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Car will not respond unless app is running

hellocar

Member
Jan 26, 2020
161
98
New Jersey
My Model 3 has so far unlocked every time I have approached the car with my iPhone X, even once after I had installed a iOS update, but not yet launched the Tesla app for the first time.

By any chance are you terminating the Tesla app with the iOS task switcher? I think that may remove its ability to run in the background / use Bluetooth until you next launch it. IIRC some users have reported that this habit was the cause of their unlocking issues.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,498
3,179
Maine
Remove the phone from your car, and delete the app, then download and re-associate it with your car.
 

AGARubberDuck

Member
Nov 19, 2019
59
66
MN
Restarting my phone (android) has made this go away in the past. Also, (I kid you not) they type of pants I wear makes a huge difference for how readily the car will unlock on the first push of the handle.
 
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szobell

Member
Aug 3, 2019
11
7
Utah
Started to happen to me
For iPhone users, the Bluetooth key will not work if you force close the app.

Can you add more details? I have had this issue intermittently for the past couple of months. Right now the app is not running and it has (so far) worked fine. Are you saying that if I open the app, then force close it (so it is not running again) it will not work?

thx
 
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Kennymb5384

Member
Sep 28, 2019
359
218
Seattle
I never have issues unlocking the car, but I do have issues where it doesn’t recognize me when I try to remove the charger from the charge port. I have to open the rear door and then it lets me take out the charger.
 

Runt8

Active Member
May 19, 2017
1,986
2,372
Colorado
Started to happen to me


Can you add more details? I have had this issue intermittently for the past couple of months. Right now the app is not running and it has (so far) worked fine. Are you saying that if I open the app, then force close it (so it is not running again) it will not work?

thx
Apps on the iPhone generally don’t run in the background, and you don’t have any way to tell if it is running or not. The Tesla app registers itself as a Bluetooth handler with the os, and then is notified when new Bluetooth connections are made. This way the app can be restarted when necessary but not always be running.

When you force quit the Tesla app, it is unregistered as a Bluetooth handler and then stops working as a key.

I never have issues unlocking the car, but I do have issues where it doesn’t recognize me when I try to remove the charger from the charge port. I have to open the rear door and then it lets me take out the charger.
This happens when the car goes to sleep, for some reason the button on the charger can’t be used to wake it up. It’s somewhat annoying but it isn’t a problem with your car, it happens to everyone.
 
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mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,019
4,630
MA, NH
For iPhone users, the Bluetooth key will not work if you force close the app.

Wrong. I write iOS apps that run in background. It will momentary kill the app (in background), iOS will restart the app in background and it will NOT be visible in the task list. It depends on many variables on when iOS will restart the app in background. I kill all apps all the time and they all do their background functions just fine. Including Model 3 unlock without taking phone out of pocket.
 
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mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,019
4,630
MA, NH
Apps on the iPhone generally don’t run in the background, and you don’t have any way to tell if it is running or not. The Tesla app registers itself as a Bluetooth handler with the os, and then is notified when new Bluetooth connections are made. This way the app can be restarted when necessary but not always be running.

When you force quit the Tesla app, it is unregistered as a Bluetooth handler and then stops working as a key.


This happens when the car goes to sleep, for some reason the button on the charger can’t be used to wake it up. It’s somewhat annoying but it isn’t a problem with your car, it happens to everyone.

Again, completely wrong.

It is registered for Bluetooth/background activity at INSTALL time. All apps get a time slice in background when iOS sees changes in Bluetooth devices (for app that are registered to allow it). If the app is not running iOS will start it in background and give it a chance to connect.

This is why you have to give ALL permissions. And location ALWAYS is part of it.

The app I developed has Voice status, so I know exactly what it’s doing in background.

You must have background app refresh, location always and Bluetooth all enabled.
 
Last edited:

Johnny Mac

Member
Apr 9, 2016
251
398
Alabama
My iPhone Became an issue after a software update on the car and worked just as you are stating. App had to be open and not forced closed to work so I simply bought the key fob and it has worked flawlessly with 100% success. Plus it’s just a bad ass key.
 

TX_M3P+

Member
Mar 6, 2020
559
388
Austin, TX
I have a Galaxy Note 10+ and I have seen this issue a few times. Once I had to take my phone out of my pocket and open the app to get the car to wake up and unlock, a few other times I attempted to open the door several times and it eventually connected and unlocked.
 

Runt8

Active Member
May 19, 2017
1,986
2,372
Colorado
Again, completely wrong.

It is registered for Bluetooth/background activity at INSTALL time. All apps get a time slice in background when iOS sees changes in Bluetooth devices (for app that are registered to allow it). If the app is not running iOS will start it in background and give it a chance to connect.

This is why you have to give ALL permissions. And location ALWAYS is part of it.

The app I developed has Voice status, so I know exactly what it’s doing in background.

You must have background app refresh, location always and Bluetooth all enabled.
If the os kills the application (ie, due to memory pressure) then it will relaunch the application. If the user kills the application then the app will not be started automatically - the user must relaunch the app before it will receive any new bluetooth notifications (Technical Q&A QA1962: Conditions Under Which Bluetooth State Restoration Will Relaunch An App). I was incorrect when I stated that it will be removed as a handler.

If you have location set to always, and you cross a geographic boundary, then your app can be relaunched automatically. However, geofences have a radius of tens to hundreds of meters, so crossing a boundary is in no way guaranteed.
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,019
4,630
MA, NH
If the os kills the application (ie, due to memory pressure) then it will relaunch the application. If the user kills the application then the app will not be started automatically - the user must relaunch the app before it will receive any new bluetooth notifications (Technical Q&A QA1962: Conditions Under Which Bluetooth State Restoration Will Relaunch An App). I was incorrect when I stated that it will be removed as a handler.

If you have location set to always, and you cross a geographic boundary, then your app can be relaunched automatically. However, geofences have a radius of tens to hundreds of meters, so crossing a boundary is in no way guaranteed.

You don't have to cross geographic boundaries. Changes in WIFI, Changes in Bluetooth, Pairing to your car will also trigger all Location Always Apps to get a Background time slice. This is why Bluetooth requires Location. A change in seeing different Bluetooth devices will trigger a location change. Often even when sitting still Bluetooth devices will come and go.

It won't always be immediate. But for all practical purposes it will be relaunched by the time it is needed.

Now, I wouldn't go killing the app on the way to the car, put my phone in pocket and depend on it working. But if you kill the app any time during the day or evening then go to the car ~15 minutes later. It will have run a background time slice due to location change and at that time it can request callbacks on specific Bluetooth services and get callbacks on those events as well. The combination of both will relaunch it pretty quickly.

My App, in the App Store depends on it and users can kill it all they want.

I'm sitting here right now debugging my next release and I have several iPhones all wanting to connect to a few bluetooth devices. I have to put UUID blocks to stop various iDevices from connecting. Killing the App is not sufficient. And all the iDevices are in the house.

This is why unless location is set to ALWAYS, it all breaks down. Technically there is no reason Tesla App needs your location Always. They are taking advantage of getting background calls (and launches). If you used bluetooth ALONE what you said is true.

That's why you'll see lots of apps asking for Location Always that would not otherwise really need it.

iOS is always scanning for bluetooth Devices and always knows your course location. If it thinks you've moved it will allow a background slice to see if an app wants to act on it. It does this a pretty low frequency. And assumes your battery is good and other resources are not maxed out. Or you have 50 apps doing the same thing.
 

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