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Phone connection with Model 3

cpa

Active Member
May 17, 2014
3,053
3,794
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
Nov 28, 2018
8,088
8,960
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
 

dmurphy

Woof.
Dec 7, 2018
3,465
4,675
New Jersey - Morris County
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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EVRider-FL

Member
Aug 18, 2015
244
122
South Florida
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
3,053
3,794
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.)

:)
 

EVRider-FL

Member
Aug 18, 2015
244
122
South Florida
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).
 

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