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Tesla Model S and Model X Dead Key Fob Help: Part I, Getting In

Getting into Your Tesla

Model S

There are two back up entry versions for the Model S depending on when it was built. It is unclear where the exact separation is, so try them both. Note that Tesla uses an all electronic system, and so there is no hard key and corresponding key cylinder available to unlock the car. In each case, the key fob is held to a spot on the body of the car until the key fob is recognized.

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Early Models

Model S open earlyIn the earliest versions of the Model S, the back of key fob is to be placed against the passenger side front fender, somewhat below and to the right of the emblem, as shown in the image. When the fob is recognized, the door handles will extend as they do normally.

The instructions in newer models note that if the car does not respond, first try repositioning the fob. Failing that, try removing the dead battery from the fob and go through the process again.

Note that it may take several seconds for the car to recognize the fob.

Newer Models

Model S open newThe concept is the same in the newer Model S, but the location is changed. However, it remains on the passenger side. Hold the key fob near the base of the passenger side windshield wiper. Again, the door handles will extend if it is recognized. If not, try repositioning the fob. And again, if it continues not to be recognized, try removing the battery and go back through the process.

Be patient – it may take several seconds for the car to recognize the fob.

Model X – All Models

Model X openTesla’s Model X uses an entirely different back up location. There again is no hard key or key cylinder. In addition, the door handles do not extend in normal operation as with the Model S. The mirrors will extend when the key fob is recognized.

Place the key fob at the base of the car on the driver’s side below the front of the rear door, as shown. If the car fails to respond, try changing the fob’s position. Finally, if the car continues not to respond, remove the battery from the fob and start over.

Once again, be patient. It may take several seconds in each position.

There is video help here.

Continue to Starting Instructions …


* Keep these instructions with you in our Dead Key FOB App. Search “Dead Key FOB” at your device’s store or click here.



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