iPhone not connecting to Model 3 every time

iPhone not connecting to Model 3 every time

Hi, I've had my 3 for about 5 days, and I'd say about half the time it won't grab my iPhone X via Blutooth. It just keeps "searching" for it. Did the reboot once and that seemed to fix it temporarily. But then a day later same thing happened. Anyone else having similar issues. Also, FM radio has stopped working occasionally, but i guess that's for a different thread!

curiel.rogelio | June 8, 2018

I just received my 3 yesterday and it is delayed in connecting. I will sometimes need to pull the phone out and tell it to connect before I can actually open an unlocked door. The phone won't indicate it's connected and the bluetooth will show it is searching, although it will connect and let me in.

justinmhart81 | June 8, 2018

Got my 3 about a month ago. Week or 2 later started having issues like curiel.regelio but didn’t think much of it. Now I can unlock vehicle with phone but have to us my key card to put into drive. Updating my phone software and may reboot my 3. Will post update.

Daryl | June 9, 2018

(I just made this same comment in another post, but thought this one might be more visible.)

I have an observation that might explain the problems some of us have been having.

At first, the phone worked almost all the time to open the door and drive. Then suddenly, about the time I got a Tesla update, it become very unreliable. I blamed it on the update.

But then I realized that it was at about the same time that I installed my Bluetooth smart watch (Pebble). After I uninstalled the watch from my phone, suddenly now I am connecting every time.

This might be a coincidence, but it makes sense that one Bluetooth connection could interfere with another.

If you have an unreliable connection with your car, try uninstalling or disabling Bluetooth watches, headphones, etc. and see if that helps.

ebmcs03 | June 10, 2018

I’m still getting unreliable BT key connections. It keeps telling me to turn on BT to enable key. I deleted it and set it up again. It worked once. Not doesn’t. I’ve basically given up on it. Phone key doesn’t work

SolarCharged | June 10, 2018

Got over two weeks I have been consciously keeping my iPhone 6s+ in my front pocket, rather than my back pocket. My Model 3 has unlocked the first time I push the door handle without fail, except for twice when I inadvertently had my phone in my back pocket. Has anyone else seen this correlation?

SolarCharged | June 10, 2018

Got over= For over

MarylandS85 | June 10, 2018

Yeah, others have reported the same, @SolarCharged. The consensus is that our robust American torsos are blocking the Bluetooth signal somewhat. I assume it’s all that solid muscle. ;^)

SCCRENDO | June 10, 2018

My bluetooth unlocking with the iPhone X has been great. But I am having serious issues with bluetooth phone calls. I have an Apple Watch and it is not clear whether this is the problem

DFWsCars | September 6, 2018

Still having this issue months later. Going to restart now and see if it reconnects and also try walking over to the car.

gclauser | September 29, 2019

iPhone 8+ won't connect to Model 3. Has been working fine since I got the car a couple months ago. Can still drive the car, open the charge port, frunk, etc. Tried powering phone on and off, turning airplane phone on and off, soft reboot of the car, also a hard reboot.

Joe M | October 6, 2019

My phone is always in my front pocket, wife carries hers in her purse. 95% of the time they work great but we occasionally hit a few days where in varied locations one or the other stops working. First it delays opening the door for multiple tries and then when it does unlock the door it won’t start without placing the key card. This is unacceptable. Unlocking needs to be a reliable function when my spouse walks up to her car. (Think parking lot safety) Without any changes or resets to phone or car the next try 1/2 hour later works. Technology in other vehicles we own works perfectly every time you touch the door handle. I don’t understand the Bluetooth excuse because Bluetooth reliably works (often when I don’t want it to) from up to 100 feet away on other cars. Anyone who can respond with a real fix would be greatly appreciated.

wshryer | October 13, 2019

I have had my model 3 since last June and the IPhone to car has never connected. It has to be due to the fact that they sent me the wrong VIN number and even though changed this has to be part of the problem. Tesla has been inept at even being able to begin to figure it our. All I get is this never happened before, no kidding!

howard | October 13, 2019

wshryer All I get is this never happened before, no kidding!


P Brach | October 14, 2019

Have had M3 for almost a year, bluetooth connection with iPhone XS has worked well. But recently keeps losing connection. Bluetooth repeatedly disconnects. Have deleted/re-added iPhone XS several times, rebooted per instructions from roadside assistance today as could not drive without keycard. Worked initially, but after parking and re-entering it dropped again. Tried Chat on website but repeatedly get message that they are having "technical issues". Emails go unanswered. What else to do?

FISHEV | October 14, 2019

"What else to do?"PBrach

Get the key/card holder from and use it your keys and the Tesla card. When the phone doesn't work, which will be quite often, you can just swipe the card to open and start car vs. standing there and playing with the phone.

The phone will work 50% of the time out of the box so you'll be ready with the card key.

If you load the Tesla app and get it to link to the car before you approach the car, that usually works. Not convenient but it will work. The phone/bluetooth has the usual problems of phone/bluetooth connections, high maintenance. Tesla was looking for inexpensive solutions so the phone/card key re it.

P Brach | October 14, 2019

Thanks. It has worked fine for ~8 months, then started losing connection. Suspect it is related to one of the several recent updates, maybe future ones will correct.

longshadows | October 29, 2019

I can concur. My iPhone X and Xs worked as keys almost flawlessly since I first got my Model 3 a year ago. Then, the V10 update came across in early October. Since then, I can enter the car, but it does not recognize me to drive! I've uninstalled the app, rebooted, unpaired and repaired the Bluetooth. Somethings happened with V10 (or iOS 13). Tesla needs to take notice of this!

rob | October 29, 2019

I was on iOS 13.1.3 and was having issues. I changed my Tesla App setting to Location -> Always. It was "While Using". That seemed to help.

Then I upgraded to 13.2. It seems to work but I only tried a couple times.

Joshan | October 29, 2019

howard | October 13, 2019
wshryer All I get is this never happened before, no kidding!



I am confused, you are happy that he has an issue that techs are struggling to resolve? Seems a very odd post to +1.

Joho.keith | October 29, 2019

My iPhoneX works about 80% of the time to open up the doors. Took delivery July 2018 so I’ve had ample time to try and get it to work. I had the same issue with my old iPhone SE so it isn’t the phone. Last month I purchased the second generation key fob and the problem is solved. So far 100% reliable door opening just like my old S85. I left my iPhone X as a key and the phone and fob coexist in my pocket without issue if I carry both. In principle the phone key seems like a great idea but it really isn’t reliable enough and I can imagine as the phone Bluetooth hardware standards evolve over time, that isn’t going to get any better since the car hardware is static.
My advise is to buy the fob and move on.

cmdred | October 29, 2019

I've had my 3 for almost 2 months now and this has always been a problem. I have an iphoneX and it connects with the car about 50% of the time. Of course when I took it in to Tesla it worked with thier phones every time, so they didn't do anything.
This is a feature that SHOULD WORK EVERY TIME without any thought, like it has on all the other cars (toyotas, fords) I have had at 1/3 the cost for the past 15 years. In the current situation Tesla should be giving us the new key fob for free until it is fixed.
The same goes for the new COME TO ME summon feature, which almost never is available even after I have my phone out for like 5 minutes. Perhaps the phones should connect via cell rather than bluetooth?