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"Key Not Inside" even with new batteries/both fobs/etc

ohmman

Upright Member
Global Moderator
Feb 13, 2014
10,796
20,359
North Bay, CA
Has anyone seen this message with the following symptoms?

  • I approach the car with the fob, lights come on but it doesn't unlock. I can unlock with the app.
  • In the car, press foot on brake and get "key not inside" message on the IC.
  • Center console, near the USB ports, clicks four times, pauses, and repeats this four click routine indefinitely.
  • If I place the fob in the center console, four clicks becomes one click, pause, repeat.
  • Keyless driving enables the car for driving, it looks to be ready when I press the brake, however it will not go in gear. Beeps and shows me the "Key Not Inside" message.

I've tried both fobs, I've replaced the batteries with new ones, I've rebooted the IC, the MCU, and did a full power off on the car. I'm about to call Tesla but figure they're going to want to flatbed it in, so I'd rather get some community help if anyone has other ideas.

I left the car for 4 days in the garage plugged in while we were out of town. I wonder to some degree if the fobs were communicating and turning the car off and on repeatedly during that time, despite both keys being in my safe drawer away from the vehicle.

Thanks..
 
@ohmman , did you perform the "full power off" using the Settings page, or by disconncting the 12 V battery? If only the former, you may want to try a 10 min battery disconnect.
Also, do you have any devices plugged into any USB ports?
These are long shots. It sounds like you'll need a service call. You'll need this fixed before the summer camper towing season when you'll be in areas with no cell coverage!
 

ohmman

Upright Member
Global Moderator
Feb 13, 2014
10,796
20,359
North Bay, CA
Thanks for the responses.

@J1mbo, I replaced the battery in both fobs and have tried using them both at the same time in the car. Interestingly enough, putting both in the console does the "four click" thing as if none are there. But either one in the console only has one click. Whatever the heck that means.

@pkefal, thanks but I have no RFID cards of any kind. I'm in workout clothing with nothing but fobs. Not even a wallet on me.

@Solarman004, I use the settings page, and it appears it doesn't really power off. The car doesn't lock after I do it, and the liftgate LED stays on. Maybe Tesla can remotely force power off. I'm very close to calling. I still haven't tried the 12V. I don't think I've ever removed that access panel, so it might be something to do.
 

ohmman

Upright Member
Global Moderator
Feb 13, 2014
10,796
20,359
North Bay, CA
Can you power up the car with your phone app? Or if you don't have a phone with you, have your partner do it remotely . I had do do that once for my wife when she lost the fob on a trip out of town. Also, if you call roadside assistance, they can start your car remotely as well.
I'd mentioned in my original post that enabling keyless driving from the app allows me to press the brake and get things to look like they're going to work, but it won't go into gear -- "key not inside" replaces the keyless driving message. And I cannot re-enable it from the app, which thinks it's already enabled. Sadly, no luck there.
 

ohmman

Upright Member
Global Moderator
Feb 13, 2014
10,796
20,359
North Bay, CA
Very sorry to hear this, @ohmman. Please fill us in with they find during the repair.
First time out of 6 total years of electric/Tesla ownership that I’ve needed a tow.
C2555B1C-9779-4186-9C7B-96DD3C9E5497.jpeg
 
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EV-lutioin

Active Member
Apr 2, 2016
2,073
3,072
California
I'd mentioned in my original post that enabling keyless driving from the app allows me to press the brake and get things to look like they're going to work, but it won't go into gear -- "key not inside" replaces the keyless driving message. And I cannot re-enable it from the app, which thinks it's already enabled. Sadly, no luck there.
Sorry, I missed that in the OP. Good luck and keep us posted on the remedy.... I would hate to have this happen at a remote trailhead :eek:
 

ohmman

Upright Member
Global Moderator
Feb 13, 2014
10,796
20,359
North Bay, CA
@ohmman , Any updates?
Yes, sorry - they fixed it two days ago but valeted it back yesterday morning. There is no invoice, but the service manager on the phone told me that it was a control module that was "locked up" and they were able to reset it. No parts needed.

I do wonder if I'd tried disconnecting the 12V battery if it would have reset. Probably should have tried.
 
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mongo

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2017
14,724
50,605
Michigan
Yes, sorry - they fixed it two days ago but valeted it back yesterday morning. There is no invoice, but the service manager on the phone told me that it was a control module that was "locked up" and they were able to reset it. No parts needed.

I do wonder if I'd tried disconnecting the 12V battery if it would have reset. Probably should have tried.

Glad you car is back!

  • Center console, near the USB ports, clicks four times, pauses, and repeats this four click routine indefinitely.
  • If I place the fob in the center console, four clicks becomes one click, pause, repeat.

FWIW, the clicks you heard from the center console were likely the LF antenna trying to talk to the fob. Going from 4 clicks to one showed that some part of the SW/HW could see that the fob was there (and that the fob was likely OK). However, it sounds like the upstream command module was not reacting to that information and so kept requesting Fob detection (or the interface module was not sending the info).
 
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Yes, sorry - they fixed it two days ago but valeted it back yesterday morning. There is no invoice, but the service manager on the phone told me that it was a control module that was "locked up" and they were able to reset it. No parts needed.

I do wonder if I'd tried disconnecting the 12V battery if it would have reset. Probably should have tried.
Great news. I'm glad they got it fixed.
It would be interesting to see on the invoice if they used a 12 V disconnect to reset the control module. I hope I don't have this module problem, but if I do, it's always nice to have a hip pocket DIY solution.
I'm sure Captain Sunshade's idea is also a valid option!
 
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