The key card for when my phone won’t do the trick

The key card for when my phone won’t do the trick

Here’s a tip. I find the card key to have a very powerful magnetic field. Those times when my phone doesn’t want to open the car for whatever reason, I take out my wallet with the card key inside. I press my wallet against the pillar for access and place my wallet on the center console to drive. No need to struggle and remove the card from my wallet. How convenient!

CST | 18 novembre 2019

I was under the impression that the key card is nfc-based not magnetic, however it's nice to know that it'll work through a wallet. My card / money clip is NFC blocking so I can't test it.

Keithdorschner | 18 novembre 2019

You’re probably right. I just don’t know enough to say.

M3phan | 18 novembre 2019

Is it magnetic? Or is there some other chip system at play? Because my key card is carried in my pocket with my drivers license and one credit card (I don’t use a wallet), and my credit card has not been demagnetized/affected.

ElectricAlex | 18 novembre 2019

NFC, no magnets involved.

Pepperidge | 18 novembre 2019

NFC uses magnetic field to communicate and supply power to the card.

skygraff | 18 novembre 2019

Also, no need to put the card (or your wallet) on the center console if you press the brake within a short time (actually think it’s something like two minutes now) after unlocking the door. No matter what, don’t leave your card there since it could be easily forgotten.

Good thing they explain this all in the manual.

AWDTesla | 18 novembre 2019

I got a keyfob. Found the app and card annoying, especially when your kids run to the car and reefing on locked door handles until you catch up or having to drop a hand full of things so you can open the app to open your frunk. Keyfob is easy, i can just double tap the frunk and open the frunk.

kevin_rf | 18 novembre 2019

It is RFID and not NFC... As in the power for the chip comes from power picked up by a coil embedded in the card.

If you want to see one hacked apart and implanted in a human.

SteveWin1 | 18 novembre 2019

I tried this when I first got the car and it didn't work for me. i have to take mine out and its in a pocket that's on the outside of my wallet. Definitely would be convenient, but they've also really improved the phone-as-key situation.

CharleyBC | 18 novembre 2019

My wallet is a little pudgy, so the Tesla key is closer to one side of the wallet than the other. While I can definitely leave it in the wallet as OP mentions, it's much more reliable tapping the nearer side of the wallet on the B pillar. No real surprise there.

FISHEV | 18 novembre 2019 makes a nice key.card holder. You pretty much have to carry the key card at all times for when phone doesn’t work. The TapTes key.card holder makes icarrying it around ready to use easy.

Sarah R | 18 novembre 2019

Alright, is it NFC or RFID? This can be easily tested. Take your phone. Turn on NFC. Tap the key card on the back of the phone. If the phone beeps, it's NFC. If it doesn't, it's RFID.

I don't have my Tesla yet, or I'd do it myself. I'm actually really interested in the answer because I have a wearable NFC device that I could really clone the key card to. As long as it's NFC and not RFID.

FISHEV | 18 novembre 2019


CST | 18 novembre 2019

Yes, RFID sounds correct.

rxlawdude | 18 novembre 2019


gmr6415 | 18 novembre 2019

Hmmm, the few times I've used mine since 8-18 it's always been in my wallet.

Sarah R | 18 novembre 2019

So, the wearable NFC is a no- go. I've got a HID RFID fob from a previous iteration of my HOA "security system." Would/ could Tesla activate that as a "key card"?

rob | 18 novembre 2019

@Sarah R "... I've got a HID RFID fob from a previous iteration of my HOA "security system." Would/ could Tesla activate that as a "key card"?"

Probably not. I tried reading Tesla cards on an HID reader and it returned a parity error on the read. So, I think Tesla cards are special. I was going to try to get my Tesla card to work for as my access control at work. Couldn't do it.

Sarah R | 18 novembre 2019

@Rob A card reader and a microcontroller might get you to understanding the protocol Tesla is using. How's your Code-Fu?

Tcloutier5890 | 18 novembre 2019

The key fob is the way to go. It works every time. It is smaller than I thought, so easy to carry. Not a cheap purchase but with no aggravation or doubt if it will work , well worth the money to me.

rob | 18 novembre 2019

Sarah R
I'm totally Fu-less re microcode. But it sounds like a fun project

Sarah R | 18 novembre 2019

@rob I like Cypress PSoC microcontrollers and have used them in several projects, but I need to build the support circuitry from scratch each time. Arduino is a good solution for a first time uC project because building circuits with it is almost like playing with LEGOs. Both program with free C compilers. If you know C you've got Fu.

rob | 4 décembre 2019

@Sarah R
I got the Tesla key to work as an access badge at work. We have 2 systems and it didn't work for the older one (parity error). But it works fine on the newer system. The card is CSN format

So now my key card can also be my access badge.

Haggy | 5 décembre 2019

Mine works in my wallet, provided that it's kept right against the lining so that it's as close as possible to the outside, and in my case it works only when the TESLA lettering is on the side that faces away from the car when the wallet is held against it.

The new fobs work well too.