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If you leave your phone inside your car, your car never locks

wdolson

Supporting Member
Jul 24, 2015
7,560
10,110
Clark Co, WA
I found out the hard way with the Model S fob left in the car when my SO took the spare key and left it in the car when she got home. I ran around for a week with the car unlocked because the spare key was in the car.

I leave my phone in the car all the time when I stop someplace. I don't like carrying it around and if someone really needs to get a hold of me they can leave a message and wait until I'm done with my appointment or shopping.
 

CuriousM3

Member
Apr 17, 2018
293
103
Los Angeles
Also it depends on which phone the car is linked to, my 3 was link to my phone and my gf’s phone was in the car, and the car locked her out once I was out of range despite her phone that is linked and sitting in the phone cubby... weird that it did not detect her phone at all
 

wt888usa

Member
Mar 7, 2018
22
20
Austin, TX
Is it possible to just leave the phone in the car with BT on, and lock the car with the card? That will override the phone being in the car with BT on right?
 

strider

Active Member
Oct 20, 2010
3,528
777
NE Oklahoma
Is it possible to just leave the phone in the car with BT on, and lock the car with the card? That will override the phone being in the car with BT on right?
Assuming it's similar to how a model S works w/ the fob left inside, the answer is no. If someone walks up and attempts to open the door, the car will query for a fob (phone). If it finds one it will unlock. If you want to leave your phone in the car you need to turn off bluetooth (or turn the phone itself off).
 

lstroyan

Member
Feb 7, 2018
11
19
Fort Collins, CO
Assuming it's similar to how a model S works w/ the fob left inside, the answer is no. If someone walks up and attempts to open the door, the car will query for a fob (phone). If it finds one it will unlock. If you want to leave your phone in the car you need to turn off bluetooth (or turn the phone itself off).

Anyone with a completely reliable phone key want to test this for us? I'm quite curious. (I'm sorry, I'm not trying to make this into a phone key bash! Mine is getting better each update, and with some patience...:)
 

timk225

Active Member
Mar 24, 2016
2,044
1,058
Pittsburgh
Having to take my phone with me every time I leave the car, even for a brief trip into a convenience store, is a real annoyance. I want a key fob that lives in my pocket. It's inconvenient to have to hold my phone while getting stuff in the store, and it's too big to fit into any pocket easily and comfortably.

My 2011 Challenger R/T had a better key setup than my '18 Model 3, since the Dodge had a normal key fob with no unneeded technology.
 

wdolson

Supporting Member
Jul 24, 2015
7,560
10,110
Clark Co, WA
Personally I think the S/X key fob is superior to the Model 3. It's the size of a normal key fob and controls everything it has to. Most of the time I leave my phone in the car or don't take it at all. I hate carrying the thing around.

When they enable using your phone as a key on the Model S, I will be disabling it in the car's settings. I'd rather have an old school physical key than have to use my phone.
 

wdolson

Supporting Member
Jul 24, 2015
7,560
10,110
Clark Co, WA
Though at least in iOS the button to enable and disable Bluetooth is on the same screen with Airplane Mode. If you are on the main screen and swipe up from the bottom of the screen a number of options come up including flashlight mode, airplane mode, and Bluetooth. They can be toggled from there quickly. Sometimes I need to swipe a couple of times to get the screen up, but once up it's simple to turn these things on/off.
 

jsmay311

Active Member
Apr 22, 2016
1,120
1,645
Chicago suburbs
Is it possible to just leave the phone in the car with BT on, and lock the car with the card? That will override the phone being in the car with BT on right?

Assuming it's similar to how a model S works w/ the fob left inside, the answer is no. If someone walks up and attempts to open the door, the car will query for a fob (phone). If it finds one it will unlock. If you want to leave your phone in the car you need to turn off bluetooth (or turn the phone itself off).

Anyone with a completely reliable phone key want to test this for us? I'm quite curious. (I'm sorry, I'm not trying to make this into a phone key bash! Mine is getting better each update, and with some patience...:)

I just tried it. It doesn't work.

I left the (paired) phone in the car with Bluetooth on, exited the car, then locked the doors from the outside with the key card.

When I returned a few minutes later, I was able to unlock and open the doors by just pressing the door handle.
 

jsmay311

Active Member
Apr 22, 2016
1,120
1,645
Chicago suburbs
Also, interestingly, I just tested to see what would happen if I turned off Bluetooth on my phone in the middle of a drive, and then exited the car and left the (disconnected) phone in the car to see if it would auto-lock and lock the phone inside the car. It didn't.

So it appears the car is smart enough to only auto-lock if it detects the paired phone leaving the car, and not auto-lock if it simply loses its Bluetooth connection.

(I also tried repeating this test, but with actually turning the whole phone off rather than just turning bluetooth off. Same result. It did not auto-lock when I exited the car and left the (turned-off) phone inside.)
 
Last edited:

wdolson

Supporting Member
Jul 24, 2015
7,560
10,110
Clark Co, WA
Also, interestingly, I just tested to see what would happen if I turned off Bluetooth on my phone in the middle of a drive, and then exited the car and left the (disconnected) phone in the car to see if it would auto-lock and lock the phone inside the car. It didn't.

So it appears the car is smart enough to only auto-lock if it detects the paired phone leaving the car, and not auto-lock if it simply loses its Bluetooth connection.

(I also tried repeating this test, but with actually turning the whole phone off rather than just turning bluetooth off. Same result. It did not auto-lock when I exited the car and left the (turned-off) phone inside.)

That's messed up. I'm glad the S doesn't have that. I deliberately leave my phone in the car all the time.
 

jsmay311

Active Member
Apr 22, 2016
1,120
1,645
Chicago suburbs
That's messed up. I'm glad the S doesn't have that. I deliberately leave my phone in the car all the time.

You CAN deliberately lock the car with a phone inside using the key card if you turn off the phone's Bluetooth first.

My previous post was just saying that the car won't auto-lock when a phone's Bluetooth is disabled. To me, that's a good thing that will prevent people accidentally locking their phone(key) in the car.
 

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