9 Common Problems With the Tesla Model 3 (Solution Guide)

The Tesla Model 3 is one of the most popular EVs today and is the first EV to have sold 1 million units worldwide.

But just like any other vehicle, the Model 3 has its share of problems.

And since it comes with a lot of cutting-edge tech, it’s bound to have some software glitches and bugs from time to time.

We’ve done some digging to get to the bottom of these complaints and figure out the best solutions.

Tesla Model 3 Keeps Asking for Key Card

A lot of Model 3 owners who use their phones as a key will occasionally encounter an issue where the car asks for a key card before letting them drive on. It typically happens even if you’re able to unlock the car using your phone.

If you have your key card with you, you can just tap it on the center console to continue driving.

You can also try your backup key card in case your main one is malfunctioning. 

But if you don’t have any key cards around, here are some ways to fix the Model 3’s phone key issue.

These solutions will also work with the Model Y.

Restart Bluetooth

The first thing you should try is to turn your phone’s Bluetooth off then turn it back on.

This allows the phone to re-establish its connection with the car and will allow you to drive off normally.

It’s the most common solution and the quickest fix to this particular problem.

Restart Tesla App

For the phone key function to work, the Tesla app has to be running in the background.

Sometimes, your phone will automatically close the Tesla app which will cause it to stop communicating with the car. 

If restarting your phone’s Bluetooth doesn’t work, simply relaunch the Tesla app and everything should be back to normal.

If you’re still experiencing issues, try restarting your phone and relaunching the Tesla app once again.

Many Model 3 owners who have experienced this problem have also recommended reinstalling the Tesla app entirely.

An updated version of the app could solve the issue completely.

Remove Phone Key

If the basic troubleshooting steps still don’t resolve the issue, you can try deleting the phone from the car’s lock settings and adding it back again.

People who have done this also recommend deleting all other phone keys from the vehicle and starting with a clean slate.

To delete your phone key, select Controls then click on Locks on the Model 3’s touchscreen.

This will list all the keys that have been paired with the vehicle which you can then delete one at a time. 

Tesla Model 3 Keeps Beeping

The Model 3 has a lot of warning sounds ranging from beeps to chimes — and you’ll usually see an accompanying alert on the screen so you can understand what the car is trying to tell you.

Model 3 owners will often encounter beeping alerts from the following systems :

  • Lane Departure Avoidance
  • Collision Warning
  • Speed Limit Warning
  • Green Light Detection
  • Autopilot 

The Model 3’s Lane Departure Avoidance will start beeping when it detects that you’re drifting from your lane.

To stop the beeping, you just need to steer the car to keep it in the middle of the lane.

If you have the Assist feature turned on in the Autopilot settings, it will also automatically move the steering wheel to keep you in your lane.

You’ll also hear beeping if the Blind Spot Collision system detects a vehicle is approaching your blind spot while you’re changing lanes.

In these situations, the Autopilot will move the wheel to keep you from crashing into the other vehicle.

If you’re too close to another car or are driving on a narrow path with walls or curbs on either side, the Collision Warning system will also start beeping.

If the car is giving you false positives, there may be something wrong with the proximity sensors which requires servicing.

When you have Autopilot engaged, the Model 3 will start beeping if you ignore the initial warnings to put your hands on the steering wheel.

If it continues to beep even after you’ve put your hands on the wheel, you may need to hold onto one of the steering wheel spokes.

Autopilot can also detect if you’re using your phone while driving and will start emitting a loud beeping sound.

The Model 3 can also automatically detect when the light turns green and will alert you with a chime.

It can also detect speed limits and will notify you with a beep if you’re exceeding them.

The visual cues for these alerts are not as obvious as some of the others we’ve already mentioned and you can turn both of these features off in the vehicle’s settings.

If you’d like to lower the volume of the audible alerts and make them less intrusive, you can also turn on Joe Mode by going to Controls and clicking on Safety & Security.

If you still can’t figure out what is causing your Model 3 beeping issues, you may be able to find some clues in the vehicle’s Notifications log in the Service menu.

Tesla Model 3 Keeps Rebooting

On some occasions, the Model 3’s main screen will just randomly restart on its own while the car is in use. This normally doesn’t affect the drivability of the vehicle as the primary driving systems are controlled by another computer, but it can be an annoying issue that’s hard to get to the bottom of. 

Here are a couple of things you can try to correct the problem.

Reboot the Car

The easiest solution is to reboot the car to clear out any glitches or errors it may be encountering. 

To completely reboot everything on your Tesla Model 3 press firmly on the brake pedal while simultaneously holding down the two scroll buttons on the steering wheel.

After a couple of seconds, the screen should go blank and the Tesla logo should appear as it tries to start back up.

Unplug any USB Devices

A lot of Model 3 owners solved their rebooting issue by simply unplugging the USB thumb drives and hard drives that they use for storage.

These can get corrupted and can cause the car’s Media Control Unit (MCU) to run into errors and eventually crash.

Close All Apps

Some apps, such as the browser, Spotify, Netflix and Youtube, can overload the MCU’s processor and cause it to reboot on its own.

Try closing any apps that are running and observe if the issue persists. 

Check the 12-volt Battery

The Model 3’s MCU is powered entirely by the 12-volt battery.

If it’s not providing enough current either because it’s old or just faulty, it can cause the MCU to constantly reboot on its own.

You can go to any auto parts store or mechanic and have them test the health of the battery.

Tesla Model 3 Alarm Keeps Going Off

Some of the Model 3’s alarm sensors can be very sensitive at times.

Just like any car alarm, it can be triggered by loud environmental noise such as loud cars and thunderstorms.

It can even be triggered by the car’s climate control fans if you’ve turned on the Pre-conditioning feature.

If you have Sentry mode turned on, you can check the footage if anything hit your car while you were away.

If the footage doesn’t show anything abnormal, here are some things you can try.

Reboot the Car

Rebooting the car can solve a lot of system errors that could be causing the alarm to go off.

To fully reboot your Model 3, just step on the brakes while holding down both scroll buttons on the steering wheel until the touchscreen goes blank and lights up again.

Check for Bugs

Although false alarms can be caused by software glitches, actual bugs or insects trapped inside the cabin is one of the most common reasons for false alarms in the Model 3.

Leave the doors open while you’re parked in your garage to let any bugs out or go for a drive with the windows open.

If this still doesn’t solve the issue try some bug spray to kill off any pests that may be hiding in the cabin’s crevices.

Faulty Door Handles and/or Trunk Latch

Some Model 3 owners have reported that their alarm can be falsely triggered by the door handles when they don’t immediately retract back into the closed position.

If your Model 3’s door handles have a tendency to get stuck, try lubricating them with some WD-40. 

Faulty font and rear trunk latches, as well as aftermarket trunk openers, which cause them to open up on their own can also trigger the Model 3’s alarm system.

Check to make sure these locks are working properly before taking it in for service.

You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Tesla Model 3 Last? (Complete Guide)

Tesla Model 3 Stops Charging

If your Model 3 stops charging after a couple of minutes or before the charging set point is reached, check to make sure that the charging port and the charger connector are clean. You can use some cotton swabs to get rid of any debris that may be preventing the two components from making a good electrical connection. 

You may also just need to push in the charger much harder to make a good connection.

You can also check your Notification logs in the Software menu for any clues that may lead you to the cause of your charging issues.

Check for Electrical Overloads

It’s possible that the car is asking too much from the electrical circuit that the charger is connected to. 

If you suspect that this is the case, try lowering the car’s current draw by clicking the minus (-) sign where it says Charge Current on the touchscreen.

While you’re there, make sure that Scheduled Charging is also turned off.

If your charger is heating up while it’s connected to your charger, there’s probably something wrong with it and needs to be looked at by a qualified technician.

You may eventually want to have an electrician check your electrical circuits if all other troubleshooting options fail to solve the issue.

Disable Mobile Access

Some Model 3 owners have been able to resolve their charging issues by disabling the ‘Allow Mobile Access’ option under the Safety & Security settings. 

This is the setting that allows you to send commands to the car using your phone. Turning it off ensures that the car isn’t receiving any remote requests to stop charging. 

Once you’ve confirmed that the issue has been resolved, you can turn on mobile access again.

At this point, the glitch/software bug should have been cleared out. 

If the issue persists, try uninstalling the Tesla app and any other apps on your phone that may be sending a stop command to your car.

Check the Charging Circuitry

If you’re unable to charge the vehicle at all and all you see is a red Tesla logo on the charge port, you may want to check if there’s anything loose in the car’s charging circuitry.

Take out the rear seats by unlatching the two black tabs under the edge of the seat.

This will reveal the Model 3’s charging circuitry, which is also known as the penthouse. 

Make sure the orange connectors on the left side are properly seated by firmly pushing them down.

These can sometimes get knocked loose by vibrations on the road.

Tesla Model 3 Bluetooth Disconnecting

Model 3 owners will sometimes encounter issues with their Bluetooth connection always getting dropped and not reconnecting automatically. 

The quickest way to fix this is by reconnecting your phone via Bluetooth manually.

But this is not an ideal solution if the problem keeps recurring every time you use the vehicle. 

Here are a couple of things you can try to fix your Model 3 Bluetooth issues.

Restart, Reinstall and Re-Pair

If restarting your phone’s Bluetooth doesn’t help, try restarting the car’s MCU by holding down the two scroll buttons on the steering wheel until the screen goes blank and the system starts to reboot.

You can also try reinstalling or updating the Tesla app on your phone, removing any paired devices from the car, and then re-pairing your device. 

You should also check if the Tesla app is set to run in the background because the car will automatically disconnect the Bluetooth connection once the Tesla app is closed out entirely. 

Set Up Bluetooth Priority Device

Make sure your phone is selected as the priority device when you click on the car’s Bluetooth settings. 

The car may be connecting to another Bluetooth device automatically if you haven’t set up a priority device for your driver profile.

Turn Off Sync Contacts

Several Model 3 owners have been able to resolve their Bluetooth connection issues by simply turning off the Sync Contacts option in their Bluetooth settings.

People have reported that they encounter Bluetooth issues if their address book contacts have special characters in them such as parenthesis or asterisks.

If you want to keep syncing your contacts, try editing these contacts to remove the special characters.

Tesla Model 3 Trunk Keeps Opening

There are a number of reasons why your Model 3’s trunk or front trunk keeps opening up on its own.

This can happen while the vehicle is parked or while you’re driving.

If the following solutions fail to solve your trunk issues, it could be caused by a faulty wiring harness which will need to be replaced by a technician.

Check the Trunk Switch and Latches

The first things you should check are the trunk latch and trunk release button.

These are electronically controlled and can release the trunk open if they’re not working properly.

If you have lots of stuff in either the front or rear trunk, these could also be inadvertently hitting the trunk’s emergency release switch which is located on the inside of the trunk hatch.

Just move them aside or remove them altogether to keep the trunk from opening on its own.

You may also be interested in our article: Where are Tesla Model 3 Made?

Check Your Key Fob

If you have a key fob in your pocket, make sure you’re not accidentally hitting the trunk release button. 

Key fob cases that are too tight can also cause the trunk to open up on its own.

Remove Screen Protectors

Touchscreen screen protectors can also activate the trunk release. 

If you’re using a screen protector, just remove it entirely to make sure it’s not causing any issues.

Disable Mobile Access

To make sure your trunk issues are not caused by your phone sending commands to your car to open up the trunk, try disabling the ‘Allow Mobile Access’ option in Safety & Security settings.

This will also eliminate the possibility of other paired devices you’re not aware of sending commands to open up the trunk.

Tesla Model 3 WiFi Keeps Disconnecting

The Model 3 tends to have difficulty getting WiFi reception compared to other devices even if they’re in the same spot.

This can present issues if you’re trying to download an OTA update. 

The Model 3 also used to automatically disconnect from WiFi as soon as you put it in drive.

Recent software updates have fixed this by adding an extra option called ‘Remain Connected in Drive’ in the WiFi settings. 

Switch to a 2.4 GHz Network

Although 5 GHz WiFi signals offer faster speeds, they don’t have as much range as a regular 2.4 GHz signal. 

Switching to a 2.4 GHz signal will often result in a more stable and reliable connection when you’re trying to download updates.

Use a Range Extender or WiFi Mesh

If you want to have constant access to your vehicle even while it’s parked, you can install a range extender or WiFi mesh in or near your garage.

This will give you better WiFi reception in your parking area and should eliminate all WiFi connectivity issues.

Use Your Phone as a Hotspot

You can also use your phone as a mobile hotspot if you’re having trouble downloading updates through your home WiFi connection. 

This is the quickest and easiest solution if you need a stable WiFi connection right away, but might cost you more if you don’t have an unlimited data plan.

Turn on Sentry Mode

The Model 3 will automatically disconnect the WiFi connection once it goes into sleep mode. 

To keep the car from going to sleep, turn on Sentry Mode and your WiFi connection should always be active. This also makes sure you can connect to your vehicle via the app at all times. 

Keep in mind that turning on Sentry Mode will drain the battery a bit, but it shouldn’t affect your range too drastically.

Tesla Model 3 Wont Go to Sleep

Some Model 3 owners have trouble staying in sleep mode while the car is parked.

When the car isn’t sleeping, the battery gets drained by a little bit which will reduce your range by a few miles.

It’s not a widespread or recurring issue, but it can sometimes occur after a software update.

Here are a couple of things you can do to keep the car from waking up from Sleep mode.

Turn Off Sentry Mode and Dashcam

If your Model 3’s Sentry Mode and Dashcam are running, it will never go to sleep. 

If you don’t want to turn on Sentry Mode every time you park the car, there’s an option in the Sentry Mode settings to ‘Exclude Home’ which should automatically disable it when the car detects that it’s sitting in the garage via GPS.

Power Off and Reboot

If the sleep issue is caused by a software glitch or bug, you can try to clear it out by restarting the vehicle.

To do a hard reset, step on the brakes while simultaneously holding down the two scroll buttons on the steering wheel until the touchscreen goes blank.

You can also try powering off the vehicle by going into the Control settings, select Safety & Security and then tap on ‘Power Off.’

Disconnect the Charger

The Model 3 should go to sleep even while it’s connected to a charger. 

But if you’re experiencing a bug or a hardware fault, some owners have reported that disconnecting the charger once they’ve finished charging eventually lets the car go into Sleep mode.

Disable Mobile Access and Change Passwords

Your Model 3’s sleep issue could also be caused by a third-party app on your phone sending commands to your car which causes it to wake up from sleep.

Try disabling the ‘Allow Mobile Access’ setting in the Safety & Security menu to make sure the car isn’t receiving any external commands.

You can also try resetting your Tesla password which should log out any third-party apps that are communicating with the vehicle. 

Turning off the car’s Bluetooth can also eliminate the possibility of other paired devices nearby waking up the car from its sleep mode.