How does the Hyundai Digital Key work?

I just installed and linked the Hyundai Digital Key on my Samsung Android phone for my new 2023 Tucson SEL. It locks and unlocks doors and operates the tailgate, but when I try to start the engine remotely, I get a confusing error message: “Remote Engine On is possible only within 4 seconds of perfo…”. I can’t figure out what I need to do within those 4 seconds. I’ve tried everything, and I can’t see the full error message. Searching on Google hasn’t helped. The dealer is an hour away, so I can’t easily go there.


The Hyundai Digital Key is a convenient feature that allows you to use your smartphone as a vehicle key. Starting the engine with the Digital Key can be challenging if you have no info on the same.
To turn the engine remotely,

  1. First make sure you are close enough to the vehicle.
  2. Press the lock button on your key fob.
  3. Within 4 seconds, press and hold the remote start button which is usually an arrow in a circle for over 2 seconds.

Note that the engine will run for 10 minutes and then shut down automatically if you don’t drive.

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Here’s the trick:

  1. Unlock with Digital Key on your phone.
  2. Immediately (within 4 seconds) touch the button on the car’s door handle to unlock.
  3. Foot on brake, press start button inside.

This two-step unlock seems to be the fix for some. Restart phone or car’s infotainment system if needed.

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To remotely start the engine, lock the doors using the Hyundai Digital Key app first, and then try to start the engine in four seconds. You must lock the doors using the remote again before starting the engine, even if they are previously locked. Give it a try and let me know if it works!

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Hi Barbara! The Hyundai Digital Key turns your smartphone into a car key. Here’s how it works:

  1. Unlocking: Just hold your phone near the door handle, and the car unlocks.
  2. Starting the Vehicle: Once you’re inside, put your phone on the wireless charger, press the start button, and off you go!
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The Hyundai Digital Key allows you to use your smartphone to lock, unlock, and start your Hyundai vehicle. It works via an app that uses Near Field Communication (NFC) and Bluetooth. After setting it up, you can hold your phone near the door handle to unlock the car and place it on the wireless charging pad to start the engine. It also allows you to share access with others via their smartphones.

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The Hyundai Digital Key uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to allow users to unlock, start, and drive their vehicle using a smartphone. It requires a compatible app and typically involves pairing the phone with the car via Bluetooth.