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Resolved: GPS + Autopilot + cruise control + cameras not working. Bonus problem: rapid battery drain

A bunch of problems appeared the other day on my 2019 M3P:
  • GPS was stuck in one location
  • No cameras worked
  • Autopilot/cruise control stopped working
  • The screen's day/night setting inexplicably wouldn't change over...
Just a host of really weird stuff. Most concerning, though, was the fact that the car was killing about 3% of its range every 2 hours. Sentry etc. was NOT on. Posting this for the noobs & in case anyone else has similar issues.

I rebooted the car via 2-button press probably 10x to no avail. Found a Reddit thread with an owner experiencing similar symptoms - another poster pointed to a corrupt USB, advised to remove it, and do another reboot. Seemed to work for the OP. Not for me.

In the end, I basically "completely" turned the car off & on again. Stupid simple procedure - sounds scary, but isn't. Just be careful not to lock yourself out of the car, otherwise you'll have to open the frunk via the emergency leads behind the tow hitch as described in the manual.

1. Pop the frunk open
2. Open all windows to avoid any damage (since auto-up/down will be disabled)
3. Ensure the HVAC has been off for 30+ seconds
4. Power down the car thru the screen Controls > Safety & Security > Vehicle Power > Power Off

Then
  1. Open the frunk, remove the under-hood apron
  2. Disconnect the 12V battery negative terminal
  3. Lift up the rear seat - there are two "sliding" latches on the leading edges under the cushion
  4. On the right hand side, you'll notice a high-density foam block that covers the connector to the high-voltage battery (HVB)... lift it out of place to reveal the connector
  5. Unlock the HVB connector by pivoting the little gray latch outwards - this will start pulling it out. At this point, the HVB connectors will immediately open and you'll hear a clunk - don't be alarmed.
  6. Cover the connector port on the battery with a rag or something just to be safe (for the battery's sake)
The car is now effectively "dead." I left it like this for 30 - 45 mins, reconnected everything in the reverse order, and now it's fine.
I left the rear right door cracked so I wouldn't have to worry about a lockout condition.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

EVRider-FL

Active Member
Aug 18, 2015
2,644
1,566
South Florida
Before going that route, try doing a power off from the touchscreen. From the manual:

Power Cycling the Vehicle

If your vehicle demonstrates unusual behavior or a nondescript alert is present, you can try power cycling the vehicle to potentially resolve the issue.

1. Shift into Park.
2. On the touchscreen, touch Controls > Safety & Security > Power Off.
3. Wait for at least two minutes without interacting with the vehicle. Do not open the doors, touch the brake pedal, touch the touchscreen, etc.
4. After two minutes have passed, press the brake pedal or open the door to wake the vehicle.
 
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Before going that route, try doing a power off from the touchscreen. From the manual:

Power Cycling the Vehicle

If your vehicle demonstrates unusual behavior or a nondescript alert is present, you can try power cycling the vehicle to potentially resolve the issue.

1. Shift into Park.
2. On the touchscreen, touch Controls > Safety & Security > Power Off.
3. Wait for at least two minutes without interacting with the vehicle. Do not open the doors, touch the brake pedal, touch the touchscreen, etc.
4. After two minutes have passed, press the brake pedal or open the door to wake the vehicle.
Interesting - that might be a recent update to the manual. Don't recall them being that specific about it, but it's good to see they're thinking.
 
Thanks for sharing this with us, it's good to know. One note: I fully expect the screen to not be able to know when to switch night/day if you don't have a GPS working as the current time and day/night information most probably comes from the GPS services.
autopilot/cruise probably need the speed limits, at least the ones from the internal database, and that requires a GPS position to know on what road you are.
The only item I cannot find a relation with the GPS is the cameras.
 
Problem came up again & the car's once again chewing through its battery. Sounds like the "bug" is not allowing the car to go to sleep, because when I open the app, I'm not hearing the HV contactors engage. I called Tesla so that they could at least try to log the root cause of the issue, but of course that was completely pointless since having them look into it remotely would "take about a month." I said no thanks & we parted ways.

Before going that route, try doing a power off from the touchscreen. From the manual:

Power Cycling the Vehicle

If your vehicle demonstrates unusual behavior or a nondescript alert is present, you can try power cycling the vehicle to potentially resolve the issue.

1. Shift into Park.
2. On the touchscreen, touch Controls > Safety & Security > Power Off.
3. Wait for at least two minutes without interacting with the vehicle. Do not open the doors, touch the brake pedal, touch the touchscreen, etc.
4. After two minutes have passed, press the brake pedal or open the door to wake the vehicle.
Just tried this - no dice. Seems like the only thing that works is what I wrote in my OP.
 
Yep tested it with a standalone tester a couple of weeks ago after taking the battery out of the car and letting it rest 12+ hours. Something tells me that it’s related to my sentry USB, which worked great until recently. Now it’s basically toast.

I've read weird stuff related to USB devices hanging the Tesla. USB drives are relatively cheap so it probably makes sense to just try another one. Hopefully it's not the car's hub. My understanding is that is replaceable, but convincing Tesla to replace it based on an intermittent fault is likely to be painful.
 
This post is just what has happened to my M3 for the second time. First time back in May 2021, then just yesterday. Both times the two button reboot did not fix it. I also read the post of corrupt USB drive being the root cause. This seems to be what triggered my cameras going off line. Which of course effects many other systems such as auto pilot. All systems that depend on the cameras go out.

Both times I reformatted the USB drive, removed it, tried the two button reboot twice, no help.

Let the car sit overnight, cameras came back online and all was back to normal in the AM.

Put back in the reformatted USB drive, and it's recording normally.

If it triggers again, I will try the onscreen shutdown sequence, see if that speeds up the recovery.

My USB drive consists of the SanDisk 128GB High Endurance MicroSDXC card along with the Difini Card Reader. Had it in the car since Jan 2020.

I now plan to reformat the USB drive every two months as a preventive measure. See if that extends the time frame of the failure.
 
This post is just what has happened to my M3 for the second time. First time back in May 2021, then just yesterday. Both times the two button reboot did not fix it. I also read the post of corrupt USB drive being the root cause. This seems to be what triggered my cameras going off line. Which of course effects many other systems such as auto pilot. All systems that depend on the cameras go out.

Both times I reformatted the USB drive, removed it, tried the two button reboot twice, no help.

Let the car sit overnight, cameras came back online and all was back to normal in the AM.

Put back in the reformatted USB drive, and it's recording normally.

If it triggers again, I will try the onscreen shutdown sequence, see if that speeds up the recovery.

My USB drive consists of the SanDisk 128GB High Endurance MicroSDXC card along with the Difini Card Reader. Had it in the car since Jan 2020.

I now plan to reformat the USB drive every two months as a preventive measure. See if that extends the time frame of the failure.
Mine never comes back...
 

stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
12,997
9,242
This post is just what has happened to my M3 for the second time. First time back in May 2021, then just yesterday. Both times the two button reboot did not fix it. I also read the post of corrupt USB drive being the root cause. This seems to be what triggered my cameras going off line. Which of course effects many other systems such as auto pilot. All systems that depend on the cameras go out.

Both times I reformatted the USB drive, removed it, tried the two button reboot twice, no help.

Let the car sit overnight, cameras came back online and all was back to normal in the AM.

Put back in the reformatted USB drive, and it's recording normally.

If it triggers again, I will try the onscreen shutdown sequence, see if that speeds up the recovery.

My USB drive consists of the SanDisk 128GB High Endurance MicroSDXC card along with the Difini Card Reader. Had it in the car since Jan 2020.

I now plan to reformat the USB drive every two months as a preventive measure. See if that extends the time frame of the failure.
Have you scanned the card (with or without given card reader) for errors before reformatting to confirm if it had been corrupted in the first place? It could also be an issue with the reader (no-name readers can be problematic).
 
Similar thing happened with me. Once in June and now just yesterday

I made an appointment in June, but the day before my appointment, my GPS and cameras came back.

Now yesterday it happened again. Today, my cameras and GPS are still not working. I've pulled out my SSD since yesterday and have not plugged it back in. Not sure what's going on.

I've read online that doing a hard reset by unplugging 12V fixes the issue every time, but I really don't want to do that.

I remember reading a different thread saying that the culprit is the GPS module that doesn't get recalibrated until you drive a certain amount of miles.

It also could be the SSD. I'm using a 500GB T5 drive from Samsung.
 

ShawnA

Active Member
Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2017
1,172
966
Edwardsburg, MI
Hi @komocode,

A fix that works well for Model S and X may work for your 3.
It is less creepy than disconnecting the 12 Volt battery and usually
accomplishes the same deep reset...

If you have it in your service menu Change the Wheel Size or Color.
Let the car reboot.
Change the Wheel size or color to the correct option.
Let the car reboot again...

See if some of your problems clear...

Good luck,

Shawn
 
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iwannam3

Active Member
Aug 8, 2016
1,047
1,434
Washington
Keep us appraised of the situation. My bet is on the 12 v battery. The main battery draw could be from the system trying to recharge a dying battery. 2019 so battery is 2 yo, within the "normal" range of 12 v battery failures. Did the standalone tester put a load on the battery while checking the voltage?
 
Hi @komocode,

A fix that works well for Model S and X may work for your 3.
It is less creepy than disconnecting the 12 Volt battery and usually
accomplishes the same deep reset...

If you have it in your service menu Change the Wheel Size or Color.
Let the car reboot.
Change the Wheel size or color to the correct option.
Let the car reboot again...

See if some of your problems clear...

Good luck,

Shawn
Will give this a shot next time.

Keep us appraised of the situation. My bet is on the 12 v battery. The main battery draw could be from the system trying to recharge a dying battery. 2019 so battery is 2 yo, within the "normal" range of 12 v battery failures. Did the standalone tester put a load on the battery while checking the voltage?
Yeah it's a legit tester. Anecdotal, but I've removed my faulty SanDisk card reader & it hasn't recurred since. We'll see what happens.
 
FWIW nothing resolved this problem except for the “hard reset” in my OP.

By the way if it’s considered “normal” for this thing to leave me stranded every ~2 years because of a failed 12V battery, might find myself in another car.
You know batteries in regular cars die too right? And it leaves them stranded as well?
 
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RayK

Safety Score 90 (Was 96!)
Apr 5, 2016
3,061
3,169
San Jose, CA
Yes, but generally you had a physical key which could be used to open the doors and trunk to get at the battery for jumping or replacing (last had a BMW 3-series that had the battery in the trunk).

And I know I'm going to regret this statement but, my 3 is just over 3 years old and a bit less than 20,000 miles. So far no signs of a 12V failure (knock on wood).
 
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