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Bearing noise after wash

Pepet3

New Member
Jul 20, 2021
3
0
France
Hello All!
Greetings from France.

This is my first post on the forum after I have recently purchased a Model 3 SR+.

A couple of days ago, I have for the first time washed the exterior of the car. And because mine is equipped with aero 18", I have decided to remove the plastic covers and give the wheels a proper cleaning.
I used my power wash to remove brake/road dust and then I thoroughly wiped and let dry before reinstalling the aero cups.

At the next drive and ever since then, I can hear at low speed a noise that I assume comes from a wheel bearing.
It is not loud and I can only hear it with the windows down, but it is definitely noticeable.
Before the wash, the drive used to be absolutely and wonderfully quiet.

Do you think I may have accidentally soaked with water the bearings and removed grease out of them?

I have only realized later that the wheel hubs were no longer covered once the aero cups are removed, which may protect the bearings in normal time (or you would need to install wheel hub covers if you decide not keep the aero cups).
Although bearings are supposed to be sealed, could water ingress happen anyway...?

I have checked the owner's manual of the car and I see nowhere a caution statement to avoid power wash or to nlt expose the wheel hubs without covering them.
But I am wondering if a SC will not reject a warranty replacement of a bearing for this reason, although the car has less than a 1000miles...
 

Gasaraki

Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
2,010
1,255
Syracuse, NY
My guess is that some rust built up after your wash? Try to drive the car at a reasonable speed and use the brakes till the car stops or do some acceleration and brake applications and check if the sound is still there.
 

Pepet3

New Member
Jul 20, 2021
3
0
France
My guess is that some rust built up after your wash? Try to drive the car at a reasonable speed and use the brakes till the car stops or do some acceleration and brake applications and check if the sound is still there.

My guess is that some rust built up after your wash? Try to drive the car at a reasonable speed and use the brakes till the car stops or do some acceleration and brake applications and check if the sound is still there.
Thank you for the advice. I have spoken with a SC manager who have also recommended to try to brake hard in case this would only be rust on the discs.
So I went on a free road yesterday evening, lowered the brake regen setting to minimum, put my left foot on the brake pedal and warmed up properly the brakes. With good result, noise is gone!

When speaking with the SC manager, he reported Tesla can have issues with brakes failure/piston seized/premature rust due to the fact most drivers rely on the brake regen and will not make enough use of the brakes over time. So he's advice was to regularly warm them up, especially after wet weather or wash...
 

MLXXXp

Member
Apr 27, 2021
45
53
Toronto, Canada
So he's advice was to regularly warm them up, especially after wet weather or wash...

The car is supposed to do that for you but maybe it's not enough. From the manual:

"Brake Disc Wiping

To ensure brakes remain responsive in cold and wet weather, Model 3 is equipped with brake disc wiping. When cold and wet weather is detected, this feature repeatedly applies an imperceptible amount of brake force to remove water from the surface of the brake discs."
 

Pepet3

New Member
Jul 20, 2021
3
0
France
The car is supposed to do that for you but maybe it's not enough.
Good to know. But yes, that does not seem to be enough, or it is only activated via the rain sensor / low temperature probe... I can still hear a bit of noise, but definitely less now that I used the brakes.
The phenomenon may also be amplified by the fact the discs and brake pads are still new, giving a minimum of clearance.
 

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