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Tesla infotainment system upgradeable from MCU1 to MCU2

MurrayJimW

Member
Apr 17, 2017
90
78
Winston Salem, NC
So my 2017 S is showing the dreaded yellow frame on the center screen. I obviously need to get the screen replaced and in reading through the threads on here it appears Tesla is now just swapping screens when possible and not touching the MCU. Since these two are so closely married and I have seen sporadic reports of the entire screen and MCU being replaced when screens were hard to come by I was curious as to whether anyone had been able to accomplish an upgrade to the MCU 2 when this happened to them. I'd be willing to pay some charge for the upgrade if it was indeed possible as Musk indicated in an earlier tweet. I have not checked with an SC on this yet but thought I'd ask here first if anyone had been successful in trying this first. Thanks in advance.
 

PhilDavid

Active Member
May 22, 2018
2,552
1,839
Philadelphia
To the best of my knowledge, this is not something they are presently offering.

We asked a while back and they said there is no option for a MCU 2 upgrade yet.
 

r0xx0r

Member
Jul 9, 2016
436
335
CA
Unless they replace the whole car for you, you won’t get the MCU2. There is no retrofited option at this time.
 
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Tozz

Active Member
Jan 10, 2018
2,501
1,747
Tynaarlo
I've written this before, but I'll do it again. The MCU2 upgrade requires the following changes:

- Obviously, a new MCU2 (expensive part!)
- New IC screen. In MCU1 cars the IC (screen behind wheel) is a separate computer with its own CPU/RAM/etc. With MCU2 its just a second screen to the MCU. So IC needs to be replaced.
- MCU2 has 5G WiFi that needs an additional antenna to the mirrors
- MCU2 has Bluetooth in the mirrors, also requires additional antenna
- New wiring harness. IC screen, antenna's and perhaps change of connectors requires a new wiring harness.

All in all, this requires some pretty expensive parts and I assume almost a complete removal of the dash and perhaps other trim pieces.

I suspect this to be very time consuming, thus besides the parts also high amount of labor costs.

Personally, I think this upgrade to be somewhere in the range of $7k to $10k. Lots of money for a faster display.
 

TrevTremaine

Member
Mar 27, 2016
993
555
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I've written this before, but I'll do it again. The MCU2 upgrade requires the following changes:

- Obviously, a new MCU2 (expensive part!)
- New IC screen. In MCU1 cars the IC (screen behind wheel) is a separate computer with its own CPU/RAM/etc. With MCU2 its just a second screen to the MCU. So IC needs to be replaced.
- MCU2 has 5G WiFi that needs an additional antenna to the mirrors
- MCU2 has Bluetooth in the mirrors, also requires additional antenna
- New wiring harness. IC screen, antenna's and perhaps change of connectors requires a new wiring harness.

All in all, this requires some pretty expensive parts and I assume almost a complete removal of the dash and perhaps other trim pieces.

I suspect this to be very time consuming, thus besides the parts also high amount of labor costs.

Personally, I think this upgrade to be somewhere in the range of $7k to $10k. Lots of money for a faster display.

Tozz, thanks for this info. With the V9 update coming, I was debating what would be involved (if possible) as there certainly are features missing for those with the MCU1 system. I thought I might be able to incorporate it with replacing a yellowing screen, but I suspected it was more involved than a simple swap. The cost factor is a big drawback for sure. Such is life.
 
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Tozz

Active Member
Jan 10, 2018
2,501
1,747
Tynaarlo
Tozz, thanks for this info. With the V9 update coming, I was debating what would be involved (if possible) as there certainly are features missing for those with the MCU1 system. I thought I might be able to incorporate it with replacing a yellowing screen, but I suspected it was more involved than a simple swap. The cost factor is a big drawback for sure. Such is life.

What features are missing with MCU1? AFAIK there is no difference except speed. Functions are identical.
Perhaps you mean the APU hardware? AP1 cars are indeed missing some functionality. AP2/AP2.5 cars have all features available, regardless of MCU1 / MCU2.

With the yellow screen they no longer replace the MCU. Instead they now only swap the screen.
 

mknox

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
10,103
1,866
Toronto, ON
What features are missing with MCU1? AFAIK there is no difference except speed. Functions are identical.

MCU2 cars do not have the sleep and always connected options like older cars. Those settings are supposedly automated now, but my March 2018 Model S almost never sleeps.
 
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TrevTremaine

Member
Mar 27, 2016
993
555
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
What features are missing with MCU1? AFAIK there is no difference except speed. Functions are identical.
Perhaps you mean the APU hardware? AP1 cars are indeed missing some functionality. AP2/AP2.5 cars have all features available, regardless of MCU1 / MCU2.

With the yellow screen they no longer replace the MCU. Instead they now only swap the screen.

From my understanding, things like the dashcam function only work on 2.5 - not 2.0.
 
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Tozz

Active Member
Jan 10, 2018
2,501
1,747
Tynaarlo
MCU2 cars do not have the sleep and always connected options like older cars. Those settings are supposedly automated now, but my March 2018 Model S almost never sleeps.

Yeah okay, there are some very tiny differences. The equalizer is also different. MCU2 has no dolby, but has some other setting (can't recall the name). TBH. The sound in MCU2 is horrible. Even with Bass / Low tones at -8 I still worry that my rear window vibrates to pieces.

From my understanding, things like the dashcam function only work on 2.5 - not 2.0.

Mm, could be. But that is an APU difference, not MCU. There are MCU1 cars with APU3 (= AP 2.5)
 

Tozz

Active Member
Jan 10, 2018
2,501
1,747
Tynaarlo
To be honest, I've not got a clue. I'm not quite "Look, it's got a steering wheel and pedals, so I can drive it" kinda techie, but I'm not well versed on all the processors and doodads that are hidden in the car. ;)

Can't blame you, but there are basically 2 computers in the car. There is the MCU (the big screen) and the Autopilot computer.
There are 2 versions of the MCU, all cars from March 2018 and later have MCU2.
There are 3 versions of the APU. APU1 (AP1) only has the single front camera. APU2 (AP2) and APU3 (AP2.5) have 8 cams (and thus the cams in de B-pillars)

APU1 cannot be upgraded to a higher version, because those cars lack the other 7 cams.
APU2 can be upgraded to APU2.5 and Elon has said they will even upgrade to a future APU4 (Autopilot 3) if that is required for FSD.
 

whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,421
7,589
Seattle area, WA
APU2 can be upgraded to APU2.5 and Elon has said they will even upgrade to a future APU4 (Autopilot 3) if that is required for FSD.
Do you know anyone who was upgraded from AP2 to AP2.5? I think there are a bunch of people who would want it for the dashcam feature, they'd like to know the details of how to get Tesla to do it.
 

MurrayJimW

Member
Apr 17, 2017
90
78
Winston Salem, NC
I had my defective screen replaced and picked up the car today. I mainly post this because from reading on here there is zero in the way of consistency where Tesla service is concerned.

The closest SC to me is about 95 miles away and the job took 2 days so it required around 6 hours of driving on my part to accomplish. I was given a Hertz rental while it was in. I had requested mobile service for this and was told the job was too complex and it must be brought into the SC contrary to several posts on here regarding the same service.

Upon pickup, all settings for the car were reset/missing. I am surmising that this means they replaced the MCU as well or there would have been no reason for this. Since most on here are claiming to have received the new screen only I thought it interesting.

The car was taken into service with firmware 39.6 on it. When I picked it up it had been reloaded with 36.2. I'm currently on wifi at home waiting for V9 to load again.

They did a good job. There was no damage to the fragile aluminum bezel around the screen and though I would have much preferred this happening in town and not eating up 2 days with travel, everything seems to have turned out just fine.
 
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timvracer

Member
Mar 5, 2017
418
440
Los Gatos, CA
I'd do it in a second if this was a real option... precisely for what you say, the dashcam.

Do you know anyone who was upgraded from AP2 to AP2.5? I think there are a bunch of people who would want it for the dashcam feature, they'd like to know the details of how to get Tesla to do it.
 

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