The noise of faulty wheel bearings is something you can only ignore for a certain amount of time. Eventually, it will drive you bonkers. On a Tesla Model S, faulty wheel bearings produce a whirring and droning sound that, in most situations, gets louder as the car’s speed increases. Paired with vibration, it may indicate severe damage.
While the sound is louder, mainly at high speeds, you can occasionally hear it at moderately slow speeds as well. The main question is, how do you fix your Tesla Model S’s fix noisy wheel bearings?
Establish a Clear Picture
Since you spend more time than anyone else driving your car, it’s easier for you to notice any mechanical issues. Mark the speed at which you start hearing the noise and on what side it occurs.
Most Tesla S users have experienced the noisy bearing issue on the rear left wheel. The problem is noticeable when the car hits 30 MPH, but it is audible in older Tesla S cars even while being driven at a lower speed.
Conduct a DIY Diagnosis
Diagnosing the origin of a noisy wheel bearing doesn’t require a sophisticated garage. All you need is a safe car jack, plenty of room, and common safety and car sense.
Jack up your car and manually spin each wheel to identify the source of the noise. For a more specific diagnosis, rock the wheels from side to side and up and down. Remember, the diagnosis shouldn’t be a simultaneous activity; test each wheel separately.
Check the Production Year of Your Tesla Model S Car
While bearings remain the main culprit for annoying noises, you shouldn’t ignore other factors too. Tesla manufactured the original Tesla Model S cars in 2013, but it only took a year before consumers experienced this issue. If your car was manufactured in 2013, you could be dealing with more than faulty wheel bearings.
Most pioneer Model S were victims of ‘drive unit’ failure, causing cars to produce unusual sounds and noises. This situation made Tesla Inc. recall several Model S hybrid cars. Additionally, the company decided to offer free drive unit replacements for Model S vehicles that were manufactured in 2013.
A warranty for replacement covers unlimited mileage for eight years. However, you may have to exercise some patience. It can take up to two days to replace this unit in your car.
Consider Replacing the Affected Wheel Bearing
After establishing from the experts that the culprit is what you expected it to be, it’s time to eliminate the noise. It’s usually challenging to repair worn-out wheel bearings, so you should consider a full replacement of the faulty ones.
While wheel bearing replacements can be a DIY task, you should be sure that you have enough skills to do a perfect job. However, the operation requires you to read and follow Tesla’s guidelines because they are like any other car model out there.
Sometimes this task may be too specialized for you to take on, especially if your automotive repair skills are practically non-existent. Most Tesla Model S car owners end up buying wheel bearings that aren’t compatible with their cars. Even if you do get the correct replacement parts, your home garage may lack the right tools to do the job.
There’s no harm in letting the professionals handle the job at your Tesla service center.
Visit a Tesla Service Center
Even though Tesla electric cars’ popularity continues to grow globally, most mechanics aren’t familiar with how these green cars run. The best place to receive the correct diagnosis and fix your Tesla Model S’s noisy wheel bearings is at a Tesla service center. These service centers are scattered all over the states, so check their website to find out which one is closest to you.
Tesla technicians are familiar with the problems that affect the Tesla Model S thanks to their extensive and specialized training. You will receive the advice and assistance that you need when you visit one of these service centers.
Replacing the bearing kit alone may not be the solution, especially if the condition that’s been diagnosed has deteriorated. A total replacement of the wheel hub may be ideal in this case for a more permanent solution. While replacing the wheel hub may cost a pretty penny, you’ll realize that this will pay off in the long run.
Finally, because of the reasons such as the one above, fixing noisy wheel bearings on Tesla Model S on your own is doable, but best not to be handled as a DIY job. Call your local Tesla Service Center as soon you hear any rattling noise coming from your wheels. Additionally, servicing your electric car regularly will go a long way in avoiding an issue such as this one or catching it before it deteriorates further.