Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

My biggest improvement with road noise

TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
2,021
2,005
Houston
I have been doing the noise reduction game since I bought my Model 3 in December. I've done these common items:

- Trunk and frunk floor liners
- Trunk and frunk lid liners
- Sun roof seal
- Door and trunk and frunk seals
- Window tilt adjustments

None of these really helped with the tire roar coming in at 70mph. We have a lot of grooved concrete in Houston, which makes a lot of tire noise. When the road switches to smooth concrete or asphalt, the OEM 19" tires are very quiet.

When I got the car, my steering wheel was tilted to the right, like many others. I took it to Tesla, and they made it tilt to the left (thank you). So I took it to an alignment specialist, and they made it tilt a little to the right, and told me everything else was off, but they fix it. I took it back to have the steering wheel centered more, and they made it a little less to the right, but still not perfect.

So I got annoyed, and ordered my own laser total toe measuring tool so I could adjust the alignment on my own. It's actually very easy, but if you don't have an accurate alignment tool, you could be introducing tire wear even though you got the tire to track straight. This is the one I bought (it's out of stock now, but I will sure they will have more):

Trackace, DIY Laser Wheel Alignment Tool, Car Truck Front End Tracking

Anyways, I found out that there was a a high amount of toe in on my front wheels (on the high end of the Tesla spec) and way high toe in on my rear wheels (way out of spec per Tesla).

These darn alignment shops are just so lazy, and I am convinced they know how to play with the machines to fake the printouts.

So I adjusted the alignments myself, got them so they are just slightly toe in on front and rear, and the steering wheel is perfectly straight.

Surprising, not only did the car feel better going down the road, but the tire noise is way less. I also dropped the tire pressures to 36psi cold from the factory 41psi cold, and that may have helped the noise too.

I'm not going back up to 41psi, because the car went from a very harsh ride to a much nicer ride. My last car, a Jaguar XF weighs about the same with similar 19" tire sizes and it rode great at 36psi, so that's what I am sticking at regardless of any slight reduction in range. I think I picked up range by fixing the front and rear tire alignment.

So the alignment and tire pressures end up being the biggest gains for me. I am much happier driving my Model 3 now.

On a final note, I wasn't too impressed with how easy it was to loosen the bolts for the rear alignment. Since I bought the car, I felt like it would get a little squirrely on full acceleration, and I mentioned that to both Tesla and the alignment shop. It didn't improve after they both worked on the car. But when I finished adjusting the alignment, I put some good torque on those bolts, and now the car tracks solidly under full accelerations.

Tesla is not know for attention to detail, and others have found loose suspension bolts, so it makes sense. I would not expect that your alignment is good from the factory, and I would not expect alignment shops to do it right. I am happy to have my own tool.

Final note for those more advanced at home alignments, if you want to check left and right toe, you have to use the string method, and for the Model 3, AWD, the rear tracking is 1/4" less than the front. So you have to set up the strings with 1/8" more distance on the rear hubs to get the strings square. The specs of the car say the front and rear track are the same, but they are not.
 

grmdl3

Member
Apr 21, 2020
154
108
Oregon
Very interesting. I'd be curious as to how consistently that device measures between setups. Also, it is doing nothing about caster and camber, only toe.

I also wish they'd just do an overhead diagram showing how this is measuring what it is.
 

TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
2,021
2,005
Houston
Very interesting. I'd be curious as to how consistently that device measures between setups.

Your answer is on accuracy is on the page that I linked. I find the measurements very repeatable, and I've used it on all my cars including a Lambo, Range Rover, Mercedes, Lotus, and Jaguar.

How accurate is Trackace?
Trackace Laser Alignment Gauge is the only gauge that calibrates at a distance larger than its operating distance, which minimizes errors and increases accuracy. With laser precision and good eye sight you can read down to 1 minute of angle difference on the scale. That is 1/60 th of a degree! (0.0167 degree's). On a vehicle with 18" wheels that equates to measuring a difference of close to 1/200th of an inch between the front wheels.

You can buy another tool for measure camber/caster. Those measurements are important, but toe is definitely the biggest one for tire wear. Here's an inexpensive digital gauge for camber/caster:
https://www.amazon.com/Tenhulzen-Hand-Held-Camber-Degrees-Accuracy/dp/B00PKI0VT2/
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Informative
Reactions: Tessaract and Avid

grmdl3

Member
Apr 21, 2020
154
108
Oregon
Link in second post doesn't seem to work.

Any issues applying it to the rear wheels? Does it measure toe in as toe out, since the vehicle is effectively facing the other way as far as the tool is concerned?
 

silentcorp

Member
Jul 20, 2018
514
671
Denver CO
I dropped my PSI as well and the car just constantly warns me. So frustrating. How are you working around that constant nanny telling you the PSI is low?
 

TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
2,021
2,005
Houston
I also wish they'd just do an overhead diagram showing how this is measuring what it is.

It's very obvious from the website I linked looking at the videos. I might recommend you do some general youtube searches on wheel alignments to learn more about the whole process. Then the tool I posted will make perfect sense.
 

TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
2,021
2,005
Houston
Link in second post doesn't seem to work.

Any issues applying it to the rear wheels? Does it measure toe in as toe out, since the vehicle is effectively facing the other way as far as the tool is concerned?

You do the rear wheels on the same side as the front wheels. No need to face the other way. You only need 4" of clearance for the laser to pass through, and even my sports cars have 4" of clearance all the way across the car. Lots of room under a Model 3.

If you have some car that is slammed to the ground (i.e. won't clear common speed bumps), then this tool will not work for you.
 

TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
2,021
2,005
Houston
Forgive my complete ignorance, but should we presume you had to jack the car up and remove each wheel to reset the alignment at the tie rods?

You definitely don't have to remove the wheels. But for the front, you do need to jack up the car to break the torque on the locking nuts on the tie rods, and again to tighten them when the alignment adjustments are done. Adjustments can be made with the car on the ground.

For the rear, you have to remove the panel to get access to the suspension links that have the cam bolts on them. This has to all be done with the car off the ground. No way to adjust the cam bolts with the car on the ground.

To make it less work fiddling around, I bought 4 plastic "For Sale" signs from home depot, and put a sandwich of heavy grease between 2 pairs and put them under the wheels (front first, and then rear). The "skid plates" makes a nice sliding platform for the wheels so you can easily turn the steering wheel and also rock the car up and down and side to side to settle the suspension after lowering the car back down.

Adjusting the alignment is easy for the home DIY'er, but if you are not set up to work on cars at home, and/or your aren't handy, it's not practical to do at home, so you'll have to roll the dice with alignment shops.
 

scottgarrett

Member
Mar 6, 2020
5
4
Oxford
I have been doing the noise reduction game since I bought my Model 3 in December. I've done these common items:

- Trunk and frunk floor liners
- Trunk and frunk lid liners
- Sun roof seal
- Door and trunk and frunk seals
- Window tilt adjustments

None of these really helped with the tire roar coming in at 70mph. We have a lot of grooved concrete in Houston, which makes a lot of tire noise. When the road switches to smooth concrete or asphalt, the OEM 19" tires are very quiet.

When I got the car, my steering wheel was tilted to the right, like many others. I took it to Tesla, and they made it tilt to the left (thank you). So I took it to an alignment specialist, and they made it tilt a little to the right, and told me everything else was off, but they fix it. I took it back to have the steering wheel centered more, and they made it a little less to the right, but still not perfect.

So I got annoyed, and ordered my own laser total toe measuring tool so I could adjust the alignment on my own. It's actually very easy, but if you don't have an accurate alignment tool, you could be introducing tire wear even though you got the tire to track straight. This is the one I bought (it's out of stock now, but I will sure they will have more):

Trackace, DIY Laser Wheel Alignment Tool, Car Truck Front End Tracking

Anyways, I found out that there was a a high amount of toe in on my front wheels (on the high end of the Tesla spec) and way high toe in on my rear wheels (way out of spec per Tesla).

These darn alignment shops are just so lazy, and I am convinced they know how to play with the machines to fake the printouts.

So I adjusted the alignments myself, got them so they are just slightly toe in on front and rear, and the steering wheel is perfectly straight.

Surprising, not only did the car feel better going down the road, but the tire noise is way less. I also dropped the tire pressures to 36psi cold from the factory 41psi cold, and that may have helped the noise too.

I'm not going back up to 41psi, because the car went from a very harsh ride to a much nicer ride. My last car, a Jaguar XF weighs about the same with similar 19" tire sizes and it rode great at 36psi, so that's what I am sticking at regardless of any slight reduction in range. I think I picked up range by fixing the front and rear tire alignment.

So the alignment and tire pressures end up being the biggest gains for me. I am much happier driving my Model 3 now.

On a final note, I wasn't too impressed with how easy it was to loosen the bolts for the rear alignment. Since I bought the car, I felt like it would get a little squirrely on full acceleration, and I mentioned that to both Tesla and the alignment shop. It didn't improve after they both worked on the car. But when I finished adjusting the alignment, I put some good torque on those bolts, and now the car tracks solidly under full accelerations.

Tesla is not know for attention to detail, and others have found loose suspension bolts, so it makes sense. I would not expect that your alignment is good from the factory, and I would not expect alignment shops to do it right. I am happy to have my own tool.

Final note for those more advanced at home alignments, if you want to check left and right toe, you have to use the string method, and for the Model 3, AWD, the rear tracking is 1/4" less than the front. So you have to set up the strings with 1/8" more distance on the rear hubs to get the strings square. The specs of the car say the front and rear track are the same, but they are not.
You know... I read some on this and other forums but this is definitively NOT in that category. Well written and very informative. Thank you for taking the time... it’s what on online community should be all about.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

ram1901

Member
Feb 8, 2017
65
60
Delaware
You may not think so but you are living dangerously by dropping your tire pressure well below the manufacturers
recommended level. Tires will wear more and because they are not properly inflated you have less control of
steering under high speed conditions. The wear is also going to be greater because of weight of the battery and
electric motors in the Model 3. Your tires are the thing that stands between you and the road and should be
maintained according to manufacturer recommendations... IMHO
How to Drive With Low Tire Pressure
 

TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
2,021
2,005
Houston
You may not think so but you are living dangerously by dropping your tire pressure well below the manufacturers
recommended level. Tires will wear more and because they are not properly inflated you have less control of
steering under high speed conditions. The wear is also going to be greater because of weight of the battery and
electric motors in the Model 3. Your tires are the thing that stands between you and the road and should be
maintained according to manufacturer recommendations... IMHO
How to Drive With Low Tire Pressure

You may not think so, but Tesla is pulling the wool over your eyes. They have spec'd super high tire pressures to feed their marketing machine by increasing EV range with crazy high pressures. It's not because of weight, and it's not because of tire wear.

I have read posts from Model 3 owners that reported excess tire wear that was indicative of too high of tire pressures.

Like I said in my post, I had a 2011 Jaguar XF that weighs the same as my Model 3 and also has 19" tires of a similar size, and that ran 36psi. So that blows all your points out of the water. I'm not talking about running at 15 psi, I'm talking about running at normal tire pressures.
 
Last edited:

erniejenson

ErnieJ
Nov 8, 2019
99
89
93010
The track guys should weigh in on this subject. I am guessing that your Jaguar had Perelli P zeros. I have put a hundred thousand miles on them in two XJRs and a XKR. They have great grip and low noise. I am betting that these on a Tesla would out handle in every way the standard Tesla tires. Thirty six psi would be just fine. They would probable reduce range 10% but they would be much quieter is my guess. I don't care about range as I won't be using the Tesla for long distance travel. You can't beat a XJR as a road car. I just don't like range anxiety.
 

voucher2002

"You can observe a lot by just watching"...YB
May 31, 2019
60
25
Round Rock, Texas
I have “lived” with a very slight steering wheel off-center (2° to right) on my Model 3 SR+ since I picked up the car on June 8, 2019. When I noticed the problem and scheduled the mobile ranger he said that it was not just a simple matter of removing the wheel from the spline and reattaching in the center position, but that an alignment would also be necessary. Bottom line...I never have had it done. I began to considered the off-center steering wheel just a beauty mark. When the tires were rotated at 10,000 miles no unusual wear was observed. I do “launch” when appropriate but otherwise no hard cornering. Am I lucky?
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top