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Steering feels strange at high speeds?

I have had my car (VIN 680 2K mi, P85) serviced for what I thought was an alignment problem, as I felt a very slight pulling sensation from the steering wheel above 65-70 MPH. I was told my wheels were both balanced and aligned . I have noticed it more in my 21's than my 19's (both TMC supplied an installed). It is not like a vibrating wobble; it is more like a "pulling" feeling both right and left, but the car does not drift on its own.

Also, does anyone else out there feel the air suspension jiggling the car at stoplights at times? My Chicago service center told me that was " normal".

I think my car has ADHD!

Any thoughts?

Search the threads...someone (2 people, actually) have had issues with loose bolts or something causing similar behavior. I am sure someone who remembers the exact cause can find it and post a link...it is probably not the same thing, but just in case!

I have been having similar drifting sensation at high speed as well. I did mention it to my service rep but has not had time to f/u. My son alerted me to it few weeks ago after he drove the car, but in retrospect this has been ongoing for sometime. The car feels less stable at high speed, as though it is been blown in a wind gust.

In fact, I just returned from dinner in San Francisco 15 minutes ago and I rebooted my car to see if sensation would resolve. I will check tomorrow to see if it made a difference. I also checked my tires and found the inside of both rear tires are badly worn and need to be replaced. Not sure if that's the sole problem as my tires were ok when it first started. I have had my Sig P85 since October and have driven close to 10K miles, so the tire wear is understandable.

I searched for the thread and cannot locate it. Time to repost what is on my "Repair Order."

"Customer Concern: Vehicle is veering to left above 60 mph upon acceleration, veers right when pedal is released
Cause: Service Action
Correction: Rear Axle Nut Washer - LH & RH
Performed service bulletin for tightening rear axle nut & washers"

Some owners had it occur in the opposite direction, ie: veering to right above 60 mph upon acceleration and veers left when pedal is released. They reported the same solution.

If you are experiencing this, then call Tesla Motors and schedule a repair visit. Model S should NOT feel like a gust of wind is hitting it from the side when you depress your accelerator and quickly raise the speed from 60 to 61 mph. When one of the repair technicians sat in my vehicle while I drove, he felt the problem from the passenger side and didn't even need to get behind the wheel. The repair took less than 2 hours and my Model S is accelerating perfectly again.

Are the loose nuts dangerous?

I think there are two issues at play here. The first are loose toe adjusters in the rear causing toe to change on rapid acceleration (I'm reading the details into the owner's accounts of what service said). This is not normal and appears to be an infrequent issue. It SHOULD also be very noticeable as the back will "drive" one way throttle on and the other throttle off.

The second issue is much more subtle. MS uses very little toe front and rear which I assume is to reduce rolling resistance. I noticed my car tended to hunt driving down the interstate. If there were grooves in the pavement, it wanted to follow them. I just updated some rear suspension links to remove some of the negative camber and had the car aligned. I asked the technician to make sure all four wheels were pointed perfectly straight (zero toe front and rear). The car now is about ten to fifteen percent more "active" which is noticeable. Normally decreased negative camber will not cause this so I am chalking it up to having absolute zero toe front and rear as opposed to almost zero before. Anyway, I think the little to no toe is what you are feeling.

I just went out for breakfast and gunned it on the highway. No issues pulling to one side. I do notice when when driving on 280 in the Bay Area where there are grooved concrete highways that the car shifts a bit more than my BMW did. I think it may be caused by the tread pattern on the tires includes on the 21" wheels

@Andrew18 - your first problem definitely sounds like "tramlining" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tramlining

There is a section of I-95 towards Miami where my S goes all over the road on its own. Never had a problem on the same stretch in my Range Rover, and don't have a problem with the S anywhere else. Just that particular 5 mile stretch.

Although the following link is about a different make of car, read their explanation of what could be loose in the axle area to cause the problem of pulling left or right upon acceleration.

http://mgaguru.com/mgtech/rearaxle/ra104.htm

The Tesla technicians that worked on my Model S put it on the rack, removed rear wheels and replaced axle lock washers as part of the corrective process.

If you have the problem, you will know it when driving on the smoothest asphalt with zero wind above 60 mph. Just a tap on the accelerator is all it takes to feel the vehicle move sideways. After the repair, the sensation cannot be repeated.

BTW, this problem had nothing to do with alignment or tire pressure in my vehicle.

@MarkZ, that's exactly what I was referring to...maybe it was in the TMC forums, but that's the known issue.

Thank you all for the excellent advice. I now have somewhere to go with our service center. Most appreciated.

Andrew

Andrew18, did they resolve this, and was it the same problem as mentioned earlier (tightening the rear axle nut & washers)? I noticed this starting a couple of weeks ago which coincided with both a) the 4.2 update and b) taking it into the service center for jumpseat installation. I was wondering if it was related to either of those!

Interesting...I had this exact sensation on a P85 test drive today at high speed under full throttle. Very disconcerting (and yes, I felt a little silly test driving again when my car is en route on a truck!).

Not "normal".

I have the same issue, only noticeable at high speeds, and I have the 21's. Acceleration does not seem to affect it. It pulls easily and equally left or right, giving a very similar sensation as driving in gusty winds.

@nickjhowe The tramlining effect sounds very similar, but I notice it on every road that I can get up to speed so I think it is a problem with the car/tires, not something specific to the road surface.

I have 2300 miles and I haven't detected any uneven wear.

During my first test drive, I accelerated at full throttle and the S fishtailed quite a bit. This experience actually helped me make up my mind to go with a lower performance version.

Suspension problems. Get them fixed. Or else ... they're dangerous.

Got problem fixed by TM. car back to running like a charm. Is this only occurring with the performance cars?

@djm12 It's not supposed to do that with traction control but some people will buy the performance model just for that.

Last time I was in the shop service exchanged the nuts and washers on their own. Yes initially the P85 felt very sensitive to wind ( and there was wind ). Tomorrow I will check what you are describing...

I have an appt to address this next Saturday. It is driving me crazy. I have had it both on my 21's and winter 19's, and it feels like the wind is blowing the car occasionally side to side at higher speeds.

I will take this info to the appointment, and stay hopeful they fix it.

Otherwise car's great.

Here is what my repair order says... it was added by the service.

Customer Concern: Replace rear axle nuts and washers.
Cause: Replaced rear axle nuts and washers.
Correction: Rear Axle Nut Washer - LH & RH
Replaced rear axle nuts and washers.
Part Qty
NUT HF M24x1.5 [8.8] ZnFl-W 2.00
WASHER ASSY LCK M24x39 ZnFl-W 2.00
Pay Type: Warranty

Well, I got my car finally fixed yesterday. Was a bad rear axle nut and washer, just as above. Now drives perfect! Also got my carbon fiber spoiler at the same time!

Ahhhh.

This thread is a good argument for having periodic inspections and maintenance under a service plan. If the problem occurs with any frequency, TM will have a service bulletin on it, and the rear axle nuts will be checked as part of the regular service. Under normal driving, you may never have noticed the problem, and yet it can have serious consequences.

DouglasR +++++++1

At 6400 miles, we just had this issue fixed. I wish I knew about this page so that I could have checked to see just how loose the bolt was. Unfortunately, the first post I saw was very similar but the car owner believed that his problem had to do with over-inflated tires.

According to Tesla, the issue was:

Cause: Found leading toe link loose on rear suspesnion
Correction: Inspect Knuckle/Ball Joint Surfaces & Re-Torque Lower Control Arm Ball Joint Bolts

What's really odd is that we started to notice this swaying upon acceleration/deceleration, right after our first service. Now why would that happen? There is no reason for the Tesla service to have loosened these bolts.

Third post. Please don't.

Wow, so glad I found this thread. Thought I was going crazy. P85 drove perfectly for first 5k and now getting the random imaginary "gusts of wind" as others are on perfectly smooth roads. Taking to SC today to have items above checked out.


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