MEYLE engineers solve Tesla’s squeaking problem
Hamburg, 6 September 2022. When the front axle of the otherwise quiet premium electric car begins to squeak, it comes as a surprise to say the least, but also ignites the ambition of the MEYLE engineers in Hamburg. Since the beginning of the year, 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 unveiling a solution at Automechanika 2022: 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 which reliably restores peace and quiet.
Developed from the ground up, the new control arm for Tesla Model 3 and Model Y vehicles will be presented to the general public for the first time at Automechanika in Hall 4, Stand D41, from September 13 to 17. The high-quality product will be available to Tesla drivers and workshops around the globe from early 2023. MEYLE therefore offers a technically redeveloped solution which ensures Tesla’s typical driving fun – without the irritating squeaking. Another benefit: thanks to collaboration with ClimatePartner, the MEYLE part is climate-neutral.
Getting to the heart of the problem. Driven by principle!
‘Many everyday objects can begin to squeak after a certain period of time,’ says Stefan Bachmann, Head of Steering & Suspension Products 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 Stefan Bachmann , Head of Steering & Suspension Products Team. 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 optimised, which also increases service life.
MEYLE HD: 20 years of technically enhanced parts
Intensive development goes into each and every MEYLE HD part, which is why the spare parts specialist provides a 4-year guarantee (www.meyle.com/guarantee) for the HD control arm for the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, just as it does for all its other HD parts. With its HD range, MEYLE has been launching its own technically enhanced spare parts for 20 years. The company aims to be climate-neutral by 2030. The HD control arm for Tesla is part of a climate-neutral portfolio, which MEYLE will be presenting at Automechanika.
Partner to independent workshops: expanding portfolio for electric mobility
With products like the Tesla HD control arm, MEYLE underlines its expertise in the field of electric mobility. In addition to the new HD control arm, MEYLE also offers its dealer and workshop customers a wide and quickly expanding product portfolio for the electric vehicles of different manufacturers. The extensive MEYLE portfolio for vehicles with an electric drive has tripled in size over the past three years. With more than 3,300 products for hybrid and electric vehicles currently in its portfolio, MEYLE proves once again that, as the DRIVER’S BEST FRIEND, it can always find a suitable solution.
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