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Spouse phone key not recognized; confusion with my phone key?

huno

Member
Mar 10, 2020
17
13
Los Angeles
Today my wife and I were both near the car, and we each had our phones in our pocket. She got in the car (I did not, I stayed home) and pressed on the brake; the car adjusted itself to my seat settings and it was connected to my BT for music (presumably because I was the last one to drive the car). She selected her driver profile so the seat/steering wheel adjusted to her settings, then she took off and arrived at her destination. She put the car in Park, exited the car and got something from the trunk; she then got back inside the car and pressed on the brake, but the car prompted her for a card key—it would not let her enter Drive. She wound up quitting the app and restarting it, and turning Bluetooth off and on several times until the car authenticated and let her drive again.

Could part of the problem be that the car authenticated using my phone, but when she left (and my phone was at home as the car took off), the car expected to find my phone as its key when she put it in Park?

This is the 2nd time this has happened to her and she's concerned about being stranded somewhere if the car won't recognize her phone as the key. She prefers not to carry the key card with her (though after this she may not have a choice...!). We'd like to understand what caused the problem to happen and what she should do to fix it.
 

frankvb

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Feb 29, 2020
915
558
San Diego, CA
This behaviour is annoying, but apart from that she should really carry the keycard at all times. Anything can happen to the phone, from an empty battery to it just stopping to work.
 

iamnid

Member
Dec 4, 2019
714
682
Riverside, CA
Just sounds like her phone wasn't properly connected to the car. Yours was and that's why it started and adjusted for your profile. When she tried to drive the car at her destination, the phone continued to be disconnected and that's why she couldn't start it. Check in the app if her phone is connected. Maybe she has your car selected in the app? That's usually the problem when I experience this (wrong car selected)
 
Dec 26, 2019
187
97
Silicon Valley
Do search the Model 3 forum about this, and maybe S & X. It's complicated.

One step is to turn off Android "battery optimization" for the Tesla phone app, or whatever's the iPhone equivalent.

Your wife is tech savvy. Mine takes out the card key to get inside when her phone doesn't work but she forgets that the card works only on the driver's side.

The car has a setting for the default Bluetooth device but it's subtle. That has nothing to do with unlocking. Rather, it's a setting per Profile that determines the default device for Bluetooth audio streaming and phone calling.
 
Last edited:

srlawren

Active Member
Aug 3, 2020
1,000
663
Vancouver, BC, Canada, Eh?
The car has a setting for the default Bluetooth device but it's subtle. That has nothing to do with unlocking. Rather, it's a setting per Profile that determines the default device for Bluetooth audio streaming and phone calling.

@Transformer are you sure this is per profile? I thought the priority device was independent of the active profile. I actually hope you are correct as that would simplify things for me when I drive, as my partner's phone is currently the priority device.
 

kashian

Member
Jan 4, 2021
74
41
San Diego
Today my wife and I were both near the car, and we each had our phones in our pocket. She got in the car (I did not, I stayed home) and pressed on the brake; the car adjusted itself to my seat settings and it was connected to my BT for music (presumably because I was the last one to drive the car). She selected her driver profile so the seat/steering wheel adjusted to her settings, then she took off and arrived at her destination. She put the car in Park, exited the car and got something from the trunk; she then got back inside the car and pressed on the brake, but the car prompted her for a card key—it would not let her enter Drive. She wound up quitting the app and restarting it, and turning Bluetooth off and on several times until the car authenticated and let her drive again.

Could part of the problem be that the car authenticated using my phone, but when she left (and my phone was at home as the car took off), the car expected to find my phone as its key when she put it in Park?

This is the 2nd time this has happened to her and she's concerned about being stranded somewhere if the car won't recognize her phone as the key. She prefers not to carry the key card with her (though after this she may not have a choice...!). We'd like to understand what caused the problem to happen and what she should do to fix it.
Next time this happens, open the Controls screen and select Locks. If her phone key is not highlighted, tap on it to use her phone as the key for that drive.
 
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Reactions: Transformer
Dec 26, 2019
187
97
Silicon Valley
@Transformer are you sure this is per profile? I thought the priority device was independent of the active profile. I actually hope you are correct as that would simplify things for me when I drive, as my partner's phone is currently the priority device.

Yes, it is per profile.

To configure and test it: Set the priority bluetooth device for one profile, then switch profiles, pick a different priority bluetooth device, then switch back to the previous profile and check the priority bluetooth device. You don't even have to close the profile switcher to open the bluetooth drop-down.
 

hcdavis3

HCD3
Supporting Member
Mar 3, 2019
2,265
1,412
02571
Just sounds like her phone wasn't properly connected to the car. Yours was and that's why it started and adjusted for your profile. When she tried to drive the car at her destination, the phone continued to be disconnected and that's why she couldn't start it. Check in the app if her phone is connected. Maybe she has your car selected in the app? That's usually the problem when I experience this (wrong car selected)
You might have to wait a few seconds until the phone connects and you see the Bluetooth icon turn white on the display
 

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