How To Lock And Unlock A Tesla

Tesla has put a lot of thought into their vehicles and that includes the locking and unlocking of each model.

Whether you have a Model S, Model X, Model 3 or Model Y, they all come with the following three methods of locking and unlocking your car.

  • Your Phone
  • Key Card
  • Key Fob

Walk Away Locking & Automatic Unlocking With Your Phone

Tesla App for locking and unlocking your car
Unlocking and Locking Your Tesla With Your Phone

You can use our mobile phone as a key for your Tesla and it is likely going to be the main key you use.

To unlock your Tesla with your phone just lift the handle to open the door and the car will automatically detect your authenticated phone via Bluetooth. This requires your phone be set up with the Tesla App – more on that below.

Tesla Walk Away Door Lock

If your phone is set up with the Tesla App you can also close the door and walk away from your Tesla and the car will automatically lock. This is provided no authenticated key card or fob is left in the vehicle.

In order to use your phone for as a key you need to set it up first. Here are the steps you need to take:

  1. Download the Tesla App, create an account and login
  2. Enable Bluetooth on your phone (ensure the Tesla App has access too)
  3. Enable Location Access on your phone
  4. Enable Mobile Access on the car’s screen (Controls > Safety & Security > Allow Mobile Access)
  5. In the Tesla App touch Phone Key and then Start
  6. Once the vehicle is detected you must Tap Your Key Card on the door pillar (see image below)
  7. Tesla App displays Done if it is successful

Note: You have 30 seconds to complete the phone pairing process with the key card.

Adding More Phones As Keys

You can have up to 3 phones as keys.

When adding another phone repeat the above process AND ensure that the other phones are either out of Bluetooth range or that their Bluetooth is turned off.

Using A Key Card To Unlock Or Lock Your Tesla

Tesla provides you with two Key Cards. You can use these key cards to lock and unlock your vehicle.

The vehicle detects the RFID chip that has been paired with the car. However, unlike with your phone, you have to bring the key card in close proximity to the door pillar to lock or unlock it.

You can keep a key card in your wallet or purse and simply tap the door pillar to unlock or your Tesla. It may take a second or two to register the key card.

How to lock and unlock your Tesla
The car will do the following, depending on your vehicle settings, once the vehicle is locked or unlocked:
  • The exterior lights flash
  • The mirrors unfold or fold (if this function is on)
  • The vehicle horn sounds (if Lock Confirmation Sound is on)
  • Then the doors will unlock or lock (depending on which state they were in)

These changes to the car are a great way to know when you have definitely locked your vehicle before you walk away.

Using A Key Fob To Lock or Unlock Your Tesla

Tesla key fob
Tesla Key Fob

Key Fobs can be purchased as an accessory for your Tesla and used to lock or unlock the vehicle like you may be used to with your previous vehicle.

It is certainly not necessary to buy a key fob because you have both the key card and phone access methods.

However, the key fob also comes with both a trunk and frunk remote button, so it may be something you wish to have easy access to. And on top of that, they are kinda cool because they are shaped like a Tesla!

To lock or unlock your Tesla with the key fob you simply press the center (highest point) on the fob.

The Trunk and Frunk buttons are located in the same place on the key fob as on the vehicle (after all the fob is a car shape!).

Related: Replace Your Tesla Key Fob Battery

Walk Away Locking

If you use your phone or a key fob for locking and unlocking you have access to what is called – Walk Away Lock.

Your Tesla will then automatically lock when you walk away from the vehicle with the associated phone or key fob. The car then signals it is locked via flashing lights, horn sound and mirrors folding (depending on the settings for these you have in the vehicle).

Note: The key card does not have this function. You must touch the car to the pillar to lock the vehicle.

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