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Random recognition of my keys

sethgodin

Member
Jul 20, 2015
17
1
United States
I've tried without success to find a thread on this topic, and I'm hoping I'm not alone with this problem...

The Tesla randomly recognizes my keys. I've tried it with each of the keys, I've tried it with the keys in my pocket alone, next to my wallet and next to my phone.

I drive the car daily, so the 48 hour energy saver isn't a factor.

I walk up to the car. About one in three times, the door handles present, usually when I'm about 3 feet from the car.

Sometimes, I have to walk right up to the door and stand there for one, two, three seconds. Once, I stood there for a full ten seconds and then they recognized me.

And about 10% of the time, the only way to get into the car is to fish out the keys and press them.

About one time in thirty, I'll get alert while I'm driving the car. The dashboard says keys not present...

My Prius never had this issue. The car does this when it's outdoors (at home) and in a parking garage as well.

My key ring has about 10 traditional keys, a Tile 'find my keys' fob and a small fob to get into my office. It also has about six of those little plastic frequent buyer card things that are a pox on our civilization (my fault, sorry). The key itself is on a three inch nylon loop, so it's not tightly nestled next to the rest of the keys. And it's not in a case.

I even have video and photos, to prove it's not just my imagination.

I've brought this up to two different people at local Tesla service, who refuse to engage on the issue. I've also emailed Tesla HQ, but they don't seem to care at all.

Is it common?

Am I crazy?

It's the randomness that's frustrating. What good is a feature that disappoints?

Thanks for whatever insight you have.
 
May 27, 2015
975
195
Parker, CO
I also have had very intermittent key issues. Make sure your key is not near your phone, it's useless if it's too close. Two things of note:

1) I use the silicone key fobs and they made strong notes about this in my file when I dropped my car off at service with this issue being one of the major reasons I brought my car in.
2) They found nothing wrong with the key, the batteries in the fobs, or the antenna in my car, but it certainly improved lately so I suspect them fiddling with the antennae actually did something that brought more reliable fob connections.

So, there's hope, maybe. But I'd say auto-presenting handles only work for me 1/3 of the time, too. Usually I still have to press on a handle several times.
 

sethgodin

Member
Jul 20, 2015
17
1
United States
Thanks for the reply, makes me feel a bit less crazy

I'm not an electrical engineer, but everything I know about RF and computers is confounded by the attached photo.

This is clearly not an antenna issue, there's got to be something else going on.

keys and tesla.jpg


I also have had very intermittent key issues. Make sure your key is not near your phone, it's useless if it's too close. Two things of note:

1) I use the silicone key fobs and they made strong notes about this in my file when I dropped my car off at service with this issue being one of the major reasons I brought my car in.
2) They found nothing wrong with the key, the batteries in the fobs, or the antenna in my car, but it certainly improved lately so I suspect them fiddling with the antennae actually did something that brought more reliable fob connections.

So, there's hope, maybe. But I'd say auto-presenting handles only work for me 1/3 of the time, too. Usually I still have to press on a handle several times.
 

Stoneymonster

Active Member
Jan 8, 2013
1,787
1,065
Aptos, Ca
I'm not an electrical engineer, but everything I know about RF and computers is confounded by the attached photo.

This is clearly not an antenna issue, there's got to be something else going on.

View attachment 93881

When I used a Tile regularly it messed up just about every RF feature on my car. Bluetooth, the key, everything. Try removing that from the equation. I stopped carrying mine.
 

saladman

Member
Feb 11, 2015
95
1
Seattle, WA
Start with basic trouble shooting. Eliminate all of those things from your pocket. Carry just the fob, see if performance improves. If it does, then you know your issue resides in at least one, or some combination of the clutter on the keyring. If the performance does not improve, then you know the issue is elsewhere.
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2012
19,960
23,898
Texas
I've had no signal in both the Prius and the Model S, but it's not very frequent in either. I've always attributed it to something in the pocket (not the phone which resides in my shirt pocked).
 

gaucho20

Member
Jun 14, 2015
32
1
Chicago, IL
Yes! Please, someone know the answer to this!

I have the exact same problem. Even with the "key not in car" alert occasionally. My key is bare (not with a holder or any other keys) and generally next to a money clip with two ID key cards. This has happened even if my tesla key is not with my money clip.

SC changed my fob batteries, which didn't help. Also told me to approach the car from the front. The issue is definitely annoying.



I've tried without success to find a thread on this topic, and I'm hoping I'm not alone with this problem...

The Tesla randomly recognizes my keys. I've tried it with each of the keys, I've tried it with the keys in my pocket alone, next to my wallet and next to my phone.

I drive the car daily, so the 48 hour energy saver isn't a factor.

I walk up to the car. About one in three times, the door handles present, usually when I'm about 3 feet from the car.

Sometimes, I have to walk right up to the door and stand there for one, two, three seconds. Once, I stood there for a full ten seconds and then they recognized me.

And about 10% of the time, the only way to get into the car is to fish out the keys and press them.

About one time in thirty, I'll get alert while I'm driving the car. The dashboard says keys not present...

My Prius never had this issue. The car does this when it's outdoors (at home) and in a parking garage as well.

My key ring has about 10 traditional keys, a Tile 'find my keys' fob and a small fob to get into my office. It also has about six of those little plastic frequent buyer card things that are a pox on our civilization (my fault, sorry). The key itself is on a three inch nylon loop, so it's not tightly nestled next to the rest of the keys. And it's not in a case.

I even have video and photos, to prove it's not just my imagination.

I've brought this up to two different people at local Tesla service, who refuse to engage on the issue. I've also emailed Tesla HQ, but they don't seem to care at all.

Is it common?

Am I crazy?

It's the randomness that's frustrating. What good is a feature that disappoints?

Thanks for whatever insight you have.
 

Gizmotoy

Active Member
Sep 16, 2013
3,670
871
Bay Area, CA
Do you guys know if there are cellular picocells (cell phone repeaters) active in your area? Does it seem to only happen in a particular location, or is it everywhere? How old are your vehicles?

I had lots of problems with my vehicle not recognizing my key, but it seemed to happen only in my home parking garage. Turns out the underground garage had a cellular repeater to enable Internet for some Chargepoint+ stations, and it was mucking with my key. The SC said a new Body Control Module was developed with greater RF shielding, and after several months in development and production I had the part installed. My problems then went away.

This was well over a year ago, though. I'd expect newer vehicles already have the better-shielded part.
 

sethgodin

Member
Jul 20, 2015
17
1
United States
Thanks Gizmo

Given the quality of my cell phone service at home, and the fact that it happens in other places, I'm not optimistic about that approach. I swapped out my Tile fob for the newer model, going to run some tests that way, and then fobless. But, as we can see from Gaucho, I'm not alone on this.

The thing that puzzles me the post is that Tesla doesn't seem to care.
 

ToddRLockwood

Active Member
Sep 11, 2012
1,317
74
Burlington, Vermont
My experience has shown that any metal objects (keys, cellphone, etc) in the vicinity of the Tesla fob will affect the proximity sensing. For the best results, keep the fob in a separate pocket without other keys attached to it.
 

gaucho20

Member
Jun 14, 2015
32
1
Chicago, IL
Do you guys know if there are cellular picocells (cell phone repeaters) active in your area? Does it seem to only happen in a particular location, or is it everywhere? How old are your vehicles?

I had lots of problems with my vehicle not recognizing my key, but it seemed to happen only in my home parking garage. Turns out the underground garage had a cellular repeater to enable Internet for some Chargepoint+ stations, and it was mucking with my key. The SC said a new Body Control Module was developed with greater RF shielding, and after several months in development and production I had the part installed. My problems then went away.

This was well over a year ago, though. I'd expect newer vehicles already have the better-shielded part.


Thanks for the idea. Unfortunately, I don't think this is my issue, either. Car is only 2 months old, and it happens randomly, put in the open and in my garage.

I think I am going to try to keep my key in its own pocket, but have to figure out how to make that happen with only two front pockets.
 
May 27, 2015
975
195
Parker, CO
To those with the problem, like me, try walking up to your car and opening the trunk. That ALWAYS seems to work for me. It never requires multiple tries. Doors, they are super unreliable. But the trunk's antenna is better for some reason. Maybe the others are the wrong length (wavelength issues)
 

Gizmotoy

Active Member
Sep 16, 2013
3,670
871
Bay Area, CA
To those with the problem, like me, try walking up to your car and opening the trunk. That ALWAYS seems to work for me. It never requires multiple tries. Doors, they are super unreliable. But the trunk's antenna is better for some reason. Maybe the others are the wrong length (wavelength issues)
I've noticed the same. Approaching from the rear also often worked for me where approaching from the front/side did not. Given the antenna are in the wing mirrors, I wonder if the mirror's solid cast metal construction reduces the range of the antenna relative to the one in the rear.
 

Jmadhavan

Member
Dec 26, 2014
6
0
Columbus, OH
I have the same issues. I was at the SC this afternoon and asked the tech guy about this. He showed me that the antenna is actually inside the car, no, not in the door or mirror but actually inside the car in level with the mirror, just within the fascia of the console. He tells me that walking up to the front of the driver's side of the car will always open the car.
 

Gizmotoy

Active Member
Sep 16, 2013
3,670
871
Bay Area, CA
I have the same issues. I was at the SC this afternoon and asked the tech guy about this. He showed me that the antenna is actually inside the car, no, not in the door or mirror but actually inside the car in level with the mirror, just within the fascia of the console. He tells me that walking up to the front of the driver's side of the car will always open the car.
You're right. I was thinking of the mystery antennas: Antennas in exterior mirrors (Likely GPS/FM?)
 

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