How to Connect Your Phone to Tesla Model 3


There is a way to connect your phone to your Tesla Model 3. Once it is connected, you will have access to numerous phone functions. For instance, using your phone as a key fob and accessing calendar events that are stored on your cell.

Here is how to connect your cell phone to your Tesla:

  1. The first step is to get Bluetooth working in your Tesla. 
  2. In the top right-hand corner of the Tesla screen. Click on the Bluetooth button.
  3. On the screen that pops up, you might see other phones that people have already connected to your car.
  4. Scroll through the list to find your phone.
  5. There should be zeroes after most of the phone listed since Bluetooth tries to connect to many different phone models.
  6. After you have found your phone, click on it and then click on connect.
  7. Sometimes it will take a few seconds for the on-board computer in your Tesla to connect to your phone.

How to turn your newly added cell phone into a phone key for your Tesla:

  1. On the screen in your Tesla, click on the vehicle icon and then locks.
  2. Then add a lock.
  3. On your phone, open up the Tesla app.
  4. Click on ‘phone key’ for setting your phone as a key
  5. Hit ‘start’
  6. It will take a few seconds for the app to find your Tesla.
  7. After it recognizes your car, you will need to hold your actual key card near the center console.
  8. Simply tap your key card on the center console.
  9. Your app will tell you that it was successful in connecting your phone to the car.
  10. A readout will state that you can now set up the automatic locking or unlocking with your phone.
  11. It should now state that the phone key is connected.

Once your Tesla states that your phone is a phone key, your cell will act as if it is a key fob.  You will be able to control the locking and the unlocking of doors.

If you were to switch to a different phone, you will need to remove the older cell from your Tesla.  Here is how to remove a phone key. 

To remove a phone key:

  1. Go to ‘locks’ on your onboard screen in your Tesla.
  2. Find the phone that you wish to remove and to remove it, press on the garbage can symbol.
  3. You will need to tap your key card again on the center console to complete the removal.

Besides the usage of a phone as a key fob to unlock and lock your Tesla, the mobile app provides a lot of other features.  See the following chart for the other functions of the phone app for Tesla owners:

Functions for the Mobile for Tesla Model 3
1. See the estimated range that remains.
2. You can lock and unlock the doors and the trunks.
3. Check charging progress and receive charging notifications.
4. Keep an eye on the interior temperature.
5. Locate your model 3 using a map.
6. Make the interior lights flash off and on (great for locating your Tesla)
7. Cause the horn to beep so that you can locate your parked Model 3.
8. Enable key-less driving in case you had lost your key fob.
9. Enable or disable the speed limit mode.
10. Allow the mobile app to set calendar data to your EV.
11. Open and close your garage door (requires a HomeLink connection).
12. Turn on maximum defrost.
13. Close and vent all windows.
14. Send a video to the Tesla Theater by sharing a link.
15. Get notified if a security alarm goes off.
16. Open your Tesla inbox.
17. View the odometer.

How to Play Music From Your Phone to a Tesla Model 3

Being able to play music from your phone is a must in any electric car.  I have read in many forums for the Tesla Model 3 that the process for doing so is difficult, so I decided that I would create the steps to be able to play your huge playlist of songs through the speakers on your Tesla.

Here are the steps for integrating your iPhone music playlist to your Tesla:

  1. Scroll to your media files on your phone.
  2. You will be able to control your phone from the screen, there will be a play button and a button to get back one track, or ahead one track.
  3. You will able to control which track is playing using your steering wheel.
  4. On the left-hand side of the steering wheel, there is a thumbwheel. 
  5. Press on the left portion of the thumbwheel to go back a track, and press on the right side of the thumbwheel to go ahead a track. To pause a song, just simply tap the thumbwheel and then retap to continuing playing the present track.

Here is a video that explains how to play music from a USB drive in your Tesla:

Does a Tesla Vehicle Have a Wireless Phone Charger in the Center Panel? 

I have a Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Plug-in and it has a platform where I can place my iPhone for charging.  There is no need to connect a USB wire to charge it.  This feature is great and it is a time saver.  I am even notified by an alert that my phone is still charging once I have turned off the engine (that way you never forget your phone in your car).  

I was shocked to learn that the Tesla Model S and Model X do not have wireless charging for phones.  I then learned that it is possible to buy a charger container that is designed to fit in the center panel. 

Click to here to view the wireless charger for Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X, available on Amazon by LMZX

This charger can be placed in two different angles.  It has space for your key FOB, for your glasses and bank cards.  These storage areas will ensure that your center console will not become messy and disorganized. 

If you are wondering whether or not this Tesla device will work with your phone, just make sure that your phone has the wireless charging function. A phone that allows wireless charging is a called a Qi-enabled phone.  

Here is a list of phones that are usually Qi-enabled (verify in your phone manual if the model that you have has Qi or not):

  • Apple iPhone
  • Samsung Galaxy
  • LG 
  • Microsoft Lumia
  • Google Nexus
  • Blackberry
  • Motorola
  • Nokia Lumia
  • Asus

How do you Turn on the Calendar on a Tesla?

If you use Outlook and you would like to integrate your calendar into your Tesla, here the steps:

This works for iPhone and Android phones.

  1. Make sure to install the Tesla app onto your phone
  2. Enter into the settings on the Tesla app on your phone, and make sure that you had turned on the calendar.
  3. On the onboard computer in your tesla, click on Map in the menu at the bottom of the screen, and within the popup window, click on the calendar.

Related Questions:

My Tesla Model 3 Bluetooth is not Connecting, what should I do?

There seem to be a lot of people on forums that are complaining about not being able to get their phone to connect properly to their Tesla. 

I read that someone had tried unpairing and repairing his cell phone, but he still was having trouble getting music to play from his phone to his Tesla.  The songs were pausing, plus locking and unlocking doors were delayed. 

He ended up completing the following steps that worked wonders:

  1. Unpair all phones, and re-pair them.
  2. Disable the syncing of your contact list.
  3. Now he was able to play music and control his doors without having any problems at all.

He asked a friend that owned a Tesla whether or not he was having trouble with Bluetooth connecting with his phone. His friend stated no.  He asked this person if he had any strange characters being used in his contacts within his contact list. His friend stated no.

So, I feel that it could be non-letter characters in a contact list that are causing a problem with the BlueTooth connection on a Tesla.

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