A common issue Tesla owners are running into is that the screen goes black. This is a common occurrence for the Tesla Model 3, Model Y, Model X, and Model S. Luckily, there are ways to fix it.
Why Does My Tesla Screen Go Black?
1. Issue with Touchscreen
It’s scary to think the touchscreen could go black while you’re on the highway, but it’s not a common occurrence, so you don’t have to worry.
It would be best if you first tried to reset or reboot, which is a foolproof method of reviving the screen when it’s black.
Once you try these two fixes, you should have your screen back on and functioning as if nothing happened. Also, it’s not a technical process; although there’s no control Alt and delete combo here, you can still fix the error relatively quickly.
Fix – Reset Touchscreen
Resetting your Tesla touchscreen is like resetting your TV after it freezes. So what you want to do is allow the touchscreen to reset itself and return to normalcy by pressing the reset buttons.
This process doesn’t delete any of your files, so it’s safe and effective. It’s advisable to park your device before you reset the touchscreen.
Although some users reset their touchscreen while in motion, and it’s not too dangerous, it’s risky. So it’s advisable to find a place to park when you want to do this.
Also, ensure your backup battery and Tesla is running effectively. Although, as earlier mentioned, the process is simple and user-friendly, you can check it out below.
How to Reset Tesla Touchscreen
1. Shift your vehicle into Park
2. Press and hold down both scroll buttons on the steering wheel until the touchscreen goes black
3. Wait for a few seconds for the Tesla Logo to appear.
4. Wait approximately 30 seconds for the touchscreen to restart.
2. eMMC Fault
Owning one of the first Tesla vehicles is an exciting feat, but this can be trumped by the disadvantage in vehicle parts and upgrades. One of the cons of owning a Tesla model released before 2018 is the eMMC error which causes the touchscreen to black out more often.
Although that doesn’t mean Tesla models released after 2018 are safe from black screens, the automaker has gained lots of experience with each model released, so newer models have less frequent black screens than users with old models.
Tesla is aware of the eMMC issue, and since they can do little to help the embedded Multi-Media-Card memory fault, users will have to live with this disadvantage until they can upgrade to a newer model.
However, Tesla also provides an extended warranty for anyone using the older model to get a free checkup if they have vehicle issues. So if, after rebooting, you still have difficulty loading your touchscreen, you can take advantage of Tesla’s offer.
Fix – Opt for Tesla’s Free Repair
Before you get too excited by Tesla’s offer, please note that there are terms and conditions too. It’s not available to all old model users, but the warranty still covers only a few.
To enjoy this offer, your vehicle must have under 100,000 miles of travel, have been on the road for less than eight years, and be a model built before 2018.
If you fit into these criteria, then you’re good to go. First, take your vehicle to any Tesla support closest to you and provide details. You’ll get a free checkup and repair for your touchscreen from the automaker.
However, if you don’t fit the criteria, you can still take your vehicle for a checkup if you’re covered by warranty, though you’ll barely run into this error on your car.
3. System Overload
System overload happens on your mobile phone or laptop when you have too many apps in session.
If you’ve noticed your device freezing and unable to get anything done, then you’ve experienced a system overload before. Like your device, the Tesla touchscreen can get overwhelmed with tasks and freeze the screen for a while.
When this happens, you won’t be able to do anything on the touchscreen. It won’t even come back on no matter how often you try switching it on.
Only after the system sorts itself and manages to sort the tasks and free itself can you expect the screen back on. But, when this happens, you can still take some steps to revive the touchscreen without waiting for ages till it fixes itself.
Fix – Wait for System To Cool Down
If there is a system overload, you have too many apps running at a time or making too many requests.
So when the CPU tries to manage all and freezes, you can wait for it to sort the tasks at its own pace, and once it’s done, you’ll notice the frozen screen disappears, and the touchscreen returns to its normal state.
You probably won’t have to wait too long for this; the system should be back to normal, and the task sorted in just a few seconds or a couple of minutes.
However, if you wait for a few minutes and do not see any change, then it would be best to take action and help the system get over the overload faster. You can do this with the second suggestion below, but ensure you give the system some time to sort it on its own before intervening.
Fix 2 – Hard Reboot Tesla
After waiting for some time and the system doesn’t load still, you can intervene. But unfortunately, since it’s completely frozen, you won’t be able to do anything on the touchscreen.
So you have to rely on other methods that don’t require you to interact with the touchscreen. Some of them are soft reboot, which is explained in the latter part of this guide.
However, in this case, the best option is to hard reboot the vehicle so the system can start afresh. But this method makes you lose any unsaved data, so make sure you save all your settings and data before the hard reboot.
How to Hard Reboot Tesla
1. Switch off the Climate Control System and open windows for your safety
2. Open the frunk
3. Take out the underhood storage unit or remove the top panels
4. Find the 12V battery.
5. Disconnect the ground and insulate the terminal from the post to prevent contact
6. Disconnect the first responder loop too
7. Wait for two minutes or more, then reconnect the 12V battery ground
8. Replace everything in the right order and close the frunk
4. Issue with Tesla
The issue can also be from Tesla sometimes, which can be due to server or system error. A warranty usually covers this issue, but you can still take matters into your own hands and fix them yourself.
Of course, you won’t get a medal, but it does save you time and resources. For example, if you can fix the touchscreen error yourself in a few minutes, it’s much better than driving to Tesla for a checkup and repair.
Luckily, there are easy steps to fix the issues.
Some just need a little navigation on the system, while others require you to press a button and follow instructions. Whichever one you try, ensure you don’t make changes you don’t understand so you don’t cause more issues that will eventually get you to visit a technician.
Fix – Soft Reboot Tesla
Soft rebooting a Tesla means restarting the system while some functions can still run in the background. It’s like keeping your phone on but restarting an application with issues. So you refresh the Tesla software while the electrical and electronic systems still function normally without the touchscreen you’re rebooting.
Although there are two types of soft reboots, the one applicable here is the touchscreen reboot since you’re trying to fix the black screen error on your Tesla. Once you’re done with the soft reboot, Tesla recommends waiting for at least thirty seconds before driving the vehicle, so keep note of this.
Fix 2 – Update Tesla
If soft rebooting doesn’t work and your touchscreen still goes black, you probably need to update Tesla. Old Tesla models lack some of the new models’ exciting features and run into more issues than the new models.
So it’s natural for the old software versions to run into more bugs and errors than more recent versions. However, you can avoid these errors by updating your software to the latest version.
By default, Tesla software should automatically update when there’s a new version, but if it doesn’t, you should see a yellow notification to install the latest update manually. So take the cue or go to the menu and select update.
Next, the system will scan for any new releases by Tesla. If there is, Tesla will update you to this version. Otherwise, you can try fixing the issue another way.
Fix 3 – Perform Reset of Tesla
Updating Tesla installs the latest software and features on your vehicle, but it doesn’t remove any underlying file or bug.
So resetting Tesla might become necessary then. When you reset your Tesla, you’ll be able to clear your data and information and also remove cache storage on the software.
That way, your device can start afresh with new activities, and if you also update the software, you’ll get the best experience you can expect from a brand like Tesla. Of course, it’s advisable to do this once in a while, even when you’re not having issues with your touchscreen. As they say, prevention is better than cure.
Fix 4 – Wait For A Few Days
If you’re not in a hurry to fix things, you can wait a few days for Tesla to fix any impending issues (for general issues). Sometimes, you need to give the touchscreen a break and allow it to rest for a couple of days.
After that, you can start using it again. If you wonder whether it’s possible to drive Tesla without the touchscreen, you can.
However, if you don’t want to risk that, you can also park your device in a safe place for those days, then once you’re satisfied, switch it back on and try again to see if the touchscreen won’t be going black anymore.
Fix 5 – Getting in Touch with Tesla
This is the last option for touchscreen issues caused by Tesla. It can also be the first option depending on your preference. Reach out to Tesla customer support for help on why your screen is always going black and what to do.
You’ll find the contact information on the official Tesla website by checking the Contact or Help page. Customer support will guide you on the best decision you can make to fix it.
If your vehicle will need a free repair or if it will be to be fixed, they’ll also be able to point these out when you contact them.
Tesla also has a community of users who discuss the model features, new releases, issues, and how they fix them. You might find it quite helpful to join the forum and check what other Tesla users are saying and what experience they have using the exact vehicle as you.
5. Issue With App
If your app has issues running effectively, this can also contribute to the touchscreen functions. Since the screen renders displays from apps and software, a glitch in the app would technically mean a glitch ok the screen.
Note: You need to make sure that the app is actually connected to the car. If the Tesla app isn’t connected to the car, it can cause your screen to have all sorts of issues such as the one you’re experiencing now.
So, it’s super important that you keep note of your software and apps to ensure everything’s in perfect working order and there is no bug or glitch anywhere.
You probably won’t know for sure if there are glitches on your app. But generally, when you notice app lags, slow functions, or any other abnormal app activity, it’s safe to suspect bugs.
So please pay attention to your app behavior and responsiveness; once you notice an app is malfunctioning, take any of the steps below to fix it before it affects your touchscreen functions.
Fix – Log Out Then Back In
To fix app malfunctions, you can log out of the app and then log back in. That will help you break the existing connection on the app and create a new one.
Hopefully, this should remove the bug for you and keep your app running safely. If it doesn’t, you should spend more time when you log out before logging back in.
Fix 2 – Clear Cache
The app’s cache is the primary host for bugs, so it should be your target when you notice bugs on your app. The cache is a safe spot for app activities and the best place a bug would lodge on your device.
So ensure you frequently clean your app’s cache and, if necessary, clean the storage. However, if you have an important file to lose, you can stick only to cache clearing.
Fix 3 – Update Tesla App
The Tesla app needs updates, too, as you’d update the touchscreen software. So if you’d like to keep up with the latest software on your vehicle, you have to keep up with the newest version on your device.
When you use outdated apps to control your Tesla, you’ll be surprised the function might be slower than you expect because there is little compatibility between the two. In addition, newer updates are sometimes difficult for old versions to work with, so it’s no surprise if your screen keeps going off every you try to use the app.
6. Display is Faulty
Lastly, it might also be an issue with the touchscreen. You might not see anything on the screen if the display is faulty. In this case, the screen might not even turn on after every attempt you’ve made.
Fix – Recover or Replace
We recommend seeing a technician or taking your vehicle to Tesla for a checkup if you qualify for warranty coverage. Get the display fixed if it’s damaged and can be repaired. Otherwise, get a new display, as you can’t enjoy your vehicle unless you have a fully functional touchscreen that doesn’t go black too often.