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How to Use Tesla Key Card – Detailed Guide

Today we’re going to talk about how to use Tesla key card. Many drivers were very surprised when they were told that Tesla EVs do not need or come with the usual metal keys. They have been replaced by radio frequency identification or Bluetooth unlocking capability in Tesla cars.

This helps the user open the Tesla car in five different ways: with a key card, with their own smartphone, with a Tesla key fob, with a smartwatch, or with a special Tesla ring.

Tesla Key Card – How To Use Tesla Key Card – 8 Best Tips And Tricks For Users (


Activate Tesla Key Card – Detailed Guide

The Tesla is a very smart, almost perfect car. However, Tesla’s set of advanced settings can drive many people crazy. Many users need to spend a lot of effort and time to figure out the huge number of constantly updated features, including keys, key fobs, and key cards. So, how to activate Tesla key card and unlock your car?


According to the instructions, Tesla gives you four different ways to unlock your car: Tesla keykey fobkey card, and mobile app. In addition to these methods, there are others. You can find options such as rings or bracelets on the market that will unlock your car. Each of these options has its disadvantages and advantages, and you can use whichever option is most convenient for you.

Newer Tesla models don’t come with key fobs, but you can buy them separately at an official store or online. The default unlocks options are a key card and your phone, which does it through the Tesla app with Bluetooth enabled. Our article will tell you all the nuances you should keep in mind when using and activating Tesla keys, key fobs, and key cards.

How To Unlock and Lock a Tesla

Tesla gives you four different options for locking and unlocking your car. Let’s take a closer look at them so you can choose the one you like.

Tesla Key Cards

The authenticated key card is by far the most important way to gain access to a Tesla. Tesla has installed a special detection sensor in the Tesla Model 3 that operates at close range and is located slightly below the side camera next to the driver’s door. If you disassemble the key card, you will find a special chip and a small antenna inside.


Install or simply put the key card to the car sensor to open or close your Tesla. You will get two beeps when you open and one after you lock the car. When you purchase a Tesla, you are given two key cards at your disposal. Only one key card is immediately tied to the Tesla, the second key from the kit you will need to add manually.

The pros of using a Tesla key card:

  • It doesn’t weigh much and easily fits even in a small wallet.
  • You can use many keys so that each family member has one.
  • These keys are easy to add to, manage, or remove from the system.

Cons of using a Tesla key card:

  • You need physical interaction with the vehicle.
  • A key card will not be able to remotely lock or unlock your car.
  • If you are careless with things, the fragility of the key will not benefit you.

Using the Tesla Smartphone App

The Tesla mobile app gives you remote access to your Tesla, you’ll also be able to open and close it, and you’ll get some nice extras to drive it. Once you’ve signed up for the app (if you’re requesting authorization from scratch, it can take about two days to process your application), you can safely use the app and get to grips with its features.


To make your phone a remote key, you need to enable the app in the background, be connected to the internet at all times, and register a Tesla account. Also, if your family uses a car, they will have to go through the same procedure. Every new smartphone must meet the above requirements.

Pros of the Tesla app:

  • Easy to control your Tesla from a distance.
  • Easy to lock and unlock the car and change settings.
  • Lots of useful features to control the car.

Cons of the Tesla app:

  • If you’re not connected to the internet, you won’t be able to access and control the car from your smartphone.
  • It is mandatory to have an activated Tesla account, if you forget the password, all is lost.
  • Also with the app, the car will not automatically lock or unlock when you approach it.

Using Your Phone Key

You can also use your phone by making it a Tesla phone key. To do this, you will need to keep Bluetooth turned on and use it to connect to your car. But before that, you’ll need to install a special app and sign in to your Tesla account so that you can turn your phone into a new phone key. Here is how to connect phone to tesla model y.


Once the phone is connected to the car, it will become that key, which will not need to constantly run the Tesla app, the presence of other keys, and so on. Remember that your car can recognize up to nineteen different keys. This includes all available types of keys. Based on this, you can make every family member’s phone a Tesla phone key.

The biggest benefit of having a phone key is that it makes life very easy. You won’t need to constantly touch the sensor with a key card, which sometimes may not be triggered right away. As soon as the phone key is near the car, the Tesla will automatically unlock it, and after you walk away from the car, it will lock. You will always be notified of this by two beeps.

Pros of the phone key:

  • You don’t need to physically interact with the car to lock or unlock it.
  • Automatic locking and unlocking as you approach and move away from the car.
  • You can turn many phones into personal keys.
  • Easy to use a phone key as well as activate and deactivate.

Minuses of the phone key:

  • You will have to carry your phone key with you at all times.
  • You will have to monitor your phone’s battery status more closely.
  • The Bluetooth feature has to be on at all times, which affects how long the phone will run without recharging.
  • Different phones perceive Tesla differently, accordingly, there may be malfunctions in the operation of the key on some smartphone models.

Using Tesla Key Fob

Although sold separately, the Tesla key fob is an official company accessory. You can buy a key fob at an official Tesla store for between $140 and $180. If you are given two key cards, the key fob is the only one in the package. The key fob connects to the Tesla on the same principle as the other keys.


In addition to the car locking and unlocking functions we already know, you can also use the key fob to operate the trunks. Press the key fob twice to open and once to close all the doors. Simple and convenient enough.

Pros of the Tesla key fob:

  • It’s easy to operate the opening and closing of the car with a key fob.
  • Trunk door control is also available.
  • The key fob is not as fragile as standard key cards, plus it has albeit low water resistance.
  • Also if you own a Model Y your key fob will be able to lock and unlock the car passively.

Cons of Tesla key fob:

  • A certain amount of pushing can get confusing. Also, the key fob battery is small.
  • If you have a Model 3 you can say goodbye to passive locking and unlocking.
  • They cost a lot of money, often not everyone can afford to buy one.
  • Keychains can only be bought in the official store, the other key fobs are unstable.

Tesla Key Card and Key Fob Alternatives

You can also buy more options for unlocking Tesla, which work on the same principle as the others and are equipped with a chip and antenna. You can also make such an alternative with your own hands, but we will talk about this a little later.


Tesla alternative keys are the work of third-party companies. On that basis, the internal chips and other features may or may not fit your Tesla, which may well be due to various compatibility issues. Among other things, these items work completely differently than we are used to with standard keys.

You can also link your car and a third-party accessory as described above with official methods. The device will be detected as a key without a name, and you can add it using your own name.

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