What is the deal with replacing wheel bearings on a Tesla Model X or S? Do you need insulated tools? High-voltage gloves? No. But, two steps are a little different than most vehicles.
The Model X and Model S use Gen 3 Hub units with the preload set at the factory using orbital forming.
Matt: That’s right. Orbital Formed Hub Assemblies, like those used on these models, use a specialized manufacturing process that sets the proper preload from the factory. This allows the tightest tolerances to be maintained for the life of the bearing. While they are not exactly new, they are becoming more popular and have multiple advantages, including reducing the possibility of premature failure due to incorrect torque applied during install. Our BCA product line currently has over 400 orbital formed hub assemblies, and we continue to add more with every new product release.
Both models need high-quality replacement units to withstand the electric motor’s instant torque and a hefty curb weight of more than 4,300 pounds. This is about the same weight as a Chevy Traverse or Jeep Wrangler.
Both the front and rear hub units are held to the knuckles with four bolts with a torque specification of 65-foot-pounds. The only thing to worry about is corrosion in the bore of the knuckle.
The axle nut on the hub units has a torque specification of 130-foot pounds. It is recommended to use a new axle nut when replacing the hub unit.
The only special step required is to engage the tow or jacking mode using the large screen on the dash before putting it on the lift. The modes can be found in the settings menu. These modes will release the parking brake and disengage the air suspension. It will also let you roll the vehicle to position it on the lift.
Remember, most of the underside of the Model S is a massive battery. Lifting a Tesla by the battery will cause damage to the cells. The Model S and X have rails next to the skirts with four integrated pads for lifting that look like this.
If you can replace hub units on a late-model vehicle, chances are you can replace wheel bearings on a Tesla Model X or S. Just make sure you engage the correct modes and use the integrated lifting pads.
This video is sponsored by BCA Bearings by NTN.