FAQS

WHICH CARS ARE AFFECTED BY THE EMMC CHIP PROBLEM (BLACK CENTER SCREEN)?

All Tesla cars have read & write memory chip, specifically a MLC NAND eMMC memory, with a limit of program/erase cycles per NAND cell (about 3.000 P/E).


All cars use the eMMC chip (which in fact has the same technology as a USB pen drive) like a hard disk, with a lot of writes even when the car is not in use.

All the Tesla Model S and Model X until 2018 are affected, since they have a small 8Gb MLC version chip, so many writes are concentred in the same NAND cells, which implies the life is only 3-5 years.

WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF EMMC DEATH?

When it dies, your car will lose a lot of functionality, the central screen goes black, unable to set charge limit, unable to set climate, no music, no navigation, no app and no updates.

On the other hand you still can drive the car with limitations and a slow charge.

HOW CAN I KNOW IF MY MCU IS AT THE END OF HIS LIFE? WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

Symptoms of a near death are:

  • the MCU reboots with no apparently reason

  • the MCU takes a long time to start

  • the user interface is slow (a delayed response after a button press) 

  • the Instrument Cluster (the second small screen) is not updated (odometer, miles instead of kilometers)

HOW CAN I SLOW DOWN THE EMMC WEAR? ARE KILOMETERS OR AGE DIRECTLY RELATED?

The Tesla cars are constantly on, so even when you don't drive them they're writing data on the eMMC chip.

It's not true the direct relationship between kilometers or age and eMMC usage.


It depends mainly on how much has been the car allowed to sleep and if there was not system errors that cause continues writes (p.e. a damaged music USB causing read errors,  bad WiFi connectivity, a corrupted system file, ... are all logged in the eMMC generating more writes than usual).

You can disable the option "Always connected" and enable the energy saver for the display, to let the car sleep which will reduce eMMC usage in the meantime.

WHAT IS DONE IN THE PREVENTIVE PROCEDURE? CAN I LOST MY DATA?

We extract the data of your old chip without risks and without desoldering, so we do not expose the near to end chip to the extreme temperatures needed to desolder which will probably destroy it or at least make unreadable.

If reading is successful (95% success rate), the next step is to program a upgraded chip, with a new image with clean firmware, and selecting the unique data and relevant database and files that is required to work.

WHAT IS DONE WITH A BLACK SCREEN DEATH TO RECOVER IT?

We have to do additional steps done in preventive procedure.

First we have to build from zero a new image with exactly the same firmware version you have because no other will run (that implies to maintain that library).

Second we have to read the unique data from your chip (certificates, unique keys like mcu_commands_key used to be able to open the car from the app. etc) using advanced NAND recovery procedures in laboratory. 

WHY DO YOU INCREASE MCU PERFORMANCE?

The upgraded chip has better read and write performance (sustained). Also better locking management so simultaneous read and writes are improved.

Whenever you press a button, there is a related process that logs that action writing in the eMMC and is needed to wait the write before you see the expected reaction (a new screen/play music/navigation start, etc). So better write performance directly affects to the performance of the user interface.


Also the new clean image, with only necessary data, removing all the trash and files with errors that old firmware versions leave, makes the software speed up.

DOES THE EMMC UPGRADE AFFECT TO THE GUARANTEE?

The repairs does not affect the battery and the motor guarantee. If you car is still 100% covered by Tesla guarantee our recommendation is to wait until it ends; anyway if you want to do a preventive upgrade to benefit of a better performance, you will only lose the guarantee related to the MCU.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE YOU TO REPLACE THE CHIP?

We can do it in 24h (express service option).

Otherwise in less than a week, usually 2-5 labour days.