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Balloon sound getting substantially worse?

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Gizmotoy, Oct 16, 2014.

  1. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    I was just wondering if anyone else had experienced this. My car has "suffered" from the hard throttle balloon noise since delivery. It only happened under large throttle application (80%+), so it never really bothered me.

    Recently, though, it's started happening nearly all the time. If I'm coasting along and slightly tweak the accelerator and I'll hear it. It looks like it happens any time the battery power is greater than 20kW, and the sound occurs even during regen >20kW. The annoying part is that it seems to come and go by day. One day it's there for any usage above 20kW, the next day it's gone. I have no idea why that might be.

    Has anyone else noticed something similar? I guess I need to take it in. My drivetrain clunk is getting really loud as well, so I suppose it probably needs a thorough examination.
     
  2. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

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    Nope. I used to have the squeal. Now it's completely gone. Has been for several months.
     
  3. USAFsparky

    USAFsparky Member

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    Gizmotoy. Have you ever had the HV battery replaced or taken out for any repair? Which service center do you take your car to.
    you can PM me if you like.
     
  4. dtich

    dtich #P708

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    id be interested in your info too sparky..
     
  5. goaliemanshark

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    Vin 1708 here. I get above about 27 MPH. I can only
    Hear it with the radio off.
     
  6. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    No. Drivetrain has never been touched to this point. I usually go to Sunnyvale, but it's visited the Palo Alto location as well. I mentioned the clunking to Sunnyvale early on, who thought it sounded normal, but haven't told any SC about the worsening clunk or increased frequency of balloon noises yet.

    Potentially similar, though mine is definitely correlated with battery power generation/draw level and not speed. It's quieter but audible when at low throttle amounts and probably can't be heard over the radio, but if you really goose it (80%+ throttle position) it would be loud enough to hear over the radio.
     
  7. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

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    How could "clunking" possibly be considered normal? Do you have an audio grab of the noise? My drivetrain makes a noise at low power draw levels (10-50 kW draw), but it's more of a low whine and not at the level that would cause concern. The balloon squeal is definitely not there anymore though.
     
  8. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I had this exact thing.

    I believe the "happening nearly all the time" is what Tesla is referring to as the "milling sound" which occurs under any power > 0kW. I had my drive unit replaced because of this exact issue. It's nice to be fully silent again. Take your car into service and have them replace your drive unit.
     
  9. Zextraterrestrial

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    I think these are 'inverter' issues. mine was replaced for it too. I drove a Volt for a couple of days at work and it has a really annoying power draw whine. I'd go crazy with that noise!
    kind of like the S 'milling' noise (which I disagree with what they call it. I'd consider milling to be from the gears etc. a transformer drone is more accurate imo)

    balloon noise is supposed to be from the HV contacts I thought.
     
  10. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    Drivetrain lash. It's a legitimate thing. Though to be fair they said they couldn't hear anything at all even when I demonstrated it to them while driving the car myself. It's much, much louder now, so I'm pretty sure they'll be able to hear it this time.

    Yay. Major surgery. Just what I always wanted! Thanks for the input, though. I kind of suspected as much. Mine cuts in pretty clearly at 20kW. Below that it's as silent as it ever was.

    I kind of agree. I heard another owner's recording of the milling noise, and it did indeed sound something like a light metal grinding. This is just a quiet version of the very electrical-sounding balloon noise I think most of us are pretty familiar with.
     
  11. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Yea mine was the "quieter light electrical sound", not metal gears grinding.
     
  12. SeminoleFSU

    SeminoleFSU Member

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    I agree. sounds like a transformer to me... I get that at lower speeds and low go pedal pressure (maybe 20% or less?) As for the balloon squeal, I've had that from day one and if I floor it I usually get it 80-90% of the time... but then sometimes I don't? Kinda strange...

    No clunky sounds yet when transitioning from power to no-power on the accelerator... yet. :scared:
     
  13. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I had that too, but in my case it was any time I was applying power or recovering through re-gen (any level). At Zero, no sound. Tesla replaced my drive unit. I am just now barely starting to hear a much different, high pitched sound that varies in frequency with speed. Sounds like an angry mosquito in the trunk. Very mild and not something I'd bring to Service's attention unless it gets worse.
     
  14. Drtadakichi

    Drtadakichi Member

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    Its the sound of HV going through what equates to a solenoid in the pack. Consider it normal because that is what the Service Center will tell you.
     
  15. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    If that were true I'd expect it to be present in all vehicles, and a constant. Mine comes and goes, but has been getting progressively louder. It's to the point where I can hear it over the radio turned up to 4. It's to the point that rear seat passengers are complaining about it since it just drones on. Hopefully I can get it in next month to get diagnosed. We'll see.
     
  16. Kipernicus

    Kipernicus Model S Res#P1440

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    Mine seems to be getting worse too. I used to only hear it when I was really flooring it and hitting over 120kW, but now it seems to come on at 60kW and just moderate acceleration. only 24k miles, original drivetrain and battery.
     
  17. Drtadakichi

    Drtadakichi Member

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    I can tell you right now, it is an expected noise and is considered normal.
     
  18. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

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    And it's completely gone in mine. Used to have it. Haven't found a good explanation as to why that is.
     
  19. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    In case anyone was interested: my car went in for its annual service this week. They claimed this sound is definitely not normal, and would have been aggressively investigated... had it not completely disappeared. I hit a pothole several weeks ago and the sound abruptly stopped and has not returned. They want me to keep an eye on it, but understandably can't investigate something that's not currently occurring.

    That said, I also have a substantial low speed on/off throttle clunk. Really loud. Apparently I wasn't as lucky as some others with the control arm (I think?) fix, and the actual drivetrain needs replaced. It's on backorder, so it'll be swapped out when the part comes in. If I'm lucky, whatever was causing this issue will be rectified once the new drivetrain is in there.

    Fingers crossed.
     
  20. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    I hope I don't cause trouble with this, but a couple months ago my car squealed at heavy acceleration (120 kW or so), like a balloon sound. Then I got a note from Tesla that they had downloaded some data from my car and decided I needed new switches or some such, which would require the pack to be dropped. We took it in, got it done. The balloon squeal has totally disappeared. I wrote on this when it happened, don't have the work order wording, but we had always assumed it was harmonics in the electronic switching, and they must have done something.

    Hope you get this taken care of. It IS normal, but it also seems to be fixable. Don't know how you'd go about getting it done. Rocklin service center did the work, best place around, I think. But the Data was pulled OTA. Don't know why. Think it may have had to do with my car being early Sig, VIN 00064. Good luck.

    Wonder if the pothole jerked something back into line.
     

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