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Creaking sound from left front suspension

timk225

Active Member
Mar 24, 2016
2,082
2,392
Pittsburgh
My Model 3 has 61,000 miles of Pittsburgh roads on it, so it may be time for some suspension parts work. For the past couple weeks I've had a creaking sound coming from the left front suspension when driven on uneven roads or parking lots. It does not seem to be related to turning left or right, and my 3 is an early production RWD, so it is definitely not a CV joint.

Anything that makes the suspension go up and down makes the creak. I can even stand outside the car and lift up and down on the A pillar area and replicate the noise. It does not sound like a serious mechanical snap or loose part noise, but it gets annoying fast when going through any kind of uneven road and all you hear is creak creak creak creak creak creak creak creak.

Maybe a strut going bad, or rubber spring pad?
 

timk225

Active Member
Mar 24, 2016
2,082
2,392
Pittsburgh
Are these upper control arms made in such a way that you can't just replace the ball joint / bushings easily, and Tesla just swaps out the entire part? Let's see, ~$170 for the needed alignment afterwards, their high shop rate per hour, plus the cost of the part.... feels like about $600 to me, plus tax. Do these ball joints have grease fittings? Haven't done that in a long time, get down there with the grease gun.

In rush hour traffic yesterday, I was stopping and going, and every time I'd hit the electric pedal to take off, creak. Then on deceleration, creak. Over and over.
 

MountainPass

Active Member
Global Vendor
Mar 2, 2018
1,705
3,503
Toronto, Canada
Any plan to have a non-adjustable or not-so-easy-adjustable MPP FUCA for people don’t track that serious/often?
I have floated this idea, but machining a single-piece FUCA is going to cost just as much because the billet of aluminum we start with will be even larger than the current FUCAs! If you can imagine it starts off as a 13"x13"x6" block of aluminum.
 

timk225

Active Member
Mar 24, 2016
2,082
2,392
Pittsburgh
I got the problem fixed. Yesterday I got 2 new UCA's put on, a Revision H on the left side and a revision G on the right.

Does anyone have a list of what revisions incorporated what changes? We've gone from Rev. A to H, 8 changes, in only 3 years. How many attempts does the supplier need to get a control arm and ball joint right? Adding a simple grease fitting would solve a lot of problems!

My right side UCA / ball joint seemed to be ok, but it had 61,000 miles of Pittsburgh roads on it, and it made good financial sense to change both at the same time and save some on the labor costs. Until the service people at Wexford didn't call me in the morning like they were supposed to and thought they knew more about car maintenance than me. Then charged the wrong account.

I'll wait until I speak to someone at Tesla before I post the full list of what they did wrong. Can't wait for Tesla to send me the form to fill out regarding the service experience!
 
I got the problem fixed. Yesterday I got 2 new UCA's put on, a Revision H on the left side and a revision G on the right.

Does anyone have a list of what revisions incorporated what changes? We've gone from Rev. A to H, 8 changes, in only 3 years. How many attempts does the supplier need to get a control arm and ball joint right? Adding a simple grease fitting would solve a lot of problems!

My right side UCA / ball joint seemed to be ok, but it had 61,000 miles of Pittsburgh roads on it, and it made good financial sense to change both at the same time and save some on the labor costs. Until the service people at Wexford didn't call me in the morning like they were supposed to and thought they knew more about car maintenance than me. Then charged the wrong account.

I'll wait until I speak to someone at Tesla before I post the full list of what they did wrong. Can't wait for Tesla to send me the form to fill out regarding the service experience!
Hi timk225, how much was it for replacing the UCA's? Yours should be out of warranty at 61K. Mine is at 70K and just started making the noise about a month ago. Thanks.
 
My money is on upper control arm!

Is there any danger of this thing coming apart? We have a family road trip coming up and I'd like to take the Tesla to Disney, even if it sounds like the cast of Ratatouille is in the frunk.

Also, are the lower arms coming loose the result of improper torque at the factory? Do they publish the correct specs for those of us who would put the car in the air and check?

Ratatouille.jpg
 

MountainPass

Active Member
Global Vendor
Mar 2, 2018
1,705
3,503
Toronto, Canada
Is there any danger of this thing coming apart? We have a family road trip coming up and I'd like to take the Tesla to Disney, even if it sounds like the cast of Ratatouille is in the frunk.

Also, are the lower arms coming loose the result of improper torque at the factory? Do they publish the correct specs for those of us who would put the car in the air and check?

Ratatouille.jpg

If it was my own car I wouldn't be worried. If you want to be sure, just jack up that corner and check for play in the balljoint. If there is play, I would say to take a different car, but if it just creaky and dried out I don't think it will be dangerous. That being said, this is not legal advice :)
 
I got the problem fixed. Yesterday I got 2 new UCA's put on, a Revision H on the left side and a revision G on the right.

Does anyone have a list of what revisions incorporated what changes? We've gone from Rev. A to H, 8 changes, in only 3 years. How many attempts does the supplier need to get a control arm and ball joint right? Adding a simple grease fitting would solve a lot of problems!

My right side UCA / ball joint seemed to be ok, but it had 61,000 miles of Pittsburgh roads on it, and it made good financial sense to change both at the same time and save some on the labor costs. Until the service people at Wexford didn't call me in the morning like they were supposed to and thought they knew more about car maintenance than me. Then charged the wrong account.

I'll wait until I speak to someone at Tesla before I post the full list of what they did wrong. Can't wait for Tesla to send me the form to fill out regarding the service experience!
To be fair I’m pretty sure the people at the service center know more about the car than you.. I know most everyone at Wexford and they’re all great people. And you’re also kind of a jagoff so there’s that. 😂
 
  • Funny
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