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Banging/clunking sound when driving over mountains in cold weather

Discussion in 'Model 3: Driving Dynamics' started by TetonTe3la, Nov 22, 2018.

  1. TetonTe3la

    TetonTe3la New Member

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    Greetings!


    Brand new M3 Dual Motor Extended Range owner. Overall I'm thrilled with the car! But having one issue that I've seen posted on Tesla forums, but not here. I've searched on this forum and don't see any threads about same issue.


    When driving over mountain pass in cold weather (<32 degrees Fahrenheit), I can hear and feel a banging/thunking/clunking noise coming from random locations under the car. First time it happened was when I was driving home from picking up the car. I drove 200 highway miles on mostly flat road without single episode. But when driving over a 3000 foot mountain pass in 22 degree Fahrenheit weather, I could hear banging or clunking noises coming form under the car. Worse when going uphill, but happens on downhill too. Roads were slightly wet, and my first thought was this is ice forming in the wheel wells and getting slung against the wheel well or bottom of the car. But since then I've driven same pass several times with dry roads and had same sounds. Sound is random, can come from front/rear/sides of car. It is definitely originating from the "floor" of the car. You can feel the clunk in your feet and seat. One person described it as "oil canning" which sounds about right.


    I've seen other descriptions online of similar sound when supercharging. I've only supercharged a couple of times so far, but did feel/hear one similar "clunk" when I was sitting in car while supercharging.


    I've seen other descriptions of it sounding/feeling like metal in the battery pack "flexing" due to thermal changes. I've also seen people attribute this to contactors in the battery pack, or battery pack heating/cooling system.


    But I would definitely not describe this as a "normal" sound for a brand new high performance automobile. I'm sure it wasn't designed to make this noise. The real question is what is the cause, and what are the potential remedies?


    I tried to call Tesla Support the other day when it was doing it, but the hold time was >20 minutes and I couldn't wait. I'm planning to call them again in the next few days when I have more time to trouble shoot with them. I'm hoping they won't want me to bring it in for service since I live 250+ miles from nearest service center, and so far I can only reproduce it when going over mountain pass. Maybe one of their mobile techs will come and I can demonstrate it for them.


    Has anyone else had similar experience? Has anyone had productive response from Tesla about this?


    Thanks!

    Jim
     
  2. jasontallman

    jasontallman Member

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    I've had the exact same problem. After a number of calls to Tesla's Mt Kisco, NY service center they finally confirmed that this is an acknowledged problem but they don't have a solution for it yet.
     
  3. Big Earl

    Big Earl bnkwupt

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    This is expansion and contraction of the sheet metal construction of the car's battery pack. So far lots of people have reported this sound coming from various places under the floor while Supercharging or while climbing mountains (lots of heat being generated within the pack). While disconcerting, it isn't indicative of a problem, malfunction or imminent danger.
     
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  4. jasontallman

    jasontallman Member

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    This isn't happening on early build Model 3's from 2017. Something changed (insulation on battery pack) and now this has become a problem.
     
  5. Matt L

    Matt L Active Member

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    I was in the mountains last week and heard the same. I wouldn’t refer to it as “a problem” like others here. It’s just one of the engineering characteristics that makes these cars unique.

    If they found a way to make it stop, I’d be ok with that. Till then, I’m not concerned by it.
     
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  6. Big Earl

    Big Earl bnkwupt

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    Agreed. It's disconcerting at first and perhaps an annoyance to some folks, but it I wouldn't call it a problem.
     
  7. Garlan Garner

    Garlan Garner Banned

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    Same clunking here....except I don't call it a problem.

    Its just what it does.


    Funny thing:

    I was at the Westmont Il Service Center a few days ago and they had staged 3 Model 3's for delivery. I just like to hang around there at times.
    All 3 Model 3's did a "double clunk" at about the same time. It was pretty loud. We all looked at each other and determined that they were all saying "good-bye" to each other.
     
    • Funny x 3
  8. Mand M

    Mand M Member

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    We have the SAME issue. It is not acceptable. It feels dangerous, as we are distracted always trying to diagnose it. Our service representative in Littleton says the engineers are working on it, but that is not enough. Ours happens randomly when driving also.
     
  9. Mand M

    Mand M Member

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    As I wrote in the reply above, we feel this is unacceptable. We have a LOT of clunking... random times, especially ascending and descending in the mountains, but all the time. We heard that Tesla engineers are working on it. It may not be a safety issue from their perspective, but it is to ours... we are continually looking for something that would explain it. It needs to be fixed. We need to continue to report this. I don't want to drive a car that seems like someone is continually kicking it from underneath. Not the pleasant driving experience that we were anticipating.
     
  10. Matt L

    Matt L Active Member

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    I understand your POV and understand that as Tesla sells cars to the broader “non-early adopter” market they will continually run into customers that will expect a refined experience. Sorry, you aren’t going to get that with these cars. Tesla is on the cutting edge of innovation and are trying to bring a product to the mainstream market. Hate to say it but if you want refined, buy BMW. Right now, buying a Tesla means accepting some of the smaller shortcomings in order to appreciate and support the larger leap in technology and innovation.
     
    • Disagree x 2
  11. Piney999

    Piney999 Member

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    I am interested in where this goes. I have a couple of loud clunks under my feet as I drive to work everyday, and would like to know whats behind it. Hopefully we find out why some time!
     
  12. Big Earl

    Big Earl bnkwupt

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    There is nothing to diagnose on your end. The noise is not a safety issue and it will not affect driving or performance. I hope that Tesla comes up with some sort of fix to reduce the noise, but even if they don't, the car is not unsafe and you should not be allowing yourself to get stressed out about it.
     
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  13. baton

    baton Member

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    Sorry but this kind of comment doesn't help the larger leap in technology and innovation that Tesla is making history on and that you are referring to. These comments in a public forum turn off potential Tesla customers. Tesla does not have shortcomings, just regular technical issues that any other car manufacturer has when they release a new product. Haven't noticed any issues or had any problems whatsoever with the car since delivery. This serious problem, for many, is being addressed by Tesla and soon there will be a solution. Personally I haven't experienced this problem, but I haven't driven into any high elevation mountains yet.
     
  14. animorph

    animorph Active Member

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    Sounds like it could be the "hollow rear floor" oilcanning while the suspension is flexing the car.
     
  15. Matt L

    Matt L Active Member

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    Ok there. Listen it’s the best car by far that I’ve ever had...but it’s not perfect.

    And sorry, Tesla has not reached the refined production processes of companies like BMW. If that offends you or I’m airing some sort of secret...sorry man. Enjoy the koolaid.
     
  16. Big Earl

    Big Earl bnkwupt

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    What defines "serious problem?" It doesn't affect the operation of the vehicle and it doesn't affect safety. At most, it's an annoyance.
     
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  17. baton

    baton Member

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    #17 baton, Dec 10, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
    Well in the absence of Tesla's official explanation of this problem, of which they are aware, you and I can only speculate how serious a problem it is. Hopefully, and I believe, as you, it is nothing serious. Still it could affect safety, due to distraction it can cause, especially if one has kids in the car and unexpected loud bangs happen under their feet so they start crying while the car is going 60 - 70 mile/hr....

    Brushing it off as nothing, won't work, when so many are complaining about it. In fact it will make Tesla look bad as being non-responsive to customer care. I believe Tesla will come up with an official explanation and a fix in a timely manner, and everybody will be happy :)
     
  18. feld

    feld New Member

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    I just had this fixed. The front motor mount bolts are loose. Get this fixed ASAP!!!
     

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  19. feld

    feld New Member

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    I was linked here from reddit and think a few noise concerns are being confused. Mine is likely not what is in the title of this thread.
     
  20. Big Earl

    Big Earl bnkwupt

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    That is not the sound being described in this thread.
     
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