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Backup camera doesn't work after first drive of the day

SDKoala

Model 3 LR RWD
Apr 11, 2018
867
980
San Diego
Anyone else experiencing this? My early production 2.5 y/o LR RWD started having a new issue with the backup cam for the past 4 days. This is NOT the delayed picture when shifting to R that has been around intermittently since day 1.

I plug in every night. The first drive of the day is fine. After parking, the next time I shift to R, there is no backup cam video. There are no white guidelines either, which is different from previous backup cam problems. No amount of shifting between P and R and D upwards of a dozen times restores it. Power off/on from the screen does nothing. Two wheel reset does nothing. Manually toggling the camera view from the touchscreen does nothing. Toggling Sentry Mode on/off doesn't help.

The only time it has come back after the last few days was after being plugged in overnight. Going to deeper sleep seems to restore it. I haven't tried to see what happens if I don't plug in overnight. After the first drive, it's gone again as I've described.

It started on the previous firmware version, but not immediately after getting that update. I just got 2020.36.11 yesterday but it didn't resole it.

The soonest available service appointment I can physically get to is over 2 weeks away and they aren't offering mobile service for this. I didn't realize just how limited the view out the rear window was after relying on the camera for so long. It's scary pulling out of parking spots.

Any suggestions are welcome. (Just don't tell me to do the reset again...)
 
Yes, I have this occurred to me twice in my 6 month old 2020 Model 3. The first time was on the second day after delivery back in April. I quickly reset the screen by pressing the volume & speed control knobs simultaneously, and then it worked fine. The second time occurred when I was about to leave work. I backed up and then there was nothing on the screen. I ignored it, and in about 10 min of driving it reset and turned itself back on. It's odd, and I think the cause is the software.
 

SDKoala

Model 3 LR RWD
Apr 11, 2018
867
980
San Diego
I still have no idea what could be causing this. Past forum posts here and elsewhere for similar problems just kind of fade away with no follow-up, so I assume they get worked out by firmware updates eventually. I formatted my USB SSD that I use for Sentry to see if it would do anything but haven't been in the situation to see if helps yet.

I also should have RTFM because the power down sequence from the touchscreen that Tesla recommends trying to clear things like this says to switch the car off for at least 2 minutes before pressing the pedal to turn it on again. I didn't wait that long the times I tried it, so hopefully it gets it working again the next time it happens.
 

Shelby16

Member
Sep 1, 2020
49
16
Utah
Anyone else experiencing this? My early production 2.5 y/o LR RWD started having a new issue with the backup cam for the past 4 days. This is NOT the delayed picture when shifting to R that has been around intermittently since day 1.

I plug in every night. The first drive of the day is fine. After parking, the next time I shift to R, there is no backup cam video. There are no white guidelines either, which is different from previous backup cam problems. No amount of shifting between P and R and D upwards of a dozen times restores it. Power off/on from the screen does nothing. Two wheel reset does nothing. Manually toggling the camera view from the touchscreen does nothing. Toggling Sentry Mode on/off doesn't help.

The only time it has come back after the last few days was after being plugged in overnight. Going to deeper sleep seems to restore it. I haven't tried to see what happens if I don't plug in overnight. After the first drive, it's gone again as I've described.

It started on the previous firmware version, but not immediately after getting that update. I just got 2020.36.11 yesterday but it didn't resole it.

The soonest available service appointment I can physically get to is over 2 weeks away and they aren't offering mobile service for this. I didn't realize just how limited the view out the rear window was after relying on the camera for so long. It's scary pulling out of parking spots.

Any suggestions are welcome. (Just don't tell me to do the reset again...)

I am back now and have confirmed mine does this also. When I went to drive it, though I always am backed in, I put it in reverse and the main camera came on, but both side cameras were black. I drove to the store and when I went to backup, They were black for split second, then worked fine and all was well. Similar to what you described.
 

SDKoala

Model 3 LR RWD
Apr 11, 2018
867
980
San Diego
I am back now and have confirmed mine does this also. When I went to drive it, though I always am backed in, I put it in reverse and the main camera came on, but both side cameras were black. I drove to the store and when I went to backup, They were black for split second, then worked fine and all was well. Similar to what you described.

That's not at all what I'm describing, though. My problem is only with the backup camera. The repeaters are fine. And it never turns back on after being black for a split second after being parked for a short while. My backup cam never turns back until the car has been parked for a few hours and goes into a deeper sleep state.

Tesla thinks it may be a physical trunk wiring harness issue and mobile service is going to replace it. I'm not confident that it's going to fix it since it seems like the problem is more software-related than hardware-related, but we'll see.
 
By the way, since you still have your warranty, have the SC replace your computer. SC at Rockland wants to charge me for a new computer ($2K) to fix my backup cam issue. Unfortunately, I am out of warranty so I am totally screwed. $2000 for a stupid back up cam.
Yours and mine are the same age. And having the same problem. Also, check your glovebox. Mine doesn't shut anymore. Get that replaced before your warranty runs out.
 

SDKoala

Model 3 LR RWD
Apr 11, 2018
867
980
San Diego
SDKoala, when did you install your Samsung SSD? Do you think it's related to Samsung SSD? I cannot be 100% sure but my problem may have started after I installed the Samsung SSD.
I have this one https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Q4RBHWP/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

But then again, I did unplug SSD for a few days and still had black screens. I might try replacing it with a USB stick and see

I've had my Samsung SSD for over a year. For what it's worth, it's an internal SSD (850 EVO) housed in a third party enclosure. I unplugged the SSD and it still happens. I also have a Blackvue dashcam plugged into the 12V receptacle (not hardwired), which I disconnected. Even with nothing plugged in, the backup cam is still having problems.

The problem is getting worse. Before, it would only go out after I was parked with Sentry mode on. If I disabled Sentry, the backup cam would work. Since the last firmware update, it's now intermittently not working even after the car has been sleeping with Sentry off. And just yesterday, I actually saw it go out while I had the camera view on the display and the trunk and doors open for about 15-20 minutes while cleaning the car.

The previous tech who replaced my camera thought it could be the FSD computer itself and I'm going to push for that to be replaced when it goes in for service. There's clearly something going on that's causing the software and hardware to disagree in my specific car and the longer it goes on, the more I'm thinking it has something to do with the FSD retrofit, even though it didn't start right away.
 
Yup. my experience was very similar to yours. It was happening more frequently and randomly. Last week, I lost my cam after closing the trunk door. Also while driving, my backup cam would go out every 8 seconds and comes back on. Just on and off. Keep repeating. I think mine is fixed now with a new harness.

Well, hope you get yours fixed soon.
 

SDKoala

Model 3 LR RWD
Apr 11, 2018
867
980
San Diego
I finally figured out the pattern to my problem after dealing with it for the last month.
  • When Sentry is off, the car sleeps, which resets the backup camera system. Any previous failure of the camera is fixed and it will work normally the next time the car wakes up. This doesn't have to be a deep sleep--about 5-10 minutes of the doors closed without detecting the phone key is enough.
  • Curiously, the camera most commonly fails after the third time I open/close the trunk. My daily routine is to open/close the trunk at home to put in my work stuff (#1). Open/close trunk again at work to take out my work stuff (#2). Park for the day with Sentry running. Come back to the car and open/close the trunk to put my stuff back in (#3). After the third time opening/closing the trunk, the backup cam fails.
  • It always fails during closing, not opening. I tested this just by opening/closing the trunk with the car parked and it fails on the third time almost every time.
  • This is why it only seems to fail when I go to work. If I'm going to the store, I only open my trunk once to put the groceries in. It doesn't fail often with just one or even two open/close cycles, but it sometimes does, which is what was making the failure seem random.
It seems like there is a physical connection problem like yours. If the mobile tech would have just replaced the harness a few weeks ago like was originally planned, it probably would be fixed. Instead, he put in a camera after failing to be able to reproduce the problem. Instead of actually opening/closing the trunk over and over, he was mimicking closing the trunk by engaging the latch with a screwdriver and pressing the trunk button to release it. The up and down movement is what is causing the camera to go out. Now I've got an inconvenient service center appointment unless I can convince them to send mobile out for a third time, which they already said they wouldn't do because it couldn't be fixed after two previous visits.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
12,454
14,838
Riverside Co. CA
I finally figured out the pattern to my problem after dealing with it for the last month.
  • When Sentry is off, the car sleeps, which resets the backup camera system. Any previous failure of the camera is fixed and it will work normally the next time the car wakes up. This doesn't have to be a deep sleep--about 5-10 minutes of the doors closed without detecting the phone key is enough.
  • Curiously, the camera most commonly fails after the third time I open/close the trunk. My daily routine is to open/close the trunk at home to put in my work stuff (#1). Open/close trunk again at work to take out my work stuff (#2). Park for the day with Sentry running. Come back to the car and open/close the trunk to put my stuff back in (#3). After the third time opening/closing the trunk, the backup cam fails.
  • It always fails during closing, not opening. I tested this just by opening/closing the trunk with the car parked and it fails on the third time almost every time.
  • This is why it only seems to fail when I go to work. If I'm going to the store, I only open my trunk once to put the groceries in. It doesn't fail often with just one or even two open/close cycles, but it sometimes does, which is what was making the failure seem random.
It seems like there is a physical connection problem like yours. If the mobile tech would have just replaced the harness a few weeks ago like was originally planned, it probably would be fixed. Instead, he put in a camera after failing to be able to reproduce the problem. Instead of actually opening/closing the trunk over and over, he was mimicking closing the trunk by engaging the latch with a screwdriver and pressing the trunk button to release it. The up and down movement is what is causing the camera to go out. Now I've got an inconvenient service center appointment unless I can convince them to send mobile out for a third time, which they already said they wouldn't do because it couldn't be fixed after two previous visits.


Let us know if the service center appointment fixes it, and if they replace the harness or whatever else they decide to do with it. Thanks for sharing.
 

SDKoala

Model 3 LR RWD
Apr 11, 2018
867
980
San Diego
Here's the resolution.

It was a problem with the trunk harness. For anyone this might happen to in the future, it is fixable by mobile service. The tech needs to physically open/close the trunk over and over until it fails. Don't let them just jiggle around the connections and don't let them just mimic latching/unlatching of the trunk because that might not be enough to make it fail.

While I'm glad Tesla was able to repair it (as they should have under warranty), this was a bad experience, especially with mobile service. This took over a month: two mobile visits and a service center visit. The virtual service advisor who took the time to call me ahead of the first mobile appointment got the diagnosis right on from a 2 minute conversation. Both mobile techs that came out had the instructions to inspect and replace the harness according to the repair estimates I got. Both didn't do so when they couldn't replicate the problem and didn't seem to care what I was telling them about the camera going out when they couldn't see it for themselves.

Had the harness been replaced at the very first mobile visit, it would have saved tech time for a follow-up mobile visit, unnecessary replacement of a backup camera, service center time, and it would have freed up a high-demand loaner car for someone else for a few days. I bring all that up because the first mobile tech said they don't like to just throw parts at a car without a diagnosis to try to keep costs down, even though the virtual service advisor seemed pretty sure of the problem having heard it before. It doesn't make sense to burn all that tech time to save a $70 part.

upload_2020-11-21_14-36-51.png
 
Last edited:
Exact same problem I’m having. My appointment is on Jan 20th I even recorded a video to share with virtual advisor to show them how the problem is occurring. I would assume the problem will re occur after so many times of the trunk opening and closing causing strain on the harness. Possible permanent fix might be a shorter strut for trunk lid. I wonder if those pneumatic ones will work without the spring. I think they are bit shorter.
 

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