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License plate wrap interfering with front radar sensor

JohnDC

Member
Mar 25, 2021
13
4
Marina, CA
I obtained a California DMV authorized front vinyl license plate wrap to be used in place of the metal license plate for my Tesla model Y. After placing the license plate wrap on the front bumper, I noticed the screen message stating, “Cruise Control Unavailable, Reduced Front Radar Visibility” when I try to use cruise control. I had placed the vinyl plate wrap in the center of the bumper. There are no markings on the bumper at that location to indicate any sensors. I later checked with a Tesla technician and he pointed to a 4” by 4” area of the bumper where the radar sensor is hidden behind. The vinyl plate overlaps part of this area. Anyone else have this issue?
 

73Bruin

Member
Nov 7, 2020
224
114
Torrance, CA
I obtained a California DMV authorized front vinyl license plate wrap to be used in place of the metal license plate for my Tesla model Y. After placing the license plate wrap on the front bumper, I noticed the screen message stating, “Cruise Control Unavailable, Reduced Front Radar Visibility” when I try to use cruise control. I had placed the vinyl plate wrap in the center of the bumper. There are no markings on the bumper at that location to indicate any sensors. I later checked with a Tesla technician and he pointed to a 4” by 4” area of the bumper where the radar sensor is hidden behind. The vinyl plate overlaps part of this area. Anyone else have this issue?

I know this isn't a lot of help now, but I don't know if the sensor can be made to work without relocating the license plate wrap. There is a youtube video showing how to remove the wrap, but I haven't seen anything about reapplying it. I am the wrong person to provide technical expertise on this or reinstallation. I would check with a detailer as it shouldn't be that much different from fixing a PPF or wrap issue. I believe the vendor will give you a small credit on a reorder if this is necessary and this may be cheaper than having a detailer fix it.

My detailer installed the license plate wrap after he applied the PPF and knew about the sensor issue. I haven't noticed any problems with cruise control or the parking distance sensors, so I assume he put it in the correct location. As you can see from the picture, it is right above small flat strip over the grill.

Obscured License Plate.jpg
 
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GtiMart

Active Member
Nov 13, 2019
1,247
1,088
Quebec City, Canada
If this can reassure you, Tesla is moving to a camera-only (vision) system and dropping the radar in its next autopilot/FSD implementation that's currently in beta. I suspect radar will also be dropped for the cruise control then... It's probably a matter of weeks or months.
 
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JohnDC

Member
Mar 25, 2021
13
4
Marina, CA
I know this isn't a lot of help now, but I don't know if the sensor can be made to work without relocating the license plate wrap. There is a youtube video showing how to remove the wrap, but I haven't seen anything about reapplying it. I am the wrong person to provide technical expertise on this or reinstallation. I would check with a detailer as it shouldn't be that much different from fixing a PPF or wrap issue. I believe the vendor will give you a small credit on a reorder if this is necessary and this may be cheaper than having a detailer fix it.

My detailer installed the license plate wrap after he applied the PPF and knew about the sensor issue. I haven't noticed any problems with cruise control or the parking distance sensors, so I assume he put it in the correct location. As you can see from the picture, it is right above small flat strip over the grill.

View attachment 664103
Thank you for the reply. We had placed the license plate wrap higher than where yours is in the photo. The Tesla tech said that the radar sensor was in the top left section of where we placed the license plate, partially covering it. Too bad that Tesla doesn’t make this known to owners, whether placing a license plate wrap or a regular plate. Thanks, Tesla. Looks like the plate needs to be as far down as possible. A lot of Tesla owners don’t have this issue because they don’t install a front plate anyway, a violation of California law, as well as other states that require two license plates.
 
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JohnDC

Member
Mar 25, 2021
13
4
Marina, CA
Did you follow the directions to test the sensors worked before applying it? I taped mine with painters tape and drove around a bit. parked too to make sure before applying it permanently.

no issues since installing it.
Yes, we did do that as instructed, but did not do an extensive enough testing that we should have. Our fault for that. Tesla doesn’t make the sensor location obvious for the owners. Why should we have to go through all this testing procedure in order to install a front license plate that is required by our state law?
 
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73Bruin

Member
Nov 7, 2020
224
114
Torrance, CA
Thank you for the reply. We had placed the license plate wrap higher than where yours is in the photo. The Tesla tech said that the radar sensor was in the top left section of where we placed the license plate, partially covering it. Too bad that Tesla doesn’t make this known to owners, whether placing a license plate wrap or a regular plate. Thanks, Tesla. Looks like the plate needs to be as far down as possible. A lot of Tesla owners don’t have this issue because they don’t install a front plate anyway, a violation of California law, as well as other states that require two license plates.

I found out about the law the hard way; I parked in a parking structure at LAX and they take a picture of the front of each car as you enter. Cars without a license automatically get a ticket.
 
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JohnDC

Member
Mar 25, 2021
13
4
Marina, CA
Did you follow the directions to test the sensors worked before applying it? I taped mine with painters tape and drove around a bit. parked too to make sure before applying it permanently.

no issues since installing it.
Yes, we did do that as instructed, but did not do an extensive enough testing that we should have. Our fault for that
If this can reassure you, Tesla is moving to a camera-only (vision) system and dropping the radar in its next autopilot/FSD implementation that's currently in beta. I suspect radar will also be dropped for the cruise control then... It's probably a matter of weeks or months.

Tesla doesn’t make the sensor location obvious for the owners. Why should we have to go through all this testing procedure in order to install a front license plate that is required by our state law?
I found out about the law the hard way; I parked in a parking structure at LAX and they take a picture of the front of each car as you enter. Cars without a license automatically get a ticket.
 
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JohnDC

Member
Mar 25, 2021
13
4
Marina, CA
Yes, we did do that as instructed, but did not do an extensive enough testing that we should have. Our fault for that


Tesla doesn’t make the sensor location obvious for the owners. Why should we have to go through all this testing procedure in order to install a front license plate that is required by our state law?
Yes, we did do that as instructed, but did not do an extensive enough testing that we should have. Our fault for that


Tesla doesn’t make the sensor location obvious for the owners. Why should we have to go through all this testing procedure in order to install a front license plate that is required by our state law?
Yes, we did do that as instructed, but did not do an extensive enough testing that we should have. Our fault for that


Tesla doesn’t make the sensor location obvious for the owners. Why should we have to go through all this testing procedure in order to install a front license plate that is required by our state law?
Yes, we did do that as instructed, but did not do an extensive enough testing that we should have. Our fault for that


Tesla doesn’t make the sensor location obvious for the owners. Why should we have to go through all this testing procedure in order to install a front license plate that is required by our state law?
If this can reassure you, Tesla is moving to a camera-only (vision) system and dropping the radar in its next autopilot/FSD implementation that's currently in beta. I suspect radar will also be dropped for the cruise control then... It's probably a matter of weeks or months.
Do you know if they will be using the existing dash cam for this?
 
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GtiMart

Active Member
Nov 13, 2019
1,247
1,088
Quebec City, Canada
The new autopilot / FSD is vision-based, using the existing exterior cameras. They are using those cameras today already but they are mixing in signals from the radar in the AI processing. They should be removing that radar input and only taking decisions based on camera feeds. We'll end up with an installed radar that isn't being used anymore as far as I understand. It's not done yet but it should be coming. Your problem should become moot.

Teslas don't have a "dash cam". The dash cam and sentry capabilities are provided using the same camera feeds that autopilot/fsd already use.
 
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arnolddeleon

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jul 21, 2012
892
948
SF Bay Area
As you already discovered you mounted it too high. When I installed on one our Y I made sure I was as close as practical to the same mount location as the Tesla mount. No issues seen in our case.
 
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73Bruin

Member
Nov 7, 2020
224
114
Torrance, CA
Thank you for the reply. We had placed the license plate wrap higher than where yours is in the photo. The Tesla tech said that the radar sensor was in the top left section of where we placed the license plate, partially covering it. Too bad that Tesla doesn’t make this known to owners, whether placing a license plate wrap or a regular plate. Thanks, Tesla.
Can you please post on how you resolved this, especially if you were able to reuse the existing plate wrap. This could be useful, if I ever have to replace the front bumper and the wrap is still good.
 
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JohnDC

Member
Mar 25, 2021
13
4
Marina, CA
Can you please post on how you resolved this, especially if you were able to reuse the existing plate wrap. This could be useful, if I ever have to replace the front bumper and the wrap is still good.
The license plate wrap cannot be reused. I tried. It’s stretched out from being removed and won’t stick anymore. I have to order a new one. The company will give me a $10 discount. They have to notify DMV since the plate is a controlled item. I think I have to return the old one, per DMV requirements. I’m waiting to hear back.
 
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73Bruin

Member
Nov 7, 2020
224
114
Torrance, CA
The license plate wrap cannot be reused. I tried. It’s stretched out from being removed and won’t stick anymore. I have to order a new one. The company will give me a $10 discount. They have to notify DMV since the plate is a controlled item. I think I have to return the old one, per DMV requirements. I’m waiting to hear back.
That's too bad. Thank you.
 
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2101Guy

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
2,050
2,547
USA
I found out about the law the hard way; I parked in a parking structure at LAX and they take a picture of the front of each car as you enter. Cars without a license automatically get a ticket.
Making sure I understand: LA sends you a ticket in the mail if you enter the parking garage with no front plate? Even if my car is registered from a state that doesnt require a front plate?
 
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Gigaron

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jan 17, 2019
375
171
San Francisco
I did the painters tape thing and drove around the neighborhood with no problem so I peeled and stuck. First time using FSD - BAM! Just like Apollo 13.

Got to my destination and carefully peeled it off for more testing. It was on for no more than 20 minutes so came off cleanly. It is centered with the bottom of the plate touching the flat part of the front fascia just below the concave curve.
 
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PatrickTM

Always Be Charging
May 12, 2021
573
1,659
Boston
Making sure I understand: LA sends you a ticket in the mail if you enter the parking garage with no front plate? Even if my car is registered from a state that doesnt require a front plate?
As someone who drives a car registered in a state other than CA, without front plates, no, LAX short term (within the terminal) parking garage use did not cause them mail me a ticket.

Unless this new program was implemented within the last week.
 
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