Model 3

Phone Key doesn't work without App running?!?!?!?

245

Comments

  • edited March 16
    Sorry to say, this seems to be an issue coming from one of the last IPhone updates. Up to last year car entryws
    as possible with bluetooth only, app not running. Sometimes this failed- that was a BT-problem. But now it is always necessary to have the app running, at least in background.
  • Thanks for all the informative posts.
    I came to the forum hoping to find out why I no longer was able to open door and just drive without needing to open app.
    I, too, close apps when not using them and enjoyed not needing the app running in the background to get in and drive my Model 3.
    Not a big fan of updates, they mess things up more than fix
    My motto; If it works, Don't fix it"
  • edited November -1
    It was always necessary to run the app in the background for the phone key to work. Whatever changed, that isn't it.
  • edited November -1
    There are a lot of definitive statements being made here about whether the app needs to be running or not. Consider my experience: My wife and I both have the same iPhone 6S. I have made sure the Tesla app settings for both phones are the same. My phone allows me to unlock the car with the app closed. My wife's phone will not unlock the car unless the app is running.
  • edited June 1
    The app needs to be running and pointing to the right vehicle if you have multiple cars registered.
  • edited June 1
    I have only one car registered. On my iPhone 6S I can see the Bluetooth connection to the car (a string of numbers and letters) is always connected, even though I have force closed the Tesla app. On my wife's iPhone 6S I see the same Bluetooth connection is connected only when the Tesla app is open....when I force close her Tesla app, the Bluetooth connection disconnects. I am unable to find any difference in the settings between the two phones. I wonder it it might be as simple as the fact that my phone was the first phone to be registered with the car.
  • edited June 1
    Get a passive entry key fob and be done with it. Frankly it has more to do with the car than phones. If you go through the full car & phone, delete, reset and reinstall it usually works better for awhile. I got so tired of pulling on the stupid door handle with no results I got the fob and would never go back to the phone.
  • edited November -1
    @Family.Joules: If background app refresh is on, the app can be activated even if you force close it. The iOS background app refresh mechanism is complicated, and I’m guessing that’s why the phone key works sometimes and not others. It might also depend on what else is running on your phone at the time.
  • edited November -1
    Background app refresh is on for both phones. Does not explain why one phone consistently works with app closed while the other phone consistently works only if app is running. This seems consistent with this discussion thread that some people can unlock the car without the app running, others cannot, and still others experience intermittent behavior. It may be some obscure phone setting, but I sure have not been able to find any difference in my two phones' settings.
  • RKJRKJ
    edited June 1
    For IOS, set the Tesla App's Location Services to 'Always' instead of 'While Using the App'. That did it for me!
  • edited June 1
    Already do that, but still the problem persists on my wife's iPhone only.
  • edited June 1
    I just had mine stop working a month ago after flawless operation for 2 years. I did everything. The final solution was to delete the App AGAIN and set everything up again. Finally worked again. It could be that the Bluetooth IDs on the phone get corrupted or mismatched? Anyway, there was no way to delete the connection on the iPhone except for deleting the App (solution found on google when can’t forget Bluetooth connections).

    I recommend that you follow Tesla instructions and repeat following everything else suggested and repeat several time until it works.

    There is something wonky about Bluetooth key connections. When it works well it works well, but there are some things the software doesn’t detect and correct automatically requiring these crude solutions.

    Either put in a service request or keep on trying. It took me 3 or 4 repeated attempts to get mine to retake. After it was good, it is flawless. Unless Elon has the same issue repeatedly, it is unlikely to be resolved soon since the issue is so sporadic.
  • edited June 1
    For me, the phone key works fine with Location set to While Using App. The app doesn't do anything with your location unless you use the app, and the phone key doesn't need it.

    Doesn't hurt to try -- maybe setting Location to Always makes it easier to wake the app when it's running in the background -- but it works without that, at least for some of us.
  • edited June 22
    I can tell you there is a difference between iPhone and Android and how they work with the car. I am a mobile developer and I switch between phones all the time. I can tell you that on my iOS devices, with the app running in the background all the time, I have NEVER had the car fail to unlock or allow me to drive off. I can also tell you that with every Android device I have used over the last 2 years with my car that it almost never works to unlock the car with the app running in the background. I don't know if it's the stack the devices are using or the software driver that Android ships with but I have had no luck with Android devices and the Tesla app working consistently.
  • edited June 22
    This has been a long running discussion on the forum with only one sure solution. Buy the FOB. Trust me on this. Buy the FOB.
  • edited June 22
    Joho.keith | June 22, 2020
    This has been a long running discussion on the forum with only one sure solution. Buy the FOB. Trust me on this. Buy the FOB.

    +1
  • edited June 22
    I've had no trouble with my phone unlocking the car without the app running. I have a Pixel 4XL, as long as Bluetooth is enabled it works.
  • edited June 22
    I have never needed a fob with my phone and will never buy one.
  • edited June 22
    Fob is unnecessary especially as it costs $150! Jut use the keycard if you are worried about using phone. Most of us carry a wallet or cardholder with us if only to show DL as ID. Better that than another big lump on a keyring!
  • edited June 22
    Best $150 spent on Tesla to date. I would never go back to the unreliable phone as a key.

    So nice to just walk up and have the door open each and every time. No repeat grab and pulls, no waiting for it to sync, no taking my phone out and holding it to the pillar, no taking my wallet out to get the card key to hold it to the pillar, no getting in the car and having to take the card key out again and put it on the console. Like non-Tesla fanatics have clearly stated get the passive entry key fob. Best $150 you will spend.
  • edited June 22
    @Howard If you think I am a Tesla 'fanatic' then you don't read many of my posts! I am merely trying to save fellow forum member $150 on a pointless device. The only reason Tesla sell it is for people who seem to need extra reassurance moving into a digital world, likely older people. Your experience was maybe not good but the vast, VAST majority of users have no issues whatsoever with their phone or keycard. If it was an issue then the Tesla interwebs would be awash with it....it isn't! I'm glad you enjoy your fob and it works for you...but even you must recognize, you are in an absolute tiny minority.
  • edited June 22
    Have you considered that perhaps some Teslas have different or perhaps marginally defective hardware. I suspect it has more to do with some kind of buffers or registrations. It has been my experience that doing the full car phone delete reset reinstall would have my phone work fairly well for a while then I would need to do it again. A lot of others offer this solution as well. The VAST majority just live with the occasional inconvenience. I do not. I had no idea $150 was such a big sacrifice to have something be 100% reliable. Glad you have a perfect phone and car connection. Why don’t you give those of us who don’t the courtesy of buying a very cheep fix without be ridiculed for it. This forum is just over the top with stupid Tesla protectionism. $150 really.
  • edited June 22
    @Howard...Stupid Tesla Protectionism? Er, Howard, its Tesla that sell these fobs! They aren't 3rd party! LOL! I am merely stating that likely lots of people don't want another lump attached to their keyring. I sure as hell don't! I carry no keys at all and never want to go back to bulging pockets of metal. We all carry wallets I'm sure? And I'm not ridiculing you, just stating a very likely reason that Tesla even offer this fob...I don't reckon many digitally savvy younger people would ever consider this item.
  • edited June 22
    I do not have faith in phones to be my key as the phone itself might be extremely reliable, but the apps are not. Guaranteed software updates for only 2 years, and just about every app in the history of forever gets new awesome bugs with each app store update, with the addition of phone bugs with each software update. I will be getting a FOB with my cybertruck, so long as they are going to be sold, or perhaps Tesla will have another solution.

    I thought the FOB was $500. But give the devil its due, howard is actually right on this that not only are the cars not created all equally, but phones tend to not work properly every single time when bluetooth, an app, and running in background processes are involved.
  • edited June 23
    Andy

    +1 ^
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