Tesla Model 3 Suspension Issues Explained(+3 Troubleshooting Pro-tips)

In this brief article we are going to discuss the different Suspension issues that occur in Tesla Model 3 cars, what the causes are, and Troubleshooting Tips.

Top 3 Suspension problems in Tesla Model 3

  • 2021 Model Y, Model 3 Recall due to Lateral Link Fastener
  • Squeaking noise in the front suspension
  • Tesla Model 3 axle click noise

What suspension does the Tesla Model 3 have?

The Front suspension set-up consists of a double wishbone suspension at the front, 

With a U-shaped upper control Arm and 2-piece lower control arms (colored yellow below), tierod (circled blue) and a  Knuckle ( colored Green). The coil-over damper mounts onto the lower control arm, and the sway bar linkage connects to the Coil-over Strut.

The Rear set-up is an independent 5-link suspension, with a 1-piece Trailing Arm, 2 Upper Control arms and a Toe link (colored green)

Model 3 Recall due to Lateral Link Fastener

In October 2021, Tesla announced the recall of 2,791 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles as a precaution against the loosening of the front suspension lateral link fasteners. 

According to Tesla, if the fasteners are left unattended, a possible loosening could potentially shift the wheel alignment, therefore increasing the risk of accidents.

Troubleshooting the Model 3 Lateral Link Fastener

As part of the Recall, Tesla will inspect the linkage and then either Re- tighten or replace the concerned fasteners

Squeaking noise in the front suspension

  • Several Tesla Model 3’s have loud squeaking noises originating from the front suspension
  • Noise observe while turning the steering and during even the slightest suspension vertical movement.

Troubleshooting Front Suspension Squeaking Noise

  • On getting closer to the source of the squeak noise, it becomes apparent that the noise originates from the upper control arm
  • To get further confirmation before dismantling the front suspension, touch your finger at the control arm upper ball joint, while asking someone to slightly rotate the steering wheel. While the suspension squeaks, you should be able to feel the subtle vibration associated with the squeak with your finger.
  • Quoting Tesla’s Description of the Bulletin dated July 2nd 2021:

“….Model 3, Model Y, and Model X vehicles, there may be a water ingress path to both front upper control arm ball joints that, over time, could possibly lead to surface corrosion of these ball joints. This may result in a creaking sound coming from the front suspension when steering at low speeds under high loads. ..”

  • The observed noise issue directly correlates to this warranty issue. On inspecting the Upper Control Arm Ball-joint, what immediately becomes apparent is the complete lack of lubrication. This is proven on dismantling the ball-joint.
  • The Root cause for this issue is most probably, an incorrect or insufficient lubrication procedure of the ball joint at the time of assembly

Pro-tips to Solve Front Suspension Squeak

  • In case the sound has not yet started, you could use the company warranty and the Ball-joint “Re-sealed”
  • The best solution would be to simply ‘Replace’ the Upper control arm
  • Make sure the replacement Control Arm has the ‘G’ Update on it 

Tesla Model 3 axle click noise

  • Several Model 3’s report a ‘Click’ noise originating from the rear 
  • Happens everytime you accelerate from standstill or press the accelerator after coasting and reducing speed

Troubleshooting Tesla Model 3 Rear Click Noise

  • Remove the Rear wheel
  • Remove the ‘Axle-Nut’
  • Check whether the drive shaft freely moves along its axis by hand.
  • If not then use a nylon mallet and tap the shaft to move it inwards
  • This is the Root-cause of the issue. The noise happens when the axle shaft is not able to freely move back and forth due to lack of lubrication and the accumulation of rust, dust, etc.

Pro-tips to Solve Tesla Model 3 Rear Click Noise

  • Clean out all the dirt and rust using a good Brake cleaning spray. Keep it to Soak if needed.
  • Use a thin and narrow screwdriver to apply LB 8012 Low Friction Lubricant to the axle-shaft inner splines (that are not visible from outside
  • Clean out any excess lubricant that spills onto the axle nut mating surface (Important to do as the presence of lubricant on the Nut resting face while tightening could result in over-torquing of the axle-nut and possible thread damage)
  • Make sure to replace the Axle-nut with a new one while re-assembling

Conclusion

In this brief article we have discussed the different Suspension issues that occur in Tesla Model 3 cars, what the causes are, and Troubleshooting Tips.

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