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Getting locked out of the car

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by gpetti, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. gpetti

    gpetti Active Member

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    I've only had my car a month and I had to go away today. I took our other ICE car to the airport because I didn't want to deal with the valet parking or leave my car in the lot. That means my wife now "had" to drive my MS. She was actually pretty happy but in the course of one day managed to get into trouble twice. I won't get into the second (Nav related) issue but yesterday she managed to get locked out of the car. Basically she was stopping off somewhere to pick something up from a residential location. She parked the car, got out, went to the door, picked up the item and then ran back to the car, total time about 30 seconds. Unwisely, she had left her purse, the key and her cell phone all in the car. Putting aside that is a recipe for theft of some sort, even for a quick pickup (as I pointed out), when she got back to the car, it was locked. Perhaps my MS was trying to teach her a lesson about leaving the car unlocked? Anyway, she had to borrow a phone, call me, and I unlocked the car for her which is a pretty cool example of how remote unlock can be helpful. Initially I assumed she had not pressed the door handle properly but when I looked at the car on the App, it was definitely locked. On questioning her later, it appears that when she tried to drive the car afterwards, it complained that no key was present. The key was apparently left in the console area, on the floor and after picking it up the car then recognized the key. Somehow it seems she managed to have the key in a recognized position when she started, but by the time she got out of the car, it was no longer detected by the car which presumably then locked itself as it is currently configured to lock when I walk away. There are a few lessons to learn here - mostly for her but I was surprised that it was possible to get into this predicament. I had seen posts from people having trouble with the car detecting the key but I never normally have this problem as my key is usually in my right hand pocket. I'm not sure if this is something that has happened to anyone else or if this is a freak anomaly. Naturally she should never leave the keys in the car but I guess if I'm honest there are times when i have put the key on the floor and had to get out for some reason so theoretically it could have happened to me (not that I will tell her that).
     
  2. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    That should not happen, I regularly back my car out of the garage to wash it and leave the key in the center consol floor. I get out and start washing the car, the doors lock handles retract and if I need to get in the car to finish the interior I tap on the drivers door handle and it has always opened. Maybe more than 1 tap but never has it not opened.
     
  3. jcaspar

    jcaspar Member

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    I have found if my iPhone is covering the key FOB while it is in my pocket it will not recognize the key. Was there something covering the FOB? Maybe low battery but your car is pretty new.
    Everytime I have left the key in the car it has opened with a push of the handle.
     
  4. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    There's definitely one dead spot in the car. All the way in the footwell in the trunk. My service advisor recently offered to leave the car and key in that manner if I was going to pick up my car late from a service visit (with the expectation that I'd use the mobile app to unlock the car).

    There may be some dicey spots inside the cabin - Chin cubby? Front of the center console floor? - and that must explain what happened.
     
  5. Nrk7001

    Nrk7001 Member

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    Yup, we got locked out at the car wash when they put it up in the driver corner of the dash. Gotta love the unlock freature on the app. Service advisor confirmed there are deadspots and the center of the "sphere" is the cupholder so always leave in cup holder. He also said they leave key in the frunk when they leave the car for people because its a deadzone as well.
     
  6. gpetti

    gpetti Active Member

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    Thanks for all the great input. It possible she put her phone down on top of it too. That might explain why it worked when she turned on the car but then it lost connection. I'll have to look into it further.
    I guess the walkaway lock feature could be turned off but I generally like the feature. It does seem like there could be some room for improvement with the cars handling of the key. For example, if the key is not detectable at the point where the car door is opened after driving, a warning could be provided. Does it warn you if you are driving and the key disappears? Guess I can do some tests when I get back.
     
  7. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    If I have the FOB in the same pocket as my phone (Samsung Galaxy S4), it will do the same to me ("can't find key"). Don't know if it's just the electronics density or the NFC in the phone or what, but there's clearly some interference there.
     
  8. invisik

    invisik Member

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    I think I get the phone interference as well. When walking up to the car the handles won't extend sometimes and I think the fob is most interior in my pocket, with my phone being most exterior. I'll try a different pocket one day and see if it's consistent. Thanks for this info.

    -m

    PS: And thank you, I will tell my wife about this :)
     
  9. Akikiki

    Akikiki A'-Lo-HA ! y'all

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    #9 Akikiki, Apr 5, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
    The owner's manual documents keeping the fob away from a smartphone.

    BTW, even when you are locked out for some reason, you should also try just opening the trunk at the truck switch. Sometimes this works when the smartphone is not available and the fob appears to not be working from inside the car.

    Practice. Take some time, roll down a window or leave one fob inside the house, and test what works and what does not.

    Finally, its a good idea to put a spare or two 2032 batteries some place you can get to. Small price to pay up front.
     
  10. Neech

    Neech Member

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    #10 Neech, Apr 5, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
    I had the same thing happen to me - left purse in car with phone and fob in it, got out, and door handles would not move. I tried to open the trunk and it would not open either. I ended up calling Tesla and they were able to unlock it remotely.
     
  11. gpetti

    gpetti Active Member

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    Thanks for sharing! I guess I should share with my wife that she isn't the first person to have the problem. Or should I? Hopefully she hasn't subscribed to TMC. :smile:

    - - - Updated - - -

    Good advice.
     
  12. laalan

    laalan Member

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    I also put key in cup holder at car wash and although it always worked before, the last time it locked and the app was used to unlock it. Thank goodness for the app!
     
  13. chickensevil

    chickensevil Active Member

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    Shouldn't you be "ok" if the battery dies? There are emergency "dead battery" entry proceedures to unlock the car and get in moving. You stick the key in a spot (specifics in the manual) on the front window over the passenger side and it will unlock the car, and then you stick the key near the 12V outlet and it will start the car. I mean, having a spare battery just makes it easier, but just thought it was worth sharing that if the battery completely dies and you lack a spare, you can still manage to get the car working.

    I am assuming there is a passive RFID chip in it... if I had an RFID reader I would check this, but it is just a guess.
     
  14. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    That only works sometimes. If the fob battery is dead, it doesn't work. If the fob battery is very weak it might work.
     
  15. jamieb

    jamieb Member

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    I've had my car only since late December and I've already replaced the battery once on my primary keyfob. Don't know if they had a batch of marginal batteries in the recent batch of keyfobs or if the Tesla keyfob depletes them more quickly, but I definitely noticed improved performance and range when I replaced the 2032 last month. I keep a blister-packed set of 2032 batteries in the glove compartment and will replace any time I notice worsening range when walking up to the car.
     
  16. Akikiki

    Akikiki A'-Lo-HA ! y'all

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    #16 Akikiki, Apr 8, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
    Shouldn't you be "ok" if the battery dies? YES There are emergency "dead battery" entry proceedures to unlock the car and get in moving. YES. But we all know what happens when we rely on what should work. (Just when we need it the most, it let's us down.

    I too have replaced my 2032 battery since my delivery just 6 months ago. As a matter of fact, more than once. Anytime my fob seems to be weak, I replace it. 2032 batteries are cheap. Especially when we buy them in blister-packs. There just doesn't seem to be a way to guarantee that the new one from the blister-pack is any better than the one already in the fob. Sure, it should be, but sometimes, it does not seem to be strong for very long. Makes me wonder about the age of the blister-pack of 2032s when I buy them.

    Everyone's comments are helpful. Sometimes they save us when we are in a bind. That's one of the best things about this forum - sharing.
     
  17. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    1. Key is always in Watch Pocket of jeans. To lock car just need to push on it - never need to remove from pocket.

    2. Key kept in metal can at home. Metal can reduces chance of constant polling depleting battery if I happen to park extra close to kitchen door.

    3. Washing machine has warning sticker to verify key is in its metal can before pushing START button.

    4. If door handle does not respond when pushed, then remove key from pocket and place key on passenger wiper blade and re-try driver's door handle. There are other positions where a key with weak battery will work, keep trying. Then go buy a new battery.

    5. 3.3 volt batteries (or above) are indeed fresh. Below 3.0v MS will start to complain, but they still work.
    --
     

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