Tesla Model S Won’t Forget Bluetooth – Here’s Why!


Where would we be without our phones? But what if we’ve lost our phone or have changed our Tesla, and the Bluetooth won’t forget the device? Don’t panic! We’ll have it removed and working shortly.

The reasons your Tesla Model S won’t forget a Bluetooth device include:

  • It needs to forget everywhere
  • A reboot is required
  • Your MCU needs an upgrade

In this article, we’ll look at why your Tesla Model S Bluetooth is not forgetting, how to diagnose it and how to fix it.

Tesla Dashboard

Bluetooth needs to forget everywhere

The most common reason your Tesla Model S Bluetooth won’t forget is that you need to remove the connection on your device also.

To fully remove a device, first go to:

  • Controls
  • Bluetooth Settings
  • Select ‘Forget Device’

You must go to the Device and remove the Bluetooth connection here.

  • Open your Settings on your Phone
  • Go to the Bluetooth
  • Select Model S
  • Forget this Device

You must select Forget and not disconnect on your Model S. Disconnect will only temporarily remove the device. The next time you power on the car, the device will be relisted. You must select ‘Forget’ to completely remove the device.

The memory in your car can occasionally remember the device, even though you have told it to forget. This can be a real pain for a couple of reasons.

  • You no longer have the phone
  • You are the new owner of the Tesla (used)

You no longer have the Phone

Phones come and go in our lives. They break, we lose them, and we upgrade to a new model. Lots of reasons why we no longer have the phone. In the grand scheme of things, not a big deal, but if it’s still showing up on your list of devices and you can’t double remove it (from the car and device), this can be a pain.

You are the new owner of the Tesla

The other reason is that you have recently bought a used Tesla. Now when you go to look at the list of devices, you have a list of random names connected to your Bluetooth. This is a pain! As you definitely have no way to double remove them.

So what can we do? All is not lost. You can either do a Hard or Soft Reboot. This is a good way of removing any glitches that are in the system. Select the ‘Forget Device’ as before on the touchscreen and then immediately do a Soft Reboot.

Rebooting the System

Rebooting your system is always worth a try. Tesla sends updates to your car all the time, and a reboot is sometimes necessary to remove any glitch. It’s very easily done by first removing the unwanted Bluetooth devices and following the process below.

Soft Reboot

  • Shift into Park
  • Remove any devices
  • Hold both scroll wheels on the steering wheel for 10-15 seconds
  • The touchscreen turns black
  • Tesla Logo reappears
  • Everything will once again be available

If this doesn’t work, it’s worth trying the Hard Reboot, as the next option is slightly more extreme.

Hard Reboot

  • Put your Tesla in Park
  • Remove any auxiliary items that are plugged in i.e. phones, USB drives
  • Press and hold the Brake
  • Hold both scroll wheels on your steering wheel for 10-15 seconds
  • The touchscreen will go black
  • Tesla Logo will appear
  • When everything is back, your system will be fully up to date

The difference between a hard and soft reboot is the holding of the Brake. Some think you can do a soft reboot while driving, but it is not recommended by Tesla. You are, after all, rebooting the screen and should not be distracted from the control of your car in any way while driving.

Although the touchscreen does not affect or interfere with the driving of your vehicle. If you’re still having problems, and definitely if you have purchased the car from another owner, then I would try the Factory Reset.

Factory Reset

The last option – the reboot option is a little extreme, and I would only suggest this if you are the new owner of the car. It can be done in a Tesla Service Center, or you can complete the reset yourself. It clears everything from the car’s memory, Bluetooth devices, saved destinations, wifi settings, navigation, and home settings. It is like your car is new again. It allows you to start from scratch with all specifications and, more importantly, no more random names and devices in your Bluetooth list.

You can make an appointment for a Service Center through your Tesla App.

  • Controls
  • Service
  • Detail what the problem is
  • Schedule a time and place that suits you best

Tesla can do a lot of updates and checks remotely, so you might not even have to leave home.

If you are comfortable doing it yourself, it takes just a few steps and some patience.

  • Controls
  • Service
  • Factory Reset
  • You are asked for your Tesla Email and Password (this is to protect your security)
  • You are then asked if you are sure you wish to reset?
  • Click Continue

The screen and dash will then go Black. This is where it can get a little nervy! Don’t panic. This process can take up to ten minutes. The screen and dash will cycle on and off a couple of times. The older your Tesla, the longer this will take, as the processors just need more time.

When the screen lights up again, you will be asked to confirm if the vehicle is being transferred to a new owner through the app. Once you confirm this, your Tesla will be back to normal. From here, you can add everything back in as you wish. There will not be any memory of previous Bluetooth connections.

It is quite the leap, but if the car is new to you, you should always wipe the information regardless. The Tesla would still be accessible to anyone who had a phone key previously.

MCU needs an Upgrade

The last thing we’ll look at is your MCU – (Media Control Unit). This can also be a reason that your Bluetooth is glitching.

Let’s look at the background of this first. All Tesla models from 2012 – to 2018 had an MCU1 installed. The MCU is the touchscreen. It controls all auxiliary items (nondriving) in your car, such as Maps, music, phone, etc.

The problem with the models up to 2018 is the chip that allows everything to happen – the eMMC (embedded Multi-Media Chip) has a capacity of 8GB and a cycle life of 3000. These chips started to give trouble and pack in, causing problems with accessing everything on your touchscreen, such as Bluetooth.

Initially, Tesla increased the warranty time on the chip from 4 years to 8 years, but the failure rate became so high that it became a recall.

The chip size was increased from 8GB to 64GB which lengthened the life cycle by up to eight times the amount.

There is no cost to have the chip upgraded. You might not even be experiencing a lot of problems with the chip but let’s face it, a technology from 2012 is so obsolete at this stage it’s a wonder it can run the touchscreen at all.

Let’s look at what you have to do.

The first thing is to check your MCU model. We do this through

  • Menu
  • Additional Vehicle Information

If it lists NVIDIA, then your MCU is an MCU1 version. If you’re a new owner and unsure if the chip was upgraded, you can check this through a VIN Audit on your car. This lists all the recalls for this car model and whether they were completed or not. If they have, then that’s great. If not, I would contact Tesla and check your car in for a Service Check.

Just to be clear, this is only an eMMC chip replacement. Tesla also offers the upgrade of the MCU from MCU1 to MCU2. The functionality of the MCU is significantly increased with the MCU2. The touchscreen is more intuitive, and more apps are available such as Netflix and Hula.

However, before you jump in and book your slot, be aware that the upgrade can cost upwards of $1500. It was originally $2500 but has reduced in price over time. (thankfully!). Depending on the age and condition of your Tesla will determine whether the full media upgrade is worth it.

All Tesla post-2018 have the MCU2 installed, so if you’re experiencing glitches with your Bluetooth and own a post-2018 model, then it’s definitely worth contacting Tesla for a check.

Other posts you might find useful:

Tesla Model S Window Calibration

Tesla Model S not playing music

E John Cunningham

Hey, I’m John and I'm a technical writer here at EVjuicedup.com. I’m a Red Seal qualified Auto Service Technician with over twenty-five years experience working on Classic and Modern Cars. I've worked for GM, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo, Audi, and VW main dealers. Yep, I’ve skint my knuckles on them all!

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