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Cracking sound coming from Aero wheel covers

z3sty3

Member
Mar 8, 2018
10
40
SoCal
Has anyone notice any cracking sounds from the wheel covers? I don't hear it when inside the car, but if my wife drives and I'm outside, one of the aero wheel covers makes cracking noise when it rolls. Its as if the cover is under excess pressure. At first it was the front driver's side wheel. I took it to service and they replaced the cover. Now its the back driver's side wheel. (I feel like they may have just swapped the covers).
 

wwu123

Member
Apr 11, 2017
334
310
Silicon Valley, CA
I actually do feel like when I've been in parking lots and moving slowly, I've heard crunching sounds a couple of times from the front like I ran over something brittle - which surprised me since I didn't notice anything big on the ground. And no, this was not hitting a curb or a wheel stop, just rolling slowly on level ground. Last night I got home and it looked like there was a big bulge or warping of that wheel cover, and on closer inspection it had not warped but rather had unseated on one side about 3/4". A firm slap on the part sticking out seated it firmly back in place. It didn't feel like it was loose enough to just fall off, but I wonder at highway speed whether a bump could make that happen.

In my 35 years of driving, it's interesting that I've never owned a car with "hubcaps" or wheel covers before, even the budget cars like my 1st gen Prius with its skinny 70R14 tires were on solid one-piece wheels. I look at those random wheel covers littered on the side of highways and off-ramps and wonder what happened....
 

Skidmark

Member
Oct 16, 2017
310
317
San Jose, CA
Don't have my 3 yet, but my parents bought a Camry many years ago that had steel wheels with plastic covers and they also made some snapping noises when rolling.
 

liuping

Active Member
Jul 23, 2013
2,242
896
San Diego
Has anyone notice any cracking sounds from the wheel covers?
I noticed this for the first time just yesterday. I was outside when my wife arrived home and I heard a strange clicking like sound from the Model 3. I got up close and it definitely was coming from the aero wheel covers.

Maybe that will be enough to convince my wife to go aeroless. I have the parts, but she said she likes the aero cover better. o_O
 

Xenoilphobe

Active Member
Jan 2, 2014
4,578
4,283
Fairfax County, Virginia
Has anyone notice any cracking sounds from the wheel covers? I don't hear it when inside the car, but if my wife drives and I'm outside, one of the aero wheel covers makes cracking noise when it rolls. Its as if the cover is under excess pressure. At first it was the front driver's side wheel. I took it to service and they replaced the cover. Now its the back driver's side wheel. (I feel like they may have just swapped the covers).
Its the new NHTSA mandated noise maker for speeds <10 MPH, studies show the brittle sound of crushing bone (similar to the sound you describe) gets pedestrians to stop looking at their phone and look up before walking in front of you.

 

TheMicster

Member
May 31, 2018
7
0
Bellevue, Washington
I just received my Model 3 with aero wheels today VIN in the 19k range. I just noticed as my wife was pulling out the the covers are making a crackling sound, which is very strange to me. The only way I could imagine how what I heard is happening is if the wheal itself is expanding and contracting while the wheel is rolling. There is probably a better scientific term for what I'm trying to explain here, but it is very noticeable.
 

Devanish

Member
Apr 1, 2016
133
121
Virginia
Ours started making this noise today as well. Too late to check the hubcaps but that sounds pretty likely.
I noticed it the second I started driving the car out of the delivery center. Someone said their car stopped doing it after about 2 weeks. So far I've had mine for 8 days (400 miles).
 

mistermatt

Member
Feb 12, 2016
27
24
Toronto, Canada
This is one of the reasons I didn't get the aero wheels. The "covers" remind me too much of the awful hubcaps on the first car I got as a teenager.

I lost a hubcap once after hitting a pot hole on the highway off ramp. It stayed on the highway rolling along and we were never reunited. I still miss it and flash back to watching it roll away in the sideview mirror. :confused:
 

Devanish

Member
Apr 1, 2016
133
121
Virginia
I lost a hubcap once after hitting a pot hole on the highway off ramp. It stayed on the highway rolling along and we were never reunited. I still miss it and flash back to watching it roll away in the sideview mirror. :confused:
Legion has it it is still rolling along to this very day!
 

TheMicster

Member
May 31, 2018
7
0
Bellevue, Washington
I noticed it the second I started driving the car out of the delivery center. Someone said their car stopped doing it after about 2 weeks. So far I've had mine for 8 days (400 miles).

I thought I noticed it then too, but I also noticed the tires squeeking against the floor, so I didn't really think too much about it. Good to know it's normal and goes away in about 2 weeks.
 

ahagge

Member
Sep 14, 2016
57
53
Northridge, CA
Yes, definitely noticed it. Sounds like rocks in the tread hitting concrete (or perhaps behind the wheel covers), but it's not. Likely an artifact of the attachment system. Given the number of people who hear it, it's not unique to any one vehicle (and likely not to a particular "batch" of aero covers either). So I guess we either live with it or ditch the aero covers. I'm keeping mine on for an upcoming road trip, but may pull them once its done. I have my hug and lug nut caps... ;)
 

Devanish

Member
Apr 1, 2016
133
121
Virginia
I thought I noticed it then too, but I also noticed the tires squeeking against the floor, so I didn't really think too much about it. Good to know it's normal and goes away in about 2 weeks.
Well, I'm told it goes away after about 2 weeks, but at present I remain skeptical yet hopeful. I plan to get the Unplugged moderate springs, I think I will like the aero wheels more once the gap is reduced and so I'd really like them to not squeak when I'm creeping.
 

SDKoala

Model 3 LR RWD
Apr 11, 2018
866
963
San Diego
Even though this thread is older, there was a more recent thread about this same thing. The "crunchy" sound is probably just the plastic flexing, conforming to the wheels, and settling. I noticed it the first time I pulled into my garage on delivery day and stopped hearing it after about 2-3 weeks.
 
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