How To Lock Your Tesla While Charging: With Useful Info

Charging a Tesla can take a while. So, you may decide to use that time to get some errands done, which requires leaving the car unattended. So, is it possible to lock your Tesla while it’s charging? 

It’s easy to lock your Tesla while it’s charging. Generally, you can use the following methods to lock your Tesla: 

  • Key fob: Press the top button once. 
  • Tesla mobile app: Tap the lock icon on the Tesla app. 
  • Key card: Connect your key card to the pillar below the self-driving camera. 

Keep reading for more information about how you can charge your Tesla and keep it locked. 

1. Key Fob

A key fob is the primary way to lock/unlock Teslas. Although the key fobs in different Tesla models have different functions, they all share three buttons to lock/unlock the frunk, doors, and trunk. 

To lock any part of your Tesla, you need to press the corresponding button once. Press the button twice, and the vehicle will unlock. 

Tesla has made two versions of key fobs:

  •  Non-passive entry 
  •  Passive entry 

Model 3 key fobs are non-passive, meaning that you need to lock/unlock the vehicle by pressing a button. With the newer version—passive entry—your Tesla automatically unlocks if you’re within three feet. 

2. Tesla Mobile App

One year after making the Model S, Tesla introduced its mobile app in 2012. Among its many functions, the mobile app lets you lock/unlock the doors. 

Follow these steps to pair the phone with your Tesla: 

  1. Download the Tesla app (available for both iOS and Android). 
  2. Tap the vehicle icon on the Tesla touch screen on the bottom line. 
  3. Go to locks. 
  4. Press add a lock. 
  5. Open the app and choose the phone key. 
  6. Put your phone and the card key or key fob in the right places to be read. 

You can lock/unlock your Tesla by tapping the special icons in the app. You can also use your phone as a key card via NFC. 

Anyway, on a somewhat similar note, I also wrote a related article that will shed more light on Tesla Keys, Fobs, and Key Cards. Check it out and let me know what you think!


3. Key Card

A keycard comes in handy when your phone isn’t available or runs out of battery. Models S, X, Y, and 3 come with two keycards and a wallet.

To use the key card: 

  1. Pair it with the car (go through the same steps mentioned for the app). 
  2. Connect it to the pillar below the self-driving camera to lock/unlock the door. 

How To Lock/Unlock Different Tesla Models

Model S and Model X

When Tesla manufactured the first Model S, there was no phone app or keycard. So, the key fob was the only way to lock the vehicle.

However, If you buy a refurbished Model S or Model X, you can use the key card and the app to lock/unlock your Tesla. 

Model X key fobs have some cool features. Besides the front, top, and backside buttons, they have two buttons on the sides to open/close the right/left passenger doors.

Plus, you can tap the top of the key fob once to close all the open doors, even the trunk, and frunk. 

Here’s a video demonstrating the key fob of a Model X: 

Model 3/Y

You won’t get a key fob after buying a Model 3 or Model Y since it has been replaced with the Phone Key. You also get a key card, which comes in handy when your phone isn’t accessible. 

Interestingly, the Phone Key works as a key fob in Tesla Model 3, meaning your Tesla can recognize your phone and unlock the vehicle—even if the phone is in your pocket. 

Tesla ModelDefault Lock/Unlock Option
Model 3/YMobile App Keycard
Model S and Model XKey fob Mobile App Keycard

Pro Tip: Can you share a map link to your Tesla?

If someone texts you an address you can click on the link and it will open up in the appropriate map app. You can also share this map link to the Tesla app which in turn will open on your in-car navigation as a destination. This is a really easy way to get the destination loaded in your Tesla. Try it out!

Will Tesla Auto-lock if Left Unlocked After Parking?

A Tesla doesn’t automatically lock if left unlocked. That’s because automatic locking may cause some issues, including locking the car with the key inside. Instead, you can use walk-away automatic locking, enabling you to get it locked from a long distance

Can I Leave My Key Fob in the Car?

You can put your key fob in the car and lock it with your phone key. However, If someone presses the button on the handle, it’ll unlock easily. That means it never locks properly with the key inside.

Watch this video to see how Tesla stays unlocked with the key inside:

Frequently Asked Questions

Will My Tesla Unlock When the Charger Is Disconnected?

If you lock your Tesla, you can’t disconnect the charger since the charger will be locked, too. That’s a security measure to avoid unauthorized unplugging.

Model 3 Does Not Lock When I Walk Away. What To Do?

Check if your Bluetooth is on. Automatic locking won’t work when your Bluetooth is off. Also, ensure there’s no key fob or keycard inside the car.

Check out these 20 great gift ideas for yourself or a Tesla fanboy.

Contact Us if you have any questions or queries.

Erwin Meyer
Erwin Meyer

A renowned Tesla enthusiast, and successful entrepreneur, enlightens global audiences through his compelling EV narratives. Discover more about his electric journey on his About Me page. Venture to read Erwin's incredible story that's reshaping the future of motoring. Want to spark a conversation with Erwin? Visit his Contact page, and let’s electrify the world together.