Your Tesla consists of many moving parts, most of which are prone to wear and tear. That’s why you may hear squeaks from your vehicle occasionally.
Paying close attention to when and where the noise happens is the first step you need to take to locate where the problem lies.
Whatever the cause of the squeaking, it’s advisable to act fast when you notice it.
This article explains the major causes of squeaking sound on your car and shows you can fix the problem.
Why is My Tesla Squeaking?
Reason 1: Loose serpentine belt
A loose or faulty serpentine belt is the most common reason why your Tesla could make a squeaking noise when driving.
If you hear squeaks in the hood, know that the serpentine belt is faulty or loose – the cause of the problem.
Also, if you push the accelerator and hear the squeaking, it means that the serpentine belt is wearing down.
Moreover, if you hear the squeaking immediately after starting the car, but the noise fades when the engine gets hot, it signals that the serpentine belt is loose.
The serpentine belt is a long rubber belt that transports power to the engine components — alternator, air conditioning compressor, and power steering pump.
Over time, as you continue to drive your Tesla through different weather conditions, the serpentine belt wears out, moves out of alignment, or loosens up.
Once that happens, you’ll start hearing a squeaking noise from the engine system. A faulty or loose serpentine belt can cause failure for most of your car’s accessories to operate.
How to fix: Replace the serpentine belt
- You can fix this problem by simply tightening the loose serpentine belt using the tensioner.
- However, if you notice that the belt is worn out or has been in your Tesla for a long time, it’s high time to replace it with a new one.
- It doesn’t cost a lot to replace a new belt, but ignoring a bad serpentine belt can lead to massive repair bills.
- You’ll need to contact a professional mechanic for help.
Reason 2: Malfunctioning steering wheel
The other common cause of the problem is a faulty steering wheel.
When you take a turn and hear squeaks, know that the steering could be faulty and, therefore, the cause of the squeaking problem.
Most often, a lack of power steering fluid or contamination of the fluid could be the cause of the squeaking sound.
This fluid helps to keep the steering system lubricated. Over time, it becomes contaminated with dirt and debris and, therefore, can no longer perform its work effectively.
Any reduction of the fluid or impurities in the fluid results in the lubrication’s ineffectiveness. This, therefore, causes a squeaking noise as you turn the steering wheel.
Other malfunctioning components of the power steering system can also cause your Tesla to squeak.
It’s not advisable to drive your car with squeaky steering as it indicates the risk of steering failure.
How to fix: Troubleshoot steering system
- You can solve squeaks from the steering by either topping up or changing the power steering fluid.
- If the squeaking issue continues after you’ve taken care of the fluid, the problem could be from other steering system components or the power steering pump.
- In either case, you’ll need to contact a professional mechanic to replace the faulty part.
Reason 3: Worn brake pads
When you apply the brakes and your Tesla squeaks, that’s an indication that the pads are worn out and should be replaced.
Over time, the brake pads are prone to wear and tear, become thinner, and consequently make squeaky sounds. This signals that you should replace the pads.
However, brakes can also squeak without becoming worn out. For instance, cheap brakes are known to naturally cause squeaks. You should, therefore, spend a little extra on quality brakes.
How to fix: Replace worn-out brake pads
- Brake pads are designed to give drivers a warning before they’re worn out.
- Once their thickness reach a certain level, you’ll start hearing squeaking when applying brakes.
- At this point, you should be prepared to replace your brake pads.
- You need to contact a technician to take a closer look.
- It’s also the time for some important maintenance of the brake system.
Reason 4: Faulty or unlubricated suspension
A suspension system can also cause the squeaking sound in your car.
When you hear squeaks from beneath your car while driving, the cause of the uncomfortable noise is unlubricated or faulty suspension.
Your suspension components are designed to provide traction, stability, and comfort while you are driving. But when they become damaged or worn out, squeaks and unwanted vibrations start to appear.
The suspension system consists of several components, such as stiffer bushings, control arms, stabilizer bars, shock absorbers, and struts.
Each component plays a vital role in providing stability and comfort when driving around tight corners or on bumpy roads.
Whenever one or more of these components become damaged or worn out or are under-lubricated, you’ll start hearing squeaking and having poor car handling.
With so many parts involved, it can be difficult to narrow down the cause of squeaks in your suspension system.
How to fix: Replace the suspension components
- There is no single solution to fix squeaks from your suspension parts. It depends on the cause of the noise.
- So it is important to take your vehicle for a professional diagnosis before trying out any repairs.
- Sometimes, using a good quality lubricant spray to coat the metal components and stiffer bushings can be adequate to quiet the noise.
- For more serious problems, you’ll need to replace the entire suspension system or certain components like the bushings and shock absorbers.
- It’s important to remember that squeaky struts, shocks, and other suspension components can lead to reduced stability and poor handling when driving.
- So, if you’re experiencing any of such symptoms, it’s best to take your car to a professional mechanic to fix the problem.
Reason 5: Overheating engine
If your engine is overheating, it can cause many problems, of which the most common one is the squeaking sound.
Overheating can damage gaskets in your engine, causing them to leak. This will cause more heat to be created and pressure added to other engine components.
Over time, leaking coolant and excess oil can enter into hot engine parts, causing them to produce unbearable squeaking noise and smell.
If you notice symptoms that your car’s engine may be overheated and excessive squeaking, take action immediately.
An overheating engine often causes signifies that the coolant has reached its boiling temperature.
The sound comes from the excess pressure escaping. Your car is informing you that it’s time to take it to a mechanic for diagnosis and repair.
If you are hearing this high-pitched sound, it’s important to be careful with your car’s hood. Touching the radiator cap can leave you with burns. Also, releasing the cap when this pressure is in the system can cause boiling coolant to erupt.
How to fix: Stop the engine from overheating
- The best way to prevent this is to keep monitoring the temperature gauge and replace the coolant whenever necessary.
- If these solutions fail, take your vehicle to a professional mechanic or a Tesla shop for service.
- In the meantime, drive carefully and avoid long journeys in hot weather.
Reason 6: Moisture
Your car can cause a squeaking noise without applying brakes because of excess moisture.
The moisture causes rust to form on the car’s rotors, which causes the brake pads to squeak.
Weather conditions such as rain, snow, and moisture can cause wet brakes to squeak.
Whenever the temperature falls down to 32°F, snow, ice, and water can accumulate on rotor blades and disc brakes.
You should not worry as the squeaking brake sound will last for a short time because the ice will melt down and humidity disappear.
How to fix: Monitor causes for squeaky brakes
- Ensure your rotors are regularly serviced or changed by a specialist.
- This will help address the rotors rusting due to moisture, which makes the car brake pads squeak.
My Final Thoughts
As discussed above, the common causes for the squeaking noise include a loose serpentine belt, malfunctioning steering wheel, faulty or unlubricated suspension, worn brake pads, overheating engine, and moisture.
It’s advisable not to ignore the sound as it signals a problem with your car. Leaving it unattended for too long is risky for your safety and could cause a lot of expensive repairs on your hands.
You should be able to locate when and where the noise happens to resolve the issue properly and take action.
In most cases, what is required is to take your Tesla for professional servicing and replacement of the faulty components.
You can avoid the squeaking sound by simply keeping regular servicing for your car.