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How does the steering rack hold up?

superbaka

Member
Feb 28, 2019
137
267
California
I saw Electrek's post about the guy with 100k miles.

I wonder how the steering holds up. Every car I've owned by 60-70k (audi/bmw/porsche) starts getting really loose steering and needs some parts replaced.

Anyone out there with a lot of miles comment on this?

cheers
 

wenkan

Member
Dec 31, 2018
582
553
Seattle
I saw Electrek's post about the guy with 100k miles.

I wonder how the steering holds up. Every car I've owned by 60-70k (audi/bmw/porsche) starts getting really loose steering and needs some parts replaced.

Anyone out there with a lot of miles comment on this?

cheers
Maybe AP has less (unnecessary) steering compared to human drivers, so they can last longer?
 

camalaio

Active Member
May 28, 2019
1,483
2,181
Vernon, BC, Canada
That's really early for steering components to consistently require replacement. Are you doing anything hard on them that we should be aware of in order to answer more appropriately? (track, nasty roads, etc.)

In line with that I said, I would not expect any issues with the Model 3's rack and nor have I seen any issues on this forum personally. There was a revision to the rack at one point, allegedly.

Maybe AP has less (unnecessary) steering compared to human drivers, so they can last longer?

AP steers more than most drivers. Drivers tend to optimise for gentle curvatures requiring less jerk of the steering. AP optimises for center of lane, and the system overall has a bit more jerk than the average driver. Also, this is very very minimal extra wear and wouldn't really have an impact.
 
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superbaka

Member
Feb 28, 2019
137
267
California
Most people don't notice their steering wearing down as their car gets over 50k miles. Its like old shoes.. there's some extra play, isn't as tight, etc. Its subtle, but its the kind of thing you notice when you buy a new car.

And here in LA where we have the 2nd worst roads in the nation, I think everything wears down sooner.

I'm trying to think of parts that will wear down and feel less-than-new. There aren't many!
 

camalaio

Active Member
May 28, 2019
1,483
2,181
Vernon, BC, Canada
Most people don't notice their steering wearing down as their car gets over 50k miles. Its like old shoes.. there's some extra play, isn't as tight, etc. Its subtle, but its the kind of thing you notice when you buy a new car.

And here in LA where we have the 2nd worst roads in the nation, I think everything wears down sooner.

I'm trying to think of parts that will wear down and feel less-than-new. There aren't many!

Ah ok, if you have bad roads that might make some sense then.

I agree most people wouldn't necessarily notice a small amount of play, but requiring replacement is another thing entirely. I had a '97 Mazda 626 with an original front end and 280,000km that was only just starting to show mild play.
 

JulienW

Active Member
Jul 7, 2018
2,683
3,238
Atlanta
Maybe AP has less (unnecessary) steering compared to human drivers, so they can last longer?
AP at this point seems to corrective steer more than the average driver. Also Smart Summon is steering wheel CRAZY going back and forth several times while only moving a foot or two. Add to this Beach Buggy and the average Tesla likely sees more steering use than the overall car average.
 

Occhis

Member
May 26, 2019
246
111
Front Royal, VA
IMO suspension parts are more likely to be worn than the steering rack. My 1998 5 series with 270,000 miles has original steering rack and had all suspension parts replaced at about 160,000
 

Mrcarcrazy

Another internet expert @ no charge
May 22, 2019
896
932
South Padre Island, Tx
IMO suspension parts are more likely to be worn than the steering rack. My 1998 5 series with 270,000 miles has original steering rack and had all suspension parts replaced at about 160,000
I concur with this. In a different life I worked as a suspension mechanic, typically 60-100k you start seeing worn out ball joints and tie rods. Unless it’s a Chrysler product...then split that number in 1/2. (I’m sorta joking, but Ram pickups did have a run where balljoints were falling apart in under 10k miles.)

of course any sort of hard driving and aftermarket modifications can decrease life expectancy. (See oil field trucks).

I’ve changed a number of racks. Miles were very assorted. But you can expect north of 120k out of 90+%.
 

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