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Tesla Model S Key Fob: A Teardown Journey

image of tesla model s keyPractical Considerations
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Today, we’re diving into the intricacies of the Tesla Model S key fob. Recently, we changed the battery and decided to take the opportunity to fully disassemble the device to understand its construction better. For those who prefer a visual guide, you can follow along with our detailed teardown video from Jaycon, embedded below. Let’s walk through the teardown process and explore the fascinating details hidden within this sleek gadget.

Initial Steps: Battery Removal

To start, you’ll need a small flat-head screwdriver. Begin by following the steps to change the battery:

  1. Flip the key fob button-side down.
  2. Use the screwdriver to gently pry open the bottom cover.
  3. Once open, remove the battery.

At this point, you’ll see the internal markings and components, such as the battery contacts and the small circuit board.

Delving Deeper: Disassembling the Key Fob

With the battery removed, we can proceed to disassemble the rest of the key fob:

  1. Carefully pry along the seams to separate the top and bottom plastic covers.
  2. Inside, you’ll find a series of clips securing the internal components. Use a spudger or a flat-head screwdriver to release these clips.

The internal structure includes a small printed circuit board (PCB) which is responsible for all the key fob’s functionalities, such as locking/unlocking the car and opening the trunk.

Internal Components and Materials

The key fob casing appears to be made from ABS plastic, known for its durability and resistance to impact. The PCB inside is relatively simple but packed with functionalities. It has three main buttons that align with the external buttons on the key fob, allowing seamless operation.

Hidden Features and Functionalities

The Tesla Model S key fob is not just a simple remote control. It is designed with several hidden features:

  • Passive Entry: Some key fobs enable passive entry, allowing the car to unlock automatically as you approach.
  • Multi-Function Buttons: The key fob has multiple hidden buttons that control various aspects of the car. For example, pressing the top of the fob opens the front trunk, while pressing the back opens the rear trunk.
  • Dead Zone: To prevent unauthorized access, there are specific areas inside the car where the key fob can be placed, rendering it inactive and unable to unlock the car.

Practical Considerations

While the key fob is water-resistant, it is not waterproof. Prolonged exposure to water can damage the internal electronics. If the battery dies, the key fob can still be used by placing it in specific areas on the car, allowing you to unlock and start the vehicle.

image of tesla model s keyPractical Considerations


The Tesla Model S key fob is a testament to innovative design, combining aesthetics with functionality. Whether you’re changing the battery or exploring its hidden features, understanding its construction can enhance your experience as a Tesla owner.

For more detailed information on the teardown process and additional functionalities, check out the guides on Tesla Motors Club and iFixit (Tesla Motors Club) (iFixit) (Jaycon). Interested in reading more guides? Click here to view the 15 Most Interesting Ways to Use Raspberry PI.

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