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My biggest improvement with road noise

duncan

Member
Jul 4, 2019
14
15
East Gore
You don't need lasers to check and adjust your toe - its more time consuming but some straight tubing and measuring tape will do the same job at least as accurately
 

cottylowry

2013 Model S
Jan 20, 2015
59
3
Minneapolis, MN
I"m not sure if this is a Model 3 area in the forum, I kinda got here by accident. Nonetheless, where do you get the specs for the front and rear alignment? I would need specs for a Model S, but suspect the source would be the same.
 

ACofNY

Member
Aug 25, 2019
52
17
Long Island, NY
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.

I believe using such a high air pressure is primarily for EV range. After selecting the pressure, they tune the suspension for the best balance of performance and comfort. Their main goal may be biased for performance on the M3, I find the ride is in the league of the BMW 3 series. If you like the ride and the performance is acceptable for you, I don't think it is a major issue except for one. I would warn Hellocar above that dropping the air pressure in NYC may cause more bent / cracked wheels with all those pot holes in NYC. I've hit some hairy pot holes in NYC, but I have not experienced a bad one on my M3. There are a good number of complaint of damaged wheels with M3.

I never had a car with such high pressure before, does anyone have a opinion with such high pressure in regards to pot holes. It may have adverse problem since it is not damping the impact of the pot hole? I know generally with short side wall tires you are asking for trouble with low air pressure. Still 36 is not exactly low for a good number of cars.
 
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alexGS

Member
May 1, 2019
174
171
New Zealand
I would warn Hellocar above that dropping the air pressure in NYC may cause more bent / cracked wheels with all those pot holes in NYC. I've hit some hairy pot holes in NYC, but I have not experienced a bad one on my M3. There are a good number of complaint of damaged wheels with M3.

I never had a car with such high pressure before, does anyone have a opinion with such high pressure in regards to pot holes. It may have adverse problem since it is not damping the impact of the pot hole?

Yes; my opinion is that a high tyre pressure (harder tyre) hitting a hole is more likely to cause a cracked wheel rim than a lower pressure in the same tyre.

-Alex
 

daver3

Member
Apr 8, 2019
62
43
Central Texas
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.
Quarantined?
 
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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.
 

TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
2,011
1,996
Houston
What are the window tilt adjustments you made ?

Took the door panel off and turned the adjustment screws for the window rails until the window was flush against the seals. There was an air gap from the factory.

I posted a diy on here somewhere, and someone else did too.
 

VT_EE

Active Member
Apr 22, 2017
2,067
2,534
Maryland
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?
I had the same issue after Tesla put on new tires and did an alignment at 30000miles. I took it back and had them do the alignment again. Now it is perfect.
 

erniejenson

ErnieJ
Nov 8, 2019
99
89
93010
It is possible that the wheel wasn't perfectly centered when the car left the factory. Then it is possible that the front wheels took a hit a little too hard when it was loaded or unloaded from the carrier. This is not a big issue. The reason that taking the steering wheel off and moving it one spline is that it might not be perfect. You could count the splines and find out how much is one spline but it is more than 2 degrees. The proper way is to raise the car and turn one tie rod adjuster a little bit one way and the other a little bit the other way. Each little bit has to be exactly or you change the tow-in. I know how to check tow-in but most people don't and wouldn't climb under a car to save $50 to $100. Take the car in to Tesla and tell them that the car came this way so please fix it and you will tell all your friends how much you love Tesla. Or just go to a alignment shop and tell them that you shouldn't need an alignment and could they fix it for $50 and please check the tow-in in case the car got a hit during shipping. If the alignment shop has never seen you before they will say we need to check the tow-in and other things and charge you $100. I just can't deal with looking down and seeing my wheel off center.
 

VT_EE

Active Member
Apr 22, 2017
2,067
2,534
Maryland
It is possible that the wheel wasn't perfectly centered when the car left the factory. Then it is possible that the front wheels took a hit a little too hard when it was loaded or unloaded from the carrier. This is not a big issue. The reason that taking the steering wheel off and moving it one spline is that it might not be perfect. You could count the splines and find out how much is one spline but it is more than 2 degrees. The proper way is to raise the car and turn one tie rod adjuster a little bit one way and the other a little bit the other way. Each little bit has to be exactly or you change the tow-in. I know how to check tow-in but most people don't and wouldn't climb under a car to save $50 to $100. Take the car in to Tesla and tell them that the car came this way so please fix it and you will tell all your friends how much you love Tesla. Or just go to a alignment shop and tell them that you shouldn't need an alignment and could they fix it for $50 and please check the tow-in in case the car got a hit during shipping. If the alignment shop has never seen you before they will say we need to check the tow-in and other things and charge you $100. I just can't deal with looking down and seeing my wheel off center.
My Model 3 steering wheel is keyed so you cannot move it "one spline" (I watched a Ranger replace it). It only fits on one way. Any adjustment to center the steering wheel has to be done via an alignment.
 

asian_xl

Member
Apr 24, 2016
275
191
Hong Kong
^dude, you are awesome.

If I am driving at 60-70mph with the window closed, hearing wind noise from the upper A pillar, but it's gone when the window is slightly opened, do I adjust the front bolt outward (so causing the window stick closer to the top seal? am I understanding it correctly?

Thanks a lot !
 

destructure00

Active Member
Mar 2, 2019
1,476
1,629
Scottsdale, AZ
^dude, you are awesome.

If I am driving at 60-70mph with the window closed, hearing wind noise from the upper A pillar, but it's gone when the window is slightly opened, do I adjust the front bolt outward (so causing the window stick closer to the top seal? am I understanding it correctly?

Thanks a lot !

Hard to say without seeing where your window sits now. Try it and see what happens I guess. Just make sure you count turns so you can go back to the original position if needed.
 

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