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Driving without a key card or phone

mikeyg_ev

Member
Jul 28, 2021
74
54
london uk
Would be great if the car had a hidden external wireless charge pad. Then if your phone goes flat you can give it 5 minutes charge to allow you to open the car.
 

Terri m3

New Member
Dec 26, 2019
3
2
Santa Rosa
Got the Tesla ring. Problem is my finger has rejected it, it doesn’t fit on any other finger and my neck will not tolerate a necklace to wear the ring on. Needless to say I’m very careful about my purse and now I know other options thanks to many responses. I still think the option I suggested would be doable. Tesla has sent out so many new features, the alert sounds like a no brainer.
 

RayK

Active Member
Apr 5, 2016
2,149
2,116
San Jose, CA
I really wish I could unlock and start the car with my Apple Watch.
I can use my watch to phone my wife and ask her to unlock the car with the app but it seems like a lot of unnecessary faffing about when the watch has all the necessary hardware to do it.
Correct me if I'm wrong (I don't own an Apple Watch or iPhone), if you intend to call your spouse with an Apple Watch, don't you need your cell phone to be within bluetooth distance?

Now, if you're saying that the watch's bluetooth can be somehow paired to your car just like your phone, then yes, that would work.
 

MrSlippery

Member
May 26, 2021
56
30
Canada
This seems like it should be a very simple thing for Tesla to add to the software. My WRX with push start will start beeping at me if I leave the car running and walk away, it will also give me an alert inside the car if I drive away without the keyfob in my pocket.
 

mikeyg_ev

Member
Jul 28, 2021
74
54
london uk
W
Correct me if I'm wrong (I don't own an Apple Watch or iPhone), if you intend to call your spouse with an Apple Watch, don't you need your cell phone to be within bluetooth distance?

Now, if you're saying that the watch's bluetooth can be somehow paired to your car just like your phone, then yes, that would work.
Watch has a cellular connection and can do most things the phone can do including making calls and Apple Pay. I leave my phone at home regularly.
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,185
9,913
SF Bay Area
Last time I upgraded my Apple Watch I decided to get one with the cellular connection. Does run extra though. My husband always has his phone with him but I don’t and it has come in handy. Now I have had to go get my purse a few times when I wanted to move my husband’s 2017 MS which doesn’t use a phone as key and I needed the fob for it.
 

arnolddeleon

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jul 21, 2012
894
948
SF Bay Area
I don't believe that's true -- at least, not by default. You can download the app, yes, and even link it to your account if you know the password. You could use this to unlock the car to get into it. There's a separate process to set up the phone as a key that requires a key card, though, so you couldn't drive the car from a freshly-configured phone without a key card. At least, that was the case when I last set up a phone as a key.

That said, it's possible that Tesla has policies and procedures to bypass these steps in special circumstances, so you might be able to do it with the help of a customer support call. I don't know if that's the case, though.
@GtiMart has it correct, there is a "remote start" function in the app. You don't need to set it up as phone as key to start the car.
 

mikeyg_ev

Member
Jul 28, 2021
74
54
london uk
@GtiMart has it correct, there is a "remote start" function in the app. You don't need to set it up as phone as key to start the car.
But... both your car and the device need a working connection at the time. If you park in an underground car park with no reception it won't work whereas the bluetooth only phone-as-key would still work.

Also, just hypothetically, what would happen if Tesla's servers went down - all app remote functions would stop working globally
 
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dduffey

Member
Aug 26, 2015
256
146
Austin, TX
Other people have had similar experiences and have requested the same feature. The general idea is that if the phone key that was used to access the car goes out of Bluetooth range, the car should alert you. Makes sense.

Wait ... it doesn't do that already? Go to your car with phone key on, get in, turn off bluetooth on your phone ... Boom instant alert.

Are you saying that if you start driving and turn off (or loose bluetooth) you don't get an alert? If so that seems like a bug, because I am certain that happens when parked.
 

techlogik

Member
Mar 22, 2021
329
196
FL
I really wish I could unlock and start the car with my Apple Watch.
I can use my watch to phone my wife and ask her to unlock the car with the app but it seems like a lot of unnecessary faffing about when the watch has all the necessary hardware to do it.
"faffing about" such a British thing to say...ROFL...love it.
 
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arnolddeleon

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jul 21, 2012
894
948
SF Bay Area
But... both your car and the device need a working connection at the time. If you park in an underground car park with no reception it won't work whereas the bluetooth only phone-as-key would still work.

Also, just hypothetically, what would happen if Tesla's servers went down - all app remote functions would stop working globally
That's correct, this depends on both devices having internet and the necessary intermediate servers to be operational. People who have driven in locations where there is no connectivity have discovered this the hard way. But this doesn't negate the case the claim that someone made earlier that you can "borrow" a smart device from someone, login and start your car. The post I was responding was claiming that this didn't work, it does. If we're being picky obviously this would also be difficult if your account has MFA enabled and you want to login without the second factor. If somehow I needed to get my car going without my phone/card I would phone someone that already had access to my car and tell them to remote unlock and start it for me. Safer and easier than installing an app on and then login into a foreign device.

Useful trick for cars have key cards, the cards can be registered to multiple cars. I only carry one key card with me as backup, it can operate our 3 and Y. By extension this works for the rings, bracelets, etc.
 

ODWms

Member
Mar 15, 2021
145
74
Tampa Bay Florida
Point being, with a Tesla, you are in a far better situation in a lost/misplaced key scenario than with other automaker’s products. At least you have a shot of driving your car in the near future. If I’m stuck somewhere, far from home with my Mercedes or Volvo, I’d be SOL.
 

Gauss Guzzler

Member
Dec 27, 2020
454
562
Thousand Oaks, California
I have had this same problem. A Galaxy S10+ sitting almost anywhere inside the house lets me drive off with no warning.

It really is a stupid flaw - it should notify you if the phone used to start the car has gone out of range - as the OP stated.
 

Ren.OG

Member
Jul 13, 2021
94
45
San Diego
Oh man, this morning I left my phone in my car (bluetooth on) and locked it with my key
when i got back i just went for the handle before i unlocked it with the key and the door opened right up.

i basically left my car unlocked with phone inside, anyone could have driven away.
 

Candleflame

Active Member
Mar 9, 2015
3,189
1,494
QLD, Australia
Oh man, this morning I left my phone in my car (bluetooth on) and locked it with my key
when i got back i just went for the handle before i unlocked it with the key and the door opened right up.

i basically left my car unlocked with phone inside, anyone could have driven away.

then why do you use your key? that makes no sense, the key is for emergencies in your wallet or for mechanics.
 
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JohnnyEV

Member
Feb 16, 2021
146
153
Bay Area, CA
Oh man, this morning I left my phone in my car (bluetooth on) and locked it with my key
when i got back i just went for the handle before i unlocked it with the key and the door opened right up.

i basically left my car unlocked with phone inside, anyone could have driven away.
Simple solution since you are using the card.......remove the phone as a key :)
 

house9

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Nov 16, 2019
380
411
California
Oh man, this morning I left my phone in my car (bluetooth on) and locked it with my key
when i got back i just went for the handle before i unlocked it with the key and the door opened right up.

i basically left my car unlocked with phone inside, anyone could have driven away.
Recommend enabling “PIN to drive”
 
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