M3 feels unstable, especially @ 75mph

M3 feels unstable, especially @ 75mph

Anyone else feel like the car is unstable as you increase in speed. Anything above 45 and I start to get uncomfortable.

Could my wheels or suspension units be loose? I hear a sound near my rear when I roll over bumpy roads/bumps and stuff.

Also I have "X's" on two of my tires. Could it be my tires are causing this?

... I come from BMWs and they have all felt solid at 75 mph... to the point that I don't even think I'm going that fast... it's so much different on this car.

jon | 29 juillet 2018

I would suggest getting the balance checked and then the alignment. Tires out of ballance can cause a wicket vibration depending on how far off they are, and it gets worse with higher speeds.

DCguy | 29 juillet 2018

@Jon Thanks... what's the difference between balance of the tire and the alignment of the tire?

Do you think it could be a suspension issue?

cornellio | 29 juillet 2018

Nope. Mine feels totally solid up to 100. Fastest I've tried to go. On a smooth road, when I hit the pedal hard I can barely believe when I'm going 75. But road quality make a difference for me.

I would get it checked.

CharleyBC | 29 juillet 2018

Weird about the X on your tires. Like maybe they failed inspection, but somehow got shipped anyway. Check with Tesla and let us know the outcome. Be careful out there.

Ours is solid and stable so far (<400 miles).

Xerogas | 29 juillet 2018

@DCguy: does your steering wheel vibrate as you cross lane lines? That’s the lane departure warning.

DCguy | 29 juillet 2018

@Xerogas. Nope, I didn't turn on lane departure. @CharleyBC Yea... two of my tires came w/ an X and some of them have a red dot. I'm going on business all of this week but will service when I get back next Wednesday and figure this out.

SoulLessInSanJose | 29 juillet 2018

Definitely get this checked out. Our M3 is the most amazing car we've ever owned. Feels rock solid at 95mph. The highest we've hit. And my wife was driving. She didn't even notice it was at 95 until I mentioned it. Seems like you may have an alignment or suspension issue. Ask for a model S P/D loaner ;-)

Atoms | 29 juillet 2018

Should feel solid as a rock. Definitely take it into service as soon as possible. They will take good care of you.

jjgunn | 29 juillet 2018

I just test drove a P3D.

Had it up to 103 mph. No issues.

Steering is incredibly tight & responsive.

Accelerating even at 70 MPH is very smooth & gets you to 100 in a blink.

The P3D is a very fun car to drive.

rtravis4 | 29 juillet 2018

I’ve got an X on my passenger front and driver rear Michelin tires. Red dots on all four. The car runs as smooth as any I’ve ever owned. It’s probably an alignment issue,

Tesla2018 | 29 juillet 2018

Mine have a red dot too. I think it has something to do with where the heaviest part of the tire is so they know whete to put wheel weights or where the valve stem should line up. On my other car the wheel bearing was bad and I thought it was the tires. Switched rims with another car and still had the problem and even brought it to a friend who owned a tire company that spent about half an hour balancing all my tires perfectly by mounting them at various points on the rim so that they used the least amount of weights. I know he said on new tires they have yellow? dots that should line up with the valve stem. Howver most places dont take the time to line it up and just throw on a bunch of weights.

DCguy | 29 juillet 2018

@rtravis4 that piece of information really helps and makes me feel better. for a second there I was starting to think I got shafted w/ bad tires.

Ok, I really need to get this checked out. I'm hoping that my car will feel as solid as everyone else's

RedTeslaModel3 | 29 juillet 2018

Haha i got red and x on my tires too, thought it was delivered that way. It was from Georgetown parking enforcement. Weird that they would stamp my tired to enforce the 2 hours parking limit from certain zone.

SoulLessInSanJose | 29 juillet 2018

I've got the red dots too. No issues.

Rnakkana | 29 juillet 2018

Mine feels solid. I went up to 85 max.

robert.s.bjekich | 29 juillet 2018

Start by checking the air pressure in all four tires. Your Tesla, which ever model you own, should feel stable at high speeds due to the low center of gravity caused by the battery mounting/

jon | 29 juillet 2018

@DCGuy balance is if the individual tires rotate smoothly, the vibration on a phone is basically an out of balance tire (weight is not symetrical).

Alignment is that the tire is touching the road in a level manner and not on edge (like when you corner on a bicycle). If the balance is off on a new car I would recommend getting the alignment checked as it may mean they skipped a portion of the vehicle finishing. The alignment is adjusted at least partially through the suspension.

Having either balance or alignment off will add significant wear to the tires and potentially the whole drive system, as well as negatively impacting performance and handling.

DCguy | 29 juillet 2018

@robert.s.bjekich . yup, i checked the air pressure and they were all about right at around 43 44 psi according to the onboard tire pressure monitor.

Since most of my driving is in this congested city while driving @ lower speeds I kept thinking it was in my head. But today I was on the freeway and realized this is definitely not right. All the reviews say handling and stability is amazing but why am I feeling scared @ only 75 mph

carlk | 29 juillet 2018

It sounds like tire balance issue if it's vibration and it only happens when car reaches ~75 mph. Have Tesla service center or any tire stores to check it for you.

rgrant | 29 juillet 2018

Hmm should have been detected on the run around the test track!

Alex_SD | 29 juillet 2018

It shouldn't happen. I drove mine at 110mph and it goes straight as an arrow...

Frank99 | 29 juillet 2018

I'll echo everyone else - mine drives straight as an arrow and feels solid as a rock at supra-legal speeds. If that's not your experience, get a service tech in the car pronto.

dalesmith1962 | 29 juillet 2018

My Model 3 feels smooth and very stable at 123 mph. My tires had red dots and xs too and they’re just fine. Check the tires for balance and alignment.

wiboater4 | 30 juillet 2018

Someone on an earlier post had a loose nut on an axle that was making a grinding noise when turning. . Also maybe look at lug nuts being loose. It's probably not those things but check anyway.

kp647 | 30 juillet 2018

Incorrect tire pressure , usually set very high for shipping eg 60psi causes instability and a poor ride

Vehicle wheel alignment off eg " Front wheels toe out " will cause instability

kiwank | 30 juillet 2018

I had an x on my tire at delivery on 7/3/18. My car is very stable at high speeds.

David N | 30 juillet 2018

Let’s us know what you find out.

Shock | 30 juillet 2018

"Anyone else feel like the car is unstable as you increase in speed."

Most cars are :)

Fuzzball | 30 juillet 2018

No issues thus far at higher speeds. I do get more cautious on higher speeds because RWD inherently requires more attention but that is offset easily by the size of my grin.
Also besides having the tire alignment/balances checked, on an ongoing basis you should check your tire pressures relative to the door sticker. The tires come over inflated and tire pressures are recommended differently depending on the batch/tire types.

I am curious as to how the handling feels on AWD relative to RWD (mine). But no complaints so far even though AWD launched shortly after I took delivery. Only a slight pang of distaste as I wanted the AWD drive, but not at the cost of the tax credit.

Garyeop | 30 juillet 2018

I have taken mine to a track, curved at much higher speeds, and all I feel is that I bought a race car and a very big grin. Ditto getting it checked out.

eeb9 | 30 juillet 2018

I've been on private roads well north of 120, and it's solid as a rock.

A bit more body lean than I like in hard cornering, but that's easily fixable via 3rd-party updates. If you're having issues at 75, take it in for a checkup.

andrewlee05 | 30 juillet 2018

115mph and stable on my rwd.

rxlawdude | 30 juillet 2018

We routinely cruise at 75-80mph, and have hit 105mph when passing. (The statute of limitations is short for speeding, right? ;-)) Stable as a rock.

Now, drive a '74 Opel Manta at 100mph and THAT'S a white knuckle experience.

Iwantmy3 | 30 juillet 2018

Sounds like a tire balance issue. Speed specific vibration occurs when the wheels/tires go intro resonance. The speed that this occurs at is dependent on the weight of the wheel/tire and the stiffness of the suspension. It is typical for cars with poorly balanced tires to have issues at highway speeds.

It is possible that the car tires were balanced and passed the initial testing but have since thrown a balance weight. This can easily happen. It should be an easy fix.

DCguy | 30 juillet 2018

@everyone Thanks for all your input. It's nice to have a community where you can get great actionable information.

So just as an update: He thought my alignment was "ok." He did say it was sort of leaning towards the right and he's going to get it straight as an arrow.

The balance he said was ok.. because there really isn't any vibration in the wheels. Which I agree. My issue is that I feel like I'm always correct when the car is off alignment and moving to the right, and then I have to pull it slightly over to the left... after which I have to pull it back to the right. it feels like there's no stable center point.

As for the back of the car, there is a noticeable "clanking" or "clicking" sound when we go over rough roads. He wasn't able to figure it out in the time I was there.

I got a rental car. :( Nissan Rogue. Wish it was a Tesla S but they said they were out. I wonder how do they determine who gets a Tesla and who just gets a car from Enterprise.

Hopefully I'll get my car back soon and I';ll update everyone again. .

DCguy | 30 juillet 2018

@rxlawdude LOL @ '74 Opel comment. Back in the day my parents had an Astro Van and I literally could turn the steering wheel 7 degrees each way and it still wouldn't register any change.

DCguy | 30 juillet 2018

@kp647 I think what I'm feeling is wheel alignment off. What do you mean when it "toes out?"

Sometimes when I enter a turn, it feels like the tires want to drag the car into the turn more than I want it to. So I have to fight against it to get it back stable.

DCguy | 31 juillet 2018

Diagnosis: new struts needed

efuseakay | 31 juillet 2018

Dang. Really. Good thing for warranty!

oodinaryyu | 7 septembre 2019

@DCguy May I ask is there any update after the struts changed? I'm a new owner of model 3 for just two weeks, and feeling exactly the same thing on freeway when above 75... Not very stable, need to hold steering wheel tight to prevent the car slightly moving left or right, similar to walking on wire though not that dangerous. It is totally OK under 60 as I tested. Hope it is solvable.

Xerogas | 8 septembre 2019

@oodinaryyu: "Not very stable, need to hold steering wheel tight to prevent the car slightly moving left or right, similar to walking on wire though not that dangerous."
What you’re describing sounds like tramlining to me, unrelated to alignment.

CS96 | 8 septembre 2019

I’ve had mine up to 153 MPH and felt rock solid and stable. At least I’ve seen two other comments that have had there M3 over 100 lmao.

jimglas | 8 septembre 2019

I was passing a semi going uphill on a 2 lane road in the mountains.
Glanced down and it shocked me to see I was over 100 mph. It was smooth, effortless and stable.
Kind of scary actually

Atoms | 8 septembre 2019

Stability should feel fine over 100 mph. I would take mine in for service if it did not feel stable.

frnch | 8 septembre 2019

Probably stating the obvious, but have you tried switching between COMFORT-STANDARD-SPORT steering modes to see if that changes your perception?

oodinaryyu | 8 septembre 2019

Thanks for all your input, really appreciate it!

I just did a stress test today, since it is Sunday the traffic is much much better. I drove my Model 3 from San Jose to Foster City, half an hour, kept above 75 (highest 80) on freeway, have to say the car is very stable most of the time, only at some specific section the issue was reproduced (the same place last time I noticed it). So, guessing it might be bad paved road? But, seems I never had such kind of feeling when I was driving my Mercedes and Audi at that place...

@Xerogas I'm not familiar with these terms... Today I tried to feel it very carefully, when it happens, it feels like a strong crosswind from side keeping pushing the car, which is not interesting, luckily it is not always there.

@frnch Good idea, I've kept comfort mode in two weeks, time to try crazy mode now! BTW, I did not turn on the auto-steering setting yet, don't know if this matters.

casun | 8 septembre 2019

“feels like a strong crosswind from side keeping pushing the car”

did you notice an audible tone at the same time?

oodinaryyu | 8 septembre 2019

Nope, do you mean lane departure warning? I always kept my car in the center of the lane so I think it would not.

casun | 8 septembre 2019

yes. lane departure avoidance. had to ask.

geoffalexander737 | 8 septembre 2019

I've got 30k on my M3, never felt anything less than rock solid, though I do bust the rear wheels loose now and then when cornering, but that's for fun.