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Car keeps switching from WiFi to LTE...

Siciliano

Member
Apr 6, 2016
377
316
New York
So my premium connectivity just ended the other day, and I don't think I'll subscribe because I don't really care about satellite nav or live traffic, which seem to be the only two things that require premium...

Setting up a WiFi hotspot from my phone takes care of music streaming, which is all I care about right now. I know I can just stream from the phone, but I prefer the car's on screen UI.

Anyway, the problem is, the car keeps switching from WiFi to LTE. It's not my phone because I can force the hotspot to stay on. So I'm wondering if there's a way to force WiFi to stay on, instead of it continuously switching to LTE??
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,402
13,244
Riverside Co. CA
So my premium connectivity just ended the other day, and I don't think I'll subscribe because I don't really care about satellite nav or live traffic, which seem to be the only two things that require premium...

Setting up a WiFi hotspot from my phone takes care of music streaming, which is all I care about right now. I know I can just stream from the phone, but I prefer the car's on screen UI.

Anyway, the problem is, the car keeps switching from WiFi to LTE. It's not my phone because I can force the hotspot to stay on. So I'm wondering if there's a way to force WiFi to stay on, instead of it continuously switching to LTE??

If you are talking about "as you drive off" no. The car is on wifi, then switches to LTE as you put it in drive, then you need to swap it back. At least, thats what people who use their phone as a hotspot report, and there is no way to make it stay on wifi as you drive off without swapping it back.

If I remember correctly, this was due to the fact that, for people who choose to keep premium connectivity, if the car stays on wifi as you drive off, there can be issues because it "drops" the home wifi but tries to keep it as you drive off. providing a poor experience for those who have premium connectivity. So, then have it swap to LTE as soon as you put it in gear, to get around that... but then it hampers people who dont want to pay.

TL ; DR, AFAIK you are stuck with it the way it is, right now, and you didnt miss anything / you are not doing anything wrong. Its just like that.
 

Siciliano

Member
Apr 6, 2016
377
316
New York
If you are talking about "as you drive off" no. The car is on wifi, then switches to LTE as you put it in drive, then you need to swap it back. At least, thats what people who use their phone as a hotspot report, and there is no way to make it stay on wifi as you drive off without swapping it back.

If I remember correctly, this was due to the fact that, for people who choose to keep premium connectivity, if the car stays on wifi as you drive off, there can be issues because it "drops" the home wifi but tries to keep it as you drive off. providing a poor experience for those who have premium connectivity. So, then have it swap to LTE as soon as you put it in gear, to get around that... but then it hampers people who dont want to pay.

TL ; DR, AFAIK you are stuck with it the way it is, right now, and you didnt miss anything / you are not doing anything wrong. Its just like that.

Thank you, yes that makes sense - I wouldn't have thought of that. I guess I'll just wait until I'm on the road before I switch it!

I still don't get the point of premium :confused::confused: is it just satellite nav and traffic?? I'd gladly pay more for something tangible like a premium sound system (which by the way is amazing), but the need for premium connectivity really escapes me.

I guess it's worth it if you travel a lot, constantly use the nav and really need to know about live traffic conditions and exactly when you'll arrive at your destination??? Otherwise, it's really simple to use a WiFi hotspot to access literally everything else on that "premium connectivity" list.

The kicker is, even if you do pay $10/month... if you don't have an LTE signal, it doesn't work anyway!! lol I just don't get it. It's literally just two taps and you're connected to the hotspot.

I should shut up though, because right now Tesla is probably trying to figure out a way to disable connecting via hotspots lol
 

bpjones

Member
Nov 16, 2018
102
127
Houston, TX
I’ve always looked at the $10 as covering Tesla’s bandwidth costs. In addition to traffic and satellite, features like music streaming, video streaming, and web browsing are use lots of bandwidth and are covered by the fee.
 
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Siciliano

Member
Apr 6, 2016
377
316
New York
I’ve always looked at the $10 as covering Tesla’s bandwidth costs. In addition to traffic and satellite, features like music streaming, video streaming, and web browsing are use lots of bandwidth and are covered by the fee.

So you're willing to give an extra $10 a month to the 5th richest person on the globe to cover Tesla's bandwidth costs?? lol seriously?

You already pay your cellular provider for an internet connection. Music/video streaming and internet browsing all work with a WiFi hotspot...
 

smatthew

Active Member
Jun 9, 2018
1,293
2,241
CA Bay Area
So you're willing to give an extra $10 a month to the 5th richest person on the globe to cover Tesla's bandwidth costs?? lol seriously?

You already pay your cellular provider for an internet connection. Music/video streaming and internet browsing all work with a WiFi hotspot...
Oh, your cell phone provides unlimited cellular data for $10 a month? Amazing deal!
 
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Siciliano

Member
Apr 6, 2016
377
316
New York
Is premium needed to provide for the supercharger costs and # of available slots while you are driving?

I'm not sure what you mean about providing supercharger costs, but you don't need premium to show all superchargers or available spots on the nav. It's pretty much a waste of money.

I'm fairly sure they didn't take into consideration people using WiFi hotspots when they concocted this connectivity plan...
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,402
13,244
Riverside Co. CA
I'm not sure what you mean about providing supercharger costs, but you don't need premium to show all superchargers or available spots on the nav. It's pretty much a waste of money.

I'm fairly sure they didn't take into consideration people using WiFi hotspots when they concocted this connectivity plan...

For most people, there is a cost to adding hotspot data (or data throttling) to their mobile cellular plan. Many people also have smartphones with data caps (even ones that are supposedly. "unlimited" are only unlimited for a certain amount of data before they throttle you back to the stone age as far as data speeds).

Since you can stream netflix, youtube, etc in the car, it is easy to chew threw data if you (for example) take lunch in your air conditioned car and watch netflix shows.

That hotspot you are using is likely not free.

For the cost of a single fast food lunch a month, a person can avoid worrying about all that, and just use the services in the car, in addition to having traffic display on the map.

(btw, traffic is still used for routing if you dont have premium connectivity AFAIK, it just isnt displayed).

This is almost no different than people who would buy BMWs / Mercedes / Audis and not get the navigation system in the car because they would charge extra for it (usually a couple grand for some tech package or something) because " my smartphone does that", then drive around with their smartphone stuck on a suction cup to their windshield or something.

I find the 9.99 a month a fair price for me to not have to worry about data caps on my mobile plan (even though my plan includes hotspot, and "unlimited" data), so that I (at least when I had to drive into the office every day), I could take a very peaceful lunch break in my car, watch a show on netflix and chill in my air conditioned space, rather than a 10 minute hurried break at my desk that was almost always interrupted by someone who wanted something from me.
 
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Siciliano

Member
Apr 6, 2016
377
316
New York
For most people, there is a cost to adding hotspot data (or data throttling) to their mobile cellular plan. Many people also have smartphones with data caps (even ones that are supposedly. "unlimited" are only unlimited for a certain amount of data before they throttle you back to the stone age as far as data speeds).

Since you can stream netflix, youtube, etc in the car, it is easy to chew threw data if you (for example) take lunch in your air conditioned car and watch netflix shows.

That hotspot you are using is likely not free.

For the cost of a single fast food lunch a month, a person can avoid worrying about all that, and just use the services in the car, in addition to having traffic display on the map.

(btw, traffic is still used for routing if you dont have premium connectivity AFAIK, it just isnt displayed).

This is almost no different than people who would buy BMWs / Mercedes / Audis and not get the navigation system in the car because they would charge extra for it (usually a couple grand for some tech package or something) because " my smartphone does that", then drive around with their smartphone stuck on a suction cup to their windshield or something.

I find the 9.99 a month a fair price for me to not have to worry about data caps on my mobile plan (even though my plan includes hotspot, and "unlimited" data), so that I (at least when I had to drive into the office every day), I could take a very peaceful lunch break in my car, watch a show on netflix and chill in my air conditioned space, rather than a 10 minute hurried break at my desk that was almost always interrupted by someone who wanted something from me.

Ah ok, I see...it still seems a little niche to me, but I would probably pay for it too if I was in and out of my car a lot.
 

smatthew

Active Member
Jun 9, 2018
1,293
2,241
CA Bay Area
You guys are killing me o_O

"A fool and his money are soon parted"...

Feel free to use your hotspot - and when you get a huge cell phone bill for hotspot overage charges from sitting there watching Netflix.... don't come crying to us.

ps: My car gets better reception than my phone.... I've had plenty of situations where my phone had zero bars, but I could still surf the web on the car.
 

Siciliano

Member
Apr 6, 2016
377
316
New York
Feel free to use your hotspot - and when you get a huge cell phone bill for hotspot overage charges from sitting there watching Netflix.... don't come crying to us.

ps: My car gets better reception than my phone.... I've had plenty of situations where my phone had zero bars, but I could still surf the web on the car.

Hold on a minute...where does it specify the car has its own cellular connection (apart from smartphone connection)?

This is from Tesla's site, FAQ:

Is Tesla providing the network for connectivity?
No. Your connectivity network is provided by your local telecommunications company and Tesla is not responsible for the connectivity quality or coverage.

Can someone explain this? In other words, does the car have an LTE connection completely apart from your smartphone??

Also, I have a T•Mobile family plan with 10GB of hotspot data, and all I do is stream music... so I'm good to go. I have absolutely no need or desire to stream movies in my car. Maybe if I was 16 again and had a hot date lol other than that, I don't really hang out in my car while I'm not driving it... different strokes for different folks I guess. :confused:
 
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JulienW

Active Member
Jul 7, 2018
2,898
3,705
Atlanta
Hold on a minute...where does it specify the car has its own cellular connection (apart from smartphone connection)?

This is from Tesla's site, FAQ:

Is Tesla providing the network for connectivity?
No. Your connectivity network is provided by your local telecommunications company and Tesla is not responsible for the connectivity quality or coverage.

Can someone explain this? In other words, does the car have an LTE connection completely apart from your smartphone??

Also, I have a T•Mobile family plan with 10GB of hotspot data, and all I do is stream music... so I'm good to go. I have absolutely no need or desire to stream movies in my car. Maybe if I was 16 again and had a hot date lol other than that, I don't really hang out in my car while I'm not driving it... different strokes for different folks I guess. :confused:
You seem to be conflating your cell phone with the Tesla cell connection. The reference you are referring to is using your cell connection to make a phone call or text. Tesla doesn't use or allow the car's cell connection to make your personal phone call (to text) over. Tesla's cell connection is used to upload and download data for by the car only.

IMG_0567.jpeg
 
Last edited:
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smatthew

Active Member
Jun 9, 2018
1,293
2,241
CA Bay Area
Hold on a minute...where does it specify the car has its own cellular connection (apart from smartphone connection)?

This is from Tesla's site, FAQ:

Is Tesla providing the network for connectivity?
No. Your connectivity network is provided by your local telecommunications company and Tesla is not responsible for the connectivity quality or coverage.

Can someone explain this? In other words, does the car have an LTE connection completely apart from your smartphone??

Also, I have a T•Mobile family plan with 10GB of hotspot data, and all I do is stream music... so I'm good to go. I have absolutely no need or desire to stream movies in my car. Maybe if I was 16 again and had a hot date lol other than that, I don't really hang out in my car while I'm not driving it... different strokes for different folks I guess. :confused:

FACEPALM

Oh
My
Goodness.

How do you think the car gets LTE access?

It's not using your smartphone's connection. The car has a cellular modem with (in the USA) an AT&T SIM card.

Did you think Tesla was charging $10 a month to use your smartphone's connection?
 
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Siciliano

Member
Apr 6, 2016
377
316
New York
FACEPALM

Oh
My
Goodness.

How do you think the car gets LTE access?

It's not using your smartphone's connection. The car has a cellular modem with (in the USA) an AT&T SIM card.

Did you think Tesla was charging $10 a month to use your smartphone's connection?

That's why I thought it was a waste of money!!! lol :confused::confused: It makes a lot more sense now...

So I clearly misunderstood what the LTE connection is. Nowhere does it really specify that the car had it's own internet connection. Where the hell is the SIM card located?
 
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smatthew

Active Member
Jun 9, 2018
1,293
2,241
CA Bay Area
That's why I thought it was a waste of money!!! lol :confused::confused: It makes a lot more sense now...

So I clearly misunderstood what the LTE connection is. Nowhere does it really specify that the car had it's own internet connection. Where the hell is the SIM card located?
It's on the main computer board, behind the glove box. There are antennas in each mirror.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,402
13,244
Riverside Co. CA
That's why I thought it was a waste of money!!! lol :confused::confused: It makes a lot more sense now...

So I clearly misunderstood what the LTE connection is. Nowhere does it really specify that the car had it's own internet connection. Where the hell is the SIM card located?

That makes more sense now why you were confused about someone saying the charge is for tesla's data.

Most modern cars have their own cellular connection, if they provide traffic, etc. To be 100% clear on this, though, when you pay for premium connectivity, there is no need to use a hotspot to do anything the car does with data at all (including streaming music like spotify or tunein radio through the cars interface).

I have never connected my phone to my car as a hotspot (I do have it connected as phone as key, and also as music, but I never turn on the hotspot feature in my phone while I am in my car.. no need).
 
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Siciliano

Member
Apr 6, 2016
377
316
New York
That makes more sense now why you were confused about someone saying the charge is for tesla's data.

Most modern cars have their own cellular connection, if they provide traffic, etc. To be 100% clear on this, though, when you pay for premium connectivity, there is no need to use a hotspot to do anything the car does with data at all (including streaming music like spotify or tunein radio through the cars interface).

I have never connected my phone to my car as a hotspot (I do have it connected as phone as key, and also as music, but I never turn on the hotspot feature in my phone while I am in my car.. no need).

Yeah I had no idea at all! It's not completely my fault though - my last few cars had bars to indicate signal strength, and some of them even say "3G" or "4G" on the display, but they certainly did NOT have their own internet connection.

My wife's SUV has Google Auto, and it says 4G next to the signal strength on the center display, but it definitely does not have its own internet connection. I've just been conditioned to think that all cars require a smartphone connection.

I guess I should have assumed the M3 was different since Tesla thinks outside the box with most features (i.e. the air vents).

So now I just have to see how much of my 10GB I've been using to stream music...
 

lUtriaNt

Member
Mar 16, 2020
649
591
Los Angeles
i keep a hotspot in model 3 24/7 turned on, but its only used for the occasional firmware download. i park in a garage that can not access my wifi so this is how i solve that. ive premium connectivity for everything else.
 

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