Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Intentional key lock-in

grichard

Member De-Luxe
Oct 2, 2015
205
67
St. Louis, MO
My MS is in for service (buffing out a scuff on the bumper, alas).

I usually get done with work after the body shop closes. I'd like to pay them with a credit card over the phone, have them lock my key in the car, and go pick the car up later that evening. With a physical lock, this is easy. But... can they (or I) lock the car with a key fob inside it? If they pop the battery out of the key fob before putting it in the car, are they then able to lock the door?

How should I do this?

Thanks!
 

Rockster

Active Member
Oct 22, 2013
3,010
4,614
McKinney, TX
You might need to lock it remotely for them with your phone after they report that they've removed the battery and put the key fob in your car.
 

benjiejr

Technogeekextraordinaire
Nov 20, 2014
672
478
San Antonio, Texas
Last week the Ranger put my fob in the cup holder and sliding armrests over it then locked it remotely. I was able to use my phone app to unlock the car. Just make sure the car has good reception so you can reliably use your phone app to unlock. The Ranger said this location is just outside of the range of it's antenna and they do it frequently.
 

Discoducky

P100DL, 2021 M3, 3 CT reservations and counting
Dec 25, 2011
3,552
4,533
My mountain
When my fob is in the trunk I can hold down the trunk release/open and it will open.

Not sure about the frunk, haven't tried that....
 

Canuck

Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2013
6,125
5,470
South Surrey, BC
They can drop the fob into the truck well. The car cannot detect it there.

I note that when I walk up to my car with the key in my pocket, and I am behind the vehicle, the door handles don't always retract. However, if I touch the trunk unlock, it takes a moment, and then unlocks. This has caused me to surmise that upon the trunk unlock being touched, it sends out a more powerful signal looking for the key. If it finds it, it unlocks the trunk. If not, the trunk stays locked.

So putting the keys in the trunk is not a good idea if my theory is correct. The vehicle may lock, and the key may not be detected, but touching the unlock of the trunk may cause the key to be detected.
 

Rockster

Active Member
Oct 22, 2013
3,010
4,614
McKinney, TX
When my fob is in the trunk I can hold down the trunk release/open and it will open.

Not sure about the frunk, haven't tried that....

Mine too (the trunk, that is). I've never been able to lock the key in my car, no matter the location I try. (I can't say I've tried the frunk, though.)
 

Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,670
3,719
NoVa
Last week the Ranger put my fob in the cup holder and sliding armrests over it then locked it remotely. I was able to use my phone app to unlock the car. Just make sure the car has good reception so you can reliably use your phone app to unlock. The Ranger said this location is just outside of the range of it's antenna and they do it frequently.

That's odd. I have dropped my key in the cup-holder occasionally and the car always detects it. I may not have slid it shut though...
 

muleferg

Active Member
Dec 15, 2013
1,454
745
North Wilkesboro, NC
Key in frunk, trunk, and in the cup holders will not keep it locked, I just tried it. Touch the handle and they come out. I took the key inside the house and it would not unlock.
 
Last edited:

muleferg

Active Member
Dec 15, 2013
1,454
745
North Wilkesboro, NC
Well I just tried this. . I wrapped it in alum foil. Bingo.... It want unlock

IMG_3539.jpg
 

grichard

Member De-Luxe
Oct 2, 2015
205
67
St. Louis, MO
Thanks for the help.

I assume that taking the battery out of the fob will keep the car from detecting it? So I can have them pop out the battery and put the fob in the car, then I can lock the car from the app. Right? Would that work?
 

RDoc

S85D
Aug 24, 2012
2,736
1,586
Boston North Shore
Just be sure the car's console computer hasn't crashed before you do this. At least for our car and our Android phone apps, the car won't connect at least 10% of the time until we reboot the console.
 

CatB

Member
Mar 2, 2013
887
695
Alexandria, VA
FYI, this is a good trick at Cars'n'Coffee too. I like letting kids sit in the front seats and play with the touchscreen (easier than trying to tell the parents how to use the GUI), but I wrap the fob in foil, in case they touch the pedals.
 

steph280

Member
Feb 10, 2015
226
6
Orange, CA
I thought cupholders are where the fob detectors are at. I recall somebody saying that's where you put the fob with dead battery in order for the car to detect it.
 

mibaro2

Member
Dec 2, 2012
959
8
Georgetown, ON
Locking the car remotely with your phone overrides the key in the car. I know this because when I went to the SC to drop off my car, they had a loaner parked upfront with the keys in it. The SC had to call Tesla to have them unlock it remotely. (We could not get in the car even though the key was in the car).
 

Duckjybe

Member
Mar 29, 2012
815
189
Ontario, Canada
All you have to do is leave key FOB in the car (cupholder or cubby), hold door open and manually hit the lock icon on centre console. Then get out and close door. It stays locked. This is the procedure service centre suggested.
 
Last edited:

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top