Reboot instructions for your Tesla

Last updated 14-Aug-2022

Tesla cars can sometimes find themselves with a software gremlin that requires a reboot or reset. It's not that common but it's certainly something that all owners need to be aware of as it solves the majority of issues. A typical example might be where the Tesla has a frozen screen. There are different reset options available which progressively reboot more of the computers and clear local cache, the most common one is a simple main screen reboot, also known as a scroll wheel reboot, but if the fault is deeper within the car, for instance linked to the autopilot or chargers, one of the bigger resets may be required. It's also possible that just leaving the car alone for a few hours will cure the problem as the car will go to sleep and effectively partially reboot itself when you wake it up.

The reboot options

The following reboot options exist. While some are possible while driving, we recommend that the car should always be stationary and in a safe place before rebooting the car.

Tesla now suggest unplugging all USB devices prior to performing a reboot as it can prevent some sub systems from shutting down.

  • Option 1: The scroll wheel reboot

    Press and hold both scroll wheels on either side of the steering wheel for up to 10 seconds until the main/central screen starts to reboot. While rebooting you may see the airbag icon become visible in the dash (MS and MX only) and the clicking noise from the indicator will not be heard.

    While this can be done while driving a M3 or MY, you will not see the speedometer and so we recommend doing this only when stationary.

  • Option 2: Top button reboot (MS and MX only)

    Press and hold both buttons above the scroll wheels on either side of the steering wheel for up to 10 seconds and the drivers dash/screen will reboot.

  • Option 3: Configuration reset

    There are other forms of reboot but sometimes the issue is menu options have gone missing, especially after a software update. This can also help if the car is stuck and won't allow drive to be selected. Via the menus, change the wheels size and/or design. This will cause the car to want to reboot, let this reboot automatically happen afterwards, and then change back the wheels to the correct one if you want to and reboot again although thisisn;t important. It's not an elegant solution, but some have found it can solve a number of problems.

Additional things to try

Some people report their car screens rebooting randomly, the first sign of this on an MS or MX is if the Air-bag light comes on. Nobody knows all the reasons, but there have been a number of software glitches over the years that can cause this to a greater or lesser extent. If you are experiencing frequent reboots, maybe the air-bag light appearing and the steps above do not help, then some or all of the following have been known to help.

They all point to a memory issue, possibly the eMMC issue below, or a software fault of one form or another. Either the memory cannot handle some form of corrupted data, or the actions below move the active part of the eMMC memory to a different area which has not started to fail. If one of the suggestions below does resolve the issue, you should still log the issue with Tesla especially if in warranty as it may be temporary. If out of warranty you may want to consider the eMMC resolution below. If you can attribute the issue to a specific rogue music file or contact then there is no need to contact Tesla.

None of the above options are ideal, the car should be able to handle problems, but if one of these temporarily cures the problem you can start to work out how to permanently fix. It may be a rogue MP3 file, or a phone contact with some corrupted details. If however its trip or destination data then it could point to a problem with the car memory.

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