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"Center Display Unavailable" message

ualdriver

Member
Nov 6, 2013
193
21
US
TMC brain trust-

Tried searching the forum for "center display unavailable" message, no luck.

Recently, the little "voice command" button above the right scroll wheel on my steering wheel stopped working completely. I'm pretty sure it is a software issue and not a problem with the button because I can press both the "voice command" button on the right and the "forward skip" button above the left scroll wheel together and force a screen reboot.

Anyway, when I pressed the "voice command" button, absolutely nothing would happen. So I did a reboot holding both scroll wheels in and the system seemingly went through the normal reboot process as it has for the past 7 years. However, this time, the large center screen didn't reboot. It just stays black. No Tesla logo on the screen, nothing. Then I get the "center display unavailable" message below the speedometer. I have tried a few reboots and have left the car shut down for a few hours but nothing seems to be fixing it.

Any ideas on how I can recover this center screen?

Thanks!
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
8,769
7,581
Visalia, CA
...normal reboot process as it has for the past 7 years...

If you haven't changed your MCU for the past 7 years, maybe it is trying to tell you that it is time.

Its eMMC memory chip is a well known consumable item. It can be rewritten over and over again for about tens thousand of times then it's time for another one.

Even though it's a consumable item, if you have extended warranty, you'll be covered.
 
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ualdriver

Member
Nov 6, 2013
193
21
US
If you haven't changed your MCU for the past 7 years, maybe it is trying to tell you that it is time.

Its eMMC memory chip is a well known consumable item. It can be rewritten over and over again for about tens thousand of times then it's time for another one.

Even though it's a consumable item, if you have extended warranty, you'll be covered.

Tam

Is the MCU the center screen itself or the "brains" of the center screen or something else? Not familiar.

If this MCU has to be replaced, what am I looking at cost-wise? Is this a repairable item or an item that has to be replaced? If replaced, are there overhauled units available or does one have to go new?

I have a 2013 S85.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
8,769
7,581
Visalia, CA
..."brains"...

MCU stands for "Media Control Unit"

Its function is to control the media like music, radio but also others like HVAC, and even Battery Management System.

It has a 17" central screen display, a computer behind it, in its computer, there's the eMMC memory chip that usually should last for the lifetime of a normal car for decades but Tesla writes and re-writes lots of lines of codes to the chip so it runs out of its longevity quickly.

It used to be very expensive (thousands of dollars) to fix it because Tesla wouldn't just want to swap the cheap eMMC chip out. It wanted the display and the computer too. It became cheaper when Tesla would only swap out the computer and leave your screen display alone. Now, as @ucmndd pointed out, it's even cheaper ($500) because Tesla would swap out the daughter board and leave the display screen and the computer alone.
 

ualdriver

Member
Nov 6, 2013
193
21
US
MCU stands for "Media Control Unit"

Its function is to control the media like music, radio but also others like HVAC, and even Battery Management System.

It has a 17" central screen display, a computer behind it, in its computer, there's the eMMC memory chip that usually should last for the lifetime of a normal car for decades but Tesla writes and re-writes lots of lines of codes to the chip so it runs out of its longevity quickly.

It used to be very expensive (thousands of dollars) to fix it because Tesla wouldn't just want to swap the cheap eMMC chip out. It wanted the display and the computer too. It became cheaper when Tesla would only swap out the computer and leave your screen display alone. Now, as @ucmndd pointed out, it's even cheaper ($500) because Tesla would swap out the daughter board and leave the display screen and the computer alone.

Tam-

Thanks for typing that out for me. I'm reading through that 11 page thread now. Looks like I'm going to be lucky with it likely being my problem now and "only" a $500 fix vs. what everyone else had to pay just a short time ago.

Thanks for your time. I made an appointment for Monday. I'll post on that 11 page thread as to create a new data point.
 

Altes

Member
Sep 30, 2016
625
469
SF Bay area
TMC brain trust-

Tried searching the forum for "center display unavailable" message, no luck.

Recently, the little "voice command" button above the right scroll wheel on my steering wheel stopped working completely. I'm pretty sure it is a software issue and not a problem with the button because I can press both the "voice command" button on the right and the "forward skip" button above the left scroll wheel together and force a screen reboot.

Anyway, when I pressed the "voice command" button, absolutely nothing would happen. So I did a reboot holding both scroll wheels in and the system seemingly went through the normal reboot process as it has for the past 7 years. However, this time, the large center screen didn't reboot. It just stays black. No Tesla logo on the screen, nothing. Then I get the "center display unavailable" message below the speedometer. I have tried a few reboots and have left the car shut down for a few hours but nothing seems to be fixing it.

Any ideas on how I can recover this center screen?

Thanks!

Apparently, scroll wheel failure is a precursor to MCU failure for whatever reason. My scroll wheels failed out of warranty cost $400 to replace then 3 months later failed again and before i could get the car in (4 weeks) the MCU failed (black screen) they replaced the screen and scroll wheels.
They tried to charge me for the SECOND scroll wheel replacement in three months, they said warranty on replacement parts is 90 days, warranty CLEARLY states one year, had to SHOW it to them and they backed down.
Just last week I noticed the right scroll wheel (display menu select) is dead. wondering if this is "just another scroll wheel failure" (#3) or a preview to a more ominous MCU failure (#2).
BTW asked about MCU1 to MCU2 upgrade (a chance for yet MORE tesla profit!!!) and they said basically (in code) "FOAD, we are replacing with what we get sent, feel lucky to get anything A---Hole"

The MCU1 rewrite failure is a microcosm of the elon musk mindset. The most valuable asset that Tesla has is the data they gather from cars on the road. The cars are set up to maximize data gathering at any cost. Data gathering is MASSIVE and written to memory, uploaded to Tesla, erased and more data written. over and over an over. the memory (and MCU) fail after so much cycling, Tesla recognizes this and they clearly know how much data is gathered every minute/mile or whatever metric they use. Calcs were made to have the MCU last to a point where it is out of warranty, and boom, $2000 to tesla from the customer and another 4 years of data gathering. SUPER DEAL FOR TESLA!!!!
I'm guessing it would be expensive/time consuming/inconvenient to design a replaceable re-writable system ( why bother when the customer pays!!!!)

PLease search for the NHTSA thread on MCU failure here on this forum and file a complaint with them

HERE YOU GO NHTSA Investigates Failing MCUs
 
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ualdriver

Member
Nov 6, 2013
193
21
US
Apparently, scroll wheel failure is a precursor to MCU failure for whatever reason. My scroll wheels failed out of warranty cost $400 to replace then 3 months later failed again and before i could get the car in (4 weeks) the MCU failed (black screen) they replaced the screen and scroll wheels.

PLease search for the NHTSA thread on MCU failure here on this forum and file a complaint with them

HERE YOU GO NHTSA Investigates Failing MCUs

Thanks Altes. Will do.
 

ualdriver

Member
Nov 6, 2013
193
21
US
Bad news for me.......they tried replacing a daughterboard for $400 but it didn't work. Now they're saying they have to replace the entire MCU with a rebuild one for I think it was $1400 or so : (

Plus both my forward control arms are failing. Not going to be a cheap day.
 

AMPd

Active Member
Nov 27, 2012
4,445
3,682
Northern California
Bad news for me.......they tried replacing a daughterboard for $400 but it didn't work. Now they're saying they have to replace the entire MCU with a rebuild one for I think it was $1400 or so : (

Plus both my forward control arms are failing. Not going to be a cheap day.
How many miles are on your car?
 

TonyT

Member
Nov 5, 2018
838
682
Orange county, CA
2012-2013 cars with original MCU need a older daughter board. Tesla is only selling the newer ones. I better get the notes updated. eMMC replacement would work for the OP even though the tesla replacement board wont.
 

ualdriver

Member
Nov 6, 2013
193
21
US
2012-2013 cars with original MCU need a older daughter board. Tesla is only selling the newer ones. I better get the notes updated. eMMC replacement would work for the OP even though the tesla replacement board wont.

OK, and the eMMC is the memory chip replacement, right? Is this something I should be asking if they checked? I think they are ordering parts now and will be doing a MCU replacement with a rebuilt MCU within the next day or two.
 

TonyT

Member
Nov 5, 2018
838
682
Orange county, CA
OK, and the eMMC is the memory chip replacement, right? Is this something I should be asking if they checked? I think they are ordering parts now and will be doing a MCU replacement with a rebuilt MCU within the next day or two.
Tesla will not replace the chip alone. They sell a upgrade board. Your only way of getting a memory chip replacement at this time is 3rd party. Replacing the MCU will not have issue except costing more. If you need LTE upgrade and a new screen then replacement MCU is a pretty good deal.
 

ualdriver

Member
Nov 6, 2013
193
21
US
Tesla will not replace the chip alone. They sell a upgrade board. Your only way of getting a memory chip replacement at this time is 3rd party. Replacing the MCU will not have issue except costing more. If you need LTE upgrade and a new screen then replacement MCU is a pretty good deal.

Thanks Tony.
 

ualdriver

Member
Nov 6, 2013
193
21
US
So tie a ribbon around this thread (sort of), I had the MCU replacement done and both front control arms replaced. $2600 for all of that. While I was driving home, I noticed that the touch screen was not as responsive to the touch as my old one was. Then I started getting heavily pixelated pop-up screens when I selected various menu items. Some menu items were unselectable. Probably got a bad MCU. So to add insult to injury, I have to wait another three weeks to get an appointment at the service center to get this fixed now : (

To add another insult to the insult and injury, my wife's X had a recall. We wait three weeks for the appointment, send it in, and the service center tells us that they don't have the parts and they haven't had the parts for months. I'll tell you, if their cars weren't so awesome, there's no way I would stand for Tesla's "service" and would probably sell both of my Teslas and get something else.
 
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ICUDoc

Active Member
May 19, 2015
1,678
1,050
Sydney NSW
So tie a ribbon around this thread (sort of), I had the MCU replacement done and both front control arms replaced. $2600 for all of that. While I was driving home, I noticed that the touch screen was not as responsive to the touch as my old one was. Then I started getting heavily pixelated pop-up screens when I selected various menu items. Some menu items were unselectable. Probably got a bad MCU. So to add insult to injury, I have to wait another three weeks to get an appointment at the service center to get this fixed now : (

To add another insult to the insult and injury, my wife's X had a recall. We wait three weeks for the appointment, send it in, and the service center tells us that they don't have the parts and they haven't had the parts for months. I'll tell you, if their cars weren't so awesome, there's no way I would stand for Tesla's "service" and would probably sell both of my Teslas and get something else.
They REALLY need to step up their service game.
Some people seem to think it varies a lot between SCs, I don't know, I just wish they'd up their game...
Sorry to hear your story, ualdriver
 

Kandiru

Active Member
Oct 20, 2014
1,213
395
USA
Guess where I am heading Tuesday? Random 3-6x per day center screen reboots, then your message, expect warranty Tegra card, if lucky they will put in MCU2, these guys in Columbus super nice:

20200914_073941.jpg

ZThBLm8BZtGkwFNF7
 

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