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Stopped my MCU from leaking. Saved $$$.

I started to get bubbles on the MCU a month ago.

I finally had the time to remove it and fix it.

I used gorilla epoxy, it's rated for -23c to 85c or so. I applied a layer of the epoxy around the edges of the screen and since then I haven't received any new bubbles.

Now I need to figure out how to disable the logging that kills the eMMC.
 
IMG_20190904_125327162.jpg
 
I started to get bubbles on the MCU a month ago.

I finally had the time to remove it and fix it.

I used gorilla epoxy, it's rated for -23c to 85c or so. I applied a layer of the epoxy around the edges of the screen and since then I haven't received any new bubbles.

Now I need to figure out how to disable the logging that kills the eMMC.
Nice DIY!!! I'm going to have a similar fix. Did you remove the LCD out of the MCU or glue it while it's in MCU? Thanks for the info!
 
Although I applaud the ingenuity here, it also leaves me a bit frustrated

I have zero tech, engineering, or construction skills and will never be able to learn them (work 80-90 hrs/week)

But it seems one needs them to fix/prevent bubbling, yellow borders, and/or MCU failure

We all knew getting into this that the 3 is and was critical to the survival of the company, and that we as S owners would need to make sacrifices . I accept that.

And thus I’m fine with auto wipers that don’t work, mirrors that don’t fold, the rattles and the noises that many of our cars have, the browser that’s never worked for me, and the fact that my S has never been able to connect to my house WiFi

I’m can live with the gross yellow border that I have, the voice control that never works any more, and the slow maps

But now I’m worried about bubbles, and the likelihood that my MCU will just fail one day... and I’m also very careful to never turn my wheel while going backwards to prevent control arm failure

I really think that Tesla needs to pause on some of the fancy new things and invest in quality control as well as create a department to proactively deal with these known systemic failures, so that we don’t need to remove our dashboards and glue it back together ourselves

Sorry for complaining, because I do love the car.
 

whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
7,059
9,058
Seattle area, WA
I’m can live with the gross yellow border that I have, the voice control that never works any more, and the slow maps

But now I’m worried about bubbles,...
I have a little bit of good news for you, maybe let you sleep a little easier. If you have the yellow border, you don't have to worry about bubbles. Yellow border showed up only on the newer units meant to address the bubbles. I have yet to see anyone here post a picture of MCU with both.

As for all the other things, well, Teslas are best suited for hobbyists who can work on them, and billionaires like Elon who can keep a few of them in the garage, and trade them up to new cars every couple of years or when something needs repair.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: Chaserr
I started to get bubbles on the MCU a month ago.

I finally had the time to remove it and fix it.

I used gorilla epoxy, it's rated for -23c to 85c or so. I applied a layer of the epoxy around the edges of the screen and since then I haven't received any new bubbles.

Now I need to figure out how to disable the logging that kills the eMMC.


Is the space between the display and the frame needed for any ventilation? I want gaskets sealer between the display and frame.
 
I'm interested in this as well as I'm about to swap out my leaking screen

I’m now repairing a friends display and this steps I make.

likely the leakage is on the bottom because the front glas can slide down because it is not preventing by the black plastic frame.

clean the sides that are oké with 96% alcohol and the front glass. Now use any kind of tape on the front glass. Cutoff tape that’s over the edges. Now use 2 components glue or epoxy and “paint” it on the sides.

now wait until the glue is dry. When it is dry you can place the display so that the side that leaks facing upside. When you place the display in the sun the air bubbles will slowly moving to the top. When all the air bubbles are at the top you can now press lightly the glass too the back and hold it with a clamp. Now clean this side with alcohol and “paint” it with your epoxy or 2 component glue and let it dry.

too speed up removing the air bubbles your can use a plastic bag and use your vacuum cleaner to remove the air out off the plastic bag.
 
I’m now repairing a friends display and this steps I make.

likely the leakage is on the bottom because the front glas can slide down because it is not preventing by the black plastic frame.

clean the sides that are oké with 96% alcohol and the front glass. Now use any kind of tape on the front glass. Cutoff tape that’s over the edges. Now use 2 components glue or epoxy and “paint” it on the sides.

now wait until the glue is dry. When it is dry you can place the display so that the side that leaks facing upside. When you place the display in the sun the air bubbles will slowly moving to the top. When all the air bubbles are at the top you can now press lightly the glass too the back and hold it with a clamp. Now clean this side with alcohol and “paint” it with your epoxy or 2 component glue and let it dry.

too speed up removing the air bubbles your can use a plastic bag and use your vacuum cleaner to remove the air out off the plastic bag.
Thank you!!! A how to video would be amazing!!!
 

aesculus

Still Trying to Figure This All Out
May 31, 2015
4,967
2,892
Northern California
now wait until the glue is dry. When it is dry you can place the display so that the side that leaks facing upside. When you place the display in the sun the air bubbles will slowly moving to the top. When all the air bubbles are at the top you can now press lightly the glass too the back and hold it with a clamp. Now clean this side with alcohol and “paint” it with your epoxy or 2 component glue and let it dry.
Just curious if it would be best to always leave the top of the panel open so the bubbles would naturally disperse?

This would require the bottom to be sealed of course even though the bubbles were on that end and you would have to wait a longer time for them to move up the panel.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: Myfirstone
13 MS85 62k miles. Updated MCU1 to LTE this evening and decided to look at the bubbles in the touch screen. Here are some info + pics.

- My car survived until end of 2020 with no bubbles. Park in garage at home+work and live in mild Northwest climate. Took car to Tesla SC to get eMMC repaired under extended warranty. They kept car 2 days, claim no need to repair (before NTHSA prompted Tesla to recall) and 5 bubbles appeared when I picked up the car. I'm guessing they parked it outside in a sunny spot for a couple of days.

- Screen assembly is basically sandwich layers of
LED backlight / diffiuser
LCD
layer of goo (I read its called plasma)
capacitive touch screen layers (I don't know the detailed layering)
circuits
~1/8" glass
circuits

- Once removed, my screen has thin bead of sticky plasma around the perimeter of the screen assembly. My guess the bubbles is a result of Plasma thermal cycling expand and contracts greater than the touch glass and LCD. Thus causes it to ooze out and suck in air bubbles when contracting.

- Previously mentioned epoxy seal probably works. However, there is flex cable bonded to all 4 edges of the touch screen glass. Most of the cable is bonded to the glass facing the user but a small section is bonded to the section facing the LCD (where the plasma is)

- To properly seal around the entire perimeter, one would need to carefully detach the touch screen flex cable and apply sealer under the cable. Need to be careful as this flex cable probably bonds to the glass with fragile conductive bonding technology.

- As for removing the bubbles, not sure how thats possible yet. The 1/8" glass doesn't have any flex to squeeze the bubbles out. Might try a hair dryer to expand the plasma to push the bubbles out followed by epoxy sealer before it cools and contracts. Not sure yet.

Here is pic of backside of screen assembly

IMG_0117 (1).jpeg


Here is edge view of the flex cable bond to the glass

IMG_0112.jpeg


I would guess need to unfold the flex tape and get sealer along the leaking plasma seam underneath. Also seal well around small section of tape bond between glass and LCD. My bubbles started right around this flex tape bonding to glass area. Perhaps that small section of bond between glass and LCD is the most likely culprit for air to be sucked back in when the plasma cools and contracts.

BTW, the LCD/backlight assembly model is G170J1 LE1. Google search shows this panel available with identical metal chassis to the MCU screen assembly. Here is a sample link

Innolux G170J1-LE1 Overview - Panelook.com

However, one with touch screen could not be easily found. Tesla did quote this display panel assembly for $500 recently.

Anyhow, haven't done anything yet, just studying the design and possible repair.

Haven't removed the instrument panel. Mine have no bubbles, it sits more shaded than the MCU. I would guess sealing is probably easier since the glass has no touch screen and flex tape.
 
Last edited:

aesculus

Still Trying to Figure This All Out
May 31, 2015
4,967
2,892
Northern California
Thanks for the investigation.

My early 2016 is still bubble free too and always parked inside, out of the sun.

But I suspect like you, my days are numbered. Since Tesla is now replacing both displays with the MCU2 upgrade, and I have an extended warranty for another 3 1/2 years, I am going to wait it out. When either bubbles appear or the MCU1 eMMC chips fails, I will probably press for the upgrade.
 

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