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Door "thunk"

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by pete8314, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. pete8314

    pete8314 Vendor

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    Does anyone have an opinion on the 'thunk' of the car doors? Many manufacturers now go to great lengths to get a reassuring solid thunk, as that improves the perception of quality, so I just wondered how the Model S does?
     
  2. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    haha, I found this to be amusingly random, yet also intriguing when I actually thought about it. You're right, a nice solid thunk when you close the door does help with the perception of quality of a vehicle. I've been in cars with a hollow-sounding thunk and it wasn't appealing. I wasn't listening for it, but what I remember of the doors is that they were solid and had a nice "secure" sound when they were pulled (or pushed) close.
     
  3. DrComputer

    DrComputer Member

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    That is one of the unfortunate side effects of Tesla going for frameless doors. With the window fully up the door does close with a solid thunk feeling. With the window down it makes a bit of a rattle sound. This is the same as in the Roadster and any other frameless door car. This is why most other manufacturers have gone away from frameless doors in sedans with roofs.
     
  4. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Was near number one in the wife's car decision process when we met.

    I guess I passed somehow.
     
  5. pete8314

    pete8314 Vendor

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    Do the windows drop a bit when the doors are open, so that they close easily (as there's not a build up of air pressure inside)? My last few cars have had this feature, including my current A5, which despite being frameless has a good thunk.
     
  6. MikeK

    MikeK R#129, TSLA shareholder

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    I wasn't especially impressed with the door closing "feel". It's hard to describe why, but I'll try. With most cars, when you close the door, you feel as if it moves "through" the fully closed position, and there's some mechanism to soak up any extra energy beyond what was necessary to actually latch the door. In the Tesla, it felt more like an impact -- like the door stopped abruptly without that "spring" sensation.

    Now, that's my brief impression having closed the door maybe once, and I'd like to try again if I can. It sure as heck isn't going to dissuade me from buying the car, though! :)
     
  7. Trnsl8r

    Trnsl8r Blue 85kwh since 12/8/12

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    I know what you mean, I think Porsches have this too, but IIRC the S windows don't actually go into a crease, they just lay flat on top of rubber, thereby voiding the need for a drop.
     
  8. spatterso911

    spatterso911 MSP#7577 **--** MX#1891

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    True. I checked for window movement when the doors opened, and there is no drop. It's most likely for that reason.
     
  9. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    Better yet, at this price level, or at least for the sig and performance series, one might expect you'd match the competition, Lexus, Mercedes, BMW, etc with automatic door close assist. So you never slam your door shut... just bring it to close and they will finish and latch themselves.
     
  10. olanmills

    olanmills Member

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    ^^ That would be awesome.

    BTW, the automatic movement of the glass when you open and close the door is called 'auto-indexing glass'.
     
  11. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    "Improves the perception of quality" is the real take on this question." The "thunk" has very little to do with real quality. I've had some pretty crappy cars that had great "thunks." So this is an issue that does not concern me one bit. I'd put this far down the list of key parameters of quality.
     
  12. AustinPowers

    AustinPowers Total Smeghead

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    I always got the impression that the higher the price of the car was, the better the "thunk" sounded. But that might have been imaginary.

    Our VW Touran for example has a far better sounding "thunk" than that of my BMW. Then again, mine is a coupe (with those auto-indexing windows) whereas the Touran is a minivan - as well as eight years younger. I've had the experience that the "thunk" sounds best when the car is new - I guess that's done on purpose. Some magical component expecially in cars in dealers' showrooms that makes you want to buy the darned thing :)
     
  13. pete8314

    pete8314 Vendor

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    Agreed, but this is one of the things 'Joe Public' values, so it is important for Tesla, especially as their quality (perceived or not) will be under the spotlight. A friend of mine worked for Ford in Europe, and his teams' sole job was to crawl all over the pre-production car to strip out anything that didn't add to the perception of quality, but that explicitly excluded anything to do with door-close acoustics.

    The ting that reminded me was that I had the 'pleasure' or riding in a PT Cruiser yesterday, and that had a very hollow thunk.
     
  14. Dr Chill

    Dr Chill Member

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    Hasn't anyone seen the new Passat commercial with things falling from the trees when the guy closes his door? VW obviously feels it's a good measure of quality perception.
     
  15. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    Yes, the Passat (even the '99 one I had) has always had a solid thunk. It definitely used to make me feel like I was getting into a tank!
     
  16. pete8314

    pete8314 Vendor

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    #16 pete8314, Jul 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012
    I had a 99 Passat too, in some kind of metallic yellow. It was a company car, so I didn't have to worry about the resales value of such an odd color :) But yes, it was a very solid car (2.0 turbo), loved it, plus back then the blue dials with red needles were pretty cool :)

    Ah, found a picture of the beauty...

    passat.jpg
     
  17. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    Ah... the memories (it was my first car out of grad school); mine was black and yes, the blue dials with red needles were cool although they weren't particularly readable. Loved the turbo and Tiptronic too all for under $25K.

    IMO, the design - with the fully rounded roof - set the tone for the cars of the 21st century while the Camrys and Accords were still relatively boxy-looking (and with a poor "thunk" too).
     
  18. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Not anything against VW, and I know that the thunk gives a *perception* of quality, but with no facts to back it up, it's just marketing hype.

    If I had a car company, and the operation of the automatic windows in my cars was quieter than my competitors, I'd put out commercials touting the idea that automatic windows are a good reflection of overall vehicle quality.

    Maybe not a great example (OK, definitely not a great example), but I think I get my point across.
     
  19. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    There is something to be said about the door thunk, though... I do view it as an indication of quality. The "tin can" sounds of most Japanese cars is a big big turn-off for me. I can recall the first time I got in a Toyota truck and when closing the door it made the same sound as crushing a beer can... not really indicative of quality.
     
  20. Beavis

    Beavis Signature 991

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    They make a different sound than my Lexus, which is pretty solid. I attributed it to the aluminum.
     

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