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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is the first time it's happened to me but I just noticed that when I was driving the car today that a low grinding noise would come on from the front of the car while driving... it would start off soft and then rise to a low grinding noise and then stop. This would happen every 40 seconds or so. Does this mean my traction motor is going?

Also FiskerJim, did you end up finding a power steering pump? I've had a bunch of bad luck with my car lately :(

FiskerPhilly, we need you! Come up to Toronto and help us :)

hockeydad
 

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If the grinding noise is coming from the front the traction motors are in the rear . Are you sure the noise is coming from the front ? I've heard front wheel bearing grind but they won't grind one time and not another . If you can jack up one side of the car or put the car up on a lift and spin the wheels you might be able to find the noise .
 

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@Hockeydad - I had a weird sound when I bought my Karma, and unfortunately I thought it was due to rust on the brakes. I thought it was coming from the right front tire, but in reality it was the RDM and/or TMs.

My symptoms were this:

* rattling sound (almost like a nut was loose) at approximately 20 mph when coasting to a stop
* when I pressed the brakes lightly, there was a whine on deceleration from speeds of ~ 45 mph to 35 mph. I surmised this was related to the regenerative features of the TMs, since the noise didn't occur if I braked more aggressively and prevented the normal regen from occuring.

Have you tried putting the car in Hill 1 or Hill 2 mode to see if the sound is worse or more pronounced? This was what @Harleyguy and @Lormax suggested I try to confirm the sound was coming from the RDM/TMs.

Good luck, I hope it's nothing serious. With your steering pump thread, you've got enough to deal with right now.
 

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@Hockeydad @fiskerjim @Toronto Canada owners. I have quite a bit of new and exciting things coming over the summer and will certainly try to get up there to help out (not promising any TM/RDM rebuilds) but at very least a 520/530 software roundup and diagnosis/repair of these quirky things. I just need to tie up some loose ends that will give me the ability to do so.
Thanks for all of your patience.
I did just ship a Torontoan car back to an owner, set of Yokohamas, exhaust and a HV battery module and new 12v.
he owns a bunch of restaurants and clubs up there. Great guy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
hopefully it's not my TM, i'll be listening to it more carefully tomorrow and see if it's from the front.

Count me in for a software upgrade!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If it is a TM problem, how long do I have until the car is undriveable and is there anything I can do to slow the inevitable? My wife is seriously going to kill me if I have to spend money we can't afford right now, to fix the car.
 

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If it is a TM problem, how long do I have until the car is undriveable and is there anything I can do to slow the inevitable? My wife is seriously going to kill me if I have to spend money we can't afford right now, to fix the car.
@Hockeydad - don't assume the worst just yet. I drove my car with that noise for almost 4500 miles with no problems. From reading the release notes on the new software upgrades, I think it's baseline 5.30 that will address known noise from the RDM via a software update. I certainly am NOT saying that will fix your issue, just pointing out that some existing behaviors will be addressed by software updates. In your case, I would work with @FiskerPhilly to see if he can help diagnose the noise remotely. Worst case, you ship the car to Philadelphia to have him look at in person. If it's a real issue requiring "surgery" as Fabulist likes to say, then he should be able to repair your car and utilize your allocation of funds from the CSP.

P.S. To minimize stress on RDM and TMs, always use your parking brake when you park. Regardless of whether you're on an incline, decline or flat surface. I am now using the parking brake every time I park my Karma.
 

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@Hockeydad - don't assume the worst just yet. I drove my car with that noise for almost 4500 miles with no problems. From reading the release notes on the new software upgrades, I think it's baseline 5.30 that will address known noise from the RDM via a software update. I certainly am NOT saying that will fix your issue, just pointing out that some existing behaviors will be addressed by software updates. In your case, I would work with @FiskerPhilly to see if he can help diagnose the noise remotely. Worst case, you ship the car to Philadelphia to have him look at in person. If it's a real issue requiring "surgery" as Fabulist likes to say, then he should be able to repair your car and utilize your allocation of funds from the CSP.

P.S. To minimize stress on RDM and TMs, always use your parking brake when you park. Regardless of whether you're on an incline, decline or flat surface. I am now using the parking brake every time I park my Karma.
As the software will correct some inverter "phasing" that causes the low speed shudder and the growling on deceleration from the rdm, the low speed rolling growl comes from play in the rdm/TM splines as well as the intermediate shaft within the RDM. I've rebuilt several now and when I reassemble I loctite the splines and every car has been virtually silent when crawling and decel.
 

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@FiskerPhilly - what you've seen with the last 3 rebuilds is the experience I had. The growl was louder on Hill 1 and very pronounced on Hill 2.

Once @AlexPop did the RDM rework and loctited the splines, it's been very quiet for 2 months now. I am knocking on wood because I'm now out of CSP funds.
 

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Once you replace the traction motors and rework the Rdm you shouldn't have any problems. Unfortunately the key to a successful repair is replacing the components before they are completely ruined . The problem is you have to catch the problem before its to late .
 

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Agreed. I can do the motor builds and save the RDM with the rework preventatively and costs much less and good to go long term as long as there's no major noise or wear. 1 of the last 3 I did the guy bought the car and shipped it straight to me to have it done for peace of mind. he figured it into the cost of the car
 
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