4 Reasons Your Model 3 May Not Be Connecting to Cell Phone – And How To Fix It

4 Reasons Your Model 3 May Not Be Connecting to Cell Phone

Tesla Model 3 car is a state-of-the-art vehicle that is not only eco-friendly but also saves you money. However, there may be times when this car doesn’t connect to your cellphone. There may be several reasons behind this issue, and understanding the core issues will let you resolve this problem and easily connect your smartphone.

Why is your phone not connecting to your Tesla Model 3? One of the main reasons that your smartphone is not connecting to your Model 3 car is that the Tesla Phone Key App is experiencing an outage. The most reliable fix is to Reboot your Tesla.

How To Reboot Your Model 3

  1. Place your foot on the brake and keep it there
  2. Now press and hold both scroll wheel buttons on the steering wheel
  3. Hold for up to 10 seconds and the center screen will reboot
  4. Wait, keeping your foot on the brake. Eventually the screens will restart.

Today, you will learn the main reasons why your smartphone isn’t connecting with your Tesla Model 3. Moreover, you will also learn how to resolve these issues and get back to using the car with the help of a remote connection and app on your smartphone.

Having Issues with Cell Phone Signal in A Model 3 Tesla

Tesla cars are state-of-the-art vehicles that offer all the modern amenities to drivers, and then some. However, these cars are vulnerable to outages and breakdowns. One of the most common issues with Tesla Model 3 cars is that the cell phone signals face a lot of interference inside the vehicle and then stop responding. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons behind this.

You May Be in An Area with An Unstable Network Connection

Your smartphone requires a powerful network connection to communicate with your car. However, when you are in an unstable network connection area, you may experience constant bar drops and connection issues with your Model 3 car.

One of the best ways to tackle this issue is to wait until you get to an area with good bar strength and then reconnect with your car. You may also use a signal booster antenna in your car to amplify weak signals and enhance your connection’s strength. 

Moreover, LTE connection signals also vary from region to region. So, if you are in an area with low LTE bar strength, you may need to switch to Mobile Hotspot to enjoy a better connection between your Tesla Model 3 and your smartphone. Using the local mobile hotspot will offer the best possible connection in rural areas, and you can use this until you reach an area with a better bar strength. 

The System Updates Hinder with The Bluetooth Process

If you are using the native Bluetooth technology to connect with your Model 3 Tesla, you may experience outages and low signal strength due to the latest updates. Tesla has had a reputation for rolling out beta software updates that sometimes result in functionality loss and connection impairment.

One of the easiest ways to tackle this issue is to:

  • Reboot the car software
  • Reconnect the devices

This is a proven way that has worked for most users. Rebooting the system flushes the hardware and software from previous connection details and allows the car to restart the connection from scratch. This rectifies any software or hardware issues and allows the users to reconnect their smartphones with the help of Bluetooth.

How To Reboot Your Model 3

  1. Place your foot on the brake and keep it there
  2. Now press and hold both scroll wheel buttons on the steering wheel
  3. Hold for up to 10 seconds and the center screen will reboot
  4. Wait, keeping your foot on the brake. Eventually the screens will restart.

Model 3 Car Tends to Turn Off the Wi-Fi Signal in Sleep Mode

Tesla Model 3 vehicles come with modern AI advancements and tools to conserve energy, which can often turn into a problem. When the car stays inactive for a pre-defined period of time, it automatically goes into the sleep mode to conserve energy. However, this sleep mode is also designed to turn off all foreign connections and shut down the communication process.

One of the biggest issues with this is that the car turns off the Wi-Fi router as well, to conserve energy. It keeps track of Wi-Fi usage and shuts down the hardware router as well after a few hours of inactivity. Therefore, a lot of users have to restart the car several times for it to wake up from the sleep mode and connect with the router. Additionally, owners have also had to adjust their Wi-Fi routers to stop the auto-shutdown mode.

Another problem with this issue is that Model 3 cars come with a pre-defined threshold for maximum attempts for reconnection. Once you restart the car several times, and it hits the maximum threshold for connection, it will automatically give up, and you will have to wait a while before restarting the entire procedure.

With Model 3 cars, the updated software posed another issue, that was the reboot issue. Once the vehicle had hit its threshold mark, the cars refused to reconnect until the MCU was rebooted. Therefore, if your Model 3 car has the latest software installed, and you have hit the threshold mark, you will have to reboot the MCU in order to reconnect your smartphone with the car using LTE or a simple Wi-Fi router.

These cars automatically block all incoming and outgoing connections to prevent any malicious attempts, and the MCU has to be rebooted with the correct key to restart the functionalities.

The Tesla Phone Key App May Be Experiencing Outages

One of the best things about using a Tesla Model 3 car is the James Bond feeling that you get while driving this beauty. The Tesla Phone Key App allows for a seamless connection with your car within a few miles. However, when this application is down and experiencing outages, you may not be able to connect your smartphone with the car.

During the Labor Day in 2019, the Phone Key App experience massive outages across the board and locked out drivers. The owners had to use the physical key fob or key card to get around this issue, and the application didn’t become active for a few hours.

This is yet another reason why you may experience difficulties with your Tesla Model 3 car. When the application is down, it also restricts any LTE or Wi-Fi connections with your smartphone.

What Is the Bottom Line Here?

Tesla Model 3 cars are designed to be cost-efficient yet offer you the feeling of driving a futuristic James Bond car. However, the high number of features often results in a lack of cellphone connectivity and poses a lot of problems for drivers.

The Tesla Phone Key App often won’t connect with the car and sometimes doesn’t maintain a connection. This happens when there is a low bar signal strength in your area. It is recommended that owners keep a physical key with them just in case. 

Moreover, the cars are also designed to shut down everything after a few minutes of inactivity, and this also results in a lack of connection. You may have to restart the car or reboot the MCU to get the connection back.

Additionally, Tesla also rolled out a few software updates with bugs in them. These bugs restricted any outgoing and incoming connection, and the users had to reboot the system in order to regain the connection.

Tesla offers the best electric cars right now. However, these cars are not 100% perfect as new updates, and software bugs can turn into real-life problems for drivers. They may get locked out of their cars or have to wait for someone to bring them the physical fob to unlock the car. Try the tips mentioned above to resume connectivity and regain control of your Model 3 car.

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Hi, I'm Greg. My daily driver is a Tesla Model 3 Performance. I've learned a ton about Teslas from hands-on experience and this is the site where I share everything I've learned.

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