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Creaking/Squeaking control arm ball joint fix

Jillmark99

Member
Feb 1, 2019
201
56
Ontario
My X developed a very loud creaking/squeaking in the front from the suspension a few months ago. I didn’t know what the issue was and I was super busy and didn’t have time to deal with it so I took it to Tesla and they said the upper control arm in the front on pass side was bad and needed replaced. So they replaced it and $1,000 later there was no more squeak.
A few months goes by and then all of a sudden I get the same noise again but this time coming from drivers side. Now I’m getting pissed off because a vehicle that costs north of 100K shouldn’t have issues like this just out of warranty. I’m a pretty handy guy so I decided to jump in and take a look at it. I jacked up the vehicle and took off the front tire. I put a second jack just under the lower control arm to take the pressure off the suspension and I removed the bolt that connects the upper control arm (see attached). It’s a 15mm nut with a torx on the opposite side. With the bolt out I used the jack to lower the suspension about 1” and then used a small pry bar to pop out the upper control arm from the socket. I noticed the ball joint was stiff. I clamped on a pair of vice grips onto the stud of the ball joint and proceeded to rotate the ball joint around and around and side to side and front to back to move all the grease around inside the socket of the ball joint. I moved it around for about 2 minutes until it didn’t feel as tight because of the lubrication. I then jacked up the suspension the 1” I had lowered it and then pulled down the upper control arm to drop the ball joint stud back down into the hole. I had to use a large pair of pliers to sort of clamp it together to get it to go in. I prob could have done it by hand but pliers made it easier. I reinstalled the bolt that I removed and put the tire back on. Voila, no more squeak. The suspension is completely quiet.
The issue is the grease inside the ball joint doesn’t get moved around inside the socket enough and causes a squeaking over time. This took me all of 15 minutes start to finish to complete. That’s the easiest $1,000 I ever saved.
If you are a mechanical person it’s a quick and easy fix.
Wish I had of done this when my first one was noisy and would have saved a thousand bucks. Lesson learned.
See attached picture of the only bolt that needs to be removed. Except the wheel nuts of course.
I hope this info is able to help someone else.
 

Attachments

  • 53CDC4DC-F6BF-4F4B-97E9-7CD25C4C3901.jpeg
    53CDC4DC-F6BF-4F4B-97E9-7CD25C4C3901.jpeg
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5thgear

Member
Oct 16, 2017
56
27
NYC
You shouldn't have been charged anything. This has been a known defect for nearly a year. The SC manager first insisted that I pay nearly $2k for both control arms, but when I pulled up the endless threads about it, they covered it.
 

quickstrike12

Member
Jun 13, 2018
600
445
Fort Worth Texas
I’m happy to see posts like this. I love my car, but warranty is over now for me. But I’m a decent Mechanic and enjoy doing things myself. Even tho some of the particulars to being an EV are a mystery it’s still just a car in many ways and I will be able to fix a lot of it.
 

timf

Active Member
Apr 14, 2013
1,041
160
Michigan
I took my Model X in for the steering bolt recall and it came back with a squeak like the one you're describing. Never had any issue prior to this service visit. Does it make sense for the two to be related? I'm green when it comes to anything mechanical with the car.
 

glusc2002

Member
Jul 6, 2016
195
30
Orange County
I just got this fixed at my SC. I noticed very noticeable loud creaking from the font whenever I applied the brake and more weight shifted to the front. I took it in and SC repaired it for free. Im not exactly sure what they fixed but its stated on the invoice as "Front and Rear Drive Unit - Lubricate at Hub". Either lubrication was added or taken off according to your original DIY fix.
 

tdhoang

New Member
Apr 6, 2021
1
0
Houston, TX
I just got this fixed at my SC. I noticed very noticeable loud creaking from the font whenever I applied the brake and more weight shifted to the front. I took it in and SC repaired it for free. Im not exactly sure what they fixed but its stated on the invoice as "Front and Rear Drive Unit - Lubricate at Hub". Either lubrication was added or taken off according to your original DIY fix.
I am having same problem with my X. SC states it squeaks due to bushing noise, but no damage to control arm and no wear on bushing, so not covered under warranty, but I can replace control arm for $600. Does anyone have receipt of your warranty repair so I can show my SC, thanks
 

ratchet

Member
Feb 28, 2017
9
5
Vienna, VA
Here you go. One page from a service on my 2017 Model X a year ago where they replaced left and right upper arm assemblies under warranty for the same noise.
 

Attachments

  • Tesla Service Invoice-20200501-page2.pdf
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