Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
  • Please check out the latest TMC Podcast (#13) where we discussed new Model Y launches, Tesla improving service, nationwide EV charging expansion, and viewer comments from previous episodes YouTube or listen to it on all major podcast networks.

Phone connected but not unlocking

According to the app, my Pixel 3 Android phone connects to the car via Bluetooth ( in the Security section it shows as Connected in the app). However, the car doesn't unlock when I walk up to it with the app open. I've tried waiting for a minute or so with the app open and it never unlocks. I have to eventually press the unlock button to get in.

I reset my phone's Bluetooth settings.I've deleted the phone key in the car and that didn't help. I then reinstalled the app and that didn't help either. Not that it matters in this scenario since the app is open and connected to the car, but the app has access to location permissions.

The frustrating part is my wife's Pixel 6 Android phone works just fine. Same version of Android on both. She walks right up and it unlocks. She doesn't even need to have the app open in the foreground.

Is this a car problem or phone problem? And any suggestions on how to get it to unlock on walk up?
Typically it's a phone problem. First, the unlock doesn't go through the media bluetooth connection, it uses bluetooth LE which is different. Close proximity is critical. Is your phone in your back pocket? Your body could block the signal.
Second, the Tesla app absolutely must be running in the background on your phone because it's the Tesla app that authenticates, not the phone alone. If you kill it, unlock won't work. Android always tries to put apps to sleep to save battery. In your case it's an older phone, it could put the app to sleep if it's running out of RAM, depending on the other apps you run on it. The app must not be suspended. Yes, I believe it also needs location access but you covered that.
Make sure Android Battery Optimization is disabled for he Tesla app.

  1. Go to your smartphone's Settings
  2. Select "Apps & notifications"
  3. Select "Advanced"
  4. Select "Special app access"
  5. Select "Battery optimization"
Thank you. I had set the battery optimization for the app and it wasn't working. I then found some old threads about doing the same for other apps on the phone. It randomly started working today. So not sure what it was.

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.