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Phone connection with Model 3

cpa

Active Member
May 17, 2014
3,404
4,770
Central Valley
Okay, I am a tech idiot. I just do not understand how things work, why they work, and how to avoid failures. So, please be kind.

We have a 2014 Model S. We use the key fob that comes with the car to lock and unlock the car. I have connected my cell phone (Apple) to the car through the Bluetooth arrangement so that calls can be taken hands-free, and more recently, receive and reply to texts. So far, so good.

We also have a 2018 Model 3. My wife drives that car; I think I have driven it 20 times in three-plus years. When we received the car, the phone key was a pile of crap. We decided to use the black card key instead. I decided to connect my wife's phone to use as a phone key about two months ago, and it has worked flawlessly since.

I'll be taking the Model 3 on a road trip in several weeks. What I do not understand is the following:

If I connect my phone to use as the phone key, does that mess up my bluetooth connection with the S?

If I also connect my phone to the Model 3 bluetooth, does that mess up my bluetooth connection with the S?

Before I leave should I sever my Model S bluetooth connection? Then, upon returning, sever my Model 3 connections and reinstate the Model S bluetooth.

Thank you!
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,262
18,003
Riverside Co. CA
Okay, I am a tech idiot. I just do not understand how things work, why they work, and how to avoid failures. So, please be kind.

We have a 2014 Model S. We use the key fob that comes with the car to lock and unlock the car. I have connected my cell phone (Apple) to the car through the Bluetooth arrangement so that calls can be taken hands-free, and more recently, receive and reply to texts. So far, so good.

We also have a 2018 Model 3. My wife drives that car; I think I have driven it 20 times in three-plus years. When we received the car, the phone key was a pile of crap. We decided to use the black card key instead. I decided to connect my wife's phone to use as a phone key about two months ago, and it has worked flawlessly since.

I'll be taking the Model 3 on a road trip in several weeks. What I do not understand is the following:

If I connect my phone to use as the phone key, does that mess up my bluetooth connection with the S?

If I also connect my phone to the Model 3 bluetooth, does that mess up my bluetooth connection with the S?

Before I leave should I sever my Model S bluetooth connection? Then, upon returning, sever my Model 3 connections and reinstate the Model S bluetooth.

Thank you!

If I connect my phone to use as the phone key, does that mess up my bluetooth connection with the S?

A. Nope, phone as key is a specific type of bluetooth connection. Additionally, all modern mobile phones allow multiple bluetooth connections, so there is no concern on connecting your phone to the model 3 both as a key, and as a bluetooth streaming device (you have to do both separate btw in case you didnt know)

If I also connect my phone to the Model 3 bluetooth, does that mess up my bluetooth connection with the S?

A. Nope, same answer applies as above. The phones can handle multiple connections.

Before I leave should I sever my Model S bluetooth connection? Then, upon returning, sever my Model 3 connections and reinstate the Model S bluetooth.

A. Not necessary at all. the only "trick" if you will to having two teslas in your tesla app is you have to make sure you have the correct car selected in the app. If you have more than one vehicle, you can swap between them in the app. Sometimes, I read that people with both can get frustrated when they have one selected and want to get into the other one, for example. I only have one.

I know @dmurphy has 2 and might be able to tell you where to swap. vehicles
 
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dmurphy

Active Member
Supporting Member
I know @dmurphy has 2 and might be able to tell you where to swap. vehicles

As usual, you’ve nailed the answers on all counts. The phone works just great as a key on multiple Teslas — the only trick is that you have to be “swiped into” the car you want to use.
It’s pretty easy to do — just go into the Tesla app and swipe left or right on the picture of the car to choose the correct one. Here's a quick video to show what I mean in the app:


But yes - it works just great with two vehicles. Just have to pick the right one in the app and all is good! Absolutely no reason to connect/disconnect the Bluetooth connections at all. It's smarter than the average bear. :)
 
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The answers above are correct, but in my experience our Model 3, which both my wife and I drive, doesn’t always select the correct profile when one of us gets in the car. If that happens to you, you’re not doing anything wrong (unless it happens all the time). However, even with that issue, both of our phone keys work flawlessly.

I also drive a Model S, so I’m used to switching between cars. No Bluetooth issues.
 
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cpa

Active Member
May 17, 2014
3,404
4,770
Central Valley
Thank you all.

I was well aware of switching between the cars on the phone app. I do that on occasion when I need to boost the charge level for my wife's car or to tweak the charging.

I was not aware that the phone app has a discrete connection to each car not only with the phone key but also the bluetooth that is associated with our ownership.

Again, thanks! (As an aside, Tesla could have explained this to us from the outset--either through a little printed card or on our ownership page.)

:)
 
When you connect a phone to your car via Bluetooth for calls and/or media, it's just like connecting your phone to any other Bluetooth device. There's nothing special about that connection, and it's not associated with ownership. In fact, I don't think you even need to have the Tesla mobile app installed on the phone for that connection (you do need the app for the phone key).
 
Okay, I am a tech idiot. I just do not understand how things work, why they work, and how to avoid failures. So, please be kind.

We have a 2014 Model S. We use the key fob that comes with the car to lock and unlock the car. I have connected my cell phone (Apple) to the car through the Bluetooth arrangement so that calls can be taken hands-free, and more recently, receive and reply to texts. So far, so good.

We also have a 2018 Model 3. My wife drives that car; I think I have driven it 20 times in three-plus years. When we received the car, the phone key was a pile of crap. We decided to use the black card key instead. I decided to connect my wife's phone to use as a phone key about two months ago, and it has worked flawlessly since.

I'll be taking the Model 3 on a road trip in several weeks. What I do not understand is the following:

If I connect my phone to use as the phone key, does that mess up my bluetooth connection with the S?

If I also connect my phone to the Model 3 bluetooth, does that mess up my bluetooth connection with the S?

Before I leave should I sever my Model S bluetooth connection? Then, upon returning, sever my Model 3 connections and reinstate the Model S bluetooth.

Thank you!
No, you don't have to do anything. The bluetooth in your phone will automatically connect to whichever is closer and disconnect from the wesker/farther vehicle. The phone key is not via Bluetooth. The Bluetooth is for the walk away lock feature and for calls and media. NOTHING to do with the Phone as a key.
 
The phone key is not via Bluetooth. The Bluetooth is for the walk away lock feature and for calls and media. NOTHING to do with the Phone as a key.
The Model 3/Y phone key is most certainly Bluetooth. Maybe I misunderstood your comment?

Regarding the OP’s question, I can confirm that using the same phone to access a Model S and Model 3 via Bluetooth (phone key, audio, and media) is not a problem.
 
Before I leave should I sever my Model S bluetooth connection? Then, upon returning, sever my Model 3 connections and reinstate the Model S bluetooth.

A. Not necessary at all. the only "trick" if you will to having two teslas in your tesla app is you have to make sure you have the correct car selected in the app. If you have more than one vehicle, you can swap between them in the app. Sometimes, I read that people with both can get frustrated when they have one selected and want to get into the other one, for example. I only have one.

I know @dmurphy has 2 and might be able to tell you where to swap. vehicles
Once you get teh car and the phone introduced, as long as you leave Bluetooth enabled, the car responds to your phone as you approach. It's backgound kind kind of thing. If for some reason you need to turn on airplane mode or turn off Bluetooth, as soon as you re enable the phone's radio (incl. Bluetooth), the car(s) come back on line.

Now then...

The new Tesla app (Came out first for IOS, then FINALLY came out for my ANDROID. Be prepared to re enter passwords and such).

Anyway, other than kinda screwing up the screens IMHO, a couple of MAJOR improvements:

1) If you have multiple cars, as long as you have registered each car on your phone, it cares not which car has your focus, with Bluetooth access working, walk up to any of the cars and you can unlock, disconnect, etc... Major YAY!

2) You no longer have to wait (interminably, it can seem) for the car to wake up before issuing a command. So now I can open the app, command the HVAC to turn on, and go on about my chores. In the backgound, as soon as the car awakens, the command will be passed to the car.... Major YAY! #2
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,262
18,003
Riverside Co. CA
This is what happens when you have a situation where a car manufacturer pushes out updates that actually change functionality. Many times, it makes previous discussions on "how to do" something with these cars very much dated references, lol.

When I made that post in april, AFAIK, it was accurate. Now, here in september of 2021, with Version 4 of the tesla app (iOS, not sure what version it is on android), there isnt any need to swap cars for phone as key to work.

the phone key is not via Bluetooth.

Actually, the phone as key feature (which is on model 3s, not sure about which, if any model S and X vehicles) is a bluetooth LE connection. Its separate from the connection for music streaming / phone calls, but it is a bluetooth style connection.
 
I don't know if I just got lucky (and maybe it is because we only have my 3), but I did not have to re-enter any passwords when the V4 app came out (iPhone)
We had some interesting incidents all at the same time. Simultaneously, even...
1) I got over 1000 attempts to debit my Tesla payment account for FSD, Rear Seat Heaters and Sales Tax. All in < 45 minutes. (Bank stopped them and didn't charge me as it was obviously something gone awry). And of course, I don't keep $10 Grand in that kind of account.
2) My phone needed a manual restart to update the Android Tesla App. My wife's Android phone got he app updated automatically. But we had to reintroduce both phones to the cars and enter passwords.
3) At the time the debit attempts were made, her car began acting erratically. Horn honked, A/C went off an on, radio changed. My car was parked, and it was my car on which the debit attempts were made.
I'm pretty sure our account was compromised somehow. Both phones were secure and accounted for.
Interesting thing is that Tesla claims to have no record of the debit attempts being made, although the bank's record indicate Tesla's account number, and all attempts were made with the same number.
Needless to say, accounts were changed, passwords changed, virus scans done, the usual post facto cleanup. And Tesla is now linked to a low balance account used only for Supercharging and Data plan charges.
 

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