Bluetooth® Compatibility

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You can use various Bluetooth devices in Model S provided it is paired and within operating range. For example, you can pair your Bluetooth-capable phone so you can use it hands-free. In addition to phones, you can pair other Bluetooth-enabled devices with Model S. For example, you can pair an iPod Touch, iPad, Android tablet, etc. from which you can play music.

Before using your phone or other Bluetooth device with Model S, you must pair it. Pairing sets up Model S to communicate with supported Bluetooth-capable devices. You can pair up to ten Bluetooth phones. Unless you've specified a specific phone as a Priority Device, or if the phone specified as Priority Device is not within range, Model S always connects to the last phone that was used (provided it is within range). To connect to a different phone, see Switching Between Paired Devices.

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On many phones, Bluetooth turns off if the phone’s battery is low.
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Although Bluetooth typically supports wireless communication over distances of up to approximately nine meters, performance can vary based on the phone, or other device, you are using.
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Model S can pair up to twenty Bluetooth devices at a time but only allows two devices to connect simultaneously (such as one phone and one controller or two controllers) to each front and rear touchscreen (if equipped).
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Do not leave your paired phone in your vehicle (for example, if you are hiking or at the beach). If you must leave your phone in the vehicle, disable Bluetooth and/or turn the phone off.

Pairing a Phone or Bluetooth Device

Pairing allows you to use your Bluetooth-capable phone hands-free to make and receive phone calls, access your contact list, recent calls, etc. It also allows you to play media files from your phone. Once a phone is paired, Model S can connect to it whenever the phone is within range.

  1. To pair a phone or a Bluetooth device, sit inside Model S and ensure the touchscreen is on.
  2. Unlock your phone and enable Bluetooth (typically in Settings on your phone).
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    On some phones, this may require you to go to Bluetooth Settings for the remainder of the procedure.
  3. On the touchscreen, touch Controls > Bluetooth to automatically start Bluetooth scanning for new devices.
  4. Wait for your phone to be listed and touch Connect.
  5. Check that the number displayed on your phone matches the number on the touchscreen. Then, on your phone, confirm that you want to pair.
  6. If prompted on your phone, specify whether you want to allow Model S to access your personal information, such as calendar, contacts and media files (see Importing Contacts and Recent Calls). When paired, Model S lists your phone under Controls > Bluetooth > Paired Devices.

To change the settings of a paired device, go to Controls > Bluetooth > Paired Devices and expand the dropdown next to the device's name.

If you are experiencing issues importing or connecting to Bluetooth, see Troubleshooting Bluetooth for more information.

For vehicles manufactured prior to approximately April 2018: If Bluetooth takes an exceptionally long time to pair, reset Bluetooth functionality by touching Controls > Service > Reset Bluetooth. You may need to wait a few minutes. Once reset, try pairing to Model S again. After you reset Bluetooth, Model S may forget previously paired devices.

Importing Contacts and Recent Calls

Once a phone is paired, go to Controls > Bluetooth > Paired Devices and expand the dropdown next to the device's name to specify whether you want to allow access to your phone’s contacts, recent calls and text messages. If you allow access, you can use the phone app to make calls and send messages to people in your list of contacts and on your recent calls list (see Phone, Calendar, and Web Conferencing). Before contacts can be imported, you may need to either set your phone to allow syncing, or respond to a popup on your phone to confirm that you want to sync contacts. This varies depending on the type of phone you are using. For details, refer to the documentation provided with your phone.

If you are having trouble importing contacts or pairing with Bluetooth, see Troubleshooting Bluetooth for more information.

Disconnecting or Unpairing a Bluetooth Device

If you want to disconnect your phone or Bluetooth device, but keep it paired, touch Disconnect in your phone's Bluetooth settings dropdown on the touchscreen (Controls > Bluetooth > Paired Devices > Your phone). If you no longer want to use your device with Model S, touch Forget Device and follow the instructions. Once you forget a device, you must pair it again if you want to use it with Model S (see Pairing a Phone or Bluetooth Device).

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Your phone automatically disconnects when you leave Model S.

Switching Between Paired Devices

Model S automatically connects to a phone that you designated as Priority Device. If you have not set a phone as a priority, Model S connects to the last phone to which is was connected, provided it is within operating range and has Bluetooth turned on. If the last phone is not within range, it attempts to connect with the next phone that it has been paired with.

To connect to a different phone, touch Controls > Bluetooth > Paired Devices. Select the phone you want to connect to, then touch Connect. If the phone you want to connect to is not listed, you must pair the phone. See Pairing a Phone or Bluetooth Device.

When connected, the Bluetooth settings screen displays the Bluetooth symbol next to the phone's name to show that Model S is connected to the phone.

Troubleshooting Bluetooth

Your vehicle uses Bluetooth and BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) to seamlessly connect your smartphone to Model S. Due to several potential factors, Bluetooth or BLE may sometimes disconnect or experience issues in the pairing process. Connecting to Bluetooth allows your vehicle to use phone functions such as audio, phone calls, calendars, text messages, etc.

BLE is used for passive functions like phone key.

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Do not unpair your vehicle to your phone or remove it as phone key without a working key card nearby.

Try the following to troubleshoot Bluetooth, starting with your smartphone.

Smartphone Troubleshooting

Bluetooth may not connect due to settings and updates on your smartphone:

  • Enable Bluetooth on your phone. If already enabled, disable and re-enable Bluetooth again.
  • Ensure Airplane Mode is turned off.
  • Charge your phone; if your phone battery is too low, it may not support Bluetooth functions.
  • Pair your device properly. If already paired, try unpairing and re-pairing again.
  • Update your phone to the latest software provided by the manufacturer.
  • Check that your vehicle's sound system is selected as the audio output source.
  • Ensure your phone's settings allow for Bluetooth (ex: data is turned on or you are connected to Wi-Fi).
  • Turn your phone off and on again.
  • Ensure location permissions set to “Always On” for the mobile app.

Tesla Mobile App Troubleshooting

Check the Tesla mobile app:

  • Confirm the Tesla mobile app is up to date on software.
  • Verify you're logged into the Tesla mobile app while using your phone key.
  • Ensure the Tesla app is running in the background.
  • Double check that you have completely set up your profile in the mobile app and properly configured your settings.

Vehicle Troubleshooting

Your vehicle's settings may affect its ability to pair with your smartphone:

  • Charge Model S: If the vehicle Battery is too low, you may lose Bluetooth function.
  • Update vehicle software and make sure it is always up to date. Check for new software updates by navigating to Controls > Software.
  • Restart the touchscreen. See Touchscreen.
  • Reboot your vehicle.

If Bluetooth still does not work, unpair from your vehicle AND smartphone. Then try re-pairing both again.

For BLE phone key issues, when in the vehicle, navigate to Controls > Locks and remove your phone as "Phone as Key". Then set it back up again. But only do this while you are in the vehicle and have a reliable back up key available (such as a key card).