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Steering Wheel Vibration is Driving Me Crazy – 2018 Model X100D

Discussion in 'Model X: Driving Dynamics' started by User01, Jun 19, 2018.

  1. User01

    User01 Member

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    My March 2018 build Model X was absolutely perfect and drove like a dream for about two months and 4000 miles. Then I noticed the steering wheel constantly vibrating while driving on the highway. It's noticeable at 60 mph and gets worse up to 80 mph+. It’s not violently shaking like a major wheel imbalance but it is very noticeable and slowly driving me insane.

    The first time I noticed the vibration was shortly after I had to do a hard brake where the calipers actually engaged vs just letting regen slow me down to 10 mph. ABS did not turn on but it definitely went past regen into normal braking. Not sure if this is related.

    From what I have read this could be a number of things:
    • Wheel imbalance – Only 4000 miles on the vehicle and I checked to see if all the balance weights were still intact and they are. Can wheel imbalances happen this fast?
    • Early stages of the dreaded half shaft issue – I do not feel any acceleration shudder and it sounds like this has been resolved for 2018
    • Brake rotors - Seems unlikely on a brand new car
    • Alignment issues – The car does not pull to one side or the other
    • Suspension issues – Vibration seems to be about the same in very low vs standard ride height maybe slightly worse at the higher setting
    • Lane departure warning - Turned off. The vibration is constant even on straight roads and it feels much different than the warning vibration
    I feel like the vibration is not strong enough for service to take seriously but it is strong enough to drive me crazy and not want to drive my X as much as I did before. I live in a no service center state which makes it a big ordeal to have anything fixed.

    Has anyone had this vibration issue and had it fixed? What was the root cause and solution?

    Thank you! I appreciate any advice or shared experience on this issue.
     
  2. 365gtb4

    365gtb4 Member

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    There should be no vibration at all under stead state driving on a smooth road. Tesla should fix this.
    Brake rotors warp all the time. You will feel it when you apply the brakes as a vibration in the steering wheel.
    Half shaft failure is very noticeable under hard acceleration.
    Tire problems is the most likely cause here. The front tires need to be checked for balance and roundness.
    Anyhow this is all covered under warranty and is Tesla's problem.
     
    • Like x 2
  3. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    Given your location I'll bet on tire imbalance. While early imbalance is not universal it is common. Were I in your situation, I'd call Tesla. if they agree any good tire shop can do balancing, with way less hassle than dealing with MI Tesla service hassles.

    (FWIW, ancient history. I was an adolescent working in a local early 1962 Michigan gas station on M60. In pulled a Jaguar XK-E, the first I ever saw. With wild luck they had tire imbalance so I actually managed to rebalance the two front tires. Quick knock-off wheels, which I knew all about from Sports Cars Illustrated, they actually fit on our primitive bubble balance machine. The experience changed my life, almost certainly from the ride I was given after the job was done. )
     
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  4. User01

    User01 Member

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    365gtb4 and jbcarioca thank you for the responses! I will see if someone can look at the tires and maybe do a road force balance. I hope Tesla has a deal with a local metro Detroit tire shop. Shipping the care down to Cleveland and back (200 miles) would be such a waste in this situation. Hopefully I can get my X back into pristine condition. I will post an update for anyone else dealing with this kind of issue.
     
  5. Asterix187

    Asterix187 Member

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    I had something like this... then realised it was the lane departure warning and promptly turned it off.
     
    • Like x 1
  6. User01

    User01 Member

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    This vibration has a significantly different signature and it is more constant. I did turn off the lane departure warning for now just in case.
     
  7. User01

    User01 Member

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    IMG_20180619_201438.jpg IMG_20180619_201423.jpg
    I was just looking at the tires again to see if there is anything obviously wrong and I noticed that the wheel well liner on tth passenger side is loose. I'll have to figure out how to reattach it and then do a test drive to see if that is the issue.

    Could a loose liner cause a vibration?
     
  8. aaron0k

    aaron0k Member

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    In case it's not the wheel liner... I had similar vibration issues with my S 70D >30mph (issue started around 45k miles). I had to take it to the SC three times. They eventually replaced the sway bar, F/R axle and hub assembly. After all the work was done, it now drives like butter (and feels better than the first day I got it)...
     
  9. User01

    User01 Member

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    I fixed the liner with a ziptie on the missing fastiner and reattached the existing fastener. The vibration is still there. Maybe slightly better but could be my imagination. Thank you for the comment. It gives me hope that it will be back to normal at some point.

    How bad was the vibration in your 70D? Did you have to go on a ride from someone with Tesla to show then what you were expericing?
     
  10. nitroretro

    nitroretro Member

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    Reading this makes me a little nervous. I'm taking delivery next week and I'm coming from 2 Lexus GX470 with the same problem. Normal everyday driving is fine until I get on the highway and drive above 55mph then steering wheel will start vibrating like crazy. It been driving me insane for years. I've been looking forward to getting a new car just so I don't have to deal with that anymore and now I see this thread.....
     
  11. User01

    User01 Member

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    Did you try to have Lexus fix it? How did that go? from everything I've read it sounds like Tesla will fix these issues if you are persistent.

    Let me just say that the first two months before this issue started happening the car was amazing you could not feel how fast you were going no matter the speed. So buttery smooth no vibration no noise just amazing. When going back to an ICE car it feels like something is wrong with it. So I think you will be happy with your new Tesla and I think it is worth the risk of these sorts of problems. We will see if they can fix my issue. I am hopeful.
     
  12. Raechris

    Raechris Member

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    I wonder if your one friction braking episode may have not fully released the caliper from a rotor, is slightly rubbing causing vibration you feel.
     
    • Informative x 1
  13. ShockOnT

    ShockOnT ⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️

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    Very likely one of your front tires is out of balance.
    Swing by any tire shop and spend $20 to see if it fixes the problem.
     
    • Like x 2
  14. nitroretro

    nitroretro Member

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    Never did try to have them fix it. My parents used them when they were new and never complained about it even though it was happening. By the time I got to use it, its already out of warranty so I just ignored it. I did an overnight testdrive on the Tesla just to make sure theres no problem so I think I will be fine. But still, its a little scary reading this thread haha.
     
  15. mxnym

    mxnym Member

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    I've had this issue since pretty early in my Model X's life and I'm not too happy about it, but I only gave the service center one chance to fix it because nd they came back with "everything was fine in our road test" which to me is code for either "we're not sensitive enough to feel what you're complaining about," "we don't know how to fix it so we won't acknowledge it," or "the issue is specific to the roads you drive on every day." The reason I haven't pursued it further is because my previous vehicle gave me the same issue for several years through multiple sets of tires and all I could get out of the tire shop beyond blaming the roads was something like "we can only balance at/for 45mph, so higher speeds may not be as smooth." I may have the service center revisit it now that I've got some miles on.
     
  16. User01

    User01 Member

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    This is what I am most afraid of. I wonder if there is some sort of NVH engineering tool to stick on the steering wheel to measure this effect. They could measure it on a couple vehicles and compare so they have a metric to tune the car to.

    What is the age and miles on your X? When did the vibration start?

    As ShockOnT suggested maybe I'll just get a tire balance done locally for $20 and see if that fixes it rather than have them ship it down to Cleveland and back.
     
  17. User01

    User01 Member

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    I tried an experiment with the tire pressure. The tires were at 45 psi from delivery. They would typically heat up to 48psi. I tried lowering them to 40 psi cold which warmed up to 44 psi during my test drive. The vibration is still there. Maybe slightly better it's hard to say.

    The tires have a max psi of 51 is it worth trying 47 cold 50 warmed up psi and doing a test drive? I am guessing higher pressure would make for a harsher ride. It could be a good data point to have but I'm not sure if I want to go up to the max rated psi.

    Also these tires have the foam insert for noise reduction. Does that foam ever get loose and cause tire imbalance issues? I'm trying to think of what could cause a sudden minor tire imbalance.
     
  18. Sonic_78

    Sonic_78 Member

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    I'm not sure about Tesla, but last couple cars I've had used taped-on wheel weights. They fall off sometimes. Most likely just need a balance. Take your X to a Discount Tire. At least they will be able to tell you if a wheel is out of balance. Just takes 1 weight loss on 1 tire to cause a vibration in the steering wheel.
     
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  19. GOPJEW

    GOPJEW Member

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    I experience similar at about 80 mph - but ONLY on my 22's - did NOT have this on my 20's. I suspect mine is a tire balance issue...just haven't had time to take it back to Tesla since they were referral awards and I am busy...it's fine below 80 on mine...

    The foam HAS BEEN KNOWN to come loose....are you close to an SC? I just prefer them touching my X more than aftermarket folks...
     
  20. mxnym

    mxnym Member

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    If I remember correctly, higher pressure is how I reduced the vibration on my previous vehicle's snow tires. The max PSI you refer to is most likely the max cold PSI not the max PSI the tire can handle. If they say 51, I wouldn't be too concerned about going to 50 when you're adding air. The foam in the ContiSilents can come loose, but I get the impression the vibration is pretty extreme if it does.
     

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