Tesla owner had their control arm break while driving just as Meyle outs an aftermarket solution to weak OEM ball joints
Tesla's noisy and weak suspension parts - the control arm ball joints, in particular - have been a pet peeve of Model 3 and Model Y owners for a good while now. They have been complaining about squeaky or rattling noises coming from the suspension, as well as cases of broken ball joints while driving at high speeds to no avail and no reaction from Tesla.
One Model S owner, for instance, just asked for advice in a Reddit thread because Tesla's original control arm broke while they were driving and Tesla's service center declined to fix it. The reps said he had most likely been in an accident, so he'd better turn to the insurer for help.
It was, however, not the control arm but the ball joint that came apart, and the German aftermarket auto parts giant Meyle explains exactly what's happening with Tesla's suspension components.
Meyle's research showed that Tesla's control arm issues stem from the fact that the ball joint capsule doesn't have enough corrosion protection. This can lead to unwelcome noises and accidents, considering the weight of its electric cars and their powerful torque:
After numerous evaluations, the development team determined that the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y control arm does not have sufficient moisture protection. The control arm’s construction makes it a lot easier for water to penetrate the joint. In conjunction with the position of the control arm in the windscreen’s water drainage channel, a significant amount of water can then penetrate, resulting in corrosion of the joint... The bushings are likewise subjected to very high wear due to this stress. This all leads to the unwelcome, irritating squeaking sound, damages the ball joint and can potentially result in a loss of driving precision.
This is why Meyle's engineers developed an aftermarket solution by introducing extra waterproofing and modular enhancements to Tesla's OEM control arms and bushings, as follows:
- Sturdy control arm body design with high-strength, forged aluminium.
- FEM-optimised design for high safety reserves and a low net weight.
- New tighter ball joint design without grooves in the upper part that drains water away.
- Increased ball head diameter for less surface pressure and strain absorption.
- Custom Tesla Model 3 and Model Y bushings with a longer service life.
Unfortunately, you can not buy the aftermarket MEYLE HD control arm for the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y just yet, as it will be released some time by July 2023. Until then, Tesla owners would at least know why their suspension is making unpleasant noises and be aware that there is a viable solution coming their way.