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The Valet Key

Discussion in 'Roadster: Technical' started by Prime Mover, Oct 9, 2010.

  1. Prime Mover

    Prime Mover R Sport #1029; S #2117

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    When the Roadster was delivered, I received three keys. Two were full-use keys that my wife and I use to drive the car (they have 3 buttons on each for locking, unlocking and opening the trunk). The third, smaller key, I believe, is intended to be a "Valet Key".

    I'm not sure if it is a Canadian-only requirement, but each time I start the car, I have to push the middle button on the key fob to disarm the vehicle. The problem is that the Valet Key does not have any buttons, so I can't see that it can be used for any purpose.

    So, unless I am missing something here... thanks for the extra mini-key Tesla, but I don't know what they thought it would be good for?
     
  2. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #2 TEG, Oct 9, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
    Maybe it can be used as a spare key to unlock the door if you managed to lock your main set inside the car?

    For Valet, I think you leave your regular keys, but put the car in Valet mode using the touchscreen.
     
  3. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Yes, the FOB interlock is a Canadian-only requirement. Apparently it's new in the last few years. First time I heard of it was when my Roadster was delivered. Anyway it's supposed to be a car theft deterrent.

    I have no idea what the other key is for. Probaby Tesla just includes it by default and didn't think it through! TEG's suggestion is a good one, but I'd be surprised if I could find the spare key in that situation!
     
  4. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Some people put the spare key in a magnetic box and stick it under the car somewhere in case the main keys get locked inside.
    [​IMG]

    Having a spare that only opens the doors, but doesn't start the car is good because you can rescue your main keys without worrying that someone who managed to find your "hide a key" could make off with the car.
     
  5. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Uh... this car is made of aluminum and carbon fibre. Stick it to WHAT??? :tongue:
     
  6. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Yeah, I know... But there is probably some bit of steel you could find there somewhere... Or use double sided sticky foam tape... Or superglue...
     
  7. Prime Mover

    Prime Mover R Sport #1029; S #2117

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    So does this mean that the third "little" key does operate the vehicle is the US?
     
  8. bolosky

    bolosky Member

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    To start the car in the US once it's been locked, you either need to unlock it with the key fob or type in the PIN on the touch screen. So, you could use the little key if either you never locked the car or you remember your PIN.
     
  9. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #9 TEG, Oct 9, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010
    Since the 3rd key doesn't have the RF buttons, I gather it can't be used to disable the alarm.
    So if you locked your car with the alarm set, and used the 3rd ("emergency key?") to open the car you would probably have to know the PIN to turn the alarm off.
    I looked at the owner's manual for the 2008 and it didn't really explain what you are supposed to do with the 3rd key.
    Another car I have has a spare 3rd key and it only opens the doors. It won't start the car, or even open the glovebox.
    Perhaps someone else will chime in and explain if there are differences between USA and Canada, and 2008 vs 2010 models.
     
  10. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    There is no PIN lock on the Canadian models. The PIN is only used for Valet mode.
     
  11. tomsax

    tomsax Member

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    For a 2008 Roadster, the valet key will start the car. I suspect the same is true of all US Roadsters.

    The valet key will also unlock the trunk. I was a little surprised by this, as usually the valet key won't open glove box or the trunk. (In the Acura NSX, the trunk release was inside the glove box, so you could lock the glove box so that the trunk couldn't be opened by the valet key or with the button.) Perhaps Tesla decided it was more important to allow the valet access to the trunk to put the soft top on in case of rain than to keep your stuff securely locked in the trunk. Or maybe they just couldn't deal with making it possible to lock out the trunk release button.

    It's my understanding that setting the PIN lock is essentially the same as arming the alarm with the key fob. Entering the PIN is the same as disarming with the key fob. If the alarm isn't set (by PIN or fob), then the valet key will allow a valet to operate the car. If the alarm is set, the driver has to either know the PIN or have the key fob.

    This also means that if you set the alarm, hacking the lock on the steering column won't start the car. This is a nice theft deterrent, although I think it's going a bit overboard to mandate always locking out the key until released by the fob or PIN.
     
  12. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    From the USA 2008 Owners manual:
     
  13. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    That's another difference with the Canadian models. Not only do you have to unlock the car with the FOB to be able to start it, but you have to start it within about 30 seconds of hitting the button. Otherwise an alarm message pops up on the touchscreen, and you have to hit the FOB button again. So you can't start the car even if you left it unlocked... you must have the FOB.
     
  14. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Sounds like the Canadian ones are the same as their British counterparts in this respect.
     
  15. Talkredius

    Talkredius Member

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    No Canadian-only requirement, same here with my Tesla in Germany, and I also got these four keys. Perhaps just a new 2.5 Roadster feature ?
     
  16. PopSmith

    PopSmith Saving for a Model 3

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    As silly as it sounds requiring the master key when performing a duplication could be an anti-theft protocol.

    A bit more realistically, it's possible that even a laser-cut key has (very) small differences between the original and the copy. If the copy-of-a-copy is different enough from the original it won't start the car.
     
  17. kgb

    kgb Member

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    This is sort of on topic. When in Valet mode, is there a way to prevent access to the glove box? or is that already the case, but I didn't test it. :redface: If not, that should be an option. When the alarm is armed, I like that everything (glove box & trunk) is locked, but when giving the key to valet, I'd like at least one secure area.
     
  18. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    #18 dsm363, Jan 1, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
    I wanted to try and see if I understood this correctly. Do people use the valet key as a key to hand out when parking with a valet or keep it at home as the master key and just give the valet your original key?

    Also, what is the range on the keyfob? It only works about 5-10 feet away for me compared to about 30 on my Jetta.
     
  19. tennis_trs

    tennis_trs 2010 2.0 Roadster Sport

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    #19 tennis_trs, Jan 1, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
    Same for me with the worst seeming to be that it takes several tries if I'm standing directly behind at the trunk. There are other threads where people have noted this very short range. I believe I've seen people blame it on the CF body.

    Searching about similar issues with Elises I found one thread where they seemed to have similar range and people talked about moving and/or changing the length of the remote's antenna in the car. I never looked more into this.
    The Elise thread: http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f320/increase-range-your-remote-17002/
     
  20. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I have yet to detect any use whatsoever for the valet key. Especially for the Canadian cars, which will not function at all without the fob.

    Theoretically speaking, it may be useful if you locked your key fob inside the car.

    Ten feet is about right. The range of the fob is so small that you can tell the antenna is in the front of the car. It works at a greater distance from the front than the back.
     

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