How to Troubleshoot the Tesla Model X Roof Sensor

How to Troubleshoot the Tesla Model X Roof Sensor

The Tesla Model X is an advanced vehicle with a slew of technologies to make the driving experience better. Whether it is for convenience or safety, the vehicle is loaded with features, including a roof sensor. Offering collision protection, the roof sensor is important to a driver’s safety, and as such, it is important that it works properly.

While advanced technology can be helpful, especially when it comes to safety, there are times when it can be difficult to troubleshoot problems with something you do not know much about. This article has the answers, including the factors that cause the roof sensor to malfunction and what to do if you cannot fix the problem yourself.

The First Steps to Take If Your Roof Sensor Malfunctions

Many things can go wrong with your Tesla’s roof sensor. Opinions vary widely on the most common malfunction, but many people seem to notice that a software bug is behind this. As with any software bug, most people do not have the ability to troubleshoot the software itself, so you only have so many options.

Keep in mind that if your problem started right after a software update, this might be your issue. Software updates introduce software with limited testing behind it, so there can be hiccups along the way.

If It Is a Software Issue

There is one major way that people try and resolve software malfunctions, and it is by doing a hard restart on the vehicle. It is the same as with any other technology, with the first step being a reboot before moving on to more complicated troubleshooting. However, it is not as easy as unplugging and replugging a Tesla Model X.

Step 1: Press all four steering wheel buttons at one time. Be sure to hold the buttons down rather than immediately releasing them.

Step 2: Press and hold the brake of the car.

  • The car will completely reset itself, and the screen will go completely dark.
  • The screen will come back online.
  • Move forward a few feet, then move backward a few feet.

This process should help if a software bug causes your Tesla to find an obstruction when there is not one. Sometimes, the vehicle does not have a software issue and only needs to be recalibrated. There are simple steps you can follow if the doors need to be recalibrated.

If It Is a Calibration Problem

First, you need to take your car somewhere where nothing is in its range. You do this so nothing will be picked up that should not be. Then you need to be in the back seat. Once there, hold the switch on the door until it is all the way open, and then immediately hold the switch until the door is closed.

If calibration was the problem, then when using the automatic feature on the Falcon Wing Door, there should no longer be an error stating that there is an obstruction where there is not an obstruction.

If the Sensor Will Not Stay Where It Should Be

Sometimes, the issue is that the sensor will not stay in the location that it should on top of the vehicle. When this issue arises, there is a faulty adhesive holding the sensor on top of the vehicle. If the sensor is loose, it can cause the car to falsely acknowledge an obstruction of the door opening.

To fix this issue, you must know that there is a wire that acts as a sensor on top of the Tesla Model X. This issue can be fixed by the owner. However, it is important to note that some of the parts on the vehicle are very delicate, so having new parts on-hand is highly recommended.

You can essentially remove the interior ceiling panel and the upper door panel to gain access to the sensor. Once you have access, glue the sensor down to the mating surface. Doing this keeps the sensor from moving freely and falsely registering as an obstruction.

If the sensor becoming disconnected from the mating service is the problem with your vehicle, then it should be fixed by this process, and you should no longer receive an error message stating that there is an obstruction to the Falcon Wing Door.

If You Need to Clean Your Vehicle

Sometimes, if dust collects on the inside of your door, the sensor can falsely recognize a vehicle obstruction and show the error message stating that the doors cannot open. The same can happen if something else is obstructing the sensor.

Normally, if this happens, you can easily use a dry microfiber cloth to remove the dust, and the door should immediately start operating correctly once again.

How to Know If Your Tesla Sensor Needs to Be Replaced

Considering all of the factors that can affect your car’s sensor, it can be difficult to know if it needs to be replaced or if you can fix it at home.

You do not want to waste a trip to the nearest Tesla center, but you also do not want to waste time trying to fix it to no avail. Nobody wants to do this, but sometimes it is the only way to fix the problem without assuming liability for the error message.

So how do you know when you need to take your Tesla to the shop?

  • You Cannot Do It Yourself: If you had tried all of these methods, it might be time to take your Tesla to the Service Center.
  • You Believe That the Climate Is Affecting Your Tesla: If you believe that the heat is affecting your sensor, obviously, there is nothing you can do to affect the climate where you live. If that is the case, it means that there is a possibility you will have to have an entirely new sensor put on your car.

How Hard Is It to Get Your Tesla Fixed?

How hard it is to get your Tesla fixed depends on several things, but the biggest issue is by far the region in which you live.

Tesla Service Centers are in limited supply. Oftentimes, the nearest SC can be hours away. The service centers being so far and few between creates an issue because while Tesla may pick up and return your car, it leaves your car out of commission for days or possibly even weeks.

Tesla Customer Service

Sometimes, customer service can be difficult with Tesla. For example, if your roof sensor fails to acknowledge an obstruction, then the company will not repair your vehicle because they believe that you could have looked to see if there was an obstruction in the way of the door.

Alternatively, if the issue is not with the door hitting an object but rather with the sensor failing to open the door, the company may be able to help.

One person detailed their experience and noted that since his nearest SC was hours away, Tesla loaned him a different model of the car and sent a truck to pick up his car to take back. While this is an excellent option if nothing else has worked for you in the past, this is not always what happens.


Most commonly, simply performing a hard restart on your Tesla should be more than sufficient to fix the problem with the roof sensor. Other common issues include those with calibration and cleanliness. If all else fails, you can take the vehicle to a Tesla Service Center, and they will repair it for you.

Tesla Discounts:


The articles here on are created by Greg, a Tesla vehicle and Tesla solar expert with nearly half a decade of hands-on experience. The information on this site is fact-checked and tested in-person to ensure the best possible level of accuracy.

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