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A/C Compressor Noise

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Shadnic, Apr 11, 2019.

  1. Shadnic

    Shadnic Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2019
    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    San Diego
    So it's starting to get warm in SoCal and I'm running the AC more often in my car.

    I noticed a few weeks ago when I'd set the A/C up to 6 or more I'd get this loud buzzing sound coming from the front of the car and kind of vibrating throughout the cabin. It was so loud I thought I was passing a lawnmower or something. I eventually realized I could make it go away by turning the AC down (or driving around for a few minutes).

    I sent a few audio samples into my service center and they said "a few technicians listened and said it definitely sounds like the compressor, you should bring it in and we'll see what we need to do to fix it".

    I made an appointment, brought it in...and....a technician jumped in my car, listened to the sound and said "yep that's the compressor. All gen 1 model S's make that noise, it's normal." and then sent me home.

    Now that it's even warmer out, I'm noticing the sound kicking in even at a fan speed of 1 with the AC on. It does tend to fade away after driving for a minute or two, but it's a loud sound and one that I've certainly never heard from any other car A/C before.

    Do all early model S compressors really make loud buzzing sounds when the AC is on? I'm not doubting the technician, but I've been in a lot of cars in my life. Electric and ICE and it's a sound I've never heard before. Just seems like an odd thing to be normal in such an otherwise high-tech car.
     
  2. swegman

    swegman Active Member

    Joined:
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    1,266
    Have a P85 since 2013. Never had a buzzing sound from the a/c so don’t think it’s normal.
     
    • Like x 1
  3. Refreshfiend77

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2019
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    12
    Location:
    California
    The noise could have been normal the first time you went to the service center, but if you can hear the same buzzing noise at 1, then you should take it in again. The noise is the compressor ramping up. Since it's larger than most compressors, even other electric vehicles, it runs at a higher rpm. There is an acceptable limit, but it sounds like you actually do have a problem. You should send a video recording where you show that the setting is at one, then gradually increase the setting. If it does get louder, they'll be able to hear it and hopefully won't send you home without admitting your vehicle. The same noise could happen on the refresh AND X's, so it's not only early S'.
     
    • Helpful x 1
  4. alcibiades

    alcibiades Member

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    IL
    FYI, I had to take my dying Air Compressor to a second service center, since I got the "they all are loud" BS response from the first one. Second service center was like "WHOA! That is not normal!" It's unreal what we have to deal with. Good luck.
     
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    • Informative x 1
  5. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Location:
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    There was a fix applied to the early ones to stop the buzzing sound. However, the compressor is loud when running at full speed. To stop this, when starting set the temperature to just below HI, this will still feel cool on a hot day, then slowly reduce the temperature. It will also use less energy when done this way.
     
  6. Snowstorm

    Snowstorm Active Member

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    It is very loud when it is running full blast, like a buzzing lawnmower. But it shouldn’t be like that unless it is running full blast.
     
  7. random155

    random155 Member

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    Mar 18, 2019
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    Location:
    NJ
    Can you post a video? I just picked up my MS and I am surprised about how load the AC compressor is. I have no idea what's normal though.
     
  8. Oldschool496

    Oldschool496 Member

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    Location:
    Florida
    Mine does it above 5, it started after 12-14kmiles, it does seem to be quite normal as there are many, many posts about it here. Now the sound is most prominent at stops, once you press the go pedal, it goes away. SO less stopping is the key here(just kidding). Yes its something one must get used to.

    Search AC Noise Model S or any combination, tons of videos with sounds ranging all over the place. I would have still bought mine even if I had seen all this before, I love my car.
     
    • Informative x 1
  9. Sleepytime

    Sleepytime Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2016
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    Location:
    Florida
    Mine started getting louder and louder...I called the SC and they said it's probably due to it being warmer outside. It's always warm in this part of FL so kind of a blow off answer. Long story short, A/C compressor stopped working about 3 weeks later and car had to be towed 2 hrs to SC because without the A/C, you can't charge the battery without overheating. All replaced under warranty.
     
  10. Ampere_90D

    Ampere_90D Member

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    Location:
    Round Rock TX
    Since the battery can’t be charged (or run at high discharge) without the AC system, does that make the AC part of the drivetrain covered under the drivetrain warranty?
     
  11. Snowstorm

    Snowstorm Active Member

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    Tesla doesn’t have a extended drivetrain warranty. They have extended warranty for battery and motor. So while you are correct that AC is needed for drive train performance, it likely will not be covered.
     
    • Informative x 1
  12. OBX John

    OBX John Autonomous Driving Enthusiast

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    Location:
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    My 2016 sounds like an ICE car when the A/C is running hard. I got the same response that it's "normal". Neither the 2017 or my 2019 have ever been nearly as loud.
     
  13. Tim-in-CA

    Tim-in-CA Member

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    Location:
    Corona, CA
    Same here on my 18 MS 75D. At higher AC fan speeds, the vibrations are transmitted into the cabin. I definitely don't remember it being this bad when I got the car new a year ago. I dread going to the Costa Mesa service center for "issues" as they dismiss almost everything.
     
  14. mbuebel

    mbuebel Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2018
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Noticed my M3's noise about 3 weeks ago when the compressor is turning off. I've had the car since September and everyone in my family is saying "that ain't right--we're in NC. :)

    Brought it in to my SC and got the same BS answers noted above. I'm really worried the A/C is going to break. Maybe if I have time I'll take it to another SC, but it's not the easiest thing to do. Really wish their customer service would get better (like being able to call the SC and talk with a human).
     
  15. futurem3owner

    futurem3owner 2017 90D

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
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    159
    Location:
    Philly
    I'm having the same issue now when the fan speed is at 5. I've already had my air compressor replaced once before too last July with a 2nd gen model so, it seems like replacements also have the same defect.
     
  16. mbuebel

    mbuebel Member

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    Sep 30, 2018
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    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    to clarify, the noise sounds like a band saw, starts up after the car has honked and pulled the mirrors in, so I'm just standing in the garage and all of a sudden it makes this band saw noise, quite loud, lasts maybe 2 sec, and the car turns off.
     
  17. ScottyNeutron

    ScottyNeutron Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2013
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Southern California
    Mine has made a similar sound since new (June 2014).
     
  18. Ratanpara

    Ratanpara Member

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    Sep 29, 2016
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    158
    Location:
    Brick NJ
    I have exact same problem, I was wondering, If your AC is still ok with noise ?
     
  19. mbuebel

    mbuebel Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2018
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    AC still works fine. Still makes the noise a few seconds after the car is turning off. It is pretty loud and surprising as the car is shutting down, pretty quiet, and then all of a sudden it makes this loud fluttering/grinding/whining noise for about 1.5 seconds, which decreases in frequency/volume as the compressor stops.
     
  20. Jan Fiala

    Jan Fiala Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2017
    Messages:
    220
    Location:
    Prague
    Most probably dying fan bearing. Mine whines slightly when running but screams loudly as hell when slowing down and stopping...
     

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