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Can't start car

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by mibaro2, May 27, 2014.

  1. mibaro2

    mibaro2 Member

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    I drove to work today, and then my wife took the car and continued driving to her work (so when we started the car, both keyfobs were in the car. I grabbed mine when I was dropped off).

    Now, my wife can't get into the car using the keyfob.:confused: She was able to get in using the tesla app, but could not start the car. The keyfob did not open the trunk or frunk either. That keyfob was last used on Saturday. The car is only 6 weeks old.
    Could the fob battery be dead already? Any other way to start the car if the fob is not recognized?

    If the fob is dead (and I don't know what else would cause these problems), I guess a call to tesla service is required? Anything else I/my wife can try?
     
  2. Adm

    Adm Active Member

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    I always wonder why people don't call Tesla Service first. They can probably tell from California what's wrong with your car without having to speculate about the cause of this malfuction.
     
  3. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

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    Sorry to hear about your troubles! Your wife could obviously try replacing the battery in her FOB...
     
  4. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    Where is the car while she's trying to use the fob? I've read a number of cases here where the car doesn't see the fob when right by power lines or otherwise in a high EM environment.

    There's a spot on the windshield where you're supposed to be able to put a dead fob and have the car see it anyway - and I think there's something similar on the inside.
    Walter
     
  5. Kalud

    Kalud Member

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    If the battery in the key fob is dead you can start the car by placing the keyfob in the cup holder, there is a RFID inside that doesn't need battery power to work but it has a very limited range. See you manual for more info.
     
  6. mibaro2

    mibaro2 Member

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    #6 mibaro2, May 27, 2014
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
    @Adm : Normally I find that people here have solutions to any wierd behaviour. (ie rebooting the console for a non-working internet explorer).
     
  7. cgiGuy

    cgiGuy Member

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    Are you leaving your fob in the car at night? If so, doing this will drain the fob battery quickly, as the car continues to "interrogate" the fob throughout the night. This, according to the delivery specialist.
     
  8. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't get my charge cable to work (port was eventually replaced) and was surprised to find that Tesla could not only see the trouble on their end, but knew exactly how many times I plugged and unplugged the UMC into the car trying to get it to work. People are not used to this kind of connectivity and diagnostic capability, so natually wouldn't think of calling Tesla first for problems like this... but you're right... they should.
     
  9. mibaro2

    mibaro2 Member

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    Thanks for the advice.
    Was able to get in the car by putting the fob on the back windshield. Then put it in the cup holder, and the car started.
    Strange thing is that when it was parked a few minutes later in the same spot, the fob worked flawlessly when it was tried a few hours later. Not sure why.
    I'll probably pick up a battery for it just in case, and check with Tesla to see what they see in the logs.

    @cgiguy: The fob is not left in the car overnight.
     
  10. Chipper

    Chipper Active Member

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    Please let us know the outcome.
     
  11. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    My car often fails to recognize the fob if I have the fob in the same pocket as my cell phone.
     
  12. zwede

    zwede 2013 P85+

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    I had a week long period where my fob often wouldn't be recognized. I had to double click the fob to get the door handles to come out. Sometimes the car started and then during the trip I got the message that there's no key in the car. I had to pull the fob from my pocket and wave it around in the car and it would finally accept it.

    Oddly enough the problem disappeared after a week and since then it has worked fine. Some fob, same battery, same locations, etc. I have no explanation. Suddenly it just started working again.
     
  13. mibaro2

    mibaro2 Member

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    Good to know I wasn't the only one with this wierd issue.
     
  14. LMB

    LMB Member

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    If you replace the fob battery, try to find someone to measure the voltage on the old one. If it's good, the problem is more likely external electro-magnetic interference (EMI) or a flaky connection inside the fob. If marginal or bad, then probably a battery issue.
     
  15. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Since installing our AMI (smart meter) network at the electric utility I work for, we have seen all kinds of weird RF interference. We use a licensed frequency and so can chase infringers off, but we've had baby monitors, web cams, gasoline station pumps (who knew they used RF to communicate!) as well as wireless ISPs all create temporary RF interference.
     
  16. mibaro2

    mibaro2 Member

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    When I went by the SC, they didn't see anything strange in the car logs. They also said that they have had problems in that parking lot with other cars. (they brought a loaner down to someone in that parking lot, and the loaner started having the same problem!) . Since the parking lot is right by the CBC, it makes sense that it was caused by interference.
    The SC gave me a new battery anyway. I appreciated the gesture.
     
  17. Gastogne

    Gastogne Member

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    Have you tried to push the Start-button?
     
  18. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    The CBC is not far from Toronto Hydro's Windsor sub-station. I used to park there sometimes years ago when I worked for Toronto Hydro and found my old car's remote key fob would not unlock the car unless I had it pressed right up against the car's window. Sometimes I had to use the metal key to unlock the doors. I assumed it was RF interference from the high voltage equipment.
     

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