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Charging buzzing noise & stuck @ 6 hrs left

Mach Y

Member
Jun 25, 2020
18
16
Redwood City, CA
This has happened to me a few times, mostly recently early this morning --

Since I don't drive the car much I just use the 110v charger for normal charging. After running errands for the day the car usually has anywhere from a few to 10-20 hours of charging remaining when I plug it in.

This morning I heard a "buzzy" whine coming from the back of the car, presumably where the control box is. My app said the car was charging but still had 6 hrs to go. I didn't think to record the sound but I will try to remember next time ... but it specifically does not sound like the heat pump (which I believe is in the front of the car) ... it sounds more like an electrical transformer noise, almost exactly like this:

To reset this I basically used my app to "Stop Charging" and then "Start Charging", the noise stopped and the app (correctly) said 10 minutes left to charge.

I have not contacted Tesla Service about this one yet since it doesn't happen that often ... wanted to check with you guys first to see if anyone else has had this problem.

Thanks. John
 

user212_nr

Active Member
Aug 26, 2019
1,407
748
US
This morning I heard a "buzzy" whine coming from the back of the car, presumably where the control box is.

I have not contacted Tesla Service about this one yet since it doesn't happen that often ... wanted to check with you guys first to see if anyone else has had this problem.

The charging equipment is under the back seat FYI.

If you think it is abnormally loud, then maybe it is something you should have looked at.
 

StanT

Member
Jan 23, 2020
152
187
Fishkill
So that buzzing noise! YEAH, my Model Y just got it too today! My car has been idle for about a week and plugged in. I just checked my app because I was curious if there were any software updates, but no... and it woke up my car.

Then I hear BUZZING... VERY LOUD BUZZING coming from the charger area of the car and my car was charging... now in this case, it was 5 mins to go- basically because it lost like 5 mins of charge over the last week just sitting there.

It was so loud that I heard it inside of my house from my garage and went out to investigate it. I do know it is the car, not the charger on the wall, not the cord or plug, the car.

So I unplugged it and it stopped (not a shocker there, pun intended), waited a few moments and plugged it back in... 60 seconds later- buzzing again, but this time about half the volume- and I recorded it. So I was recording and I noticed this time after about 2 mins of buzzing I could hear the heat pump turn on- then the buzzing stopped and it kept charging.

Now interestingly this is the coldest morning we've had in the Northeast since I got the car. We went to 42 degrees F outside and so the garage dropped to low 60s maybe upper 50s. So I'm thinking its related.

But have have to say- if this is the sound it makes charging in the cold- holy smokes they have to fix it; especially the loud version. Its like a mini air raid siren.

I'll attached the video- its not a good video- Its dark, I was walking around to see if the noise was louder in some parts of the car- inside, etc. But it certainly was by the charger area of the car (you'll hear it get louder when I put the phone under the back driver tire) and then when I go to the front of car to hear the heat pump (which wasn't very loud at all) the buzzing stopped and it kept charging; so you'll hear the buzzing stop in the video.

 

Mach Y

Member
Jun 25, 2020
18
16
Redwood City, CA
Ouch ... in your video the noise sounds louder than what I have heard from my car.

The video I posted suggests the vibration is caused by laminated core plates that aren't fastened tightly enough together ... it looks like the Tesla on-board charger (https://www.motortrend.com/news/tesla-model-3-teardown-details/?galleryimageid=2276260) is quite a bit different than a simple transformer, but my assumption is that the buzz is coming from something on or near that board isn't fastened down as tightly as it needs to me.

I could not imagine the Tesla engineers don't know about this ... however it must not be operationally harmful otherwise we would likely be hearing more about it.

What I don't like about what I've experienced is that the charger gets "stuck", incorrectly showing a lot of time remaining on the charge. This to me is a bug that should be fixed.

-- John
 

StanT

Member
Jan 23, 2020
152
187
Fishkill
Ouch ... in your video the noise sounds louder than what I have heard from my car.

The video I posted suggests the vibration is caused by laminated core plates that aren't fastened tightly enough together ... it looks like the Tesla on-board charger (Tesla Model 3 Teardown: The Nitty Gritty Details) is quite a bit different than a simple transformer, but my assumption is that the buzz is coming from something on or near that board isn't fastened down as tightly as it needs to me.

I could not imagine the Tesla engineers don't know about this ... however it must not be operationally harmful otherwise we would likely be hearing more about it.

What I don't like about what I've experienced is that the charger gets "stuck", incorrectly showing a lot of time remaining on the charge. This to me is a bug that should be fixed.

-- John

So that noise was half the loudness it was before I unplugged it. But for me- the charging time was correct.

What's interesting is that this was the very first time its done this. I've had the car since June- 4k miles ago and 98% of the charging was from my garage- same setup. So either something changed, something broke or its temperature related IMO.
 

rrolsbe

Member
Feb 18, 2017
239
132
Albuquerque
If the traction battery is below around 56F, some or all of the power from the 110V power is used to send power to the traction motor to heat the traction battery. I performed a charge test using the UMC2 110V adapter when the traction battery was at around 54F and all of the power was used by the motor to heat the battery ie... no miles per hour added. The sound in your video sounds very similar to the sound my Model 3 rear traction motor makes while heating the traction battery.
 
  • Helpful
Reactions: Rocky_H
Aug 29, 2020
20
13
Ottawa Canada
If the traction battery is below around 56F, some or all of the power from the 110V power is used to send power to the traction motor to heat the traction battery.

This has me worried on two counts:

First, we're in an underground parking garage so I won't hear the buzzing. And we only have 110V availability. And we only use the car every few days so don't have a need to check on it regularly.

Second: We're in Canada and while the garage in theory won't go below 32F (due to heaters to keep the fire sprinklers from freezing), it spends about 7 months of the year below 56F.

Does that mean that I won't get hardly any charge to the battery in winter? I was figuring we'd get at least 70 miles of range a day, more than enough for our usage.

This is our only car, so I waited until I knew for sure that we had the emergency range I needed, even in winter, (150 miles) before switching to EV. Our normal driving since Covid, is under 500 miles a month and will remain that or rise a bit at the end of winter if there's a break with Covid restrictions. For the year prior to Covid we averaged 750 miles a month (and that included averaging in our road trips) so we figured we'd be fine with the limits of 110V charging.
 

Pilot1226

Member
Dec 20, 2019
355
158
USA
There are videos on YouTube of a person using a 5-15 and 5-20 outlet in their driveway when it is about 25F out. They still gained close to a normal charge.

Essentially you will charge at 0 for a little bit, and then the battery will charge. It will repeat as needed, more often in cold. The overhead is fixed for 120V regardless of 5-15 or 5-20, so I would see if the apartment complex would change the outlet out to a 5-20 if it didn’t already support it. It would require stronger wiring but could be there already anyway. You could also potentially pay for the new outlet - they’re not expensive.

Good luck.
 

rrolsbe

Member
Feb 18, 2017
239
132
Albuquerque
The ambient air temperature does not tell us anything about what the traction battery internal temp might be. If the traction battery where cold soaked to 25F, I believe it would take quite awhile to heat the battery enough to start accepting a charge plugged into a 120V @ 12A outlet. We need someone with the Scan My Tesla app to perform a test under these conditions.
 

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