Model 3

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

124

Comments

  • edited June 23
    Howard, should I pretend my phone doesn’t work to make you happy?
  • edited June 23
    @FishEV: no, the phone pestering me about the app using location is definitely Apple’s fault. This is a new feature of iOS 13 - you can no longer give an app “allow always” on location data without hearing about it periodically. They are trying to force apps to only access/use “sensitive” or private info when in foreground.
  • edited June 23
    My phone's connectivity to car worked all the time. The reason I chose to use key card is that my phone battery was draining faster than before I started using Tesla app / phone as car key. And I wanted to make sure car wasn't waking up throughout the day as I got near the car

    Finally, the walk away lock setting proved intrusive in my garage. So I turned that off, set the Tesla app location services to be on only with App. And just started using key card. The FOB would be even easier.

    Are either needed? No. Do my friends who have Teslas think I'm crazy? Yes.
  • edited June 23
    lbowroom | June 23, 2020
    Howard, should I pretend my phone doesn’t work to make you happy?

    No because you are clueless, or more aptly just choose to ignore the actual issue in support or your consistent fanboi efforts. To you everyone else is always to blame for anything that even slightly tarnishes Tesla in even the most insignificant way ($150 key fob no less). So my sympathies continue to be fully extended to whatever your underlying issues are.
  • edited June 24
    I use an Android smartphone and the Tesla app. It has indeed failed me twice in three months, both times in the same place where the phone had no signal.

    I followed the advice that the app gives for exactly this problem and switched the phone into airplane mode and back to normal. That immediately rectified the problem.

    I'm wondering why this happens. Can the phone not establish the phone key connection through Bluetooth alone? But be that as it may, the error rate has been 1% for me and the error was easily and quickly fixed. Not that I like this, but over the years I have got used to all kinds of high-tech things failing in various weird ways.

    What escapes me, however, is why are people recommending buying the expensive and bulky fob when the small and free or very cheap key card perfectly suffices? Should my phone really fail hard, which hasn't happened yet, why not simply pull out the key card and drive away? What am I missing here? Should I buy the fob? What for? I haven't seen any fob recommendation that was convincing.
  • edited June 24
    hgmichna | What am I missing here? Should I buy the fob? What for? I haven't seen any fob recommendation that was convincing.

    The fob is simply a personal preference. Some car/phone combinations work great others not so much. I keep the key card in my wallet which I do not want to take out each time I want to drive the car. The Tesla fob is fairly small and smooth. I don't even know it is in my pocket. I walk up to the car and pull the handle once and get in. If I forget and leave my phone in the car walking away with the fob in my pocket it locks the door. I have often forgotten my phone in the car only to realize it later and that the car was left unlocked with no warning.

    It is 100% reliable.
    More convenient than getting the card out of my wallet to unlock and lock.
    Locks the car if I accidentally leave my phone in.
    It is cheap solution if your car/phone connection does not work as well as others.
  • edited June 24
    I had the problem of having to open the Tesla app to unlock my model 3 with my phone. I then started over by forgetting Tesla on my iPhone under Bluetooth settings and forgot my phone (both under locking and Bluetooth phone) in the car. I made sure the Tesla app allowed background refreshing under general settings on the iPhone. I then paired my phone to my profile under lock setting in my model 3, accepted it on my phone. Once I saw the phone worked to unlock my car, I then paired the iPhone to the M3 Bluetooth for calling and messaging. Perhaps the order or any step was unnecessary, but it worked. I now do not have to open the Tesla app to unlock the car.
  • edited June 24
    “ No because you are clueless, or more aptly just choose to ignore the actual issue”

    The phone key works. There’sa backup key card and a fob now available, what issue am I clueless about?

    How much effort do you expend discrediting me just because I shine a light on your obvious games
  • edited June 24
    lbowroom, Please accept my sincere apologies for my angst and treatment towards you. Rest assured I will never respond to or otherwise address one of your comments or posts in the future.
  • edited June 26
    I want to thank everyone on this post for a helpful discussion. I had been having the same problem Gary described in the original post, but I hadn't thought of looking at this forum until today.

    My wife and I share our Tesla Model 3. She has never had a problem unlocking the car, even when her Tesla app has been turned off (not in the foreground or background). Until recently, I enjoyed the same easy access, but several months ago--probably about the time when Gary noticed the problem--I discovered that my phone was incapable of unlocking the car unless the app was turned on (foreground or background). Just a few minutes ago, I verified that my wife's phone could unlock the car without actively using the app, while mine still cannot.

    I've concluded from this forum discussion that the app-phone-car connection is highly idiosyncratic, and that the simplest solution for me will be to keep my Tesla app turned on, in the background. This works well.
  • edited June 26
    @Joel: If background app refresh is on, iOS might launch the app even if you've force closed it (which is the only way to "turn off" an iOS app).
  • edited June 27
    For the first year I owned my Model 3 my iPhone SE would connect to the car and unlock and start it when the app was not running. The Tesla app was a real battery hog so I force closed it after every use, and rarely used it anyway. This spring some update of the Tesla car firmware, app or Apple iOS required the app to be open in the background. It will no longer authenticate and unlock the car unless the app is running. At least the app isn't quite the battery drain is used to be so leaving it open all the time isn't as much of a problem.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
  • edited July 8
    I can confirm that the app does NOT need to be running in the background for allowing the car to open (iPhone) even with the latest official iOS installed (13.5.1) and Teslas latest software (2020.24.6.4). This works 100% and let me explain why I'm so certain and what probably causes the issues many have in this thread.

    I have had my Model 3 for a over a year and using several iPhones I've had over this time have worked flawless. Until a weeks ago. It suddenly started to not allow me to open the car and I had to open up the app and have it running in the background. Like many in this thread I instantly thought it had to do with either a recent iOS update or some of the latest Tesla software versions. I even installed everything from scratch but without luck.

    So, what is the solution then? The answer is the WIDGET. As a coincident I played around with my widgets (you know the panel that is shown when swiping from the left) and removed the Tesla widget since I rarely use it. This however resulted in that I started to have the issues explained above. So when adding back the widget to the panel everything went back to normal! Now I don't have to have the actual app open and it seems like just having the Tesla Widget enabled is enough for allowing bluetooth key to be active in the background.

    So for everyone having trouble in here, add the Widget (even if you never use it) and that will be enough to get everything to work! It has been working flawless for me now the last couple of days :-)

    Cheers and hope that it helps at least someone experience this issue!
  • edited July 8
    Another wrench in the system....

    When my Tesla App is open on my Iphone XS, but on the Powerwall page, I cannot open the car. once I swipe bag to the car page, it works. Is there a fix for this?
  • edited July 8
    @3500HDP3D: The car you want to open has to be selected in the app. Same is true if you have two Teslas.
  • edited July 8
    lukeh,

    You got me excited, but alas it doesn't work for me. I tried with the widget running, but not the app and my car would not unlock. Opened the app, and voila, the car opens. Lock the car. Close the app, try again, and nothing. Check widget which is running and connected. Launch app and car will unlock.

    I'm still stuck with the app having to be running in the background.
  • edited July 10
    Mine suddenly had this problem -- fixed with re-installing the Tesla app (about two weeks ago).
  • edited July 10
    I have a Pixel 3 and have not had any memorable issues with not connecting immediately. Hubby has a Pixel 3a and also has not had anything of significance. When we were both still on Pixel 1's, we'd occasionally have to take the phone out of our pocket to put the car in drive, but it was rare.

    I'm still considering getting hubby a fob (no idea why ya'll capitalize this -- it's not an abbreviation) because he doesn't like the persistent notification turned on, so it's more challenging for him to open the frunk. Literally the only reason -- and he says no every time we talk about grabbing one, so it's not a priority for him, even. Just a luxury (and more for me, because when we are together, he has me open it...)

    And lest anyone think keyless entry is flawless on every other vehicle, clearly none of you have had a low battery in your fobs on prior cars. My Prius fob's battery died and I had to dig it out of the bottom of my purse (if you have wives/girlfriends, you likely know what a pain this is), separate the fob from the key, use the key to get in, then hold the fob to the start button in order to start the car. Yes, not frequent, but that happened about as often as I've had problems with my phone-as-key.
  • edited July 10
    hokiegir1

    And lest anyone think keyless entry is flawless on every other vehicle, clearly none of you have had a low battery in your fobs on prior cars.

    Our Audis will notify you when the fob battery is getting low. I let service know when I take it in and they replace it. Never had one not work. Never pulled more than once.
  • edited July 10
    @howard - My toyota needed slightly more service than my Tesla -- which is to say, I needed oil changes, but other than that, I wasn't there regularly. The fact that you went in that often with your Audi says something. Mine did alert me to the low battery, but having a job with a 3-hour round trip commute at the time limited when I could get there to have the battery swapped (ie - if it popped up on Monday, I had to wait until Saturday -- and the warning wasn't that long).
  • edited July 10
    Howard, No one is saying there’s a problem with the Audi lock system. Don’t be so so binary. But do yourself a favor. Pretend you are in a hurry. Grab and pull the door handle in the same motion, you will beat the unlock pulse. The handle will go full travel as you hear it unlock but it won’t open. You’ll then have to let go and pull again. Not a big deal or a problem. but if you can’t discern the subtlety in that, then you are a completely unreliable source on anything.
  • edited July 10
    Howard, is the Tesla fob system inferior to the Audi fob? You talk as if because the Audi works great, the Tesla one doesn’t.
  • edited July 10
    FOBs in my families experience work every single time until the battery dies.
  • edited July 10
    lbowroom: Logic, I've found, is much harder to navigate for some, as opposed to others. This is particularly difficult when attempting to communicate using fact, example, and evidence with people who live their lives in a more... analog fashion. That is, by relying on emotions, feelings, innuendo, rumor, and/or suspicion guided by rhetoric. You know, those aspects of humanity that logic automatically disregards as unnecessary and unhelpful. When such analog people are confronted by logic, they hear those jumbled word problems from Fifth Grade standardized tests that lead them to the conclusion 'purple'. Logic, to them, sounds like flim-flam, a purposeful attempt to confuse, embarrass, and humiliate them. Over time, they assume an automatic defensive stance. One that seems very much like an attacking demeanor to observers. Their world view finds it just as wrong to do away with emotion in decision making as others find it incorrect, improper to only use 'emotion' to discern a course of action. A push toward logic, rather than a pull toward rhetoric, is often met with a 'Fight or Flight' response.
  • edited July 10
    howard is preported to be a technical man with medical device development experience in X-ray equipment. I believe he understands very well how things work. He's able to drive wedges into areas that don't even have cracks. You are correct, he does use emotion and psychological tricks to bob and weave through the forum.
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