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Control arm corrosion

Discussion in 'Model S' started by summit123, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. summit123

    summit123 Member

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    Been considering ordering a MS soon and was asking a friend about his 2013. With all the news about the suspension corrosion earlier this year, I took a peek into his wheel well and saw significant rusting on what would seem to be the upper control arm. We are in NE area so get some snow and salted roads. But this seems to be accelerated corrosion in just 2-3 years. Pictures are of the front right/passenger side wheel well area. At this rate, i cant see the components lasting 5 years

    Would appreciate useful input before I click on the "order" button.

    Thanks
     

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  2. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    You make me want to stick my head in my wheel well. That doesn't look like any control arm I've ever seen. Usually they're cast, not cut and bent like this piece.

    Someone who has been in there will be along shortly, I'm sure. :)
     
  3. Chopr147

    Chopr147 Active Member

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    Hard to tell from pictures but surface rust would be expected on any car.
     
  4. summit123

    summit123 Member

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    View was taken with my phone cam stuck in there facing almost vertical. That silver cylindrical thing is his air suspension unit just to give some point of reference
     
  5. Zaphod

    Zaphod Galaxy President (former)

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    It's surface rust. Take a look at any other car and you will see nothing different. I would not call that "accelerated" corrosion by any means.
     
  6. NewJerseyMS

    NewJerseyMS Member

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    My car is two months old. When I got the wheels changed for winter in NJ I pointed out some rust that has dripped onto the front fascia near the ground effects. They said that there is a fix for this, that a certain components in the front have a coating to prevent rust but it's not enough for these Northeast environments. They can pit more and and protect it better. I'm bringing in my car later this week for that fix.

    Have your friend ask the SC about it.
     
  7. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    Looks like someone didn't wash the salt out from under their car, soon enough. As other have said, this will be no different than any other vehicle with steel parts.
     
  8. summit123

    summit123 Member

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    one actual advantage with an ICE here that I can think of is that the heat from the engine will help dry out all the metal parts near the engine bay and possibly slowing down the corrosion in this instance. I know the battery pack produces heat, but probably nowhere near the temperature generated with an ICE.

    Friend said he just brought his car in for the annual service and the SC did not mention anything about it.
     
  9. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    In case you didn't know how this works, there are two very large/thick radiators below the headlights and the fan exhaust is blasted into the front wheel wells. These help to extract heat from the motor(s) and battery. If you're driving for any amount of time, these are active. If you're Supercharging, these are going full blast.
     
    • Like x 1
  10. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    I might be completely crazy, but I'm pretty damn sure the control arms are cast AL. I have looked at mine while on a rack and what your photos show is not what I saw. I am no genius when it comes to suspensions, but those don't look like controls arms in those photos. They look like structural braces.

    There has been a problem with premature corrosion of the ball joint. Documented here on TMC. That is steel.

    Personally (and haters, I've heard it all, so don't waste your typing skills) I would stay away from a '13. Too early in the production run. Go with a mid '14 and beyond. Quality is noticeably better in every respect from my experience with loaners and extensive participation here on TMC.

    FWIW
     
    • Informative x 1
  11. navinc

    navinc Member

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    I had a routine inspection done today on My 2012 Model S Signature 85. Rather than receiving the expected clean bill of health (the car was thoroughly inspected and given a clean bill of health pre-purchase by Tesla Service Toronto last August), I received the unsettling news that there was significant corrosion to the Aluminium tie-bar that spans the entire front-end crumple-zone connecting the left & right fenders. Here are a couple of photos taken by the inspector:

    Tesla Model S Aluminium corrosion

    Has anyone gone into service for similar issues with any important structural component? If so, what was Tesla's response? I am the second owner, and my Tesla is covered by the extended service agreement. While that agreement excludes surface corrosion, this is clearly a structural and safety issue; the inspector said that the corrosion is so bad that he'd likely have to fail the car as completely unsafe to drive if I brought it back in six months. Yikes! It looks like the part will definitely have to be replaced. I sure hope it was designed to be!

    As much as I love my 2012 Sig 85, I think CHG-ON makes a fair point that the 2014+ cars are a safer bet. That said, it's been my experience that both Tesla Service and their engineering teams have an exemplary record of accepting, documenting and pro-actively addressing such issues rather than ignoring them or trying to do minimal damage control the way many other manufactures might.
     
  12. Motomania

    Motomania Member

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    I posted my observation of that upper control arm in another thread. It does indeed appear to be the upper control arm, from other pix I've seen. But, it's strange that it's stamped steel as opposed to cast/machined aluminum like all the other suspension parts. Unless Tesla has changed that control arm design the past couple years?
    -
    But, the bubbled rust on the earlier pix of the upper control arm; I'd say is a bit more than surface rust; taking a screwdriver to that bubbled corrosion protection might reveal some pitting into the steel itself.
    -
    Navinc's corroded aluminum tie-bar/crossbar is concerning. Hopefully it's corroded from winter road chemicals and not some sort of electrolysis. (I'm basing that off of the similar appearance sacrificial anodes get in marine applications)
     
  13. navinc

    navinc Member

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    I need to post a correction to my previous post. Apparently the original radiator support is Magnesium, not Aluminium, and Tesla must have already recognized its corrosion as an issue, as the newer replacement part is plastic:

    Repairing a Flooded Tesla Model S : HOW-TO

    I haven't heard back with official word yet as the Tesla Service & Parts departments appear to be universally slammed just now.

    Updated higher-resolution pics here: Tesla Model S Magnesium corrosion
    Aluminium rust crumbling to the ground.jpg Aluminum front tie bar badly corroded.jpg
     

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