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

New phone time; questions re: phone-as-key

srs5694

Active Member
Jan 15, 2019
1,358
1,736
Woonsocket, RI
FWIW, the new phone (a Pixel 6 Pro) arrived today. Things started out well (Google has made the transfer of data from an old phone very easy), but it went downhill from there. After seeming to pair as a key, it failed to work when I actually wanted it to, and I ended up deleting the Tesla app (multiple times), re-starting the phone (multiple times), restarting the car's computer (multiple times), and it still wouldn't work. At different times, the option to set up the phone as a key disappeared from the Tesla app or failed with a "disconnect other paired devices" message. This was infuriating, because I didn't have anything else I'd paired with either the car or the phone with me. I Googled the phrase and found some threads, but the suggested fixes didn't work for me. In frustration, I set off to my nearest Tesla store to see if they'd have better luck. When I was a couple miles away from the store, I realized that the "other paired devices" might have referred to my old phone, which, although it was not with me in the car, was likely within Bluetooth range in my house. Sure enough, when I pulled into the parking lot, the new phone paired and worked when I tested it. Tesla could be more specific about this in their error message. Time will tell if the phone-as-key works in the future....

Then the KVM switch for my computers started acting up. That's another matter, but it's been a day of techno-annoyances.

I'm posting this in case somebody else runs into the same problem; maybe it'll save some frustration.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CheapBastid
I have a Galaxy S21 and it has worked 99.9% of the time. I've had maybe once that I can remember where the door wouldn't unlock in time, then I just used my key. By the time I got in and sat down, the phone had registered properly.
Same Galaxy S21 99.9% club member
It can be additionally handy being an Android, hold the phone up to drivers side B pillar....unlock the car
 
PSA related to this topic for and for anyone who happens to find the thread when dealing with phone key issues at phone upgrade, swap or replacement time.

Highly recommend bringing your key card along (especially if you never use it) when changing phones!

Turns out the Tesla app requires the key card to authenticate the new phone as another phone key and having your working phone key which you might have used to drive out, will not suffice.

If you proceed with a phone change without a key card handy, the only way to be able to drive off will be to power on the old phone, turn on both Bluetooth and WiFi, and make use of a hotspot to be able to login to the Tesla app and have the car recognize it without cellular network data. Next, use the old phone as your key until you get to a registered key card and can authenticate the new phone as a phone key.

In summary:
-Logging into the Tesla app with your credentials on the new phone will only allow you to unlock and lock the car until it's registered as a phone key (good security measure)

-New phone will not authenticate as a phone key without a key card hand
(good but wish this was spelled out more clearly since it's done so rarely and so many use their phones as the only key)

-To bypass the need for a key card if you are away from home, use the old phone with data via a WiFi hotspot (say off the new phone or a stationary hotspot nearby) to start the car and drive off, when you get home, register the new phone as a phone key with an existing and pre-registered keycard or fob.
 
PSA related to this topic for and for anyone who happens to find the thread when dealing with phone key issues at phone upgrade, swap or replacement time.

Highly recommend bringing your key card along (especially if you never use it) when changing phones!

Turns out the Tesla app requires the key card to authenticate the new phone as another phone key and having your working phone key which you might have used to drive out, will not suffice.

If you proceed with a phone change without a key card handy, the only way to be able to drive off will be to power on the old phone, turn on both Bluetooth and WiFi, and make use of a hotspot to be able to login to the Tesla app and have the car recognize it without cellular network data. Next, use the old phone as your key until you get to a registered key card and can authenticate the new phone as a phone key.

In summary:
-Logging into the Tesla app with your credentials on the new phone will only allow you to unlock and lock the car until it's registered as a phone key (good security measure)

-New phone will not authenticate as a phone key without a key card hand
(good but wish this was spelled out more clearly since it's done so rarely and so many use their phones as the only key)

-To bypass the need for a key card if you are away from home, use the old phone with data via a WiFi hotspot (say off the new phone or a stationary hotspot nearby) to start the car and drive off, when you get home, register the new phone as a phone key with an existing and pre-registered keycard or fob.
I bought a new iPhone last summer and didn't bring my key card with me to the Apple store. The guy at the Apple store simply transferred all the data from the old phone to the new phone. Worked perfectly
 
  • Like
  • Informative
Reactions: KenC and Perscitus
I bought a new iPhone last summer and didn't bring my key card with me to the Apple store. The guy at the Apple store simply transferred all the data from the old phone to the new phone. Worked perfectly
Interesting, thx for sharing. Perhaps copying all the data including Tesla app related data brought over the phone key credentials, but if that's the case, its not a very safe implementation.

Speaking of ... keycards....

 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
4,304
4,014
Maine
I bought a new iPhone last summer and didn't bring my key card with me to the Apple store. The guy at the Apple store simply transferred all the data from the old phone to the new phone. Worked perfectly
Yeah, my latest iPhone 13 Pro, shows up in my car as iPhone 6, since I've just copied the settings/data forward so many times, to an 8 then a X, now a 13. No issues, whatsoever.
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

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