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Metal on metal - mechanical problem at full turn over bumps

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Oyvind.H, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. Oyvind.H

    Oyvind.H Member

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    Back in september 2014 my car developed clunking noises from the front suspension. The problem was fixed at service, but a while after that the car started making slamming noises from the front when steeringwheel is turned 100% and I drive over bumps. I.e. when I turn into a parkinglot I have the steeringwheel fully turned, and there are some bumps there at the same time the metal on metal noise appears. The noise was so bad that I saw a couple of people turn around to see where the noise came from when I was turning outside a pizza-place.

    The problem was supposed to be fixed in december 2014, but I still get the slamming noise on some occations. I therefore called service a week ago and expressed my concern. They showed up at my house after a couple of days (great service), dropped off a loaner and took my car in to check it out. Their report was that everything looked normal, but I protested. The result was that a mechanic came to me with my car yesterday and we took a testdrive together. I drove to a local store where I know the sound appears, and luckily (or not) the metal on metal slamming noise was quite clear.

    So far so good. The mechanic agreed that the noise was bad, and that it shouldn`t make that kind of noise. The noise supposedly comes from a lower control arm bolt hitting the suspension when steering at full turn over bumps. In other words - the mechanic knows what`s wrong, but has no solution. No bulletin, no parts, nothing.
    And I`m not sure what to do with this. On one hand he promises that the problem isn`t dangerous, and that Tesla will fix the car once a fix is avaliable. On the other hand I feel this is a serios and embarrasing flaw.

    Any other with the same problem? Anyone know of a fix?

    VIN14342
     
  2. kennybobby

    kennybobby Member

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  3. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    "It's not a bug, it's a feature!" (so people know when you are coming around a bend, the car is so quiet otherwise).

    On a serious note this isn't good but we haven't had many reports of it, and I have never experienced it, so perhaps not every car has this? Presumably a problem isolated to earlier cars? (There have been upgrades to the suspension). Does it happen both to the left or right or only one way?
     
  4. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    My car exhibits this as well. At full steering angle and backing out of my driveway if my front tiredrops a bit where the driveway starts to angle up (no more travel than a speedbump) I get this noise also..

    And I just had it in for service, yet forgot to mention this. :(
     
  5. Oyvind.H

    Oyvind.H Member

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    I`m afraid not. I asked the mechanic to show me which bolt it was, but he wasn`t able to show me without me crawling under the car. But I asked him to write a decent explanation in the repair summary. I`ll see if it contains more detailed info.

    I`ve noticed it primarily when turning right. But that might be bechause right is the way with the highets probability of full turn on the wheel as the turn is tighter.
     
  6. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    There is an NHTSA complaint that is specific to a bolt being installed backwards causing the control arm to become gauged and weakened, but in the NHTSA complaint it is in the rear:

    Vehicle Identification No. (VIN): 5YJSA1DP4DF...
    SUMMARY:
    WAS REPLACING THE LEFT REAR WHEEL AND NOTED AN ODD "NOTCH" IN THE LEFT REAR SUSPENSION ALUMINUM UPPER CONTROL ARM. CLOSER INSPECTION REVEALED THAT THE UPPER CONTROL ARM WAS PARTIALLY SEVERED WITH APPROXIMATELY 1/2 OF THE LOWER PORTION CROSS SECTION, AND 1/3 TO 1/4 OF THE UPPER PORTION CROSS SECTION, CUT THROUGH BY THE LOWER SHOCK ABSORBER ATTACHMENT BOLT. IT APPEARS THAT THE BOLT WAS MOUNTED BACKWARDS, WITH THE SHARP TIP OF THE BOLT FACING FORWARD INSTEAD OF REARWARD, AT EITHER THE FACTORY, OR WHEN THE POWERTRAIN WAS REPLACED BY THE TESLA DENVER SERVICE CENTER (AS REPORTED BY THE PREVIOUS OWNER). EXTENSIVE PHOTOGRAPHS ARE AVAILABLE AND, FRANKLY, THEY ARE ESSENTIAL TO ACCURATELY DEPICT THE SERIOUS AND POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC NATURE OF THIS SUSPENSION DAMAGE. IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE UPPER CONTROL ARM, A MAJOR SUSPENSION COMPONENT WHOSE FAILURE WOULD LIKE RESULT IN A LOSS OF VEHICLE CONTROL AND POSSIBLY A ROLLOVER ACCIDENT, WAS AT OR NEAR THE POINT OF FRACTURE DUE TO THE MASSIVE LOSS OF CROSS SECTIONAL MATERIAL FROM THE FREQUENT IMPACTS (ON SUSPENSION COMPRESSION) BY THE MUCH HARDER/STRONGER BOLT TIP. IN OTHER WORDS, THE BOLT TIP ACTED AS A LATHE, CUTTING INTO THE SUSPENSION CONTROL ARM WITH EACH SUSPENSION CYCLE. IN THE SHORT TERM, I STRONGLY RECOMMEND AN IMMEDIATE INSPECTION OF THE TESLA MODEL S FLEET, BEGINNING WITH MODEL S'S THAT HAVE HAD THEIR POWERTRAIN LOWERED AND REINSTALLED, TO SEE HOW MANY OTHER MODEL S'S HAVE THIS IMPENDING CATASTROPHIC DEFECT. WHILE IT COULD HAPPEN, I WOULD BE HIGHLY SURPRISED IF THIS VIN WAS THE ONE AND ONLY CASE OF THIS BOLT BEING INSTALLED BACKWARDS. IN THE LONGER TERM, I RECOMMEND THIS BOLT BE REDESIGNED SO AS TO PREVENT INCORRECT INSTALLATION. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
     
  7. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    Incidentally, I had the car in about a year ago for some suspension popping noise, also related to being at full-lock on the steering... but not necessarily exhibited by vertical travel.

    In that case it was apparently the steering rack itself shifting some. There was a fix involving revised attachment bolts and/or shims...
     

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