Are you having trouble with your Tesla’s center display? You’re not alone. A Tesla black screen of death, flickering images, or software bugs can be a real pain and make it hard to enjoy your electric car.

In this article you will learn how to diagnose and fix common issues that can cause the Tesla center display to be unavailable, such as a damaged media control unit, software bugs, Sentry Mode hard drive crash, eMMC memory chip damage, and faulty cables.

We also include tips on rebooting the system, updating the firmware, and contacting Tesla customer service for assistance. So sit back, relax, and let’s get that center display back up and running!

Why Your Tesla Screen Is Blank

If your Tesla screen is blank, it could be due to a damaged media control unit or a bug in the firmware.  Other reasons for this include the hard drive for Sentry Mode has crashed, you have a faulty cable, and the eMMC memory chip or fuse box is damaged. 

Before attempting to diagnose and fix any of these issues, I recommend rebooting your Tesla system, as this may turn on your Tesla center display unit. 

To reboot your Tesla, follow these steps: 

  1. Park your Tesla in a safe area. 
  2. Press and hold the right and left scroll wheels on your steering wheel simultaneously until the Tesla logo appears. 
  3. Release the scroll wheels. 
Here’s an excellent demo of how to reboot your Tesla system:

If a reboot doesn’t help, your Tesla center display being unavailable could be due to several issues.

These issues are described in the table below, along with an explanation of how to fix each one.

Cause of Tesla Center Display Going BlankHow To Fix
The media control unit is damagedCall Tesla customer care to dispatch a technician
There’s a bug in the firmwareInstall updates to your Tesla system
The hard drive for Sentry Mode has crashedCall Tesla customer care for help
The eMMC memory chip is damagedCall Tesla customer care to dispatch a technician/ hire a reputable Tesla technician to help
You have a faulty cableCall Tesla customer care for help. Also, ensure you have an OBD scanner to detect other problems
The fuse box is damagedReplace damaged fuses
Here’s a summary table about the causes of the Tesla center display going blank and their solutions.

Why Is My Tesla’s Center Display Unavailable? 6 Possible Reasons

If your center display is unavailable, it could be due to several issues, as described in the table above. Let’s take a detailed look at each of these issues and how to resolve them.

1. The Media Control Unit Is Damaged

The MCU (Media Control Unit) is a processor that controls the Tesla center display. It has two main functions: it takes care of the various videos that play on your screen and generates the menus you see when you use the car.

The MCU is pretty fragile, so if it gets damaged (from an electrical fault or water damage), then the center display will stop working until it’s fixed. If you have a malfunctioning display unit, check the media control unit first.

How To Fix a Faulty Media Control Unit

It’s possible to fix the MCU yourself if you have knowledge of car electronics. If not, the best way to fix a faulty MCU is to contact Tesla customer service. They can dispatch a technician to your location to fix this for you. 

2. There’s a Bug in the Firmware

If you’re not getting anything on your center display, it could be due to a bug in the firmware. A “bug” is an error in the software that causes unexpected behavior or malfunction. 

Buggy software can cause all sorts of problems with your center display, from blank screens to flickering images, even outright crashes. This is one of the most challenging problems to diagnose, but if there’s a software bug in the car, Tesla should be able to fix it with an over-the-air update. 

How To Fix

To rectify this problem, contact Tesla customer service and request an update to your firmware. They should be able to send one over to fix the problems you’re experiencing. This is an easy way to resolve this issue without taking apart your entire center display. 

Tesla owners can brag about their cars’ impressive performance and cutting-edge electronic features that no other car manufacturer can match. However, problems may arise with these technologies that may be out of your depth.

3. The Hard Drive for Sentry Mode Has Crashed

If Sentry Mode is activated on your Tesla, then there’s a hard drive inside recording video from all angles of the car. This allows you to see everything going on around your vehicle both while it’s parked and while driving. 

However, this hard drive has a limited lifespan. If it becomes too full, it may stop working and cause your center display to go blank. 

How To Fix

To prevent this, always delete old footage from your Sentry Mode hard drive when it gets too full. If it fills up and your screen goes blank, you can call Tesla customer service and request a technician to come out and fix this for you. 

We explored this subject a bit further and wrote a related article about Tesla Frozen Screens and How To Unfreeze them. If you haven’t found your solution here, go check out this post.


4. The eMMC Memory Chip Is Damaged

The memory chip (or “eMMC”) is a controller responsible for the center display and stores all of its data on one spot. It’s the most critical part of the Tesla center display, and everything else stops working when it has problems. 

When this memory chip becomes damaged, the center display will go blank, and you won’t see anything on it.

How To Fix

The only way to make the display work again is by replacing this chip. You’ll need to call Tesla customer service to order a replacement and install it yourself or ask them to dispatch a technician to your location. They’ll replace the memory chip, and then everything will work again. 

5. You Have a Faulty Cable

If the MCU, eMMC, or hard drive aren’t damaged, then you may have a faulty cable running between them preventing data from passing through correctly. Whenever the center display tries to access this data, it could cause blank screens or flickering images. 

Besides, cables wear out over time, so the connection between your MCU, eMMC, and the hard drive may have become faulty due to age. 

How To Fix

If you lack electrical know-how, the best way to diagnose and fix a faulty cable is by calling Tesla customer service and requesting a technician to come out and check your car. They’ll be able to replace the cable if needed, and it should resolve all of your center display problems. 

For those who can DIY this, use an OBD scanner and this KZHOU OBD2 Adapter Connector from It’s compatible with Models S, 3, and X and will come in handy when you need to diagnose other problems in the future. 

6. The Fuse Box Is Damaged

Another problem you might encounter is a blown fuse box on your Tesla. This is an electrical panel with several fuses that are designed to blow out when there’s a surge of electricity. 

However, when a fuse blows, it prevents your center display from working until you replace it. This is a safety feature built into modern electronics to avoid fires and electric shocks (so don’t be too upset with Tesla about this problem). 

How To Fix

You’ll need to call Tesla customer service and request a technician to come out and replace your fuse box. In general, it’s a good idea to replace the fuse every few years anyway since they do wear out over time. 

Note: Before a technician can replace a fuse at a Tesla service center, they’ll need to perform a full diagnostic on your car. This will check for any other problems causing the blowout and resolve them before continuing with your requested repair. 

Note: If the above steps don’t work, repeat the procedure, this time holding down the brake pedal. 

Here’s a 4-minute tutorial on how to unfreeze a Tesla screen: 

You’ll have to set up all of this stuff again when you get back into your car after the factory reset is complete.

Diagnosing Specific Issues

You may be asking, “But how do I know what is making my center display unavailable?” The information below will make it easier to diagnose the problem with your Tesla display.

Sentry Mode Hard Drive Crash

A hard drive crash can cause your Tesla’s Sentry Mode to stop working and the center display to go blank.

To diagnose this issue, you can check the Sentry Mode settings in the car’s menu and see if there are any error messages displayed. If the hard drive is indeed the problem, you’ll need to contact Tesla customer service to have it replaced.

eMMC Memory Chip Damage

Another common issue that can cause the center display to go blank is damage to the eMMC memory chip. This chip stores all of the car’s settings and data, and if it’s damaged, it can cause the display to stop working.

To diagnose this issue, you can check the car’s logs for any error messages related to the eMMC chip. If you find an error message, it’s best to contact Tesla customer service to have the chip replaced.

One way to prevent eMMC memory chip damage is to keep your Tesla’s firmware updated and regularly check for software updates.

Older Tesla models and Model S vehicles, in particular, may be more susceptible to eMMC failure due to the nature of the technology used in the memory storage device.

It’s worth noting that Tesla has issued a warranty adjustment program for Model S and Model X vehicles with a persistent blank center display, Touchscreen failure, and rearview camera display issues. These issues are often related to the eMMC and Tesla will replace the parts for free if the car is still under warranty.

Additionally, in some cases, the Tesla app can be used to check the status of the vehicle, including the infotainment system, and schedule a service appointment if necessary.

Black Screen of Death

If your Tesla’s center display is completely blank and unresponsive, you may be experiencing what some owners call the Tesla “Black Screen of Death.” This can be caused by a variety of issues, such as a software bug, damage to the MCU, or a problem with the power supply.

The first step in diagnosing this issue is to try a soft reboot of the system by pressing and holding the left and right scroll wheels on the steering wheel until the Tesla logo appears.

If this doesn’t work, you can try a hard reboot by disconnecting the 12V battery for a few minutes.

If neither of these methods works, it’s best to contact Tesla customer service to schedule a service appointment. They’ll be able to diagnose the problem and determine the best course of action.

How Can Tesla Customers View Critical Information When The Center Display Is Unavailable?

In case the center display is unavailable, Tesla vehicles are designed to have redundant systems in place. Customers can still access critical information using the instrument cluster located behind the steering wheel.

The instrument cluster provides essential details such as vehicle speed, battery level, and navigation instructions, ensuring that drivers can continue to stay informed while driving.

Are There Any Alternative Ways For Tesla Customers to Control Vehicle Settings Without the Center Display?

You may be wondering how you can change your Tesla’s settings if your vehicle touchscreen isn’t working and you can’t access the apps area.

Tesla vehicles have additional controls and interfaces that allow customers to adjust vehicle settings and functions even without the center display and its touch controls.

These alternative controls include physical buttons on the steering wheel, dedicated controls on the center console, and voice commands through the integrated voice recognition system.

These options ensure that Tesla customers can still operate and customize their vehicles effectively, even if the center display is unavailable.


Can I fix my Tesla’s center display problem myself?

Software bugs or a hard drive crashes can be resolved by installing updates. For more complex issues, such as a damaged media control unit or eMMC memory chip, it’s best to have a qualified Tesla technician perform the repairs.

Is there a recall for Tesla center display problems?

Tesla has issued a warranty adjustment program for Model S and Model X vehicles with persistent blank center display, Touchscreen failure, and rearview camera display issues. These issues are often related to the eMMC and Tesla will replace the parts for free if the car is still under warranty.

Check out these 20 great gift ideas for yourself or a Tesla fanboy.

Contact Us if you have any questions or queries.

Erwin Meyer
Erwin Meyer

A renowned Tesla enthusiast, and successful entrepreneur, enlightens global audiences through his compelling EV narratives. Discover more about his electric journey on his About Me page. Venture to read Erwin's incredible story that's reshaping the future of motoring. Want to spark a conversation with Erwin? Visit his Contact page, and let’s electrify the world together.