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Battery "grinding" sound?

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by Eric from NE, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. Eric from NE

    Eric from NE Member

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    Anyone else have the battery cooling/heating system make a "lawnmower" or grinding sound, like it's working extra hard?

    I hear it periodically after my 40 mile highway commute in cold weather, but there's no real pattern. It's usually when the weather is below 40F and I've been running some sort of heater combo and going 70MPH for most of the trip, or if I've been out... ahem... "playing" and showing off the acceleration. Today it was immediately following an almost full charge on 220. It's obvious it's when the battery is taxed, but there's not real definitive pattern.

    I tried to record some audio with my phone but it was done before I could get to it. I could actually hear it in the cockpit over the radio at moderate volume as I was pulling into the garage.

    Also, I joined the Curious Cop Warning Ticket Club last week. Yay for me.
     
  2. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    #2 dsm363, Jan 27, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012
    That's strange. What are the battery, PEM and motor temps when it does that (from the VDS)? Also, if you call your service center, they can dial into your car and see if it is delivering some sort of fault message.
     
  3. Eric from NE

    Eric from NE Member

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    I'll check those all the next time I catch it. I'm new to this... don't even know where to start!

    I've heard it maybe a dozen times out of maybe 50 commutes. Didn't think about it tonight until after the closest service was closed.
     
  4. bolosky

    bolosky Member

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    Are you sure it's not just the fan? It can be really loud, and it keeps running even when the car is "off."
     
  5. Eric from NE

    Eric from NE Member

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    #5 Eric from NE, Jan 27, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012
    Well, it definitely sounds like a very labored fan, but I don't hear the accompanying "wind" noise one would expect. Where does the air actually escape?

    Smart money says this is probably what it is and I'm just being an overly cautious newbie. It definitely meets your "really loud" and "running when the car is off" criteria.
     
  6. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    It sounds more like a jet turbine than a fan to me when it does this in high gear.
     
  7. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Ditto
     
  8. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Sounds like it's probably the PEM cooling fan.

    The other day the Ranger jacked up my car and somehow in the process got some air into the battery coolant loop. The sound was just bubbles shooting into the reservoir. It cleared after about a minute, but it sounded rather odd. That's the only time I've ever heard something weird from the battery.
     
  9. jory

    jory Member

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    #9 jory, Jan 27, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    so i am not sure if it is the same thing, but i have been having a problem with my car where there is an intermittent "air compressor" or "lawn mower" noise that comes from the front of the car. it too sounds like a fan is broken or hitting something. i have problaby heard it a half dozen times, mostly when i have just driven for a couple hours on the highway then plug directly into the HPC or (a couple times) when i have been driving hard for over half an hour and exit the highway and at the bottom of the off ramp this comes on. it is pretty jarring to be in the car when it comes on. definitely sounds like something is broken or a bearing is about to explode or somesuch.

    i've been trying to capture a good recording of it happening. i described it to tesla menlo park (and sent them a couple video clips i made of it not at its loudest) and they were unable to replicate.

    here are the videos i've managed to capture thus far (actually the forum software only allows a single video embed per post so i'll put the 2nd and 3rd ones below in separate postings):



    i also recorded the date and time one of these happened while driving and offered that to tesla service as well but they did not use that.

    i was hoping tesla service would be able to force the various fans and pumps to turn on artificially to locate the issue but their troubleshooting seemed to be focused on test driving and charging on the HPC. i need to figure out a recipe to reproduce and/or get better recordings of the problem. maybe inspect the front fans more closely while it is happening or even disconnect a fan when it is happening? i am open to suggestions!
     
  10. jory

    jory Member

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    #10 jory, Jan 27, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
     
  11. jory

    jory Member

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    #11 jory, Jan 27, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
     
  12. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Definitely haven't heard that sound before.
     
  13. Eric from NE

    Eric from NE Member

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    Third one is closest to what I'm hearing, but mine is definitely from the back. I suppose it could also be from the front, but it's so obviously from the back I haven't thought to look up front as well. I'll check if/when it happens again.
     
  14. Fuzzylogic

    Fuzzylogic EU Sport 359 & S94

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    Same noise i had once, A loud grinding noise coming from one of the big fans in the front of the car, like the fan was touching the fan enclosure.
    I verified this by opening the hood, and carefully pressing on the fans itself, that temporarily solved the problem.

    I had my Tesla service rep look at it when having my annual service, but the problem went away eventually.
     
  15. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    From what I can tell these are normal noises the Roadster makes. The rear fans come on and can be on the loud side. If the compressor turns on (fans up front) there is two speeds, noisy and loud. It kind of defeats the purpose of an ultra quiet electric car.
     
  16. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    Ditto. Same noise I noticed once from condenser fans. Pushing on the motor housing while fans were running would increase/decrease the level of noise. After playing with it a few times, the noise stopped and never returned (about a year ago now)
     

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