A Detailed Guide on How to Lock a Tesla Model 3

Posted by Jeff Hall on

Owning a Tesla Model 3 means stepping into the future of automotive technology, and one of the most notable advancements is its advanced locking and unlocking features. Offering both convenience and security, the Model 3 ensures that your vehicle stays protected while providing easy access when needed. In this guide, we'll explore the various methods on locking a Tesla Model 3 and unlock it, as well as additional security features and troubleshooting common issues. Let's dive into the world of Tesla's cutting-edge security!

Short Summary

  • This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to lock and unlock your Tesla Model 3, including information on phone key, paired key fob, exterior and interior door operations as well as additional security features.

  • Troubleshooting steps are also provided for addressing common locking issues with the Tesla Model 3.

  • Customizing settings allows for an individualized experience by allowing users to modify their auto-lock feature according to their home location.

Locking and Unlocking Your Tesla Model 3

A Detailed Guide on How to Lock a Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 offers a variety of ways to lock and unlock your vehicle, providing flexibility and convenience to suit your needs. With options such as the phone key, paired key fob accessory, manual door releases and key card, you can easily access your car without fumbling for keys.

Additionally, Tesla provides numerous settings and features to enhance security, such as enabling only the driver's door to unlock when approached or receiving mobile notifications if the vehicle is left unlocked. Let's explore each of these methods in detail.

Phone Key

The phone key feature uses Bluetooth technology to provide seamless locking and unlocking of your Tesla Model 3. By simply keeping your authenticated smartphone in your pocket or bag, your Model 3 will automatically unlock when you approach and lock when you walk away.

Just ensure your phone's location and mobile access are enabled on the vehicle's touchscreen, and enjoy the convenience of keyless entry as you come and go.

Paired Key Fob

For those who prefer a more traditional approach, the paired key fob offers the ability to manually lock and unlock your Tesla Model 3. This handy device allows you to press the middle of the fob once to lock and twice to unlock the doors.

The paired key fob offers the familiarity of a traditional passive key fob while still providing the security and convenience you expect from a Tesla vehicle.

Key Card

The key card offers another alternative for securing and accessing your Model 3. Tap the key card on the designated area of it sitting inside the driver's side door pillar to use this feature. This will lock or unlock the vehicle.

The key card is an excellent backup option or a solution for those who prefer not to rely on their smartphone or key fob for vehicle access.

Exterior Door Operation

A Detailed Guide on How to Lock a Tesla Model 3

Understanding the exterior door operation of your Tesla Model 3 is crucial for both convenience and security. The exterior door handles can be used to open the doors manually, and an indicator light on the touchscreen will show when a door is open.

Let's delve deeper into the manual door release feature and the door open indicator light.

Manual Door Release

The manual car door release is an essential safety feature, allowing you to unlock or open the car door in emergencies or when the car has no power. This mechanism is intended for specific circumstances and is located solely on the front doors.

To open the doors manually, apply pressure to the wide part of the door handle with your thumb and pull the handle or the edge of the door. Remember, the manual door release should only be used when your Model 3 has no power.

Door Open Indicator Light

The door open indicator light is a helpful feature that shows you the status of your Model 3's doors on the touchscreen. If a door or trunk is open, the indicator light will be illuminated.

This simple yet effective feature ensures you're aware of the current state of your vehicle's doors and trunks, enabling you to properly secure your Tesla Model 3 before leaving it unattended.

Interior Door Operation

A Detailed Guide on How to Lock a Tesla Model 3

Operating the interior doors of your Tesla Model 3 can be done through electric buttons or touchscreen controls for added convenience.

Let's explore these options and how they contribute to the overall user experience of your Model 3.

Electric Button

The electric button is an innovative feature that allows you to open the doors of your Model 3 from the inside with ease. Simply press the button located at the top of the interior door handle and push the door open.

This convenient feature ensures a smooth and seamless experience when entering or exiting your Tesla Model 3.

Touchscreen Controls

For added control and customization, the touchscreen controls within your Model 3 allow you to lock and unlock all doors using the lock button including child lock, interior locking, window switches and trunks with a simple tap on the lock icon. The convenience of touchscreen controls makes operating your Model 3's interior doors a breeze, providing a modern and intuitive experience for Tesla drivers.

Walk-Away Door Lock Feature

A Detailed Guide on How to Lock a Tesla Model 3

The walk-away door lock feature is a fantastic addition to the Tesla Model 3, offering both convenience and security to this locking model. This feature automatically locks the car when you walk away from it and then automatically unlocks it when you approach.

However, if you prefer, the walk-away door lock feature can also be disabled. Let's explore how to enable or disable this feature and customize its settings.

Enabling and Disabling

Enabling or disabling the walk-away door lock feature is simple. When this feature is enabled, the exterior lights and driver door lock symbol will flash once, and the mirrors will fold (if the Fold Mirrors feature is enabled) before the doors lock as you move away from the vehicle.

Keep in mind that the distance at which the walk-away door lock feature activates front your front door may be affected by factors such as your phone's signal strength or key fob battery life.

Customizing Settings

To exclude your home location from the auto-lock feature, you need to input your home address into the vehicle's navigation system. Tesla can recognize a location as your home up to approximately 1,640 feet (500 meters) and your car handle retracts automatically.

By customizing these settings, you can ensure that your Tesla Model 3 locks and unlocks according to your preferences, providing a tailored experience that suits your needs.

Child Safety Locks

A Detailed Guide on How to Lock a Tesla Model 3

Child safety locks are an essential feature for families with young children, ensuring added security for the rear doors of your Tesla Model 3. Activating child safety locks prevents the rear doors from being opened from the inside, providing peace of mind for parents on the road.

Let's discuss how to activate and deactivate child safety locks.

Activating Child Locks

To activate child safety locks on the rear doors of your Model 3, select "Both" on the touchscreen or choose "Left" or "Right" to engage the lock on a single door.

Activating child locks is advisable when children are occupying the rear seats, ensuring that they remain securely inside the vehicle while it is in motion.

Deactivating Child Locks

A Detailed Guide on How to Lock a Tesla Model 3

Deactivating child safety locks on the rear doors is just as simple as activating them. When the need for child safety locks is no longer present, you can easily deselect the relevant option on the touchscreen.

This flexibility allows you to adapt your Model 3's security features to your specific needs and circumstances, making it your safest and easiest bet.

Additional Security Features

A Detailed Guide on How to Lock a Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3 offers a range of additional security features such as Drive Away Locking, PIN to Drive, bluetooth setting and Sentry Mode to further enhance the safety and security of your vehicle. These features provide an added layer of protection and control, ensuring peace of mind for Model 3 owners.

Let's delve into these features and touchscreen displays, and how they contribute to the overall security of your Tesla Model 3.

Drive Away Locking

Drive Away Locking is a security feature that automatically locks all doors of your Tesla Model 3 when the vehicle is in motion and driving speed exceeds 5 mph (8 km/h). This feature is designed to provide additional security by ensuring that your vehicle remains locked while you drive, preventing any unauthorized access to your car.

The feature is enabled by default and can be disabled or enabled in the Security & Privacy section of the Tesla mobile app. When enabled, the feature will automatically lock all doors when the vehicle is in motion and exceeds 5 mph (8 km/h). This is a very good article.

PIN to Drive

For an added level of security, the PIN to Drive feature requires you to enter a PIN code before starting the car. This ensures that even if someone gains access to your vehicle, they will not be able to drive it without knowing the PIN.

Activating this feature is an excellent way to protect your Tesla Model 3 from potential theft or unauthorized use.

Sentry Mode

A Detailed Guide on How to Lock a Tesla Model 3

Sentry Mode is an advanced security feature that monitors and records any potential threats near your parked vehicle. When activated, the vehicle's cameras and sensors remain powered on and are ready to detect any suspicious activity around your car when it is locked and in Park.

By utilizing Sentry Mode, you can keep an eye on your Tesla Model 3 even when you are away from it, ensuring maximum security and protection.

Troubleshooting Common Locking Issues

Occasionally, you may encounter common locking issues with your Tesla Model 3, such as the car not locking when you walk away or difficulty determining if the vehicle is locked. Understanding how to troubleshoot these issues will help you maintain the security of your Model 3 and ensure its locking features are functioning as intended.

Let's discuss some of these common issues and their solutions.

Why Doesn't My Tesla Lock When I Walk Away?

If your Tesla Model 3 doesn't lock when you walk away, it may be due to the exit lock feature disengaging when the authenticated key is detected within five minutes of you exiting the vehicle and closing all doors. In this case, only the front doors will remain unlocked.

To address this issue, you can utilize the manual door release located on the vehicle until the next trip. Additionally, you can exclude your home location from the auto-lock feature by inputting your home address into the vehicle's navigation system.

How Can I Tell If My Tesla Is Locked?

To verify if your Tesla Model 3 is locked, you can observe the exterior door handles. If the handles are flush with the car, the car is locked. Additionally, you can review the touchscreen to confirm whether the car is locked.

Alternatively, use the Tesla app to help create a Tesla authenticated phone; use this to check the lock icon: if the icon is white and unlocked, tap it to lock the car; if the icon is gray and locked, the car is already locked. These methods will help you ensure that your Model 3 is secure at all times.


The Tesla Model 3 offers a range of advanced locking and unlocking features, providing both convenience and security for drivers. From phone keys and key cards to walk-away door locks and child safety locks, the Model 3 ensures that your vehicle stays protected while offering easy access when needed. In addition, extra security features like Drive Away Locking, PIN to Drive, and Sentry Mode provide an added layer of protection. By understanding and utilizing these features, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with owning a cutting-edge Tesla Model 3.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Tesla Model 3 lock automatically?

Yes, the Tesla Model 3 does lock automatically when the key fob is no longer in range and Walk-Away Door Lock is enabled. The doors will also automatically lock when the vehicle is parked, and there's a lock icon on top of the vehicle visualization to indicate the locked status.

How to lock tesla model 3?

For Tesla Model 3 owners, locking the car is a simple process. To lock the doors and trunk, you can either press the lock icon on the touchscreen or press the Park button twice on the drive stalk.

With these two easy steps using your touch controls, you can easily and securely lock your Model 3.

How to lock a tesla?

To secure your Tesla, first access your car's touchscreen and then tap the lock icon. Your mirrors fold and your car will automatically lock, with the icon changing to indicate the status of the doors. The walk away lock disables when trying to unlock your Tesla.

For added convenience and security, you can also use the park button on the end of the drive stalk a second time to unlock the doors from your interior model.

How to start tesla model 3?

Starting your Tesla Model 3 is simple and easy. All you have to do is open the door, press the brake pedal, then select either drive or reverse by pushing up or down on the stalk located on the steering column.

Then, you're ready to go!

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