every car has some areas of improvement. I’ve learned to live with the misses in this car like I have with every other car (S included). Maybe version 2 of model 3 will incorpotate our feedback.
  • edited February 2019
    We have two Model 3's. I haven't ever tried walking up to the car with the app not running, but I can verify that if the app is running, it will not unlock a Model 3 if it is pointing to the other Model 3. This happens by accident quite often (after pre-warming spouse's vehicle for example) so I have many data points to confirm it.
  • edited February 2019
    I have one Tesla Model 3. I ran a simple experiment with iPhone Xs max as follows:
    Closes all running apps including Tesla app.
    Reboot iPhone.
    Tesla will not open.
    (checked bluetooth settings and observed that there were no encrypted bluetooth keys connected).
    Launch app.
    Can immediately unlock car and I did observe that encrypted bluetooth keys were connected.

    I re-ran the above experiment with cellular and wifi disabled (i.e. app has no ability to connect to internet).
    When the app was launched the car could immediately be opened.

    Like the OP, I too have observed that the phone key can unlock the car when the app is not running. Apparently rebooting the phone wipes the car keys from volatile memory until the app is relaunched. I'm glad internet connectivity is not required to reload the car keys.
  • edited June 2019
    Hope you all can help. The scenario you describe is exactly what I've experience since I got my M3 in Sep 2018. Worked perfectly EVERY time...never needed the app running.

    UNTIL the last update. Now most of the time the car does NOT unlock unless the app is running. This is a real setback from the previous functionality. Am I alone? Is anyone else having this issue?

    I logged out of the app, uninstalled it from iPhone, rebooted phone, cleared bluetooth from the Tesla and restarted the Tesla. Then downloaded the app re-paired everything. Not change. Almost every time I need to unlock the car I have to pull my phone out and start the app. I don't want to keep apps running on my phone and should not/did not need to in the past.

    FYI...for the app I turned on Background App Refresh hoping that would help...no joy. Any advice? Has anyone had and fixed this issue since the last update 2019.16.2 ?
  • edited July 13
    Same problem here as Jack. Phone app must be opened in order to start car or open door.
    Any suggestions on how to fix anyone?
  • edited July 13
    Same for me as well, have had my car since September 2019 and car door would open every time with iPhone in pocket. Starting a few weeks ago, I have to grab phone, open app, wait a sec or two, then the door will open. Frustrating. Haven’t changed anything on phone. I just installed new OS last week but still doing it.
  • edited November -1
    This is an issue that seems to defy resolution, as it could be a phone issue, a Tesla issue, or a Bluetooth issue, and it is doubtful that any of those entities will take ownership of the problem. Despite what the manual says or what some Tesla owners say, this is a real issue that does not seem to be consistent among Tesla owners or even from dya to day for a given owner. In my situation, my iPhone always opens the door whether the app is running or not, and my wife's identical iPhone never opens the door unless the app is running. I have checked and double-checked that both phone have identical settings (Tesla > Location > Always, and Tesla > Background App Refresh).
  • edited July 13
    I got a new IPhone for my wife yesterday and she had this problem this morning. She had to open the App to get it to connect by Blue Tooth. You would think that Tesla would have technical personal monitoring these Forums and provide answers for these recurrent issues.
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