Tesla windscreen replacement guide for owners
Last updated 20-Oct-2021
We have put together a Tesla windscreen replacement guide for owners explaining what owners need to know when talking to the glass replacement companies and how to ensure autopilot calibration.
Windscreen resin injection
Tesla glass is really no different to other cars. Stone chips, sometimes called a "bullseye", can typically be repaired with a resin injection. Each country has specific rules regarding where these occur and the type of repair, typically above a certain size and in the drivers line of sight they are not permitted.
As a rule of thumb, if the chip is under 10mm it can be filled, with the allowed size getting bigger if it is none within the drivers straight ahead field of view (top to bottom of the windscreen and about the width of the steering wheel). When you contact your local glass company they will typically walk you through the location and size to determine the appropriate course of action.
All glass repair/replacement companies can do this type of repair and many will establish the minimum viable repair before agreeing to a replacement glass, primarily because insurance companies who often pay for the repair demand this.
If the glass is not repairable then a replacement screen is required. Again, a Tesla is not materially different to other car windscreens other than the size of the glass is often larger than most cars. Some makes of car do have different requirements, a BMW i8 windscreen for example is a specialist fitment due to it sitting on resin carbon fibre and the traditoinal "cheese wire" removal could damage the structure of the car.
Most glass repair companies will allocate more than one fitter to replace the glass, they will determine the needs based on the vehicle. We believe 2 people are typically needed for MS and M3 and 4 people are required for MX due to its extended size
Windscreen replacement guide
We recommend following these steps:
- Check your insurance for approved glass replacement companies and contact these. Insurance companies are often happy for you to do this directly and the glass replacement company can check your details and notify the insurance company on your behalf.
- Measure the size of the crack and work out the location with respect to the drivers line of sight. This is important when establishing the type of fix that is required and it is worth having this information to hand.
- If you suspect a replacement screen may be required, make a note of the part number. This is written on the glass and will typically be a number like 1105965-00-D or 1028696-01-B (we have not listed all the possible numbers). The glass varies between models due to whether there is a heated windscreen wiper area and the version of AP that the car may have installed. There are also variances for left and right hand drive cars and general model changes. Having the existing part number will reduce the chance of the fitters if required attending with the wrong glass.
- Establish with the repair company whether a replacement is required or whether a resin injection fix is suitable. If a resin fix is suitable then this can be easily arranged with no further work required on the car. They will use the size and position of the crack to determine what is required.
- If a resin injection fix is suitable, this will be arranged and takes less than an hour to perform. The windscreen is not removed.
- If a replacement windscreen is needed, provide the part number to the glass replacement company. Some may not want it, but we have heard too many stories of the wrong glass arriving and the replacement aborted, the existing part number should help them.
- The glass replacement company will obtain the glass, almost always directly from Tesla and arrange fitting. This is no different to almost every other car on the market, there is nothing particularly unusual about Tesla, many cars also have cameras and attachments to the windscreen. Tesla do however have exceptionally large windscreens and may require more than one person to fit the glass. Do not assume Tesla will do a better job, they nearly always subcontract glass fitting out to 3rd parties and windscreen fitters replace glass all the time whereas a Tesla mechanic may not do the work very often.
- Some glass replacement companies are able to to do replacement at your location, others require the car to be taken to one of their workshops where the environment is more controlled. Either way, the typical advice is the car should not be driven for several hours after fitting so assume the car will be out of action for most of the day and possibly over night.
- Once the screen is fitted, the cameras, generically known as the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), may need calibrating. Since software version 2020.32.1 the car has an option for the owner to recalibrate the cameras under the service menu.
- Following the manual calibration and a short drive, the system should report any issues if the screen has not been fitted correctly.
- On older cars without a calibration option, a short drive is usually all that is required
- Some glass replacement companies suggest taking the car to Tesla for calibration. This is rarely the case today unless the car reports a problem or autopilot starts behaving differently to normal.