Electric cars represent relaxing, noiseless driving, which is exactly what buyers appreciate about them. They combine quiet with quality, innovation and maximum comfort. But then the Tesla’s steering suddenly begins to squeak, which is when the community surrounding the premium electric car sits up and takes notice. Around the world, more and more drivers of the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y are reporting irritating squeaking sounds. What’s going on? That’s exactly what the engineers wanted to find out at MEYLE (www.meyle.com), the spare parts manufacturer based in Hamburg and one of the market leaders in the independent aftermarket. The MEYLE engineers analyzed the problem and developed the solution: an improved, technically enhanced control arm that reliably stops the Tesla from squeaking.
In September, the new and improved MEYLE HD control arm for the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y vehicles will be presented as a prototype to the general public for the first time at Automechanika, Europe’s largest automotive trade fair for parts and accessories. Because the defect could potentially affect up to 700,000 Tesla drivers around the globe, the spare part, which will be available from early 2023, will offer Tesla drivers and workshops an alternative to the original part which is technically refined and thus ensures Tesla’s typical driving fun. Another benefit: thanks to collaboration with ClimatePartner, the MEYLE part is climate-neutral.
Getting to the heart of the problem. And solving it.
‘Many everyday objects can begin to squeak after a certain period of time,’ says Stefan Bachmann, Head of Steering & Suspension 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.’
The MEYLE principle. Our engineers take a closer look …
MEYLE’s development team identified the cause of the squeaking sound after numerous tests: the Tesla control arm had been designed with insufficient moisture protection. As a result, water penetrates the ball joint, which ultimately leads to the unwelcome, irritating squeaking sound and, in rare cases, can compromise steering precision.
To solve the problem, the MEYLE engineers produced a prototype with a new design and performed sound development work.
‘Being able to hold the first prototype 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 the Steering and Suspension Product Team.
… and make it better
Unlike Tesla’s control arm, which is made from a combination of steel and plastic, MEYLE’s control arm is made from high-strength, forged aluminium, which reduces weight and increases stability. 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. But more importantly, the design forgoes the use of crimping, which prevents water from penetrating the HD control arm and thus eliminates the source of the squeaking sound. As a result, the MEYLE solution lasts longer and keeps the driving fun going almost indefinitely.
Experts at work: Patrick Stüdemann, Team Leader Technical Training at MEYLE
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 already part of MEYLE’s climate-neutral portfolio.
Expanding portfolio for electric mobility
With products such as the HD control arm for the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, MEYLE underlines its expertise in the field of electric mobility. In addition to the new HD control arm, the company also offers a range of different products for the electric vehicles of different manufacturers. The extensive MEYLE portfolio for vehicles with an electric drive has already 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 and perfect solution. Driven by principle!