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Key Fob sometimes will not unlock? [passive unlock doesnt work sometimes]

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
8,753
7,566
Visalia, CA
When I come back to the locked car it will not unlock. I have to use the Fob. It has only happened 3-4 times in the last 6 weeks. Normal?

That doesn't sound Normal. A fob has consistently locked and unlocked for my 3 different Tesla Models 2012 Model S, 2017 Model X, 2018 Model 3, or for the past 9 years.
 

sduck

Mr. Duck
Nov 6, 2017
1,454
1,441
Nashville TN
It's unclear what you're asking. When you say "I have to use the fob" is that instead of your phone, or what? Do you use the fob all the time and it recently started not working sometimes? Or is the fob an alternative key that you carry around?

I've been using a fob for maybe a year and a half and it always works. Sometimes not the very first try - if you approach the car from certain angles your body can block the bluetooth signal path, but it always works second try in those rare cases.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,789
9,744
Riverside Co. CA
When I come back to the locked car it will not unlock. I have to use the Fob. It has only happened 3-4 times in the last 6 weeks. Normal?

The thread title and opening post of this thread contradict each other. What are you actually saying you have issues with? Your thread title says "the keyfob sometimes doesnt unlock" and the first post says "I have to use the fob when I come back to the car".

Can you update what you are asking so I can make the thread title match what you are asking?

(I realize @sduck said basically the same thing, but I want to change the thread title to match what is being asked).
 

Kimmi

Member
Nov 30, 2020
183
61
West Covina California
jjrandorin said;

"Can you update what you are asking so I can make the thread title match what you are asking?"

I do not use my phone as a key; Fob only. Been using it since delivery of car on 12/29.2020. Occasionally I need to push the lock button on the Fob to have the car recognize the Fob. It has happened 4-5 times. Seems to happen when approaching the car from the driver side rear. I just figure it's a Bluetooth thing.

PS
D'Elia's Grinders FTW!
 

sduck

Mr. Duck
Nov 6, 2017
1,454
1,441
Nashville TN
Ah, I see. Perhaps it'll help you to know where the bluetooth antenna is for the fob - in the exterior mirrors. So if you have the fob in your back or side pocket, and your body or something is blocking the bluetooth signal, it can have that effect.
 
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elptxjc

Member
Dec 15, 2019
765
148
El Paso, TX
I'd start by replacing the battery. Or at least check its voltage. It's cheap to do, and it could be the issue. And even if it's not, at least you know you have a good battery there, which should last at least a year. Some fobs eat batteries, but others don't. Maybe somebody with a Tesla fob can chime in and tell you about how long it should last.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
8,753
7,566
Visalia, CA
Thanx, that would explain why it does not happen when approaching from the front of the car.

It's possible that the fob is obstructed by something like other stuff in a purse, or next to something thick like a cell phone...

I guess my success for the last 9 years is because the most obstructive material of my fob is a thin piece of clothing for my pockets.
 

sduck

Mr. Duck
Nov 6, 2017
1,454
1,441
Nashville TN
I'd start by replacing the battery. Or at least check its voltage. It's cheap to do, and it could be the issue. And even if it's not, at least you know you have a good battery there, which should last at least a year. Some fobs eat batteries, but others don't. Maybe somebody with a Tesla fob can chime in and tell you about how long it should last.
The car is really good about telling you when the battery is low. They last 9-12 months, probably closer to the 9 month time frame for me, and I just had to replace mine for the second time.
 

cimci

Member
Oct 28, 2020
35
4
Vancouver
I use my phone to unlock my car and 5 out of 10 attempts are fail! I repeatedly have to pull the door handle until it recognizes me and that is so annoying!
 

elptxjc

Member
Dec 15, 2019
765
148
El Paso, TX
I use my phone to unlock my car and 5 out of 10 attempts are fail!
That definitely shouldn't happen. But did it start happening all of a sudden, or since day 1? Remember the phone-as-key only works when very close to the car, and BT can be blocked by other electronic devices, or even your own body, if you have the phone on your back pocket. I typically carry the phone with my wallet when walking to the car, and haven't had an issue so far. I've had issues, but that was operator error, like the app being in the background, forgetting to turn BT on. We're getting the hang of all of that by now, after 1+ months of ownership :).
 

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