Tesla Key Card Not Working: Common Causes and Easy Fixes

Tesla Key Card Not Working: Common Causes and Easy Fixes

Struggling with a key card is a real pain for some drivers who use it. If your Tesla key card not working, you’ll need to find the causes and then solve them.

To fix the error, reset the car, update the software, place it on the card reader rightly, and clean or polish the scratches on the B-pillar reader. If this doesn’t fix the bug, authenticate the card, and keep it far from magnetic interferences. Or change the PSC and B-pillar housing.

If you want to know the procedure of each fix, continue to read this guide, and learn about this as well as the reset method!

Tesla Key Card Not Working: Common Causes and Easy Fixes

6 Reasons For Tesla Key Card To Not Work

Multiple things can affect a key card and cause it to not operate properly. Here are some of the reasons for it to not operate well:

Cause #1: Mismatched Software Version In Firmware 

Tesla’s key card can show issues granting access to the car due to incomplete versions of the software. This can be fixed if you download the pending software or ask the Tesla team to push an update.

Cause #2: Bad PSC (Power Conversion System)

If your car is in charging and suddenly the key card doesn’t operate, it happens because of the bad PCS. This part is an AC charger and DC/DC converter that recharges the 12V battery.

Reasons For Tesla Key Card To Not Work

Due to system failure or internal mismanagement, this part can fail. And when this occurs, the key card may not work on your car. Even if it’s rare, this can happen. If this happens, you’ll need to replace the PSC part.

Cause #3: Dust or Scratch In Card Reader

The debris (including snow, mud, or anything sticky) stuck in the B-pillar card reader can cause the key card to fail. Sometimes harsh scratches on the card reader can cause the key card to not work. To troubleshoot it, you’ll need to clean or buff the card reader in the proper way.

Cause #4: Drive Disabled Or Magnetic Interference

Another possible reason why the key card doesn’t work is because of the disabled drive or magnetic interfaces. Tesla has a system that requires immediate pressing of the brake after using the key or it will need authentication.

If you miss that previously, the card might not work on your Tesla unless you authenticate it. In the same way, magnetic interference can cause the key card to stop working.

Cause #5: Bad Reading In Card Reader

The wrong reading in the B-pillar card reader can cause authorization failure. When this happens, the car can’t detect the key card.

In that case, you’ll need to align and hold the card in the right position on the card reader for access.

Cause #6: Faulty B-pillar Card Reader

Sometimes the sensor and wire connection in the B-pillar card reader can go bad. And so, it causes the key card to not work at all. If this happens, you’ll need to change the B-pillar part and simply fix the issue.

How To Fix Tesla Key Card That Isn’t Working?

After knowing the reasons for key card errors, it’s the perfect time to know the troubleshooting methods. Let’s learn it below:

Solution #1: Reboot and Update The Software 

  • Reboot The Tesla: Hard press the left and right scroll buttons of the steering wheel for 10 seconds while pressing the brake pedal. Then, wait for the screen to go off and on.
  • Update Pending Software: On the touchscreen, go to Controls > Software > Update Available and download the software.
  • Push Update To Your Car To Update: Contact TSC via phone call and tell them your issue. They’ll probably help you by pushing an update if detect the mismatched versions in your car’s firmware. Then, update your car given just like the above direction. 

Solution #2: Change The Power Conversion System

Since it’s electrical working which requires both expert skill and gears, I’ll suggest you contact TSC (Tesla Service Center), and they’ll replace this part. Don’t worry, it won’t cost at all if you are doing it under warranty.

Solution #3: Clean and Buff The Card Reader

If the card reader seems dirty, use a soft microfiber cloth, and rub the surface gently with 70% isopropyl alcohol until the surface is clean.

Then, check whether it contains scratches and scuffs or not. If so, use a polisher with the magical solution called cerium oxide and then buff the B-pillar softly for a minute. After that, rub the surface with a dry towel.

Be sure to use PPF on the B-pillar to keep the surface safe from rock or debris attacks.

Solution #4: Rescan & Put The Card In Right Spot

Put the key card in the card reader and if the screen shows an authentication message, put the key card in the reader behind the cup holder. Wait for the RFID transmitter to read the card which takes a few seconds. 

Then, the car will take 2 minutes to authenticate. After that, press the brake pedal to complete the procedure. This is how to reconnect Tesla key card!

However, if the card still doesn’t work, place the card far away from the wallet where you keep credit cards or other cards that cause magnetic interference.

Solution #5: Scan The Key Card Properly

For a good reading of the key card, align the card near the reader antenna. A lot of times people use the key card in the wrong spot which causes it to not work.

How To Fix Tesla Key Card That Isn't Working

To understand the spot better, look at the above picture and know that 1 is the reader antenna and 2 is the card reader.

Just hold the card in a straight position and place it right below the Autopilot camera. Ensure that it is placed closely. For further details, learn how to use the key card here!

Solution #6: Replace The B-pillar Card Reader

If nothing works for you, it indicates the B-pillar card reader sensor or housing is faulty. In that case, change the part like this:

  1. On the touchscreen, go to Controls > Safety & Security > Power Off and hit the Power Off again.
  2. Next, open the front and rear driver’s side doors. Ensure both doors are opened. Afterward, grab the screw gun to detach the bolt that holds the B-pillar housing.
  3. Then, remove the trim on the edges of the front and rear driver’s doors with the pry bar. Keep on doing it until the trim on both sides of the B-pillar is detached. After that, remove the B-pillar housing using the pry bar.
  4. Next, unplug the blue plug that gives power to the Autopilot camera. Then, insert the new B-pillar housing after attaching the blue plug into the same spot.
  5. Reinstall all the parts by doing the opposite work of removal.

 This project is suggested to those who have good mechanical skills. If you are a newbie, do not try it.

Tesla Key Card Reset Procedure!

You can easily reboot the key card by adding and removing the gadget. To do this, follow the given instruction:

  1. Use the touchscreen and hit Controls > Locks > Keys. Then, find out the key card based on the name that you’ve given from the key list.
  2. Next, click on the key card and tap on the Trash icon. Immediately, a prompt will be shown on the screen for scanning the key card. If you get this on the touchscreen, scan the key card on the interior card reader to confirm the deletion.
  3. Now, stay like this for 1 – 2 minutes so that car can refresh. Then, click on the (+) or add a sign and scan the key card in the same spot. After that, let it be like this for a few seconds.
  4. Then, you’ll need to remove it from the card reader and again place it. That way you can activate the card and get it reset.

Ending Note

Solving the issue gets essential once you find your Tesla key card not working. It takes patience to identify the root causes and then fix the error.

I’ve given these details here so you can easily do it yourself. However, it’s best to not replace the electrical parts like PSC and B-pillar housing if you don’t know the basics. Instead, call TSC and they’ll take care of it.

No matter if you decide to fix it yourself or via an expert, hope this guide helps you to get the inner details. Adios!

Similar Posts