When the front axle of the otherwise quiet premium electric car begins to squeak, it comes as a surprise to say the least; more and more drivers of the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y all over the world have reported an irritating squeaking sound.
In response, spare parts manufacturer MEYLE AG (www.meyle.com) is unveiled the new MEYLE HD control arm for Tesla Model 3 and Model Y. A MEYLE development team identified the problem and developed an improved spare part.
Developed from the ground up, the new control arm for Tesla Model 3 and Model Y will be available to Tesla drivers and shops around the globe from early 2023.
“Many everyday objects can begin to squeak after a certain period of time,” says Stefan Bachmann, Head of Steering & Suspension Product Team at MEYLE.
“But we weren’t expecting this to happen with the Tesla. We’re connected with car enthusiasts around the world and always have our finger on the pulse of the latest trends and acute issues. Particularly when it comes to sensitive suspension technology, we immediately set out in search of a potential solution. Because we’re driven by principle, we wanted to get to the bottom of this strange squeaking sound straightaway.”
After numerous evaluations, the development team determined that the Tesla control arm had been designed with insufficient moisture protection.
Rain drains directly from the windscreen onto the control arm and penetrates the ball joint, which ultimately leads to the unwelcome, irritating squeaking sound and, in rare cases, can compromise steering precision.
High performance potential and the increased weight typical of electric vehicles can take a heavy toll on the suspension components, subjecting the control arm to enormous stress.
Even the bushings can wear sooner under this extreme strain. It’s usually the squeaking sound coming from the upper control arm on the front axle that warns drivers of the damage.
Others report a rattling sound coming from the suspension.
A Tesla part and the HD principle: what exactly has been improved
“‘Being able to hold the first prototype of a future HD part in our hand after having identified a weakness, looked into the causes and performed development work and countless tests is a special moment for us every time. Especially for a premium car like a Tesla. After all, moments likes these are precisely why we do our best every day,” says Bachmann.
When it came to reengineering the MEYLE HD control arm for the Tesla, four key changes resulted in success:
- A sturdy control arm body made from high-strength, forged aluminium improves rigidity and reduces weight compared to the original, which is made from a combination of steel and plastic. Optimised with the finite element method (FEM), the design also ensures high safety reserves with a low net weight.
- The design of the ball joint forgoes the use of crimping, thus eliminating water penetration, preventing standing water and ensuring absolute tightness. The issue of water penetrating the original Tesla control arm is therefore eliminated.
- The ball joint itself has a larger diameter than the original part and can distribute forces across a bigger surface, which is essential for a durable spare part, considering the large and frequent loads the high-performance vehicles are exposed to.
- The bushings, too, have been optimized, which also increases service life.