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Tilting Display

We examine the ability to tilt the center display in Tesla vehicles. (Jan-2023 update)

Model S/X Tilting Display

As some may know, when Tesla introduced Plaid Model S and X in early 2021, it was specified to include a tilting main display.

With tilt

This feature offered a motorized left/right shift.  It wasn’t entirely clear how it would operate, perhaps using a scroll wheel or a display setting.  The position was likely memorized via the driver profile.

There is even a snapshot of a pre-production car with the display tilted (via SiliconValleyTeslas/Instagram). 

Tilted screen

Before any Model S Plaid or LRs were delivered, the feature text disappeared from the website, in June 2021.

With Tilt

Around April 2022, Tesla began shipping the Model S and X with the tilting screen feature, but has not offered a retrofit option to prior owners.

Why is it Missing?

Tesla hasn’t stated why they elected to drop the feature. As the feature is rather minor it is not worth holding up sales. Here are our possible reasons it was dropped.

  • A supply issue – Perhaps Tesla had a problem sourcing the tilting motor or another related component. This appears to be the most likely issue as the motor is missing.
  • A design issue –perhaps the first version just didn’t work or work well. Perhaps the motor made too much noise, was too slow, the power electronics did not work with it, or it could not hold the display steady while driving.  I don’t think this is the case.
  • A glare issue – If the rear seat is folded down, and at night with a truck behind you, having the display tilted towards the driver might be blinding.  As it could be a problem for all cars (i.e. non-Tesla) with a display, doubtful this is a concern enough to eliminate the feature.
  • A reliability issue – If the display moves each time you get into the car and again when you leave the car, it could easily require 8 motions per day, over 10 years.  That amounts to about 30,000 motions.  The mechanics and the cable must be able to handle that many repetitions. It could be the motor or design was not reliable enough to meet this criterion.  Possible, but usually reliability is considered and tested long before it gets to production.

The Display Mechanism

The display mechanism a special stepper motor assembly. We’ve highlighted the of the motor below in green.  The display has two pins that fit into the left and right front of the mechanism. 

display mechanism

Some owners have purchased the motor assembly, Tesla part number 1607360-00-G, which is about $95.   While this can be physically be added, it will not activate the feature.  Attempts at getting Tesla service to activate the feature has failed, so we can’t recommend doing this project at this time.

Model 3/Y Tilting Display

While the Model 3/Y has a fixed display, there are third parties now making a modification that allows the display to manually tilt.

Check out the installation video each vendor offers to see if you’ll feel comfortable installing their kit.