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Help with Model 3 FSD/camera issue?

My 2018 does this on dark roads also.
It’s really not a big deal. FSD still works.
I just ignore the pop up now that I know it’s due to the surrounding road being pitch black, and not a malfunction.
Since the front camera sees no problem, and nothing is around the car anyway, it’s not a big deal.
Hello all - I've been following this forum for a while but just joined and I'm hoping someone might have some ideas/suggestions for a frustrating issue I have with my Model 3:

2018 Model 3 AWD Performance Stealth, about 57,000 miles

In November 2021, at about 48,000 miles, while driving at night, I suddenly began receiving frequent error messages about the left front fender camera being blocked or blinded. The error would come and go intermittently, every few minutes. At first, this was somewhat intermittent, not all the time, and not every night, but never during the day. Of note, even when the error message showed a blocked front left fender camera, I could pull up the backup camera and view the image from the front left fender camera, and it looked fine.

I made a service visit and a mobile service tech came to my house (in rural Colorado, about 5 hours from closest service center), and replaced the left front fender camera under warranty. However - this did not change the issue.

Since then - the issue is now constant. Every night, once it gets completely dark (usually about 30 minutes after sunset time) the display will start sending error messages about "Full Self Driving may be degraded - one or more side cameras occluded", or "left front fender camera blocked or blinded". The display will flip back and forth from the FSD visualization to the standard autopilot visualization. It may go away for 30 seconds, then come back. This occurs constantly, every night, every road I drive on. FSD is now useless for me at night, and even when autopilot is not engaged, the error will come up every minute or so.

After several months of scheduling issues, I was able to get the vehicle into the service center in Colorado Springs last week. For me, this is a 5 hour drive each way, and required a 2 night hotel stay as they had the car overnight waiting on a part. The tech identified "damage" on the camera (the one the mobile service tech just installed a few months ago) and replaced the camera (again, same repair as last time). I advocated this wouldn't fix the problem - they disagreed and said it was fixed.

Stupidly I drove back home and sure enough - the next night, the exact same issue, nothing is fixed. I made another service center visit (5 hour drive back, another hotel stay) for next week - and now the service reps are messaging me and indicating that there are no hardware issues, that the logs show a blocked camera which is a common issue that they attribute to dirt, poor lane markings or a wall next to a lane. They are essentially saying that if their scans in the SC show no hardware issues, then nothing more can be done. They can't test drive it during the night since it's not fully dark until about 9pm when the SC is closed and is light out again before they open.

I'm not sure what to do at this point - there surely is something wrong, as it can't be normal for the car to indicate the camera is blocked 100% of the time during the night and never during the day, but the SC can't replicate the issue since it doesn't occur during the day.

Has anyone else had this issue and if so, any suggestions? Or any thoughts as to what it could be? The mobile tech suggested perhaps the coaxial cable to the camera was bad, but the SC declined to replace it as it passed all of their tests while the vehicle was there.

I would be grateful for any suggestions, I'm continuing to discuss with the SC on the app but I'm afraid I'll drive down there, stay in a hotel again, they will check the car out and say they can't find anything wrong and this issue continues. It's also now out of warranty - although I believe this issue should still be covered as it was reported and addressed before the warranty expired.

Hi, I just wanted to chime in on this cuz I have a similar issue.

When it gives you the error message does it tell you a specific camera it's being blocked or does it just say full self-driving degraded one or more cameras may be obstructed?

So let me give you a little story I have a 2022 model 3. Last month I got an update for full self driving and I'm like oh wow this is a lot more improved it's working really well better than any of the other ones.

I was on the freeway and a car ran over part of some Tire debris from an exploding tire that was just left there and it flew up and hit the right side of my bumper. It ended up pushing the clear plastic piece that has a yellow light in it below your headlights in and also pushing in my third sensor from the left side if you're looking out of your car from the driver side.

Since that point I didn't really notice that there was anything wrong there wasn't any damage on the bumper. But I started to notice that my car started to drive more poorly in full self driving. I would get some times where it would completely Miss exits or if I was at an intersection where you can go straight or make a right hand turn it was just going to drive right through the intersection and not even make the right hand turn which I've never had happened before.

Again since I had that last update it was driving great and was not doing that and then when this happened I noticed my car driving more poorly and there was no new update from that.

Occasionally at night I'll get full self-driving maybe degraded one or more cameras may be obstructed. I would only get that prior to this when it was raining where something was actually obstructing the cameras because of the water. And I'm now getting this every once in awhile and it's not raining.

Now some people said at night it may say that because it's darker and harder to see but in my scenario not once driving at night which I actually do a lot has it ever gave me that message before. Again only when it was raining.

I took my car in to be serviced at the service center and they said the estimated damages would be about $308 so I was expecting to pay at least that and hopefully not more.

They told me they were going to find the most cost-effective thing to do because it's possible that the fashion may be broken in the back and if so that means they were going to have to replace the whole thing which would cost like $500. But they said they were going to call me if there was anything unexpected.

That same day my car was already done which it was supposed to be done by 5:00 p.m. the next day and they said my estimated amount was $0 so I didn't have to pay anything which was nice. But after driving again at night it was telling me the same thing again and I was in a lit up area and the lines were marked.

Now I can understand an extent to what people are saying it's dark so it's a little harder for it to see but if there's something wrong with one of your cameras or it's not clean on your windshield or on your front or back cameras or even the side ones and it's dark that's just going to make it even harder to see so that would make sense that that error message would pop up.

They didn't notes that that sensor that is pushed in that a rock might have came up and flipped in a hit that spot because there is a chip in it. They never told me though in the message if that would affect full self-driving.

Now I will say though right now since I've had that issue I haven't really wash my car and I have a lot of bugs on the front of my car and on my windshield so that could possibly be maybe the issue? Because I do do a lot of deliveries and drive around a lot for work with my gig jobs.

So my first question is if anybody knows and I'm going to try to contact Tesla about this if you get that error message that says full self driving maybe degraded because one or more cameras are obstructed, is that just specifically for cameras or can that include sensors but they just put it as cameras?

Also with the ultrasonic sensors does anybody know if the Little Rock Chip on the top of the sensor would affect the driving.

But I just wanted to chime in to see if you figured out anything more and let you know that as far as my perspective on it something more is wrong here it's not because it's dark because again I drove in like 14,000 miles in my vehicle so far doing deliveries and stuff and a lot of them are at night and not once have I gotten that error message before except when it's raining until after that piece of Tire hit my car. Again during that time my windshield's pretty dirty with bugs and stuff so I'm going to do a good wash and see if that fixes anything.

But yeah I would definitely look more into this because what other people are saying I have never experienced except when it's raining until now.

I'm definitely going to have to reach out to support again but I'm going to actually clean my windshield of my car first because since I had this happen till now after they fixed it I haven't washed my car so it could be as simple as that.