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Help Identifying Low Speed "clunk/rattle" Occuring When Steering Wheel Turned Mostly to Left/Right

houstonian

ಠ_ಠ
Sep 2, 2013
197
176
Houston. Duh.
Afternoon All,

Have a JAN 2017 Model S 75D with ~115k on it. Car's performed well but am having two issues I need the board's helps with as Tesla Service is striking out on figuring it out.

Main issue (this thread) is a clunk/rattle sound that occurs when turning (steering wheel turned more than ½ either to the left or right) at low speeds and going over uneven pavement.

Further info that I believe to be relevant: I suspect, but cannot prove, there was a defect in the front forelinks on the Model S produced around mid/late 2016 and early/mid 2017 - (see Another front suspension control arm failure for more info). Out of an abundance of caution, I had both forelinks proactively replaced: part numbers 1041570-00-A and 104575-00-A were removed and replaced with 1041570-00-B and 104575-00-B.

Upon picking up the car after the forelinks were replaced Tesla service almost requested holding it back as one of the techs heard a "clunk/rattle" when doing the test drive but was unable to reproduce. Since then I've been able to reproduce the issue as I described above and shown in the video below:


Researching the issue on the forum lead me this thread: Front suspension clunk

...however as it was posted in the UK/Ireland forum I'm not sure how much visibility it will get from people who're facing similar issues abroad. In that thread the idea was floated out the constant-velocity joints (CV joints) may be wearing, but as I am not a mechanic, I do not know if this is a possible culprit.

Here's where am at: Tesla Service cannot figure it out as they cannot reproduce it and I'm trying to give them all the help I can to figure out where the problem lies. If anyone here has any ideas/suggestions of where to look or has a similar experience where they resolved the issue please let me know.

Let me know if there's any more info I can provide as well to help figure this out and I'll be happy to do so.

Thanks!
 

Joolian

New Member
Nov 9, 2020
3
3
Melbourne Australia
I'm in same boat as you. I had my fore links replaced, lower control arm replaced and bushes replaced and still getting the same sounds as you. I am almost close to giving up and just dealing with it. It's a hard sound to diagnose and reproduce on the spot with a technician. But if they get to the bottom of it I will update.
 
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cmgj

New Member
Dec 19, 2017
4
0
Minneapolis
I too have had parts replaced and the rattle/clunk still are there and things are starting to feel sloppy. I don't want to and don't think this is something I/we should just deal with it.
 
Sep 23, 2020
480
411
Sacramento CA
What do you mean when you say the SC "almost requested holding it back" ? If they felt as if something was wrong but still let you go on the way - I'd start to document who said what when - and immediately dispute your credit card charge for this repair (am only assuming you made payment on a credit card). You need to hold these guys accountable if things turn further south...
 

1965Cobra427

Supporting Member
Nov 24, 2020
68
106
Wally World
Main issue (this thread) is a clunk/rattle sound that occurs when turning (steering wheel turned more than ½ either to the left or right) at low speeds and going over uneven pavement.

I've listened to your video a couple of times and it does have a "worn CV" type sound, with multiple, quick-paced clicks. My suggestion for a helpful diagnostic: Repeat the circumstances with slightly faster and slightly slower speeds in the same location. If the time interval between clicks varies with speed (IE: faster = clicks are closer together), Noisy CV joints correlate to ground speed, suspension components, (control arms, end links, etc.) do not. If you can provide three or four similar videos at different rates of speed, they can be overlaid in Final Cut or similar video software and compared very precisely. I would be willing to do the comparison for you if you like.
 

houstonian

ಠ_ಠ
Sep 2, 2013
197
176
Houston. Duh.
What do you mean when you say the SC "almost requested holding it back" ? If they felt as if something was wrong but still let you go on the way
Earlier this year I replaced both the front forelinks from the -A to the -B part. Suspect there's a defect in -A's but that's for another thread.

Anyways when picking up the car the service rep said it would take a second as the tech noticed a sound during the initial test drive. However, as the tech was unable to reproduce it the car was clear to be released from service.

I've listened to your video a couple of times
Thanks - appreciate everyone who took the time.

My suggestion for a helpful diagnostic: Repeat the circumstances with slightly faster and slightly slower speeds in the same location...I would be willing to do the comparison for you if you like.
Many thanks - I should have the car back tomorrow (service was also replacing the compressor) and will go back to the airport parking garage where I filmed the initial video to take additional videos at differing speeds.
 

SHNergard

Member
Nov 22, 2016
16
-1
Oslo, Norway
@houstonian, NHTSA is looking into this issue, and there is a Class Action lawsuit on this issue.

I had the same issue in 2017 (2016 Model S 90D), but got a workaround. Tesla Tech and I managed to reproduce it by setting the air-suspension to the highest level and make the maneuver as you described in your first post. AFAIK Tesla did not do anything, but align the wheel at 20k km service one month later. I have only used the workaround ever since, and never tried to reproduce it.

The workarround is to not raise the suspension to the highest level.The Tesla Tech explained that it occured because in raised position the front wheels were not aligned. The wheels were in a V-position. I don't remember if they were turning inwards or outwards, but there were pressure to the wheels, control arm and the other steering controls. The clunk/rattle sound occured and the car start wobbling, when the wheels gave in and got aligned.
 

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houstonian

ಠ_ಠ
Sep 2, 2013
197
176
Houston. Duh.
The workaround is to not raise the suspension to the highest level.The Tesla Tech explained that it occurred because in the raised position the front wheels were not aligned.
Good to know but the catch for me is I've got the coil suspension, not air.

I've done some more trialing and can report I only note the sound if all the following conditions are met:
  • The wheel is turned,
  • Car is going over uneven pavement,
  • Going at least 16mph
Working on figuring out a way to capture some more videos @1956cobra427.

Also put the car on my lift to check out the front suspension. Didn't see anything that struck me as off - pics below.

2017 Tesla S Clunk - 1.jpeg 2017 Tesla S Clunk - 4.jpeg 2017 Tesla S Clunk - 3.jpeg 2017 Tesla S Clunk - 5.jpeg 2017 Tesla S Clunk - 6.jpeg 2017 Tesla S Clunk - 2.jpeg
 

hpartsch

Member
Aug 6, 2014
593
413
wa
Good to know but the catch for me is I've got the coil suspension, not air.

I've done some more trialing and can report I only note the sound if all the following conditions are met:
  • The wheel is turned,
  • Car is going over uneven pavement,
  • Going at least 16mph
Working on figuring out a way to capture some more videos @1956cobra427.

Also put the car on my lift to check out the front suspension. Didn't see anything that struck me as off - pics below.

View attachment 626074 View attachment 626076 View attachment 626080 View attachment 626081 View attachment 626082 View attachment 626083
I have coil suspension also. Sharp turn (full right usually) & going at an angle. However, recently started hearing it when doing a sharp turn in a flat parking lot. A bit hard to capture the noise with my dashcam. I have an appointment tomarrow. So we'll see if they find anything or if this is just my imagination. It concerned me when I drove my wife's 2001 Subaru and don't hear ANY noises doing this exact procedure/drive a few times.
 
Sep 23, 2020
480
411
Sacramento CA
Good to know but the catch for me is I've got the coil suspension, not air.

I've done some more trialing and can report I only note the sound if all the following conditions are met:
  • The wheel is turned,
  • Car is going over uneven pavement,
  • Going at least 16mph
Working on figuring out a way to capture some more videos @1956cobra427.

Also put the car on my lift to check out the front suspension. Didn't see anything that struck me as off - pics below.

View attachment 626074 View attachment 626076 View attachment 626080 View attachment 626081 View attachment 626082 View attachment 626083
I usually keep to a steady 15 mph on all roadways, so I haven't experienced this issue myself.
 

beatle

Active Member
Aug 31, 2019
1,025
493
Springfield, VA
Does the noise come from the outside or inside corner when you hear it? Does it come from both sides at the same time or only when turning a particular direction?
 

hpartsch

Member
Aug 6, 2014
593
413
wa
Concern: Clunking sound from the front suspension when driving down and turning the steering wheel completely to the right. Now occurring intermittently when driving on level parking lots and doing full right turn. Technician test drove vehicle and verified the customer concern Tech found that the noise is coming from the steering rack bolt shims. Part to correct is not in stock, placed on order for a future mobile visit. Correction: Parts Not Available - Add to future service visit.

fyi the bolts were already replaced in August of 2018.
 
Dec 26, 2018
429
317
TX
I had a very similar sound in my car, always when turning at lower speeds. Service center replaced the steering rack and it went away. So, you may be looking at a new steering rack.
 

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