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Model 3 creaking noise from below rear bench seat during sudden acceleration/deceleration

Devanish

Member
Apr 1, 2016
133
121
Virginia
I took delivery in December 2021 and after a week I noticed a creaking sound coming from what I thought was the rear parcel shelf. It is most noticeable during initial acceleration from a complete stop and then when letting off the pedel. It's as if weight is shifting on an old spring mattress. The SC replaced the Mid Aero Shield thinking it was the source, and the noise went away for a week and came back. The mid aero shield is made out of compressed fabric so I didn't believe it was really the source.

Last night I spent some time investigating. I ended up removing the rear seat bench and found that the creaking was louder and clearly coming from that area on the passenger side. Maybe one of the 4 struts below the bench is coming loose. Has anyone had this issue? Ironically the loaner car I got also had the same problem but at the time I thought it was really the parcel shelf. I have another appointment with the SC scheduled now that the noise is back and I have a better idea of where it's coming from. *Also It's definitely not to be mistaken with the more commonly discussed creaking issue with the upper control arm ball joint.
 

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jusflyguy

Member
Jan 21, 2021
19
10
San Diego, CA
I'm having the exact same issue but I noticed that mine is on the driver's side rear. I also have a 2021 M3 and also took delivery in December. It was absolutely driving me in sane. Turns out when it's occurring, when I reach back to the door and "pinch" the outer panel of the storage compartment (on the door)... the rattle stops. There seems to be a gap between the outer plastic and the inner lining of the storage area on the door. See if this works for you too. Mine is still not fixed and waiting for Tesla to get back to me. The issue seems to be developing on the front passenger door too, noticeable when bass in turned up. So frustrating, but I hope this helps you. When Tesla confirms my suspicion, I'll be sure to let you know.
 

Devanish

Member
Apr 1, 2016
133
121
Virginia
I'm having the exact same issue but I noticed that mine is on the driver's side rear. I also have a 2021 M3 and also took delivery in December. It was absolutely driving me in sane. Turns out when it's occurring, when I reach back to the door and "pinch" the outer panel of the storage compartment (on the door)... the rattle stops. There seems to be a gap between the outer plastic and the inner lining of the storage area on the door. See if this works for you too. Mine is still not fixed and waiting for Tesla to get back to me. The issue seems to be developing on the front passenger door too, noticeable when bass in turned up. So frustrating, but I hope this helps you. When Tesla confirms my suspicion, I'll be sure to let you know.

I've heard of the rattle that you describe, there are a couple of videos on youtube about it. That was definitely one of the areas that I checked, however for mine the creak is coming from under the seat. When I have the seat bench in place it is muffled, but as soon as I move the car with the seat bench disconnected and slid forward, the sound is crisp and loud.
Here is a video I just made of the creaking sound with the bench moved out of the way.
IMG_5409.MOV - OneDrive (live.com)

Oh, also for your door rattle, I've seen someone use foam weatherstrip tape between the door and plastic trim.
 
Last edited:

Dylantoy

New Member
Jan 21, 2021
1
1
CHINA
Wow Exactly the same issue bothers me. Thanks for figuring out the creaking resource.

I'd like to appoint a service to solve it. If you have any updates, please inform me. Thank you again!

I took delivery in December 2021 and after a week I noticed a creaking sound coming from what I thought was the rear parcel shelf. It is most noticeable during initial acceleration from a complete stop and then when letting off the pedel. It's as if weight is shifting on an old spring mattress. The SC replaced the Mid Aero Shield thinking it was the source, and the noise went away for a week and came back. The mid aero shield is made out of compressed fabric so I didn't believe it was really the source.

Last night I spent some time investigating. I ended up removing the rear seat bench and found that the creaking was louder and clearly coming from that area on the passenger side. Maybe one of the 4 struts below the bench is coming loose. Has anyone had this issue? Ironically the loaner car I got also had the same problem but at the time I thought it was really the parcel shelf. I have another appointment with the SC scheduled now that the noise is back and I have a better idea of where it's coming from. *Also It's definitely not to be mistaken with the more commonly discussed creaking issue with the upper control arm ball joint.
 
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Reactions: Devanish

Devanish

Member
Apr 1, 2016
133
121
Virginia
Wow Exactly the same issue bothers me. Thanks for figuring out the creaking resource.

I'd like to appoint a service to solve it. If you have any updates, please inform me. Thank you again!
The car is still at the SC, but they have replaced the entire rear subframe and identified the noise as being related to a problem with a bushing. Apparently on the model 3 these particular bushings can't be replaced independently from the subframe. I should have it back tomorrow.
 

cimci

Member
Oct 28, 2020
34
4
Vancouver
I'm having the exact same issue but I noticed that mine is on the driver's side rear. I also have a 2021 M3 and also took delivery in December. It was absolutely driving me in sane. Turns out when it's occurring, when I reach back to the door and "pinch" the outer panel of the storage compartment (on the door)... the rattle stops. There seems to be a gap between the outer plastic and the inner lining of the storage area on the door. See if this works for you too. Mine is still not fixed and waiting for Tesla to get back to me. The issue seems to be developing on the front passenger door too, noticeable when bass in turned up. So frustrating, but I hope this helps you. When Tesla confirms my suspicion, I'll be sure to let you know.
I have exactly the same annoying sound from the driver seat back!
 

tlr1000

Member
Jun 14, 2018
820
588
Vancouver
At under a year old, my 2018 had a rear driver's suspension squeak when leaving from a full stop. Sounded like a creaky old floor board. Had SC look at it and they got rid of it by retorquing the suspension. Weird thing was they said it was routine maintenance and suspension should be re-torqued annually. They wanted to invoice me for couple hours labor.
 

smithre4

Member
Jul 18, 2019
37
10
Bel Air, MD
The car is still at the SC, but they have replaced the entire rear subframe and identified the noise as being related to a problem with a bushing. Apparently on the model 3 these particular bushings can't be replaced independently from the subframe. I should have it back tomorrow.

Timely thread. I took the vehicle in for service two months ago and it came back with this damn noise. Of course they told me it was the brakes (which I knew was nonsense). I've been meaning to schedule a follow-up. Now I have something to point them.
 
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Devanish

Member
Apr 1, 2016
133
121
Virginia
I finally got the car back today. It was "ready" on Friday but as usual for me, I went to pick it up and found things wrong in 5 seconds of looking at the car. They didn't re-attach the rear bumper correctly. *See Photo. And they left dirty hand smudge marks all over the white interior as well as dirt on my previously clean floor mats. I don't know why it's so difficult to just spend 2 minutes looking over your work when you're finished but apparently it's one of their hardest challenges to solve. So I picked up the car today after they kept it over the weekend to fix the bumper and "detail" it. I still had to wipe down the interior when I got home. The stains weren't even hard to remove but somehow they couldn't do it.

If your creaking noise is like mine (coming from the same place as opposed to the upper control arms. You should be able to hear it even louder if you unlatch the rear seat bench and slide it forward a bit, it's very easy. Here is a video on how to do that

So alas, after one week from drop off and return (Tuesday to Monday), the entire rear subframe was replaced and the creaking noise is gone. As I also had the exact same noise, reproducible under the exact same conditions on a 2019 PM3D loaner, I suspect this is not exactly an uncommon problem. Possibly and engineering defect? I still don't have an invoice to see the part #s but I will request it tomorrow if it doesn't show up in the app. I also requested they look into a ticking noise that comes out of the dash vent at regular intervals that vary based on fan speed, but didn't hear it. I'm not a complete masochist so I'm going to look into that myself instead of going back to the SC.
 

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Devanish

Member
Apr 1, 2016
133
121
Virginia
At under a year old, my 2018 had a rear driver's suspension squeak when leaving from a full stop. Sounded like a creaky old floor board. Had SC look at it and they got rid of it by retorquing the suspension. Weird thing was they said it was routine maintenance and suspension should be re-torqued annually. They wanted to invoice me for couple hours labor.

I would really love to see some Tesla documentation stating that it is routine maintenance. As far as I know there isn't even a maintenance schedule for the Model 3.
 

Devanish

Member
Apr 1, 2016
133
121
Virginia
Thanks, how many days the car stayed in SC in total ?
Dropped off on Tuesday, they had the subframe swapped by Thursday but wanted to let it settle overnight. It was "ready" by Friday afternoon but the interior was trashed and the bumper was not reattached properly, So it stayed a few more days.
 

tlr1000

Member
Jun 14, 2018
820
588
Vancouver
I would really love to see some Tesla documentation stating that it is routine maintenance. As far as I know there isn't even a maintenance schedule for the Model 3.


That's exactly the conversation I had with the service manager, lol. In the end they put it as "goodwill" but really it should have been under warranty. The fact they record some warranty items as goodwill is another bit of a sham but that's a whole different story. Anyways, the good part is that it's now a year or so after that suspension re-torque and the noise hasn't come back so I suspect some of the suspension components were just not torqued to spec on the production line. I am glad I had it all done prior to my lowering springs and sway bars otherwise I'm fairly confident they would have blamed it on that.
 

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