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Has your screen ever gone dark while driving? Possibly related to iPhone bluetooth disruption?


Active Member
Dec 23, 2018
Encino, CA
Today I used my iPhone to open and start my 2018 P3D with no issues. While driving, my passenger connected her iPhone so that she could play music on the Tesla sound system. She has done this many times before with no problems.

As we arrived at our destination, the car's center screen went completely dark. Luckily I was already in the parking lot of our destination and I was able to control the car to park it. But it was unnerving to have the center screen go completely dark on me. This has never happened before.

My theory is that somehow the car's bluetooth connection to my iPhone got disrupted - the car was driving as if the key had been removed. After I parked, I first did a reset of the screen by placing my foot on the brake pedal and holding down both steering wheel buttons for 30 seconds until the Tesla emblem came on the screen. I then went on my phone, turned off the bluetooth and turned it back on. Luckily this seems to have fixed the problem.

Has anyone else experienced this? Should I take the car into the SC and have them check it out?

I welcome any suggestions or recommendations. Thank you!
It’s an OS crash. It’s rare, but happens. Eventually, it will become rarer, but will likely never be fully eliminated any more than Windows, macOS, or Linux crashes have been.
I've seen it once in 18 months in our SR+, and on a super-hot day where the interior was 60+C when we got back to the car. Soon after starting off we realised the screen was not responsive then it went dark. It's a bit disconcerting being able to drive with no dash, the main question being if you can't see/hear the indicators were they actually flashing where it mattered, outside.

Agree with @pnwadventures - this is based on Linux so I presumed it was a kernel panic so did a warm restart. Presumably with the cold AC hitting the back of the display that had helped bring the temperature down to a happy range by the time it rebooted and I've seen no return of that issue since.
  • Helpful
Reactions: joebruin77


Jun 12, 2019
I had it happen twice in one day.

The first time it re-booted quickly.

The second time it took quite awhile. Long enough to pull into a parking lot and see what was/wasn't working. All gear modes worked, although I wasn't able to verify neutral as it was a flat parking lot. The external turn signals worked, but I couldn't check brake lights as I was by myself. The AC also worked. The car drove fine.

This was the day after a firmware update.
I think the fact that "OP has only seen his first MCU reboot while driving after over 2 years" shows you how much Tesla software has improved over the years. When we first got our MX in 2017, the reboot happens like every 2 or 3 months. At first we freaked out, but then we realized that we could still drive normally while it is rebooting.

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