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Car won't unlock until I handle my iPhone

Discussion in 'Model 3: User Interface' started by CarbonFree, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. CarbonFree

    CarbonFree Member

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    My two iPhones have never worked properly with my 3. My brand new iPhone XS Max, for example, will fail to hands-free unlock the car most of the time.

    The odd thing is, however, that once I take the phone out of my pocket (waking up the screen) the car immediately unlocks. I don't have to unlock the phone, just engage its motion sensor.

    It's as if there is a low power key mode which fails on the Model 3, but the high power mode succeeds. I suspect an issue with the car's Bluetooth module.

    Has anyone else encountered this issue? Service is stumped.
     
    • Like x 2
  2. sfkeydel

    sfkeydel Member

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    If you haven't already, try toggling your iPhone's Bluetooth off and on. This worked for me.
     
  3. SleeperService

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    This happens fairly regularly with my [original] Pixel. I feel fairly confident it's the phone going into a low power state/idling the Tesla app to save power. I really don't think it's the car.
     
    • Like x 2
  4. CarbonFree

    CarbonFree Member

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    Thanks--I've tried that, to no effect. In fact, I've tried everything. This problem has been occurring since March of 2018, across two iPhone upgrades.
     
  5. CarbonFree

    CarbonFree Member

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    If this were true, other iPhone users would have reported it. Does anyone else experience this issue with their latest iPhones?
     
  6. SleeperService

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    Please note: I don't have an iPhone.
     
  7. CarbonFree

    CarbonFree Member

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    I wonder if this issue is due to having two Teslas in my online account. The app. won't unlock at all if my Model X is selected--a bug, but possibly a related bug.
     
  8. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    This happens to be occasionally. Maybe 10% of the time. And yes, just waking-up the phone unlocks the car.

    @CarbonFree Before I sold my Model X and had both vehicles on the app, it seemed to happen more-often so there might be some merit to your hypothesis.
     
    • Like x 1
  9. RTPEV

    RTPEV Member

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    First of all there is a gigantic thread devoted to this topic here: Phone as Key Issues

    But I won't make you read all 60 pages! Suffice it to say, the phone as key is problematic.

    But here is my latest observation. I normally have my phone out of my pocket and in my hand, ready to set down in the center console.

    Occasionally though, my hands are full and I try opening the door without taking the phone out of my pocket, and based on recent experience, almost every time that my car has failed to unlock (which is fairly rare these days), it's when my phone is in my pocket.

    In the past I would have done what you are trying to do. Unlock the phone, get into the Tesla app, wait for it to connect to the car (and wake up the car), and then try again. Or maybe toggle Bluetooth, or airplane mode.

    But lately, I haven't been doing any of that. I simply take my phone out of my pocket and wait. And maybe 10 seconds later (tops), it unlocks.

    I think it's as simple as my Bluetooth connection doesn't work well through my jeans! And it's not that my phone is in some kind of sleep state or something, because typically I will have just picked it up and walked 50 feet out to my car.

    There is other anecdotal evidence to suggest this. Some people keep their phones in their back pockets and it never works, but they found that if they rotated so that the phone is near the B pillar that it works.

    So I think the Bluetooth Low Energy is just a tad bit too Low Energy!
     
    • Like x 1
  10. SleeperService

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    My only issue with this surmise (which is just as valid as mine, lacking definitive data) is that my phone often stays connected [bluetooth] multiple hundreds of feet away and/or through multiple walls.
     
  11. RTPEV

    RTPEV Member

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    That's regular Bluetooth though. The key uses BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), an entirely different mechanism (despite the similar name).
     
  12. NathanielHrnblwr

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    If your phone is in your back pocket, your body may affect the BT connection. Try walking backwards to your car or move the phone to the front pocket to see if your experience changes. If it does, you know why.

    I usually have my phone in my front pocket but have at times had it in the back pocket and the car didn’t detect it.

    Only other time I have had issues, I forced quit the app and re opened it.
     
    • Like x 1
  13. CarbonFree

    CarbonFree Member

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    Thanks, @RTPEV--this reply is quite helpful. I'll attempt a set of experiments to gauge whether my phone's signal is, in fact, blocked by my phone or body.
     
  14. SleeperService

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    Huh, didn't know that! Learn something new everyday!
     
  15. mswlogo

    mswlogo Active Member

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    Make sure you have background app refresh enabled and location always enabled on your Tesla app. These must both be enabled.

    My iPhone X has worked flawlessly. As well as my wife’s iPhone 6s.
     
    • Like x 1
  16. G78M3

    G78M3 Member

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    That happens to me once every few months... when it happens, I delete the phone from the car, then add it again as a key, and that always solve it.
     
  17. ewoodrick

    ewoodrick Well-Known Member

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    Try just pausing a second before or just bring the phone out of the pocket. I carry my phone in my back pocket, I often have to just turn around for the car to hear the phone.
     
    • Like x 1
  18. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    This is greyed-out and set to "off" in my phone settings. I can't enable it.
     
  19. mswlogo

    mswlogo Active Member

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    I don’t know why that would be but you’ll have to google around to figure it out. I’ve seen others with the same issue.

    Phone left in Low Power Mode is a common one.
     
  20. stonelance

    stonelance Member

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    This happens pretty regularly for me with my android phone as well. Pulling the phone out of my pocket and waking it up is always enough to unlock the Tesla (other than rare instances where the Tesla app seems to have closed\crashed). I found that if i turn on the climate prior to walking out to my car then this pretty much never happens though, so I suspect it is because the car is in deep sleep, and not the phone. Or possibly a combination of both phone and car being in a low power mode at the same time.
     

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