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Are you experiencing a frozen Tesla screen? Is this the first time or has this happened to you several times?
Like all cars, Tesla’s vehicles also experience issues. Whether this is a factory defect, a user error, or the effects of time on your vehicle’s reliability, dealing with it promptly and appropriately is your highest priority.
Normally, a car experiencing some system malfunction wouldn’t warrant the whole world’s attention; unless, of course, the malfunction causes a sensational amount of damage.
Do you hear anyone talking about a BMW or Mercedes easily getting a flat tire?
Not really, right?
That’s because those are common issues. Common issues often get ignored because people have heard all about it and consider it normal.
But take for example Sudden Unintended Acceleration (SUA) or the embarrassing event when the Tesla Cybertruck’s windows broke at the unveiling – these are the types of malfunctions that make people sit up and listen.
These are unique malfunctions that not a lot of people have heard about at first, until the owners started talking about it.
That’s the same with getting a frozen Tesla screen.
This happens very seldom, but when they do, can get blown out of proportion.
It’s a new technology.
And Tesla’s a pretty hot company right now, so all eyes are on them—especially when something that could potentially damage their success happens.
And speaking about damage, make sure to protect your screen with a Tesla-approved Screen Protector.
Why Do Frozen Screens Happen?
Tesla’s touchscreen is not impervious to malfunctioning. A lot of external factors can cause it to freeze.
Knowing that a frozen Tesla screen can happen will help you react better should it happen to you.
Here’s hoping it doesn’t.
…but if it does, here are some reboot options you should know about to get your car back up and running as it should.
And please remember to drive to a safe area and put your car in park before attempting any of these reboot options. When in doubt, call the customer care hotline first to determine what could be causing the malfunction before doing anything else.
You should never attempt to fix your frozen Tesla screen while you’re still moving on the road – it doesn’t matter how fast or slow you’re going. Be safe and head for the nearest shoulder or parking area before doing any troubleshooting.
Scroll Wheel Reboot
The scroll wheel reboot is the first thing you should do if you encounter a frozen Tesla screen. The scroll wheels are found on either side of the steering wheel.
To do this, just press and hold both scroll wheels on the steering wheel for 10 seconds and wait for the main/central screen to restart.
Top Button Reboot
If the scroll wheel reboot doesn’t work, press and hold both buttons above the scroll wheels on the steering wheel for up to 10 seconds until the driver’s dash/screen reboots.
These buttons are found right above the scroll wheels.
Central Processor (CPU) And Screen Reboot
This is a lot harder to do, as it requires you to stay inside your car with your doors closed until the reboot finishes.
Place your foot firmly on the brake. Press and hold the buttons and scroll wheels on your steering wheel and wait for the screen to turn off.
The CPU and screen will refresh after a few seconds.
Take your foot off the brake pedal.
If that still doesn’t work, go for a more drastic approach.
And since the cabin lights will be off, increase your illumination with these Low-power Interior Lights.
Full Power Down And Restart
Only do this if you’ve already performed the first three reboot options listed above.
You should also do this right after you’ve done the CPU and screen reboot. After releasing your brake pedal, choose the “Power Off” option.
Wait until the car is completely powered down before giving it five minutes to refresh. You’ll know it’s completely powered down when there are no more lights and humming sounds in the background. After the five-minute time period is up, activate the car again by pressing on the brake pedal.
For most people, this should be enough. If this still doesn’t work, it’s time to do a Hard Reset. Make sure you call a customer care specialist to assist you with this before doing any further attempts.
Factory Hard Reset
This is your last resort. Only do this if you have no other choice.
This is the same as the Full Power Down and Restart reboot option but this time you’ll have to pick “Factory Reset” instead of “Power Off”.
An added step is to disconnect the 12-volt battery upfront with a 10mm wrench and wait for a few seconds before reattaching it.
Rebooting your car should only be done after you’ve exhausted all of your efforts to talk to a customer or product specialist about your frozen Tesla screen. Another thing you should always remember to do is to bring it in regularly for preventive maintenance. That way, a professional will ascertain and handle any underlying issues.
Other Things You Might Want To Try
Sometimes the reason why a frozen Tesla screen happens is because of all the additional items we attach or connect to our car. We’ve included these in the things you should try since these are common reasons why your car might become unresponsive.
Your Embedded MultiMedia Card (eMMC) can also be the source of your issues. If you find that you need to constantly reboot your frozen Tesla screen, taking a look at your eMMC’s condition might be in your best interest.
Your eMMC is where all the information is stored when you use your car. This also includes user data, trip logs, updates, and others. Time and physical damage can affect its efficiency. This is why this issue is almost always found in older Tesla variants.
If you’re within your warranty period, replacing the Microprocessor Control Unit (MCU) with a newer one is the best solution. The MCU can share the load in generating information that Tesla needs to run efficiently. This will most likely cost you around $1000 but the results last longer.
If you’re not within your warranty period, consider getting the eMMC replaced. This is a slightly more cost-effective measure and get you up and running within a shorter period of time. You will have to copy the content of the old card into the new eMMC to complete the process.
Clear The Trip Computer
Your trip computer will save a lot of data over time. Clear the memory to reduce the risk of having a frozen Tesla screen.
Delete The Sat Nav Saved Destinations
Locations you’ve saved on your sat nav will accumulate and eat up precious memory over time. Clear your list of saved destinations to see if that helps solve the problem.
Remove All USB Connections
A USB stick filled with music or a USB dashcam can quickly fill your eMMC up with data. Try deleting some files on the USB device first to determine if the large amount of data being transferred is the cause of the frozen Tesla screen. If the problem persists, remove the USB devices.
Turn The Bluetooth Connection To Your Phone Off
Your phone will continuously sync information between your frozen Tesla screen while it is connected via Bluetooth. This eats up a lot of memory. Turning your Bluetooth connection off might solve the issue or determine if it is a factor leading to it.
While we’re on the subject of phones, hold yours in place with this Magnetic Holder for Tesla.
Needless to say, if you ever encounter a malfunction (not necessarily a frozen Tesla screen), bring your car to the dealership and have your car checked thoroughly. Leaving any issue unattended is going to cause more problems in the future.
A frozen Tesla screen shouldn’t discourage you from using or buying this car. Dozens of improvements have been put in place from tech upgrades to system updates over the years to counter these issues.
Although it is still far from perfect, touchscreen technology in cars is becoming the norm. Other more established carmakers have taken their cue from Tesla and incorporated it in their own vehicles as well. The bid to come up with the perfect touchscreen is up for grabs and only the future will tell if Tesla manages to outrun the competition and win the race.
Have There Been Any Reported Crashes Due To Frozen Tesla Screens?
No. There have been near-misses though, and this is only because the driver tried to correct the issue while operating the car on public roads. Having a frozen Tesla screen won’t cause an accident, as long as you don’t get distracted when you’re driving or try to fix it before parking.
Will Too Much Heat Inside My Cabin Affect My Tesla Screen?
Yes. Like most gadgets, your Tesla screen is going to be affected by too much heat. Some reports have come in of the adhesive inside the screens melting and leaking goo into the interior. Electronics are also reported to go on the fritz when they become overly hot. Your best solution is to keep your entire car cool by parking under the shade or putting up some windshield screens.
How Do I Deal With Yellow Banding And Dead Pixels?
Check your warranty. Yellow banding and dead pixels are common issues reported by Tesla owners all over the world. This is more prevalent in areas in countries with hot temperatures. Report this to your dealer immediately, so they can help you fix/replace damaged components in your Tesla screen.