Strange behavior from phone key...

Strange behavior from phone key...

Twice now, I have taken out my phone as I am walking to my car, and the phone key has claimed it is connected even though I am 75 yards away from the car.
When I got to my car, I could open the door, as if the phone key actually had connected, but the car would not go into gear until I had put the phone into airplane mode, and then taken it back out of airplane mode.

Background: My phone key almost never works. Failure rate is more than 99.9%. The mode of failure is that the phone won't connect to the car until it is put in airplane mode, and then brought back out of airplane mode.
Once connected, the phone key works as it is supposed to until I walk far enough away from the car for the car to lock. Then it is airplane mode again.
Yes, I have ordered a key fob at least two weeks ago. As far as I can tell, it still has not shipped. This after checking the Tesla online shop every day for two months before I was even allowed to order it.

sumwal12 | 25 June, 2019

I face a similar issue but believe the problem is largely with Android / Samsung phones. Douglas_Peale, is that what you use as well?

derotam | 26 June, 2019

Lots of phones have various issues, all related to Bluetooth implementation and with all different types of cars. A lot of the time it ends up being a phone setting.

Just because the phone(Tesla App) says it is connected doesn't mean you can get into the car. My issue is that I usually have to take my phone out of my back pocket and near the door handle before it will let me open the door.

Just remember, the key fob does not allow passive will have to press the unlock button on the fob to get into the car.

michelrozon | 26 June, 2019

I have a Samsung 8S dithyrambique no issue dithyrambique thé Tesla App.

michelrozon | 26 June, 2019

I have a Samsung 8S with no issue with Tesla App.

jjgunn | 26 June, 2019

Once in a while I need to select "unlock" on the phone to open the door.

Seems to happen if I approach the car quickly or am in a hurry.

Pixel 2 XL.

Pro tip -- keep your key card with you at all times just in case something happens to your phone.

Bighorn | 26 June, 2019

Connected does not mean what you think it means. It can be connected from 100 ft by BT, but the near field connection required to unlock the door or start the car is a different process, not capable from that distance.

ICEMELT | 26 June, 2019

At times I felt that Tesla is not recognizing my phone key for at least 10 seconds. However, now when this happens, I just turn my phone screen on and it immediately lets me open the door. I am convinced that its my phone in most cases that's the problem. I have S7 and I have many things going on in the background including Tasker app.

FISHEV | 26 June, 2019

"Key card – communicates with Model 3 using short range radio-frequency identification (RFID) signals. Allows you to unlock, drive, and lock Model 3 by tapping the key card against a Model 3 RFID transmitter. Note: The key card is necessary to allow, or “authenticate”, a smart phone to work with Model 3. It is also considered a backup key in case your authenticated smart phone runs out of battery power, or is lost or stolen."

"Authenticated smartphone – communicates with Model 3 using Bluetooth. Supports automatic locking and unlocking, driving, as well as multiple other functions using the Model 3 mobile app. An authenticated smart phone is the preferred key because you never need to remove it from your pocket or purse."

Telsa service techs told me to turn Bluetooth off and on when the iPhone doesn't work. Everyone has issues with the iPhone (any phone) as key because of the Bluetooth issues or more correctly how Tesla is using it.

What I have found works if you don't want to do this at the car is use the phone to turn on climate control remotely which is via internet connection. That seems to "prep" the Tesla for the Bluetooth connection as you get near the car. I park on the street at home, out of home Wifi range for the car.

I thought NFC (Near Field Communication) was limited to about 10cm or less with the low power, short distance being part of its security. And I don't think iPhones before iPhone 7 had NFC capability but I don't remember Tesla warning that iPhone key had to be iPhone7 or greater.

Whatever Tesla setup with phone as key, it doesn't work well for anyone.

legna_fo_htaed | 26 June, 2019

Have not had an issue with this until today. Twice this morning I was able to get into my car with my phone in my pocket like always. When I went to put in PIN 2 drive, I was given the message to use my key card to drive.

I stopped at the gas station for a drink and when I got out had the same issue. Could get into the car, but could not put it into drive or use PIN 2 drive.

Running HW3 on 2019.20.4.2

Bighorn | 26 June, 2019

My iPhone works flawlessly with my Model 3.

FISHEV | 26 June, 2019

"My iPhone works flawlessly with my Model 3."

At least we know it can work flawlessly but the iPhone as key NOT WORKING has to be one of the most frequently posted issues here.

For me, when I took it to Tesla to "fix" the problem, they said it is a common problem to the Model 3. Their solution was keep fiddling with the door handle to try and "wake up" the car.

Mr. Spacely | 26 June, 2019

FISHEV-- you missed the point. The OP is not using an iPhone. iPhones work well with the Model 3-- it's other phones that don't. This has been well documented on other sites.

FISHEV | 26 June, 2019

"The OP is not using an iPhone."

Being a bit generic, Frigidaire vs. refrigerator. All the cell phones use the same functionality to connect to the Tesla.

Lonestar10_1999 | 26 June, 2019

My Samsung 6s keeps turning off the Tesla app so when I approach, I cannot unlock the door. I need to reopen the app and then the app works flawlessly. I can’t figure out how to keep the Tesla app running in the background.

gballant4570 | 26 June, 2019

Lonestar, you should be able to set the app to always on. I did that last year, but cannot seem to re-discover how.....maybe allows the app while data saver is on, and turn off battery optimization for the app. That is all I am finding today.....My old Samsung (G7) has been 100% reliable as key, but a bit difficult at times with the media and calls connections.

FISHEV | 26 June, 2019

" iPhones work well with the Model 3-- it's other phones that don't. This has been well documented on other sites."

On Tesla Owners Forum run by Tesla iPhones not working is well documented. Mine doesn't and Tesla service told me it's common problem. No fix that users can apply, Tesla will have to fix the phone as key to be more reliable.

Joho.keith | 26 June, 2019

It seems to be a combination of differing Bluetooth implementations and phone power management contributing to the various reported behaviors. On my iPhone, the most common behavior is I walk up to the car and it won’t unlock until I wake up the phone so in this case it’s power management. I don’t have to touch the app. I confirmed that the settings are correct.

Joshan | 26 June, 2019

Exactly right Joho... just ignore fish and move on.... he is wrong as always.

bradbomb | 26 June, 2019

As usual, throwing in my 2 cents where I have had my Model 3 for 11 months now and have been using the same iPhone X for those 11 months, never had an issue with Phone as Key. For me, it has just worked. No need to wake up my phone at all

jjgunn | 26 June, 2019

If you have an older phone....(BT 4 or less) you will most likely have issues.

Newer phones have BT 5 & are backwards compatible with 4.2 / 4.1 etc.

douglas_peale | 26 June, 2019

Answers to some questions:

The phone is a Samsung Galaxy Luna Pro.

I have turned on the phone, opened the Tesla app and stared at the "Disconnected" text for ten minutes while standing next to the driver door without it connecting.

Turning bluetooth off and on does not cause my phone to connect, only airplane mode.

I am aware that the key fob does not allow passive entry, but I expect pushing the top of the fob twice while it is still in my pocket to be simpler and quicker than pulling my phone out of my pocket, powering it up, typing in my pass code, opening up the Tesla app, wait for the Tesla app to start, swipe down twice to get the airplane mode menu, clicking on airplane mode, click on "Yes I really want to do start airplane mode", swiping down twice again to get the airplane mode menu back, waiting for the airplane icon to turn blue indicating it is in airplane mode, clicking on the airplane icon, swiping up twice to get rid of the airplane mode icon, then waiting for "Connecting" to show up on the phone key before opening the door.

FISHEV | 27 June, 2019

@douglas_peale....too funny....your descriptions sounds like monkeys with a microwave...Tesla is so advanced it has reduced us to Arthur C. Clarke's primitive civilization seeing tech and not being able to distinguish it from we do elaborate rituals to appease the machine/diety in front of us to let us in.

Mr. Spacely | 27 June, 2019

...just buy an iPhone already

rigarner.67 | 27 June, 2019

I can't speak for anyone else but my iphone has worked every time flawlessly. The one time I had an issue was after a software update and I simply rebooted the phone...problem solved. I have long range dual motor with iPhone 10.

howard | 27 June, 2019

I have an up to date iPhone XS Max and it is very erratic. I don’t plug in over night and half the time it recognizes the phone (you can hear the power come on and the screen wakes up) but it will not open the door. It is extremely frustrating. The other half it lets me in but won’t drive till I put my key card on the console. It is beyond frustrating. I will need to go through my normal routine of deleting the profile in the car and then the phone application and start over from scratch. This seems to work for a couple of months and then it just goes south. This should not be happening.

FISHEV | 27 June, 2019

"...just buy an iPhone already"

IPhone 7+ the has worked reliably for two years. Bluetooth is the issue for Tesla, probably a bad choice for the key. Someone had mistakenly thought it was NFC (Near Field Communications). While he got that wrong it is probably what Tesla should have gone with as much more reliable and secure. Though other manufactures have done the keyless entry and remote controls quite well, Tesla tried to get a bit cute by being "different" and we have to work around it. It would likely take a hardware upgrade in the Tesla for another more reliable system.

Issue there is iPhones prior to the 7(?) didn't have NFC capability (swipe to pay example) so there would have been a few follks who would have had to upgrade their iPhones to buy a Tesla. That could have been a great marketing opportunity for Tesla and Apple. Apple could have done Tesla signature iPhone cases or something.

Tesla2018 | 27 June, 2019

Once I gota new phone with bluetooth 5.0 and android 8.1 I never had a probem. My old phone was an older version of the same model with bluetooth 4 and an old version like marshmellow or ice cream.

RichardKJ | 27 June, 2019

It's not Bluetooth but the reliance on multiple phone manufacturer's Bluetooth hardware and software implementations. The Model S and X key fobs have used Bluetooth since about 2016. They work well because it's a closed system with everything controlled by Tesla. When you depend on others to implement half of your system you should expect problems.

Rothgarr | 28 June, 2019

I think it was mentioned earlier about older iPhone having issues. I have an older iPhone 6s+ and it has worked flawlessly so far. I never have the keycard with me.

PECo CT | 28 June, 2019

Like @FISHEV, my iPhone 7 Plus has worked very reliably with my Model 3. My wife’s iPhone X, though, not so much.

Originally, her Tesla app settings were wrong. She had “Location” set to “While Using the App”, instead of “Always”. While changing her app settings has helped, she still complains about the car sometimes not unlocking the door for her when she approaches the car.

Joshan | 28 June, 2019

Just to add some credibility to this thread instead of Fishs FUD and trying to blame Tesla.

1. Any low power modes can cause issues. They disable certain phone systems when not in direct use to save battery life. Ensure you are not using any power saving options.

2. Do NOT close the app the way you do other background apps. Leave it running. This one is big!

3. the phone has to be very close to the car door, if in a back pocket or purse it can fail to register as close enough.

4. not confirmed, but heard some of the charging cases can cause issues.

jjgunn | 28 June, 2019

Tesla2018 | June 27, 2019
Once I gota new phone with bluetooth 5.0 and android 8.1 I never had a probem. My old phone was an older version of the same model with bluetooth 4 and an old version like marshmellow or ice cream.
100% correct. You get an "A"

FISHEV | 28 June, 2019

What kind of phone?

jjgunn | 28 June, 2019

Here this....
Frank99 | February 26, 2018
NFC is an extension of RFID. They use the same concepts and powering mechanisms, and the frequency that NFC uses is the same as one of the standard RFID frequencies. It is perfectly valid to call an "NFC device" an "RFID Device", but not always valid to call an "RFID Device" an "NFC Device".

NFC was created to provide:
1. A very short range operation - a couple of cm. This means that intercepting the communications is extraordinarily difficult.
2. Standardized cryptography and security, so that two devices can always communicate securely.
3. Standardized two-way communications, allowing for cryptographically secured payment schemes.

Tesla probably chose RFID in order to have a longer range of operation. Placing the card in the cup holder is great, but is unlikely to keep the card within a couple centimeters of the reader. By choosing RFID and building their own security on top of that (probably based on the NFC specs), they can extend range up to 10's of cm and make the card easier to use. Note that it's possible with RFID to have ranges greater than 25 meters.

FISHEV | 29 June, 2019

iPhone key uses Bluetooth, not NFC.

NFC is pretty much reserved for NFC and RFID and terms used separately for each in practical usage.

The Tesla card key is RFID.

The phone as key is not NFC though it could have been for iPhones 7 and after as they have NFC capability. If it was NFC for the iPhone key then people with older iPhones would have had to upgrade.

FISHEV | 29 June, 2019

iPhone key is Bluetooth.

FISHEV | 29 June, 2019

NFC range is 10 cm so if iPhone used that, while more secure and reliable, it would require swiping the phone on the door pillar as you do with the RFID card key.

Not exactly the convenience we see with other keyless systems including Tesal's iPhone Bluetooth key....when it works.

Hp.1193 | 29 June, 2019

FISHEV take a long break on posting to these forums and start to gain some credibility. Ur failing with every post you make. It's pretty sad when other users keep calling you out.

Joho.keith | 29 June, 2019

I changed from an iPhone SE (4 years old) which did not reliably open the car to an iPhone X. The iPhone X works every time. I speculated a few weeks ago in this thread that Bluetooth version or power management was the likely issue. This suggests that this is true. Both phones had the same up to date iOS and settings so it is phone specific problem.

jjgunn | 30 June, 2019

Joho.keith | June 29, 2019
Both phones had the same up to date iOS and settings so it is phone specific problem.
You win.

FISHEV | 30 June, 2019

@Hp.1193. Did you mistakenly believe the cell phones were using NFC instead of Bluetooth on the key feature?

Hp.1193 | 30 June, 2019

No, I was exaggerating with the "every post" You put ur little 2 cents into almost every thread on these forums.. Just relax.

FISHEV | 30 June, 2019

"You put ur little 2 cents into almost every thread on these forums."

Was that our 2 cents?

Normally I try to use good forum discipline and not reply to the trolls here who, like your posts, had nothing to do with content and all about personal issues.

Still in new owner mode so I'm sure I settle down plus Salmon season has started (getting Chinook and Coho in the ocean if anyone is interested) so I'll be diverted.

FISHEV | 30 June, 2019

And the forum long time trollers WAY out do me in messages and 95% of them are content free personal lamentations usually filled with personal insults and profanity.

Joshan | 30 June, 2019

your right as people are sick of your crap. But we do not lie and twist the truth on every post. just go away... Flagged as usual as your comments do not help or add any value to the discussion and I encourage others to flag Fish away also everytime he posts his trash lies. We have to self moderate the forum.

FISHEV | 30 June, 2019

Now back to topic. My iPhone 7+ requires I take the phone out of pocket. Open app ,which has permission to run in background and has Touch ID synch enabled even Calendar Synch is enabled in hopes of finding a key to the phone as key.

Do any other cars with keyless systems use the phone as a key?

Apple's system was based on NFC not Bluetooth implementation of Tesla.

casun | 30 June, 2019

fishev is always wrong.