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How to get service to fix problem that is hard to reproduce?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by xanatos, Mar 8, 2017.

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  1. xanatos

    xanatos Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    My car (2012 S85 VIN 2204 CPO) has been in Fremont service for 3 times now for the same problem and still is not completely fixed, so I am hoping to get some suggestions from people here.

    The problem was that I was hearing creaking/groaning/rattling noises from the front left suspension area whenever I was driving at low speeds around 10-15 mph and was doing light acceleration/deceleration. Basically it felt like when stress was being placed on the suspension it was making the noise.

    Visit 1: I did a road test with a tech and thought they understood what I was talking about, but unfortunately they thought I was referring to a different sound and ended up fixing that instead. So obviously my problem was not resolved, so I had to bring the car back.

    Visit 2: I did a road test again, and this time they understood my problem. At this point the sound was still easy to reproduce, so the tech worked on it, found free play in the upper control arm, replaced it, and said problem went away. I thought so too based on forum searches here of similar symptoms.

    I drove it home and found the noise was still there, although harder to reproduce now. Comes and goes depending on mood of the car. I found a service bulletin relating to control arm washer replacement (SB-10057891-9353 Front Lower Control Arm Washer Installation), thought maybe that was the problem. They checked and said bulletin was already performed in 2015.

    Visit 3: At this point I'm running out of ideas, so I sent the car back. This time the tech claims the noise is caused by items in the frunk, and that after he emptied the frunk, the noise went away. I told them this was an incorrect assessment because even with the frunk empty I had heard the noise before. So they call me down for a road test yet again but unfortunately the car was moody and wouldn't make the sound except once or twice but not as loud as normally.

    I asked if they can look at the suspension again since we heard the noise again. Tech says they already checked everything and found no issues, and that since the problem is so intermittent, unless I can find a way to reliability reproduce the noise, they don't know what else to fix.

    Of course a few days after getting the car back the noise is back loud and clear, so obviously issue has not been fully resolved.

    So now I don't know what to do. The suspension problem still exists because I can hear it every other day or so, but they claim the car is fine unless I can prove to them there is a problem that can be consistently reproduced. Any suggestions?
     
  2. K-MTG

    K-MTG Sunshade Captain of TMC

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    Irvine, CA
    Can you document it on video? That helped a lot in my situation where I had a rumbling noise at low speeds
     
  3. Drewflux

    Drewflux Member

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    Aug 25, 2015
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    Location:
    Australia
    The only thing I can suggest is to record the noise for them to pass on to their technical support team , find a road near the service center for them to reproduce the concern on reliably. Record and document as much info as you can.

    Intermittent issues are a pain to diagnose, the techs at the service center may be just as frustrated as you are.
     
  4. boonedocks

    boonedocks Member

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    Location:
    Gainesville, GA
    +1 +1 Video it. I had an odd clunking repetitive sound under heavy acceleration under certain circumstances (when my car was new) Could not reproduce it at the service center because it only happened just after starting the car and pulling in to heavy fast moving traffic. Recorded 3 videos on different days reproducing it and low and behold my SC sent them to the mother ship and both front drive shafts were replaced the next week. **fixed** Moral of the story...if a picture speaks a thousand words...video speaks 2k words. lol
     
  5. jmsurpri

    jmsurpri Member

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    Feb 5, 2016
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    Location:
    Beaverton, OR
    Do you have SAS? The noise may be more prominent on high or very high.
     
  6. gaswalla

    gaswalla P4201/85/airsusp/pano/19i

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    Messages:
    1,567
    Location:
    San Diego
    I had similar issue as did a friend of mine... Was debris (rock) between wheel hub and brake rotor.
     
  7. xanatos

    xanatos Member

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    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Thanks for the many replies so far. Seems like I should look into the video suggestion. Now for the hard part, how to trigger it when I am recording...
     
  8. Drewflux

    Drewflux Member

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    Aug 25, 2015
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    Location:
    Australia
    A cheap gopro like camera will most likely have a function to rewrite the sd card. I would just leave it running and make note of the time the concern occurs. Then edit the video to 20 seconds prior and after, to make emailing the video easy
     
  9. bktiger86

    bktiger86 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2016
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    147
    Location:
    West Covina, CA
    I was going to say the same thing. I had to get s rattling noise fixed by recording it with my camera and show it to them.
     

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