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Rear Axle Clicking

Markk993

Member
May 16, 2016
455
199
Las Vegas
when fully stopped i started to notice a series of short clicks / grinds upon acceleration in my P85+...it seemingly started in the right rear but within a few days it seemed like it was both sides... I took it in for service and on the test drive we also noticed it was making the same sound when going around a corner...

It was resolved and i believe they told me that they re lubricated, and tightened the read axles and the splines (not sure if that is the exact terminology but that is the gist of it)...

My 2014 P85+ just hit 34K in miles...Does anyone know if this is a common occurrence or a reason for concern... will re lubricating and tightening end this problem permanently or should I be expecting this to happen again...I assume they inspected the splines and the axles before they re-tightened everything but wanted to get opinions on whether this should remain a concern.

thanks for weighing in...
 

glhs272

Unnamed plug faced villian
Aug 21, 2013
909
564
Burlington, WI
My old 2013 S60 had similar issue. A clicking sound between acceleration and re-gen. The problem is the axle splines simply need to be greased. The service center uses a special heavy grease. They greased it and it fixed the issue. In my case, I had them replacing rear controls arms, so they did the axle greasing under good-will. But, I don't think they would normally charge you very much for the fix.
 

ac_power

Member
Jan 23, 2019
142
42
Arizona
Had same thing like glhs272 describes - single clang when changing from acceleration to regenerative braking or back.
This is what service center did - "Removed and replaced axles nuts and washers. Tested and confirmed noise is no longer present."
Your case may be same situation prorated to the point when the axle actually slips in wheel hub. Not sure how it can come loose, because on traditional cars the nut is notched after tightening so there's no way it can move.
It's a common issue AFAIK, but most likely service center fixes it in right way so it's permanent.
 

dabbler

Member
Nov 30, 2015
260
118
Toledo, OH
I had this same issue at 140,000 miles. Half shafts were repacked with grease. Noise was gone. Now at 147,000 miles and noise is starting to reappear. I suspect that the torque of the drive motor is too strong for the half shaft design. I have heard about other cars with high horse power engines having similar "clicking" half shaft issues.
 

ac_power

Member
Jan 23, 2019
142
42
Arizona
OK, looks like there may be at least two possible issues overlapping each other:
1 - loose spindle nut could result in single clangs or grinding; fixes by tightening;
2 - CV joint wear could result in single clangs; temporarily can be fixed by applying thicker grease, but ultimately should be replaced as there's a slop developed over time. Good thing however is that with this sort of an issue in rear axle it's relatively safe to drive (as opposed to #1 which is much more critical), and it may take very long time until it finally fails.
 

seclinton

Member
May 25, 2015
387
270
Newark, CA
Yup, my P85+ has it now, and it's confirmed. The clicking and also loud motor noise just got me a new DU on order and they will lubricate when the DU comes in. 58K miles on 2014 P85+, I bought with 55K miles in May 2019.

Under warranty...WOOT!
 

scottm

Legacy account
Jun 13, 2014
3,070
2,235
Canada
If the sound is a one muted pop when starting off pushing to go forward, and a muted pop when reversing direction... or when regen kicks in... chances are this is fixed by adding grease behind the splines in the rear axle. My car is doing this again right now, after a couple years of last having this job done. I consider this a 2 year maintenance item.

There is nothing physically wrong with the parts and they're not wearing and there's no danger in driving with this condition. By design, there is dollop of heavy molybdenum grease packed behind the splines to absorb the throw-out when torque is applied. When the grease works its way out over time, there's less, and more movement of the splines and whack they start to bottom out, and you get a pop.

I'm doing the job myself this time. I'm well off warranty now... so... keeping it cheap. I discussed the job with the tech and he told me how. You don't actually apply grease to the splines... you pack it behind the splines he says. And yes, the big axle nut has to come off for this job. And suspension arms at the top he says get disconnected so you can pull the hub away to get behind the splines.... all sounds good in theory. We'll see.

If the sound you hear is a pop pop pop pop... especially noticeable as you power around corners... then it's not a spline / grease thing. It's likely a CV joint worn. New half axle required.
 

bkp_duke

Well-Known Member
May 15, 2016
5,157
16,875
San Diego, CA
If the sound is a one muted pop when starting off pushing to go forward, and a muted pop when reversing direction... or when regen kicks in... chances are this is fixed by adding grease behind the splines in the rear axle. My car is doing this again right now, after a couple years of last having this job done. I consider this a 2 year maintenance item.

There is nothing physically wrong with the parts and they're not wearing and there's no danger in driving with this condition. By design, there is dollop of heavy molybdenum grease packed behind the splines to absorb the throw-out when torque is applied. When the grease works its way out over time, there's less, and more movement of the splines and whack they start to bottom out, and you get a pop.

I'm doing the job myself this time. I'm well off warranty now... so... keeping it cheap. I discussed the job with the tech and he told me how. You don't actually apply grease to the splines... you pack it behind the splines he says. And yes, the big axle nut has to come off for this job. And suspension arms at the top he says get disconnected so you can pull the hub away to get behind the splines.... all sounds good in theory. We'll see.

If the sound you hear is a pop pop pop pop... especially noticeable as you power around corners... then it's not a spline / grease thing. It's likely a CV joint worn. New half axle required.

Did you ever do this yourself? If so, do you have any pics and can it be done with a small jack, or do you need a full lift?
 
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supratachophobia

Active Member
Sep 24, 2014
3,851
2,681
Columbus, Ohio
If the sound is a one muted pop when starting off pushing to go forward, and a muted pop when reversing direction... or when regen kicks in... chances are this is fixed by adding grease behind the splines in the rear axle. My car is doing this again right now, after a couple years of last having this job done. I consider this a 2 year maintenance item.

There is nothing physically wrong with the parts and they're not wearing and there's no danger in driving with this condition. By design, there is dollop of heavy molybdenum grease packed behind the splines to absorb the throw-out when torque is applied. When the grease works its way out over time, there's less, and more movement of the splines and whack they start to bottom out, and you get a pop.

I'm doing the job myself this time. I'm well off warranty now... so... keeping it cheap. I discussed the job with the tech and he told me how. You don't actually apply grease to the splines... you pack it behind the splines he says. And yes, the big axle nut has to come off for this job. And suspension arms at the top he says get disconnected so you can pull the hub away to get behind the splines.... all sounds good in theory. We'll see.

If the sound you hear is a pop pop pop pop... especially noticeable as you power around corners... then it's not a spline / grease thing. It's likely a CV joint worn. New half axle required.
What did your results with this self repair end up being?
 

supratachophobia

Active Member
Sep 24, 2014
3,851
2,681
Columbus, Ohio
Job not done yet, other huge priorities in my life cropped up..

but the sound is starting to bug me enough to want to do the job soon... before the snow flies
FYI, I scheduled an out of warranty service center visit for the "clicking" noise. They quoted $87 to fix.

Now, if this really is the noise I've had fixed under warranty on 2 cars, 3 different times. And I have to pay $87 every 50k miles to have it done..... I'm not exactly in a bad mood here. I mean, it's not like the MCU has gone bad, am I right?

Edit: I was also told this by a Tesla insider with regards to that noise.
1. The very first time you hear it, pull off the wheel caps, and crank the axle nut down. Problem solved.
2. If you have been hearing it for a couple weeks. Regrease the splines. Problem solved.
3. If you have been hearing for a few months..... Ehhhh, you probably have some wear by now and if it was under warranty, Tesla would be replacing the splines. So don't let it go on that long.
 

bkp_duke

Well-Known Member
May 15, 2016
5,157
16,875
San Diego, CA
FYI, I scheduled an out of warranty service center visit for the "clicking" noise. They quoted $87 to fix.

Now, if this really is the noise I've had fixed under warranty on 2 cars, 3 different times. And I have to pay $87 every 50k miles to have it done..... I'm not exactly in a bad mood here. I mean, it's not like the MCU has gone bad, am I right?

$87, in my opinion, would be spectacular.
 

dabbler

Member
Nov 30, 2015
260
118
Toledo, OH
If you plan to tighten your own axle nuts be prepared to buy a torque wrench with a much greater range than a standard wrench, 300# FTLBS. You will also need a very long handle for extra leverage and some means of supporting the end of the wrench at the ratchet end. 180 FtLBS. is some serious torque! $87 is a deal.
 
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supratachophobia

Active Member
Sep 24, 2014
3,851
2,681
Columbus, Ohio
If you plan to tighten your own axle nuts be prepared to buy a torque wrench with a much greater range than a standard wrench, 300# FTLBS. You will also need a very long handle for extra leverage and some means of supporting the end of the wrench at the ratchet end. 180 FtLBS. is some serious torque! $87 is a deal.
Interesting about those numbers you gave. When I was told about re-tightening, they said just use a breaker bar and crank down hard. I would imagine an average size person doing that would put down just about 180FTlbs give or take a couple of ft/lbs. Thank you for the numbers.
 

mambro

Supporting Member
Mar 13, 2018
122
64
McKinney, TX
...They quoted $87 to fix.
Do you happen to know what your SC hourly rate is? $87 works out to be suspiciously close to 15 minutes of work x2 (1 each side) @ $175 per hour. I was recently quoted $97.50 for the same job, but with our SC rate jacked up to $195 per hour.

estimate-09232019-jpg.458449
 

supratachophobia

Active Member
Sep 24, 2014
3,851
2,681
Columbus, Ohio
Do you happen to know what your SC hourly rate is? $87 works out to be suspiciously close to 15 minutes of work x2 (1 each side) @ $175 per hour. I was recently quoted $97.50 for the same job, but with our SC rate jacked up to $195 per hour.

estimate-09232019-jpg.458449

I feel like I've seen signs inside the service center that lists labor at $175 per hour. You are talking sense.
 

dark cloud

Active Member
Apr 14, 2018
1,946
2,197
BC
Can someone tell me the size of the hub nut? I have found that the largest one I have 30 mm is too small. Are they the same front and rear? I see the torque spec is different front vs. rear.
 

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