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DIY UV Treatment for Yellowed MCU Screen

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

  1. Country Roads

    Country Roads Member

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    Ordered the black light and have started the treatment. You can see the glue glowing around the border. UV light treatment.jpg
     
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  2. kingtj

    kingtj Member

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    Just wanted to add that the suggestions given here on doing a DIY rig with UV lights to fix the screen yellowing prompted me to try it myself. Both of the Tesla SC's in my general area claim their UV light repair tools are broken as well -- and I got tired of waiting months for this repair.

    I attempted to do it using a 14" long UV florescent lamp sold at Spencer's Gifts (intended for making glow-in-black-light posters illuminate), and mounted it to a piece of fiberboard I cut to about a 2'x2' square that could be propped up against the center console/touch-screen.

    My plan was to line up the UV tube with one of the yellow borders, to try to fix it one border at a time.

    I left it on a border for almost 8 hours total, but only got a very small improvement in the yellowing. So I gave up on the plan and returned the UV light for a refund. :(

    I'm now being told that UV florescent tubes don't output more than about 10% of the light intensity needed for the job -- so I guess I do need to go with one more like the ones sold on Amazon specifically for setting glues.
     
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  3. ucmndd

    ucmndd Well-Known Member

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    Just FYI, in my case the glue continued to react and stay visible under UV, even after the visible discoloration was more or less gone. So don’t rely on that as a guide for “doneness”.
     
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  4. ucmndd

    ucmndd Well-Known Member

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    Also, get that light as close as you can to the screen, right over the adhesive itself. That was the key for me.
     
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  5. Country Roads

    Country Roads Member

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    How did you suspend the light above the screen? I've got mine wedged into a box propped up in front of the screen. The box flaps contain the light from spilling out, in case that's important for eye safety. The light is probably 4 or 5 inches away from the screen.
     
  6. Country Roads

    Country Roads Member

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    Replying to my own comment - I'm now resting the lamp directly on the screen, slightly propped on the lateral edge to assist distribution of the UV light all the way to the glue.
     
  7. ucmndd

    ucmndd Well-Known Member

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    I basically constructed a castle of cardboard boxes. Definitely not elegant.
     
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  8. Axtrader

    Axtrader Member

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    Does anyone have good before/after pics of this repair?
     
  9. ucmndd

    ucmndd Well-Known Member

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    My first post has decent before pics. I’ve tried to get some “after”, but I honestly can’t get anything other than a clear screen to show up on camera. It just looks like a normal pre-yellowed screen
     
  10. Dithermaster

    Dithermaster Member

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    Folks, be careful about exposing leather (real or vegan) or plastic to strong UV light as it can break it down or discolor it.
     
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  11. Country Roads

    Country Roads Member

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    Thanks for the warning. I've got it pretty protected. Unfortunately, I'm limited to about an hour per day, which is slow going, but the upside is that I'm able to watch for adverse effects. So far, so good.
    I'll post before and after pics.
     
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  12. Country Roads

    Country Roads Member

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    Well, after spending three evenings on this project, I can report that I now have a 2 inch length of clear screen in the right lower corner. The rest of the brown border persists. This partial success supports ucmndd's recommendation that you need to get the light right down above the glass. So I've fired my cardboard box frame - back to the recycle bin it goes. I think a support arm with a clamp would work better and have been searching Amazon, but no luck so far.
     
  13. RedOctober

    RedOctober Member

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    I hit your Amazon link for the light. I had my screen replaced once already and my wife tells me she is seeing it again. Now my eyes or brain is playing tricks on me....didn’t see it before she pointed it out but I do now. Anyways I wonder how many sales you’ve generated for the seller? Thanks for the information because I’m just going to fix it myself this time if it gets worse.
     
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  14. tcoombes

    tcoombes Supporting Member

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    I posted the following in another thread and am ready to share my experience and solution I used last summer:

    “The yellow returned to my screen twice after the initial cure and subsequent curing. The problems are the LOCA used did not have the correct additives to prevent discoloration and they used too thick of a coating on installation. With an excessive coating, summer heat will allow the uncured LOCA to resurface. If you keep curing it when the yellow returns then eventually all layers can be accessed. My screen has been UV cured 3 times and I have no yellowing now since it’s December and the temperature is cooler, but it may return next summer. If it does then additional curing will be applied until it is completely cured.

    This is my personal experience, not based on any speculation. I did my own research, got my own answers and handled it myself. It is amazing to me how people speculate about things and argue and blame others without facts or experience. I do not blame Tesla for this - problems happen and they have taken some action to provide a solution. I had the choice to wait and be dependent on someone else for a solution or to be self-reliant so I decided to take care of it myself and I am pleased with my results.”

    Materials included painters tape, cardboard box, electrical cord with toggle on-off switch and socket for a light bulb, aluminum foil, and a 9 watt 365nm LED light bulb. I wanted a reusable solution that would be safe, did not harm other materials in my car, and could be used unattended. The box is just a little larger than the full screen and I lined it with aluminum foil since this is one of the few materials that reflects UV light in this wavelength. I cut a flap in the box so I could see inside and adjust the height and placement of the socket and bulb to make sure all parts of the screen would receive UV light. I closed the flap in preparation for use. I used painters tape to protect screen trim and surrounding areas of the dash. I propped the box up against the screen and supported it on the center console. I used painters tape again to secure the box to the screen and make a tight seal to minimize UV leakage. I then opened the passenger front window and ran the plug to an electrical outlet in my garage. I used the on/off switch on the cord outside of the car to activate and deactivate the light. After a UV treatment I removed the box and painters tape.

    The first time I used it for about 4 hours and yellow was gone. A few weeks later during the middle of summer the yellow returned so I used it again for 8 hours and the yellow was gone again. I had one more iteration of this in September and have not had yellow return since then.

    I was very careful to protect my eyes and skin and made sure the UV light was contained and only exposed to my screen. I also made sure the electrical socket for the bulb was no where near any aluminum foil since safety was one of my requirements.

    Again, this is my own experience and I am not making any recommendations or suggestions to anyone. The purpose for my post is to add to the body of knowledge for better understanding about the yellow screen issue. I applaud Tesla for developing an industrial grade solution and hope they continue to refine and deploy it.
     
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  15. Ken7

    Ken7 Member

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    This sounds like a lower power version of what's used at the SC. It may also explain why you needed repeat treatments while nobody receiving the apparently higher powered SC treatment has yet reported a recurrence. Do you have pix of your setup for those that are interested?
     
  16. tcoombes

    tcoombes Supporting Member

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    Some of my experience involved testing because there are many variables and I did not know what combination of power and exposure was required using my solution. The initial exposure at 4 hours worked for me initially, but when the yellow returned I doubled for the second exposure. At some point, I expect to have the adhesive completely cured - I don't know if I am there yet and am ready for next summer to do additional exposures if required. No pictures to share - this is not meant to be a set of instructions for others to copy, just information for the body of knowledge about the issue - I do not recommend my solution to anyone.
     
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  17. jeffb

    jeffb Member

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    #77 jeffb, Dec 15, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2019
    Before:

    279646DA-35AC-4A28-BCFE-622107EE122D.jpeg


    After

    F5000661-DFAF-41C4-8DA0-370C6F6131BE.jpeg


    Total success. Used the light suggested in the original post. Had a 7” x 9” wide box laying around (screen is 9" wide), cut a hole in the back for the light to shine through and taped the light to the back with packing tape. Originally I had the light inside the box but things were getting pretty hot so I moved the light to the back of the box so the heat sink was exposed.

    Tried a few different positions and angles, all of it worked as far as I can tell. Propped it up on a few little boxes similar to the OP, a few hours on each section of the screen over the course of the weekend and it’s all good now. Thanks to the OP, saved me a probably annoying ongoing argument with my service center.

    28AB1426-3AC0-428C-A154-8B1C89FAD69E.jpeg

    EDAC9E78-B6EB-4D22-9D2D-8EE1802299AB.jpeg
     
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  18. ucmndd

    ucmndd Well-Known Member

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    Great! Glad others are having success.
     
  19. bnsfengineer

    bnsfengineer Member

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    Completed about 50% today and still going... had similar results thank's to the OP ucmndd!
     
  20. trayloader

    trayloader Member

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    The shoebox attempt with a minimum 50W Bulb should work, but I would definitely either add bespoke glass mirror pieces or at least the glossy side of alum wrap on the inside to gain max efficiency from the lamps.
     
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