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Car won’t unlock unless app is open?

For as long as I can remember my phone key works flawlessly most of the time regardless of whether the Tesla app is working in the background. I’ve noticed now I have to manually open the app wait a few seconds and then it finally opens the door. I made sure to run location services at all times and I have the iPhone X. My Bluetooth is always on.It’s really annoying. I can’t remember if it’s a setting on my phone or the car that enables the app to run on the background all the time while Bluetooth is enabled.
 
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ok just rebooted the car, and still nothing.
Reinstalled app and restarted phone and still nothing. Also tried repairing it. Used my wife’s phone, same problem. So I guess the problem is the car.

The problem is the phone, or rather the BT settings on the phone for the application.
Have you searched this site for the solution? You aren't the first.

(As an Android user I don't feel comfortable giving specific technical iPhone advice)
 
Hey guys, I’ve had my Model Y since March and never had an issue unlocking doors with the app not running in the background. I have an iPhone X with Bluetooth always on. I thought maybe it was my phone but also happens with my wife’s phone.


I’ve tried rebooting the car, reinstalling the app, using different phones, repairing the phones and nothing works. When I try to open the door the screen shows “tap the key on window”. So not sure what’s going on

Any help is appreciated!

thanks !
 
The problem is the phone, or rather the BT settings on the phone for the application.
Have you searched this site for the solution? You aren't the first.

(As an Android user I don't feel comfortable giving specific technical iPhone advice)


I tried using my wife’s phone and not working. 3 days ago it was fine. We haven’t changed any setting on our phones
 

RoBoRaT

Zero Farts Given!
Nov 22, 2018
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NorthSoCal
I agree with Barrygold - the app and bluetooth must be running at least in background.
Not sure of any definitive fix is out for this - got the same issue with Samsung Galaxy Note10.

For now, if this happens, I pull my phone out of my pocket and touch the pillar sensor - to unlock the car by NFC. iPhoneX has NFC capability. Saves me 2 clicks to open the app and unlock the car :eek:. Also works with the sensor by the cup holders.

OP, Let us know if you find the fix.
 
For now, if this happens, I pull my phone out of my pocket and touch the pillar sensor - to unlock the car by NFC. iPhoneX has NFC capability. Saves me 2 clicks to open the app and unlock the car :eek:. Also works with the sensor by the cup holders.

OP, Let us know if you find the fix.

Wait, what? Really? So, if your phone supports NFC (as most do now), this works?
 

Snow Drift

[Off-Road Assist] Activated
Feb 10, 2016
2,010
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Long Island
For an iPhone you need to make sure Location Services for the Tesla App are ALWAYS ON. This setting will turn off from time to time with updates (and Face ID inside the Tesla app will turn off also). So, this is what you do:

Settings app / Privacy / Location Services / switch ON -> Then Scroll down to Tesla / "Always."

You do not need the app open, or minimized, or anything for the doors to unlock. I do find that sometimes the charge port won't open until you also open a car door as the system is sleeping.

If that doesn't fix it:

First, make sure you aren't using the key card to open the car. If you do, use it to lock again.

Second, make sure your key card is indeed linked to that phone. It seems like it is since you said it works once you open the App.
 
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Confirm that Settings->General->Background App Refresh is enabled for Tesla app. Also Settings->Cellular Data on and enabled for Tesla app as well.

Probably you'll be shocked how many apps have both these on that don't need it so turn off those you don't want/need using your data and battery :)

Agree you shouldn't need to use the app to unlock but I've found that if my 3 is opened via the keyfob and later I come to it with the phone, it does not automatically connect. Not every time but enough that I have to go to the screen and tell it to connect to the phone. So there's some sketchy stuff but in general, it works a good 95+% of the time.
 
This is definitely not a phone thing and, honestly, I’m tired of the excuses and workarounds that are regularly offered up when this issue is raised.

Sure, I like not having a key and find the phone as key to be much more convenient than the card but, no matter what, being able to reliably enter and start your car are fundamental to the ownership experience. Cameras, auto wipers, radios, navigation, auto seat adjustments, and video games are all features but unlocking and starting are basic functions.

If BT LE is supposed to work, aside from having it turned on, there just shouldn’t be anything else required of the user provided the associated app is installed, logged in (doesn’t time out randomly), and available to the system (open or in multitasking queue). Unfortunately, even with background app refresh turned on, I still experience occasional fails which make me grumble but I live with the minor inconvenience because I hope they are improving things however, as is so common with Tesla, there’s no way to report these issues so no way to know if they’re even on the radar let alone their priority list.

Reminds me of the frustration I used to have with Apple fingerprint sensors where I constantly had to reteach certain digits. Eventually, Apple tweaked things so I haven’t had any problems outside of edge cases involving dirt or moisture/sweat. The alternate method of punching in a passcode is a little less cumbersome than using a key card but, the important thing is, it happens rarely and has gotten better. Tesla issues with the BT key are, for me, somewhat rare but, for the longest time, I’d changed my habits and simply opened the app as I headed out to the garage. Now that I’m trying to test relying on background app refresh, things are sliding backward again.

Long story long, acknowledgement and attention to issues like this would be nice from Tesla. Getting quickly through the PEBCAK steps, when a fellow owner brings things up, and on to some method of reporting would be a great owner community virtue.
 
I agree with Barrygold - the app and bluetooth must be running at least in background.
Not sure of any definitive fix is out for this - got the same issue with Samsung Galaxy Note10.

For now, if this happens, I pull my phone out of my pocket and touch the pillar sensor - to unlock the car by NFC. iPhoneX has NFC capability. Saves me 2 clicks to open the app and unlock the car :eek:. Also works with the sensor by the cup holders.

OP, Let us know if you find the fix.

thahs not true. I have the iPhone X and I’ve never had an issue unlocking my car without the app running the in background. This is all new behavior for my car. I even tried my wifes phone to make sure it’s not just my phone. It would not even unlock if I point it at the pillar sensor Like a key card, so something is up. I have to manually open the app, wait a few seconds and then it opens.
 
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Confirm that Settings->General->Background App Refresh is enabled for Tesla app. Also Settings->Cellular Data on and enabled for Tesla app as well.

Probably you'll be shocked how many apps have both these on that don't need it so turn off those you don't want/need using your data and battery :)

Agree you shouldn't need to use the app to unlock but I've found that if my 3 is opened via the keyfob and later I come to it with the phone, it does not automatically connect. Not every time but enough that I have to go to the screen and tell it to connect to the phone. So there's some sketchy stuff but in general, it works a good 95+% of the time.

I tried that as well yesterday, didn’t work. It was set to “location service while using app only”, I later switched to “always” but no cigar. Running out of tricks here. I just hope the SC doesn’t brush it off my saying I need to have the app running and if they do I’ll have them prove it to me with another car because I know for a fact that feature works
 
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The main thing for the app on the phone is that the app is authenticated.
Even if BT is enabled, background refresh is on, wifi connection good etc etc, if the app isn't authenticated the car will not unlock.
Just a thought

tried that as well... as I said. It was working fine prior to this. I did not make any changes on the app or phone. I also tried my wife’s phone and still nothing so I assume it’s something to do with the car
 

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