How to lock a Tesla when inside the car

All of the Tesla models on the market, including the Model S, Model X, Model Y, and Model 3, have fantastic auto-locking features allowing owners to stroll away with confidence that their car will remain secure.

But what if you want to know how to lock your Tesla when inside the vehicle? Oftentimes, city drivers, those journeying at night, or simply the security-conscious prefer to be able to lock their car door from the inside. If you are stopped at a busy intersection, you want to feel confident that a passing stranger can’t reach out and open the door.

Happily, when Tesla designed their car locking features, they had this in mind. Let’s look at how the Locking and Unlocking functions work on your Tesla, and specifically how to lock your Tesla when inside it. 

Keyless Locking and Unlocking

Because a Tesla can sense when a key fob or phone key is in proximity, it’s default setting is to unlock when the driver approaches, and remain unlocked while the key is in range. If you prefer to, you can disable this feature by going to Controls, then Safety, then Passive Entry.

When you are driving your Tesla, the car’s doors will automatically lock, however, by default, when you put the car in park the doors will unlock. Drivers of every different model of Tesla can alter the setting to unlock when the car is in park by going to Controls, then touching Vehicle, then selection the Unlock on Park option. When this setting is activated, the car can be quickly unlocked in park by pressing the Park button on the end of the drive stalk a second time.

How to Lock Tesla When Inside

You’ve put the car in park at a junction, or perhaps stopped at a rest area, and you’d simply feel more comfortable knowing that the doors were locked. Fortunately, locking your Telsa when inside couldn’t be easier. No matter which Tesla model you are driving, you can either lock or unlock all doors and the trunk in a single gesture. 

Simply go to Controls and touch the lock icon—which conveniently looks like a padlock. Making things even easier, you will notice that the icon changes to indicate whether the doors are locked or unlocked. If the doors and trunk of the car are not all closed when you lock the vehicle, they will lock immediately as soon as they are shut.

A Note On How You Lock Your Tesla When Inside It

You’ll notice that we’ve described using the controls dashboard to lock your vehicle when inside it, but that we haven’t discussed using your key fob or mobile phone app for this particular task—and with good reason.

The key fob and phone key app are designed to allow you to lock the car when exiting and walking away, but they don’t override the car’s ability to sense the proximity of its owner. So, to give an example, if you lock your Tesla using your phone app while inside the vehicle, the doors can still be opened from the outside. This is because the car senses the presence of your key inside it, and defaults to the automatic locking settings.

In contrast, when you use the lock icon on the Controls section of your Tesla dashboard to lock the vehicle from this inside, this will override its awareness of the presence of a key inside the vehicle. The bottom line is, when you are inside the car and want to feel secure, always use the Tesla touchscreen to activate the locks.

It’s also handy to remember this feature if you want to leave a phone key inside the vehicle—although this should be done with caution. The only way to lock the Tesla while the phone key remains inside is to use the touch screen. Just make sure you’ve got another key fob, key card, or phone key handy so that you can re-enter the vehicle later.

This diversity of options means that Tesla owners can use the locking features of their EV exactly as they want to. Whether you want peace of mind while driving through a rough neighborhood or want to leave one of your phone keys in the car when spending an afternoon on a hiking trip, there is always a solution that will provide the security setup you need. Don’t forget to check back if you have any further questions about how to utilize your Tesla’s many customizable features!