How To Open A Tesla When The Battery Is Dead 

Teslas are an excellent option for those who want a high-quality electric vehicle. But, since a battery only powers them, what happens if you’re locked out, and the battery dies?

Unlocking your Tesla when the battery is dead is surprisingly easy. Take an A23 battery and attach it to the frunk terminal in the tow hook point.

This will allow you to access the battery. You can also contact Tesla Roadside Assistance to tow you to a charging station.

Do you have to pay to use Tesla Roadside Assistance? How do Tesla locks work anyways? Read the rest of this article, so you’re prepared for a dead battery in the future!

How Do Tesla Locks Work?

Typically, there are five ways to open your Tesla:

  1. The key card
  2. A key fob
  3. The Tesla smartphone app
  4. Your smartphone’s Bluetooth connection (after downloading the app)
  5. A third-party chip (this can be implanted into any item, like a wedding band)

Each of these devices connects to your Tesla directly, either through Bluetooth or the chip unique to your vehicle.

Once the car senses the chip or phone nearby, it automatically locks or unlocks the doors.

A good indication that your car is locked is if the mirrors are folded in; the Tesla does this automatically.

tesla interior

What Happens To The Locks When The Battery Dies?

Unfortunately, like everything else on the Tesla, the locks are powered by the 12v battery at the front of the car.

So if the battery dies, you won’t be able to unlock your vehicle. You might think you can just jump it, but you can only open the front, otherwise known as the “frunk,” from inside the vehicle. 

So what can you do if you get locked out, and your battery is dead?

How To Open The Lock If the Battery Dies

If the battery to your car dies while it’s locked, don’t panic! You have a few different options to get into your vehicle.

Contact Roadside Assistance

The first is to contact Tesla Roadside Assistance. This service is available 24/7 and free if your vehicle is still under its warranty.

They can send a technician out to help you! You can either call them directly or contact them through the smartphone app.

Use an A23 battery

The next option requires some preparation but will allow you to open the frunk and jump the vehicle. If you look at the front of your Tesla, you will find a little circle.

This circle, or the tow hook access, has a small terminal inside it. 

If you attach an A23 battery with a 12v output, you can pop the frunk with no problem!

Put the positive end on the red wire and the negative end on the black wire. This action will open the frunk. From there, you can jump your battery like normal!

This method is the one mentioned in the Tesla manual. There is a step-by-step guide included with your vehicle.

It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with this method in case of an emergency.

What Not To Do With a Dead Tesla Battery

The first thing you shouldn’t do is panic! Panicking will only keep you from acting rationally and could lead you to cause damage to your car accidentally. So just stay calm, and everything will be fine!

The next thing is this: don’t break the windows! You might be tempted to do this to get the frunk opened.

But, there are other ways to open the frunk without doing this. Replacing windows is expensive, so don’t do this!

If your car isn’t within the warranty period, it may be costly to call Tesla Roadside Assistance.

If your vehicle needs to be towed, it also states in their policy that you will have to pay the towing fee. So if you don’t want to pay the fee, then don’t have your car towed.

How To Prevent This In The Future

Prevention is the best way to make sure you can get into your Tesla even if the battery dies! Make sure your Tesla is fully charged before you leave your home and that you have plenty of places to stop and charge along your route. 

Keep a charging cable adapter with you

It’s also good practice to keep a charging cable adapter with you in case you can’t stop at a Tesla charging station. That gives you more options on where you can stop!

Keep an A23 battery on hand

The next thing you can do is to keep the supplies on hand to open your car in an emergency.

As long as you have your phone or key fob on you, the A23 battery trick will work. You can keep one in your purse or hide it in the tow hook access point.

Have a jump start kit in your frunk

In addition to the A23 battery trick, you can also keep a portable jump start kit on hand.

This kit comes with everything you need to jump-start your car in an emergency! If you have those two things, you’ll never be stranded again. Well, at least because of a dead battery!

Maintain the life of your batteries

The final thing you can do is keep up with your batteries’ maintenance. Over time your batteries will lose their ability to hold a charge.

Losing this ability is a normal part of the life of the battery. Keeping up with this maintenance will make sure you always have the right amount of power!

Doing these steps will help make sure your battery doesn’t go flat. But they will also make sure you have the supplies needed on hand to get you back in your car!


Locking yourself out of your Tesla can be a scary thing. But, as long as you remain calm under pressure, you should be fine.

Just make sure you have the supplies needed beforehand, and you shouldn’t worry about being stranded with a dead battery again!