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How does phone app connect to the car?

When parked at home I am having trouble sending commands from my iPhone to the car (MY). The car is in a detached garage about 50' from the house and the Tesla app does show under "Security" that my phone is connected to the car. However, when I send a command from the Tesla app it usually does not execute the command unless I send the command multiple times and often it does not work at all - particularly first thing in the morning - since the car does not wake up. Once I do connect, the phone app works well to control the car for a few hours. I have wifi in the house and garage (same network), but the cellular signal in the house is weak. I would think the app and car would communicate via wifi since they are both receiving the same signal? Does the car actually rely on a cellular signal only (not wifi) to communicate with the app? I do have several third party apps that communicate with the car (Watch for Tesla, Tessie, Stats, Optiwatt) and I wonder if they might be causing a problem? Once the communication between the app and the car is established all the apps work fine for a few hours - I assume until the car goes into a deep sleep again.

Thanks for your assistance.
 

whatthe2

Active Member
Dec 16, 2016
1,526
1,289
Denver, CO
When parked at home I am having trouble sending commands from my iPhone to the car (MY). The car is in a detached garage about 50' from the house and the Tesla app does show under "Security" that my phone is connected to the car. However, when I send a command from the Tesla app it usually does not execute the command unless I send the command multiple times and often it does not work at all - particularly first thing in the morning - since the car does not wake up. Once I do connect, the phone app works well to control the car for a few hours. I have wifi in the house and garage (same network), but the cellular signal in the house is weak. I would think the app and car would communicate via wifi since they are both receiving the same signal? Does the car actually rely on a cellular signal only (not wifi) to communicate with the app? I do have several third party apps that communicate with the car (Watch for Tesla, Tessie, Stats, Optiwatt) and I wonder if they might be causing a problem? Once the communication between the app and the car is established all the apps work fine for a few hours - I assume until the car goes into a deep sleep again.

Thanks for your assistance.
Here is what I think, but could certainly be wrong. The phone uses Bluetooth to connect directly to the car to unlock. However, I believe using the car controls via the app requires a connection to Tesla servers for both the phone and the car. So even on wifi, you still need a good connection for both to the Internet. So if one has a poor wifi connection that could be causing issues.

Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,611
18,703
Riverside Co. CA
The phone uses bluetooth for the phone as key function (Bluetooth LE actually). That connection has nothing to do with the connection to the car for music, calendar, etc.

For functions that have to do with the tesla app such as unlocking, starting, etc, it uses the cars cellular connection. Wifi gets turned off when the car is asleep, I am fairly certain (but not 100% certain).

On a separate note, its not a great idea to have several third party apps. Separate from the fact that, any car app that can interact with your car has your tesla token and can do anything you can do with it (like start your car, unlock it, etc), they each can keep the car awake and have to be configured not to. Having multiple of those increases the chance your car will not sleep.
 

ATPMSD

Active Member
Mar 12, 2021
1,322
1,218
Atlanta, GA
The app connects to the Tesla server and the Tesla server connects to your car. It does not matter whether you use cellular (provided data is enabled) or WiFi, so long as you have good connections.

On a separate note, I have found the easiest way to resolve a number of issues is to reboot both the car and the phone.
 
The phone uses bluetooth for the phone as key function (Bluetooth LE actually). That connection has nothing to do with the connection to the car for music, calendar, etc.

For functions that have to do with the tesla app such as unlocking, starting, etc, it uses the cars cellular connection. Wifi gets turned off when the car is asleep, I am fairly certain (but not 100% certain).

On a separate note, its not a great idea to have several third party apps. Separate from the fact that, any car app that can interact with your car has your tesla token and can do anything you can do with it (like start your car, unlock it, etc), they each can keep the car awake and have to be configured not to. Having multiple of those increases the chance your car will not sleep.
I bought a 2021 Model Y in Slovenia for use in Albania but I don't get cellular connectivity. Albania does not have a Tesla office. Best I can tell the sim (or eSim) si configured for the EU using a Slovenia telcom, and thus would be good throughout the EU, but apparently not Albania, a non EU country. So I am trying to figure out the best approach to fixing this. Should I go to a local telco and try to have the sim/esim replaced with a local one? Will I still have connectivity with Tesla servers using this approach. Or should I get a cellular data dongle to plug into a USB port, and will that connect over the cellular network? It's really frustrating not having LTE connectivity as much of the functions I bought the car for are missing. Using my IPhone hotspot works for data but not for remote control. Any advice/assistance would be appreciated!
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,611
18,703
Riverside Co. CA
I bought a 2021 Model Y in Slovenia for use in Albania but I don't get cellular connectivity. Albania does not have a Tesla office. Best I can tell the sim (or eSim) si configured for the EU using a Slovenia telcom, and thus would be good throughout the EU, but apparently not Albania, a non EU country. So I am trying to figure out the best approach to fixing this. Should I go to a local telco and try to have the sim/esim replaced with a local one? Will I still have connectivity with Tesla servers using this approach. Or should I get a cellular data dongle to plug into a USB port, and will that connect over the cellular network? It's really frustrating not having LTE connectivity as much of the functions I bought the car for are missing. Using my IPhone hotspot works for data but not for remote control. Any advice/assistance would be appreciated!

I dont know of any way to fix that. There are a few threads in the model 3 subforum where people have moved a model 3 (same basic car) to a country without cellular support. I have not seen anyone report success.

 

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