Fixing a Tesla Flickering Screen: A Simple Guide

Fixing a Tesla Flickering Screen: A Simple Guide

If you are considering purchasing a Tesla Model 3, or you already have one, then you’ll need to have some information about the flickering screen problem that many users have encountered. Also, you’ll need to know about the other potential issues that you’ll experience in your car with a malfunctioning touchscreen. Since the reviews for the Tesla Model 3 have been decent overall, more of these cars are now being produced. However, if you decide to purchase one, you’ll need to be aware of the screen issues.

How can you fix a Tesla’s flickering screen? To fix a Tesla’s flickering screen, you’ll need to reset the touchscreen fully. Typically, that can help resolve flickering and black screen problems. If this doesn’t work, you may need to purchase a new screen. That’s because, with a malfunctioning touchscreen, you are likely to experience other problems with your car. 

Since there isn’t a lot of information available on the Internet today covering the Tesla Model 3’s touchscreen issues, there have been several listed complaints. We see this problem not only with the Tesla Model 3, but also the Tesla Model X. Below we’ll talk about the significant issues a malfunctioning screen can cause, and how you can try to fix your screen before determining if you need to purchase a new one. 

Problems with Your Tesla’s Screen

If you are experiencing any flickering or blacking out with your Tesla’s screen, and you’ve noticed the issue happening often, then you may wind up having more significant problems with your Tesla car if you ignore these screen issues for too long. If your Tesla’s screen starts flickering, you may notice a few other problems with your display that can make your car far more challenging to drive. 

#1 Poor Visibility with Your Back-up Camera

One potential problem that a malfunctioning touchscreen on your Tesla can create is poor visibility with your back-up camera. If you wind up with a blurry back-up camera, you may really encounter some issues whenever you try to back out of an area. One owner of a Tesla Model 3 described how touchscreen issues resulted in a blurry back-up camera as he was driving. Responses on the same forum are downplaying the problem, but this is a common issue that pops up on Tesla forums with the touchscreen problem.

#2 You Adjust Cruise Control without Your Touchscreen

On both the Tesla Model 3 and the Tesla Model X, you need to have a properly working touchscreen whenever you are going to adjust your cruise control. So, if your screen is flickering and blacking out, you’ll have difficulty using many of the features that make these cars so great. Not only is the flickering and blacking out going to affect this, but many people were concerned about screen-tapping while Tesla owners drive.

So, drivers have to look away from the road often so they can see their speed, time, or any of the other displays. Any time spent with your eyes off the road is a real concern. Not only that, but if you wind up with a malfunctioning touchscreen, you won’t be able to adjust your cruise control when you need it, and that can be a real problem. According to Consumer Reports, their testers felt let down when they realized on head-up display was made for these cars.

Another Tesla owner on Engadget discussed the same problem and mentioned that he had to find a submenu so that he could set his cruise control. In his words, he said he felt that the issue was “potentially dangerous.” Now, if your touchscreen is not working well and flickering, you can imagine how much of a problem this can create when you are out on the road.

#3 Complete Touchscreen Failure

Since the touchscreen controls everything on your Tesla, when your touchscreen starts to fail, you can wind up with a lot of other malfunctions. When Green Car Reports first tested out to do a drive and review of the new EV back in February 2018, they were shocked about the touchscreen issues. Green Car Reports burrowed the Tesla they tested, and before they got a hold of it, the owner of the car had to send his Tesla back into the shop for significant screen issues.

So, the Green Car Reports team had to pause before they could write their review. According to the owner, the touchscreen was malfunctioning and causing several issues. Sometimes he found his car parked in the garage with the stereo very loud. Also, the vehicle would stop charging on its own, and the navigation system wouldn’t work.

That car owner had to get the screen replaced, which is sometimes what Tesla owners need to do. Because of the situation, the Editor-in-Chief of Green Car Reports, John Voelcker, commented the quality of the Tesla was “in a word, appalling.”

#4 Getting Locked Out of Your Tesla

Another issue you may run into with your Tesla is getting locked out of your car. This issue can happen whether you have a malfunctioning touchscreen or not. If you wind up getting locked out of your vehicle, you’ll experience real problems. We’ll explain.

The touchscreen typically works with an iPhone app to allow you to unlock your Tesla, or you can use an electronic key. However, in one instance, an owner reported that the car could not be opened either with an electronic key card or the iPhone app. Tesla cars do not use metal keys. So, if you get locked out of your vehicle, you’ll have to call a Tesla tech to bring a portable battery so they can unlock your hood. 

#5 Total Car Shutdown While Driving

Another problem you are likely to experience if you are having touchscreen problems is the total shutdown of the car while you are driving. One Model 3 owner shared her experiences in a forum and said that as she was driving, she was warned, “Car Shutting Down — PULL OVER SAFELY.” Since that information came on her touchscreen, she pulled over safely, stopped, rebooted the car, and still had the same warning and loss of power. 

When the owner took the car in to have it assessed, the Tesla technicians told her it was “failure in the high voltage controller.” However, if you search around on forums, you’ll notice there are several complaints about this issue, too. 

Now that you understand how a failing touchscreen can affect your Tesla, we’ll explain to you how you can reboot your car.

Fixing Your Tesla Screen: Rebooting

Sometimes, if you are experiencing a flickering touchscreen or a black one, you can reset the touchscreen below by doing the following:

  • Hold down the brake pedal.
  • While you are holding down the brake, you’ll need to hold down both buttons found above your steering wheel for around twenty seconds. You should see the speedometer start blinking if you’ve done it correctly.
  • Once you see the speedometer blinking, release the steering wheel buttons. However, keep holding down the brake.
  • Now, press down the scroll wheels. You should see the screen go blank. After it blanks out, a “T” will come up on your screen. 
  • When you see the “T” display itself, you know you’ve completed the reset, and you can release everything. 
  • The entire process takes about a minute or two. After that, your car should have reset.

However, if that doesn’t work, you may need to get your touchscreen replaced. Most likely, that shouldn’t be a costly issue, especially if your car is still under warranty. 

Final Thoughts

Now that you know about how your Tesla’s touchscreen issues can affect your car, you should be able to fix most problems with a simple reset. However, if that doesn’t work, you may need to talk to your Tesla dealership and replace the touchscreen in your car.

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Hi, I'm Greg. My daily driver is a Tesla Model 3 Performance. I've learned a ton about Teslas from hands-on experience and this is the site where I share everything I've learned.

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