Acceleration Shudder & Inner Tire Wear On The Model S and X
Many all-wheel drive versions of the Tesla Model S and X suffer from what’s become to be known as acceleration shudder or vibration that comes from the front end of the vehicle while you’re accelerating. This problem can also present itself as clicking or clunking sound from the front and often times while you are accelerating through a turn. An online poll suggests that about 70% of Tesla Model X’s have suffered from this issue. If you don’t have it yet, you quite likely will so it’s critical to prevent it before it starts to avoid costly repairs. It’s important to note that vibration coming from the front of the vehicle could be coming from another source such as unbalanced tires or Tesla’s built in lane-departure warning, but that type of vibration would happen either continually or when switching lanes and not just during acceleration. If you have a vibration or shudder coming from the front of the vehicle while you are accelerating then you most likely have the common acceleration shudder problem that we’re referring to, which is destroying your drive axles.
The source of this problem stems from the outer CV joints in your Tesla’s front drive axles (also known as half-shafts). These drive axles transmit power from the motor’s gearbox to the front wheels. However on a Tesla, the drive axle is positioned at an angle that is too extreme for smooth rotation. In other words, the front motor and gearbox sit up much higher than the front wheels so the drive axles have to transfer the power at a steep angle down to the wheels below which are well off-axis from the gearbox. As the axles rotate with the CV joint essentially in a kinked position, the CV joint will continually bind up and release three times per revolution causing the shuddering or vibration. This puts excessive wear and tear on the CV joints causing them to wear down and further accentuate shuddering. Ideally the drive axles and CV joints would need to be more on-axis to eliminate this issue. Typically this problem will show up more quickly on Tesla’s driven in the “Standard” or “High” air suspension modes since driving this way puts the motor and gearbox even further off-axis from the wheels compared to lower suspension settings. Ultimately it’s not a matter of if, but when.
Tesla does not currently have a permanent fix for this. If you have this problem right now, Tesla will replace both half shafts and also install a new left front drive unit clevis mount. This will typically solve the shudder problem for a little while but it will come back, from as quickly as 500 miles to as long as 10,000 miles. Tesla may not cover this repair under warranty, because Tesla considers this a “wear and tear issue” which is not covered under warranty. Much like worn tires are not covered under warranty. So you may have to fight, for them to replace everything for free.
At N2itive, we have engineered a permanent solution to this problem and are offering it to Tesla owners at a reasonable cost. By installing our Shudder Elimination Kit we resolve both the acceleration shudder issue and inner tire wear problems in one shot. Installing our kit will pay for itself many times over during the time you own your Tesla. No need to continually replace your drive axles and other associated components. If you suffer from the inner tire wear issue that so many of us have then you could easily double or triple your tire life, since your tires will now wear evenly. Everything you need is included in the kit. Installation can be performed by the home mechanic or you can take it to your Tesla service center or local alignment shop for installation.
Our kit includes 3 main pieces to resolve the problem. First is our RSX-1 ultra-precision lowering links. Our amazingly engineered lowering links allow you to easily and super accurately lower your Tesla slightly to help bring the drive axles closer to a straight angle and eliminate binding and shuddering in the CV joints. We recommend setting them to the -4 setting or less on each link. Only a slight drop in vehicle height is required to eliminate acceleration shudder or vibration. Our links go down to -13 if you really want to got for the lowered look, but it’s not necessary to go that low to avoid the acceleration shudder issue. Our patent pending lowering links are easily and very accurately adjustable to allow you to set the ride height of your choice.
Second is our SX-1 and TSX-1 adjustable camber and toe control arms. Both of these adjustable control arms are installed in place of your current rear control arms to set a perfectly symmetrical alignment at the new lower ride height. The end result is a vehicle with no acceleration shudder, significantly improved tire wear, far better handling and agility, plus you’ll get better mileage than the same Tesla without our Shudder Elimination Kit. Even if you don’t yet have the common front end acceleration shudder it’s worth installing this kit to prevent your expensive front drive axles from wearing out prematurely.
All our products are made with the highest quality materials and craftsmanship for years of endurance and come with any necessary hardware for easy installation and a 6-year warranty is included. If you need anything, our customer support is always available. Contact us with any questions. We’re here to help!