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Loose nut on tie rod!

Oct 3, 2020
205
215
Seattle
After running across the thread that discusses the loose nuts on the control arm ball joints, I decided to inspect mine. The good news is that the control arm lock nuts appear to be fine.. the bad news is that the nut on the passenger side tie rod was completely loose! This makes me wonder what else could be loose. When I checked the driver's side, I noticed that the green safety paint is not visible on the nut where it should be.

I happen to already have a SC appointment this coming Monday to look into a clunking noise that's coming from the front end somewhere, which can be heard when below 10mph on a bumpy road. It sounds like something else is loose on the front end, besides the nut on the tie rod. At higher speeds, I can't notice it. After finding this loose nut, I've requested a thorough inspection of the entire front suspension/steering assembly.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this with the forum since I find this somewhat concerning as a new Tesla owner. I've already shared the pictures with my SA and am confident that they will address this appropriately.
 
Oct 3, 2020
205
215
Seattle
FFFFD6CB-601E-4B3A-9EC2-1447A69EF119.jpeg


28E76E3A-8274-4035-995D-5BD372CF99B4.jpeg
 

BreatheEasier

Member
Mar 26, 2020
570
394
Northern Virginia
They usually loosen that nut to perform an alignment, then they need to re-tighten it. Definitely a good catch, because there is a chance it could work its way loose. A friend of mine had a brand new Cadillac CTS-V (very fast, with Vette engine) where this happened at high-speed. Luckily no one was hurt as he was alone on the highway in a wide open area, but it was crazy scary.
 
Oct 3, 2020
205
215
Seattle
I agree, that’s what I was thinking too. I wonder if it has now vibrated itself out of alignment after putting 500 miles on it over the last 3 weeks.

The car was delivered fresh from the factory with a 59xxx VIN and there was zero miles on the odometer. I believe this was how it was left from the factory.
 
Last edited:

P3dStealth

Member
Nov 12, 2019
954
1,027
USA
That's just the adjustment nut your tie rod isn't going to come off from that. If your tie rod did somehow back out enough turns to come off you would notice it happening long before it did. Your wheels would be pointing out like a V and the car would be pulling hard.

I would just tighten it and drive to the service center. Tell them you want an alignment because it might have moved slightly.
 
Oct 3, 2020
205
215
Seattle
That's just the adjustment nut your tie rod isn't going to come off from that. If your tie rod did somehow back out enough turns to come off you would notice it happening long before it did. Your wheels would be pointing out like a V and the car would be pulling hard.

I would just tighten it and drive to the service center. Tell them you want an alignment because it might have moved slightly.

Agreed, and that’s exactly what I have done. However, the front end suspension noise still exists. I recorded it on my drive home today and have shared it with the SC via text. I’ll see what they say in the morning.
 

cwerdna

Active Member
Jul 11, 2012
3,554
2,446
SF Bay Area, CA
When I checked the driver's side, I noticed that the green safety paint is not visible on the nut where it should be.
I wonder if the green marks are actually part of a poka yoke quality process?

I've seen stuff like Tohnichi Mfg. Co., Ltd. | Products | Tightening Assurance System | Tightening assurance system (Pokayoke) at Tokyo Motor Show.

https://www.pcsllctn.com/promotion/ has a brief video. Basically, if you tighten something to a specified torque, the wrench automatically makes a mark on the nut to indicate it has been tightened and to the correct torque. Tohnichi Mfg. Co., Ltd. | Products | MNTD is an equivalent for screws.
 

M0del Yada

Member
Jun 23, 2020
58
18
Florida
Interested to hear what the SC does for the under 10mph clunking sound. I have noticed that sound on mine as well. Haven't made an appointment yet tho.

Please keep us posted.
 

mark95476

Active Member
Jun 21, 2020
1,493
856
Bay Area CA
Thanks for your posts. Please make sure to post a follow-up.

That's the jam nut for toe-in adjustment during alignment. Torque doesn't matter here--just make sure it's tight/snug.

Make sure they check your alignment and tires for wear as that shouldn't get loose.

The tie rod is steel so the threads are probably fine, but note it with your service advisor.


After running across the thread that discusses the loose nuts on the control arm ball joints, I decided to inspect mine. The good news is that the control arm lock nuts appear to be fine.. the bad news is that the nut on the passenger side tie rod was completely loose! This makes me wonder what else could be loose. When I checked the driver's side, I noticed that the green safety paint is not visible on the nut where it should be.

I happen to already have a SC appointment this coming Monday to look into a clunking noise that's coming from the front end somewhere, which can be heard when below 10mph on a bumpy road. It sounds like something else is loose on the front end, besides the nut on the tie rod. At higher speeds, I can't notice it. After finding this loose nut, I've requested a thorough inspection of the entire front suspension/steering assembly.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this with the forum since I find this somewhat concerning as a new Tesla owner. I've already shared the pictures with my SA and am confident that they will address this appropriately.
 
  • Helpful
Reactions: Koolio46

Koolio46

Member
Aug 26, 2020
476
197
Boston, MA
Interested to hear what the SC does for the under 10mph clunking sound. I have noticed that sound on mine as well. Haven't made an appointment yet tho.

Please keep us posted.
I’ve noticed a thunk sound too so am interested in what they say. I get the sound also when driving slow and drive over a small hole (top layer of pavement is gone) or a bump that causes the front wheel to drop. It doesn’t occur when I hit bumps.
 
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RoBoRaT

Zero Farts Given!
Nov 22, 2018
1,386
1,228
NorthSoCal
I too got the (likely same clunk), 1-2 clunk from front under side noted when lurching forward (pressing accelerator pedal) 1-20 mph.
Today, my local SC checked it out, acknowledged that the clunk is there but says that it is nothing to worry about because it's "normal" sound. Somehow I do not fully believe that its normal, just hope it's not doing damage.

OP, keep us posted. Thanks for sharing.
I am going to check on those nuts now. :eek:
 

RoBoRaT

Zero Farts Given!
Nov 22, 2018
1,386
1,228
NorthSoCal
Having the same issue as above. Concerning SC is saying this is normal?

I cannot assume that we are all talking about the same clunk under our Ys but for mine Tesla said that there is no abnormal sound heard and that the sound is normally heard on Ys in same VIN "range".Screenshot_20201107-151627_Adobe Acrobat.jpg
 
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Oct 3, 2020
205
215
Seattle
So I dropped off the car on Monday at 930am and went through the telephone drop off process. After discussing the items I had on the service ticket, they decided to have a tech join me for a test drive to try and reproduce the issue. We drove through their parking lot and managed to find some rough somewhat bumpy areas and was able to hear a very good sample of the noise. Also, I mentioned to him that it was easy to reproduce a similar clunk sound just by turning the wheel back and forth, two to ten o’clock, when you’re parked. When I shared the photo of the loose nut, he was shocked and he agreed that a thorough inspection of the front suspension/steering assemblies was in order.

I picked up the car today and am happy to report that the noise is gone!! Unfortunately, the ticket does not go into any detail about what was found.. only that they checked the torque on all front suspension components and verified that they are all torqued to spec.
 
Last edited:
Oct 3, 2020
205
215
Seattle
On my drive home, I also noticed that the steering feels like there’s more dampening/resistance at low speeds now, giving it a tighter feel. I tested for the clunk when turning the wheel back and forth as well, but I couldn’t reproduce it either.
 

Koolio46

Member
Aug 26, 2020
476
197
Boston, MA
So I dropped off the car on Monday at 930am and went through the telephone drop off process. After discussing the items I had on the service ticket, they decided to have a tech join me for a test drive to try and reproduce the issue. We drove through their parking lot and managed to find some rough somewhat bumpy areas and was able to hear a very good sample of the noise. Also, I mentioned to him that it was easy to reproduce a similar clunk sound just by turning the wheel back and forth, two to ten o’clock, when you’re parked. When I shared the photo of the loose nut, he was shocked and he agreed that a thorough inspection of the front suspension/steering assemblies was in order.

I picked up the car today and am happy to report that the noise is gone!! Unfortunately, the ticket does not go into any detail about what was found.. only that they checked the torque on all front suspension components and verified that they are all torqued to spec.
Thanks, for the update!

Quick question: do you hear a clunk sound from the front wheels when you drive over certain bumps? Specifically, bumps that cause the wheel to drop quickly?
 
Oct 3, 2020
205
215
Seattle
Yes, that is what used to reproduce the clunk sound. If the bumps were just right and continuous, you could hear multiple clunks over a second or two. Going over a speed bump, however, would not reproduce the sound for some reason.
 
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mark95476

Active Member
Jun 21, 2020
1,493
856
Bay Area CA
Thanks for the update.

It would have been good if they provided some additional info. Only 2-3 days at the SC so any fix probably wasn't drastic.

So I dropped off the car on Monday at 930am and went through the telephone drop off process. After discussing the items I had on the service ticket, they decided to have a tech join me for a test drive to try and reproduce the issue. We drove through their parking lot and managed to find some rough somewhat bumpy areas and was able to hear a very good sample of the noise. Also, I mentioned to him that it was easy to reproduce a similar clunk sound just by turning the wheel back and forth, two to ten o’clock, when you’re parked. When I shared the photo of the loose nut, he was shocked and he agreed that a thorough inspection of the front suspension/steering assemblies was in order.

I picked up the car today and am happy to report that the noise is gone!! Unfortunately, the ticket does not go into any detail about what was found.. only that they checked the torque on all front suspension components and verified that they are all torqued to spec.
 

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