Lock Your Keys in Your Tesla? Do This!

Now that cars are becoming technologically advanced and “smart” like our phones are, it can get a little bit confusing to manage their functions.

Specifically, if you own a Tesla model, you may be wondering how to lock and unlock the vehicle while the key is inside of it. 

There are a few ways to achieve lock and unlock functions while your key is inside the car, including driving at certain speeds and using the touch lock control from within the car. And if by some strange chance you get locked out of your Tesla while the key is inside of it, you can still remotely control the locks with the Tesla mobile app. 

Keep reading to learn more about the specific steps you can take to control your Tesla door locks while the key is inside of it.

We’ll also share some tips you should be aware of and answer some frequently asked questions at the end. Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Lock/Unlock Tesla with Key Inside

There are a couple of scenarios where you might find yourself needing to lock or unlock your Tesla when the key is inside. 

Number one: you have locked yourself out of your car because the key fob and your phone are inside the car and either drained of battery or lacking a proper connection.

Number two: you are in your car with the key and need to lock it or unlock it as you drive. 

For the former situation, take the following steps:

  1. Get a friend’s mobile phone and download the Tesla app on it
  2. Log into your Tesla app account
  3. Use the app controls to remotely unlock your Tesla and retrieve the key that was locked inside of it

For the latter situation, you have the following options in terms of controlling the locks:

  • Use the car’s interior touchscreen to lock or unlock the doors
  • Wait until you’ve started driving and surpassed 8 km/h for the doors to auto-lock
  • Use the auto-unlock on park feature (Controls –> Locks –> Unlock on Park) 

Otherwise, if you’re in a situation where the key is inside of your Tesla and it’s working properly, the doors and trunk should stay unlocked on their own. 

Tips for Locking and Unlocking

Tesla vehicles are luckily “smart” enough that they have some signaling features that can help you know automatically whether or not the lock features have worked. Be aware of the following tips to help you successfully lock and unlock your vehicle when the key is inside of it. 

Use Child Locks

One feature specific to the advantage of those driving with children in tow is the child lock feature.

When you’re inside of your vehicle and in park, with the key still inside of the car, select Controls –> Locks –> Child Lock on the car’s touchscreen. 

This will ensure that the key fob doesn’t auto-unlock the backseat doors where children are seated. It also ensures that any children in those areas of the car can’t unlock the doors themselves for their safety.

Beware of Walk-Away Door Lock

This Tesla signature feature allows drivers to turn off their car, exit it, then walk away as the vehicle automatically locks itself.

The catch is that all Tesla key devices (phone, fob, or card) cannot be inside of the vehicle at that time. 

So, you must know that you can’t successfully use this feature when your key fob is in the car. 

Have a Backup App

If you are in the situation where you’ve locked yourself out of your Tesla and all of your available key options are inside of it (which is rare), it’s good to have a backup. 

This means that you should have a close relative or friend who already has the Tesla app downloaded on their phone with your login credentials at the ready.

Once they are logged in, they can simply unlock your car for you. 

Keep Your Tesla App Updated

A properly working Tesla mobile app with all the most recent updates is going to be the most reliable way to mobile-unlock your Tesla if the key should get locked inside of it. 

While this scenario isn’t too common, a faulty app can fail to unlock the vehicle and may result in you needing to use someone else’s phone. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you lock the doors on a Tesla from the inside?

While inside your Tesla’s cabin, the lock features for the doors are different from what you’ll find in traditional vehicles. 

On a Tesla’s touchscreen, there is an icon that you can touch that locks/unlocks the trunk and doors. Otherwise, if you’re driving, a Tesla can auto-lock (drive-away locking) once you exceed a speed of 8 km/h. 

What to do if you lock yourself outside of your Tesla?

In some cases, you may even be stuck without your phone to unlock your Tesla.

If it’s been left inside the vehicle and run out of battery or lost its Bluetooth connection that keeps the car from locking, you might get locked out. 

Luckily, though, you can use someone else’s phone to log into the Tesla app and unlock your vehicle. 

How do you unlock a Tesla without a key?

To unlock your Tesla without a key fob or key card, you can use your phone key instead, which is connected via Bluetooth.

And if you don’t have any of those key options available to you, you can also log into the Tesla mobile app to remotely unlock your Tesla.  

Final Thoughts

For those wondering how to lock and unlock Tesla when key is inside, our guide has all the answers.

Whether you have somehow gotten locked out of your Tesla or you simply want to use the locking features while you’re parked or driving, you always have options. 

The Tesla mobile app is a great backup key tool for all Tesla owners, and we recommend that you don’t go anywhere without it.