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Tesla infotainment system upgradeable from MCU1 to MCU2

croman

Active Member
Nov 21, 2016
4,724
6,713
Chicago, IL
The MCU1 takes ages to buffer any of the streaming channels. I wanted to know if the performance on the MCU2 is better or still painfully slow to switch channels?

Mine didn't and doesn't. I can only skip like 3 in a row before it does buffer but otherwise it plays without interruption for hours. Switching stations sometimes creates a slight delay but most issues seem internet and not MCU related unlike maps and nav for long trips.

My last road trip took 20 minutes for my old MCU to calc and display. My new MCU1 is much faster but still takes 3 minutes for the same route. That's unacceptable too.
 
Apr 20, 2017
156
56
Arizona Territory
Can anyone provide insight for a legacy 2012 Model S?

MCU2 Upgrade versus aftermarket MCU1 fix to 16GB or even 32GB for the flash memory?

I would have Gruber Motors in Phoenix do the aftermarket or Tesla the MCU2.

Obviously, I don't need MCU2 for AP, FSD or any features the car doesn't and probably never will have.

Thanks. Hopefully this is a good spot to ask among all the reboot and black screen threads.
 

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Dakster

Member
Dec 8, 2016
83
21
MD
My Model S is from Dec 2016, AP2 MCU1 with FSD option.

Got tired of waiting for FSD upgrade invite, so last week, scheduled an appt at Rockville SC for MCU2 paid upgrade and FSD. They texted back next day and said they don’t have parts for this work. SC said they would get back to me later when parts are available. I am getting little impatient now.

I saw a notification in tesla app that upgrade is now available. I scheduled an appt. with Rockville, MD SC on 6/19. Let's see if they get it done. They already sent me invoice for $2650 for approval.

Question: will they give me MCU1 back if I ask for it?
 

EV-Fixme

Vendor
Oct 24, 2019
609
694
Orange County, CA
I have LTE + MCU1 it's laggy, slow and terrible! My MCU actually died already and the fresh one didn't really improve things.
Can't wait to upgrade.

Have you tried a factory reset? We have noticed with some of our upgrades, the sluggishness follows to the new chip when we backup and move all the data. Once reset the owner noticed a dramatic improvement. You can try that if not done already. Also was strange, but some cars took more than 1 factory reset.
 

MP3Mike

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
15,619
34,401
Oregon
What's it worth used, not working and if not doing DIY?

I'm guessing less than the core charge?

The core charge is $1,000. And for ~$1,600 you can get a replacement MCU installed, and configured, by Tesla with a 4 year warranty. So I don't think it is worth the core charge. (It is obvious that Tesla really wants to keep them.)

But the MCU upgrade includes the IC as well, so that would add some value.
 
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tobasuyi

Member
Apr 6, 2020
24
15
Colorado, USA
There really is no upgrade to AP2.5. The only difference between 2.0 and 2.5 are the cameras and radar and during the upgrade from 2.0 to 3.0/FSD they do not replace these. What exactly did they do at that first appointment?

And yes, as a Model X owner who just went from AP2.0/MCU1 to FSD/MCU2 it IS like a new car.

You're probably correct. I may have misunderstood what they said. But my invoice does state "Retrofit Model X Autopilot 2.5............at no cost. Then my new Service Estimate for the MCU2 upgrade states "Infotainment upgrade from Tegra MCU and Autopilot 2.5 to Intel MCU and Autopilot 3.0" Estimated cost is $2707 (with tax). My vehicle had FSD v2 prior to me taking the car there for my last Service. They probably needed to do it in 2 stages. I hard there were some wiring harness/software issues going from FSD v2 to FSD v3. so they probably needed to go to v2.5 first before going to v3. I did get a text from them that they were having software issues. I'll have to ask them again when I take my MX there next week Tuesday. This is when they're supposed to upgrade my car from MCU1 to MCU2. And hopefully I can get all the functionalities of FSD v3.
 

nsxpert

Member
Apr 13, 2015
90
39
santa monica, ca.
Have you tried a factory reset? We have noticed with some of our upgrades, the sluggishness follows to the new chip when we backup and move all the data. Once reset the owner noticed a dramatic improvement. You can try that if not done already. Also was strange, but some cars took more than 1 factory reset.
good to know... I will try it, thanks!
 

Del Schier

Member
Jan 29, 2019
26
3
Flordia
For $2500 I hope it fixes the problems with my 4/2016 S.

First does it come with any kind of guarantee that it will fix anything?

My BIG concern is the eMMC failure problem gone?

The other thing that might make me do the upgrade is if the web browser would work again. My car came with a web browser that worked when I got the car but almost two years ago it became useless. Tesla says "Faster browser with video playback and 3D rendering support*" but does that mean that now it is 1000 times slower than any cellphone it will be only 100 times slower? Yes I have pestered Tesla service to fix that with no avail.

My USB stick with music used to work but that doesn't anymore either; will that be fixed?

I wonder if it will stream audio from a web page without video while driving?

I doubt it will fix the most annoying user interface in the car: THE SEAT HEATER BUTTONS! God couldn't they just make them a 3 second hold to activate, I don't know how many times myself and my passengers have meant to set the AC cooler here in Florida and gotten seat heaters instead. That alone would be worth a few hundred.

It sounds like Tesla has figured out how to sell a $300 computer for $2500 and mitigate the screw up with the eMMC.

Anyone have an opinion if any of these issues will be fixed? I doubt anyone at Tesla could answer my questions.
 

dannycamps

Member
Apr 8, 2019
696
627
Northeast USA
For $2500 I hope it fixes the problems with my 4/2016 S.

First does it come with any kind of guarantee that it will fix anything?

My BIG concern is the eMMC failure problem gone?

The other thing that might make me do the upgrade is if the web browser would work again. My car came with a web browser that worked when I got the car but almost two years ago it became useless. Tesla says "Faster browser with video playback and 3D rendering support*" but does that mean that now it is 1000 times slower than any cellphone it will be only 100 times slower? Yes I have pestered Tesla service to fix that with no avail.

My USB stick with music used to work but that doesn't anymore either; will that be fixed?

I wonder if it will stream audio from a web page without video while driving?

I doubt it will fix the most annoying user interface in the car: THE SEAT HEATER BUTTONS! God couldn't they just make them a 3 second hold to activate, I don't know how many times myself and my passengers have meant to set the AC cooler here in Florida and gotten seat heaters instead. That alone would be worth a few hundred.

It sounds like Tesla has figured out how to sell a $300 computer for $2500 and mitigate the screw up with the eMMC.

Anyone have an opinion if any of these issues will be fixed? I doubt anyone at Tesla could answer my questions.

1. Yes - the MCU 2 has a much larger eMMC chip which will well outlast the life of the car so should not fail due to log writing, etc...

2. Yes the browser on the MCU 2 is *MUCH* better. Is it as fast as a Core i7 computer with 16gb of RAM and a NVMe SSD drive? No - but it is more than usable for most websites. Also good to note that the browser in MCU 2 is based on the Chromium project (e.g. same rendering engine as Google Chrome) so standards compatibility with websites is pretty good.

3. For USB music, there was a recent update that broke USB music playback with MCU 1 and 2 but it has since been resolved.

4. Streaming - can't do it. When the car is not in park, any streaming capabilities (e.g. video or music) are disabled. I kind of get this because you certainly wouldn't want a driver streaming videos while the car is moving but it would've been nice to have the option to offer passengers. Also, the ability to stream music from a website would've softened the blow of losing the FM tuner as iHeartRadio.com and Radio.com probably cover a lot of FM stations in the US.

Unfortunately the UI is the same between the MCU 1 and 2 so heat seating controls, climate controls, etc... are more or less the same.
 

milleron

Member
Jun 16, 2017
214
198
Columbus Ohio USA
For people who've done the upgrade, how is listening to the radio only through streaming? Is it frustrating, or not a big deal? (I like to flip between channels while driving quite often I suppose)
I think it's indistinguishable. On some of my local stations, the stream via TuneIn contains artist and song-title info that the radio broadcast doesn't have. My ear cannot appreciate a difference in fidelity between the FM broadcast and the LTE stream of TuneIn. There are some things the stream cannot do. The only one I know about so far is live sports, some of which the stations cannot stream over the Internet because of legal restrictions -- i.e., there may be some ball games you cannot listen to in the car. The advantage that TuneIn has is that you're essentially never out of range. If you wish, you can listen to a local station from your home in Maine as you drive all the way to San Diego. As long as you have an LTE signal, your radio station is quite clear. There's a classical station in my home town that broadcasts on low power. For years, I'd drive out of range of it without leaving the city. HD radio solved that by putting that station on a side band of the more powetful local NPR station, but, of course, it comes in crystal clear all over the state on TuneIn.

It is seriously stupid that Tesla won't install a new tuner to go along with it o_O
Of course they could have done it, but it would have increased the cost of the upgrade and would have made it much more time consuming for the Service Centers. It's not stupid, it's just a compromise.
 

milleron

Member
Jun 16, 2017
214
198
Columbus Ohio USA
Also, the ability to stream music from a website would've softened the blow of losing the FM tuner as iHeartRadio.com and Radio.com probably cover a lot of FM stations in the US.

The ability to stream those FM stations has been in Tesla cars for years. It's the little-used TuneIn app in Tesla's Music section. The easiest way to use it is to create an account on your computer, find all the local stations you'd ever listen to, and mark them as favorites. Then sign in to that account on your Tesla's built-in TuneIn app, and the icons for all those favorites are displayed. In my area and for my preferences, TuneIn has replaced my FM tuner perfectly seamlessly.
 
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whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,566
7,892
Seattle area, WA
it should be noted that you don't know if you have a reboot or a UI restart unless you closely time it (and yes, hvac and music cuts and so on even on just the UI restart so cannot depend on it)

I've seen plenty of UI restarts, full node reboots are rather rare in my experience on the other hand.
The end result user experience is the same - screens go dark and you lose all user functionality of the MCU, including no HVAC to keep your windows from fogging up. Next we can quibble over what caused the restart or reboot, some software watchdog, hardware watchdog, kernel panic, - all possibly relevant to someone who wants to fix it, but means squat to the driver in a moving car who's suddenly in a car with windows fogging up, blinkers not working, suspension and steering mode changing at random, and possibly not even be able to see their speedometer.
 
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whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,566
7,892
Seattle area, WA
Right. So your cars have issues and you complain about them rather than even try to get them fixed. I guess if you don't get them fixed it means you can keep complaining. Hasn't this been going on exactly this way for years? You should have your own YouTube channel.
First, I was simply sharing here that this happens, in reply to someone who said they have not heard of it happening. I am certainly not complaining in order to get it fixed. I have no illusions about it, complaining here about Tesla bugs is not a way to fix it.

Second, my wife, based on a number of visits to Tesla and their lack of success in most cases, simply gave up even trying. Every SC visit in at least a day long event, a lot of times multiple days as the car waits in their parking lot queue while you don't even get a loaner, and most of the time they come back with "just wait for new firmware, we don't know which one or when". Nowadays it's worse, unless you can reliably reproduce the restart/reboot, Tesla will charge you $200 diagnostic fee and tell you to come back. So why would anyone waste $200 and a day or more of their time, each time, just report a bug to Tesla, which they won't even fix during the visit?
 
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FMinMI

Member
Dec 21, 2018
444
210
Mid Michigan
Various folks have reported more than a day for the upgrade. What is the norm? Does one day happen? I have a long drive for a Fri morning drop off at the Portland SC. Trying to plan some logistics including some options.

feb ‘17 model S. W00T

Doing the removal and install is easy and pretty time-specific (I heard under 2 hours if they did it before). What causes delays is not the parts (they will cancel an appointment if the parts don't show - happened to me) but MOVING the data over and confirming it is "good". Mine took under 4 hours (for everything) and was told they had no problem moving the data so that part must take about 2 hours to do, and except for the Homelink and WIFI everything was there. They did NOT test drive it so I did have to drive for about 15 minutes for the cameras to calibrate/get AP to work, and another 2 hours for the new maps to download via hotspot on my phone while driving home. If someone told them "I'm OK with not moving the old stuff over", I bet you could wait for it to be done versus leaving the car...
 

FMinMI

Member
Dec 21, 2018
444
210
Mid Michigan
The ability to stream those FM stations has been in Tesla cars for years. It's the little-used TuneIn app in Tesla's Music section. The easiest way to use it is to create an account on your computer, find all the local stations you'd ever listen to, and mark them as favorites. Then sign in to that account on your Tesla's built-in TuneIn app, and the icons for all those favorites are displayed. In my area and for my preferences, TuneIn has replaced my FM tuner perfectly seamlessly.

BUT, if you need FM for travel-related news (e.g. some highway notifications are transmitted locally on a low-power AM or FM frequency) or if you go to a drive-in (which requires you to tune into a specific FM frequency), TuneIn is not an option. I had to throw in an old 9V-powered pocket radio in the car for this (and it sucks at a drive-in). :-(
 

pilotSteve

Active Member
Jul 14, 2012
1,481
1,350
Prescott Az
Doing the removal and install is easy and pretty time-specific (I heard under 2 hours if they did it before). What causes delays is not the parts (they will cancel an appointment if the parts don't show - happened to me) but MOVING the data over and confirming it is "good". Mine took under 4 hours (for everything) and was told they had no problem moving the data so that part must take about 2 hours to do, and except for the Homelink and WIFI everything was there. They did NOT test drive it so I did have to drive for about 15 minutes for the cameras to calibrate/get AP to work, and another 2 hours for the new maps to download via hotspot on my phone while driving home. If someone told them "I'm OK with not moving the old stuff over", I bet you could wait for it to be done versus leaving the car...
thanks for your post. I plan on waiting for while its done (SvC is 1.5 hr drive from home and I have the day off). They did just email me today they are still waiting on parts so they pushed out the install 2 weeks.
 

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