Some features in a car enable you to communicate with your car easily, and modern cars have several features that allow seamless communication.
The Tesla Phone key is one of these. You can alter some settings and activate some features on your car remotely.
With your phone key, you can open the doors, shut the doors, open the bonnet, play music, and carry out many other functions.
There are two methods of setting up your Phone key. You can set it up from outside your vehicle or inside it. While you’ll need a key card to complete this process from the outside, you may not need one when you set up from the inside.
In this article, I will walk you through a step-by-step detailed guide on how you can set up your Tesla phone key.
You’ll also learn how to troubleshoot common problems with your Tesla phone key, even when it keeps disconnecting.
5 Steps to Set Up Your Tesla Phone Key
Setting up your Tesla Phone key is very easy. You don’t require any form of expertise to get it done.
You can set up your Tesla phone key by following these five steps:
#1. Download The Tesla App
You must have the Tesla App on your mobile device to activate your Tesla phone key.
You can download the Tesla app for IOS and Android devices from the App and Play Stores, respectively.
The Tesla Mobile app is the first step to activating your Phone key to work properly.
Once you download the app, activate the app immediately. You will need your Tesla account credentials to complete the process.
Once you activate the app, you can activate the phone key, whether inside the car or outside.
#2. Go To Vehicle Icon
On your smart touch screen, go to the vehicle icon. When you tap on the icon, it opens up other options enabling you to activate your phone key.
On the vehicle icon, a dialog box opens, and press add key. Follow the instructions by pressing add a phone key.
The touch screen controls many features of your Tesla car. This screen replaces the buttons on traditional cars where buttons affect changes.
If your touchscreen fails to boot, you can restart your car to get your touchscreen back up, and from then onwards, you can activate your phone key.
#3. Enable Your Bluetooth
Once you have located the vehicle icon on the touch screen, you should activate the Bluetooth on your phone settings.
You can find Bluetooth on your settings or connectivity platform on your device. Depending on the kind of device you use, the location of Bluetooth may vary across devices.
Your Bluetooth settings allow your phone to connect remotely to many devices. This principle applies to devices like radios, air pods, and speakers.
This same principle uses the connectivity of devices to connect to your Tesla and become a phone key.
#4. Enable The Key Card
After you have enabled Bluetooth, you can now enable the key card. If you have not activated an existing key card, your Tesla vehicle will require you to activate one.
You can activate your phone key once you have an active key card. You can swipe the key card on the central console just above the cup holders.
The key card works with a chip called the RFID chip. When you connect your Phone Phone from outside, you must swipe the card on the B-pillar on the driver’s side.
#5. Allow The Connection to Initialize
Once you have enabled the phone key and the key card, allow the connection to initialize. After the initialization process, your car can now find your phone.
Initialization usually lasts seconds; do not stop your car within this period. It would also be best not to close the Tesla app on your phone.
On your phone, tap on the connect icon on the mobile app. This icon enables you to find your car. Once the connection is complete, you will receive an on-screen notification.
Then tap on the “Done” prompt on your Phone to complete
You can get your Phone Key activated on your Tesla by two methods. You could get this activation from outside or from inside your car.
The steps are identical, but you must note some basic differences.
Here are some of the differences outlined in a tabular form.
|Feature||From outside||From inside|
|Car accessibility||The car should be locked||The car can be opened|
|Key card placement||B-Pillar on the passenger side||The central console behind the cup holder|
Can You Remote Start Your Tesla with Your Phone Key?
Your phone key cannot remotely start your Tesla. When you activate the phone key, it gives you access to lock and unlock the openings.
Such openings include the doors and the boot. To start your Tesla, you need to be in the vehicle for your car to come on.
Your phone key works within a recommended range of Bluetooth connection. This distance is approximately 10 feet to 30 meters.
Aside from opening the doors, the phone key can also lock the doors automatically. This feature happens when you enable the walk-away feature on your Tesla.
For a good user experience, it will be best to have your Bluetooth always running in the background.
Tesla Phone Key Not Working (Possible Reasons and Solutions)
Sometimes your phone key may not work. The error might develop during your setup or after using the key for a while.
Although there are several reasons that could cause phone key failure, the good news is that you can troubleshoot it and restore proper functionality.
Here are some possible reasons why your phone key may fail to work and how you can fix them.
#1. Failed Key Set Up
A failed key setup can cause the phone key not to work. A phone key setup commonly fails when you miss a step.
When this happens, you must restart the process from the top to set up your phone accurately and ensure smooth functionality.
When following the steps for a phone key setup as outlined above, do so carefully and diligently.
#2. Interferences From Nearby Devices
In many other cases, other devices connecting to the Tesla system might interfere with the phone key connectivity system.
When this interference occurs, you might find fluctuations in the connections or a sudden interruption in the connection.
In any of these cases, you should suspect a nearby device. Such devices could include phones, air pods, speakers, and Wi-Fi connections.
To quickly solve this problem, disconnect any other nearby device. Then remove and add the phone key once more.
To remove the phone key, go to the control icon on the touch screen, and tap on the locks button. The display will show you an icon of keys on your car’s touchscreen.
Then find the current phone key and delete it by tapping the trash icon on the top right corner of the touchscreen.
Following this disconnection, scan your key card on the card reader, and attempt to connect your phone again.
#3. Outdated Bluetooth Drivers and Certificate on Phone
The phone key might fail to function optimally if the Bluetooth certificate and driver expire. This failure might manifest as a total failure to connect or fluctuations in connection.
You can fix this problem by updating your driver and Bluetooth certificate from the online store or getting a car dealer to do that for you.
After completing the update, attempt to make fresh connections with your device by following the steps outlined in setting up your Tesla phone key.
#4. App Glitch
Your phone might be experiencing some glitches. These glitches might be from your phone or the connectivity set up on your Tesla.
You will notice that the connection fluctuates or stalls at a particular point. When this problem occurs, you should uninstall the app and download it again.
When you have a new app, you can attempt another connection.
#5. Network Errors
In rare instances, the connectivity of Bluetooth in the Tesla might be the problem. This problem can arise from a network issue on your PhonePhone.
When this error happens, the connectivity fluctuates frequently. The interruptions are due to a network challenge.
To fix this problem, turn on your phone’s airplane or flight mode. Once you have this feature activated, wait for about 30 seconds.
Then, turn off the flight mode and attempt a reconnection. If this problem persists, finding a professional to fix your phone will be best.
The table below summarizes the possible reasons why your phone key might not work and how to fix it.
|Failed key setup||Inability to establish a connection||Begin the steps again from start to finish.|
|Device interferences||Fluctuations in connectivity||Disconnect every other device and reconnect your phone key|
|Outdated certificates||Failure to connectFluctuations in connections||Update drivers and licenses reconnect your phone key|
|App glitch||Abrupt disruptions in connections|
|Uninstall and re-install the app to begin the connection again|
|Network error||Fluctuations in connectivity||Turn flight mode on and off and begin connections again|
Why Does My Phone Key Keep Disconnecting? (How To Fix)
Your phone may continue to disconnect if there is an issue with your Bluetooth. Your Bluetooth might fail to connect when it is incompatible with your car.
Interferences from nearby devices can also cause your phone key to keep disconnecting.
Generally, your Bluetooth connectivity significantly affects your phone key’s connection and retention.
So, if your phone keeps disconnecting, you can follow these steps to fix it:
- Ensure that you check the compatibility of your phone and car. Once they are compatible, keep your phone connected to your car.
- Disconnect other devices that use the connectivity of the car. Make sure that at that time, only the phone is connected.
- Make sure you prevent any interruptions from your phone. You can prevent interruptions by making sure the battery is fully charged.
- If you are still facing interruptions, invite your dealership for help and guidance on fixing the problem.
Hey, I’m Michael Davis, a 35-year-old with a degree and a love for cars and tech. Since I was a kid, cars have been my thing—so much that I even thought they ran on magic beans! Fast forward, and I’ve built Vehicle Army, your one-stop-shop for easy-to-understand car facts.