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Unable to start car using phone key

So this is new to me... Never had an issue with the phone key but periodically (every other day now) after getting into the car and depressing the brake pedal I am instructed on the screen to swipe my key card to start the car. Force closing the Tesla App and restarting the app does nothing - I have to restart the phone wait for it to reboot then restart the Tesla App to get it working again. The phone is a Google Pixel 4a and like I mentioned has worked flawlessly until recently having this issue. Any Ideas besides turning on/off Airplane mode or uninstalling/reinstalling the Tesla App which I've done twice.
 

RTPEV

Active Member
Mar 21, 2016
1,845
2,494
Durham, NC
Welcome to the wonderful world of phone as key...

Most of the time it works just fine. But then every now and then you get a software update (either in the app or the car) that seems to cause trouble.

I normally pop in and out of airplane mode when this happens to me. It's the fastest way and has worked every time. If I'm in a real hurry I'll get the damn key card out of my wallet and use it, but it frustrates me.

One thing that does help is to have the phone outside and in your hand as you approach the car. If it's in a back pocket or inside something, that can block the Bluetooth signal. And then, when you get in the car, don't dilly dally before you hit the brake pedal to "start" the car. I think you are given 30 seconds after unlocking the car with your phone to start the car. This normally applies when you are unlocking the car with the key card, but I wonder if it has an effect when using the phone. Doesn't hurt to try.
 
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Did you recently update your phone to Android 13? If so, there are several threads going on this issue. One example:


And a Google issue tracker thread linked below. Seems to be causing pretty significant issues with lots of BLE devices (blood sugar monitors, smartwatches, our phone key, etc).

 
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If you have not already, try rebooting car first with the two thumbwheels. If that does not work try this:

- Log out of Tesla app.
- Uninstall app
- Reboot phone
- install Tesla app
- Check Settings and notifications
Thanks for that but I tried all of your suggestions - the only thing that works is rebooting the phone. But like i said it just happens for no apparent reason - it will work one day and not the next no settings change no reason whatsoever. But opens windows, opens trunk, opens frunk, opens charging port
Did you recently update your phone to Android 13? If so, there are several threads going on this issue. One example:


And a Google issue tracker thread linked below. Seems to be causing pretty significant issues with lots of BLE devices (blood sugar monitors, smartwatches, our phone key, etc).

Yes, it is Android 13. A new update came down from google today - maybe that contains a fix. We'll see.
 
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Seems to be some progress and/or at least acknowledgement from Google:


1664398086267.png
 
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Hope they fix it but here's relevant case for OP
I have pixel 4a as well n on my bmw a2dp had issues like lagging commands, audio drop outs, song time progress didn't display...
I tried multiple settings in Bluetooth dev options nothing worked, this was on Android 12. Downgraded to 11, same issue. Downgraded to 10, works like charm till this day. Reason I love Android.
 
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Does anyone else have this annoyance/problem?

I have Model 3 Long Range that was delivered in late June of this year. Every now an then (every week or so?), I will get into the car using my phone key 14 Pro), but I am unable to start the car. Instead, I will be told that I have to pomut the key card on the sensor to start the car. Usually, I can try a couple more times, and the car will start to act normally, but there have been a few times that I had to dig out the key card from my wallet to start the car. As I said, not a really bad problem, but certainly an annoyance.

Does anyone else have this problem, and if so, is there some sort of fix? I mentioned this at the Tesla "dealer" (for lack of a better term), but they weren't able to do anything about it.

Thanks in advance.
 
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It's most probably a problem on your phone so Tesla can't do much about it. You'll find tens of similar threads around here. You can almost always solve this temporarily by turning off and back on again the bluetooth on your phone. Some use airplane mode for the same effect.
In general it means your cell phone's operating system is trying to save battery consumption in some way... it could be preventing the Tesla app from running in the background, from using the gps or bluetooth, that sort of thing. Play around with your cell phone configuration.
 
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Soul Surfer

Cansurvivor, tech geek & musician
Does anyone else have this annoyance/problem?

I have Model 3 Long Range that was delivered in late June of this year. Every now an then (every week or so?), I will get into the car using my phone key 14 Pro), but I am unable to start the car. Instead, I will be told that I have to pomut the key card on the sensor to start the car. Usually, I can try a couple more times, and the car will start to act normally, but there have been a few times that I had to dig out the key card from my wallet to start the car. As I said, not a really bad problem, but certainly an annoyance.

Does anyone else have this problem, and if so, is there some sort of fix? I mentioned this at the Tesla "dealer" (for lack of a better term), but they weren't able to do anything about it.

Thanks in advance.
I have a 21 M3LRAWD. I found that’s removing the phone and starting the process of setting it up as a keycard, helped. Just a thought.
 
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I have a 2020 model 3. Use an iPhone. I too am having the same problem as the primary driver of my car. My phone is Bluetooth’d as the preferred connection device. I have to use the card on the console to put the car in drive daily when parked at home, since September. I park the car in the garage. I have it unlocked when home. Anywhere else away from home my phone works just fine. I have 3 additional driver profiles.
I have removed the app and reinstalled, multiple attempts to reconnect my device and reboot the car after every update. Anyone else figure this problem out?
 
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