How to Reboot and Restart a Tesla Electric Vehicle’s Screen?

A Tesla EV is designed to be technologically superior to other competitive electric vehicles. However, it is not uncommon for a Tesla’s built-in touch screen to malfunction once in a while.

Usually, people who are new to the world of Tesla react to a malfunctioning screen by taking their Tesla electric vehicle to a workshop.

However, it is extremely easy to reset and restart a malfunctioned screen most of the time.

It takes less than a minute for the screen to reset. However, in some complicated cases, involving professional help becomes a necessity.

How Can You Reset Your Tesla Electric Vehicle’s Touch Screen?

There are three main different ways to reset and restart a Tesla EV touch screen.

The first method is the soft system reboot, the second is the hard system reboot, and the third, which is for more complicated system glitches, is the factory reset.

However, apart from the three main methods advised by Tesla, there are multiple other hacks to reboot a glitching touch screen.

Moreover, different Tesla electric vehicles would need different methods to reset their display touch screens in case of a malfunction.

Continue reading to learn in detail about the soft, hard, and factory reset systems that help deal with the screen malfunctions of different Tesla EV models.

Moreover, this article will also cover other simple hacks that every Tesla EV owner needs to know.

How to reset a Tesla screen
How to reset a Tesla screen

Read How Much to Rent a Tesla?

Tesla Soft System Reboot

The soft system reboot method is similar to resetting a router or a mobile phone.

Just as a simple press of a button allows a malfunctioning mobile phone to reset, the soft system reboot allows the Tesla touch screen to reset and restart without taking power away from the electronics.

This particular method is called the soft reboot because it allows the Tesla software to reset and restart without requiring it to lose its saved settings.

In general, most Tesla electric vehicles have two different levels of soft system reboot mechanisms.

The first one is used for resetting and restarting only the Tesla EV touch screen, while the second one is used to reboot the entire electric vehicle’s system.

Tesla has talked about this system in their instructions manual under the Power Cycling heading.

Tesla Hard System Reboot

While you can carry out the soft system reboot without turning the Tesla EV’s system off, the hard system reboot has the opposite requirements.

Unlike the soft system reboot, which is compared to pressing a button to reset a mobile phone, the hard system reboot is like taking out a phone’s battery to reset it.

To use the hard system reboot to reset a malfunctioned Tesla electric vehicle’s screen, one has to disconnect the Tesla’s 12V battery.

This battery is not the main battery that supplies electric charge to the Tesla electric vehicle’s motor.

Instead, this battery is much smaller in size and capacity and is used to power a Tesla EV’s other electrical devices, such as its headlights. 

Disconnecting the 12V battery allows the connected electrical devices to completely discharge before being reconnected again.

This method of rebooting and restarting a glitching Tesla EV’s touch screen is more complicated than the soft system reboot method.

Unlike the soft reboot method, the hard system reboot requires the owner to work closely around the Tesla electric vehicle’s high voltage devices.

Due to its potential dangers, untrained or poorly informed Tesla owners are not recommended to attempt this by themselves.

Moreover, a full vehicle reboot is not always called a hard system reboot. In cases when the vehicle is rebooted without having to disconnect the power, the reset will still be called a soft system reboot. It will only become a hard reboot when you disconnect the power.

Read How Much Does It Take to Replace a Tesla Battery?

Other Hacks to Reset and Restart a Malfunctioned Tesla Screen

Hack 1

This first hack is extremely easy and usually is able to reset most Tesla screen issues in all Tesla electric vehicle models.

One has to press and hold the scrolling wheels that are on either side of the Tesla EV’s steering wheel.

Continue to press and hold for 10 to 15 seconds to reset and restart the main screen of the Tesla. Moreover, one will be able to view the airbag icon on the Tesla EV’s screen during this hack.

Hack 2

The second hack that usually works for most Tesla electric vehicle models is called the full steering wheel hard reboot and brake pedal method. This hack is a little harder for new Tesla owners.

For this Tesla screen resetting hack, one has to:

  • Sit inside their Tesla electric vehicles with all the doors closed. The doors are supposed to remain closed till the hack is completed and the screen is reset.
  • Use their foot to press the brake.
  • While the brake is pressed, the driver has to hold and press the two buttons above the scroll wheels located on either side of the steering wheel. This step can be done this way for a Tesla Model S and Model X.

If the Tesla EV is a Model 3 or Model Y, then drivers simply have to scroll the wheels.

  • The driver is required to keep doing this for at least 10 seconds to reboot their Tesla electric vehicle’s touch screen.
  • Finally, to restart the Tesla screen, the person must continue to press the brake.

Hack 3

This third hack can only be used for a Tesla Model S or Model X. One has to press and hold the two buttons located on the sides of the Tesla EV’s steering wheel.

They must continue to do this for 10 to 15 seconds until the screen reboots and restarts.

Read How to Precondition a Tesla Battery

Hack 4

The fourth hack is similar to a hard system reboot and is hence called the full power down resetting method. To follow through with this screen rebooting hack, the Tesla EV owner has to:

  • Sit inside the Tesla electric vehicle and shut its doors. For this hack, the person needs to pay attention and listen to their electric car. Hence, doing this in a quiet garage will be great.
  • If the brake pedal has been pressed, then it must be released.
  • Touch the malfunctioned display screen and go to its service menu section. Then select the power off button. This will cause the screen, lights, and other active electric systems of the Tesla EV to start turning off. This is when the quietness of the garage will come to use. If all sounds have gone silent, the driver can proceed with the rest of the hack. Usually, it will take 5 to 7 minutes for the Tesla electric vehicle’s systems to fully shut down.
  • Finally, press the brake pedal. This will restart the Tesla electric car, and the screen should start working properly. 

Hack 5

The fifth and the final hack to reset and restart a glitch-free Tesla electric vehicle screen is called the configuration reset method. This hack is advised by Tesla itself to be used if the car’s system will not put the car in drive mode.

To go through with this hack, one has to:

  • Go to their Tesla electric vehicle’s screen menu to access the software settings.
  • In the software settings section, change the wheel choice.
  • This will allow Tesla’s system to reset.
  • Once the reset is complete, the driver can change back to their original wheel choice settings.

Read How Much Does a Used Tesla Cost

Hack 6

Usually, a Tesla electric vehicle screen should be reset by the hacks or methods explained above. However, in a situation when the screen is still not reacting normally to commands, one can try doing the following:

  • Clear all the previous destination history or data stored in the Tesla’s system. Swiping them off the list will delete them instantly.
  • Check if the phone is connected to the Tesla EV’s Bluetooth system and disconnect it.
  • Check if a USB or hard drive is connected to the Tesla EV’s system and disconnect it. If this seems to fix the issue, try removing or reducing the data on the USB before reconnecting it again.

When Should a Tesla Screen be Reset?

Some signs and warnings indicate that a Tesla screen has malfunctioned. They are as follows:

  • When the Tesla electric vehicle’s touch screen is not responding to the driver’s touch inputs
  • When the Tesla electric vehicle’s touch screen is functioning erratically or reacting abnormally to a command
  •  If the Tesla electric vehicle’s touch screen is unable to connect to the internet or the owner’s mobile app
  • When the Tesla EV’s screen is displaying an evident warning or alert sign
  • If the Tesla electric vehicle’s screen is displaying an unclear error
  • If, after updating a Tesla electric vehicle’s software, the screen starts reacting abnormally
  • If the Tesla electric vehicle’s touch screen does not allow the owner to put the car in drive mode.

Read How Many Batteries Are in a Tesla Electric Car?

Other Tips and Tricks that All Tesla Electric Vehicle Owners Need to Know

  • Keep your Tesla electric vehicle charged between the 20% to 90% range. This tip has been recommended by Elon Musk himself. Doing this will help increase a Tesla battery’s charge storing capacity and improve its traveling range.
  • Drive the Tesla electric vehicle at steady accelerations and avoid unnecessary speeding. Doing this will prolong the battery’s charge and allow the driver to cover more distance.
  • Using the slow manufacturer-provided charging system at home to charge the Tesla electric vehicle and the fast DC charging super stations only when no other choice is available.
  • Charge Your Tesla electric vehicle as often as possible and refrain from storing a discharged battery for too long.
  • Refrain from adding unnecessary weight, such as multiple mountain bikes, to the Tesla electric vehicle. The weight will put stress on the Tesla EV’s battery and cause it to lose range and depreciate.
  • Do not put the Tesla in drive mode if the Tesla battery is either too hot or too cold. Giving the battery some time to reach its normal temperature before hitting the road lengthens the battery’s total lifespan.
  • Use regenerative braking systems to minimize energy wastage. The regenerative braking system allows the Tesla electric vehicle to cover a greater distance in one charge.

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Final Thoughts

Fixing a Tesla electric vehicle’s screen that has malfunctioned is usually not an issue. Simple hacks and methods can help remove the glitch and completely reboot the system. When the hacks or tips mentioned above do not fix the issue, visit your nearest Tesla service shop for a thorough system checkup.