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Instrument Cluster

by Moderator

The Tesla Instrument Cluster (IC) in the Model S and Model X is a module that holds a 12.3” LCD display and associated electronics. It shows the vehicle’s speed, mode, time, temperature, battery range, and other details.  For newer cars, it can also show a 360˚ view of the surrounding vehicles and key objects as you drive. We’ve identified 4 generations of the Instrument clusters. We refer to these variants as Gen-1, Gen-2, and Gen-3 which work with MCU1 and MCU2. Gen 4 is exclusive to Palladium S/X LR/Plaid and uses a new module form factor.  (Jan-2023)

Gen-1 Instrument Cluster For MCU1

This is the original IC, used in the first Model S.  It is now discontinued, and the display and processor have not been manufactured in many years now.

Item
Description
Part Numbers 1004788-00-A to C
Status Out of production, use Gen-3
Compatible with MCU1
First Release 22-Jun-2012
Display 12.3”; 1280 x 480 resolution
Display Type LCD TFT; 256k Colors; LED Backlight
Display Vendor Japan Display, Inc., Model TX31D06VM2AAA
Visual Compute Module Nvidia Tegra Dual Core CPU, 512 KB DDR2 RAM, Tesla 1006072-00-A
Module Size 12.6” W, 7.3” H, 2.1:” D (includes mounting tabs)
Weight ~ 3 lbs.
IC1 front

Gen-2 Instrument Cluster For MCU1

Gen-2 removed the fan, improved the display resolution and contrast, and jumped to 16M colors.  We believe Gen-2 went into production in early 2014. 

Item
Description
Part Numbers 1004788-00-D to H
Status Out of production, use Gen-3
Compatible with MCU1
First Release ~2014
Display 12.3”; 1920 x 1080 resolution
Display Type LCD IPS; 16M Colors; 60 Hz; LED Backlight
Display Vendor LG Display, Model LA123WF1-SL01
Visual Compute Module Nvidia Tegra Dual Core CPU, 1 GB DDR2 RAM, Tesla, 1038526-00-B
Module Size 12.6” W, 7.3” H, 2.1:” D (includes mounting tabs)
Weight 2 lbs., 12 oz.
IC2 back

Gen-3 Instrument Cluster For MCU2

Gen-3 is very similar to Gen-2, but a speaker was mounted on the rear. It is not electrically connected to the IC.

Item
Description
Part Numbers 1447934-00-E
Remanufactured 1039357-00-H
Status New and Remanufactured available from Tesla
Compatible with MCU2, MCU1
First Release ~1-Apr-2016
Display 12.3”; 1920 x 1080 resolution
Display Vendor LG Display, Model LA123WF1-SL01 (Unconfirmed)
Display Type LCD IPS; 16M Colors; 60 Hz; LED Backlight
Visual Compute Module Nvidia Tegra Dual Core CPU, 1 GB DDR2 RAM (Unconfirmed)
Module Size 12.6” W, 7.3” H, 2.1:” D (includes mounting tabs)
Weight ~ 3 lbs.
Notes: Includes a small separately wired speaker, not in Gen-1 or Gen-2. The Gen-3 module is backwards compatible with MCU1 with a redeploy.

Gen-4 Instrument Cluster For MCUZ

Gen-4 uses an entirely new form factor and is specific to the Palladium Model S/X LR/Plaid.  We do not have a lot of details, but the connector is different than those used in earlier generations.

Item
Description
Part Number 1566110-00-D
Status New, available from Tesla
Compatible with MCUZ
First Release 1-Feb-2021
Display 12.3”; 1920 x 1080 resolution
Display Vendor Unknown
Display Type LCD IPS; 16M Colors; 60 Hz; LED Backlight (assumed)
Module Size Unknown
Weight Unknown

Connectors

Gen-1, Gen-2, Gen-3

IC2 connectors

The IC uses two connectors. The mating female jacks that are used to connect to the IC:

Ethernet connector X861

  • HSD Fakra Z Female 4-pin  (eBay has connectors and crimp terminals, or buy an assembled cable)
    1 – TX+
    2 – TX-
    3 – RX+
    4 – RX-

Power/CAN/Data X434

  • Housing: TE Connectivity 1355348-1
  • Terminals: TE Connectivity 5-928999-6
    6 – CAN+, Chassis
    7 – CAN-, Chassis
    8 – Ground
    13 – Wake (0V = Sleep, +12V = Wake)
    17 – 12V Power

Gen-4

IC4 back connnector plug

Power/Data

The Gen-4 IC uses a single connector.  The mating female jack that is used to connect to the IC:

  • Rosenberger 99K10D-1D5A5-Z Female Jack (unconfirmed, but very likely)
            Pin 1 – 12v Power
            Pin 2 – Ground
            HSD – Data, likely Ethernet the same as Gen-2/3 above (unconfirmed)

Fakra Connectors

Tesla uses a number of Fakra connectors, commonly used in the automotive industry.  These appear in two basic types – one used for RF signals, such as connecting to antennas.  The second type is HSD, High-Speed Data, and offers 4 pins and a shield for high-speed differential signals such as those used by Ethernet and LVDS camera data. The jack and plug lock together once mated. A thin tab in the center top of the jack must be depressed before the connector can be removed.

Fakra connectors can also include a key, so only the correct coded key fit in the connector.  Key types include A through F and are color coded.  For example, a white plug is a “B” key and only fits a white “B” jack.  There is also a universal type “Z”, which is unkeyed and is in light blue.  We specified the unkeyed “Z” connectors above as these are easier to obtain. We believe Tesla uses the black  “A” keyed Fakra on all versions of the IC PCB.

With the Gen-4 IC, Tesla uses a modified Fakra connector with HSD+2.  Two additional connections are available. With the IC, these are used to supply 12V power.  This eliminates the second connector on older IC designs, saving both costs and installation labor.

Repair and DIY Fixes

Tesla

Tesla can replace your Gen-1 or Gen-2 IC with a Gen-3 unit. Unit cost and labor from Tesla have been running close to $1600. For those with MCU1 and a faulty IC, consider upgrading to MCU2, which includes a new IC.  We haven’t found a price yet for Gen-4 IC, but the entire dashboard must be disassembled to access it, so the labor costs are going to be quite a bit higher.

The free Tesla service manual details removing and installing the instrument cluster. Sign up for a subscription.

Once logged in, Go to the vehicle’s service manual -> INFOTAINMENT -> Displays -> Instrument Cluster, for detailed instructions on removal and replacement along with photos.

Third Parties

Here are a few third-party companies that specialize in Tesla repairs and parts, often at a significantly lower cost than Tesla.

  • EVFixMe, Costa Mesa, CA – IC & MCU repairs and screen replacements
  • Gruber Motors, Phoenix, Arizona – IC & MCU repairs, screen replacements
  • RealDeal EV, Tampa, Florida – IC & MCU repairs, parts, and screen replacements
  • The Electrified Garage, Seabrooke, New Hampshire – IC & MCU repairs and screen replacements

Replacement Parts

Here are the part numbers for internal parts. We do not expect Tesla will sell you the parts but it might be worth a try.  It may be more useful if searching for a used part.

  • LCD Display – Tesla 1004788-00-X (unconfirmed), LG Display LA123WF1-SL01 (Gen-2)
  • Nvidia Virtual Compute Module, Tesla 1038526-00-B (Gen-2)
  • Main PCB – 1006155-01-B (Gen-1); Tesla 1038525-00-B (Gen-2);

Replacement of the entire module, PCB, or the Nvidia VCM within the module requires a software redeploy. It is not plug-and-play as most PCs today with different hardware.  A redeploy is done from Tesla’s Toolbox 3. If you don’t have access to Toolbox 3, Tesla offers a one month subscription for $500. Replacement of the same display type will not require a redeploy. You cannot use a Gen-2/3 LCD display on Gen-1 hardware as the LCD connectors are different, and the Gen-1 VCM has half the RAM as Gen-2.

Inside IC

With +12V power applied, the red LED on the Tesla PCB will illuminate.  With +12V applied to the Wake line, the +3.3V and the +5V green LEDs illuminate.   These are partly visible when looking down into the enclosure on the bench but are not visible when the IC is mounted in the vehicle.  When on the bench, applying power and activating the wake line will not illuminate the LCD.

LCD display used in IC Gen-2 and Gen-3

Screen Replacement Video

Display Bubbles and Goo Leakage

On Gen-2 displays, there is an extra layer on the LCD that we think was intended to improve the viewing angle slightly. On quite a few units, over the years, the seal on this secondary layer fails and the goo slowly leaks out.  This has no effect on the operation but looks bad, especially when the display is off.  We do not think the Gen-1 or Gen-4 displays have this issue.  It’s less clear about Gen-3 or if LG Display improved the manufacturing at some point, but kept the same part number.  Some have implied Tesla used a display not intended for the wide temperatures ranges encountered in vehicles, but the LG specifications show this display is rated for operation from -40°F to 185°F.

This example is one of the worst we’ve seen, and we photographed it in a way that makes far more visible than normal. Many users do not even notice the leakage or bubbles unless pointed out. Often only a few small bubbles appear near the top of the display. 

The goo that seeps out is quite sticky but cleans easily with rubbing alcohol.  Tesla recommends using IPA Wipes, which uses a 70% Alcohol and 30% water mix.

Here is one thread on TMC to remove the goo layer. It appears to require hours of work, and the display is very likely to be damaged in the process.

If you encounter the issue out of warranty (and we think all are out of warranty now), consider buying the MCU2 retrofit.  It includes a new infotainment computer, LTE, and two new displays.  The entire instrument cluster is replaced.  We believe the new displays have been redesigned to eliminate the goo failures.

Software and Rooting

Linux

Gen-1, Gen-2 and Gen-3 instrument clusters use Linux to manage the display screen.  This is a modified version of Ubuntu Linux. The source code is written in C++, and uses Qt for the graphical UI.  Tesla makes open source portions available on GitHub’s repositories.

Rooting the Instrument Cluster

While it is was possible to root an IC prior to 2019.4 software, we don’t know any reason to bother. It will not gain access to any features or more interesting things in the MCU. A number of security enhancements Tesla has made over the years also make rooting exceptionally difficult now. We doubt more than 5 people in the world, if any, have rooted the IC.

Port Scan

The instrument cluster uses IP address 192.168.90.101  as of December 2022.  It is possible Tesla may have used other IP addresses in the past and could change it in the future. We ran a port scan on a Gen-2 IC with the following results. 

nmap results

Gen-4

The Gen-4 instrument cluster has a different hardware design.  We surmise the graphics are supplied from AMD’s graphics hardware in MCUZ, but still going through an Ethernet or custom data connection.  The Gen-4 IC does not use an HDMI or Display Port connection to MCUZ.

Sources