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Who Uses a Key Fob?

Discussion in 'Model 3: User Interface' started by jpfive, Jan 4, 2020.

  1. jpfive

    jpfive Supporting Member

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    A part of me would rather have a familiar old key fob (remote) in my pocket. What are the experiences of those who purchased one for their M3? How do you use it? Is it even useful? How many functions are included?

    The phone app is useful, and I like it. However there is a lag after approaching the car to access the door locks. I find myself pulling out my phone and waking the car up before I get to it. The key card is ingenious, but awkward at times. I'm always concerned that I will misplace it. And it has no functions at all other than unlocking the doors and making the car ready for you to hit the brake and drive away.

    Thanks for input and advice on this.
     
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  2. cypho

    cypho Member

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    #2 cypho, Jan 4, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2020
    My first phone had a 50% success rate at unlocking the doors, it was very embarrassing to be seen in public fumbling with my phone and tugging on door handles for what seemed like 2 minutes trying to get into the car. Then one day I broke my phone. Best accident ever. My new phone is the same make, same software, and same settings. And it works instantly 100% of the time. I have no idea why there is a difference, it really seems like there shouldn't be a difference, but it is night and day.The door now opens on the first tug every time.

    As for the key FOB, I have both the original version (you have to click the button to unlock) and the new version that you can leave in your pocket. The new version of the FOB is great. It unlocks the door instantly every time. If you hare having problems with your phone, it is definitely a good solution. The original version of the FOB worked and was much better than an unreliable phone, but it seemed really behind the times to have to press the button to unlock the door when my 10 year old Toyota had a key you could leave in your pocket.

    Also, the FOB has one big advantage over phone-as-key, even on a phone that works as it should. You can open the front trunk. Opening the front trunk via the phone is a pain. I typically just open the door and lean in to press the button on the screen as it is easier than unlocking my phone, finding the Tesla app, and then clicking the front trunk button in the app. With the FOB, you can just reach into your pocket and click the front FOB button. So much better.
     
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  3. Stomsf

    Stomsf Member

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    I keep the key fob (1st Gen) in my pocket as a backup. Works great, though I rarely use it as the phone key works very well for me. I didn't want to keep the card key with me all the time, and I prefer to have the familiarity of having the key fob. Also I find valets much prefer the key fob over getting a card key lol.
     
  4. jpfive

    jpfive Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the helpful feedback folks. I'll be getting a fob.
     
  5. jkoya

    jkoya NA2 NSX

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    I have both versions of the fob also and I usually carry one with me when I drive. I have the walk away lock disabled and it's easy for me to lock the doors with a single push of a button on the fob. It was worth it to me...
     
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  6. Msjulie

    Msjulie Active Member

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    First gen key fob, for non-Tesla service folk or visiting family I trust with the car (few :) )

    Otherwise, my phone is all I ever need. Emergency keycard in wallet but have not had to use it yet.
     
  7. bcpm3p

    bcpm3p Member

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    Can the new gen fob summon?
     
  8. towndrunk

    towndrunk Member

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    How old is your phone?

    Sounds like a s/w problem. Did you try factory resetting your phone? A bad setting (like allowing the Tesla app to sleep) can cause your problems.

    If your phone warns you that your Tesla app is keeping it awake and it might reduce battery life, you have to ignore the warning and allow it. If the app sleeps, you'll have the issues you're complaining about.
     
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  9. jkoya

    jkoya NA2 NSX

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    I've never tried it, but the Owner's Manual does say you can use the fob to move the car forward or in reverse. If you are talking about Smart Summon, I don't think it can....
     
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  10. linux-works

    linux-works Active Member

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    bluetooth software and hardware stacks (in phones) are interoperability nightmares. (NFC is even worse)

    the match of the embedded system (the key fob) and the car is always going to be more ideal than your phone since the fob does not 'install apps' and run malicious code. it has one job to do and its power saving mode can't be beat (like IR remotes for AVRs/stereos/tvs).

    I may get a fob since my phone works 'most of the time' in BT mode but I know how bad BT is. the key card is nice for emergencies but too fumbly for regular car entry and activation/starting.

    the cost of the fob is what turns me off. I'm a DIY guy and I know these things cost in the dollars range, not the 20-50x price they are asking.

    if one came free with the car, I'd probably use that instead of the phone.
     
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  11. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    I didn't see it mentioned...

    Both the old and new Model 3 fob support (original) Summon.
     
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  12. sduck

    sduck Mr. Duck

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    I have a first gen fob, but have never used it. I got the second gen fob when it cam out, mainly to complete the collection, but I tried it out as an experiment, and have been using it ever since. It's even more reliable than my almost always working iphone X. And being able to open the frunk without fumbling with my phone is great.
     
  13. Twiglett

    Twiglett Single pedal driver

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    I recently got a fob, mainly because I use the trunk more and trying to use the phone to unlock the trunk is a real PITA.
    Summon with a fob only works if you disable continuous press, although I've found even that no longer works at all with 2019.40.50.7
     
  14. airpor41

    airpor41 Member

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    I use only my Pixel 3A (card in my wallet as backup used maybe twice ever). When I walk up to my car, I can reliably open the trunk using its handle. I never have to use the phone to unlock the trunk. Maybe your phone setup needs some adjustment?
     
  15. jjrandorin

    jjrandorin Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums

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    OP, the "need to take phone out to open car" thing many times is because people put their phones in their back pockets. It does not work reliably through your body (too much butt there I guess, lol). In any case, you can test this easily if you are a person who puts your phone in your back pocket. Simply walk up to the car normally, and when you get there, turn sideways or have your rear somewhat toward the car instead of facing away from the car, then attempt to open the door.

    On the fob (original question), I have the first generation one, and carry it around because im "used to" carrying around a fob, but only use it on the very (very) few times I use the front trunk. I dont like putting my hands on the hood and pushing down to close the front trunk, so only use it when I have food or something that I dont want the smells to linger in the car.
     
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  16. Twiglett

    Twiglett Single pedal driver

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    Stupid autocorrect. It should know Frunk by now :D
    You’re right, the trunk is fine, but opening the Frunk is a real PITA without the fob.
     
  17. Electroman

    Electroman Supporting Member

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    I had the same problem - phone only worked about 50% of the time and I had to fumble to take the key card out. Then about two months ago got an update from Tesla, and I also updated my phone with a later version of IoS that I have been postponing for a long time. And since then 100% of the time my phone works perfectly and never had to use the key card. Not sure if it was the update from Tesla or Apple.

    I use the keycard only when I am jogging and I don't want the phone with me
     
  18. SMAlset

    SMAlset Well-Known Member

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    I have the 1st gen fob and use it occasionally. As someone said easier to use than pulling out your phone and going to your app to open the trunk or frunk. It's my preferred choice to give to our car wash people when I won't be around when they complete the car and need to move it out of the wash bay. Although a 2nd key card is a lot cheaper if it's lost ;). I was tempted to get the 2nd gen fob with the walk away capability but my iPhone XMax almost never fails me when I walk up to the car so really don't see the point. A few times my phone key hasn't worked to open the door and when I turned my purse around from the way I was carrying it near the car the doors opened so really no big deal.
     
  19. airpor41

    airpor41 Member

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    Yes, that's mostly why I use the frunk only for charging equipment, tire repair stuff, etc -- things I almost never need. I'm also always a little nervous when I close it given the special instructions in the owner's manual. It feels a little flimsy to me and I'm nervous I'll just bend it some time.
     
  20. SouthSeas

    SouthSeas Member

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    My model X opens the door as I approach. Why would anyone settle for less??? Keyfob in pocket.
     

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