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Grinding/banging noise from front wheel?

altman

Member
Jan 5, 2013
24
2
United States
I've been getting a grinding noise from the front left wheel of my P3D+; it's mainly noticeable at 25-30mph on smooth roads - at higher speeds the tire noise tends to mask it, though I have heard/felt it at 50mph, again on a smooth road. My worry is that the wheel bearing is bad and this could be seriously nasty when it totally fails.

I'm not having any luck with getting Tesla to fix the problem, though. The car has been in 3 times now:

First visit: demonstrated noise to tech, who reproduced it and acknowledged it was present. They had the car for a week (mostly in a queue) and tried a few things like swapping the wheel on but didn't address the issue. I needed the car back so they returned it to me and suggested I book it in again when I had time.

Second visit: demonstrated the noise to a different tech - again, they reproduced it and acknowledged it was present. Again they had the car for a week and this time said they'd fixed it (claimed it was stones in the brake heatshield). Picked up the car and... noise still there. No change at all.

For the third visit, I borrowed a friend's ChassisEar[1] setup, clipping microphones onto the casting which the bearing bolts onto and also onto the shock and steering arm - you can then listen to each component as you drive to isolate the noise. This really, really clearly shows the noise is coming from the bearing.

Here's a phone recording from the chassisear headphones of the part nearest the bearing; without this setup it's very hard to record the noise, but it sounds like rocks in a rolling bucket to the unaided ear: http://utter.chaos.org.uk/~altman/teslanoise.mp3 - starting from 0mph going up to about 28mph on a smooth road.

With the mics in place I went back for the third visit: same tech as #2 was there and again replicated the noise, and I showed which area it was coming from. After two days, they messaged and said there is no issue with the car and I should come and pick it up.

Anyone have any ideas how I can get Tesla to actually address the issue vs acknowledging the problem when I drop the car off, then deny the issue when I pick it up? I feel like I'm getting nowhere here.... :(

[1] https://www.amazon.com/STEELMAN-06600-ChassisEAR-Electronic-Squeak/dp/B000IHIAES
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,768
3,501
Maine
Can you take it to another Service Center? You should sell that sound to a Foley artist. Quite creepy
 

altman

Member
Jan 5, 2013
24
2
United States
Anyone ever disassembled a tesla bearing? Would be interested to see what's inside... but yeah it sounds nasty!

I'm super close to the palo alto location so I've not tried anywhere else, but I guess Sunnyvale isn't really very far away.
 

Sophias_dad

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jul 29, 2018
1,556
1,635
Massachusetts
I can only comment on other wheel bearings I've dealt with, but you are likely to have truly horrendous noises before things go catastrophically bad. There is likely to be so much wheel play that you can't ignore it. I'm sure >someone< will find and fix the problem before it gets anywhere near that bad.
 

altman

Member
Jan 5, 2013
24
2
United States
Update - the service center agreed to replace the bearing as customer pay (though as this was <$200 it seemed to be a subsidized replacement) and with the new bearing... no noise, finally!

Not super happy I had to pay, but having it fixed (and not taking it in again for the same issue) is good.

I've got the old bearing, would love to take it apart but these things aren't really designed to come apart easily... anyone have any hints on how to attack it?
 

Sophias_dad

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jul 29, 2018
1,556
1,635
Massachusetts
Update - the service center agreed to replace the bearing as customer pay (though as this was <$200 it seemed to be a subsidized replacement) and with the new bearing... no noise, finally!

Not super happy I had to pay, but having it fixed (and not taking it in again for the same issue) is good.

I've got the old bearing, would love to take it apart but these things aren't really designed to come apart easily... anyone have any hints on how to attack it?

If there was a demonstrable noise before the replacement, and no such noise after the replacement, why would you have to pay anything? I could see >agreeing< to pay something until it was clear the replacement fixed the issue.

I mean... unless they think the bearing was damaged by impact(without damaging the wheel)....
 

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