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My car is bricked by a failed update

RichardL

Member
Oct 6, 2013
630
494
San Diego, California
I was offered an update yesterday, so I accepted the default 2am install time, with the car on my drive.
This morning the car is completely unresponsive - won't respond via the app and won't even unlock with either keyfob.
I am on with Tesla assistance and they claim it is becuase, being out on the drive, it was not connected to wifi and hence the update failed - it apparently shows as still in progress (after 7 hours).
I have owned a Tesla for 6 years now and done loads of updates, often while away from home - I have never heard of a lack of connectivity completely bricking the car.
Still on hold, hoping for a resolution :(
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
8,401
7,238
Visalia, CA
...connectivity completely bricking the car...

It's possible that your car still connects to your wi-fi but with a very weak signal and the transmission speed is very low and when it got the transmission, there might be errors which the car had to request to send back those unreliable weak signal transmission again and again.

So, your car is not done with updating yet. It's still doing in it after 7 hours.

And of course, if it's still in the middle of an update for over 7 hours and you can't do anything with your car until it's done!
 

RichardL

Member
Oct 6, 2013
630
494
San Diego, California
But my understanding is that the software is fully downloaded prior to even offering the install - this implies it cannot do the install without further downloads - which is contrary to what I have seen before. Also, that would likely lead to hundreds of bricked Tesla's whenever a new update became available, since it is entirely common to get the download, then install later (I have done that several times). Yet, I have never heard of this as a problem?

Anyhow they sent a flatbed, but he could not take it since it will need wheel dollies as it is locked and parked - so I am still waiting
 

RichardL

Member
Oct 6, 2013
630
494
San Diego, California
Update, I do believe the car should be on wifi anyway, I just checked with my phone and it shows a strong wifi signal right next to the drivers door. I also just put a wifi repeater in the open garage, to further strengthen the signal.

So, since I am still waiting, perhaps that will help - although i don't think its the signal at the root of this, personally
 

lakemirror

Member
Mar 17, 2019
111
123
Polk County, Florida
Read this thread, posted by me after a very similar set of circumstances.

It ended up being a "corrupt gateway file" and the car was towed to the SC where they were able to complete the update. They said it was because the wifi signal in my garage was very weak (that has been corrected now). Also replaced the 12v battery.

Try applying 12v to the 12v battery to see if any of your systems come to life.
 
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RichardL

Member
Oct 6, 2013
630
494
San Diego, California
This was fixed at the service center who pushed the update to completion

Sadly, last night I was offered another new update - I made sure the wi-fi signal was good. This morning the car is completely bricked again - support say the install has not completed. So waiting for another tow, again :(

I am getting sick of this car...
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
4,802
2,956
Northern California
This was fixed at the service center who pushed the update to completion

Sadly, last night I was offered another new update - I made sure the wi-fi signal was good. This morning the car is completely bricked again - support say the install has not completed. So waiting for another tow, again :(

I am getting sick of this car...

What is "good" Wifi signal strength? I found unless I have all bars the strength is not good (slow web browsing,connection drops, etc). And in that case, I just turn off Wifi and let it use the cellular (AT&T) network which is still slow but completes bring down web pages.

Also, wireless repeaters have their own issues. To start with they slow your network to half speed. There is whole bunch of factors that go into extending a wireless network.
 
Last edited:

hcdavis3

HCD3
Mar 3, 2019
1,831
1,066
02571
This was fixed at the service center who pushed the update to completion

Sadly, last night I was offered another new update - I made sure the wi-fi signal was good. This morning the car is completely bricked again - support say the install has not completed. So waiting for another tow, again :(

I am getting sick of this car...
Good Lord man. The guy who wrote Murphy’s Law is clearly out to get you. I think the SC should replace your computer. I you you get this resolved soon. FWIW I had a Netgear extender that showed full bars in the car, but was unable to connect ever. I bought Google WiFi with 4 pucks, one in the garage, and haven’t had any problems at all. Super easy to set up. I got it on Amazon.
 
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RichardL

Member
Oct 6, 2013
630
494
San Diego, California
The car is due for its lease return in 8 weeks - there will be no more updates applied. Problem is, this is a temporary apartment, while we move in to our new place, so I have very little control over the wi-fi. In the previous 6 years of ownership I never had a glitch - I used an Apple Airport Extreme with a repeater in the garage - no problem ever. Also, it was certainly possible to apply updates without wi-fi, but it does seem like poor wi-fi is worse than just LTE.
 

hcdavis3

HCD3
Mar 3, 2019
1,831
1,066
02571
The car is due for its lease return in 8 weeks - there will be no more updates applied. Problem is, this is a temporary apartment, while we move in to our new place, so I have very little control over the wi-fi. In the previous 6 years of ownership I never had a glitch - I used an Apple Airport Extreme with a repeater in the garage - no problem ever. Also, it was certainly possible to apply updates without wi-fi, but it does seem like poor wi-fi is worse than just LTE.
I think you’re absolutely correct that poor WiFi is worse than LTE. Do you have good LTE at your new place?
 
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VikH

Supporting Member
Nov 23, 2015
965
780
Midwest, USA
This was fixed at the service center who pushed the update to completion

Sadly, last night I was offered another new update - I made sure the wi-fi signal was good. This morning the car is completely bricked again - support say the install has not completed. So waiting for another tow, again :(

I am getting sick of this car...

Others have posted this same Wifi strength excuse from Tesla, but seems like BS to me. Sorry to hear you are having trouble again!
 
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RecklessFury

Member
Jun 25, 2019
150
43
USA
This makes zero sense to me. Something else has to be wrong. A corrupted update shouldn't even attempt to load because it won't have the correct checksum/hash.

Given this MCU should be automotive grade, it should have two firmware banks by design. One for rollback to prevent bricking. I don't know if Tesla does this but at the minimum everyone checks a firmware hash with some tool before loading it.
 
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jeffro01

Active Member
Jan 30, 2013
2,676
1,926
Teller County CO
Wifi strength couldn't possibly have anything to do with any of this.... The packets either get there or they don't... If they don't the file never completes it's download and I'd have a hard time believing Tesla is updating on the fly without fully downloading the update file first...

Jeff
 
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jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
4,802
2,956
Northern California
If you read through the comments on other people that have experienced this problem. It appears that the issue is incomplete
Good Lord man. The guy who wrote Murphy’s Law is clearly out to get you. I think the SC should replace your computer. I you you get this resolved soon. FWIW I had a Netgear extender that showed full bars in the car, but was unable to connect ever. I bought Google WiFi with 4 pucks, one in the garage, and haven’t had any problems at all. Super easy to set up. I got it on Amazon.


You Google Wifi is a mesh network. The pucks are smart devices that are configure themselves into ways that provide the best throughput for locations you place them in. Mesh networks can be pretty darn smart about this and some of them can even do thing like adjust the strengths and beam topology between the nodes, and automatically reconfigure if you pull the plug on a node. Glad to hear it is working well for you.

In comparison a simple repeater just listens for a data packet and rebroadcasts it. And since are often rebroadcasting on the same channel, repeater nodes have to slow down the transmission rate to ensure they are not talking on top of each other like two CB radios talking at the same time. And if the car can see the same packets from multiple sources this can result in a net of little data getting passed.
 
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forkee

Member
Jul 20, 2018
771
959
Southern California
Good Lord man. The guy who wrote Murphy’s Law is clearly out to get you. I think the SC should replace your computer. I you you get this resolved soon. FWIW I had a Netgear extender that showed full bars in the car, but was unable to connect ever. I bought Google WiFi with 4 pucks, one in the garage, and haven’t had any problems at all. Super easy to set up. I got it on Amazon.

If you read through the comments on other people that have experienced this problem. It appears that the issue is incomplete



You Google Wifi is a mesh network. The pucks are smart devices that are configure themselves into ways that provide the best throughput for locations you place them in. Mesh networks can be pretty darn smart about this and some of them can even do thing like adjust the strengths and beam topology between the nodes, and automatically reconfigure if you pull the plug on a node. Glad to hear it is working well for you.

In comparison a simple repeater just listens for a data packet and rebroadcasts it. And since are often rebroadcasting on the same channel, repeater nodes have to slow down the transmission rate to ensure they are not talking on top of each other like two CB radios talking at the same time. And if the car can see the same packets from multiple sources this can result in a net of little data getting passed.

was going to write this...

go with mesh network vs extenders

i also have the google onhub and extend with those white google wifi pucks, never had an issue as before with tp link wifi extenders
 
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