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Problems putting the car into drive (app and pin to drive)

In the last few months, since at least v10 update, I've been having problems with getting the app to connect with the car.

It almost never connects while I'm sitting in the car. I'll put my phone into airplane mode, then turn airplane mode off, and it will connect then. So I'll drive the car somewhere and get out. Upon return, my phone won't connect automatically again. I have to open the app, and click the start button and then put in my password. Which really gets old if you've put your phone down to charge but then have to pick it back up again to start the car. (I know.....first world problems)

So I figured an easy way to get around this would be to turn on Pin To Drive. So I setup my pin. And the car asked me to enter my pin to drive and it worked.......once. It hasn't done it since. I've rebooted the car. Turned off and back on Pin to Drive. It doesn't work.

Consistently the app doesn't connect and let me start the car as soon as I sit down and Pin To Drive doesn't display on the screen. Then I have to get out of the car, get my wallet out and get my key card out to start the car. By then my wife is like "Come on! This would be easier if you just had a set of keys!" And my kids are freaking out because we aren't going anywhere.

I can put my car in park and jump out to get the mail, with the door open and everything. Once I get back in.....it's the whole thing over again. Try to get Pin To Drive to display (which it never does) and then try to get my phone to connect (which takes forever) so then I get back out and just use my key card, which I hate using.

Has anyone else had this issue? I'm really more concerned with the Pin To Drive. I think the app not connecting could be a phone issue, though I don't have any issues with any thing else with my phone.
 
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Dre78

Member
Dec 16, 2018
307
301
Chicago, IL
Are your experiencing problems with your wife's phone, too?

I've enabled pin-to-drive for several months (after hearing of a kid engaging drive on a Model X and pinning mum to the wall). When I have similar problems to yours I try a number of things: restart phone; log out, log in to Tesla app; disable battery saving for Tesla app. But I know it's my phone that's the problem because Wife doesn't experience any problems.
 
Are your experiencing problems with your wife's phone, too?

I've enabled pin-to-drive for several months (after hearing of a kid engaging drive on a Model X and pinning mum to the wall). When I have similar problems to yours I try a number of things: restart phone; log out, log in to Tesla app; disable battery saving for Tesla app. But I know it's my phone that's the problem because Wife doesn't experience any problems.

My wife rarely drives the Tesla. When she does, she just uses the key card. She's never connected her phone.

I turned off passive entry thinking that would fix it. It did prompt me for the keypad once, bit hasn't done it since. So I'm having to get out my phone and start the car every single time.
 

DaveRZ

Member
Nov 19, 2019
189
270
Murrieta, CA
Does your phone work to unlock the car?
Does your phone have NFC turned on? (if so, can you use the phone like you would your keycard - touch it to the pillar or center console)?

Here's some basic troubleshooting that I would try (I haven't had the problem you're describing though):
  • Reboot the phone and car
  • Make sure the phone is NOT on any power-saving mode, and that the app isn't being restricted by any battery saver / background running / background data restrictions. The phone has to be free to communicate with the car when the two are close. Battery saving modes prevent this communication.
  • Try removing and re-adding your phone as a key (not to be confused with the bluetooth pairing for audio)
  • Reset or uninstall/reinstall the app
If I recall, the app uses BLE (Bluetooth low energy) to communicate with the car, so make sure your bluetooth is on.
 
Ok. I've done the following:

- Removed and readded my phone to my Tesla
- Verified that my phone isn't using a power saving setting
- Rebooted the car (twice)
- Verified that the app wasn't being restricted by a data sharing setting
- Removed and readded the app

Calendar does not show when I get in the car still. I did just change it to "Show calendar upon entry Always" and now it shows every single time. But ideally I just want it in the morning.

My phone doesn't have NFC. 100% sure about that. My phone does work to unlock the car through the app. In fact that's basically the only way I can lock it because Lock on Walk Away never works unless I am in the car, turn on and off Airplane mode. It will work once, but upon returning to the car it doesn't unlock the car. So I keep that off because it's very annoying to assume it's going to work, and then my family is standing in the cold waiting for my to fumble through the app to unlock the car and start it.

Pin To Drive is still on but hasn't showed one single time on the 10 times that I've gotten in and out testing this.

So all of these times, the car hasn't started once when I sit down. It's done it plenty of times. But there seems like some certain combination of settings that is messing it up.

Overall, I'd be happy with Pin To Drive working because I'm in the habit of getting in the car and putting my phone down. When the car doesn't start, I have to fumble through the app and start it. There are places where my mobile connection is terrible, so then the car doesn't start. Then I have to get out, take my wallet out, use the key card, and by then it's been like 2 minutes just trying to get the car to start.

Pretty frustrating.
 
I'm not worried about unlocking the car. I use my phone for that 100% of the time. The issue is putting it in drive.

So you have to put it in drive somehow to get the Pin to drive prompt. Right? I can't do that with anything other than my key card or putting my password in with the phone (but even that doesn't work sometimes). Originally the car just would start when I got in. Even when my phone says it's connected and I have it set to passive entry and all that jazz, it never connects now.

My calendar doesn't display in the mornings as it should either. I do get text messages properly.

Just seems like starting the car is a huge pain in the ass. I can't hop out of the car to check my mail, without having to fumble through the app and start it hoping that it will work. Most cases it doesn't, and I have to get back out and get my key card out of my wallet.

I had hoped that I could just go keyless all the time but it's looking more and more like that's not possible.

I'm using an Android Huawei phone.
 

DaveRZ

Member
Nov 19, 2019
189
270
Murrieta, CA
Huh. Well, this has me stumped...

My only advice would be to try using another phone to see if you can isolate whether the problem is with your phone or with your car.

can you temporarily put the app on your wife's phone and see if it works correctly? Make sure your phone isn't nearby (or turned off/airplane mode) so as to not muddy the test.
 
So I just installed the latest update (40.1) and took it for a spin to get groceries and pickup my kids.

Both times when I got out of the car it locked as I walked away (despite me having that setting off) and when I got in, PIN to Drive showed up after I pushed the brake pedal.

I wonder if this update had a bug fix for this issue. Or maybe it's just me.
 

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