tesla phone key setup

Tesla Model 3 Phone Key Setup Guide

On Tesla, you can use your phone to lock/unlock and start your car. A phone on a Tesla can be used as a key so that you don’t have to carry the key card in your pocket.

This guide goes over the steps to add your phone as a key card on a Tesla Model 3. You will need to install the Tesla Mobile App to use your phone as a key. You can download the Tesla mobile app for iPhone here or Android here. 

  1. Press the Car icon on the bottom left of the touchscreen. Car
  2. Press Locks on the left menu. Lock menu add phone to start car on tesla model 3
  3. Press the + button to the right of the Key text.
  4. Click Add Phone Key
  5. Open the Tesla Mobile App on your phone. If you don’t have this app on your phone, download it from the app store.
  6. Once the Tesla app opens up, click on the Phone Key to set up your phone as a key.
  7. Next, go to your car and have the key card on hand.
  8. Select Start on your phone and wait while it searches for your car.
  9. Place the key card in the center console. add phone as tesla key
  10. Success will show on your phone. Click DONE at the bottom.

Once you have set up your phone to work as a key, you can lock, unlock, and start the car with just your phone.

Tesla Phone Key Not Working

A common problem the Tesla owner faces is that the phone doesn’t always unlock or start the car because the phone is not recognized. Here are a few tips that can help you resolve this problem.

  • Make sure that Bluetooth is turned on on your phone. Also, make sure the phone is not in airplane mode.
  • If the Bluetooth is turned on, but you still experience problems, try uninstalling and reinstalling the Tesla mobile app. These simple steps will fix sync problems in some cases.
  • Make sure your phone is not added twice in your car settings, confusing the car.

Most communication issues between Tesla and the phone have been resolved with software updates. Make sure your Tesla has the latest updates. If you open the Tesla app and press unlock, the car will unlock, and you can also start it. A Tesla pairs with your phone via Bluetooth connection; the Bluetooth connections are not always reliable.

We hope you find the Tesla Model 3 Phone Key Setup Guide helpful. Check these troubleshooting and repair guides for more help on your Tesla.


  • Rushit Hila • ASE Certified

    Rushit Hila, an ASE-certified engineer (G1 Automotive Maintenance and Repair), brings over two decades of hands-on experience in the automotive world to his writing. With a strong educational background, including a Master of Science in Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, he has honed his skills and expertise through years of practical work. As a respected authority in the field, Mr. Hila is dedicated to offering insightful and valuable content that resonates with both vehicle owners and mechanics.

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