Why Is My Tesla Key Card Not Working? (10 Reasons Solved!)


Tesla Key Card Not Working

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

You’re running late for work. Your hands are full, but it’s okay because you have your Tesla key card. You swipe it against the door handle and nothing happens. You try again, and still no luck. Panic sets in as you realize that your Tesla Key Card Not Working.

Don’t worry! If you’re experiencing issues with your Tesla key card, you’re not alone many car owners come across this problem at some point or another.

While frustrating, there are a few things that could be causing this issue and a number of simple solutions to help get those wheels rolling again.

In this article, we’ll dive into why your Tesla key card may not be working properly including common reasons like expired cards or damaged hardware.

We will also guide you through steps on how to troubleshoot them without calling customer service (unless necessary!). So sit back, relax, and let’s get back on the road!

What is a Tesla Key Card?

Understanding the basics of a Tesla Key Card is essential before troubleshooting any issues.

A Tesla Key Card is a small, flat electronic device that uses RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology to unlock and start your Tesla vehicle.

It’s an alternative method to using a traditional car key or fob.

The Tesla Key Card is slim and credit card-sized, making it easy to carry in your wallet or purse.

To use it, you must hold the card up against the B-pillar on the driver’s side door handle until you hear a beep sound.

This indicates that the card has been recognized by the car’s system and allows you to enter or start your vehicle.

How Does a Tesla Key Card Work?

Understanding how your Tesla key card works is essential to troubleshooting any technical issues that may arise.

The Tesla key card uses RFID technology, which stands for Radio Frequency Identification.

This technology allows the vehicle to recognize and communicate with the key card wirelessly, providing access to the car.

To use your Tesla key card, you must hold it up near the door handle or center console until the car recognizes it and unlocks.

To start the engine, simply place the key card on top of the indicated spot on the center console.

Common Issues with Your Tesla Key Card and How to Troubleshoot Them:

As with any technical device, your Tesla key card can occasionally experience problems. Here are some common problems you may encounter when using your Tesla key card:

1. Key Card Not Working:

If you’re having trouble accessing your Tesla vehicle using your key card, it can be frustrating.

There are several reasons why a Tesla key card may not work as expected. Here are some troubleshooting solutions to try:

  • Check the battery life of the key card: The first thing to check is the battery level of your key card. If it’s low on charge, you may need to recharge or replace the battery.
  • Try another key card: If you have a spare or additional key card, try using that one instead. This will help determine if the issue is specific to one particular key card.
  • Reset the car and key card: In some cases, resetting both the car and the key card may solve the problem. To do this, press and hold both buttons on your Tesla Model Y’s steering wheel until you see a message that says “Power Off”. Wait for a few minutes before turning everything back on again.

If none of these steps work to resolve your Tesla Key Card issues, it might be time to contact support for further technical assistance with RFID technology in order to regain access to your vehicle as soon as possible.

2. Key Card Deactivating:

If your Tesla key card is suddenly not working, it could be possible that the card was deactivated.

Although unusual, if Tesla detects any suspicious activity or unauthorized access to your vehicle, they might deactivate the key card for security reasons.

To check if your key card has been deactivated, you can try accessing your car with another authorized method such as a phone app or a physical key fob.

If those methods work and the key card doesn’t, then there’s a high chance that the RFID chip in your key card is no longer active.

In this case, you should contact Tesla support immediately to get assistance from their technical team.

3. Key Card Not Recognized:

If your Tesla key card is not being recognized by the vehicle, it can be frustrating and inconvenient.

Here are some possible reasons why this might be happening and what you can do to troubleshoot the issue:

  • Low Battery: Just like any other battery-operated device, a Tesla key card requires sufficient power to function properly. If the battery level of your key card is low, it may not be able to communicate with the car’s RFID reader. To check if this is the issue, try replacing the battery or charging it using a USB cable.
  • Reader Malfunction: Another reason why your key card may not be recognized is due to a fault in the car’s RFID reader. This could happen due to technical issues or if there are any obstructions on its surface that prevent proper communication with the key card. Try cleaning off any dirt or debris from both surfaces and see if that helps.
  • Interference from Other Devices: Sometimes, other electronic devices such as smartphones or wireless chargers can interfere with radio frequencies used by RFID technology in your Tesla key card. Make sure that you keep these devices away from your car while using it.

In case none of these troubleshooting steps work for you, contact Tesla support for further assistance in resolving technical issues related to your vehicle access through a key card.

4. Key Card Not Activating:

Are you having trouble activating your Tesla key card? Don’t worry, it’s a common issue faced by many Tesla owners. There could be several reasons why your key card is not activating:

  1. Dead battery: Check the battery level of your key card by placing it near the center console or mobile app. If the battery level is low, replace it.
  2. Technical issues: Sometimes technical glitches can prevent the key card from activating properly. Try resetting your car by pressing and holding both scroll buttons on the steering wheel until the touchscreen turns off and on again.
  3. RFID interference: Your key card may not activate if there is any interference with radio frequencies in its vicinity.
  4. Damaged Key Card: If none of these solutions work, consider replacing your damaged or malfunctioning key card.

Before contacting support for help, try troubleshooting these potential issues to see if they resolve the problem of not being able to activate your Tesla key card.

How to Fix the Key Card Not Working Issue?

If your Tesla key card is not working properly, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can take to fix the issue before contacting support. Here are some possible solutions that might help:

1. Check the Vehicle’s Battery Level

One of the most common reasons why a Tesla key card may not work is because of low battery levels in the vehicle.

Make sure that your car has sufficient battery life to operate all systems, including the RFID technology used by the key card.

2. Check the Key Card Battery Level

Another reason for a non-working key card could be due to low battery levels in it.

To check its battery level, open your Tesla mobile app and tap on ‘Controls’ > ‘Locks’ > ‘Key Card’. This will show you how much battery life remains in your key card.

3. Resetting the Car

Sometimes resetting your car can clear up technical issues affecting your Tesla key card.

You can do this by holding down both scroll wheels on either side of your steering wheel until the touch screen turns off and then back on.

4. Replace The Key Card

If none of these solutions have worked for you so far and if you have already checked that there is no damage or physical obstruction preventing access with tesla keycard, it might be time to replace it entirely.

5. Try The Driver Door Pillar

In some cases, when other methods fail, try tapping / pressing driver door pillar with one hand while putting tesla serial number from another hand behind passenger seat using blank RFID token.

6. Check the Vehicle’s Battery Level:

When your Tesla key card stops working, one possible cause could be a low battery level in the vehicle.

Checking the car’s battery level is an essential troubleshooting step to ensure that your key card can communicate with it properly. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open the Tesla mobile app on your smartphone and tap on ‘Controls’ at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Look for ‘Battery Range’ or ‘Charge Level’ under the controls section and check if it has enough charge to power up all features of your car, including recognizing your key card.
  3. If the battery level is too low, plug in your charger and wait until it reaches an acceptable charge level.

It’s important to note that a low vehicle battery doesn’t always lead to a malfunctioning key card issue, but checking this aspect should be one of your first steps.

7. Check the Key Card Battery Level:

If your Tesla key card is not working, one of the first things you should do is check its battery level.

The key card uses RFID technology to communicate with your vehicle, and if its battery is low, it may not be able to establish a connection.

To check the key card’s battery level, hold it up to any Model 3 or Model Y center display.

On the top left corner of the screen, you’ll see a small icon that looks like a battery with bars next to it.

If there are less than three bars displayed, then your key card’s battery is running low and needs replacement.

Replacing the Tesla key card’s batteries will resolve most technical issues associated with a depleted power source.

It can be done by opening up the back panel and replacing them yourself or taking it over to an authorized Tesla service center for assistance in changing out old batteries for new ones.

8. Resetting the Car:

If your Tesla key card is not working, resetting the car may help resolve the issue. Here are the steps you can follow to reset your car:

  1. Park your car and turn it off.
  2. Exit the vehicle and close all doors.
  3. Wait for a few minutes before opening any door or trunk.
  4. Open and close the driver’s side door three times in quick succession.
  5. Start your car by pressing firmly on the brake pedal.

Resetting your Tesla will restart all of its systems, including those associated with key card access.

This should allow you to successfully use your key card to access your vehicle if it was previously not working.

9. Replace the Key Card:

If all of the previous troubleshooting steps have been unsuccessful, it may be time to consider replacing the Tesla key card.

While this is not a common issue, sometimes key cards can become damaged or worn out over time.

To replace your key card, you will need to contact Tesla support and order a replacement card.

Once you receive your new key card, activating it is as simple as tapping it on the designated area on your car’s windshield.

10. Try The Driver Door Pillar:

If your Tesla key card is not working, one simple solution you can try is to use the driver door pillar.

This method involves holding the key card against the pillar located on the driver’s side of your Tesla vehicle.

To try this troubleshooting step, hold the key card up to the designated area on the pillar until you hear a beep sound from your car.

Once you hear this sound, it means that your Tesla has recognized and activated your key card.

Using the driver door pillar method is a quick and easy way to activate or re-activate your Tesla key card if it is not working.

How to Activate a Tesla Key Card?

Activating your Tesla key card may seem like a simple process, but it is important to ensure that you follow the correct steps to avoid any technical issues. Here’s how you can activate your Tesla key card:

1. Connect the Tesla Key Card to the Vehicle:

Connecting your Tesla key card to the vehicle may seem like a simple task, but it’s important to ensure that it is done correctly to avoid any technical issues. Here’s how you can connect your Tesla key card:

  1. Stand close to the driver’s door of your Tesla vehicle.
  2. Hold the key card against the centre of the pillar on the driver’s side with the image facing towards you.
  3. Wait for a few seconds until you hear a chime or see the car lights flash twice.

If this doesn’t work, try holding the key closer and longer against the pillar or move closer to your vehicle and retry connecting again.

2. Activate the Key Card:

To activate your Tesla key card, follow these simple steps:

  1. Connect the Key Card to the Vehicle: Hold the key card close to the center console or dashboard of your Tesla vehicle. The car will detect the key card’s presence and initiate the activation process.
  2. Activate the Key Card: Once you connect your key card to the vehicle, a notification will appear on your car’s touchscreen display prompting you to activate it. Click “Activate” after reading through any instructions or terms of use.
  3. Finalize Activation Process: After activating your Tesla key card, ensure that it is working correctly by testing it on all doors and locks in your vehicle before driving away.

Summary: Why Is My Tesla Key Card Not Working?

Now that you have a better understanding of what a Tesla key card is, how it works, and some common issues users face with them, you can take the necessary steps to troubleshoot any problems you may be experiencing with your own key card.

If your Tesla key card is not working properly, don’t panic. Start by checking the battery life of both your car and your key card.

If they are both fully charged but the issue persists, try resetting the car or replacing the key card altogether.

Remember that RFID technology can sometimes have technical issues, so if all else fails, don’t hesitate to contact support for further assistance.

With these troubleshooting tips in mind, you’ll be back to accessing and starting your vehicle with ease in no time!


What is the cause of my Tesla key card not working?

The most common cause of a Tesla key card not working is a dead battery.

How do I check if my Tesla key card battery is dead?

You can check the battery by taking the card out of the plastic sleeve and looking for a small circular battery.
If there is no battery or it looks corroded, then the battery is likely dead.

What should I do if my Tesla key card battery is dead?

You can replace the battery yourself or take it to a Tesla service center for assistance.

What other problems can cause my Tesla key card to not work?

Other issues that can cause a Tesla key card to not work include a faulty key card reader or a damaged card.

How do I protect my Tesla key card from damage?

You should store the key card in a protective plastic sleeve and avoid keeping it in excessively hot or cold environments.

About the author

Latest posts