Unlocking: it's not the car, it's the phone...

Unlocking: it's not the car, it's the phone...

Please excuse me if this is a double post... Last one hasn't shown up after 30 minutes...

I, like many others on this forum, struggled with getting my phone to unlock my Model 3. Many times it would work fine (within 5 seconds or so), but often enough it would take longer. Sometimes 30 seconds or more. It was an older Asus Zenfone 2, so I was happy that it worked most of the time. I do like the convenience of no keys or fob.

Often, turning on my phone was enough to cause the unlock. Sometimes I would have to open the app and unlock through the app. Rarely, it would still be asking for a key card by the time I was ready to drive. Once I was forced to use the key card due to no cellular coverage (glad to have that card as a backup!).

As far as I could tell, the things which seemed to be correlated with longer unlock times were:

1) Rain
2) Full load of groceries
3) Wife tapping her fingers on my panorama roof, with that glare (even though HER phone is paired -- it's certainly still MY fault :-) ).
4) Any combination of 1, 2, & 3
5) Showing off the car

I went through all of the phone settings I could find to force bluetooth to stay awake, to no avail. Even installed tasker to try to send wake_up events when near the car. No joy. Couldn't even detect BT until AFTER the door was open (which is kind of too late).

BTW: I NEVER had a problem with walk-away lock.

Well, just recently my phone died.
So I got a new phone. Not a fan of Apple prices (and mind control), or Samsung quality (my wife & daughter hate their Samsungs, and I can see their point). I wanted wireless charging and NFC, and I needed to pick it up at Best Buy that day. One phone matched those constraints: Sony Experia XZ2. I have no experience with this phone, but hey you only live once.

I've been using it for 2 weeks now, and I can report that the longest it's taken to unlock is maybe 0.5 seconds (i.e. just barely detectable). And that happened once. Every other time, there has been no noticeable delay: push the handle, and it opens.

I also note that it stays connected to the car even when in the house (even though walk away lock is working) -- so I'll definitely be watching for vampire drain.

Bring on the rain! It's time to go shopping! | 11 januari 2019

Thanks for the writeup!

Bluetooth has undergone many changes over the years, and the older the bluetooth hardware the more bugs exist in both the hardware and related drivers. Software apps can overcome some of these issues, but what you encountered with the old phone is not all that surprising. As an app developer, I've seen so many bluetooth bugs, nothing surprises me anymore. Even the major phone makers have had serious bugs. It's sort of amazing it works as well as it does. While not a guarantee, newer hardware is actually better in this area.

Emticci | 11 januari 2019

I had a similar experience - phone detection was intermittent at best, finally go to the point where I had to unlock the phone when walking up to the car or it wouldn't detect it. That was with a Google Pixel XL. Upgraded to a Pixel 3 XL and the new phone has worked 100% of the time since, absolutely no problems. Changed nothing in the equation but the phone and am much happier.

BTW, 8 months and still grinning!

cascadiadesign | 11 januari 2019

Yep - my older Android phone would only work 40% of the time with Model 3. In December I purchased an Google Pixel 3 XL. Locks / Unlocks 100% of the time. No special phone settings required - worked straight out of the box.

ArcticStation | 11 januari 2019

I solved this problem inadvertently. I accidentally dropped my (very functional, very reliable and, up to now, bulletproof) older android phone face down on the garage floor while trying to toggle Bluetooth so I could get into the car on a cold winter morning. My (adult) son took pity on me, lent me an old iPhone 6 that he seldom uses and, with a quick wipe and simple sim card swap, I was in business. In three weeks, it has never failed to unlock and "start" the car, along with everything else I ask it to do. An hey, you can't beat the price!

12Brent | 11 januari 2019

I used to get annoyed with the doors not unlocking, and then I realized that my phone's signal was being blocked by other things in my pockets, my body when it is in my back pocket, etc. If I'm carrying my phone in my hand I never have a problem.

kevin_rf | 12 januari 2019

Yes, how do I know the car won't unlock? It's freezing temperatures, both hands are full, and it's raining cats and dogs. Never fails every time.

Yesterday, woke up, outside was a balmy 16. Decided to bump up the charge to preheat the battery from a warm bed. No dice, would not connect. Grumbled into the shower. After the shower, nope. Dressed and went down to feed the dogs. Nope still no connection. Packed my lunch. Still nothing. Grabbed dogs for a walk. Still not connecting. Stopped by the car and bumped up the charge while fighting to keep Jack and Spice out of the car and cursing Elon under my breath.

eubanksj4 | 21 juli 2019

My phone would not unlock my SR3. Simple solution was to turn on airplane mode then turn it back off. This resets the signal. It worked.

Resist | 21 juli 2019

Most of the time my iPhone 7 Plus opens my Model 3 when I grab the door handle. I've always made sure the app was running in the background but there have been a few times where it wouldn't unlock the car. And sometimes Summon just won't work.

ndenova | 19 februari 2020

I recall my Google Pixel 2 was perfect....but it had issues of it's own, so when it died (in my brothers pool), I went with a Galaxy S8......unlock issues ever since. :(

Thinking of switching again simply because of this issue!