What to do When Tesla Screen Goes Blank While Driving?

Those massive touch screens in Tesla serve many essential functions that enhance the driving experience.

The touchscreens are a viable substitute for buttons. They can control volume, temperature, and autopilot. But they are not bulletproof and can go blank while driving. Don’t get alarmed when this happens. Stay calm and keep reading to troubleshoot this problem.

Why Screen Goes Blank in Tesla Model S

Most touchscreens on Model S are 17 inches in width. They look impressive and look great in your dashboard. But it can be frightening once the screen freezes.

There are a few reasons why Tesla screens go blank.

Problems with the eMMC

The embedded multimedia card (eMMC) in Model S has a high failure rate. This is true for Model S cars built before 2018.

Tesla has agreed to extend the warranty on affected Model S cars. However, Tesla has also issued recalls for their electric cars in California.

They have recalled about 130,000 cars across the United States of America. This is because the touchscreen is overheating and going blank.

The recalls cover Model X SUVs, Model S sedans, Model 3s, and Model Y SUVs.

If your touchscreen doesn’t work, you might have to take it to Tesla service centers. If the Model S is covered under warranty, you will qualify for a free repair.

You may be under warranty if:

  • The car has driven for less than 100,000 miles
  • The car has been on the road for less than eight years
  • The car was manufactured before 2018

Read: Blind Spot System in Teslas – What You Should Know

Heavy Application Use

Another reason why the touch screen goes blank is because of heavy application use. It is easy to fall for the hype that your Tesla runs an invincible supercomputer.

The truth is, it has finite processing power. It can only handle so many applications before freezing and failing.

Make sure only to run applications that you need when driving your Tesla. This doesn’t mean you’ll have to ditch Soundcloud or Spotify.

Only install apps you need, and you should be ready to go. More importantly, always check for new software and system updates.

This should rectify any issues leading to the screen blacking out. Tesla software updates may also provide your EV with new features.

It is recommended to set up automatic updates. This way, your Tesla will fetch new updates automatically. Here’s how:

  • Tap controls
  • Go into software
  • Tap Software Update Preferences
  • Now you can choose between two settings: Standard and Advanced. The latter installs new updates as soon as they are released. Note that the Tesla should be connected to a Wi-Fi Network.

What would happen if you don’t update your Tesla’s software? It will be subject to system overload.

For example, older software like the MCU1 is slow and cumbersome. They should be upgraded to the more recent MCU2 software.

Furthermore, the MCU1 is very taxing on the system. This is because it logs data. This data overloads the software and causes it to malfunction.

The data can occupy too much space on your Tesla and affect how it works.

When Tesla Screen Goes Blank While Driving What to do

Model S Touchscreen Recall

Tesla admitted that touchscreens for the Model S were meant to last five years. They did not anticipate owners using the car for over a decade.

Even so, five years is a very short time for a touchscreen. Poor quality standards like this can hurt Tesla’s reputation.

The touchscreen isn’t just installed in the car to look fancy; it serves many functions. It is like the brain that controls the entire vehicle.

The touch screen controls the headlights, window defogging, and safety management. Without a functioning touchscreen, the driver might as well be driving blindfolded.

The touchscreen plays a critical safety component that is federally mandated. It is a serious safety issue that must be taken seriously.

Give Your Tesla Touchscreen a Reboot (All Models)

Resetting your Tesla touchscreen may fix the issue. It is recommended to reboot your Model Y and Model S touchscreen when stationary.

With so many safety features out of your control, driving is too dangerous. Here are a few ways of rebooting your car:

A Touchscreen Reset

This is done by holding down both scroll buttons simultaneously. Doing so will deactivate the screen.

Now wait for a minute, and the screens should reset and work usually.

Power Cycling

You must park your electric car and close all the doors for this method. Now firmly press the brake while holding both scrolls and the two buttons above.

A warning prompt will ask you to confirm if you want to turn off the power. Click “Power Off”.

Hold all four buttons and the brake until the screen fully restarts. You will have to wait up to 10 minutes before using the car.

Do not open the door, press the touchscreen or touch the brake in any way. Pass the time on your phone or do something to stay distracted.

Once enough time has passed, press the brake pedal to activate the EV.

There is another option if power cycling doesn’t work. Start by removing all devices connected to the car’s USB ports. Don’t forget the USB connection in the glove box.

Now try to attempt power cycling a second time.

Click here: Difference Between Tesla AWD and RWD

Factory Reset

If power cycling didn’t work, it may be time to hit factory reset. To do this, open your Tesla App and enter the “Services” section.

If the problem with the touchscreen persists, you may have to hit factory reset. Factory reset will clear all your data.

This includes music favorites, driver settings, saved addresses, and other personal settings.

You can perform a factory reset using the following steps:

  • Place the Tesla in Park and close all doors.
  • Touch the car symbol on the bottom left corner of the touch screen
  • Click on “Service” and then click on “Factory Reset”.
  • You will be asked to sign into your Tesla account using your credentials.
  • The factory reset itself will take four minutes to complete.

Wait for a Few Days

This one may be too inconvenient for some drivers. You can wait until Tesla releases an update to fix the issue for a few days.

Another fix is to allow the center screen to rest for a few days. You can start using the touchscreen again.

You can always drive the Tesla without a touchscreen, but we don’t recommend doing so. You can lose rearview camera displays and various safety indicators without the screen.

Keep the car staoinary and ppparked you don’t want to risk your safety. After a few days have passed, you can turn it on and try again. The touchscreen may start functioning like usual again.

What to do Tesla Screen Goes Blank While Driving

Disconnect the Battery

A last-resort option to reboot the touchscreen is to disconnect the battery. A qualified technician should only perform this step.

The technicians will disconnect the 12V battery and then disconnect the main drive battery pack.

The trick is to allow the car to sit for 10 minutes without the battery. Doing so will deal with the residual current in the systems.

The12-volt battery is reconnected, and the car should work like it usually would. This step may be costly if your Tesla is not covered under warranty.

You could do this as long as you follow the manual’s guidelines. These guidelines vary mightm model to model.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Tesla Screen?

The exact costs of replacing a Tesla screen depend on the damage. Prices may also depend on the service center and location.

The table below indicates the prices of repairing the screen.

All Parts$1400
Total Labor$60
Total Amount$1500

Prices may go above $2000 and up to $4000. It is recommended to resolve this issue while the car is under warranty.

Can You Drive a Tesla Without the Center Screen?

The touchscreen acts like your eyes and ears on the road. It provides you with so much valuable information that it is indispensable.

So can you drive Tesla electric cars in California without the powerful touchscreen? Yes, you can – but we don’t recommend doing so.

Without the touchscreen, you won’t know how fast you are going. You also won’t be able to manage air conditioning or open the dash.

There is a way to work around this limitation – but it is too unsafe. You can pull up the Tesla app on your phone. The app acts like your center screen while you drive.

You will see the speed at which the electric car in California is driving. You can activate the Autopilot function without the screen.

This is because the Autopilot is activated by pulling on a stalk. Automatic braking also works really well without the center screen.

Things that a Tesla Screen Can Do

The Tesla touchscreen is impressive and does so many things right. It includes many features – some useful, others not so useful.

For example, you can use the touchscreen to play games while the car charges. It also provides navigation and superfast Wi-Fi.

Let’s take a closer look at what the touchscreen is capable of.

Road Awareness

The touchscreen provides real-time updates about the car’s position. It shows lane markings, speed, and surrounding traffic.

The screen indicates local speed limits thanks to the forward-facing cameras. You can control what information is displayed in the left and right areas.

You can choose from media controls, electrical usage statistics, and navigation maps.

Check out: Charging Tesla in the Rain

Entertainment: Netflix and Chill

Tesla designed their electric cars in California with an emphasis on entertainment. The screens are huge with high resolutions.

Some models, like the Model S plaid, boast 1440p resolution with a high pixel density. You can stream videos from platforms like YouTube, Netflix, and others.

You can’t use these services while the car is in motion.

The screen also comes with many video games. You can add your own collection of video games on Version 9.

Some of these games include Missile Command, Lunar Lander, and Asteroids. A recent addition is Cuphead, but it requires a controller for gaming.


The handy dandy navigation feature makes driving to your destination easy. You can also use the “I’m feeling lucky” option to visit exciting places.

Hit the button and Tesla will choose an attractive location for you. You can also find restaurants using the “I’m feeling hungry” option.

Car Settings

Finally, the touchscreen it’s your gateway to controlling the car itself. This includes climate control, heated seats, steering wheel, and windscreen.

You can also adjust media volume and tweak the rest of the Tesla’s settings.

Is the Touchscreen Too Distracting?

Here is a controversial opinion: Tesla’s touchscreen may be too distracting. In fact, a court in Germany ruled that Tesla touchscreens can distract drivers easily.

It fined a motorist €200 and banned them from driving for one month. The driver was using the touchscreen to adjust the windscreen wiper speed. This led to a car crash.

Courts and car manufacturers are struggling to improve the user experience while improving

Tesla Screen Goes Blank While Driving

Wrapping Up

As you can see, the touchscreen is a complex piece of gadget. It plays an intricate role on your driving experience and helps you with your safety.

The screen can go blank while driving. This can render driving unsafe, especially at higher speeds. The probability is even higher if you are driving a Tesla made before 2018

It can also hamper your ability to control various settings, such as air conditioning. Safety is a major concern when the screen doesn’t provide feedback.

Try to follow the above steps to reset your Tesla screen. But if nothing else works, you might have to go to a Tesla service center.

We recommend only going to a service center recommended by Tesla. An independent garage may not have the correct tools and trained personnel.

Has your Tesla screen ever gone blank while driving? If so, what steps did you take to recover the screen?

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