Nowadays, most cars come with Bluetooth connectivity (like most phones). This means you can connect your smart device to your vehicle.
In turn, this means you can answer phone calls, play music, and do much more, all from the driver’s seat.
This article will walk you through pairing your smartphone to your Tesla Model S. As usual, you’ll find all the manufacturer instructions and everything you need to know about the process in your owner’s manual.
Never use your mobile phone while driving – for any reason. You should also avoid operating the touchscreen – use voice commands instead.
Table of Contents
What is Bluetooth pairing?
Bluetooth pairing is a wireless connection between two devices. In this case, these are the Tesla Model S and your smartphone.
‘Pairing’ refers to the information exchange that makes connectivity much more straightforward. Some describe this process as a bit like exchanging phone numbers. Each device must get information from the other to verify security and make connecting easier.
Once the information has been exchanged, the two devices are ‘paired’. They’ll continue to share data wirelessly until the connection is interrupted or removed.
For this reason, you can listen to your phone’s music, answer calls, play podcasts, and so on.
How to pair your phone to your Tesla Model S
Setting your phone up as a key doesn’t pair it with Bluetooth. You won’t be able to use the hands-free settings.
Even if your smartphone is set up to be a key, you’ll still need to pair it.
Follow these instructions (below) to pair your smartphone with your car.
- Sit inside your Model S. Leave it stationary and in Park.
- Power up the touchscreen and your smartphone.
- Enable Bluetooth on your smartphone.
- On the touchscreen, go to Controls.
- Next, tap the Bluetooth icon.
- You’ll find this at the top of the Controls page.
- Choose Add New Device.
- Tap Start Search.
- You’ll see a list of all the nearby Bluetooth devices. Note that this typically includes smartphones and other devices up to around 30 feet away.
- Choose your phone.
- Both the touchscreen and your phone screen will display a random number. Check that they match.
- Confirm that you want to pair it with the car on your smartphone.
- You may need to allow the car access to your personal information.
Once your phone is paired, you will be able to:
- Make and receive phone calls.
- Send messages (using voice-to-text).
- View contacts (including phone numbers, addresses, etc.).
- See calendar entries.
Which phone will pair with the Model S?
Your Tesla Model S will automatically pair with the most recent device in range unless you set up a Priority Device.
This could be the reason it won’t connect to your smartphone.
To set your phone as the priority device:
- Go to the car’s Bluetooth settings.
- Find your smartphone.
- Designate it as the priority device.
Why isn’t Bluetooth working with my Tesla Model S?
If you’re running into Bluetooth problems, consider the following suggestions:
- Pairing sometimes takes two or three attempts.
- Ensure Bluetooth is enabled on your phone.
- Your smartphone might have low battery, leading to Bluetooth automatically disabling.
- The Model S might be trying to connect to another nearby device.
How to unpair your phone from your Tesla Model S
Follow the simple instructions below to unpair your phone.
- Open your smartphone settings.
- Go to Bluetooth.
- Select Forget This Device.
If you simply want to disconnect, ready to reconnect later, choose Disconnect or turn Bluetooth off temporarily.
Before using your Bluetooth-connected phone with your Model S, consult your owner’s manual. It’s illegal to use your phone while driving. The setup process should be done while in Park. Never use your car before reading through this crucial document.
Check out a PDF below.