Not all Tesla cars can receive all the latest features and improvements released via software updates, availability depends on the hardware version. Tesla cars have two main pieces of hardware: the Autopilot hardware and the Media Control Unit (touchscreen).
Current retrofits available are:
- Hardware 2 and 2.5 to Hardware 3 (required for Full Self-Driving)
- Infotainment upgrade (MCU 1 to MCU 2)
If you have purchased FSD and are still waiting for the Hardware 3 retrofit, you can schedule an appointment using the Tesla app. Your service center should be able to tell you if the pieces for your Tesla are ready.
Pictures of Tesla Retrofits
Blog posts related to Retrofits
eMMC MCU1 failure fix and MCU2 upgrade
My touchscreen (MCU1) has started failing. It resets iself 2-3 times a week, it takes forever to calculate a route, and it even erased all of my favorite places saved in the map. I'm afraid it's the issue known as the eMMC failure that often appears in Tesla cars with MCU1. Here's what they told me when I took it to the Service Center and potential costs of fixing the problem for good.
Do I need MCU2 to upgrade to Hardware 3 (FSD)?
With the Infotainment upgrade available (MCU1 to MCU2 retrofit), Tesla owners with MCU1 who purchased FSD are wondering if MCU2 is going to be required and if they're going to have to pay for it.
MCU1 to MCU2 upgrade is here
Tesla's Infotainment upgrade is finally here. Owners of Model and Model X built March 2019 or earlier will be elegible to purchase an Infotainment Upgrade (MCU1 to MCU2 upgrade).
When to expect the Autopilot Hardware 3 (FSD) retrofit
If you purchased Full Self-Driving (FSD) and are not on Autopilot Hardware 3 yet, I’m sure you must be wondering when is your retrofit going to be available. Here’s what we know.
Tesla MCU1 and MCU2: main differences
Tesla’s Media Control Unit or MCU is the main screen in the car and it determines some of the new features your car can get. Since we have a Model S that we purchased in 2017, we have MCU1. In this blog post, we will try to answer the following questions:
Tesla V10 and MCU 1
Last week Tesla started rolling out V10 but there are still quite a few Tesla owners who don’t have it. I’m getting quite a few questions about what upgrades you get if you have Media Control Unit version 1 (MCU1), so I decided to summarize what I know. Let me know if you have unanswered questions!
Videos about Retrofits
Past Tesletter articles
[Rumor] Next-gen AMD GPUs for Tesla's infotainment systems
According to Patrick Schur on Twitter- considered a reliable AMD leaker- Tesla is considering using next-gen AMD GPUs for its infotainment systems. They’d be considering a Navi 23 with the following specs:
- Die size: 14.28 mm x 16.51 mm ≈ 235,76 mm²
- Package: 35 mm × 35 mm
DIY Retrofit CCS compatibility for Model 3
A reader from Tesletter recently asked me about the CCS retrofit for their Model 3. If you are the kind of person who likes tinkering with their Tesla, this article explains how to DIY.From issue #221
Elon estimates Q4 for HW3 retrofits
Elon has said multiple times that they won’t start retrofiting the AP processor to the new FSD computer (also known as HW3) until the software needs it. If you have purchased FSD, it’s possible that you get it this year, since earlier this week Elon said on Twitter that it’s likely going to happen in Q4 this year. Yay!
Read more: TwitterFrom issue #67
Elon will look into retrofitting the external speakers
I’m old enough to remember when the first Model 3s started coming out of the line with the external speaker and people were really annoyed that their otherwise-extremely-silent cars were making sounds at low speeds. Now that the holiday release is out and it includes custom sounds, folks are asking for Tesla to give the option to add the external speaker, and surprise, Elon said he is going to look into it!From issue #144
First (unofficial) MCU1 + HW3
‘Greentheonly’ purchased an HW3 board and installed it himself in his car. After having done it once, he believes he can do it again in under 20 minutes.
Read more: TwitterFrom issue #91
FSD retrofits and timelines
We’ve been waiting to get the FSD upgrade for a while (Model S, Dec 2017). Tesla recently released a support page that throws some light to frequently asked questions such as, ‘when’s my FSD upgrade going to be available?’.
Also, a very cool video on the enhanced Driving Visualizations that come with FSD.
Read more: TeslaFrom issue #104
FSD upgrade complete with MCU1
There’s been a lot of speculation around if it’d be possible to upgrade cars with MCU1 to FSD (HW3). Well, we’re now seeing the first Tesla with MCU1 being upgraded to Hardware 3 both in the US and Canada. A few highlights from the stories we’ve read here and here:
- The hardware part takes about one hour
- The software update is trickier, it needs involvement from engineering, and it can take between 2-4 hours
In terms of functionality:
- No cones or street markings on the IC display (MCU2 is needed)
- TeslaCam and SentryMode recording works (Dashcam Viewer does not)
- Only front and repeater cameras record - no recording from the rear camera. This is the same as with HW2.5
We hope to get the upgrade in the next few weeks, we’re currently waiting for some missing parts to arrive in our Service Center 🤞From issue #114
FSD upgrade in AP2 cars
A few months ago, there was some speculation around if Tesla cars with AP2.0 would be able to upgrade to FSD or not. The answer is yes, and it can be done right now if you’re also getting the MCU2 retrofit. Reddit user ‘chillaban’ has shared his experience so you can read more about it here. If you’ve purchased FSD and are waiting for the Infotainment upgrade to be available, know that you can just schedule an appointment and request it. Most likely, you’ll get an appointment to get both done at the same time.
Read more: Reddit
From issue #113
FSD+MCU1 displays stop signs and stoplights 📷
FSD with MCU1 doesn’t display cones or trash cans but it does display stop signs and stoplights. I personally didn’t know that, I thought it would stop at stop signs and traffic lights but just not display the icons in my MCU1 screen. Good to know, and thanks for sharing Zack! I’m next! I got the FSD retrofit in my Model S 2017 with AP2.5 and MCU1 on Tuesday and I almost cried when I saw my first stop sign 😉
Read more: TwitterFrom issue #115
Greentheonly performed the first MCU1 to MCU2 retrofit ever
After swapping his AP board a couple of weeks ago, now Greentheonly has replaced his MCU1 with an MCU2. According to his tweets, he only needed the MCU2 (~$1,600 from a junkyard), IC2, and the new tuner; no wiring harness changes were needed. Of course, Greentheonly noticed how MCU2 is much more responsive than MCU1.
Read more: TwitterFrom issue #93
HW2.0 retrofit for MCU2, IC2, Tuner2, and FSD
A couple of months before Tesla announced the availability of the Infotainment upgrade, Kyle (@kyleday) finished this project to upgrade his Model S’ MCU and was even able to keep Tuner2 (which the official Tesla retrofit doesn’t offer).
In his words “I do not encourage you to repeat anything I have done. In fact, now that Tesla is offering the MCU2 and FSD Computer retrofits officially, I highly recommend you go do that.” But if you’re looking for good entertainment- with a successful outcome!- this is it. Thank you Kyle for sharing 🙏 Enjoy!From issue #107
HW3 retrofit will be possible with MCU1
You may have heard rumors that the Hardware 3 (FSD) retrofit is not going to be possible without MCU2. According to Bonnie Norman- well known for having reliable sources at Tesla- the rumors are not true. She has confirmed with Tesla that it is going to be possible. It’s just not available at the moment.
We’ve been in touch with our Service Center and they told us they’re prioritizing Hardware 3 (FSD) + MCU2 upgrade at the moment. No dates shared for Hardware 3 (FSD) +MCU1 yet.
Read more: TwitterFrom issue #101
Infotainment Upgrade now scheduling for Model S/X built March 2018 or earlier
Owners of Model S and Model X built March 2018 or earlier are now eligible to purchase an Infotainment Upgrade. We published an article when the MCU 2 retrofit first became available with information about features, cost, and reasons to upgrade.From issue #136
Infotainment upgrade will soon be able to retain radio functionality
I know folks have been missing the radio with the MCU retrofit, if that’s your case, we have good news. Tesla is going to offer the MCU 2 upgrades without losing the radio. Tesla’s MCU2 FAQs clearly state that starting in Q4 2020 there will be a ‘Radio Upgrade’ to retain access to FM radio and Sirius XM radio.From issue #134
MCU replacement warranty reduced to 2 years
Tesla has recently updated its MCU warranty to 2 years or 25,000 miles, whatever comes first. This change only affects replaced MCUs, both fixed because of the memory problem or upgraded via the $2,500 MCU1 to MCU2 upgrade. This seems to me like a very uncharming move by Tesla.From issue #119
MCU retrofit (both via hardware and software)
Elon Musk says it’ll be possible to upgrade MCU both via hardware upgrade, although they wrote software to accelerate rendering on old MCU.
Read more: Twitter.comFrom issue #1
MCU1 improvements coming
When asked (again) about an MCU1 upgrade, Elon replied on Twitter that it’s not worth it. That’s probably because he doesn’t have to suffer it, but at least he replied to one of our tweets saying its current problems could be fixed with software optimizations. We hope it happens soon!
Read more: TwitterFrom issue #90
MCU1 is now being repaired for $500
If you’re a Model S/X owner and have MCU1, you’re probably dreading the moment when you get the eMMC failure and need to replace the touchscreen. Up until now, this replacement had a cost of between $1,500 and $2,500. Luckily for us, Tesla has started fixing the daughterboard for about $500 instead of having to replace the whole MCU.
As an alternative, if you have the budget and plan on keeping your S/X for a while, you could go with the infotainment upgrade for about $2,500 and get a snappier experience as well as the new games, Tesla Theater, etc.From issue #126
MCU1 to MCU2 upgrade is here
The Infotainment upgrade for owners with MCU1 is finally available. We have so many questions… should we pay for the upgrade? When can we get it? Is it required for the Hardware 3 (FSD) upgrade? We have shared everything we know in this article.
Read more: TesletterFrom issue #101
MCU2 retrofit price increased by $500
Well, almost. If you have MCU1 with AP2 or AP2.5, the MCU2 retrofit just went up tp $2,000 vs. the $1,500 that cost before (or if your car has AP3). There is a good reason for this, several people that I know got AP3 when they got the retrofit even if they wouldn’t bought FSD.From issue #156
Model Y 2020 AC compressor retrofit 📷
Tesla Mobile Service is already performing the retrofit to early Model Y with AC problems which were causing a shroud when the air gets stuck inside. Newer Model Y should not have this problem and already come with an acoustic blanket. Thank you @hwfeinstein for sharing the pics!From issue #119
News on HW2 to HW3 retrofits
Greentheonly has discovered there’s been some recent progress in the HW2 to HW3 retrofit, which makes us think it’s actually going to happen. According to him, it’s probably going to be a degraded experience compared to the HW2.5 to HW3 retrofit, and looking at the changes in the latest firmware versions, it seems they don’t plan on changing the radar or the steering rack.
Read more: TwitterFrom issue #97
Pedestrian warning system retrofits, now available
If you own a Model 3 or Model Y from before Tesla introduced the external speaker (Sep 2020 for the Model 3 and Aug 2020 for the Y), you can now schedule a service appointment and get it retrofitted for $200. Model S and Model X owners will have to wait, at least for now.From issue #162
Tesla data leak
Bad news for folks that did the FSD upgrade, MCU2 retrofit, MCU1 EMMC fix, or any other fix requiring computer swap. According to @greentheonly, Tesla doesn’t erase personal data so consider all accounts that you logged in your Tesla compromised and change your passwords ASAP. Tesla has said they’ll reach out to affected customers to inform about this.From issue #110
Tesla has dropped the price of the MCU upgrade to $1,500
Great news for Model S and Model X owners whose car was built before March 2018. If that’s your case and you’re planning on keeping it for a few more years, I’d definitely jump on this opportunity since Tesla just dropped the price of the MCU 2 upgrade from $2,500 to $1,500.From issue #148
Tesla is offering a no-cost repair of the eMMC to Model S/X built before March 2018
A couple of days ago, I received an email from Tesla indicating that I am eligible for a no-cost repair of the eMMC in case it is malfunctioning (which is actually the case). This applies to Model S and Model X vehicles built before March 2018 and it either covers a repair or a reimbursement of a previous repair of this touchscreen component.From issue #137
Tesla is working on the upgrade for MCU1
It’s been around a year since the first time Elon mentioned that it was possible to retrofit old cars with MCU1 and get MCU2, but every time I’ve asked the service center, they told me this is something that Tesla doesn’t offer. If you have been a subscriber of this newsletter for some time or have been following us on Twitter, you probably know that I own a Model S 75 from Dec 2017. Tesla started shipping MCU2s in the Model X and S in March 2018, so I’m on the bucket of interested people. It’s good to hear that Tesla is actively working on it!
Read more: TwitterFrom issue #80
Tesla owner upgrades Autopilot 2.5 to 3.0 Hardware: Cost, results, and more
Afaik this is the first report of Mobile Service performing the Autopilot upgrade from HW2.5 to HW3. Here is the process:
- Replacement of the computer, one hour and a half
- Installation of the necessary firmware, two hours
- Updated the card to the latest software, another hour or an hour and a half
Read more: TeslaratiFrom issue #86
Tesla owners shares their experience after getting the MCU2 upgrade
The first folks who purchased FSD + MCU2 are already sharing their experiences after the retrofit. User zanary on TMC Forum with a Model S P100D (AP2.5 and MCU1 before the upgrade) has shared quite a few very interesting details from his experience, check it out! A few highlights:
- Both the IC and the MCU get replaced (you don’t get to keep MCU1 pieces unless you pay for it)
- All settings are retained except for wifi connections, Bluetooth, web browser favorites
- Beeps (like in ‘Joe Mode’) are louder
- Wifi appears to be faster, needed for a couple of initial things after the upgrade (downloading games and navigation udpate)
- And our favorite one… “it’s so damn quick. It’s night and day!”
Read more: TMC ForumFrom issue #103
Time-lapse of a FSD upgrade by Tesla Mobile Service 📹
Cool time-lapse of a FSD upgrade performed in the customer’s driveway in just a little over an hour. You can’t really see much in the video since it’s recorded from the outside but time-lapses are cool and it’s great to know Tesla’s Mobile Service is doing this so a) the upgrade can be done these days b) you don’t need to wait a whole day to get your Tesla back.From issue #114
Unconfirmed: MCU2 required for HW3 upgrade
A handful of owners have reported receiving HW3 upgrades, coincidentally all of them have MCU2. Now the rumor started on Reddit that you need MC2 in order to have HW3, all this based on one owner with MCU1 who had his Autopilot processor replaced and got called to go back to get the change reverted. We don’t know if this is true but let us know if you know more!
REad more: RedditFrom issue #85
Upgrades to MCU1 & AP2 will be available in a few months
According to Elon “There are many diff versions of mcu & autopilot computer & supporting hardware. Cars last so much longer than phones!” I hope we can get our AP retrofit (MCU1 + HW2.5 here 👋) in the next month or two. Since 2019.40.50.1, I feel like I’m starting to miss out on too much cool stuff.
Read more: TwitterFrom issue #91