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. If you don’t have the issue 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 at different times 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, which is destroying your half-shafts (drive axles).
The source of this problem stems from the outer CV joints in your Tesla’s front half-shafts. These drive axles transmit power from the motor to the front wheels. However on a Tesla, the half-shafts are positioned at an angle that is too extreme for smooth rotation. In other words, the front motor sit up much higher than the front wheels so the half-shafts have to transfer the power at a steep angle down to the wheels below, which are well off-axis from the motor. With such a heavy car, high torque motors and the steep angle of the half-shafts, over time certain parts inside the half-shaft will fatigue and become marred. As the half-shafts rolls over these imperfections the car will have shuddering or vibration. Ideally the half-shafts would need to be more on-axis to eliminate the cause of this issue. That is where our Alignment Kit 1 can help. This kit lessens the steep angle of the half-shafts to reduce binding which is one of the main causes of internal damage.
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 they consider this a “wear and tear issue” which is not covered. 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 kit to reduce the angle of the half-shafts which reduces wear and prolongs their life. By installing our Alignment Kit 1, also known as our Acceleration Shudder & Inner Rear Tire Wear Kit we reduce premature half-shaft wear and completely eliminate the inner tire wear problems in one shot. Installing our kit will pay for itself many times over during the time you own your Tesla in the cost of tires alone. 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 be in a perfectly symmetrical alignment and wear evenly. Beyond that, the safety factors alone are essential. Everything you need is included in the kit. Installation can be performed by the home mechanic or you can take it to a local alignment shop that has experience with installing and aligning adjustable control arms.
Our kit includes 3 main pieces for the 2012 -2020 models. First is a set of our RSX series ultra-precision lowering links. These allow you to easily and super accurately lower your Tesla slightly to help bring the half-shafts closer to a straight angle and reduce binding. We recommend setting them to the -4 or -5 setting. You can go lower if you want but the ride quality will suffer if you go too low. Only a slight drop in vehicle height is required to reduce wear on your half-shafts. Our links go down to -13 if you really want to go for the lowered look. Our ultra precise lowering links are easily and very accurately adjustable to allow you to set the ride height of your choice.
Also in the kit for the 2012 – 2020 models is our new SX-2 and TSX-2 adjustable camber and toe control arms. Both of these adjustable control arms are installed in place of your current rear control arms to allow you to set a perfectly symmetrical alignment. For the 2021+ model S and X Teslas the kit will come with our RSX series lowering links and our new SX-P2 rear adjustable camber arms. The 2021+ kits do not come with adjustable rear toe arms sine the OEM rear toe arms are already adjustable.
The end result of having the it installed is a car with, significantly improved tire wear, reduced binding and wear in your half-shafts, increased firmness for far better handling and agility and improved aerodynamics. Plus you’ll get better mileage than the same Tesla without our kit. Even if you don’t yet have the common front end acceleration shudder/vibration it’s worth installing this kit to help prevent your expensive front drive axles from wearing out prematurely. If your half-shafts are already showing signs of wear they may need to be replaced.
N2itive’s Alignment Kit 1 comes in three variations. All of the adjustable control arms in the kit come with custom made spherical and annular bushings. The first versions are fabricated primarily of a forged and heat treated high grade aluminum and anodized in a matte red or natural finish for great corrosion resistance. These come with a 6-year warranty. The bright black electroless nickel plated version has a much improved finish for amazing looks and better corrosion resistance. It also steps up the warranty from 6-years to our new lifetime warranty. Either way you can’t go wrong. Both versions are stronger than any other brand, including Tesla’s own.
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. After purchase please have the installer and alignment shop visit our installation pages to make sure they install and align the kit correctly! If you need anything, our customer support is always available. Contact us with any questions. We’re here to help!
Why Choose N2itive
At N2itive we give you the highest quality parts and craftsmanship at a reasonable price. Everything we create is meticulously well thought-out, precision engineered and FEA and real-world tested! We are now the only company to high pressure forge both our aluminum arms and our rod ends. This improves the strength of the arms by up to 40%! That’s important with the extreme weight of a Tesla. No one else has this. All of our components are custom made. Nothing is off the shelf. Take our spherical bushings for instance… made with high strength steel that’s been either electroless nickel plated or zinc/nickel plated for amazing wear and corrosion resistance. Each bushing incorporates a Teflon infused Delrin liner for a lifetime of trouble-free, maintenance-free use. You can count on us to only give you the best with all our parts and we back that up with a 6-year to lifetime hassle-free warranty to the original purchaser. Our products are the strongest, safest and most durable aftermarket Tesla parts you can buy, guaranteed! Not to mention, they look incredible.