Can you lock your keys in a Tesla – Key FOB Facts

The key fob for a Tesla is not small enough to carried easily within your pocket.  Due to of the size of a key fob for the Tesla, I read that many owners leave it inside a knapsack or a purse.  Personally, I feel that it’s better that you always keep your key fob on your person.   If you have the auto-lock function turned on, and you forget the key fob in your car, some Tesla owners think that the doors will not lock if you leave your fob inside the vehicle.

Can you lock your keys in a Tesla?  Yes, you can lock your keys in a Tesla.  The key for Tesla is a key fob.  You can lock it inside of your Tesla accidentally.  If you have the function turned on for your Tesla to auto lock your car doors once you have exited the Tesla, if it does not detect the key fob’s presence, it will lock the key fob in the Tesla. 

How are Tesla Owners Locking their Key FOBs in Teslas?

How exactly are Tesla owners locking their key fobs into their Teslas?  Here are a few examples explaining why this is happening:

  1. One Tesla owner stated that she was leaving the key fob in her purse and then exiting the vehicle.  The doors then locked.  She had done this on five separate occasions. She managed to get ahold of her husband so that he could use his phone to unlock the vehicle the most cases.  In one case, she managed to enter through the sunroof to unlock the vehicle. She had left her baby inside the car, and she needed to enter the vehicle in any fashion possible.
  2. Another way that you can lock your key fob into your vehicle is by placing it in a knapsack that is well-insulated.  Once you leave the vehicle, the vehicle would not be able to sense the key fob and it will lock the doors.  Luckily most people have the app on their phones that will allow me to unlock the door when this happens.  I had read an article about one person that needed to get into her Tesla because her baby was inside, and a police officer had to break one of the windows to enter the Tesla.
  3. If the battery in your key fob dies, then your Tesla will not realize that it is within the car, and it will lock the doors when you have exited.
  4. I recommend the Tesla Model X Key FOB battery replacement. It comes with an opening tool.  Click for current pricing on Amazon.
  5. If you leave your key fob in your trunk, the onboard computer will not detect your key fob and it would lock the doors once you have exited the vehicle.  Some towing companies request that you leave the key fob within the trunk so that they will be able to lock the doors easily.

Now that you know it is possible to lock your key fob within your vehicle, another situation that worries some Tesla clients is the possibility of locking yourself within your Tesla.

Can you get locked inside a Tesla?

You cannot get locked into a Tesla.   Many Tesla owners believe that after a computer failure, that they will not have the ability to open the doors if they are locked.  This is just not so.  It is true that you will not be able to use the button that electronically unlock the doors, but there is a manual way to unlock a Tesla door from the interior.

There was an interesting report made on the Barstow Police Department Facebook page stating how Charlie Smith had carjacked a Tesla Model 3.   He had entered by the passenger door and demanded that the driver leave the vehicle.  Of course, the driver exited the vehicle. 

Once outside of his vehicle, the owner used his Tesla app that was on his cell phone to turn off the motor and to lock the doors.  The carjacker panicked when he was not able to leave the vehicle.  The police arrived to find Mr. Smith in the driver’s seat.  He was arrested.

What he didn’t realize that there’s a manual way to open the doors in a Tesla.   All you need to do is to pull up on the panel controls that are on the door itself.   It’s a small handle that you can pull up on that will open the door for you manually.  This is in case you lose power and the doors had been in the lock position.

This is something that a lot of owners did not realize. They just assume if they lose power, that they will have to call service to have the doors opened.

Now that you are aware that there is no danger of being locked inside of the Tesla, locking the doors once in the interior is not going to be a concern.

Here is a video showing how to manually unlock everting in a Tesla:

How do you lock the Tesla from the inside?

If you have ever been parked your Tesla, and you were not aware of how to lock the doors from the inside, you may have been hesitant to stay there long.  If you’re in the area that is prone to carjacking, you need to know how to lock the doors quickly.

There is not a button in a Tesla that you can use to lock the doors all at the same time as you would find in your average car.    Nevertheless, the manual explains that you can lock the doors using the touch screen.  In the top left-hand corner of the touch screen, you will see an icon that is in the shape of an open lock.  It is the same symbol that you will see on a browser stating whether a website is secure.  To lock the doors, you need to press on this icon.

You will know if the doors are locked because the lock will be closed.  It seems like a simple task to perform, but if you haven’t read thoroughly the Tesla user’s manual, you might miss this tip.

To unlock all the doors, press on the icon again.  The lock will then again be in the open position.

Something else that is indicated in manual is that the onboard computer must be able to sense the key fob for this function to work. What happens if you need to unlock the doors and your key fob is not detected?

How to open a Tesla door without the key fob

If you were to lose your key fob or your Tesla does not detect it, your Tesla will not unlock the doors once you approach.  In some electric cars, you can detach a mechanical key from the FOB to use to open a door.  The Tesla does not come with a mechanical key.  However, there is another way to open the doors besides having a mechanical key, and that is to use an application.

Here the steps to follow to unlock the doors with an app:

  1. You need to download the application to your iPhone or Android phone that is for your Tesla model.
  2. To register the application, you would need to add in the credentials for your Tesla.  
  3. Once your Tesla has been registered, go to the controls tap on the application.  
  4. You will see the option to unlock the doors.  
  5. Press on this function, and you’ll notice that the handles will present themselves.
  6. Once they have presented themselves, you can pull on any of the door handles to enter your Tesla. 
  7. Now you will be able to retrieve your key fob is if it had been locked within the car.
  8. I recommend the Kwak key fob cover that is aluminum.  Click for current pricing on Amazon.

I will now explain how to unlock the doors of the Tesla model S.

How to Unlock a Tesla Model S

Since the model S is keyless, you need to use your key fob to unlock the doors.  Your Model S has sensors that try to detect the presence of a key fob.  So, make sure that you have your key fob within your pocket or in your purse so that it can be detected.

When you are close to your vehicle, the doors will automatically unlock.  If you did not set your Tesla to automatically open the doors when you are close by, the handles will not present themselves.  In this case, you would need to press on a door handle to have it pop out.

Unlocking the Truck

To unlock the trunk when you are carrying the key fob, there’s a switch that you need to press on that is located underneath the trunk’s exterior handle.

To Unlock All Four Doors or Just One

I also wanted to mention that you can change the setting so that all four doors will open when you are nearby, or that you can just set it so that only the driver’s door opens.  This a great security feature.

Opening the Tesla Doors from the Inside

To open the doors from the inside you will need to pull the door handle towards yourself.  If you have children, it is best to set up the child protection lock.

You can also unlock the doors using the model S touch screen.  To do so, you still must have the key fob close to you.  All that you need to do is to click on the lock icon that is within the touch screens status window.

If your key fob battery is dead, it will not unlock the doors when you approach the vehicle.  However, there is still a way that you can unlock the doors for your Model S.   What you need to do is to first turn off the security alarm.  To do so, hold the key fob near the passenger side windshield wiper.  Then you need to press on the door handle on the driver side and then pull on it. Sometimes you must reposition the key fob to have the door unlock.

You need to be aware that if you unlock the doors using a dead FOB, the auto lock feature that may have set up will be turned off in your settings.  If you wish to use this function again you must reprogram it after you have replaced the key fob battery.

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