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"Worn out" wheel speed sensors

rotus8

Member
Jul 23, 2019
66
82
California
My M3P at 13k miles started throwing multiple error codes whenever I hit a significant bump, or if I brake hard or corner aggressively. I got errors Stability control disabled, Steering assist disabled, Auto pilot disabled, traction control disabled, regenerative braking disabled, ABS disabled, and a bunch of others. The car still drives OK except for the heavy steering and lack of regen. If I stop and put it in park and do a "Power Off", I can immediately start it up and it is fine, until the next bump.

I booked an appointment with the Palo Alto service center, only two weeks away. It's a good thing I don't drive much these days, driving it this way is "interesting".

Before taking it to Tesla, I took the car to Redwood Motorsports to have them check out the Sport coilover setup they installed to be sure there is nothing that might cause this; all looks good.

I took the car to the appointment and was gifted with a rental Model S while they looked at it (I really prefer my car!). Four days later they call me to say they have to charge me $800 to look at the car because of the aftermarket suspension bits; I reluctantly approved the charge. It sounds like in spite of having an appointment, the car sat in their shop for four days before they even looked at it, meanwhile paying $100 a day for the rental. A few hours later they called me to say the car is all fixed, no charge, covered by warranty.

When I picked up the car I asked what they fixed. Both front wheel sensors were replaced because they are "worn out"! How in the world do wheel sensors wear out, especially in only 13K miles? The sensor doesn't touch anything, it senses the teeth going by on the wheel hub. I asked the service tech if there was some preventive maintenance I should do to prevent a recurrence, and he said I might put tape around the connectors - huh? The tech did say they were impressed with the suspension.

I am not what to think of this, sensors the car uses for a bunch of stuff, two wearing out at the same time in 13K. At least when it happens again I will just order the parts and put them in myself, a lot less trouble.
 

Gauss Guzzler

Safety Score = 7
Dec 27, 2020
674
868
Thousand Oaks, California
The sensor cables are anchored to the shocks and whoever re-did that arrangement for the coilovers must have screwed it up such that the wires were kinking or chafing against something.
Your service center was kind to warranty that, I'm sure they could clearly see what had caused it, even if Redwood had covered some tracks.

Autocross-Package-for-Tesla-Model-3-Adjustable-Shocks-and-Rear-Sway-Bar-Set-Image-15.jpg
 

MasterC17

Active Member
Dec 3, 2015
1,339
2,091
USA
Wheel speed sensors do not "wear out" in the sense of aging over time or degrading electrically. The only logical explanation is that the sensors were not secured properly after the coilover installation and they rubbed on the tire or another component and "wore" through the rubber protective jacket and either shorted or broke the wires inside.

I am very surprised they covered this under warranty; the warranty guidelines do not cover such damage.

Any time I install coilovers I always add a zip tie to the top of the knuckle so this does not happen. This issue was not uncommon in the early days of coilover/camber arm installations but the community learned pretty quick that adding additional securing points was necessary.
 
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Dangerous Fish

Pilots the Millennium Milkfloat
Supporting Member
Jul 21, 2016
1,839
3,300
UK
Yes this will be the sensor wires being worn through because they weren't routed/tied properly during the aftermarket parts installation. Seen that happen a few times now, usually when more negative camber is added to the front.
 

dduffey

Member
Aug 26, 2015
399
315
Austin, TX
My M3P at 13k miles started throwing multiple error codes whenever I hit a significant bump, or if I brake hard or corner aggressively. I got errors Stability control disabled, Steering assist disabled, Auto pilot disabled, traction control disabled, regenerative braking disabled, ABS disabled, and a bunch of others. The car still drives OK except for the heavy steering and lack of regen. If I stop and put it in park and do a "Power Off", I can immediately start it up and it is fine, until the next bump.

I booked an appointment with the Palo Alto service center, only two weeks away. It's a good thing I don't drive much these days, driving it this way is "interesting".

Before taking it to Tesla, I took the car to Redwood Motorsports to have them check out the Sport coilover setup they installed to be sure there is nothing that might cause this; all looks good.

I took the car to the appointment and was gifted with a rental Model S while they looked at it (I really prefer my car!). Four days later they call me to say they have to charge me $800 to look at the car because of the aftermarket suspension bits; I reluctantly approved the charge. It sounds like in spite of having an appointment, the car sat in their shop for four days before they even looked at it, meanwhile paying $100 a day for the rental. A few hours later they called me to say the car is all fixed, no charge, covered by warranty.

When I picked up the car I asked what they fixed. Both front wheel sensors were replaced because they are "worn out"! How in the world do wheel sensors wear out, especially in only 13K miles? The sensor doesn't touch anything, it senses the teeth going by on the wheel hub. I asked the service tech if there was some preventive maintenance I should do to prevent a recurrence, and he said I might put tape around the connectors - huh? The tech did say they were impressed with the suspension.

I am not what to think of this, sensors the car uses for a bunch of stuff, two wearing out at the same time in 13K. At least when it happens again I will just order the parts and put them in myself, a lot less trouble.

Did they refund the $800? I am concerned because my Y has a spine click but I have since lifted the car.

My 3 has the same issue and it took 4 attempts for Tesla to fix (they had to clean, regrease, and repack the spines).

I didn't take the Y in because it gets worse over time and I found that it had to be really bad and 100% reproducible for them to take it seriously.

Now I am concerned that when it gets that bad (clicking at every stop and start) they will blame the lift kit, even though it was there before.
 

rotus8

Member
Jul 23, 2019
66
82
California
The sensor wires were in perfect condition, no wear, chafing, or mouse bites. I inspected them carefully before taking the car in, and Redwood Motorsports did too as a double check. It was not the wires, something else was the problem, the wires are carefully routed and secured to keep them from anything that moves. I wish I had demanded to have the old parts, but I am not sure they have to do that on a warranty covered repair.

The $800 was not charged, they had me authorize it, but didn't submit the charge.
 
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