Bluetooth issues?

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PNWmisty

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Then I came back to the car, pulled the handle, and got the "Tap Key..." screen. I held the door handle for probably 15 seconds, and then I heard the clunk and such of the car waking up. I reset and pulled the handle again and the door opened. No idea why it was so perfect one instance, and a few minutes later it was slow.
If the screen says "Use Key Car" it means the car is looking for a Bluetooth signal but doesn't see it.

It could be the BT signal is transmitting from your phone but is blocked (BT is largely line of sight). If that's not it, your phones BT radio is probably not transmitting for whatever reason. While there is a small chance it's a hardware issue with your phone, this really sounds like a software issue, perhaps with another app on your phone that doesn't play nice with your phones BT. My wife and I have minimal other apps that use BT on our phones which probably explains our 100% functionality. Our phones do have whatever is necessary to use Samsung ear IconX (BT earphones) but we don't have other 3rd party apps that might not comply with Android BT.

I hope this helps other owners clean up their phones or do whatever it takes to get 100% BT functionality because it really is nice not to have to bother with a key fob or the card.
 

PNWmisty

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Perhaps you are correct. That said, plenty of Android phones have problems -- whether it's "most", it's up to debate. Plus, as mentioned, my phone works with each and every BT device I have encountered, as many others do.
I've been analyzing these forums for a long time and it's my strong impression that the vast majority of Model 3 Android users don't have any "BT as key" issues (beyond the occasional blocked BT signal from the phone being behind something in their purse, etc). Obviously, this is just an observation, not a scientific fact, but I would be very surprised if it were not true. As usual, it's the "squeaky wheel" we hear, not the well-greased one.

The fact that a phone works with other BT apps is not all that meaningful in terms of "BT as key" functionality because this is a very intensive use of BT that involves much more than just transferring audio to a headset or other basic audio BT uses. I think for security reasons there are strict timing checks involved in the BT "handshake" as well as encryption and probably other complexities I don't know about. So, if your phone streams BT audio with other apps but doesn't reliably function as a BT key, that doesn't really surprise me. It's not a sign that the car has a bug, I still think it's likely software on your phone. If the car had flaky BT, I don't think so many people would have such reliable functionality using a wide variety of phones. The difference comes down to a phones configuration or the software loaded on it.
 

justaute

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I've been analyzing these forums for a long time and it's my strong impression that the vast majority of Model 3 Android users don't have any "BT as key" issues (beyond the occasional blocked BT signal from the phone being behind something in their purse, etc). Obviously, this is just an observation, not a scientific fact, but I would be very surprised if it were not true. As usual, it's the "squeaky wheel" we hear, not the well-greased one.

The fact that a phone works with other BT apps is not all that meaningful in terms of "BT as key" functionality because this is a very intensive use of BT that involves much more than just transferring audio to a headset or other basic audio BT uses. I think for security reasons there are strict timing checks involved in the BT "handshake" as well as encryption and probably other complexities I don't know about. So, if your phone streams BT audio with other apps but doesn't reliably function as a BT key, that doesn't really surprise me. It's not a sign that the car has a bug, I still think it's likely software on your phone. If the car had flaky BT, I don't think so many people would have such reliable functionality using a wide variety of phones. The difference comes down to a phones configuration or the software loaded on it.
I don't have any BT-as-key issues. Just the using-as-a-phone issue.
 
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I have a Note 9 and Galaxy Watch. My phone as a key issues have improved once I realized that keeping my phone in my back pocket was the issue. I'm still having significant issues with the BT phone/media connection in the car however. Through trial and error, I believe there's a conflict with my Galaxy watch/wear app. If my watch is off or on airplane mode before I get in the car, my phone will connect much more reliably than if I have the watch on/connected to my phone before entering the car. It's still not 100% however. We'll see if the update to Pie will improve things.
 

JML

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It could be the BT signal is transmitting from your phone but is blocked (BT is largely line of sight). If that's not it, your phones BT radio is probably not transmitting for whatever reason. While there is a small chance it's a hardware issue with your phone, this really sounds like a software issue, perhaps with another app on your phone that doesn't play nice with your phones BT. My wife and I have minimal other apps that use BT on our phones which probably explains our 100% functionality. Our phones do have whatever is necessary to use Samsung ear IconX (BT earphones) but we don't have other 3rd party apps that might not comply with Android BT.

I hope this helps other owners clean up their phones or do whatever it takes to get 100% BT functionality because it really is nice not to have to bother with a key fob or the card.
I think you might be on to something. To refresh, the bluetooth beacons in the car are visible to a phone about 50 feet away, or 30 feet away through walls. The car will use the signal strength (and maybe other things?) to determine if the phone is within a few feet of the side of the car, and if so, it will allow the doors to unlock. Anything that degrades the signal from the phone will make it appear farther away than it actually is.

A brief digression. I have in the past tried to use bluetooth locking on my computer. This works almost exactly like the car. The phone and the computer are paired over bluetooth, and the computer locks if the phone goes too far away. I've given up on it, because I didn't find it reliable enough. The computer locker has debugging, unlike the car, so I could see what was happening. Displaying the distance of the phone from the computer quickly showed the problem. Sitting at the computer, with my phone in my pocket, the computer would think it was anywhere from 0-10 feet away, and this would change every second. Set the locker too sensitive, and the computer would lock while sitting in front of it, but set it too permissive, and I could walk too far away from the computer and it might not lock. So a lock setting of >10 feet, might mean the computer didn't lock until I was 20+ feet away. For my purposes, this wasn't good enough, as I wanted the computer to lock when I stepped away, even though I was only going 15 feet or so.

Anyway, that is a long way to say, that in my experience the distance detection features in bluetooth are not very reliable. So, if the phone has to be within 3 feet for the car to open, keeping it in a pocket or bag, might make the phone appear to be 2-10 feet away, instead of in the open air where the phone might appear to be 1-5 feet away. I think this is also why, in my experience, the trunk is much more likely to open on the first press than the doors. Because the antennas are on the sides of the car, it will allow the trunk to open when it detects the phone much further away. In fact, I can frequently walk up to the car, open the trunk, then walk around to the side and NOT open the door.

Also, as you mention, other bluetooth apps might be interfering. I have an app on my phone from my insurance company, which is supposed to use a bluetooth beacon in the car to record all of my drives, so they can sell my data to the Illuminati or something. Anyway, the app crashes frequently and uses lots of battery when it does, so I put it in the "always sleeping" category. The phone key seems to be more reliable for me since then. Of course, it is incredibly difficult to tell with things like this that are intermittent. It might just be sunspots.

The second phone and bluetooth thing is connecting the phone to the radio. Since about October I had been having problems with bluetooth on my Samsung S8, which prior to that had worked great. I tried lots of things, but on the Samsung Android Oreo OS, I couldn't find a way to reset bluetooth, which is what everybody recommended for the problems. I am now on the Android Pie beta, and was able to clear cache and data for bluetooth, and that seems to have made things much better. All of my bluetooth devices, including the car, have connected as they are supposed to. The Model 3 is still slower to connect than the $100 aftermarket radio in my other car, but this morning it was connected and working by the time the garage door closed, without any interaction on my part.

TL;DR I think the problems are due to sunspots, or maybe the earth's magnetic field.
 

JML

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Here's a new one, audio plays through the car, but the car can't control the phone. I'm pretty sure it was a phone problem, because when I rebooted the phone, the problem went away.

This morning the phone paired well with the car, and after work it also paired on its own. I made a quick stop on the way home and it would not pair, so I went into the car's system and told it to connect. It then connected, but as mentioned, none of the in car controls work. For example, I couldn't skip to the next track or pause. I made another stop, and after getting back to the car, the phone paired, but the controls still didn't work. After getting home I confirmed the problems till existed, then rebooted the phone, and then the car controls started to work again. So I conclude a phone problem.

I also did some brief time testing. If left on their own, the phone takes about 1:30 seconds to pair with the Tesla, and about :30 seconds to pair a $100 Kenwood in my other car. Both are reading the contact list. 1:30 seems very long, as a headset pairs with the phone in under 2 seconds. I'm sure the it's more complicated to wakeup/boot the Tesla headunit (and the Kenwood) than a headset, but still, that 1:30 seems excessive. I have a Tasker task that maximizes the volume on the phone when connected to certain bluetooth devices that have their own volume control, including the car. I get a message from this task about 10 seconds after opening the car door, but the phone and car aren't ready for bluetooth audio for another 80 seconds or so. I don't know what that's all about.

In all this time the phone key has been working very well. Only once did I have to wait 10 seconds for the door to unlock, and in all other cases it was instant. To test, I re-enabled my other app that uses a bluetooth beacon in the car, and the phone as key still worked instantly.
 
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My 3 is in for service for the last week and I got a brand new S 75D loaner from Tesla/Enterprise. I've had none of the in-car connectivity issues in the S that I've experienced with my 3. My Note 9 connects almost instantly every time and has not dropped the media/phone BT connection yet, whether my Galaxy Watch is connected or not.

Thanks.
 

pwenter

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Picked up my White TM3 AWD 4 days ago. Have been experiencing issues with phone/bluetooth integration. I'm using an Essential PH-1 and it has the latest Android OS. I frequently cannot make phone calls in that I can't hear the other party, nor can that party hear me; however, when I switch the sound to my phone's speaker, it seems to work fine.

Anyone has similar experience? Thanks.
I have the same exact problem. My Essential phone connects very well with many other devices and other rental cars and my wife's minivan etc. But with the Model 3 it works about 10% of the time for phone calls (everything else on the M3 works perfectly with my Essential); if I try to redial, or transfer the call from my phone, then back to the model 3, it may work. I called Tesla about the issue; they first had me reset the car, and disconnect/re-connect the bluethooth etc, but eventually said they had to escalate to a more technical team; I have not heard back from them. I do suggest you call Tesla.
 

justaute

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I have the same exact problem. My Essential phone connects very well with many other devices and other rental cars and my wife's minivan etc. But with the Model 3 it works about 10% of the time for phone calls (everything else on the M3 works perfectly with my Essential); if I try to redial, or transfer the call from my phone, then back to the model 3, it may work. I called Tesla about the issue; they first had me reset the car, and disconnect/re-connect the bluethooth etc, but eventually said they had to escalate to a more technical team; I have not heard back from them. I do suggest you call Tesla.
I already did. Tesla seems to have other fish to fry. At this point, I just use my protocol of: call using phone speaker, after connection, transfer to TM3, increase volume by using the left steeringwheel roller, then voila.
 

JML

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Here is a new wrinkle to my bluetooth connection problems. When the doors are all closed, and there is no weight in the driver's seat the screen turns off, and bluetooth pairing stops. I frequently open a rear door to put in a bag, child, etc., close the rear door, and then open the front door. This interupts the pairing and leaves either my phone or the car in a confused state for bluetooth pairing. It can take several minutes for the two to sort it out. Or possibly I have to tap the bluetooth icon and manually start the pairing process to the phone.

As an experiment, today I opened the rear door, dropped in my stuff, then opened the front door, then closed the rear door. The screen stayed on, because by the time I all four doors were closed, I was in the front seat. The phone connected quickly when I did that.

I'm not sure if this is really the cause of any of my problems, or just pecking at the corner, because sometimes everything works fine, and other times it doesn't.
 

TheHairyOne

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Ah cool I’d been posting about this issue on the black screen thread so glad to find a group of other poor bastards with this issue :)

So BT unlocks the door, what then fails for it to turn start the car vs. show a screen asking for the valet key?

I’ve been using summon on the phone to wake it back up vs. reboot.
 

TheHairyOne

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Ok got 5.15 with sentry mode,and it happened differently today.

Instead of letting me in and then showing black after a valet key screen. It locked me out until I used the valet key, but then didnt need the valet key to start the car because it then recognized my iphone.

Going to reboot my phone and see if the problem goes a way. Otherwise I think tesla owes me a bluetooth signal strength log or something to figure this out.
 

JML

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I switched phones from a Samsung Galaxy S8 to a Google Pixel 3, and my bluetooth issues are gone. I mean, I don't have to do a little dance to move the pocket with the phone in it close to the doors, they just unlock every time. I also don't have to wait 1-2 minutes for bluetooth to connect to the audio system, or in the worst cases manually force a connection several times before it works. I haven't timed how fast the Pixel 3 connects to the audio system, but by the time I have my seatbelt and sunglasses on, the phone is connected and ready to stream to the car. It's only been a week, so I'm sure there will be glitches, but it is so much better so far, though. If this had been my experience from the beginning, I would have wondered what the whole point of this thread was.

I'm still disappointed that when the car and phone connect, the phone doesn't have a popup that says "Tesla Model 3 connected with 70% battery" like it does for other bluetooth devices. Mostly because it is a terrific joke that only I find funny.
 

Frully

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And today like a few other times. I am only one in the car. Car recognizes my phone, unlocks door, lets me drive but shows no BT device connected. Thats is so strange. It has to be connected or I can't unlock and drive.
Did it this morning.

Hopefully these are addressed.
That's most likely a problem with the phone, not the car. 'Bluetooth' is a physical, transport, and protocol layer setup that has many different connections tunneling through a wireless link. In the case of unlocking the car and driving it's a serial data connection handshaking with the app. For audio it's A2DP, and for phone it's Headset protocol. While one might show connected, the other might not link up because so much of the stack is software instead of hardware.
9/10 times it's solved by turning bluetooth off and then on on the phone side. Easiest method is using the airplane mode toggle.
 

MelindaV

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Today with the BT phone key, when I open door for my wife, often times her phone shows up as BT connected although mine was last used. So it would be wrong profile.
the audio bt connection and the lock bt connection are independent of each other.
 

NR4P

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I have two phones. Android and iOS. BT issue is with both. So car is likely the problem area.

Like I wrote, I hope the BT improvements mentioned address this quirk.
 
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I am only one in the car. Car recognizes my phone, unlocks door, lets me drive but shows no BT device connected
This has been standard for me for a while now. I either have to go to the calendar or music and hit connect. Sometimes it does but 80% the car can use the phone to unlock and drive but the Media portion doesn't connect asap
 

airj1012

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This has been standard for me for a while now. I either have to go to the calendar or music and hit connect. Sometimes it does but 80% the car can use the phone to unlock and drive but the Media portion doesn't connect asap
I've constantly had this issue. I just chalked it up to my phone. Still on iPhone 6. What's frustrating to me is that I'll get in the car and it'll play music for a few seconds and then it drops. Then I need to go to the bluetooth icon in the top right and reconnect. I need to do this more often than not. I was hoping it would go away when I upgraded phones this year, but maybe not...
 

fazluke

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I've constantly had this issue. I just chalked it up to my phone. Still on iPhone 6. What's frustrating to me is that I'll get in the car and it'll play music for a few seconds and then it drops. Then I need to go to the bluetooth icon in the top right and reconnect. I need to do this more often than not. I was hoping it would go away when I upgraded phones this year, but maybe not...
Did you try to turn off Bluetooth then On? That always solves the issue for me.