30' phone key range is too high

30' phone key range is too high

When my car is parked outside of my house anyone can open its doors. Wish the range was limited to 10' or so. Guess I have to park further away and have a nice walk.

lilbean | May 10, 2019

Or you could turn bluetooth off.

M3forMe | May 10, 2019

I can't even open the door when the phone is in my back pocket. I must turn partially so my body is not obstructing then I can open the door. So definitely not 30'.

@OP - you should leave the phone inside the house then try to open the door to see if it's really 30' radius.

mrburke | May 10, 2019

This may not be the problem you think it is.
Try the following.
1) Lock your car.
2) Go inside your house and leave the phone there with the Tesla app running in the background.
3) Go back to your car without your phone and see if you and open the door.

I have found that while the app shows the phone key as connected at a distance, it won't allow anyone to open the door unless the phone is really close.

lordmiller | May 10, 2019

There's no way that is the case. No one can get into your car if your phone is in the house.

ILoveMyModel3 | May 10, 2019

I agree with @mrburke and @lordmiller

I park in my garage and my bedroom in the next room over and I always have to have my phone to enter the car unless the car is already unlocked. Which drives me crazy because sometimes I'll jump up to get something out of the car forgetting my phone on the nightstand and I have to go back and get it or manually unlock the doors beforehand.

kallian | May 10, 2019

The connect distance is 30' but opening the car distance is only 3 ft.
If your not close to the car, it wont open even when its says connected.

rxlawdude | May 10, 2019

@mrburke, @ILoveMy and @lordmiller +1

I did this experiment back in January 2018 and reached the same conclusion.

eugene | May 10, 2019

I've done this test (iPhone XS) and it only lets me open the door if I'm right next to the car. What phone are you using that the phone key works from 30 feet away?

Bighorn | May 10, 2019

I did have the car steal a phone call from about 20 feet today. I guess she doesn’t want new tires. It was the installer setting up a time, but I had to call back because my phone just went mute.

Tesla2018 | May 10, 2019

My living room is near the garage. When I first got the car, when my phone used to ring I couldn't hear anything because the car was picking it up and I had to disconnect Bluetooth. I got a new phone and now it seems to work okay. My new phone always locks the car when I walk away. I'm wondering since my old phone didn't always lock the door on the car, if it would let the Bluetooth connection go through.

Иг | May 10, 2019

My daughter was able to sit in the locked car while I was in the house. With so many skeptics I'm going to run a more controlled scientific tests.

eugene: I have iPhone 6s Max

Иг | May 10, 2019

lilbean: those info stealing iOS phones turn on Bluetooth automatically in 24 hours

Иг | May 10, 2019

Bighorn: Next Tesla update will look into you calendar and will make a non-conflicting appointment for you. :)

wb808 | May 10, 2019

Sort of off topic but I’ve noticed some real inconsistent results as far as the car auto-locking when walking away. Sometimes I get really far like 80 ft or more before it will lock, other times I’ll be right next to it when it locks - maybe it’s more based on time than distance? Will have to experiment more.

EVRider | May 11, 2019

@wb808: I think it’s time, not distance. Our M3 will auto lock while I’m still in the garage. The OP has nothing to worry about.

wiboater4 | May 11, 2019

My Tesla app has an icon that shows the status of the car as locked or unlocked. Can't you just look at that on your phone?

eugene | May 11, 2019

I recommend upgrading to a more recent iPhone. The iPhone 8 and above have Bluetooth 5.0, which has better BLE support.

howard | May 11, 2019

I often have to hold my iPhone Xmax on the darn door pillar to unlock. It irritates me that I have to set my briefcase down to do it. Walking away is very inconsistent and I often am far enough away I don’t hear the beep and have to get my phone out open the app to see if it actually locked.

howard | May 11, 2019

Another quandary. I don’t think it has ever failed to let me open the trunk but my wife has to wait for me to come around to the door to unlock and let her in the car.

jdcollins5 | May 11, 2019

Mine locks the same every time. Mine only unlocks if I am very close to the car.

My phone key will show connected in my kitchen but the doors will only unlock if the phone is very close to the car.

cliffordsf | May 11, 2019

I've experienced the same thing as wb808 -- it appears to be time-based rather than distance-based. I can be standing a couple feet away from the car in the garage and the car will sound and lock. Other times, I've walked a good 20 feet away before it locks. Definitely appears to be time-based.

alphacompton | May 13, 2019

This is good information, I was seriously worried someone could jump into my car while I was in my bedroom with my phone connected so I started turning off bluetooth every time I get home or if I go to a restaurant and park nearby. It always says connected from really far away. I need to try it out for myself but that would be some nice convenience if I could just leave the phone on while I'm out and about.

Effopec | May 13, 2019

I have the opposite problem:

Pull in garage, stop and hit open charge door button.
Exit car, walk up to front left of car where charge cord is.
Walk half way back to charge port and watch as charge door closes. I'm never more than 2 feet from my car.

Or, the opposite:
Come out to car and tap rear handle to release charge handle.
Remove handle and walk to front to hang it on the hook on the wall.
Car relocks before I can get back to the front door.

Each of these are less than 15 seconds, probably 5-10.
Why is my car in such a hurry to lock when I'm right there?

cliffordsf | May 13, 2019

I think I'll test this tonight, but I assume it's time based, not proximity (though, obviously, unlocking is proximity based). So it doesn't matter if you're so close that you fog up the windows or you're a world class sprinter and you're half a mile away before it locks. Pretty smart if you ask me.

JBishop | May 14, 2019

My son can't even open the doors if I'm standing on the steps in our two car garage. The car is parked on the opposite side from the steps so it's maybe 10 feet to the car door. There's no way anybody could open your car if you're all the way inside the house. I also have an iPhone 6S.

-TheJohn- | May 14, 2019

I'm sitting 12 feet away from our M3 typing away at the computer while the car is under our carport and you can't open the door to it let alone do anything else. The phone has line of sight by the way so it's not a wall blocking bluetooth type thing either. I double checked that my statements are true by trying to get in just now btw. Shoulda worn shoes as the rocks were pokey.
Good question though!

TAC | May 15, 2019

Got sick of my door locking at home when i dont want it locked in the garage along with misfires when i am out and about.. Turned it off. Keycard works flawlessly.

EVRider | May 15, 2019

@Effopec: Try leaving your driver’s door slightly ajar until you plug in the charge cable, so the car won’t lock.

Daryl | May 15, 2019

@howard "Another quandary. I don’t think it has ever failed to let me open the trunk but my wife has to wait for me to come around to the door to unlock and let her in the car."

If you program your wife's phone as a key she shouldn't have this problem.

jdcook72 | August 21, 2019

Any update on this from OP? I just noticed the same behavior this morning with my 3.
Android phone, app shows connected, phone in house with me, wife walked up to car in driveway about 25 feet away (shows locked on phone and mirrors were folded) and it opened when the handle was pulled. App status on phone updated to show unlocked.

Syed.Hosain | August 21, 2019

@Bighorn "I did have the car steal a phone call from about 20 feet today. I guess she doesn’t want new tires. It was the installer setting up a time, but I had to call back because my phone just went mute."

Yeah! I have had that happen as I walk up to the car ... from *about* 15 to 20 feet away. But, my Samsung Galaxy 9+ (an Android phone) has a "button" to bring the call to the phone from Bluetooth or the speakerphone mode, so I used that and it works well.

ReD eXiLe ms us | August 21, 2019


AFBiker2011 | August 21, 2019

I use pin to drive, that way I never have to worry about someone taking the car, if by chance I forget my phone or key card inside the car.

AFBiker2011 | August 21, 2019

I use pin to drive, that way I never have to worry about someone taking the car, if by chance I forget my phone or key card inside the car.

garry.d.white | November 1, 2019

So I just had my car broken into although I use the term "broken" into loosely. I have Sentry cam footage of a guy walking up to my car at midnight and opening my drivers side door!! My car was locked but guess how it opened? I live in a condo and my unit sits directly above my parking space. My phone was on my coffee table which is in my living room approximately 10-12 feet from the car. I discovered this when I went to heat up my car and the app said it couldn't turn on climate control because a door was open. Confused, I went and checked out my car. All doors closed. I pulled up on the trunk (not using the button on the trunk) and it just rose up. I keep my shopping bags in the false bottom of the trunk and they were now laying in the regular part of the trunk. My heart stopped as I realized someone had been in my car. I then checked the console of my car and noticed a charging cable and my prescription sunglasses were missing. I pulled the sentry cam footage and saw what I've already shared. I've just tested this by locking my car with the app, leaving in my living room and going down and opening up the door. It works every single time. Not good. I've since disabled my phone as the key and will now only use the key card. Maybe one day when I move and have my own, secure garage, I can go back to using my phone as the key. Too bad. Otherwise I still LOVE my Model 3!

garry.d.white | November 1, 2019

I'll add I use PIN to drive as well - thank goodness!!

ODWms | November 2, 2019

Sorry that happened to you. But I’m also grateful it wasn’t worse. That pin to drive probably saved you more of a nightmare. Idiots are definitely among us.

leo33 | November 2, 2019

My phone typically rests about 10 feet from the car, but phone-key unlock doesn't happen unless it's just a foot or two from the car. I find it interesting that it apparently works differently with different phones.

jayrunquist | January 6, 2020

I just had my car broken into while I was sitting in my living room (which is on the second floor of my condo) with an estimated distance of about 30'.

So yes, this IS a problem.

Nest cam footage:

andy.connor.e | January 6, 2020

I mean, if you're parking your car outside, and you are physically within range of your car, thats enough reason to not use that feature.

rxlawdude | January 6, 2020

@jay, that's inconsistent with my observations with a M3 for over two years. The phone key is "connected," but the car is NOT UNLOCKED.

Unless you left the car unlocked. Maybe not using lock on walkaway?

WW_spb | January 6, 2020

Or maybe turn off Bluetooth?

derotam | January 6, 2020

@jay: looks like you aren't using Sentry mode either?

andy.connor.e | January 6, 2020

In the video, the first time the guy pressed the handle the blinkers flashed. Then he came back and pressed the door handle again and the door opened. Will the car unlock if the phone key is in range if you press the handle?

Also, +1 @ "Turn off bluetooth"

WW_spb | January 6, 2020

Car should unlock only when phone is in very close proximity to the car. Smells like fake set up

Joshan | January 6, 2020

I cannot even open the car door with the phone in my back pocket...

andy.connor.e | January 6, 2020

If thats the case, then i think this is a setup. Because in that video the first time that guy pressed the door handle, the blinkers flashed. The second time he pressed it the door opened.

WW_spb | January 6, 2020

How convenient he deleted the video from YouTube

andy.connor.e | January 6, 2020

Thread flagged.

andy.connor.e | January 6, 2020

my apologies!!!!! Not the thread. @jayrunquist comment flagged.