Need to start your Tesla without key card or phone? What are you an idiot? Where is your key card? Where is your phone? I’m just kidding. If I had a dime for every time I’ve lost my keys or locked them in the car I would have…about fifty cents. Everyone has done it and it’s nothing to feel bad about. I’m sure Einstein misplaced his Tesla key card and cellphone all the time!

I’ll level with you: I’ve never driven a Tesla. My dear wife asked me last night if I’d like to rent one for my birthday. As intriguing as this idea was, I declined. I will be spending my birthday drinking whiskey and watching old episodes of the Simpsons. I will therefore, be in no condition to drive. All that aside, I would hate for any of my Tesla-driving readers to get stranded. Let’s take a look at a few different ways to start a Tesla without a key card or phone.

Back to 2017

Tesla made a huge splash in 2017 with the Model 3. Along with the Model 3 came the introduction of a key-less system. Drivers were given the option of using a key card or an app on their mobile device to unlock and start their vehicles. While some balked at this notion, this new system sat favorably with most. Who wouldn’t want a key that fits easily in your wallet. Better yet, why not allow for remote entry via smartphone app? They’re practically surgically attached to us at this point.

I can think of several different scenarios that would result in a Tesla driver becoming unable to start their car. It’s easy to leave a piece of plastic the size of a credit card behind when you leave the house. I’ve done it several times with my work ID, much to my employer’s chagrin. I can also envision several scenarios that would essentially render your cell phone a paperweight. What if you’re in the middle of nowhere and can’t get service? What if Tesla has issues with connectivity on their end? Any of these issues would necessitate the ability to unlock and start a Tesla without key card or phone.

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A Few Solutions…

As per usual, I found the fine folks who post to the Tesla Motors Club forum to be a wealth of information, (and hilarity as well). A user going by the name of “Rustin” detailed his harrowing ordeal that came about as a result of him leaving his phone and key card at home. Apparently, he was able to start his car because his son’s phone was coded to it. When he dropped his son off at school and this phone was no longer in range, he was unable to get into or start his car. “Rustin’s” solution was simply to go find his son and take his phone so that he could unlock and start his car. Not bad, but what could he have done if he was unable to find his son? This question set off a bevy of suggestions.

Most of these suggestions involved finding a different person with a cell phone to gain access. One user suggested that he call his wife and have her unlock it remotely. Another suggested finding a trusted person (i.e. the school’s principal) and asking them to download the Tesla app. The stranded person could then log in, unlock and start the car, and change their password when on their app when they got home just to be safe. These are all good ideas although I would feel a bit weird about asking someone to download an app to their phone. Maybe that’s just me.

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There’s an App for That

Several contributors to the aforementioned forum suggested an app named “Remote S.” I did a bit of research on this app and found that the big difference between it and the Tesla app is the ability to use your Apple Watch to perform various tasks. With Remote S, you can use your Apple Watch to unlock or lock the car, start or turn off the car, control heating and A/C, honk the horn, flash the lights, enable or disable valet mode, and locate your car if necessary. There are additional features, please feel free to read about them here if you’re interested.

All in all, I’m going to say that this is the most effective and easiest method to ensuring you never get locked out. The only slight problem that I can see is that you have to have an Apple Watch to do so, (or in my case, a spouse with an Apple Watch). If you’ve got either, I would highly recommend the Remote S app.

A Method I Don’t Recommend

Warning: if you’re at all squeamish about completely unnecessary surgeries, don’t read any further. I am and it made my skin crawl to read about this but hey…I suffer for my art. A software engineer and YouTuber going by the moniker “Aime DD” had the RFID chip from her Model 3’s key card implanted into her arm. I’ll repeat that: Implanted. Into. Her. Arm. Using an acetone mixture, she dissolved her key card. She subsequently encased the chip in a biopolymer and had it implanted in her forearm. There is a video that I won’t post detailing this endeavor. Feel free to use your Google skills if you’d like to watch it.

In an interview with the Verge last year, Aime DD told them that the implant does work, just not very well. She must be VERY close (about 1 inch) from the sensor for it to work. It would be easy for me to criticize Aimee DD and make statements about how acts like this are helping to usher in a dystopian nightmare society where we are all forced to get implants. I won’t do that because I realize people are different and have different value systems. I can also say with certainty: unlike me, Aimee will never get locked out of her car!

What do our readers think about these methods for unlocking and starting a Tesla without a key card or phone? What’s the better solution: Apple Watch or RFID chip implant? Please let us know in the comments section below.

Source | Image: Tesla