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Understanding Tesla Key Card Issues: A Handy Guide

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Your Tesla key card serves as a convenient tool to lock, unlock, and start your Tesla vehicle.

However, there may be times when it might not function as expected, leaving you locked out of your car.

In this blog post, we will delve into the common causes of Tesla key card malfunctions and provide actionable solutions to regain access to your vehicle.

Identifying Common Key Card Malfunction Causes

Various factors can contribute to your Tesla key card’s failure to unlock your vehicle. Some prevalent reasons include:

  • Magnetic interference from other cards
  • Malfunctioning key card requiring a reset
  • Software glitches necessitating a vehicle reboot

Troubleshooting Your Key Card: Step-by-Step Fixes

Inspect for Magnetic Interference

Your Tesla key card relies on radio-frequency identification (RFID) signals to interact with your vehicle. Interference can arise from other cards with magnetic strips or RFID chips.

To tackle this, remove the key card from your wallet and use it independently to unlock the door.

Resetting the Key Card

If the issue persists post interference check, consider resetting the key card by following these steps:

  1. Navigate to the “controls” section on your vehicle’s touchscreen, then to “locks.”
  2. Identify the malfunctioning key, delete it using the trash icon.
  3. Confirm the action with an already paired fob or card.
  4. Re-pair the key card using the standard procedure.

Rebooting the Vehicle

A complete vehicle reboot might rectify software-related issues. Here’s how you can reboot your Tesla:

  1. Ensure the car is in Park.
  2. Hold the steering wheel scroll buttons until the screen turns black.
  3. Await the vehicle reboot, then test the key card again.

Checking for Firmware Updates

Sometimes, a firmware refresh is necessary. If previous steps fail, contact Tesla support to inquire about firmware updates which might rectify the problem.

Ensuring Correct Side Key Card Usage

Certain Tesla models unlock the driver door only if the key is on the driver side. Ensure you are using the key card on the correct side to unlock the door.

Alternative Access Solutions

Utilizing the Tesla App

The Tesla App can replace your key card, enabling car access via your smartphone. If not set up, follow the instructions within the app to pair your phone with your vehicle.

Employing Manual Door Release

In emergencies or power failures, utilize the manual door release, located near the window switches, to open the doors. However, use this cautiously as it could potentially damage the door’s electronic components.

Reaching Out to Tesla Support

If all remedies fail, it’s time to engage Tesla Support for further diagnostics and potential key card replacement or hardware-related solutions.


While a non-responsive Tesla key card can be aggravating, following the outlined troubleshooting and alternative solutions should help you regain vehicle access.

Should issues persist, Tesla support is always available for further assistance. Regular maintenance and software updates are crucial to avert such problems, ensuring a smooth Tesla experience.