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Does iPhone work with Tesla?

Yes, iPhones can work with Tesla vehicles. There are a few different ways that iPhones can connect and interact with Tesla cars and their features. The main ways are through the Tesla mobile app, Bluetooth connectivity, and Apple CarPlay integration.

Connecting through the Tesla App

The Tesla mobile app, available for free on the App Store, allows iPhone users to connect to their Tesla vehicle. Through the app, you can monitor your vehicle’s status, lock/unlock it, flash the lights, honk the horn, adjust climate controls, and more. This gives you remote access to many of the car’s functions right from your iPhone.

To set up the connection, simply download the Tesla app and log in with your Tesla account credentials. As long as your iPhone and Tesla are both connected to the internet through cellular or WiFi, you’ll be able to communicate with your vehicle through the app.

Bluetooth Connection

You can also pair your iPhone with your Tesla via Bluetooth. This allows you to use hands-free calling through your vehicle’s speakers and microphone system.

To enable Bluetooth, go to the Bluetooth section in your Tesla’s Settings menu. Make sure Bluetooth is turned on and set to “Visible” to allow your iPhone to find it.

On your iPhone, go to Settings > Bluetooth and select your Tesla once it appears in the list of available devices. Your phone and car will connect.

Now you’ll be able to make and receive calls hands-free using your Tesla’s system. Your contacts and call history will sync automatically. You can also typically play audio like music and podcasts from your iPhone through the Tesla.

Apple CarPlay

Tesla vehicles from 2018 and later with the premium interior include wireless Apple CarPlay support. This allows you to mirror certain apps and features from your iPhone onto the Tesla touchscreen for ease of access while driving.

With Apple CarPlay in your Tesla, you can use apps like Maps, Messages, Apple Music, Podcasts, Audiobooks, and more through your vehicle’s display. You can control the apps with your Tesla’s touchscreen or your iPhone’s Siri voice commands.

To use CarPlay, make sure it’s enabled in your Tesla’s Settings. On your iPhone, go to Settings > General > CarPlay and select your Tesla. Your phone and car will connect automatically when you get into your vehicle.

Benefits of Connecting iPhone and Tesla

There are a few key benefits that come with syncing your iPhone to your Tesla car:

  • Control your Tesla remotely using the mobile app
  • Hands-free calling and audio streaming via Bluetooth
  • Access to iPhone apps and features on the Tesla display with Apple CarPlay
  • Sync your contacts and call history to your Tesla
  • Stream music, podcasts, audiobooks, and more from your iPhone’s apps
  • Navigation through Apple Maps on Tesla screen via CarPlay
  • Voice control your iPhone’s features through your Tesla with Siri
  • Seamless transition from your iPhone to your Tesla experience

Having your iPhone integrate with your Tesla allows for a connected experience where many of your smartphone’s functions are available right on your car’s interface. It makes accessing music, navigation, calls, messages, and more easy while driving.

Steps to Connect iPhone to Tesla

Here is an overview of the steps to connect your iPhone with a Tesla vehicle:

Download the Tesla App

– On your iPhone, download the free Tesla app from the App Store. This is available for all iPhone models running iOS 12 or later.

Log into the Tesla App

– Open the Tesla app and log in with your Tesla account credentials. This links your app to your Tesla vehicle.

Enable Bluetooth in Tesla

– In your Tesla, go to Settings > Bluetooth. Make sure Bluetooth is On and set to Visible.

Pair iPhone to Tesla via Bluetooth

– On your iPhone, go to Settings > Bluetooth. Select your Tesla vehicle once it appears in the list.

Verify Apple CarPlay is Enabled

– In your Tesla, go to Settings > Display > Apple CarPlay. Make sure this is set to On.

Connect iPhone to CarPlay

– On your iPhone, go to Settings > General > CarPlay and select your Tesla.

Use Tesla App and CarPlay Features

– You can now utilize the Tesla app along with CarPlay on your vehicle’s display. Enjoy hands-free calling, navigation, music, and more.

Key Things to Know About Connecting iPhone and Tesla

Here are some key points to keep in mind when connecting your iPhone with your Tesla vehicle:

  • You’ll need an iPhone 5 or newer running at least iOS 12.
  • Download the latest version of the Tesla mobile app.
  • Your Tesla needs access to cellular data or WiFi to communicate with the app.
  • For hands-free calling via Bluetooth, your iPhone needs to be paired to the Tesla.
  • Only Tesla vehicles from 2018 or later with premium interiors support Apple CarPlay.
  • With CarPlay, you can use iPhone apps like Maps, Messages, Music, Podcasts, Audiobooks, Siri, and more through the Tesla’s touchscreen interface.
  • Your iPhone connects to your Tesla’s speakers and microphones for hands-free calling and audio.
  • CarPlay features require connecting your iPhone via USB or wireless Bluetooth.

Keeping these key points in mind will ensure you get your iPhone and Tesla connected properly to utilize the available integration features. Refer to Tesla and Apple’s support documentation for additional details if needed.

Troubleshooting Common iPhone and Tesla Connection Issues

In some cases, you may encounter issues getting your iPhone to communicate properly with your Tesla vehicle. Here are some common problems and troubleshooting tips:

Tesla App Unable to Connect

– Make sure your Tesla is connected to cellular data or WiFi, which it needs to communicate with the app.
– Check that the app is updated to the latest version and you’re logged in with the right Tesla account.
– Force quit and restart the Tesla app.
– Reset the app’s connection by going to the Tesla app Settings > Reset App Connection.
– Restart your iPhone.

iPhone Not Finding Tesla via Bluetooth

– Go to your Tesla’s Bluetooth settings and make sure Bluetooth is turned on and set to Visible.
– On your iPhone, turn Bluetooth off and back on again. Then retry searching for your Tesla.
– Ensure your Tesla and iPhone are within close Bluetooth range, approximately 30 feet.
– There may already be another device connected to your Tesla via Bluetooth. You can only have one phone connected at a time.

Apple CarPlay Not Connecting Properly

– Verify your Tesla is equipped with wireless CarPlay (2018 or later with premium interior).
– Make sure CarPlay is enabled in your Tesla’s settings.
– On your iPhone, go to Settings > General > CarPlay and select your Tesla.
– Disconnect and reconnect your iPhone’s Bluetooth and retry CarPlay.
– A faulty USB connection can disrupt CarPlay connectivity, try another USB port.

CarPlay Apps Not Appearing

– Check that the CarPlay apps like Phone, Music, Maps, etc. are enabled in your iPhone’s CarPlay settings.
– Try removing your iPhone from your Tesla’s CarPlay setup and re-adding it.
– Force close any CarPlay apps on your iPhone and relaunch them.

FAQs About Connecting iPhone and Tesla

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about integrating iPhones with Tesla vehicles:

Does every Tesla support iPhone connectivity features?

No, some connectivity features are limited to newer Tesla models. All Teslas support the mobile app. Bluetooth support was added in 2012. CarPlay support began in 2018 for models equipped with a premium interior.

Can I play music from my iPhone over my Tesla’s speakers?

Yes, if your iPhone is paired to your Tesla via Bluetooth you can play audio like music, podcasts, audiobooks and more wirelessly through your vehicle. You can also play audio from iPhone apps via CarPlay.

Can I use Apple Maps navigation on my Tesla screen?

Yes, Apple Maps is one of the available apps through Apple CarPlay, so you can navigate with it on your Tesla’s touchscreen. You get turn-by-turn directions, traffic information, lane guidance, and more.

How do I get Siri on my Tesla?

With CarPlay enabled, you can press and hold the Tesla steering wheel button to activate Siri on your iPhone. This allows you to voice control things like music, messages, calls, navigation and getting information hands-free.

Can I text through my Tesla via my iPhone?

Yes, the Messages app is available through Apple CarPlay. This syncs your iMessages conversations to your Tesla touchscreen so you can stay connected while driving. You can have messages read aloud or dictate replies hands-free with Siri.

Does Bluetooth drain my iPhone or Tesla battery faster?

There is a small amount of additional power drain when actively using Bluetooth features like calling or streaming audio. However, today’s iPhone and Tesla batteries can easily handle regular Bluetooth usage. Just be sure to monitor your battery level as usual.


The ability to integrate your iPhone with a Tesla vehicle provides many useful features and connectivity. With just a little setup, you can remotely control your Tesla with the mobile app, stream content over Bluetooth, access your iPhone’s apps and features on the Tesla display with CarPlay, and utilize hands-free calling and voice commands.

Connecting your iPhone and Tesla allows you to stay informed, charged, and entertained while driving. Follow the steps outlined in this guide to get your devices paired. Refer to troubleshooting tips if you have any issues getting your iPhone and Tesla to communicate properly. With a few simple steps, you’ll be on the road to an integrated experience.