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Goodwill vs no on upper control arms out of warranty

67King

Member
Feb 2, 2018
323
218
Knoxville, TN
So I got the dreaded squeaky control arm issue going on. Started happening when I was a bit over warranty, mileage wise. However, by this point, Tesla had begun replacing them proactively. Set up appointment. Can't do it mobile, so it sends me to Atlanta (Alpharetta). They send me a quote, covered by goodwill. I can't make it, because it is an all day long trip for me, there and back plus the wait. Try to get mobile. Turns out they end up waiting, but then get me in early before the new local service center opens.

Well, I get there, and the new service center will not honor the goodwill. Want to charge me to replace the control arm, one side only, for nearly $500. They claim that Alpharetta is only offering goodwill on the diagnosis. I tell them that I'll just wait, because A) There is no diagnosis needed, the issue is so well known that there is a non-safety recall on them. and B) I am not convinced that the would have me driver over 3 hours to a place for a repair, and spring the full cost on me after advising me there was no cost associated with it.

Has anyone had anything like this before? Has anyone out of warranty had Tesla replace the control arms after their warranty expired?
 
Upvote 0
When I went to the service center, I told them that I was getting a squeakIng sound from the front. This only happens when at a stop, and turning the wheel (like you would when maneuvering out of a tight space in the garage). The service tech repeated the issue, and advised my that it was normal. He explained that the brakes hold the rotor in such a way that friction causes it, but only when stopped and you turn the wheel. To anyone with this control arm issue, does this sound anything like the noises caused when a control arm starts to go bad?
 
When I went to the service center, I told them that I was getting a squeakIng sound from the front. This only happens when at a stop, and turning the wheel (like you would when maneuvering out of a tight space in the garage). The service tech repeated the issue, and advised my that it was normal. He explained that the brakes hold the rotor in such a way that friction causes it, but only when stopped and you turn the wheel. To anyone with this control arm issue, does this sound anything like the noises caused when a control arm starts to go bad?
Yes, my passenger side one started like this and got worse over time, I couldn't quite figure what it was at first as it happened almost 2 years ago now. Eventually booked an appointment and had it replaced. My driver side one started like this in October 2020 and had it replaced right away. Both were covered under warranty as my mileage is still within it (only have about 2000 km left before it is gone).
 

TomT

Technical Maven
Mar 24, 2014
544
532
NE Georgia
When I went to the service center, I told them that I was getting a squeakIng sound from the front. This only happens when at a stop, and turning the wheel (like you would when maneuvering out of a tight space in the garage). The service tech repeated the issue, and advised my that it was normal. He explained that the brakes hold the rotor in such a way that friction causes it, but only when stopped and you turn the wheel. To anyone with this control arm issue, does this sound anything like the noises caused when a control arm starts to go bad?
How do they say stuff like this with a straight face?!
 

67King

Member
Feb 2, 2018
323
218
Knoxville, TN
When I went to the service center, I told them that I was getting a squeakIng sound from the front. This only happens when at a stop, and turning the wheel (like you would when maneuvering out of a tight space in the garage). The service tech repeated the issue, and advised my that it was normal. He explained that the brakes hold the rotor in such a way that friction causes it, but only when stopped and you turn the wheel. To anyone with this control arm issue, does this sound anything like the noises caused when a control arm starts to go bad?
It is a known issue. There was an article in Electrik or somewhere about it. I read it, and a week later, mine started. I had almsot 70,000 miles at that point, so I was out. But like I said, two service centers gave me different feedback on it. But yes, you turn the wheel and hear "squeak," that's the ball joint. As it gets worse, it will happen when there is travel. Your tech is either dishonest or incompetent.

I found a 7 page thread on the issue here on a search, but I can't find it, now!!! Arg. Some folks had the part numbers, specifically the suffixes. We appear to be on J right now, but there are G's and H's available on ebay. I can't recall which were "good," and which were "bad." Running changes like that aren't abnormal. Could be a coating difference, supplier difference, all kinds of things. We had running changes like that when I was at Ford (engine development). So it isn't necessarily the case that those earlier versions of the arms are bad, they could be fine. NOt sure what mine are, not going to pull the assembly until I replace the A-arm, as the whole strut assembly comes out together. Anyway, unless I can convince the local place to change their mind, I'd rather cough up the dough and change them myself, than give p an entire day to travel to Atlanta and back.
 
I saw some discussion about being able to fix this by re-lubricating with Lithium grease inside the joint. Thankfully mine hasn't started yet but if it does and I'm out of warranty, I will surely try that first. I mean, there is nothing to lose if the alternative is replacing them anyway.
 

focher

Active Member
Oct 15, 2013
1,199
2,039
Bay Area
Escalate it to HQ. Yes, I know that's a pain and Tesla is hard to get hold of but the service centers aren't independent businesses.

Alternatively, you could just get the Alpharetta SC manager to confirm they are willing to full replace under goodwill and it's not just an offer to diagnose. Then take that back to the other SC and throw it in their face.

Also, have people been reporting this problem to NHTSA? Seems it's common enough to see if a recall could be mandated or force Tesla to do a voluntary recall. That would address the expiring warranty

 

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