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Instrument cluster black when getting in car; then finally boots up (I do have some of the "leaking/bubbling" behind screen)

frankp85d

Member
Jun 20, 2021
34
10
Florida
Little bit worried I'll be stranded at some point.

I have a (new to me) 2015 P85D with only 38K miles. The instrument cluster has the bubbles behind it and I can see those bubbles are leaking a bit at the bottom (where they're leaking to, I don't know, somewhere behind the cluster I guess).

Some people have said this is cosmetic only and it's not to worry about - others have said the instrument cluster will eventually go blank and the car will be undriveable until repaired. Which is true?

Additionally, I've now had on two separate occasions, the car has been parked and I've got into the store for 20 minutes. I get to the car, get in, and the main screen in the center is on, but the instrument cluster is blank. After about 20 seconds it boots up with the Tesla logo, then finally comes on. Is this being caused by the bubbling of the screen? Or is this some type of setting somewhere that's putting the instrument cluster to sleep? Or is it something entirely different? Is it just because I have energy saving mode turned on? Though I've only seen this happen twice out of at least 50 drives so far.

I'm on MCU1 and still need to do the recall; they said parts aren't available just yet. Not sure if this could be related in some way.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

Huachipato

Member
Jul 16, 2019
269
197
Murphy, TX
Prior to the MCU2 upgrade - I had the behavior often from mine as well. I want to say it's par for the course... For me it was rather random but it did seem to show up more often from short trips to a store versus sitting for a few hours.

If you are thinking about the MCU2 upgrade - I've seen the car wake up in the amount of time it takes me to open the door and sit down in the car. It is night and day difference.
 

frankp85d

Member
Jun 20, 2021
34
10
Florida
Thank you. So do you think that it's failing? Or is this fairly standard?

I am heavily considering MCU2. Service quoted me $1500 when I go in to do the warranty. Wasn't sure if it was worth spending the extra on it. Glad to hear it's night and day difference; plus you get the LTE, Netflix, etc. Still debating it. Hmm.
 

Huachipato

Member
Jul 16, 2019
269
197
Murphy, TX
In the MCU1, the Instrument Cluster (IC) and large center screen are 2 different processors. The MCU1 failing is more to do with the big center screen failing. The IC taking it's sweet time to boot up is just that - it's slow and taking it's time. Once the IC was on I rarely had any issues with it - and I dare say it probably rarely fails. The Main MCU though - that starts showing signs of wear when it starts just randomly rebooting in the middle of a drive. Most indicate the main screen might start taking it's sweet time to boot up and then someday not boot up at all.

For the MCU2, both the IC and Main Screen are replaced and both run under the main processors in the MCU unit. So where with the MCU1 it was possible to lose the MCU screen and retain the IC; that no longer is possible with the MCU2. However the MCU2 is also much more reliable.

My experience with the MCU1 was fine. I had a few random resets while driving but it at least always came back. My main motivation to upgrade was I had some huge bubbles in the IC and small ones in the center screen. It just really bothered me. I believe upgrading to the MCU2 was cheaper compared to just replacing the screens. Personally I do feel it was well worth the upgrade. I just pray these new screens don't yellow or leak.... lol....

There is a lot of information on these forums. I believe this is the thread where most comments landed:

I hope this helps.
 
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frankp85d

Member
Jun 20, 2021
34
10
Florida
Spoke with service today. Instead of doing the mcu1 warranty, I'm going to just do the mcu2 upgrade which will also swap out the IC. Only makes sense. He said the IC replacement is already $1400, vs if I just do the MCU2 upgrade (and they have to replace it anyway), it's $1500.
 

PCMc

Member
Jul 1, 2016
246
208
Columbus, IN
Spoke with service today. Instead of doing the mcu1 warranty, I'm going to just do the mcu2 upgrade which will also swap out the IC. Only makes sense. He said the IC replacement is already $1400, vs if I just do the MCU2 upgrade (and they have to replace it anyway), it's $1500.
If it makes you feel better, I fully agree your decision to do the MCU2 upgrade in this situation makes perfect. I have a 2016 MS90D with MCU1, am on the fence at the moment about upgrading UNLESS either of the screens were to develop bubbles and start to leak gel. As you found, having to replace either screen is a good portion of the total cost of the MCU2 upgrade. I do not consider the leaking gel to be just cosmetic as probably as much or more leaking behind the screen onto who knows what other electronics which I'd be concerned about.

If your are not aware, you will lose AM/FM/XM radio with the upgrade to MCU2. This is due to incompatibility of the radio unit with MCU2. You can upgrade to a new digital FM/XM tuner for an additional $500. Unfortunately you will not get AM if that's important to you. Radio upgrade is the only other aspect of this which I've not heard you reference and just wanted to make you aware of that in case this is important to you.
 

frankp85d

Member
Jun 20, 2021
34
10
Florida
If it makes you feel better, I fully agree your decision to do the MCU2 upgrade in this situation makes perfect. I have a 2016 MS90D with MCU1, am on the fence at the moment about upgrading UNLESS either of the screens were to develop bubbles and start to leak gel. As you found, having to replace either screen is a good portion of the total cost of the MCU2 upgrade. I do not consider the leaking gel to be just cosmetic as probably as much or more leaking behind the screen onto who knows what other electronics which I'd be concerned about.

If your are not aware, you will lose AM/FM/XM radio with the upgrade to MCU2. This is due to incompatibility of the radio unit with MCU2. You can upgrade to a new digital FM/XM tuner for an additional $500. Unfortunately you will not get AM if that's important to you. Radio upgrade is the only other aspect of this which I've not heard you reference and just wanted to make you aware of that in case this is important to you.

Yeah I don't think I'd proceed with it if it weren't for my leaky IC.

And I appreciate you letting me know, service did inform me of this. It wasn't a concern to me as I never even use the AM/FM/XM and just stream. They did mention it could be added on for $500 extra, if anyone is curious about the pricing for that.
 

uscgreel

Member
Apr 7, 2019
39
15
Tampa, FL
Little bit worried I'll be stranded at some point.

I have a (new to me) 2015 P85D with only 38K miles. The instrument cluster has the bubbles behind it and I can see those bubbles are leaking a bit at the bottom (where they're leaking to, I don't know, somewhere behind the cluster I guess).

Some people have said this is cosmetic only and it's not to worry about - others have said the instrument cluster will eventually go blank and the car will be undriveable until repaired. Which is true?

Additionally, I've now had on two separate occasions, the car has been parked and I've got into the store for 20 minutes. I get to the car, get in, and the main screen in the center is on, but the instrument cluster is blank. After about 20 seconds it boots up with the Tesla logo, then finally comes on. Is this being caused by the bubbling of the screen? Or is this some type of setting somewhere that's putting the instrument cluster to sleep? Or is it something entirely different? Is it just because I have energy saving mode turned on? Though I've only seen this happen twice out of at least 50 drives so far.

I'm on MCU1 and still need to do the recall; they said parts aren't available just yet. Not sure if this could be related in some way.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
Frank,
The instrument cluster bubbles are just cosmetic, there is glue that was used between the display and an extra piece of glass that leaks. This will not cause anything to go blank nor make the car undrivable. The only problem you will have is the goo/glue will leak everywhere and make a mess, running down the kick plate into your carpet or floormats. See some pictures here: Leaking Screen
 

xAgyex

Member
Jan 22, 2018
190
151
Baltimore
Yeah I don't think I'd proceed with it if it weren't for my leaky IC.

And I appreciate you letting me know, service did inform me of this. It wasn't a concern to me as I never even use the AM/FM/XM and just stream. They did mention it could be added on for $500 extra, if anyone is curious about the pricing for that.

Frank I was in the same boat as you (2014 MS85 with AP1, MCU1), and decided to just replace the Instrument Cluster(IC) screen. It is super easy to do. Yes the bubbling is 100% cosmetic. I decided against spending the $1500(MCU2 and IC) +$500(FMmodule), and just replaced my IC with one from ReelDeal. Trust me it is super worth it.

Here is my write-up on it: 2014 Tesla Model S 85 - Build Thread. Just take off some panels then remove some screws and its really that easy. If you are ever in the MD area let me know and I can replace it for you, free of charge. But you don't need to rush too much to replace this. Worst part is cleaning up the glue that leaks out the bottom. And a little alcohol and a grab will clean it up in no time.
 

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