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 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 created the new MEYLE HD control arm for Tesla Model 3 and Model Y. The company's 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 available to Tesla drivers and workshops around the globe from early 2023.
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.
When it came to reengineering the control arm four key changes resulted in success:
- A sturdy control arm body made from high-strength, forged aluminum improves rigidity and reduces weight compared to the original, which is made from a combination of steel and plastic. Optimized 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 optimized, which also increases service life.