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Is Locking phone in car possible/Key card functionally questions.

Tabor

MYP. MSM. WHITE INT. OD 9/10/21
Sep 10, 2021
203
212
MD
I just got my MYP yesterday (LOVE IT)

but have some questions about the fuctionality of the keycard/phone key.

i frequently drive places to run and leave my phone in my car (I have an Apple Watch that has all the safety features Id need in case of emergency)

anyway, if i turned my phone totally off, Locked it in the glove box and carry my key card.

would i, be able to Lock AND unlock the car With just the card?
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
4,361
4,528
Maryland
I just got my MYP yesterday (LOVE IT)

but have some questions about the fuctionality of the keycard/phone key.

i frequently drive places to run and leave my phone in my car (I have an Apple Watch that has all the safety features Id need in case of emergency)

anyway, if i turned my phone totally off, Locked it in the glove box and carry my key card.

would i, be able to Lock AND unlock the car With just the card?
Yes, the key card will always be used to lock/unlock the vehicle and start up the Tesla vehicle to be able to to drive. You don't have to turn off your phone, just turn off Bluetooth. For additional security of your Tesla vehicle consider using PIN to drive. This requires a 4 digit PIN every time you step on the brake pedal while the Tesla vehicle is in the Park shifter position. With PIN to drive no one can just hop into your Tesla vehicle and drive off. You can also set a PIN for the glove box.
 

Tabor

MYP. MSM. WHITE INT. OD 9/10/21
Sep 10, 2021
203
212
MD
Yes, the key card will always be used to lock/unlock the vehicle and start up the Tesla vehicle to be able to to drive. You don't have to turn off your phone, just turn off Bluetooth. For additional security of your Tesla vehicle consider using PIN to drive. This requires a 4 digit PIN every time you step on the brake pedal while the Tesla vehicle is in the Park shifter position. With PIN to drive no one can just hop into your Tesla vehicle and drive off. You can also set a PIN for the glove box.
Thank you!

I’m sure I’m over complicating but the mechanics of phone/key card are totally new
 

drtimhill

Active Member
Apr 25, 2019
2,373
3,092
Seattle
I just got my MYP yesterday (LOVE IT)

but have some questions about the fuctionality of the keycard/phone key.

i frequently drive places to run and leave my phone in my car (I have an Apple Watch that has all the safety features Id need in case of emergency)

anyway, if i turned my phone totally off, Locked it in the glove box and carry my key card.

would i, be able to Lock AND unlock the car With just the card?
Yes. The card does not need nor interact with the phone in any way to unlock/drive the car. Technically, you dont need to turn your phone totally off, but you do need to disable Bluetooth and Wifi if you want to leave it in the car. On many phones "airplane mode" is sufficient, but not all (iPhones tend to leave BT partially enabled).

To clarify some aspects of the phone/card key usage. The card key uses NFC to open/unlock the car, the phone uses Bluetooth/WiFi/Cellular. The phone uses Bluetooth to communicate to the car when it is in range (a few dozen feet), and in fact uses Bluetooth to discover your proximity to auto lock/unlock the car. When you are out of Bluetooth range the phone uses a WiFi/Cellular internet connection to talk to the car (actually via Tesla servers), so you can control the car from any location. To keep power usage low when locked, the car only checks-in with the Tesla "mother ship" servers at intervals, which is why it takes a few seconds for the Tesla app to connect to the car when you are not in Bluetooth range.
 
Last edited:

drtimhill

Active Member
Apr 25, 2019
2,373
3,092
Seattle
There’s got to be a good place to “hide a key” so you can have the keycard available in the event your phone dies or you go out for a run.
I use the CNICK ring .. always on my finger, even when I'm swimming or at the beach. Everything else valuable is safe in the frunk (which I feel is safer than the trunk).
 
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jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
4,361
4,528
Maryland
Yes, you have to place the key card on the center console between the front cup holders against the forward edge of the armrest. In the cup holder until I can transfer the key card to my wallet. Try keeping your phone in your front pocket or your hand as you approach the driver's side door.
 
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andaconda

Member
Apr 3, 2021
427
248
S.W. Montana
I have slipped my key card in between my phone case and my phone. If the phone doesn't activate the car on my approach I will lay the back side of the phone where the key card is supposed to be, then once the car is started I lay the phone in the charger tray. I can usually remember to grab the phone as I leave the car.
 
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daniel

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2009
5,249
4,596
Kihei, HI
I just got my MYP yesterday (LOVE IT)

but have some questions about the fuctionality of the keycard/phone key.

i frequently drive places to run and leave my phone in my car (I have an Apple Watch that has all the safety features Id need in case of emergency)

anyway, if i turned my phone totally off, Locked it in the glove box and carry my key card.

would i, be able to Lock AND unlock the car With just the card?

There’s got to be a good place to “hide a key” so you can have the keycard available in the event your phone dies or you go out for a run.

Sometimes when I go out on the ocean we launch from a place I cannot walk to and I have to drive. I won't take my phone on the water. I have a waterproof Otter Box with the spare key card and some cash that I take with me. (Wouldn't need to be waterproof, but this way it floats.) I turn off Bluetooth on the phone in order to be able to lock the car.

It's possible that a recent OTA update changed the behavior, but one time I accidentally locked both the phone and the Otter Box in the car. I had set them down and closed the tailgate and the car locked. I freaked out for about three minutes. Then I suddenly realized that it was no problem at all: I asked my buddy to download the Tesla app onto his phone. Then I logged onto my account and told the app to unlock my car. It asked "Are you sure?" and I said Yes, and the car unlocked. I signed out of the app and told my buddy he could uninstall the app.

Now I'm careful to put the Otter Box lanyard around my neck when I get out of the car on these occasions. But it's pretty cool that as long as there's cell service, any friend's phone can get you back into your car if you lock yourself out (or your phone battery dies). Just don't forget your Tesla log-in credentials.
 
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drtimhill

Active Member
Apr 25, 2019
2,373
3,092
Seattle
I have a key card question. Do you have to place it by the cup holders to start the car each time? Once it’s started, where do you place the card so you don’t forget it? How does this work with a CNICK ring @drtimhill ?

I’ve been using the phone as a key, but it’s become disconnected twice.
Depending on your settings you dont even have to do that now .. once you unlock the car using the keycard, you can start it and drive right away. If I recall (its been a while) if you dont start the car within a certain time then you ARE required to tap the keycard by the cup holders (theft prevention). However, even then you dont have to leave it there, you can just tap and put it away. The same applies to the CNICK ring (which has the same NFC chain as the keycard, basically).

The phone shouldn't even lose its ability to unlock the car .. it hasn't done that for me in 3 years. If it persists you might want to check your phone doesnt have problems, or maybe the car Bluetooth.
 
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EVer Hopeful

Member
Jul 7, 2021
820
651
Texas
I’ve been using the phone as a key, but it’s become disconnected twice.

So has mine (several times) and it freaked me out the first time

I posted here and was told about the Airplane mode thing, so I put the Airplane mode setting in the "quick five" that you can drag down from the top of the (Android) phone. It still fails from time to time, but at least it's an easy thing to address

I carry the keycard with me now too and and thinking of getting the ring
 
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