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Phone Key always connected at Home

karn101

Member
May 28, 2019
24
6
NY
So, is this not the same for everyone?

If my Tesla app is not open I cannot open the locked car door.

Are you all saying you don’t have to have the app open to open the locked door? I just open the app when I get ready in the morning, put the phone in my pocket and then go out to the car (it is garaged or I would open the app later). I close the app when I park my car and confirm that the car locked as I walk away from its parking spot.

Not the same for me either. I just walk up to the car with the phone in my pocket. I don't touch the app prior to entering.
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,019
4,631
MA, NH
As soon as my car locks I have to be extremely close to unlock it with the phone.

It has 4 BLE devices it connects to for Phone as key. All I can think of is it tries to triangulate how close you are to the car before it unlocks. Or it just needs to see enough signal strength on 1 or more BLE devices to unlock. Just a wild guess.

My guess is OP’s car never locked, which has never happened for me, but maybe a door was not shut tight or something. Or kids playing with daddy’s phone or something.
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,019
4,631
MA, NH
So, is this not the same for everyone?

If my Tesla app is not open I cannot open the locked car door.

Are you all saying you don’t have to have the app open to open the locked door? I just open the app when I get ready in the morning, put the phone in my pocket and then go out to the car (it is garaged or I would open the app later). I close the app when I park my car and confirm that the car locked as I walk away from its parking spot.

What kind of phone?

You shouldn’t have to do any of that.
 

Scott7

Member
Apr 3, 2016
319
358
Wisconsin
It is strange, when I first got the car in August 2019, I didn’t have to have the app open. It changed a couple of months later and I just assumed it was a safety enhancement.

I wonder why mine is different.

It's most likely your phone--Probably a background app setting. The Telsa app must be allowed to remain active in the background for the proximity BT key to work.
 

sixela

Active Member
Apr 25, 2019
1,278
1,400
Boechout
In short No.

When Pin to Drive is activated as soon as you put the car in park, it will ask you for the pin the next time you try to put it into drive
Exactly. And that's why if you forget your phone in the car they won't be able to drive away with it (even though they'll be able to steal your phone).

Is it less convenient? Yes. Your choice on whether you want to use it or not.
 
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ChrisH

Active Member
Jun 4, 2013
2,275
982
Milton, wa
What kind of phone?

You shouldn’t have to do any of that.

iPhone 8.

I actually prefer this because it feels more secure. If I have the app open and I’m in a coffee shop just 20 feet from my car, the BT could still be connected and someone could get in. If I close the app, that can’t happen (by the door handle at least).

It’s a minor pain to have to open the app but it feels more secure.
 

dennisvab

Member
Dec 1, 2017
229
165
Central New York
My guess is OP’s car never locked, which has never happened for me, but maybe a door was not shut tight or something. Or kids playing with daddy’s phone or something.

I’m certain my car was locked. In addition to unlocking it, I was able to “start” the car via pressing the brake pedal. I mentioned this somewhere on this thread.
 

animorph

Active Member
Apr 1, 2016
2,133
1,529
Scottsdale, AZ
My phone stays connected to the 3 anywhere in the house. But to unlock the car (and to start it) I have to take the phone out of my pocket. I do not have to open the Tesla app to get it to work. I have a Nokia 6.1 with Android Pie. My previous phone was a Google Nexus on Android Oreo. It very reliably let me unlock and start the car while it was in my pocket. My wife's phone is a Galaxy Note 5 on Android Nugget. Her phone likes to turn off Bluetooth when she's not looking, so it's problematic, but works fine when Bluetooth is on and working.

If a car is operable without the phone inside the car I'd look for a phone or card left in the car. Then take it to service.
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,019
4,631
MA, NH
I’m certain my car was locked. In addition to unlocking it, I was able to “start” the car via pressing the brake pedal. I mentioned this somewhere on this thread.

So with the phone up in the house you could Unlock, get in, Start the car and leave?

If you could, I think you have a fault of some sort. Because as the numerous posts have said they might see the phone connected in the house but that’s not enough to unlock and drive away.
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,019
4,631
MA, NH
iPhone 8.

I actually prefer this because it feels more secure. If I have the app open and I’m in a coffee shop just 20 feet from my car, the BT could still be connected and someone could get in. If I close the app, that can’t happen (by the door handle at least).

It’s a minor pain to have to open the app but it feels more secure.

If it’s working as it’s supposed to, you have to be very close to the car to unlock.

If fact the app doesn’t even need to be (visibly) running on an iPhone. iOS will launch the app in background and it won’t be visible. I’ve written iOS apps that do this. Requires background processing. If you don’t want iOS to do that you want to disable background processing on the app. And it will require the app be launched to unlock (I forget if it has to be in foreground to). This is also what the face recognition option does in the app. I think as long as you unlock the phone it will allow car to unlock and start. But you don’t have to launch the app (it’s already running)

If you launch the app and then kill it, it won’t unlock (for a short bit) but iOS could relaunch the app in background at any time.

My app has audio voice associated with these states so I know exactly what it’s doing in background. It so happens to connect to a BLE device as well. The app registers to be woken up in background when the phone OS sees the BLE device. If you look under battery usage you’ll see Tesla with the text “Background Activity” below it.

Tesla did a great job with the iOS app. I know so many companies that don’t do it right.
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,019
4,631
MA, NH
My phone stays connected to the 3 anywhere in the house. But to unlock the car (and to start it) I have to take the phone out of my pocket. I do not have to open the Tesla app to get it to work. I have a Nokia 6.1 with Android Pie. My previous phone was a Google Nexus on Android Oreo. It very reliably let me unlock and start the car while it was in my pocket. My wife's phone is a Galaxy Note 5 on Android Nugget. Her phone likes to turn off Bluetooth when she's not looking, so it's problematic, but works fine when Bluetooth is on and working.

If a car is operable without the phone inside the car I'd look for a phone or card left in the car. Then take it to service.

The card has to be right behind cup holders to work. It’s very “near field”.

The phone Bluetooth LE is not near field but I think they are doing some sort of trickery with 4 BLE devices and looking at strengths or triangulating the position of the phone.
 

ChrisH

Active Member
Jun 4, 2013
2,275
982
Milton, wa
If it’s working as it’s supposed to, you have to be very close to the car to unlock.

If fact the app doesn’t even need to be (visibly) running on an iPhone. iOS will launch the app in background and it won’t be visible. I’ve written iOS apps that do this. Requires background processing. If you don’t want iOS to do that you want to disable background processing on the app. And it will require the app be launched to unlock (I forget if it has to be in foreground to). This is also what the face recognition option does in the app. I think as long as you unlock the phone it will allow car to unlock and start. But you don’t have to launch the app (it’s already running)

If you launch the app and then kill it, it won’t unlock (for a short bit) but iOS could relaunch the app in background at any time.

My app has audio voice associated with these states so I know exactly what it’s doing in background. It so happens to connect to a BLE device as well. The app registers to be woken up in background when the phone OS sees the BLE device. If you look under battery usage you’ll see Tesla with the text “Background Activity” below it.

Tesla did a great job with the iOS app. I know so many companies that don’t do it right.

I looked at the settings for the Tesla app on my iPhone and under location services, while using app is checked. I’m guessing if I choose “always” it will work without opening the app.

I can pull the handle with the current setting and it won’t unlock. Launch the app and it unlocks.
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,019
4,631
MA, NH
I looked at the settings for the Tesla app on my iPhone and under location services, while using app is checked. I’m guessing if I choose “always” it will work without opening the app.

I can pull the handle with the current setting and it won’t unlock. Launch the app and it unlocks.

It needs "background processing" as well. The "location always" helps "wake it" for background processing. But it needs background processing for you to not have to open the app. Also depends on that face recognition switch as well within the app (which I have off).
 

dennisvab

Member
Dec 1, 2017
229
165
Central New York
So with the phone up in the house you could Unlock, get in, Start the car and leave?

If you could, I think you have a fault of some sort. Because as the numerous posts have said they might see the phone connected in the house but that’s not enough to unlock and drive away.
That’s correct. I haven’t been able to reproduce this yet, so maybe this was a one time thing.

I was incorrectly assuming that because the phone says phone key connected that it would unlock anytime the phone was left in the house.
 

novox77

1.21 Gigawatts
Nov 25, 2017
1,637
3,544
NH, MA
If it’s working as it’s supposed to, you have to be very close to the car to unlock.

In fact the app doesn’t even need to be (visibly) running on an iPhone. iOS will launch the app in background and it won’t be visible. I’ve written iOS apps that do this. Requires background processing. If you don’t want iOS to do that you want to disable background processing on the app. And it will require the app be launched to unlock (I forget if it has to be in foreground to). This is also what the face recognition option does in the app. I think as long as you unlock the phone it will allow car to unlock and start. But you don’t have to launch the app (it’s already running)

If you launch the app and then kill it, it won’t unlock (for a short bit) but iOS could relaunch the app in background at any time.

@Runnergirl - see this quoted message. Worth checking if you've somehow disabled the background processing for the Tesla app. Slim chance, but could help some of your phone-as-key woes.

As others have said, the car should be trying to detect close phone proximity before allowing you to unlock the car. With my old phone, the car was [sarcasm]sooooo good[/sarcasm] at this that sometimes it wouldn't even let me put the car in drive when I'm inside the cabin :D
 

ChrisH

Active Member
Jun 4, 2013
2,275
982
Milton, wa
It needs "background processing" as well. The "location always" helps "wake it" for background processing. But it needs background processing for you to not have to open the app. Also depends on that face recognition switch as well within the app (which I have off).

So you’re saying that is my issue. If I check “always” for the location services then I won’t need to “open” the app?
 

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