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Clunk with quick sudden acceleration. Any potential issues over time?

elptxjc

Member
Dec 15, 2019
765
148
El Paso, TX
Hey gang, I'm always very smooth driving the Tesla, but yesterday, I needed to accelerate quickly since I ended up positioned on the wrong lane (first in line, obviously) at a stop light. The young guy I needed to overtake looked to be in a 'racing mood' (ha ha), so I wanted to take off quickly, to merge in front of him without drama, or high speeds. I always use 'hold' mode, so my right foot was ready to go. I just stomped the pedal about half way as soon as light turned green (no traffic crossing, so it was safe to do that). Obviously took off much quicker than him, so safely merged with plenty of space behind and forward. But when I stomped on the accelerator, I heard a 'clunk' I didn't like. It was probably drivetrain lash.

I don't plan to do that again. If any such event arises again, will get on the gas slowly for a fraction of a second, and once car moves, then stomp on the accelerator if needed. Car would only be a fraction of a second slower, but it should be a lot safer for the powertrain over time, correct? I've stomped on the gas a few times over the 2K+ miles on the car, but always when rolling. Yesterday was the first time I did that from a dig. Just want to know if the drivetrain is robust enough to take that abuse every once in a while, in case I need to do it again.

Finally, is it possible to press the accelerator and brake at the same time, and when releasing the brake pedal, would the car take off? And if yes, would that action take the driveline slack/lash away or not? I'm talking about a kind of 'launch' procedure. In ICE cars you need to be at WOT... but the car has to be equipped with such feature, plus it has to be activated first (which can be complicated). Hopefully it can be done in our cars at any accelerator pedal % :). Thanks gang.
JC
 

Bigtuna00

Supporting Member
Jun 12, 2019
223
168
CA
There's no "driveline" in a traditional sense a Tesla. Just CV axles. I have no "clunk" when accelerating and it's perfectly acceptable to stomp on the "gas" pedal. The car has excellent traction control so you'll pretty much never spin the tires.

I suspect the noise you heard was unrelated to the motor(s)/axles, unless your axles are shot. Did you have something in the trunk or frunk?
 

elptxjc

Member
Dec 15, 2019
765
148
El Paso, TX
There are differentials, which have to have some slack. The axle shafts probably don't have any. And no, there was nothing in the trunk. I heard the noise below the car. Nothing serious, but obviously don't want to hear it again. I have very good throttle control in both feet and hand, as motorcyclist and driving enthusiast. So next time I can just take a fraction of a second longer before giving the car the beans, so all slack is already taken. I do the same with my manual vehicles, to also minimize clutch wear. Just to be clear, I very quickly stomped on the accelerator. If you're more gentle, like I'll be from now on, it shouldn't happen.
 

Avid

Member
Oct 1, 2018
327
192
Houston, Tx.
What you are experiencing might be the parking brake releasing in hold mode, under normal acceleration you don't feel it. Try coming off the line under the same conditions without hold mode on and hear/feel what happens.
 
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showbbq

Member
Jan 8, 2021
116
77
Houston
Glad you won lol.

But I agree with @Avid it's probably the brakes. Maybe wet conditions and rust? Wonder if it'll go away for you after braking a few times. I haven't noticed this on mine.
 

Bigtuna00

Supporting Member
Jun 12, 2019
223
168
CA
You guys are right, hold mode is the key. I never use it so I never heard the sound but if you unable hold mode and then step on the gas but it definitely a clunk.
 

GreenHokie

Member
Sep 26, 2019
262
328
central Virginia
As another reference point, I’m one of those who floors/launches my vehicle from a dead stop(light) on just about every drive. I’ve never heard any abnormal noise or anything that would be close to sounding like a clunk when I floor it. Most of the time, I have the vehicle in hold mode, but sometimes I’ll have my foot on the brake pedal prior to launch (just habit from driving the standard ICE all these years). Also, I usually have the music off or the volume turned way down, because I love hearing the light/subtle electrical winding noise that the motors make during a hard acceleration. Who needs the roar from the traditional ICE?! Sorry, I got a little carried away there... :D

Anyway, I would encourage the OP to not be afraid of or avoid an occasional hard, pedal-to-the-metal launch because you’re concerned with unnecessary wear on the motor/drivetrain or you’re simply afraid you will hear that loud clunk noise again. These motors/drivetrain can certainly take the relatively minor stresses of an occasional (or even frequent) launch during their service life.

As for the clunk noise, I’d like to quote a phrase.... ignorance is not bliss, especially when it comes to hearing abnormal mechanical noises when driving any vehicle. To be clear, I’m not calling you ignorant. It’s just a catchy phrase to convey a point. So, if anything, you should try to repeat the condition to see if you hear the clunk noise again, because that recurring noise may indicate an actual problem with your vehicle... which will be covered under warranty now, but perhaps not covered much later if/when the problem gets worse and happens more frequently. Just my opinion, of course.
 
Last edited:

Dolemite

is my name
Sep 19, 2019
1,173
1,407
Left Coast
I’ve only done that a handful of times in my P3D and never noticed any clunk. What I have noticed is that the car isn’t delivering absolute full power from a dead stop - I think. Even if you stomp on the “throttle” it seems to steadily roll on the power for a proper launch. Otherwise it’d probably just shred the tires.

Weren’t some people saying their subframes weren’t torqued?

Also the “drivetrain” as I’m sure you know is stupid simple. Electric motor don’t care, and it’s only hooked up to a couple of gears and a diff. Not much to really worry about.
 

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