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Opinions Wanted: Upgrade to MCU2

I have a 2013 85 with MCU1, premium connectivity, emmc recall completed, and 4G upgrade complete. The traction battery has about 65k on it and I'm expecting to need a drive unit replacement within a year or two. (Tesla has already recommended replacing the drive unit.) The car has unlimited transferable supercharging.

Navigation is currently inop because of the memory card issue. I'm running the latest 2021 firmware. There is also an occasional crackling sound from behind the dashboard. I think it might be mechanical interference on a cooling fan.

I'm debating whether to pay to fix the memory card issue and keep MCU1 or upgrade to MCU2 + FM. Resale value is important to me as I hope to sell in a year or two, hopefully before needing a traction battery. ABRP lists capacity as 72.4 kWh with 6.6% degradation.

From reading these forums I gather that the MCU2 is faster and will gain some video entertainment options, but at the cost of losing HD radio. I also understand that on a 2013 that the standby power consumption will increase with MCU2. Am I missing any other important considerations? The MCU2 upgrade will also replace the driver display, right? Any chance this will fix the crackling sound too?

Help a newb decide.
 
I have a mid-2016 AP1 vintage MS90D. I also had held off but finally decided to invest in MCU2 upgrade in middle of December. I do think subjectively having the upgrade performed will help with resale, but have no tangible evidence to say it will increase value by $2,000 which would be the cost of MCU plus radio.

What I can comment about is the level of vampire energy consumption. I actually have not experienced any noticeable shift. I'm actually on work assignment where I'm away from my car for extended periods. My car has been parked in my garage, plugged in, charged to 80% but with the charging limit set to 50%. It has lost 53 miles rated range in the 26 days since I last charged, so just over 2 rated miles per day.

I run my own data logging program so I ping the car about 4 times a day for a few minutes so my logger can monitor SOC and automatically trigger it to recharge when needed. I do have cabin overheat protection turned off and do not use any programmed precondition or charging settings (my logger handles the charging automation for me).

This average 2 miles per day energy consumption is no different to what I experienced before the upgrade when I had energy saving on and always connected selected, and cabin overheat protection turned off.
 

SilverGS

Active Member
Nov 3, 2016
2,015
1,209
Ontario
@leapingwhale I'm thoroughly confused by this - "I have a 2013 85 with MCU1, premium connectivity, emmc recall completed, and 4G upgrade complete.

Navigation is currently inop because of the memory card issue. I'm running the latest 2021 firmware."

You memory card was upgraded, yet Nav is inoperable? So what did the eMMC replacement resolve?
 
@leapingwhale I'm thoroughly confused by this - "I have a 2013 85 with MCU1, premium connectivity, emmc recall completed, and 4G upgrade complete.

Navigation is currently inop because of the memory card issue. I'm running the latest 2021 firmware."

You memory card was upgraded, yet Nav is inoperable? So what did the eMMC replacement resolve?
@SilverGS I'm not sure what issue eMMC resolved, but it since it was recalled I fixed it. My understanding is the navigation data is stored on a removable flash card which is constantly being rewritten. I am under the impression that this flash card has reached the end of its useful life and that is the reason the navigation system is no longer working. I have seen that some people replace this themselves but that it requires removing a good deal of trim and that the replacement process is awkward and fraught.

@PCMc, thank you for that information, and yes, I wouldn't expect to profit from the upgrade, but if it resolves the navigation issue, the crackling sound, and makes the car livable I would consider it a win.
 

Aggmeister2010

Active Member
Dec 26, 2018
1,221
1,098
TX
I have a mid-2016 AP1 vintage MS90D. I also had held off but finally decided to invest in MCU2 upgrade in middle of December. I do think subjectively having the upgrade performed will help with resale, but have no tangible evidence to say it will increase value by $2,000 which would be the cost of MCU plus radio.

It definitely won't add $2k to the resale, but I do think it'd help you sell the car faster when the time comes. It's one less thing for folks to worry about.

I just had my MCU1 replaced with a new one due to screen bubbling, or I would have followed suit. My take is - once my warranty expires, if I ever loose core functionality (like Nav, Audio, etc) or get a screen malfunction I will upgrade. Until then, MCU1 is still WAY faster than the screen in my wife's 2020 Volvo.

@SilverGS I'm not sure what issue eMMC resolved, but it since it was recalled I fixed it. My understanding is the navigation data is stored on a removable flash card which is constantly being rewritten. I am under the impression that this flash card has reached the end of its useful life and that is the reason the navigation system is no longer working. I have seen that some people replace this themselves but that it requires removing a good deal of trim and that the replacement process is awkward and fraught.

@PCMc, thank you for that information, and yes, I wouldn't expect to profit from the upgrade, but if it resolves the navigation issue, the crackling sound, and makes the car livable I would consider it a win.

You're correct, the eMMC replacement is performed because that type of memory has a fixed number of read/writes that can be performed. All of the added functionality over the years dramatically increased the number of memory writes, and cut its life short. It won't help with other issues, but if your unit suddenly got very very slow or crashed a lot, it was likely eMMC related.

I'll go out on a limb and say that your navigation and crackling will be solved by the MCU upgrade. Curious though, does navigation just not load, or does your position not update?
 
[...]

I'll go out on a limb and say that your navigation and crackling will be solved by the MCU upgrade. Curious though, does navigation just not load, or does your position not update?
Position updates. Maps display (for now). It will not download new maps and refuses to navigate until new maps are downloaded. There is an alert to this effect.
 

Aggmeister2010

Active Member
Dec 26, 2018
1,221
1,098
TX
You may already know this, but maps has its own MicroSD card (nothing to do with eMMC) - maybe yours is faulty. They replaced mine as part of a GPS issue a year ago, but mine ended up being a faulty GPS antenna......I digress.

Anyway, it sounds like you're looking at some decent $ spend to fix your current MCU. In my opinion, if you're spending more than like $700, it makes sense to upgrade to the new version.
 
You may already know this, but maps has its own MicroSD card (nothing to do with eMMC) - maybe yours is faulty. They replaced mine as part of a GPS issue a year ago, but mine ended up being a faulty GPS antenna......I digress.

Anyway, it sounds like you're looking at some decent $ spend to fix your current MCU. In my opinion, if you're spending more than like $700, it makes sense to upgrade to the new version.
@Aggmeister2010 , yes, I'm pretty certain that card is bad. GPS seems to be working fine because anything that is location-dependent like Homelink is working correctly. Besides the money, it doesn't sound like there are too many downsides to MCU2 so I'll probably go that route.
 
Same car same mileage and same problems. The SD card for nav repair is $300. I decided to tackle it myself. The SD card from Tesla preloaded is $20. (They gave me a 16gb Gigastone) Any old SD card would work. Download time of 4.5 hours plus on real good WiFi to download I was told. I went to get the $20 SD card. When I went I asked about screen cost to replace the main screen that has leaked and looked like a lava lamp for 4 years since I had it half way apart. Really was pretty straight forward to take a bunch of screws out and pry some panels. The replacement screen part was going to be $600. I still had 3 G. Told me about the MCU2 upgrade being $1500 plus tax installed. Which also includes the LTE. New Intel brain and two screens. I decided go for the upgrade since I needed LTE anyway which made it now more like $1300. Less the screen cost of $600 (only the part). I would have to change it to sell the car without a huge hit So for $700 they replace both put it all back together and all upgraded. Just lose the radio. Which I don’t think I ever turned on in 8 years.
My instrument cluster screen would make awful noise at times and it is basically a PC fan that newer models it was removed in design. The bearings must be shot. Sometimes it’s okay sometimes annoyingly loud. So this will fix that issue as well.
Now something to consider if your main screen has leaked gel. So may the instrument cluster. As I removed the panel under the steering wheel I found gel had leaked there. Although I didn’t notice anything with the screen. When I took the bezel trim off it was obvious that screen was leaking also and wouldn’t be long before it looked like the main one. Previously I was quoted $2500 to replace just that instrument one. So bottom line. This is a no brainer to do the upgrade. The radio upgrade is $500 more at the same time which I won’t bother with and even if you decide later it is still $500. So you don’t have to decide now although it would be simpler.
We are pretty much the same boat except you already invested in the LTE.
Look under your steering column for any signs of gel. That should help make your decision to just repair or upgrade. If you remove that lower panel you will see where it would run down just left and right of the vinyl boot above the steering wheel. I initially found it dead center under the wheel on the backside of that panel you can easily pull off without tools.
Now the bad news. I was told about 10-12 days for parts at the beginning of February. Three weeks now and no word of when it will ship. Hasn’t yet. So no quick fix. I’m still waiting.
Best of luck to you.
 
[...]
Best of luck to you.
Thank you for the detailed info. It would have been nice if the card had failed before the LTE upgrade but sadly it did not. I have an upgrade appointment for mid-March so I'm guessing everything will be done by the end of April. 😅 What an experience this car has been. At least it drives nicer than my ex-taxi Prius.
 
Sorry I knew it was long winded but thought it may help somebody that stumbles across it.
Funny how it seems lots of reports of the same nav database failing all within the last month or so. Starting to think may not be the SD card and something to do with the last update.
I was told the SD card is their first step but not being able to select an address or supercharger for directions may be related to GPS or some other cause on the MCU. Another reason I’ll do the upgrade and haven’t bothered to mess further with the SD card. I’d hate for there to be more wrong found later.
 

Russell

Active Member
Supporting Member
Sep 25, 2012
1,074
836
Silicon Valley
I have a mid-2016 AP1 vintage MS90D. I also had held off but finally decided to invest in MCU2 upgrade in middle of December. I do think subjectively having the upgrade performed will help with resale, but have no tangible evidence to say it will increase value by $2,000 which would be the cost of MCU plus radio.

What I can comment about is the level of vampire energy consumption. I actually have not experienced any noticeable shift. I'm actually on work assignment where I'm away from my car for extended periods. My car has been parked in my garage, plugged in, charged to 80% but with the charging limit set to 50%. It has lost 53 miles rated range in the 26 days since I last charged, so just over 2 rated miles per day.

I run my own data logging program so I ping the car about 4 times a day for a few minutes so my logger can monitor SOC and automatically trigger it to recharge when needed. I do have cabin overheat protection turned off and do not use any programmed precondition or charging settings (my logger handles the charging automation for me).

This average 2 miles per day energy consumption is no different to what I experienced before the upgrade when I had energy saving on and always connected selected, and cabin overheat protection turned off.

Have you tried pinging your car once a day or once a week? I'm wondering if you would get less vampire drain.
 
Have you tried pinging your car once a day or once a week? I'm wondering if you would get less vampire drain.
I have gone through variations of my sequence but not less than what at the moment is every 6 hours. Part of this for me is being a numbers junkie I like getting a little data on an on-going basis so I can literally track the reported RM/SOC of the car versus time. Even if my method is maybe generating a little extra parasitic loss, the economic cost to me at the moment tends to run around $0.08 a day, so less than one cup of coffee a month. Trying to reduce it further at the loss of some data I like to have for trending isn't my priority at the moment.

I could try it for a few days, but unless I do it for a long period of time, it will be hard to see. I actually see some variation say over a 30 day period in the RM loss per day. There appears to be a range for me between 60-70% SOC where my BMS calibration seems to have a bit of a non-linearity. When it hits this range, I'll see upwards of maybe 3x increase in indicated parasitic energy loss for 1-2 days, then reduce to a very low rate. It's watching some of those things and trying to figure out what they mean that is why I don't want to reduce my data fidelity any further.
 
Parts came in last week and I got the MCU2 upgrade done. I don’t really like that the font on the speedo and the letters and numbers on the trip for the instrument screen are a different font than MCU1. They are a little shorter yet fatter. Think zeroes 0 now being more like letter O and perhaps a little shorter. Probably what the new cars have but after 8+ years it will take some getting used to but for now I don’t care for it.
I upgraded mainly because both screens gel was leaking out and was tired of cleaning the mess and having it look horrible. Plus the navigation wouldn’t work correctly as well as supposedly needing the LTE upgrade yet traffic maps and streaming were working fine with 3G after the feb 22 supposed cutoff date.

I did try putting a new Micro SD card in for the navigation maps needs update error. Nothing happened. A few phone calls and messages finally got someone to prompt the car to download nav data. A few hours watching the progress bar until completion. About 4 hours. Showed it was downloading 2020-48 or something like that. Once completed though it didn’t do anything. Didn’t show up as having any database number installed. Navigation still didn’t work. Tried scroll reset. Still didn’t work. Gave up on it.
Just glad I got the word the upgrade parts had come in.
 
Good to know. I'm glad I didn't attempt the SD card install. I thought about it but I was worried it would be frustrating and might now work. Another thread said they copied the contents of someone else's SD card before they installed it, but it wasn't clear if that was necessary.

Bummer on the typography. I do like the look of the dashboard screen on MCU1 with V10, but it does have some UX annoyances like alarm messages covering other content. Maybe there is a way to clear them from the display but I haven't found it. Of course I have no idea if MCU2 is any better or worse in that regard.
 

SilverGS

Active Member
Nov 3, 2016
2,015
1,209
Ontario
Good to know. I'm glad I didn't attempt the SD card install. I thought about it but I was worried it would be frustrating and might now work. Another thread said they copied the contents of someone else's SD card before they installed it, but it wasn't clear if that was necessary.

Bummer on the typography. I do like the look of the dashboard screen on MCU1 with V10, but it does have some UX annoyances like alarm messages covering other content. Maybe there is a way to clear them from the display but I haven't found it. Of course I have no idea if MCU2 is any better or worse in that regard.
What is the story with the SD card and Nav? This is completely foreign to me regarding the connection to the MCU2 upgrade.

Please explain.
 

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