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Using phone as a key. Not a good idea.

Would you rather have a regular key fob than have to use your phone all the time?

  • Yes I want to have a key fob.

    Votes: 92 44.9%
  • No I don't want a key fob.

    Votes: 113 55.1%

  • Total voters
    205

timk225

Active Member
Mar 24, 2016
2,082
2,392
Pittsburgh
I've had my Model 3 for three days, and I'm already tired of the phone as a key fob idea. I want a regular key fob like my 2011 Challenger R/T had. When I leave the house in the morning, I put it in my pocket and forget it, never touch it until I come home from work in the evening.

Using the phone as a key fob is too much hassle. It's too big to fit comfortably in my pocket. I have to unplug and take my phone into stores with me ALL THE TIME NOW, or the car won't lock. And if anything ever happens to my phone (a 3-1/2 year old Galaxy S5), then what? I don't always have a key card with me.

Tesla, give us the option to buy an ordinary key fob and use that.
 
I've had my Model 3 for three days, and I'm already tired of the phone as a key fob idea. I want a regular key fob like my 2011 Challenger R/T had. When I leave the house in the morning, I put it in my pocket and forget it, never touch it until I come home from work in the evening.

Using the phone as a key fob is too much hassle. It's too big to fit comfortably in my pocket. I have to unplug and take my phone into stores with me ALL THE TIME NOW, or the car won't lock. And if anything ever happens to my phone (a 3-1/2 year old Galaxy S5), then what? I don't always have a key card with me.

Tesla, give us the option to buy an ordinary key fob and use that.
Agreed!!!
 
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TexasEV

Well-Known Member
Jun 5, 2013
7,652
8,918
Austin, TX
You don’t carry a phone and you don’t carry a wallet. Maybe you should have thought of this before you placed your order for the Model 3? The phone as key, and card backup, was being discussed all over the forums. You must have seen it, as you were here posting complaints about the Model 3 almost every day.
 

Krugerrand

Enough of the 🐩, back to 🐈‍⬛
Jul 13, 2012
12,166
77,222
Tesla friendly place
the good news is that the phone frequently* doesn't work to start the car (even though it opens the door), so you can just plan to use/keep your key card on your person at all times.

*Last 5 times I've entered the M3 using the phone in my pocket, I've still had to pull out and tap my card key.

Try turning off your Bluetooth and then turning it back on.
 
This post is for people that tell us to use the key card as a primary for connectivity to our model 3..not sure if krugerrand has me on ignore....


Connect a Phone Key to unlock your Model 3 without ever taking your phone out of your pocket.

The following is taken from the Tesla website for owners of a model 3....


We recommend the Phone Key as the primary method of accessing and starting your vehicle.

To connect your phone as Phone Key:

  • Have your key card with you, and ensure your phone and Bluetooth are on and discoverable.
  • Open the Tesla mobile app and tap on “Phone Key”.
  • Follow the step-by-step instructions
When pairing is complete and within range of your Model 3, the Phone Key status will change to “Connected”.

Note: A paired Phone Key uses Bluetooth frequencies instead of a network connection to communicate with your Model 3. This means that if you’re parked in an underground parking garage with no cell signal on either your phone or your car, you can still lock, unlock, and start your vehicle without issue.

It is funny how the key card users bash us for having issues with our phone key. I put in bold print taken from Tesla’s website for current car owners. It states what we are suppose to be doing. Using our phone key as a primary way to access our model 3.

Now for the key card information that Tesla lists under my account for model 3 support.


Your Model 3 comes standard with two key cards for easy entry and operation. A key card is convenient for when your phone is not accessible, out of battery, or if someone else needs temporary access to your Model 3, such as a valet.

Simple question, do you own a model 3? Or is it on order :)
 
Last edited:

SDKoala

Model 3 LR RWD
Apr 11, 2018
870
981
San Diego
If your phone is too big to fit comfortably in your pocket, maybe you need a smaller phone? Somehow tens of millions of Americsns manage to carry their phone with them.

The car should not dictate how we use our phones or what kind of phone we own.

The fact that new threads like this are popping up nearly daily as more new owners are having issues with the phone key speaks volumes. This is a real problem that Tesla is going to need to address and the cop out response of it being a phone issue and not a car issue isn't going to cut it.
 

Electroman

Well-Known Member
Aug 18, 2012
6,737
8,485
TX
I always have my iPhone with me.. all the time. So for me this is not an issue. About less than 5% of the time phone as a key has not worked, and I had to take the keycard out, and even then the keycard is in my phone sleeve.

My phone has a cover/sleeve in which I have three things - license, credit card and now this tesla key card. That is all I need to travel anywhere in the US. I don't even own a wallet.
 
The problem that i have with this post is people that chime in thinking they have the answers for current owners of the model 3. If you don’t have a model 3, do not particpate in the voting process or even give us suggestions on how to fix the problems we are experiencing.

You have not experience the frustration we have been going through regarding the phone key as our primary access to our vehicles. Tesla wants us to use or phones as a primary access to our model 3. Many of us have been dealing with Tesla support to try to fix the issue. Many us owners have posted suggestions of what Tesla support has suggested us to do. Or even suggest tasker for Android phones. I really appreciate these posts! They are helpful. But if you are not a current owner don’t ride on someone else’s coattails and post suggestions.

For example...use the black key card as your primary. The key card has very limiting functions..as stated in my post above. It is not the primary or should be the primary access to our model 3s

Many us were owners of either a model s or x or still are. The key fob works every time in connectivity. We do not have a key card as a backup. If the key fob is lost or the battery dies. We have an app for that..hence an app on our phone that at least gives us access to our model x or model s.


For people that are not current owners...Stop baiting us thinking you have the answers and stop being trolls :)

There are many new owners experiencing issues with the phone key that were not previous Tesla owners. Many of them have had key fobs in the past with no issues getting into their vehicles without constant tinkering of the phone key.

If the fob is a temporary answer to the current problem of the phone key problems....then so be it.
 
Last edited:

gregd

Active Member
Dec 31, 2014
2,623
1,851
CM98
Configure your phone to be the key, then log out of the app so it's disabled (but can be turned on if needed). Purchase a small cover for the key card (so it has a loop for hanging on a keychain, like the fob), and use that as your primary key, just like a fob but with out the click.

The main downsides are that you have to take the keycard out of your pocket to use it, and can't open the trunk without first unlocking the car.

Your phone can then be the backup key, if the card is lost.
 
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Big Dog

Active Member
Mar 7, 2016
1,815
1,989
Irvine, CA
Try turning off your Bluetooth and then turning it back on.

Thanks, i'll try that in teh morning. (Today, I tried turning off the app and then turning it back on, but that didn't help.)

Regardless, its still a dumb system: smart enough to consistently unlock the doors, but not start the car.
 
Change can be hard. More so for some than others. I'm sure there were tons of people who complained that the fob was too big compared to a key when fobs first started to get introduced.

I carry my phone and wallet with me wherever I go. So the Model 3 means one less thing I have to carry at all times. Love it.

Fobs actually more or less worked right out of the gate. Apps over bluetooth just isn't working for the most part. I'd love it if it actually worked but I have since stopped using it entirely and rely only on the card. Funny that card, never seems to fail! It never leaves me standing next to my car on my phone looking like an idiot.

And many fobs were indeed far too large. Large for "aesthetics" reasons beyond what is needed. Some, like Chrysler I recall, made fobs were about twice as long as a normal key.
 
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timk225

Active Member
Mar 24, 2016
2,082
2,392
Pittsburgh
I have my phone with me most of the time but not all the time. Usually if I am running into a gas station or store for something, I leave the phone in the car. Now I HAVE to take it with me to get the car to lock. That's not something I ever had to do with a key fob. So it s hard to see using the phone as an improvement.

My sales delivery specialist told me to turn airplane mode on and back off if my Tesla app wasn't updating. That works.
 

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