Last updated on April 18th, 2023 at 11:17 pm
Few cars can boast of having key cards that unlock and start them. Tesla’s key card is innovative, but you can quickly lose this card and be left stranded.
Fortunately, there are other means of accessing your Tesla and starting it.
Without the keycard, you can access and start your Tesla using the phone key and key fob. With your profile on the mobile app, you can unlock the car and start it. Also, the key fob has a button to unlock the car, allowing you entry to start it.
This article will explain the alternative means of opening your Tesla and starting it. In the end, you’ll learn the other methods of accessing your Tesla and how to start it manually.
How Do You Start Tesla Without a Keycard?
Without a keycard, you can start your Tesla using the key fob. The key fob unlocks the door of the Tesla, and once you’re in, you can start the car.
The device has three buttons. The middle button unlocks all doors on the Tesla. Press the button to open the door and enter the vehicle.
You can start the car by stepping on the brake within 120 seconds of unlocking the car. If the time elapses, you’ll need to let the car detect the key fob.
You can do this by positioning the fob close to the middle console. The detector is at the rear of the bottle holders. Once the car senses the fob, the 120-second timer restarts.
You can still unlock the car even if the battery in the key fob dies. There’s a sensor on the front left door’s pillar.
Once you place the key fob here, the car unlocks, and you can get in to start the car.
Can You Start Tesla With Your Phone?
Another way of accessing your Tesla to start it is by using the phone. Tesla has a mobile app for android and IOS. It allows you to set up a profile to use and unlock your car.
After unlocking, you can get in and start the car.
The following steps will guide you on how to set up your profile on the Tesla app.
- Download and install the Tesla app on your android or IOS.
- Sign in to the Tesla app with your profile’s username and passcode.
- Ensure that you;
- Enable Bluetooth on the mobile device.
- Enable Bluetooth settings in your Tesla app settings.
- Activate location. Open your Tesla app phone settings, find ‘Location’ and set it to ‘Always.’
- Go to ‘Controls’ on the car’s touchscreen and activate ‘Allow Mobile Access.’
- Set up the phone key in your car. With the key card in your possession, open the app and tap on ‘Set Up Phone Key.’
- A series of commands will come up. To complete the phone key setup, execute these commands on the app and your car’s touch screen.
With the phone key activated, you need to approach the car with your phone to unlock the door.
As long as the phone’s Bluetooth is on, the car will detect the signal and unlock the door. Then, you can start the car and drive off.
How Do You Start a Tesla Manually?
You can start your Tesla by stepping on the brake. The car starts once the brake depresses; however, if the car doesn’t sense a key fob, it doesn’t start.
The key fobs need to be in the car for the car to start when you match the brake. Otherwise, a message notifies you of the key fob’s absence.
The middle console has a bottle holder. If this message comes up, put the key fob there so the car can sense it and start the car.
If the car doesn’t start, place the fob against the middle console, just under the power socket. The vehicle should read the key fob, but if it doesn’t, try another key fob.
Your car might not sense the fob due to low battery, signal interference, and physical obstructions.
Once your car starts, you can switch across various drive modes with the brake pressed down. Furthermore, switching across drive modes requires certain speed limits from the car.
The following will guide you on how to switch across the drive modes in Tesla.
While pushing down the brake, move the drive stick to the end, then release your foot. Note that the car will only go into reverse if it’s traveling below 5 MPH.
This mode lets the car roll at will without your foot on the brake. You can put the car in Neutral mode by moving the drive stick to the middle position.
The ‘Autosteer or Traffic-Aware Cruise Control’ feature requires an extra step when switching to Neutral.
If you’ve activated this feature, switch to Neutral by moving the stick to the middle and holding it for three seconds. Do this to deactivate the feature.
After parking, you can put the car in ‘Park’ mode. Simply press the button at the drive stick’s end to switch into park mode.
Your Tesla also automatically enters ‘Park’ mode when you plug in the charger.
Additionally, the car enters ‘Park’ mode when it detects the following;
- The sensor doesn’t detect the driver in their chair.
- The driver unbuckles their seatbelt.
- When you open the left front door.
Do You Need a Key Card to Drive Your Tesla?
You don’t always need a key card to drive your Tesla. Instead, you can unlock your car with a key fob or phone key and drive the car.
The key card is just one of the three keys that give you access to your car. The two other devices can unlock the car, allowing you to start and drive it whenever possible.
The table below shows the three keys for accessing your Tesla.
|Keys||Method of Use|
|Key fob||Equipped with a middle button that unlocks the car.|
|Phone key||You can unlock the car with the phone’s Bluetooth if you have an authenticated account.|
|Key card||Place the card against the front left door’s pillar to unlock the car.|
Let’s look at these two other keys and how to use them.
#1. Key Fob
The key fob is a device that unlocks your Tesla. It’s shaped like a mouse and has three buttons. There’s one button in the front, middle, and back.
The middle button unlocks the door. Press this button once to open the car; you can then proceed to start the car and drive off.
Remember that you need to start the car in less than 120 seconds after you’ve opened the car. Else, the car will fail to start, and you’ll have to unlock the car again.
The key fob will work if you don’t point at the car; the key needs to be in range. Other signal-emitting equipment can interfere with the key fob.
So if the key isn’t working, you can move it one foot from electronic equipment. Finally, the fob’s battery can die.
If this happens, you can press it against the door like a key card to open the door.
#2. Phone Key
Tesla has a mobile app that allows you to start it remotely. All you have to do is to create your profile in the app and authenticate it in your Tesla.
Authenticating allows the car to pair with the phone device. After pairing, you can set up the key and finalize the authentication.
Now, if you put on your phone’s Bluetooth, all you need to do is approach the vehicle with the phone. The car will recognize the Bluetooth and open the door.
Also, you can start your vehicle remotely through the app. Navigate to ‘Controls’ and tap on ‘Start.’
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.