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Front axles keep breaking

Steve Kempf

Member
Oct 20, 2019
37
11
Auburn, AL
I have a Model X long range that is a little over 1 year old with about 12,000 miles on the odometer. It developed the "dreaded" suspension shudder under acceleration. Tesla replaced both front axles and this seemed to help, however after about 600 miles of driving following the replacement I was just driving around town at low speed one evening and as I slowed down for a stop light there was a loud "thump" on the front right side followed by a very loud screeching/grinding noise. I pulled to the side of the road and the car shut down. I contacted Roadside Assistance. They had me reset the car and try to move it; however, it would barely budge and there was a loud grinding noise coming from the front when I stepped on the accelerator. Tesla sent a tow truck and towed the car to the Marietta, GA Service Center (about 120 miles from where I live). They serviced the car the next day and told me that one of the newly installed front axles had broken. Also, after they replaced that axle they took the car out for a test drive and the other newly installed front axle broke. So, they replaced that one too. When I picked-up the car the next day, I was told that when the axles were originally replaced they hadn't been seated properly and that now the problem should be solved. So, I returned home and the car seemed to be running fine with no vibration (shudder) when accelerating. Today I took the car out for a short drive and as I accelerated away from a stoplight, I heard the same loud "thump" on the front right side followed by the same grinding noise. So I assume an axle has broken again. This time the car continued to be drivable and I was able to make it home. I've set-up another service appointment; however, since this problem has happened twice now in close succession I'm starting to wonder if there is some basic flaw in the drive train. Even if they repair it again, I won't feel I can trust the car for trips (i.e., I worry I'll get stranded somewhere far from home and possibly far from Tesla Service). I'm wondering if anyone else has had this problem and if they know what it took to fix it.
 
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mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,178
5,336
MA, NH
This is exactly why I'm just living with the shudder. Especially since there is no fix.
If my car is on very low, there is no shudder. On anything else if I step on it, it will shudder.
Normal driving with Auto Low and Auto Firmness on Suspension I don't notice it as long as I don't step on it (to hard).

Mine is not a performance and I usually have the car in Chill mode. It will do it in Chill on Low if I step on it.
But it's very little shudder, but definitely not right.

Also how firm you set the suspension affects it. I generally leave that on Auto now.

Sorry to hear your headaches.
 

bayareaever

Member
Jun 17, 2013
425
292
East Bay Area
Don't do it until it's fixed. Follow this thread: News for Model X owners with the dreaded shudder

maybe it’s already fixed? I don’t see too many newish cars with this problem being reported.

hard to believe it would go on this long without being addressed. According to YouTube videos, it has been a MS problem too.

I don’t tend to drive like a ‘maniac’ so not sure it would affect me anyway.
 

Nyjets1982

Member
Oct 23, 2020
21
12
33062
Got my new X in December. No shudder. Apparently new axles according to parts number in customer services manual seems to have fixed issue. Have 3500 miles and no shudder on any height of suspension.
 

Steve Kempf

Member
Oct 20, 2019
37
11
Auburn, AL
Just an update. The Tesla Service Center has decided to replace the front drive unit, as well as the axles. Hopefully that will take care of the problem. Stayed tuned. I'll update this further when I know more.
 
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Silicon Desert

Active Member
Oct 1, 2018
3,665
3,754
Sparks, / GF1
by reading the thread, it is hard for me to determine if this is a problem on newer cars, older, or a combination. I had the shutter issue on one of my cars, 2017 MX, but after they replaced the half shafts and clevis mounts, I have put another 30,000 miles on the car without the issue ever coming back.
 

achiquitucto

New Member
Feb 17, 2021
3
1
Long Island
I have a Raven 2019 Model X Standard Range with 16k miles. I have had front axels worked on 4 times. The dreaded shudder is gone, I also now drive in Low always (as recommended after the 3rd replacement axel). Now I have a vibration on the steering wheel. I feel it at 40 mph but very noticeable and annoying at 65-70 mph. They have done 3 wheel alignments, it helps slightly. They are trying to blame my tires that they say need to be replaced "soon". But the vibration has been happening since last summer when I had about 12k miles on my car. It probably was there even longer, I think it was not as noticeable because the shudder as a bigger issue at the time.
 

HostileHarry

Member
Sep 4, 2018
279
212
Chicago
I have a Raven 2019 Model X Standard Range with 16k miles. I have had front axels worked on 4 times. The dreaded shudder is gone, I also now drive in Low always (as recommended after the 3rd replacement axel). Now I have a vibration on the steering wheel. I feel it at 40 mph but very noticeable and annoying at 65-70 mph. They have done 3 wheel alignments, it helps slightly. They are trying to blame my tires that they say need to be replaced "soon". But the vibration has been happening since last summer when I had about 12k miles on my car. It probably was there even longer, I think it was not as noticeable because the shudder as a bigger issue at the time.

I had a similar vibration that somewhat noticeable around 40, but between 65+ it was very noticeable. It ended up being the foam in one of the tires had come loose. Replaced the tire (I had to pay for it) and I've not noticed the vibration since that fix.
 

KentuckyX

Member
Mar 15, 2018
467
311
Louisville, KY
I had a similar vibration that somewhat noticeable around 40, but between 65+ it was very noticeable. It ended up being the foam in one of the tires had come loose. Replaced the tire (I had to pay for it) and I've not noticed the vibration since that fix.
I had the same issue - mild vibration at ~70mph. When I had my new tires put on, the installer said my front right Conti’s foam insert was loose inside the tire. Made me greatly appreciate the fact that I wasn’t replacing my Contis with Contis.
 

mac500

Member
Nov 8, 2020
63
42
Belgium
Same issue over here. Pickup my new MX middle of december. After about 5000km I also have this crackling noise when I do accellerate on full throttle.

I've scheduled a service call and Tesla confirmed that the noise is coming from the front axles but as I have a 2021 revision I allready have the latest revision of the axles. So they can replace them but it won't fix the problem. They told me they are waiting for a new revision and they will replace them when they are available. So I assume, as the model MX refresh has even more horse power, they have made some improvements/modifications to the axles ...
 
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bayx

Member
Jul 29, 2018
489
280
San Francisco
Owning an MX means you should expect issues like shudder or minor trim problems, which existed since the beginning although some have been fixed. I think Tesla gave up on the shudder as they were never able to come up with a real solution.
 
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achiquitucto

New Member
Feb 17, 2021
3
1
Long Island
I had a similar vibration that somewhat noticeable around 40, but between 65+ it was very noticeable. It ended up being the foam in one of the tires had come loose. Replaced the tire (I had to pay for it) and I've not noticed the vibration since that fix.
I wish I knew it was the foam in the tires, but I was told the tires I have don't have foam.
 

Steve Kempf

Member
Oct 20, 2019
37
11
Auburn, AL
UPDATE - Relative to the broken axle half shaft problem. I picked-up my MX from the Marietta, GA service center. They replaced the front drive unit and both axles. Since then I've driven about 600 miles. So far everything is holding together. According to the service center something was damaged in the original drive unit when the axle half shafts were replaced the first time and this somehow caused the repeated axle breakage. It's really hard to envision how damage to the drive unit could cause axle half shaft breakage, but I guess if the repair holds I'll have to accept that was somehow what caused the problem. I'm keeping my fingers crossed;).
 

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