tesla phone key not working

Owning a Tesla electric vehicle is not just about the car itself; one such feature is the Tesla Phone Key, which allows you to use your smartphone as a key to lock, unlock, and start your Tesla. 

However, as with any technology, malfunctions can occur. In this blog, we’ll explore the common issues Tesla owners face when their Phone Key is not working and provide step-by-step troubleshooting solutions to get you back on the road. 

What is the Tesla Phone Key and Use For?

It is a feature that lets you use your smartphone as a key fob to access your vehicle. It’s a convenient and secure way to interact with your Tesla, replacing the traditional physical key fob. 

With the Phone Key, you can:

1. Lock and Unlock Your Car

As you approach your Tesla, the car senses your proximity and unlocks itself. When you walk away, it locks automatically.

2. Start Your Car

You can start your Tesla by simply entering the vehicle with your smartphone.

3. Summon Your Car

If you have the Full Self-Driving (FSD) package, you can call for your car to come to you from a parking spot.

4. Monitor and Control

You can monitor your car’s status, control climate settings, and more through the Tesla mobile app.

While the Phone Key is convenient, knowing what to do when it stops working correctly is essential. 

Tesla Phone Key Common Issues and Troubleshooting Steps

Here are the most common issues and troubleshooting steps.

Phone Key Won’t Connect

Issue: Your Phone Key isn’t connecting to your Tesla.

Fixing Steps:

Ensure Bluetooth is On: Make sure your phone’s Bluetooth is enabled.

Tesla App Permissions: Check that the Tesla app has the necessary permissions to use Bluetooth and location services.

Pair Device: In the Tesla mobile app, go to ‘Phone Key’ and tap ‘Add Phone Key’ to pair your phone again.

Reboot Phone: Sometimes, a simple reboot of your phone can resolve connection issues.

Phone Key Not Responding

Issue: Your Phone Key doesn’t respond when you approach the car.


Step 1. Proximity: Ensure you are within a close range of your Tesla for the Phone Key to work (typically within a few meters).

Step 2. Check Battery: Make sure your phone has sufficient battery charge, as the low battery can affect Bluetooth performance.

Step 3. Bluetooth Interference: Avoid strong sources of Bluetooth interference, like Wi-Fi routers or other Bluetooth devices in close proximity.

The Car Won’t Start with the Phone Key

Issue: You can’t start your Tesla using the Phone Key.


Proximity: Make sure you are inside the car and close to the steering wheel when trying to start the vehicle.

Pair Key: Check the mobile app that your phone is still listed as a paired key.

Reboot Car: If the issue persists, try rebooting the car’s central touchscreen by holding down the two scroll wheel buttons on the steering wheel.

Unable to Lock or Unlock

Issue: Your Phone Key doesn’t lock or unlock the car.


Proximity: Make sure you are within range of the car and that the Tesla recognizes your proximity.

Internet Connection: Your phone may need an active internet connection for the Phone Key to work. Ensure your mobile data or Wi-Fi is active.

Phone Key Not Detected in the Tesla App

Issue: Your Phone Key is not detected in the Tesla mobile app.


App Updates: Ensure you have the latest version of the Tesla mobile app installed.

Re-login: Log out of the mobile app and log in again to refresh your connection.

Check Connectivity: Ensure your phone has a stable internet connection.

Phone Key Unavailable

Issue: You receive a message that your Phone Key is unavailable.


Check Bluetooth: Confirm that Bluetooth is on and the Tesla app has permission to use it.

Reboot Phone: Sometimes, a simple phone reboot can resolve the issue.

Pair Again: Go to ‘Phone Key’ in the Tesla app and tap ‘Add Phone Key’ to re-pair your phone.

Replacing the Phone Key Battery

Issue: If your Phone Key uses a replaceable battery, you might need to replace it.


Battery Replacement: Refer to your phone’s manual or Tesla’s documentation to replace the Phone Key battery as needed.

Software Update Required

Issue: Your Tesla or phone may require a software update to resolve Phone Key issues.


Check for Updates: Ensure your phone and your Tesla vehicle have the latest software updates installed.

Contact Support: If issues persist, contact Tesla customer support for further assistance.

Resetting Your Phone Key

Issue: When all else fails, you might need to reset your Phone Key.


Contact Support: Contact Tesla customer support for guidance on resetting your Phone Key and re-pairing it with your vehicle.

Physical Damage or Loss

Issue: If your smartphone is physically damaged or lost, you may need to replace it.


Contact Tesla: Reach out to customer support to report a lost or damaged phone and re-pair a new one.

Tesla Phone Key FAQs

What should I do if my Phone Key is not connecting to my Tesla?

If your Phone Key is not connecting, make sure your phone’s Bluetooth is enabled, check app permissions for Bluetooth and location, and try re-pairing your phone with your Tesla in the mobile app.

My Phone Key doesn’t respond when I approach the car. What can I do?

Ensure you are within a close range of your Tesla. Check your phone’s battery level, avoid Bluetooth interference, and ensure Bluetooth and internet connections are active.

I can’t start my Tesla using the Phone Key. How can I fix this?

Ensure you are inside the car and close to the steering wheel when starting the vehicle. Verify that the mobile app still lists your phone as a paired key.

My Phone Key is not locking or unlocking the car. What steps should I take?

Make sure you are within range and that the Tesla recognizes your proximity. Make sure your phone has an active internet connection.

Final Thoughts

These are the issues and steps mentioned here. If problems persist, it’s best to contact Tesla customer support for more specific guidance. Remember that the Phone Key is just one of the many smart features that make Tesla ownership a unique experience, and keeping it functioning correctly ensures a seamless and enjoyable journey with your electric vehicle.

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