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Jerky Steering

Kandiru

Active Member
Oct 20, 2014
1,321
524
USA
2015 S85D steering suddenly jerky this morning.

I pulled out of the garage and the wheel was cogwheeling like a parkinsonian's distal biceps tendon, ie shuddering, giving opposing input, to the point that I had to fight it to turn. Continuing the drive it seemed the power steering had a mind of its own, unexpected input, and overcontrol, ie predictably wanting to steer me into the curb every time I took a sharp turn. Only behaving when on dead center or autopilot. I felt like a GAZ-66 truck driver only the oversized steering wheel was swapped for a go-kart version. Somehow I made it through my 15min commute.

Called S.C. 0800hours, tech traveled 3h to me with another Model S in tow, test drove, took my car at 1300hours. At 1600hours another tech IMd me to let me know he will work on the car. Tesla rocks!
 
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Kandiru

Active Member
Oct 20, 2014
1,321
524
USA
Lookie here, recall just launched, even got the email, checking with SC to see if I need to go back:

Tesla voluntarily recalls 123,000 Model S cars over faulty steering component

My repair invoice:
=============================================================================
Concern: Customer reports while turning, vehicle drifts or "floats" during the turn and requires
excess correction from steering to keep from running into curb. Steering wheel also makes a
clicking noise.
Pay Type: Warranty
Corrections: Steering Rack and Lower Column General Diagnosis
Road tested with customer and observed steering wheel having a notchy feeling every 90
degrees of rotation. Based on this feedback, recommend replacement of lower
intermediate steering column shaft.
Corrections: Shaft - Steering Column - Intermediate Lower (Dual Motor)
Removed and replaced lower intermediate steering column shaft. Test drove vehicle and
verified proper installation.
Part Quantity
I-SHAFT STEERING LINK - NON ISOLATOR
- LOWER (1030622-00-A)
1
Parts Replaced or Added
Corrections: Install Shims and Replace Steering Rack Bolts To Prevent Steering Wheel
Clicking (Dual Motor Vehicle)
Technician noted clicking from steering wheel when turning. Applied bulletin to replace
steering rack bolts and install shims to prevent clicking. Test drove vehicle after and
verified clicking no longer present.
Part Quantity
BOLT HF M8x50 PC109 MAT (1051424-00-A) 2
FRICTION SHIM, M14 x 17.5 x 0.16, STL,
GRADE 25 (1080982-00-A)
=======================================================================
 

jdw

Member
Supporting Member
Jun 1, 2015
704
1,419
Vancouver
Had the steering rack replaced after failure in March (still waiting for the steel bolts to be installed) and then today, the steering intermediate shaft gave it up. The symptoms are as described, pulsing resistance every 45 degrees or so. Luckily, unlike the steering racks or the bolts for them, SC has i shafts in stock, so should be fixed in a few days.

Lucked out on a P100D loaner, so no rush ....
 

David29

Active Member
Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,326
2,001
DEDHAM, MA
My steering failed last Saturday (week ago today). Shop looked at it today. I am told that "there was a corroded/damaged bolt in the steering rack" and that "the only remedy is to replace the entire steering rack." Seems excessive for a corroded/damaged bolt. But not having seen the damage, I really don't know. Nor, I suppose, should i care, because it is under warranty. And i have a loaner Model S, so I have no reason to complain. Just curious. (And I hate to see Tesla waste money.)

Anyone else have experience with bolt corrosion requiring the entire rack to be replaced?
 

AmpedRealtor

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2013
6,414
4,111
Phoenix, AZ
My steering failed last Saturday (week ago today). Shop looked at it today. I am told that "there was a corroded/damaged bolt in the steering rack" and that "the only remedy is to replace the entire steering rack." Seems excessive for a corroded/damaged bolt. But not having seen the damage, I really don't know. Nor, I suppose, should i care, because it is under warranty. And i have a loaner Model S, so I have no reason to complain. Just curious. (And I hate to see Tesla waste money.)

Anyone else have experience with bolt corrosion requiring the entire rack to be replaced?
This bolt is a recall item and should have been proactively replaced on your vehicle. I received a letter from Tesla regarding this bolt some months ago. The letter stated that Tesla would first focus on replacing the bolts in cold climates where corrosion is more of an issue, and then expand to the rest of the fleet. Mine was replaced in California on a road trip a few months ago when I stopped at a service center over a cooling issue.
 

David29

Active Member
Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,326
2,001
DEDHAM, MA
This bolt is a recall item and should have been proactively replaced on your vehicle. I received a letter from Tesla regarding this bolt some months ago. The letter stated that Tesla would first focus on replacing the bolts in cold climates where corrosion is more of an issue, and then expand to the rest of the fleet. Mine was replaced in California on a road trip a few months ago when I stopped at a service center over a cooling issue.

Right. I got a letter as well. I asked the service writer about the statement in the letter that I would be called when parts were available, and she laughed and said they are too busy to call "all the people" with affected cars, so they replace the bolts when the cars are in for some other reason. Another example of their insufficient resources for service in the face of the huge increase in volume of cars...
 
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AmpedRealtor

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2013
6,414
4,111
Phoenix, AZ
Right. I got a letter as well. I asked the service writer about the statement in the letter that I would be called when parts were available, and she laughed and said they are too busy to call "all the people" with affected cars, so they replace the bolts when the cars are in for some other reason. Another example of their insufficient resources for service in the face of the huge increase in volume of cars...
Tesla said they are too busy to contact owners they know need a retrofit due to a safety recall... wow. Imagine your steering rack failing while you're doing 85 MPH on the freeway. Perhaps I'm being dramatic, but WOW. I'm (almost) speechless.
 

David29

Active Member
Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,326
2,001
DEDHAM, MA
Tesla said they are too busy to contact owners they know need a retrofit due to a safety recall... wow. Imagine your steering rack failing while you're doing 85 MPH on the freeway. Perhaps I'm being dramatic, but WOW. I'm (almost) speechless.
Agreed. Actually, I said as much about my steering failure on Saturday. I was on my way to pick up my grandson and bring him to a hockey game. We could have been on a freeway at 70 or or so, and I am glad it failed on my local street before I picked him up. A technician said that would have actually been OK, because the steering would have been easier to control at high speed than at low speed. I suppose that is possible, but I am not sure that is the case if the rack itself fails, rather than a power steering pump or something like that. (At the time of the tech's comment, no one had looked at the car, so the tech was guessing what was wrong.)
 

David29

Active Member
Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,326
2,001
DEDHAM, MA
Got my car back today. Steering rack replaced, wheel alignment done. Done under warranty, but I was told by the service writer that there is a service bulletin on this problem, so he said the rack would have been replaced if I had had the same failure after the warranty expired.
 
Got my car back today. Steering rack replaced, wheel alignment done. Done under warranty, but I was told by the service writer that there is a service bulletin on this problem, so he said the rack would have been replaced if I had had the same failure after the warranty expired.

Does anyone have the service bulletin related to the steering rack problem?
 

David29

Active Member
Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,326
2,001
DEDHAM, MA
Does anyone have the service bulletin related to the steering rack problem?
It is actually a recall. I may have mis-remembered what the service writer said, or he may have said "bulletin" and meant "recall."
In any case, I had gotten a letter from Tesla that says the recall has NHTSA Recall Code 18V-204, so you may be able to find it on the NHTSA web site.
The recall applies to 2012-2015 Model S vehicles and "certain" early MY 2016 Model S vehicles.
 
It is actually a recall. I may have mis-remembered what the service writer said, or he may have said "bulletin" and meant "recall."
In any case, I had gotten a letter from Tesla that says the recall has NHTSA Recall Code 18V-204, so you may be able to find it on the NHTSA web site.
The recall applies to 2012-2015 Model S vehicles and "certain" early MY 2016 Model S vehicles.

David, Are you referring to the replacement of 5 bolts (STEEL BOLTS FOR BOSCH STEERING
GEAR (Set of 5) (1460671-00-A)) or to a service bulletin or recall on the entire steering rack?

Thanks, and sorry for all the questions. Our 85D suddenly started having 'jerky' steering as described in original post. Our steering bolts were already replaced. I inspected things today and there is no noticeable physical damage.
 

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David29

Active Member
Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,326
2,001
DEDHAM, MA
David, Are you referring to the replacement of 5 bolts (STEEL BOLTS FOR BOSCH STEERING
GEAR (Set of 5) (1460671-00-A)) or to a service bulletin or recall on the entire steering rack?

Thanks, and sorry for all the questions. Our 85D suddenly started having 'jerky' steering as described in original post. Our steering bolts were already replaced. I inspected things today and there is no noticeable physical damage.

The recall letter from Tesla said, in part:
"Exposure of your vehicle to corrosive environments may corrode the bolts that attach the power steering motor to the power steering gear. The exposure may cause the bolts to break and result in loss of power steering assist...."
"...Tesla will replace the bolts attaching the power steering motor to the power steering gear with more corrosion-resistant bolts and apply sealant. If the bolts are found broken, Tesla will replace the entire steering gear, also free of charge."

So indeed, the initial recall was for bolts. In the case of my car, something failed and made the car un-steerable, before Tesla ever notified me that parts were available to perform the bolt replacement. Tesla replaced the entire steering rack.

The invoice said, in part:
"Replace Bolts In the Steering Rack Housing
Steering rack bolts found broken (see line one). Per service bulletin for this
recall - steering rack replacement needed at this time.
Correction: Replace Steering Rack (Dual Motor)"

So, the recall allowed for replacement of the rack if the bolts were damaged, which in my car was apparently the case.

Your situation may be different, given that your bolts were previously replaced.
 

Kandiru

Active Member
Oct 20, 2014
1,321
524
USA
Back to square one. Now steering jerky in turns and car wanting to oversteer esp on left sharp turns. Problem started today when I was taking a sharp left turn at 10mph and almost crashed into the left lane traffic waiting at the stoplight, took everything I had to regain control. Real scary xxxx. Good luck getting a ranger, the option does not exist in the app. I am supposed to drive 3h to the SC, no way, I sent emails to the team, I'll see what happens.
 

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