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Palo Alto Service - Two weeks to discover no MCU's in stock


May 18, 2013
pescadero, ca
My MCU (the big center touchscreen) has bubbles and is leaking goop out of the bottom.
Thanks to these forums I discovered this a known problem and requires a touchscreen replacement.
I made an appointment on Jan 5th to bring my car in on Jan 18th.
I described the problem and the service advisor on the phone agreed a new MCU was needed.
She said they'll order the part now and it will available for installation at the Palo Alto service center when I come it.

I should have known better.

24 hours before my appointment my Palo Alto service rep called and said "I just read the service note. We have no MCU's in stock and we called around and don't know when we can get any. It could be a couple of days or a couple of weeks. We have other cars in the lot waiting for MCU's."

I guess I should be grateful that called me before I brought the car in.

However, after ~5 years of owning a Tesla I still can't figure out:
  • Is this a systems problem - i.e. the central service group responsible for scheduling isn't delivering details of parts needed for appointments to the local service center?
  • Is Palo Alto still so swamped that their service advisors simply don't read the notes about the appointments until the night before?
  • Why isn't this getting better?


Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
SF Bay Area
Sorry to hear about your P85 MCU screen bubbles issue. As far as the MCUs go, there is also a group of newer owners from I think 2016-early 2017 (we were among this group, 3/17) that started experiencing a yellow border around all the edges and getting those screens replaced. Obviously a bad batch from some supplier. Not as bad of an issue as yours, especially if yours is leaking now, but I'm sure it hasn't helped with keeping inventory of the MCUs in stock to ship to the various SvCs.

We noticed our problem a while ago and also wanted to get our car uncorked and a few other issues looked at so set up an appointment on the phone. Was told that they could see the SvC had MCUs in stock so no problem setting the appointment only to find out when the car was taken in that the units were all spoken for. Something that the person who set up the appointment for end of November didn't realize but hopefully has since been informed on but sounds like this hasn't been communicated to all schedulers based on your experience. Anyway SvC ordered a unit for us at that point and it did take a little while to come in. The units get tagged with your VIN so it was explained to us that the SvCs can't just swap units between cars that may have later appointments, makes sense they know the part numbers that go into each car on these things I guess. Our MCU got installed on the 5th. After our MCU first appointment I did post to that discoloration thread that people should confirm directly with their SvC that they have the unit at that location before going to an appointment that was scheduled ahead of time.

I remember reading on a thread about the bubbles about someone who was experiencing the leaking saying what they did to catch the goo. Have you found that thread? Good luck and hope your wait isn't much longer. I do think a leaking screen should have higher priority than one that is just experiencing the yellow border. Who knows maybe those yellow screens left alone would also suffer the same fate eventually.
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  • Informative
Reactions: thecloud


As rhythm raced inside, the ship came alive
Nov 24, 2014
Sunnyvale, CA
This guy just put a towel down to catch the leaking goo.

Reading the threads found by searching for "MCU replacement" gives me some pause for thought, as this is reportedly a $3K item when your car is out of warranty. Since I plan to keep my P85 for longer than 4 years, I expect I'll eventually need to replace some number of worn-out parts, including the MCU. The extended service plan is still more than I'd probably end up spending in the long run, though.

Edit: if it's a 2-week wait for an appointment at Palo Alto, it does sound like they may be swamped.
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Reactions: FlatSix911


Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
SF Bay Area
The bubbles seems to be reported by cars within a certain time frame. Definitely keep an eye out for any on your screen, especially as you come up to the end of your initial warranty period, and if left unaddressed, the adhesive starts to come out which you definitely want to take care of before then.

I think the service centers around here at least are all pretty busy. And with Model 3s populating the roads now, they'll have their adjustments adding to the work. South bay got the Santa Clara SvC added last year. A south county SvC would be a nice addition for those south of San Jose and north of Seaside and take more pressure off of Silicon Valley shops.

BTW this is from a different thread on the subject, same guy though that you linked to @thecloud, and shows his photos of dripping issue: bubbles on touchscreen
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