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Possible FM / XM Tuner After MCU2 Upgrade

NickFie

Member
Sep 28, 2017
527
569
Near Philadelphia, PA
The local Service Center is working with me for an official, Tesla-approved and Tesla-installed digital FM / XM radio for our 2017 Model S with MCU2 upgrade. I will update as / when the pieces fall into place.

Bonus - the Service Rep checked the Tesla guidelines, it seems Tesla will provide XM if the car has an XM antenna. That's only available with the Panoramic roof (sunroof that can be opened). When I started this quest, the policy was XM would only be offered if the car had XM when delivered - UHFS + Panoramic roof. I had argued that if a Tesla car has an XM antenna, providing an XM-capable digital radio would make the customer happy. More importantly, additional Tesla customer XM subscriptions would increase the company's royalty income.

The Service Center said I would be their first customer to get this. They're allowing a few weeks for parts delivery, installation will likely be after Thanksgiving. They've been good listeners, courteous and patient throughout the process. They also faithfully and consistently followed Tesla policy. I found that frustrating but understandable.

You don't have to read the history behind this.

Why: Our older daughter really wants to have FM radio in the car. I share the 2017 Model S with our nearby daughter and her husband. They pay 50% of all costs so we try to agree on changes. Her husband, their children and I were eager to upgrade to MCU2 when I pulled the FSD trigger to graduate from AP 2.0 to AP 3. No EMMC worries - we had the first forced reboot, faster map build, Senty & Dashcam, more games.

First Try: I ordered a Model S digital FM / XM radio from the Service Center parts desk, through my iPhone Tesla app. Looked up appropriate part number in Tesla's online parts catalog. Bought the TeslaTap-suggested adapter cable on eBay. Watched YouTube videos on interior disassembly for radio access. The evening before the upgrade appointment I collected my metric sockets and socket extenders, then went to work.

The car has Pano Sunroof but no UHFS. I figured it might have the XM antenna since Tesla probably didn't want to stock two different wire harnesses for Pano cars. I discovered the XM antenna connectors neatly coiled near the original FM / AM analog radio.

It wasn't quite as hard as I had feared. The adapter cable worked well. I uncoiled the XM connectors and plugged the FM and XM antennae into the digital radio once I had that installed. I ran the adapter's digital connection to the back of the MCU1. Didn't reassemble the trim since the Tesla Tech would simply have to remove it as step 1 of their project.

Don't Cry: When I brought the car to the Service Center for the upgrades, I explained that I had installed a digital radio. Asked them to plug in the digital audio cable while installing the MCU2.The service writer was a bit puzzled. Finally gave them the TeslaTap URL - the fellow was excited. Apparently a lot of customers were looking for a way to upgrade and keep at least some radio.

When the car was done, the service writer explained that Tesla policy said they could not enable the digital radio because it had not been installed by Tesla, and the adapter was a safety risk. They also said that they would only enable FM in any scenario, since the car was not sold with XM enabled.

Second Try, It Didn't Fly: Some time after the upgrade, it was time for the S two-year service. I included "enable Tesla digital FM / XM radio" in the list. Again, was politely told that Tesla would not do that because they had not installed the radio, and the adapter was not a Tesla part.

Third Try - Better Outcome: When I heard of the Europe option for digital radio with MCU2 upgrade, I decided to try again Used the app to request they install a Tesla adapter and then enable the Tesla digital radio I had purchased from their parts department. After semi-promising back-and-forth via text, in mid-morning I got a 2:00 PM appointment that afternoon. The car never made it into the garage. The service writer spent a lot of time cycling among me, the mechanics, the supervisor and possibly Fremont.

They finally found a path to satisfy my request and follow Tesla policy. The downside is I will have an unused Tesla Model S digital FM / XM radio to sell on eBay.

Stay tuned! (pun intended, no regrets)
 
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cruiserlarry

Gadgetologist
Jan 24, 2017
277
344
Los Angeles, CA
Not sure if you are talking about the same thing - but I believe Tesla has already announced they plan to offer an FM / XM radio upgrade for the MCU2 conversion vehicles, with installation, late 4th quarter 2020 (but most likely later) for $500. This would not require any special adapter cables or additional parts. My issue is that they should provide it at no additional charge to MCU2 conversion vehicles, since they removed the existing FM / XM radio when they did the MCU2 conversion.
 

Krash

Data Technician
Apr 18, 2017
1,863
2,055
Intermountain US
...They finally found a path to satisfy my request and follow Tesla policy. The downside is I will have an unused Tesla Model S digital FM / XM radio to sell on eBay.

Stay tuned! (pun intended, no regrets)
So you are still waiting to have the new Tesla installed tuner and gateway configured?

I doubt that my June 2017 all glass roof has the XM antenna in the wiring harness since, at the time, you couldn't get XM without the panoramic roof. That changed later. Still, I would love to hear from anyone who knows where the antenna was later added in the all glass roof.

It will be great when you can confirm that the software build for non UHFS cars includes the XM tuner software. It wasn't obvious to me that it would work. I doubt non UHFS XM is a test configuration for new UI builds.
 
Last edited:

DerbyDave

Member
Jul 2, 2020
608
314
Kentucky
Still, I would love to hear from anyone who knows where the antenna was later added in the all glass roof.
Following copied from Fix Your Tesla (Service Manual Repair Procedures)

Antenna - Satellite Radio - Roof-Mounted (Remove and Replace)
FRT No: 21310402

Note: This procedure is for vehicles with panoramic roofs built after December 23, 2014. On older vehicles, the satellite radio antenna is located under the liftgate glass (refer to procedure).
Removal
  1. Remove the panoramic roof fixed glass (refer to procedure).
  2. Remove the LH and RH C-post upper trim (refer to procedure).
  3. Pull down the rear of the headliner.
    Note: Do not remove the headliner completely.
  4. Remove the electrical tape and cable ties as needed to access the yellow satellite antenna connector in the electrical harness at the LH upper C-pillar.
  5. Disconnect the yellow satellite antenna connector from the electrical harness.
  6. Cut the antenna electrical harness near the satellite antenna.
    Note: Part of this harness is mounted under the panoramic roof frame. The old harness is not completely removed during this procedure.
  7. Use a plastic trim tool or other thin non-abrasive tool to release the satellite antenna from the roof crossmember.
  8. Remove the satellite antenna.
  9. Cut the antenna electrical harness near the bottom of the roof crossmember.
Installation
  1. Remove and discard the mounting clips from the electrical harness on the new antenna.
  2. Remove all adhesive residue from the antenna mounting surface with alcohol wipes. Allow the alcohol to dry fully before continuing.
  3. Peel the backing material from the bottom of the antenna and affix the antenna to the mounting surface in the location shown.

    1 13 mm
    2 18 mm
    3 15 mm
  4. Test-fit the the satellite antenna electrical harness.
  5. Position material to collect metal shavings below the LH rear roof crossmember.
  6. Drill a hole with a diameter of at least 15 mm (5/8 in) through the panoramic roof frame and roof crossmember.
  7. Deburr the hole.
  8. Vacuum all metal shavings.
  9. Route the new satellite antenna harness in the panoramic roof frame channel and through the hole.
  10. Connect the antenna connector to the electrical harness at the LH C-post upper.
    Tip: Wrap the electrical connector with foam tape or felt tape to prevent rattles when the vehicle is reassembled.
  11. Secure the satellite antenna harness to the panoramic roof frame with electrical harness tape or similar adhesive tape.
    Note: The harness and hole are not exposed to the environment once the panoramic roof fixed glass is installed. No special water-proofing measures are required.
    Tape highlighted in yellow

  12. Reinstall the components that were removed for access.
 

bob_p

Active Member
Apr 5, 2012
3,664
2,786
Our 2017 S (MCU1/HW3) is scheduled to receive the MCU2/radio upgrade next week, providing us FM/HD/XM radio (only losing AM).

Total cost is $3000 plus taxes.

We were offered a $250 discount if we agreed to keep our current console display. We opted to have the console display/touchscreen replaced (and hopefully avoid the yellow banding issue in the future).
 

NickFie

Member
Sep 28, 2017
527
569
Near Philadelphia, PA
It will be great when you can confirm that the software build for non UHFS cars includes the XM tuner software. It wasn't obvious to me that it would work. I doubt non UHFS XM is a test configuration for new UI builds.
I couldn't believe my ears at first. The Service Desk person turned to the proper page, read it out loud. Words to the effect that cars with XM antenna can / will (don't recall which) get XM. Nothing about UHFS-only.

Except for Easter Eggs and games, Tesla rarely gives things away. In this case, very low incremental cost for the additional capability and it gives them a good shot at long-lived royalty stream.

In your case, might consider getting an XM antenna. Mount it in a good spot, fit the appropriate connector, then cleanly run it to the driver's footwell. The radio is mounted to the side a few inches ahead of your left knee. If it's easy for the tech to just plug it in, they may indulge you. It simply gives Tesla another bite of the XM royalty apple.
 
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NickFie

Member
Sep 28, 2017
527
569
Near Philadelphia, PA
When I add up the upgrade costs, I wonder whether i would have been better off trading in the mid-2017 S100D for a 2021 with:
- FM/HD installed. No XM.
- MCU2 & HW3
- Better cameras
- Raven suspension
- 20% more range, to 400 EPA miles.
- Slightly better acceleration
- Better noise control

In the early '80s we bought a SAAB 900 base model. At the time, air conditioning was a dealer-installed option. When we closed on the car, they told us the air conditioning kit was out of stock.

Months later, as summer approached, we made an appointment for the install. When I arrived, they glumly told me the air conditioning kit had not arrived. I walked over to the showroom. SAAB had wised up by then, installed AC in all US market cars.

I asked the sales rep how much more I would have to pay for a current base model 900 - with air conditioning factory installed and a few other improvements - if I traded in our current car and added in the money intended for the AC install. A very small gap. Down the road to our bank to get a low-rate auto loan to close that gap. Back to the dealer and drove home as a much cooler dude. Never regretted that decision.
 
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cruiserlarry

Gadgetologist
Jan 24, 2017
277
344
Los Angeles, CA
When I add up the upgrade costs, I wonder whether i would have been better off trading in the mid-2017 S100D for a 2021 with:
- FM/HD installed. No XM.
- MCU2 & HW3
- Better cameras
- Raven suspension
- 20% more range, to 400 EPA miles.
- Slightly better acceleration
- Better noise control

In the early '80s we bought a SAAB 900 base model. At the time, air conditioning was a dealer-installed option. When we closed on the car, they told us the air conditioning kit was out of stock. I asked the sales rep how much more I would have to pay for a current base model 900 - with air conditioning factory installed and a few other improvements - if I traded in our current car and added in the money intended for the AC install. A very small gap. Down the road to our bank to get a low-rate auto loan to close that gap. Back to the dealer and drove home as a much cooler dude. Never regretted that decision.

Unfortunately, the depreciation on your 2017 Tesla S100D will be substantially more expensive than the cost of the upgrades..and if you have the no longer available additional 2017 options, like the pano roof, ventilated seats, alcantara headliner, and unlimited premium connectivity and unlimited supercharging (which I do), you'll lose those, too. (I also was the owner of 2 Saab 900s back in the day lol)
 

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