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DIY UV Treatment for Yellowed MCU Screen

Discussion in 'Model S' started by ucmndd, Nov 24, 2019.

  1. ucmndd

    ucmndd Well-Known Member

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    My late 2016 Model S was one of the earlier cars to exhibit the infamous yellow ring on the 17” MCU screen. I had it replaced early on, right before my warranty expired, before the prevalence of the problem was really known. Now about a year and a half later, the replacement screen has once again yellowed and I’m well out of warranty, about to turn 100,000 miles. I’m far from a service center, have no idea if Tesla would charge me for the UV treatment, if they even have the tool, and frankly don’t have the time or interest to fight with their service organization about it.

    But hey, it’s just UV light, right? How hard could this be? I did a little research and determined that most adhesives for glass bonding are cured with UV light in the 365-400nm range. After a little poking around on Amazon looking for a reasonably powerful light in that spectrum, I settled on this bad boy for $35:

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MDWKNMK

    8/14/2020: Added link to a different product which people have had better luck with
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06X8ZVJSS?tag=tmc064-20

    It arrived the next day and I set out to fashion a rig of sorts (read: stack of cardboard boxes) to position the light in front of the screen and see what happened. I took some basic precautions to cover the dash with towels - didn’t want to risk yellowing the lacquer on the wood dash parts or anything.

    Long story short, it’s dark now so hard to know for certain but first impression is that after 4 hours of baking the yellowing is dramatically reduced, but not quite gone. I’m going to examine things in the daylight tomorrow and based on what I see do another 4-6 hours and reassess. As of now I’m quite pleased with the results for $35 and am reasonably certain it will get even better with a little more time.

    Before:
    AB0D1746-2D46-452D-85AD-AB97AB54C744.jpeg
    E5FE8FEE-95A5-4298-8E36-1F75890B91BA.jpeg
    A1770105-DD3B-4CB7-89D9-A4709CB3A514.jpeg


    Shots of my “rig”:

    59CD1AD1-41E3-4925-B1E3-452F70BCF6F2.jpeg
    96D993DE-EDBD-41E6-97FD-24DF539B54A3.jpeg
    F4E37C7F-DDA1-4C4E-8649-C012F83F5B51.jpeg


    After:

    A869E4ED-2A84-4835-BDF7-3462395F61B2.jpeg


    I know it’s kinda hard to see the results in the pics, but it looks markedly better in person. Will try and get some better shots tomorrow.
     
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  2. slainla

    slainla Member

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    Pretty cool, thanks for sharing.
     
  3. MichaelP90DL

    MichaelP90DL Active Member

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    Way cool! Tessie is a 2015. So far the screen is perfect but it may not stay that way. Thanks for the info.
     
  4. darxsys

    darxsys Member

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    It’s hard to believe Tesla is taking so long to “create and produce a machine” when a $35 diy solution works just fine. Wtf are they doing?
     
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  5. Naekuh

    Naekuh Member

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    i want to try this on my instrument cluster, as i can pretty much expect Tesla will NEVER address this issue like the MCU.
     
  6. rsg123

    rsg123 Member

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    Wow. Huge difference. Great job.
     
  7. bnsfengineer

    bnsfengineer Member

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    This guy is Ingenious!!!
     
  8. Ken7

    Ken7 Member

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    #8 Ken7, Nov 25, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
    Um, Tesla already has such a device. My screen and many others (as can be seen in the many threads on the subject), has been properly repaired by their device. My screen was very bad prior to the repair and looks perfect now. I didn’t need to go to arbitration, I just scheduled an appointment. But I agree with others in the other threads, it could have been addressed earlier by Tesla and more units should have been produced. Since you sold your Tesla I know you don’t like reading any positive posts, so ding me as I know you will. ;)

    Kudos to ucmndd for this DIY project. Well done!
     
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  9. ccdisce

    ccdisce EBISU like

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    Thanks for posting this.

    When I spoke to the person at the SC last week during the 2nd Annual service he said yes they were doing the UV treatment of the yellowing screens but the equipment "wore out" and to check back later.

    As I have 2 UV light sources I was thinking of rigging something up myself.
     
  10. cduzz

    cduzz Member

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    That rig makes me super itchy; hard UV is *super* dangerous. Like "oh, hey, you're blind for life now haha!" dangerous. It is not to be trifled with.

    Now, captain awesome is probably pretty safe(ish) running a cardboard and blindlight rig like that once every 3 years to mange his car, but a tool left floating around in a workshop of a billion dollar company has a significant safety threshold to achieve before you can safely deploy it, otherwise you get lots of "hey, now I'm blind" lawsuits. Similarly, there is no way *I* would sign off on writing this procedure down for the consumption of other organizations (3rd party garages / DIYers) -- way too much liability unless you're making a specific tool and a big pile of safety equipment.

    Similarly, there was (hopefully) quite a bit of work done to characterize the after-effects of this work on the other functionality of the panel, test proper bake time, proper light / frequency, etc.

    There are plenty of things you can do on a car that are "make a mistake and you're ruined for life" (gasoline vapors / steel suspension springs / lifting the car) -- hard UV is absolutely as dangerous as any of those if not treated with proper respect.

    So bravo adventurous OP for achieving this, and congratulations on characterizing how it works. This is likely the first step in a proper aftermarket procedure for managing the yellow ring of sorrow.

    But I wouldn't read too much into "hey why did it take tesla so long to make this tool" (the answer is: "worker safety / attorneys" ) (and "limited interest in actually dealing with worker safety / attorneys" )
     
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  11. jelloslug

    jelloslug Active Member

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    They have to make a durable machine that fits accurately and has repeatable results that are satisfactory to the vast majority of customers. A cardboard box with a $25 light inside does not meet those criteria.
     
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  12. ucmndd

    ucmndd Well-Known Member

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    One of the things I learned researching this is that UV LEDs do in fact “wear out” rather rapidly and only emit in the necessary spectrum for a relatively short period of time (low hundreds of hours). Not a problem for most applications but you can see how quickly it’s possible to hit that threshold in a service center running the thing 10 hours a day.

    Appreciate all the comments and feedback but I’d also request that the complaining about Tesla’s approach or lack thereof is reserved for one of the other 1500 pages of threads on that topic.
     
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  13. bnsfengineer

    bnsfengineer Member

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    Wow! I don't get it..your cars build 2018 mine is 2017 and we have it but MichaelP90dl above is 2015 and states he does not have the issue?o_O
     
  14. chammerbeck

    chammerbeck Member

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    I did something similar with mine a few weeks ago. Just used a fluorescent UV lamp from an aquarium. I can only do one side at a time but it works. Takes overnight to work though.
     
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  15. MP3Mike

    MP3Mike Well-Known Member

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    #15 MP3Mike, Nov 25, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
    Not every screen has the issue. I suspect the issue is that the UV light source they used for curing the screens when they were assembled didn't get replaced often enough so some screens didn't get fully cured, while ones that were made right after a lamp change were fully cured.
     
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  16. Ken7

    Ken7 Member

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    #16 Ken7, Nov 25, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
    BulldogsRus, perhaps others meant that, but the poster I responded to said, "It’s hard to believe Tesla is taking so long to “create and produce a machine” when a $35 diy solution works just fine". That seems pretty clear he wasn't aware the tool actually existed. If not, it was poorly written.

    You also have to put it in the context of the poster having sold his Tesla, still remaining on a Tesla forum, and doesn't seem to appreciate that not all owners detest their Teslas. Yes, there's much to criticize about how Tesla goes about their business, but there's still quite a bit to appreciate about owning a Tesla. ;)
     
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  17. ucmndd

    ucmndd Well-Known Member

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    Had an hour in the car this morning to look things over in the light of day.

    The horizontal line at the top of the screen, which was previously the most pronounced and easy to see, is completely gone. The vertical lines on either side are about 75% improved but still faintly visible. I think this is due to the way I had the light positioned - the center of the screen was getting most of the direct light. Going to do another session this evening and re-think the way I've got the light positioned to more directly address the right and left edges of the screen, one at a time.

    In all, worth price paid. Very pleased.
     
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  18. ucmndd

    ucmndd Well-Known Member

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    The 2015 pre-refresh screens have a different issue where they develop bubbles and leak goo from the bottom. ;)
     
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  19. kkillebrew

    kkillebrew Banned

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    Not sure what you mean by "Hard" UV @cduzz but the lamps and wavelengths mentioned here are not as dangerous as an Easy Bake Oven, or a kids blacklight poster. It is the same thing as a nail polish curing light - which will also work in this case.

    I believe you are referring to the much more dangerous UVB spectrum found in grow lights, tanning beds, lizard lights etc. which is indeed very dangerous, but then again so is sunlight.
     
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  20. cduzz

    cduzz Member

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    Are those safe for people to be around? My
    I'm thinking back to my times erasing eeproms with UV lights. These may not be so dangerous, but I typically default to "be afraid" when I'm not sure about some things (see gasoline / springs)
     

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