TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Dreaded Drive Train Clunk - FALSE ALARM

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by ToddRLockwood, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2012
    Messages:
    1,263
    Location:
    Burlington, Vermont
    My 2013 P85 has 23,000 carefully-driven miles. About a month ago I began noticing a clunking noise in the drive train when transitioning between regen and mild acceleration. With the windows down, I could hear it quite clearly when gently starting up from a full stop. This symptom seemed to match the classic drive train clunk that has led a number of owners to have their drive train replaced (under warranty of course). Apparently, in some cases the gear reduction unit has suffered premature wear due to the substantial torque load it has to handle, and this leads to some "play" in the drive train.

    Yesterday, I dropped my car at the Tesla service center in Watertown, MA to have this and a few other minor issues addressed. To my delight and surprise when I picked up the car, the clunk was not coming from the gearbox. Instead it was caused by the velocity joints on the driveshafts. They simply re-torqued the bolts on the velocity joints and the problem went away.

    This a further proof that an occasional visit to a Tesla service center is a good idea. They also performed a number of minor factory upgrades, many of which I was not aware of. Great car. Great company.
     
  2. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    8,552
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Thanks for that. Mine, with about 31,000 miles, is in today for the same thing (along with some other minor things). They say it is "normal" for most cars to have this symptom and to be fair, the loaner P85 with only a couple of thousand miles has it worse than mine. I guess I'll find out this afternoon.
     
  3. islandbayy

    islandbayy Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Messages:
    2,015
    Location:
    Greendale, Wisconsin
    Mines been in a few times for this. They have re-torqued and repacked things with grease, it will go away, but then come back a few days of driving later.
     
  4. jpwe10

    jpwe10 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2013
    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Minnetonka, Minnesota
    Mine just started doing that at a little over 7000 miles. Got me a little worried until I saw this thread. Will be getting it serviced soon.
     
  5. ModelS1079

    ModelS1079 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2012
    Messages:
    837
    Location:
    Suburban Boston
    Helpful - I assumed this was the inverter, not the velocity joints on the driveshafts. I learn a little every day. MKnox let us know what you found when you brought your car in, please.
    And Thanks, Todd, for the insight (and hope hope hoping they'll get that White River Junction SC up soooooon).
     
  6. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    8,552
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    As I mentioned up thread a bit, the loaner I had was much worse than my own car. On the loaner I could not only feel the clunk, but could hear it at just about any speed with the windows up and audio playing. Mine is a lot more subtle than that, and as suspected, they told me it is "normal" for the drivetrains to have or develop a little bit of play like that.
     
  7. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2012
    Messages:
    1,263
    Location:
    Burlington, Vermont
    Mine has returned, slightly. I'm pretty certain this is due to play somewhere in the drive train.
     
  8. konefunk

    konefunk Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2014
    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    United States
    Thanks for sharing this....good to know!
     
  9. islandbayy

    islandbayy Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Messages:
    2,015
    Location:
    Greendale, Wisconsin
    #9 islandbayy, Sep 19, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    While mine returned a few days after re-torqueing and re-greasing, this week it has gotten progressively worse. I did a recording. It doesnt show as well on the recording of course, but it is now loud enough to Echo off the garage from 20 ft away.

    Opinions?

     
  10. FreeOfPge

    FreeOfPge Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
    Messages:
    340
    Location:
    CA
    That's pretty loud, sounds like the drive unit needs replacement for sure. Has anyone tracked this problem enough to know if it happens more often with the P85? It seems like the additional torque would contribute to a higher probability of drive unit failure.
     
  11. islandbayy

    islandbayy Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Messages:
    2,015
    Location:
    Greendale, Wisconsin
    I have a 60. I would have thought being a 60, and running what, 40% less power is it then the S85 would help extend the life?
     
  12. FreeOfPge

    FreeOfPge Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
    Messages:
    340
    Location:
    CA
    No, the P85 having more initial torque should give an extra jolt causing it to happen more often in the 60. Interesting they haven't been able to fix this problem, the drive unit doesn't appear to be all that complicated...definitely less complicated than a Falcon 9 rocket.
     
  13. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Messages:
    409
    Location:
    Old Europe
    I think you meant "more often THAN in the 60"? And that is just what islandbayy assumed ...?
     
  14. FreeOfPge

    FreeOfPge Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
    Messages:
    340
    Location:
    CA
    #14 FreeOfPge, Sep 21, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014
    Whos on first...haha, yes, more often than in the 60. Read his post a second time, got it now. I mistook "is it then the S85 would help extend the life?" to be a question, asking if the S85 would help extend the life.

    Islandbayy, to answer the question, yes your assumption makes sense. I just wonder if it's true, or if the probability of a problem is exactly the same across the 40, 60, 85 and P85 models?
     

Share This Page