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Vibration In Steering Wheel

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Simon528, Dec 7, 2016.

  1. Simon528

    Simon528 Member

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    I have a 2016 Model S and Tesla cannot seem to identify the source of vibration in the steering wheel. It is most prominent at around 70 mph. Other cars with the air suspension seem to have the same problem but not as noticeable as on my 75D.
    Has anyone dealt with this problem?

    Marc
     
    • Like x 1
  2. NickF

    NickF 75D

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    Are you sure it's not the lane departure vibration?
     
  3. Simon528

    Simon528 Member

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    Yes, I am sure. I turned that off as soon as I got the car three months ago.
     
  4. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    Ensure your front wheels are very clean all the way around rims, insides too.. in the hard to reach places.

    Look for foreign objects (blob of tar) stuck anywhere on the rim, that you might have picked up from the road

    or a missing balancing weight that might have flown off. You might find a 1/2" rectangular / square sticky pad with no weight on it, or residue of what's left of a sticky pad after the whole think flew off the car...

    I'm very fussy about any vibration caused by out of balance wheels...

    crusty build up of dirt that is thicker on one side of the rim can be enough to create out of balance

    While you're at it, if you can lift a corner using a jack, check each wheel for out-of-round or slight bulge in one spot on the tread or sidewall. Jack it up and give it a spin with a good light on it.
     
    • Like x 2
    • Informative x 1
  5. cgiGuy

    cgiGuy Active Member

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    I had a vibration problem years ago with some Goodyear tires I had (not on a Tesla). The dealer pointed the finger at Goodyear, who of course said they were fine. I had to start down the path of the lemon law before the dealer would agree to change out the tires with Pirellis. Drove like a dream after that.
     
    • Helpful x 1
  6. steveho

    steveho Member

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    I have a front end vibration problem on my 3 day old car. I picked it up and didn't get up to speed on the initial test ride. But as i was driving home, I noticed the front end vibration. It felt like it was coming from the passenger side, but it didn't seem like it was tires or wheels. It seems more like an airflow buffeting something issue.

    I brought in the car Friday (yesterday) and showed the tech the problem. He agreed that it probably wasn't tire related as it only happens at different speeds depending on wind speed? Earlier it would show up at 60+, while yesterday it took 70+ to show up. But the wind was still yesterday, while the prior two days had much more wind.

    The tech did mention that he had heard of the new front end having some vibration issue, but didn't know of any complaints locally. They kept my car over the weekend (when they don't work), and will address it on Monday. Meanwhile I'm driving a P85 loaner during our first snow in Minnesota.

    Oh and my car is springs, 60D just received this week. Brand new, only 7 miles on the odo when I received it.
     
  7. tvcraig

    tvcraig Member

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    I am almost in the same exact situation. When I drove my 60D home from Denver on Friday, I reached speeds over 100 and didn't notice vibration. Tonight, a windy night, around 80mph I felt some vibration.
     
  8. rdr1rx

    rdr1rx Member

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    My S70 had a front end vibration from day one at highway speeds above 50 mph. Balancing was spot-on. Service said that level of vibration is *normal* for a car with 21s on standard suspension while on a test drive with me. Didn't know it was normal to see and feel a steering wheel vibrate while cruising at 70 mph. I called B.S. Was offered an alignment check. Still spot-on. Left disappointed.

    Took the car straight to Americas Tire Co. to verify balancing. Still zeroes out 100%. But then the tech calls me into the service bay with one front tire/wheel still on the balancer. He spins it and says, "you see what I see?" Wheel in perfect balance/roundness ... but the TIRE had some "hop" to it, about 1mm of excess rubber in one section of tread, enough to cause steering vibration. So they took off all the other tires to check out-of-roundness. Rear tires perfect; the other front tire was out-of-round.

    Voiced my findings to service the next day and after a brief 2 day wait, was given brand new, perfectly round front Continental tires under warranty. 14,000 miles later, zero vibration.
     
    • Like x 3
  9. steveho

    steveho Member

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    Turns out that my 60D had a rubber "fin" behind the bumper that is to redirect airflow. It was somewhat loose and vibrated in the wind. No tire issue on my car.
     
  10. phaduman

    phaduman Member

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    guys - I think I have good news for all of you - let's hope this IS the case. If so, Tesla is working on a permanent fix. and for now, they have given my less than 2month old car a fix that seems to be working.

    It has to do with the front bumper air dam area and wind. At certain high speeds, the wind flow is strong enough to flap the lower & inner area of the bumper. This will start off as a noise in the front area, and then add vibration to steering wheel. I had it the whole time since I picked up the car from factory in October, with 9miles on it. First time, I took it in November, they replaced one wheel and rotated the tires. Car had <2K miles on it. I took it back and had the vibration still.
    Then I got another appointment last week and Shaun, from Sunnyvale Tesla Service Center, had a feeling it had to do with the front facia issue that he had seen on some other newer cars. He went on a test drive and was fairly confident that was it. He heard the noise and also the vibration.

    I got the call back this morning (Monday) and they had fixed it. No more noise/vibration. Finally, after 2months of ownership, I am able to enjoy the car at highway speeds.

    There is more to it. I overheard two techs talking that Tesla is aware of this issue, working on a permanent fix, and in the meanwhile, I got a temporary fix. They had to remove the front facia, work on the lower section to channel the wind appropriately, and put it back together. I was concerned my paint protection film would be damaged, and he assured nothing would be harmed, and he was right.

    I am thinking many many more new model Ss coming out the factory (perhaps starting Sept-Oct?) are likely affected by this!
     
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  11. Dancin_J

    Dancin_J New Member

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    Brand new owner as of last night, and I was losing sleep over this issue as I drove home from the Factory... nice to see the posts here and I feel much better (sort of) that there is a solution here. Would have been nice to have Tesla address this issue in Production now that they know about it. I have already called the Sunnyvale service center and will take it in asap to have it fixed. Thanks for your postings and info!
     
  12. phaduman

    phaduman Member

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    Welcome to the forum @Dancin_J. Glad to be of help - hope this turns out to be the same issue as mine (most likely, as I felt that vibration as soon as I drove out of fremont factory). Let them also check alignment, balance etc while there.
     
  13. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Well-Known Member

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    How incompetent can Tesla's designers be? Didn't they test this in a wind tunnel, or at least road test the new front design before putting it into production? The kinds of things Tesla misses - critical, important things - never ceases to surprise me. I was thinking of buying another S in a year or two, but not as long as Tesla continues to use its customers as beta testers. Things that are simple for Toyota and Kia and Hyundai seem way over Tesla's head.
     
    • Like x 1
  14. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    Pretty sure Tesla did wind tunnel testing of new design, and maybe even confirmed it with time in a real tunnel. they're shooting for very low Cd. Sounds like a part is under-fastened or flexes too much that will require stiffening.

    Sometimes the accountants interfere with engineering and will force cheapening of design... quality suffers, you get higher NVH, less durability, weaker limits... Mercedes did this big time in early 90's. Today's Benz is not the same as the 1987 still running great in my fleet. It's a marketing problem if you make something too good... people won't need to buy another...

    Every car maker will tweak improvements back into the car where problems crop up. They want to minimize these fixes, keep satisfaction high, but still allow the car to wear out so you will buy another if the overall experience was great. It's a fine line..

    Early Tesla S had their share of issues that are now solved... wind noise around front triangle window.. comes to mind. New design expect new issues.
     
    • Informative x 1
  15. garwood

    garwood Member

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    Picked up my P100D last night after trading my P85D, noticed significant vibration in the steering wheel when driving 70 or above.
     
    • Like x 1
  16. Hrhkee

    Hrhkee Doing research. Brb

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    Wtf....why don't they put out a blanket fix.
     
  17. davidc18

    davidc18 Active Member

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    Same issue. Going into SC for third time next week. Lemon law paperwork already filled out. Really disappointed in Tesla. P90DL.
     
  18. steveho

    steveho Member

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    I wouldn't give up over this. This is fixable.
     
  19. phaduman

    phaduman Member

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    I created a little video to describe the diagnosis and the solution my SC did for my car. You can squeeze the lower front end of your bumper to feel the play - if yes, then, that is perhaps the reason for your noise + steering vibration.

     
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  20. davidc18

    davidc18 Active Member

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    Not sure this is the same issue as it happens as slow as 45 and is missing over 105
     

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