Rattle from behind steering wheel

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Mar 8, 2018
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ca
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Model 3
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#1
My model 3 has a rattling noise coming from behind the steering wheel. It can be heard at lower speeds when driving on a slightly bumpy surface. Every morning I hear it driving out on the smaller streets and pulling into a parking lot. The rattling is drown out by wind noise when going at above 30 mph. I've been to the service center and mentioned this issue 4 times.
First time, they said they couldn't reproduce it. Second time, I had the rep drive the car with me and he confirmed the noise. Said that it's a suspension problem and they retrofitted the suspension (that was also done to help with the harsh ride). The rattle noise wasn't fixed.
Third time, they confirmed it again, and said they reenforced the components behind the steering wheel with felt tape. Didn't do any good. This was all at the SC in Santa Monica CA.
The fourth time, I took the car to the SC on Centinela. Service rep had a engineer drive the car with me to verify the noise. He claimed something sounded loose and later concluded that it was the steering wheel shaft. They told me that there's been a revision to this part that they have to order and it won't come for a few weeks. Not a safety concern but the rattling was more of an annoyance. I'm also waiting for them to replace the rear camera due to vertical green stripes running through the image.

Just letting people know in cause they too suffer from the same rattling noise or vertical stripes on the camera.
 

Simon Says

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#2
My model 3 has a rattling noise coming from behind the steering wheel. It can be heard at lower speeds when driving on a slightly bumpy surface. Every morning I hear it driving out on the smaller streets and pulling into a parking lot. The rattling is drown out by wind noise when going at above 30 mph. I've been to the service center and mentioned this issue 4 times.
First time, they said they couldn't reproduce it. Second time, I had the rep drive the car with me and he confirmed the noise. Said that it's a suspension problem and they retrofitted the suspension (that was also done to help with the harsh ride). The rattle noise wasn't fixed.
Third time, they confirmed it again, and said they reenforced the components behind the steering wheel with felt tape. Didn't do any good. This was all at the SC in Santa Monica CA.
The fourth time, I took the car to the SC on Centinela. Service rep had a engineer drive the car with me to verify the noise. He claimed something sounded loose and later concluded that it was the steering wheel shaft. They told me that there's been a revision to this part that they have to order and it won't come for a few weeks. Not a safety concern but the rattling was more of an annoyance. I'm also waiting for them to replace the rear camera due to vertical green stripes running through the image.

Just letting people know in cause they too suffer from the same rattling noise or vertical stripes on the camera.
Isn't 4 strike and it is a lemon under California law?
 

Simon Says

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#4
Well You can read the statute but in Cali it says 30 days in the shop or 4 attempt to fix something without success only 2 attempts if it is safety related. I am not an attorney but sure wonder how easy it is to apply.
 

Yanquetino

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Joined
May 1, 2016
Messages
43
Location
Ivins, Utah
#5
My model 3 has a rattling noise coming from behind the steering wheel. It can be heard at lower speeds when driving on a slightly bumpy surface. Every morning I hear it driving out on the smaller streets and pulling into a parking lot. The rattling is drown out by wind noise when going at above 30 mph. I've been to the service center and mentioned this issue 4 times.
First time, they said they couldn't reproduce it. Second time, I had the rep drive the car with me and he confirmed the noise. Said that it's a suspension problem and they retrofitted the suspension (that was also done to help with the harsh ride). The rattle noise wasn't fixed.
Third time, they confirmed it again, and said they reenforced the components behind the steering wheel with felt tape. Didn't do any good. This was all at the SC in Santa Monica CA.
The fourth time, I took the car to the SC on Centinela. Service rep had a engineer drive the car with me to verify the noise. He claimed something sounded loose and later concluded that it was the steering wheel shaft. They told me that there's been a revision to this part that they have to order and it won't come for a few weeks. Not a safety concern but the rattling was more of an annoyance. I'm also waiting for them to replace the rear camera due to vertical green stripes running through the image.

Just letting people know in cause they too suffer from the same rattling noise or vertical stripes on the camera.
Hmmm. I took delivery one week ago, and have also noticed this same rattle "somewhere" behind the steering wheel when driving on a road with a rougher surface. I have an appointment with the service center next week to address a flaw noticed upon delivery (a "scrubbed" round circle in the paint on the trunk lid) and will also ask them about the rattle and relay your experience. Thanks for posting this, as it might help expedite a solution.
 

RICK M

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Joined
Apr 23, 2016
Messages
50
Location
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
#6
My model 3 has a rattling noise coming from behind the steering wheel. It can be heard at lower speeds when driving on a slightly bumpy surface. Every morning I hear it driving out on the smaller streets and pulling into a parking lot. The rattling is drown out by wind noise when going at above 30 mph. I've been to the service center and mentioned this issue 4 times.
First time, they said they couldn't reproduce it. Second time, I had the rep drive the car with me and he confirmed the noise. Said that it's a suspension problem and they retrofitted the suspension (that was also done to help with the harsh ride). The rattle noise wasn't fixed.
Third time, they confirmed it again, and said they reenforced the components behind the steering wheel with felt tape. Didn't do any good. This was all at the SC in Santa Monica CA.
The fourth time, I took the car to the SC on Centinela. Service rep had a engineer drive the car with me to verify the noise. He claimed something sounded loose and later concluded that it was the steering wheel shaft. They told me that there's been a revision to this part that they have to order and it won't come for a few weeks. Not a safety concern but the rattling was more of an annoyance. I'm also waiting for them to replace the rear camera due to vertical green stripes running through the image.

Just letting people know in cause they too suffer from the same rattling noise or vertical stripes on the camera.
Not having beta testing is showing that it is imperative to test a new model before bringing it to market. I have been totally turned off by all of the issues that are coming to surface. If I was delivered a new model 3 and I had a cracked windshield after a day as one of our members has experienced, I would demand a new vehicle. There's no way I would accept a replacement window. This same member had a long list of other issues, several pertaining to the paint. Even though I have received an invitation to configure, I have decided to put my money on a used model S. , a proven vehicle with many more features,. Unfortunately, I think the issues will continue with the Model 3.
 

LUXMAN

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#7
Not having beta testing is showing that it is imperative to test a new model before bringing it to market. I have been totally turned off by all of the issues that are coming to surface. If I was delivered a new model 3 and I had a cracked windshield after a day as one of our members has experienced, I would demand a new vehicle. There's no way I would accept a replacement window. This same member had a long list of other issues, several pertaining to the paint. Even though I have received an invitation to configure, I have decided to put my money on a used model S. , a proven vehicle with many more features,. Unfortunately, I think the issues will continue with the Model 3.
From your previous posts, it sounds like that may be the way to go for you.
But to be frank, I think that the issues you are seeing are not as widespread as they seem to be here on the forum.
You have a very small set of hyper-focused owners/reservationists here. There are some issue, like the paint that would get no attention from the average Joe. If you go to any new car lot, I can guarantee you will see issues with surface scratches from the detailers and other issues so small that they are trivial, but put a Tesla owner on it, they will be all over it. :p.
The folks here are obsessed with their vehicles, but the rest of the country will be just fine with the AWESOMENESS that the model 3.
Every car company has tweeks that need to be done to some of the new vehicles they sell. That is the nature of the beast. You have a man made item that has thousands of parts, so not all things on all vehicles will be perfect straight away.
But for the minor issues some have here, this is a great car.
Good luck with the S though. IT is a great car as well
 

PNWmisty

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#9
Even though I have received an invitation to configure, I have decided to put my money on a used model S. , a proven vehicle with many more features,
Unfortunately, the Model 3 is a much better car than a Model S according to many previous Model S owners.
My opinion is that you are being scared away by minor issues that only happen on a small subset of all Model 3's.
 

Michael Russo

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#10
Unfortunately, the Model 3 is a much better car than a Model S according to many previous Model S owners.
My opinion is that you are being scared away by minor issues that only happen on a small subset of all Model 3's.
I am with you on this last paragraph.
I am with @LUXMAN though when he says that maybe in the end @RICK M is likely to be a happier camper with the S.

Having now driven my beautiful Red Dragon for over a month now, I stick to what I said before, it’s a matter of needs, personal taste and willingness to spend money.

The 3 has higher range (as LRB), more novel hardware (for UI & EAP, directionally...), the S is still roomier, has a cavernous trunk with power liftgate, can typically still be had with free lifetime SC access and has two binnacles!!

Simply said, two GREAT cars! Welcome to T≡SLA, folks!! :)
 
Joined
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Oakland
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#11
For those of you here that have had the rattle noise, have you been able to successfully get the SC to fix issue either through the steering wheel shaft or through something else? I think I have that same rattling issue somewhere on the front (could be steering wheel though hard to tell) and only in low speeds and going over bumpy roads. Doesn't seem to happen when going over speed bumps.

I took it into my SC and they confirmed the issue but have not fixed it, saying that it is a known suspension issue and engineering is working on a new part. They will supposedly contact me when that new part is ready, though I'm not holding my breath. Screen Shot 2018-05-13 at 11.45.52 AM.png
This is somewhat confusing--if another Model 3 didn't have the noise, doesn't that mean only something in my car is faulty, and that it's not necessarily a widespread issue? If you guys have any more details, particularly the description of the correction and the new part number, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!
 

PNWmisty

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#12
For those of you here that have had the rattle noise, have you been able to successfully get the SC to fix issue either through the steering wheel shaft or through something else? I think I have that same rattling issue somewhere on the front (could be steering wheel though hard to tell) and only in low speeds and going over bumpy roads. Doesn't seem to happen when going over speed bumps.

I took it into my SC and they confirmed the issue but have not fixed it, saying that it is a known suspension issue and engineering is working on a new part. They will supposedly contact me when that new part is ready, though I'm not holding my breath.
This is somewhat confusing--if another Model 3 didn't have the noise, doesn't that mean only something in my car is faulty, and that it's not necessarily a widespread issue? If you guys have any more details, particularly the description of the correction and the new part number, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!
There is bound to be a few niggling rattles or squeaks on any new model designed anew from the ground up. It might only affect a few cars since it can be as simple as normal tolerance variations on multiple parts adding up on one build and not another.

When I bought a 2000 Volvo S80, some other owners noticed a small clunk that would occur in the steering wheel when going over bumps. It would only happen when the car was cold. Apparently, the splined steering shaft was designed to slide back and forth a small amount but it would bind/release slightly and the driver could feel a small click. The Volvo approved solution was to disassemble it and grease the shaft with a different type of grease. Some cars had it, not others. I felt it a few times when the car was new (it was very slight but some people are overly sensitive to such things) and it eventually went away on its own (after about 9 months).
 
Joined
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#13
my service center told me that there's a new part thats backordered. Told me they ordered it but it'll take 3 weeks or so to get it. I'm just glad they acknowledged the issue rather than brush it off like before. As for whether it occurs in every car, since the rattling only is noticeable at low speeds on bumpy roads, perhaps more people have this issue but don't notice it because they attribute it to outside road noise. That's my the other service center told me, but the rattling is clearly coming from behind the steering wheel.
 

Yung_Elon

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#14
Any updates? I believe my Model 3 just developed this issue. Almost sounds like a wiring harness tapping against the inside of the steering assembly or something. Faint but annoying...

Occurs over bumps and when turning the wheel at low speeds.

I will share if my SC comes up with a fix
 

John

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#15
Not having beta testing is showing that it is imperative to test a new model before bringing it to market. I have been totally turned off by all of the issues that are coming to surface. If I was delivered a new model 3 and I had a cracked windshield after a day as one of our members has experienced, I would demand a new vehicle. There's no way I would accept a replacement window. This same member had a long list of other issues, several pertaining to the paint. Even though I have received an invitation to configure, I have decided to put my money on a used model S. , a proven vehicle with many more features,. Unfortunately, I think the issues will continue with the Model 3.
Mine was/is perfect. Bad news travels faster than good news.
 

John

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#16
Any updates? I believe my Model 3 just developed this issue. Almost sounds like a wiring harness tapping against the inside of the steering assembly or something. Faint but annoying...

Occurs over bumps and when turning the wheel at low speeds.

I will share if my SC comes up with a fix
Does it actually sound like it's coming from inside the steering wheel itself?
 
Joined
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#17
I also have a rattle near the base of the steering wheel. Service Center suspects it's the plastic housing on the underside of the column. They said they would address it, but the car is still there for some other work. Will report back with details once I have the car.
 
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#18
Same issue. Noticed it about 250 miles in. Slow speeds on choppy asphalt there is a rattle that sounds like it’s from either suspension or steering column. Mentioned to my local ranger and he said it’s not the first time he’s heard the complaint.
 

oats

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#19
Same issue. Noticed it about 250 miles in. Slow speeds on choppy asphalt there is a rattle that sounds like it’s from either suspension or steering column. Mentioned to my local ranger and he said it’s not the first time he’s heard the complaint.
What was the proposed resolution from your service center? My service center said it was a known issue with the suspension, and that it would be addressed through a new part in the future (see my previous post on this thread). What’s strange is that in the notes they said they compared it to another Model 3 and the sound wasn’t present on the other one—doesn’t that mean this case is isolated to few cars that it’s not necessarily a design flaw but just a defect on mine? Searching on threads doesn’t yield any answers either.