Tesla Model Y: 9 Common Problems (Solution Guide)

The Model Y is Tesla’s best-selling EV, offering plenty of space, great ride quality and state-of-the-art tech.

But like any vehicle, it’s not without its problems…

Aside from typical build quality issues you might encounter in other vehicles, the Model Y is more prone to software issues since it heavily relies on a lot of electronics and computer systems to implement all its advanced features.

We’ve done some digging to get to the bottom of these complaints and figure out the best solutions.

1. Tesla Model Y Screen Keeps Turning Off

The Model Y’s large touchscreen is one of its main selling points. It’s more than just an infotainment screen because it controls pretty much every setting and feature of the vehicle. 

A screen turning off could mean any of the following may have occurred:

  • Hardware defect
  • System crash 
  • Software glitch 

In a lot of cases, you’ll be locked out of certain vehicle functions and features for some time until the system restarts.

You might also encounter strange computer or electronic issues if the screen is glitching out. 

Here are a few things you can try if your Model Y screen keeps turning off, freezing up, or restarting on its own:

Reboot the Car

If the screen randomly turns off on its own or just completely stops responding, you should try to restart the Model Y’s computer systems by pressing and holding down the two scroll wheels on the steering wheel until the screen turns off completely or until the Tesla logo reappears.

Rebooting the Model Y shouldn’t affect the driving electronics and can be done while you’re driving.

But it’s better if you can pull over first or wait to do it at a stoplight. 

Close All Apps

Random reboots, system crashes and other software glitches can also be caused by apps like the browser, YouTube, Netflix and Spotify.  

If a reboot doesn’t solve the issue, try closing any apps that are still running after the reboot and observe if the issue persists.

You can also try uninstalling or updating your apps to make sure it’s not just a random software bug or an incompatibility issue.

Check the 12-volt Battery

The Model Y’s MCU or Media Control Unit is powered by the car’s 12-volt battery.

If there’s not enough voltage, either because the battery is old or faulty, the MCU can randomly reboot on its own.

You can go to any auto parts store or mechanic to test the health of the battery and replace it if necessary.

Unplug All USB Devices

The Model Y’s computer can randomly crash if it encounters corrupted files stored in USB drives or if you connect an incompatible USB device.

Disconnect everything that’s plugged into the Model Y’s USB ports and see if the touchscreen is still randomly turning off.

2. Tesla Model Y Won’t Charge

Charging issues can really hurt the Model Y ownership experience. If you aren’t able to reliably charge the battery, you can’t really drive it around too much until you find a permanent fix, and long-distance trips are usually out of the question.

Charging issues could be caused by any of the following:

  • Damaged charging port or plug
  • Issues with the charger’s power source
  • Faulty hardware or software in the vehicle itself

When the vehicle encounters charging issues, the Tesla logo won’t turn green after connecting a charging cable.

You should also get a notification on the screen that the vehicle is unable to charge.

On newer Model Ys, you may just need to push the charging connector/plug a little bit harder because the charging port is still a little snug.

And make sure there are no foreign objects stuck in the charging plug or in the car’s charging port.

If these initial troubleshooting steps don’t work, here are a few more things you can try out:

Check the Charger’s Electrical Circuit

The first thing you should do is check if the charger is working properly – try using another charger to see if that resolves the issue.

The outlet should also be properly grounded for the Tesla charger to work.

Check if the same charging problems occur when you connect either a Supercharger or a mobile charger/wall adapter.

This will help you isolate the problem since Tesla Superchargers and other DC fast chargers use a different charging circuit compared to the one that a mobile charger/wall charger uses.

If you can charge properly using the Supercharger but have problems at home with your charger that’s plugged into the wall, there might be issues with the electrical circuit you’re connecting it to.

It may not be designed to provide the amount of current or amps that the charger needs. 

A quick workaround for this is to lower the vehicle’s current draw during charging.

To do this, just click the minus (-) sign where it says ‘Charge Current’ on the touchscreen.

This will slow down the charging rate but will at least let you top up the vehicle’s battery until it’s full.

You may eventually want to have an electrician check your wiring if it can’t handle the demands of the Tesla’s wall charger.

Disable Mobile Access

Some Tesla owners have been able to resolve their charging issues by disabling the ‘Allow Mobile Access’ option under the Safety & Security settings. 

This setting allows you to send commands to the car using your phone, as well as receive app and OTA system updates over the Internet.

Turning it off ensures that the car isn’t receiving any remote requests to stop charging. 

Usually, turning this setting on and off clears out any bugs and things go back to normal as if nothing ever happened.

If the issue persists, try uninstalling the Tesla app and any other apps on your phone that may be sending a stop command to your car such as monitoring apps.

If all else fails, it’s best to take your Model Y to a local service center so they can check if there’s anything on the car that needs to be repaired or replaced.

3. Tesla Model Y Alarm Going Off

The Model Y’s alarm can easily go off from random noises such as loud cars and thunderstorms.

It can even be triggered by the sound and vibrations of its heater and A/C system.

Since Sentry mode is vision based, it can also be triggered by rain, snow, flashing lights or just random people, animals and objects — causing it to send you lots of notifications on your phone even if nothing has come close to the vehicle.

Here are a couple of things you can try if your Model Y’s alarm keeps triggering on its own for no apparent reason. 

Turn Off Sentry Mode

If you don’t want false alarms triggering when the car is in your garage and constantly waking you and your neighbors up, you can just turn off Sentry Mode when the car is parked at home, at work, or any of your other saved locations — as long as you’re certain that it’s parked somewhere safe.

The Model Y uses GPS to know where exactly it’s located, so it should automatically turn off Sentry mode if you’ve set it to exclude certain locations.

You can also turn off the alarm, which is a separate setting from Sentry mode, if you want to figure out which system is actually causing the problem.

Do a Hard Restart 

A system reboot or a hard restart can usually clear out any software bugs that could be causing false positives with the alarm and/or sentry mode.

To do a hard restart on the Model Y, just step on the brake pedal while holding down both scroll buttons on the steering wheel until the touchscreen goes blank and lights up again.

Check for Bugs/Insects

False alarms can also be triggered by actual bugs and insects that are trapped inside the cabin.  

If none of the previous steps have solved your alarm issue, try leaving the doors and frunk open for 10 to 20 minutes so that the bugs can escape.

A thorough vacuuming can also coax out any stubborn critters that are hiding in the car’s nooks and crannies.

Other foreign objects, like expanding plastic water bottles, have also been known to trigger false alarms in Teslas. So it’s a good idea to clear out the cabin and see if that helps the situation.

Set the Car to Dog or Camp Mode

If you leave people in the car and you walk away with your phone or key card, the Model Y will automatically arm the alarm/sentry mode.

Any movement or noise inside the vehicle will inadvertently set off the alarm even if it’s still running.

Simply enable the Dog Mode or Camp Mode and you won’t have to worry about the alarms going off.

12V Battery

If the car’s 12V battery is starting to die it may be causing the alarm to go off at random.

You can always check the battery life with a voltmeter, by measuring the voltage across the battery’s terminals.

If it’s under 11V then this is causing the beeps and you’ll need to replace it.

If you’re not technically inclined, take it to a local mechanic and ask them to check it for you.

4. Tesla Model Y Won’t Start

Like all other Teslas, the Model Y uses either a key card or a connected phone instead of a regular key/key fob.

As long as you have your key card or phone on you, you can just get in and start driving the vehicle by simply pressing the brake and selecting either Drive or Reverse.

If you encounter an error message or notification that’s preventing you from driving your Model Y, here are a few things you can try.

Place the Key Card on the Center Console

Sometimes, the Model Y will ask you to tap your key card before letting you drive off even if you were able to unlock the car using your phone. 

If you have your key card with you, just place it on the center console so that you can get the car going again. 

Restart Bluetooth and Tesla App

If you don’t have your key card with you and you’re unable to drive the vehicle, try turning your phone’s Bluetooth off and on so that the Tesla app can reestablish a connection with the vehicle.

It also helps if you force quit the Tesla app and launch it again once you’ve restarted your phone’s Bluetooth.

If the car is still having problems recognizing your phone, restarting the phone might help.

Remove and Re-Add Phone Key

If you’re still having issues after restarting the Bluetooth and your phone, you can try removing your phone as a registered key from the vehicle’s lock settings, then adding it back again. 

People who’ve tried this also recommend removing all the other phones that have been paired with the car to clear out any glitches.

You may also like: How Long Do Tesla Model Y Last? (11 Important Facts)

5. Tesla Model Y Won’t Turn On

Some Model Y owners have encountered issues with their vehicle seemingly not turning on at all. 

In most cases, it’s just the touchscreen that won’t light up but the car can still be driven normally. 

This is still quite problematic though since all the vehicle’s controls are on the touchscreen and it doesn’t even have a traditional dash to let you know what the vehicle is doing.

Here are a few solutions that might solve the issue:

Reboot the System

The first thing you should try is to reboot the Model Y’s computer.

The screen could be off because it encountered a glitch or an error that caused the system to crash. 

Rebooting the car by holding down the two scroll buttons on the steering wheel for 10 to 15 seconds might be able to quickly resolve the issue. 

People have reported that it sometimes takes a few reboots for the screen to come back on, so if it doesn’t work the first time, a second or third attempt might do the trick.

Update the Software

Some Model Y owners have been able to fix their blank touchscreen issues by downloading the latest software update for their car.

The car’s software may have some corrupted or buggy system files, and an update might be able to repair or restore the software.

You can still update the Model Y without using the touchscreen through the Tesla app on your phone.

There should be a notification on the app’s home screen if there’s a new update available. Just proceed with the download and wait for it to finish.

Unplug USB Devices and Close All Apps

It’s also possible that the screen won’t turn on because your USB devices or CPU/memory intensive apps, such as the browser, are causing the system to crash.

Try unplugging all your USB drives/devices and closing out all the apps and see if the problem happens again after a couple of days.

This will help you isolate the issue even further.

If none of these steps resolve the issue, book an appointment with your nearest service center so they can check if there’s a hardware issue.

6. Tesla Model Y Not Connecting to WiFi

The Model Y will sometimes have difficulty connecting to WiFi connections even if other devices, like your phone, can connect to the same WiFi signal just fine.

This is a pretty common issue, but here are some quick fixes that you can try.

Connect to a 2.4GHz WiFi Signal

Modern routers are able to broadcast both a 2.4GHz and a 5GHz signal.

5GHz WiFi is faster but it also has limited range and is more prone to connection issues when passing through walls.

If the car is automatically connecting to a 5GHz signal but isn’t getting a good connection, click on WiFi settings and click ‘Forget Network’.

You can then force it to connect to the more stable 2.4GHz connection since it no longer has the password for the 5GHz signal.

Add a Wireless Repeater or Park Closer to the Router

The Model Y’s WiFi antenna is on the right side mirror.

If you’re unable to connect to a WiFi signal, try to get the car’s WiFi antenna closer to the router or WiFi repeater so it can get a more stable connection.

If the router is pretty far from the vehicle, extending its WiFi range using a repeater can also be a good solution.

Use Your Phone as a Hotspot

If you can’t download an update because of WiFi issues, you can always use your phone as a mobile hotspot and let the car download updates using your mobile data instead. 

This is the quickest solution and won’t require buying additional equipment or too much troubleshooting.

7. Tesla Model Y Won’t Update

If your Model Y is still using an older software version and it’s not automatically downloading an update on its own, here are a couple of things you can try.

Connect to a Stable WiFi Connection

Though the Model Y can connect to LTE signals to provide various Internet services, it can only download software updates via WiFi. 

Once connected via WiFi and you’re sure that it’s connected to the Internet, it will eventually download the update on its own.

Sometimes, it may look like it’s not downloading at all, but it will eventually finish after waiting an hour or two.

If you don’t have access to a WiFi signal, you can always use your phone as a mobile hotspot and download updates using cellular data.

Wait a Couple of Weeks

If you’ve just gotten hold of your Model Y, it usually takes a few weeks before software updates are pushed to a new vehicle.

Some owners have reported having to wait 5 to 6 weeks before finally getting their first update.

Updates are also pushed over-the-air in waves or batches.

Even if there’s a new software update available, it doesn’t mean that everybody will get it at the same time.

Set the Software Update Preference to Advanced

If you want to get the latest software updates as soon as they’re available go to the Software settings in the touchscreen controls and select ‘Advanced’ instead of ‘Standard’. This will allow you to get the latest updates faster.

If your Model Y’s software hasn’t been updated in months and it’s still running on a really old version, you can submit a service request to see if Tesla can manually push the update to your vehicle.

8. Tesla Model Y Not Waking Up

The Model Y should automatically wake up whenever you:

  • Swipe your keycard on the B pillar 
  • Approach the car with a paired phone key
  • Lightly push down the door handle
  • Connect a charger

It will also ‘wake up’ if you send it commands through the Tesla app on your phone even if you’re far away from it. 

When the car is left alone for a long while, it will automatically go into a ‘deep sleep’ mode. Once it’s in this mode, it might take a bit longer for it to wake up.

If you’re having issues with waking up the car, here are a couple of troubleshooting steps.

Make Sure There’s an LTE Signal

In order for the car to receive commands, it needs to have a decent LTE signal. 

If it’s in a parking garage or somewhere with really bad reception, you won’t be able to interact with the car using your phone unless you’re close by and it’s able to connect via Bluetooth.

If you’re driving off from somewhere with weak cellular reception, it often takes a couple of minutes for the car to completely wake up from its deep sleep state and reconnect to everything.

Reboot the Car And Restart the App 

If you’re having issues waking up the car, try rebooting the car’s computer by holding down the two scroll wheels on the steering wheel.

This should clear out any software glitches that could be causing the issue.

You can also try turning your phone’s Bluetooth off and on again, as well as restarting the App to refresh its connection with the vehicle.

If all else fails, you may need to bring your Model Y to the nearest service center so they can check for any hardware defects.

9. Tesla Model Y Not Unlocking

If you’re using your phone as a key, your Model Y should automatically unlock the doors as you approach using just the Bluetooth connection even if the Tesla app is not running. 

However, this doesn’t always work as designed, so here are a few workarounds.

Keep the Tesla App Running in the Background

Many Model Y owners have reported that keeping the Tesla app running makes the phone key feature work more consistently. 

You can also check if the Tesla app’s location settings on your phone is set to ‘always’ so that it’s always running even if you exit out of the app.

If the app is running in the background and the car still isn’t automatically unlocking, try unlocking the car from the app itself.

Turning your phone’s Bluetooth off and on again will also refresh the vehicle’s connection with your phone.

Remove and Re-Pair Phone Key

If your phone key is consistently giving you issues, it’s a good idea to unpair it from the car and reconnect it again to clear out any issues.

Others have also reported that removing all other paired phone keys makes the system work more consistently once your main phone is paired back again.

You can also try rebooting the car completely and see if that resolves the issue. Though sometimes, a software update increases the frequency of these unlocking issues, but will eventually fix itself after another update.

To avoid getting completely locked out of your car due to phone or software issues, it’s always a good idea to keep your key card handy especially if you’re going on a long trip.