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Continuous clicking noise under dash, please help.

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Xin1120, Jun 15, 2015.

  1. Xin1120

    Xin1120 Member

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    #1 Xin1120, Jun 15, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2015
    We decided to take our first road trip in the Model S 85 from Houston, Texas to Denver, Colorado. Its been great until today, after coming back to a full charge at a public charging station, a continuous clicking noise developed out of nowhere and refuses to go away. I first thought it was the air vent fans but upon closer inspection after turning the air up, down, and off (none of which made a difference) I have determined the noise is coming from underneath the dash console. Next I tried restarting the infotainment system, followed by the dash console, neither made a difference. Finally I powered off the entire vehicle which also did not eliminate the noise.

    If anyone has had a similar issue, please let me know what you or the service center did to fix it. Unfortunately since we are on a road trip and did not expect this to happen, the Denver service center does not have an opening until 2 weeks from today. The Denver service center recommended for me to drive back to Texas and make an appoint with the Houston service center however since I do not yet know the cause of the issue, safety on the drive back is my number one concern. The drive back to Texas is long and has numerous areas without cell phone service, I am extremely uncomfortable with potential of being stranded without a way to call for help if this issue leads to something worse on the road.

    Here is a short video I took with my phone. The clicking noise is in the background.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtwWBLK8IR4

    Thanks everyone.
     
  2. morbot

    morbot Member

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    Sounds like a fan rattle or vibration... similar to when something goes wrong with a PC fan.

    Given that it doesn't seem related to anything with the cabin of the car (infotainment, air conditioning, etc) as it continues while the system is off, it could be related to core systems or battery. Could be a fan in or around the dash trying to keep the internal computer components cool. If it's anything like a PC fan, its probably operating at full capacity even with the annoying noise, but I couldn't estimate the risk that it might be a precursor to failure (I've had PC fans rattle like that forever without failure, eventually replacing them due to nuisance)

    If it were me, I'd take every precaution. If you're worried, I'd show up to the nearest service center in person unannounced and tell them you have a potential emergency, tell them "I need 10 minutes of a tech's time to listen to this noise and tell me if I'm going to have a massive breakdown or melt the car's motherboard in the middle of nowhere while driving home to Texas and cause serious damage to the car."

    Even if a tech is not able to fully diagnose it, if they can give you a vote of "It's probably not a core system issue and you'll be safe" it'll go a long way to alleviate your concerns. And if the worst should happen, you did the best you could do to protect the car.
     
  3. supratachophobia

    supratachophobia Active Member

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    Is it affected by ambient temperature inside the vehicle? There is a fan for the infotainment screen as well.
     
  4. Tuan

    Tuan Member

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    You hear the noise even when the entire vehicle if off? By the way, I can't see the video.
     
  5. thegruf

    thegruf Member

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    do Tesla's have automatic circulation?

    I have heard this type of noise before when one of the baffle plates that move to direct the air to scree/face/foot was sticking.

    To prove this you can set the car to direct air to on set of vents only - screen or face or foot
     
  6. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    Note that there are cooling fans for the MCU (center touchscreen and computer) and also the instrument panel. Maybe you are hearing a bad fan???
     
  7. Electricfan

    Electricfan Member

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    Agree with this idea! It really may be just an annoyance, but even so I would have expected a Tesla service center to work this into their day, given you are out of town on vacation! Sort of disappointed in Tesla here, although maybe I don't have all the facts.
     
  8. Xin1120

    Xin1120 Member

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    #8 Xin1120, Jun 16, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2015
    Sorry for everyone that tried to view the video and could not connect. It should be working now on YouTube.

    I tried everyone suggestion so far and they still had no effect.

    Also called the Denver service center again even though I was assured they will reach out to me this morning. The service advisor told me again that there is no way to fit me into the schedule since they are completely booked until early July. He also told me that it should not be a safety issue judging from the video and the best thing to do is to drive back to Texas and have the service center in Houston take care of the issue. I repeated my concern about safety and the areas with no cellphone reception but agreed to drive back if he emailed what he told me over the phone so I can have it in writing if something was to go wrong as proof that the Denver service center told me to take this action. The service advisor refused to email me what he told me over the phone, and sent an email to his manager to contact me tomorrow...probably to repeat our discussion for the third time. I am baffled he will give me an official recommendation and will not provide proof of it. Sigh...extremely disappointed at the moment with the Tesla service.
     
  9. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    While not sticking up for the way Denver's handled your issue, I wouldn't worry unduly that the car's about to have a major malfunction. You can try one more time and ask that they pull your logs remotely to make sure nothing serious is going on (if Tesla hasn't done so already); you can even call tonight while the SC is closed and you'd be dealing with someone back at the mothership. In the unlikely event you do have trouble on your way home, not having anything in writing from the Denver SC is immaterial: Tesla's really good about handling roadside assistance when it is needed and your car's under warranty.
     
  10. ibdb

    ibdb 3 Car Garage and a 5 Car Life

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    I understand your concern, but I can also completely understand the service advisor not wanting to provide you a written guarantee based on a cel phone video.
     
  11. Ingineer

    Ingineer Electrical Engineer

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    I'll second the notion that it's either one of the 3 fans in the touchscreen or it's one of the damper motors for changing the airflow. Either way, I doubt it's a critical system and will do anything to disrupt your trip (other than be annoying).

    Try pulling the climate control fuse and see if it stops. If it does, that's good indication it's a damper motor. The fuse in question is the 5A fuse in location #13 in fuse box 1, which is the one closest to the passenger seat under the cowling maintenance panel.
     
  12. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Well-Known Member

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    The OP wasn't asking for a written guarantee.

    He stated he had safety concerns, and wanted to bring the car in, to alleviate those concerns. the Denver service rep told him they could not look at the car because they were too busy, and went on to tell him, based on the video and the OP's description of the problem, that he shouldn't have an issue making it home. I think the OP had every right to expect the Service Center rep to be willing to put in writing what he said on the phone: that the center was too busy to check out the car, and that he suggested making the drive back home. There were no guarantees involved in the statement the OP wanted in writing.
     
  13. Xin1120

    Xin1120 Member

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    Still have not heard back from the Denver service center even though a call was promised.

    I went ahead and called the Houston service center; they diagnosed the issue with the video thinking that it is one of the fans, as some have suggested, that is under the instrument cluster and then made an appointment for me when I get back into town. The entire call took maybe 15 minutes max and it was 100% more helpful than all 3 calls made to the Denver service center.

    I love my Tesla, but the Denver service center was extremely disappointing. I will make sure to put it in any service feedback if asked.
     
  14. Ingineer

    Ingineer Electrical Engineer

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    Keep us posted when they fix it, it's good to have confirmation on our diagnoses so we can grow our scope of knowledge.
     
  15. Xin1120

    Xin1120 Member

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    #15 Xin1120, Jun 25, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2015
    i received a called from the Denver service center manager earlier with an apology for the situation. He says that he saw the posts here on TMC and needed to reach out.

    Thank you to everyone who offered suggestions on how to fix the issue. I will keep everyone posted after the vehicle returns from service. Should have an answer early to mid next week.
     
  16. Electricfan

    Electricfan Member

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    #16 Electricfan, Jun 28, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2015
    My car started making a very loud (drowned out the talk show I was listening to) sound. Wondering if its the same as yours.

    https://youtu.be/0GcqJtNhaLk

    Update: took car in for service today. They told me my noise is caused by the "Instrument cluster fan". Its like a computer's fan. The blade gets out of balance and rubs on something. They said Xin1120's noise was caused by the same thing.
     
  17. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    ...been there, done that...had my instrument cluster replaced for a bad fan (noisy bearing) a year or so ago.
     
  18. Darren Donovan

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    So if he didn't see your posts here, he wouldn't have called you? That's just horrible customer service. Looks like Tesla owners have to make "noise" on a public forum to get (some) service centers' attention.
     
  19. Xin1120

    Xin1120 Member

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    I had a feeling he would not have called if there were no posts here on TMC but that is my interpretation.

    - - - Updated - - -

    UPDATE:

    Got my car back today from the Houston service center after fixing this issue and addressing some previously scheduled concerns. As Electricfan noted earlier, the Houston service center was able to get rid of the noise issue under the dash by replacing the "Premium Instrument Cluster." I hope this will help anyone in the future with an issue related to this one.

    Thank you everyone for your feedback and help.
     
  20. ArtInCT

    ArtInCT Always Learning

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    Glad the reboot kind of put that clicking noise to rest. Did it come back again???
    Hard to imagine that a reboot would rebalance a bad fan....???
     

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