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Ear pain/Pressure help

Per some of my prior posts, I have a Model S and have experienced the boominess and buffeting with that car so I know exactly what folks are describing with the Y. As my (bad) luck would have it, two of the roads I routinely drive on near my house have a slight washboard surface which allows me to perfectly replicate this issue whenever I want for long stretches - hooray! I drove this loop of roads dozens of times while triaging it on the S, but I digress.

I also happen to live <5 miles from the local Tesla Gallery and today, I test drove a Tesla Model Y Performance. As part of that test drive, I purposely test drove it to my neighborhood to hit these washboard roads. Truth be told though, I heard the booms and felt the first buffet when I pulled out of the parking lot of the Tesla Gallery shopping center and hitting a bump here or there. When I got to my "test streets" I knew it would be there and MAN, WAS IT EVER! It was so bad it was, frankly, almost comical (unless you just spent 50 or 60k!). It was almost constant on that slight washboard road - practically a never-ending buffeting/vibration. I uttered to my wife (who was with me) that I didn't think the S was ever this bad before I replaced the hatch adjusters with stiffer rubber ones and later on when we talked about it, she indicated "Before you said that, I was thinking the same thing...the S was never this awful". To put that comment into perspective, I am very sensitive to this and when I got my S, my wife acknowledged the buffeting was there but was never bothered by it nearly to the extent I was. Conversely, she declared this was a "deal-breaker" on the Y...yikes. As another point of comparison, we drove my wife's 2012 XC-60 R-Design (20" rims, Koni FSD struts/shocks) to and from the test drive. The suspension on that car is not great. Overall, I would say the XC60 actually "rode" worse than the Y, BUT it had none of the boomy/buffeting cabin over the same roads...the XC60 also had less free-way road and wind noise than the Y (the latter is really hard to address via DIY too).

It's sad really as even though the test drive was only about 35 or 40 minutes, I got a reasonable feel for the car and actually liked it pretty well and enjoyed driving it. Heck, I even got to try out navigate on autopilot for a few minutes (changing lanes, taking the exit, etc.) on the return. Unfortunately, I cannot see pulling the trigger on one until either Tesla addresses this (unlikely, IMO...or if they do, it won't be an acknowledged retrofit) or until someone comes up with a solid DIY. Adaptive shocks would likely "help", but are, in many ways, a band-aid and not a cure...still, every little bit helps.

It is stuff like this that will have me at least test driving a Mach E despite Tesla's obvious advantages in electric drivetrains/efficiency/supercharging/etc.

I look forward to seeing how this thread progresses...I'm rooting for you guys!
 
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As an aside, I did record (with my phone) the portion of my test drive with the buffeting, but as with my own Model S recordings, it just sounds like static "pops" so it isn't too exciting. I think the pressure just overwhelms the tiny Samsung S9 mic (not sure what its dynamic range is either).
 

David.85D

Active Member
Oct 29, 2016
1,618
1,391
USA
WooHoo!!! I have an electronic music specialist/acoustician friend, faculty at TCU, that is/was going to purchase a Y in the very near future. When I told him about the Y's sonic issues, he enthusiastically offered to set up some equipment to see what's going on. It will be very interesting indeed if my car produces the same soundwaves as others have documented.

It might be time for a new thread on this, where actual test results can be posted in a coherent form. Hmm...

i won’t try to make any recordings. I’m willing to help with the mics I have, but this seems better...
 
Per some of my prior posts, I have a Model S and have experienced the boominess and buffeting with that car so I know exactly what folks are describing with the Y. As my (bad) luck would have it, two of the roads I routinely drive on near my house have a slight washboard surface which allows me to perfectly replicate this issue whenever I want for long stretches - hooray! I drove this loop of roads dozens of times while triaging it on the S, but I digress.

I also happen to live <5 miles from the local Tesla Gallery and today, I test drove a Tesla Model Y Performance. As part of that test drive, I purposely test drove it to my neighborhood to hit these washboard roads. Truth be told though, I heard the booms and felt the first buffet when I pulled out of the parking lot of the Tesla Gallery shopping center and hitting a bump here or there. When I got to my "test streets" I knew it would be there and MAN, WAS IT EVER! It was so bad it was, frankly, almost comical (unless you just spent 50 or 60k!). It was almost constant on that slight washboard road - practically a never-ending buffeting/vibration. I uttered to my wife (who was with me) that I didn't think the S was ever this bad before I replaced the hatch adjusters with stiffer rubber ones and later on when we talked about it, she indicated "Before you said that, I was thinking the same thing...the S was never this awful". To put that comment into perspective, I am very sensitive to this and when I got my S, my wife acknowledged the buffeting was there but was never bothered by it nearly to the extent I was. Conversely, she declared this was a "deal-breaker" on the Y...yikes. As another point of comparison, we drove my wife's 2012 XC-60 R-Design (20" rims, Koni FSD struts/shocks) to and from the test drive. The suspension on that car is not great. Overall, I would say the XC60 actually "rode" worse than the Y, BUT it had none of the boomy/buffeting cabin over the same roads...the XC60 also had less free-way road and wind noise than the Y (the latter is really hard to address via DIY too).

It's sad really as even though the test drive was only about 35 or 40 minutes, I got a reasonable feel for the car and actually liked it pretty well and enjoyed driving it. Heck, I even got to try out navigate on autopilot for a few minutes (changing lanes, taking the exit, etc.) on the return. Unfortunately, I cannot see pulling the trigger on one until either Tesla addresses this (unlikely, IMO...or if they do, it won't be an acknowledged retrofit) or until someone comes up with a solid DIY. Adaptive shocks would likely "help", but are, in many ways, a band-aid and not a cure...still, every little bit helps.

It is stuff like this that will have me at least test driving a Mach E despite Tesla's obvious advantages in electric drivetrains/efficiency/supercharging/etc.

I look forward to seeing how this thread progresses...I'm rooting for you guys!


Thanks, this and other posts make me a feel a lot better. Most of the time the Tesla service center makes me feel like something is wrong with me bringing this issue up to them. They don't feel it and they have never heard of this issue. They make me feel like I am an idiot. Reading posts like this make me feel like I am not the problem. I am not the issue. I am not an idiot.

Of course, I feel like an idiot for spending 50 grand on a car I can't drive. I don't know what to do. I want to Lemon Law the car, but I'm worried Tesla will say that they don't feel it (or worse the dreaded "it is in spec") so I am just making it up. Anybody got any advice?
 

MY-Y

Active Member
Mar 4, 2020
1,313
1,560
MD
... Anybody got any advice?

1. Raise the 4 stops so they don't hit to allow the adjustment in the next step.
2. Lower the hatch catch (2 bolts under the trim) so it seals just tight enough on the gasket that it doesn't close every time without pushing down on it a little while the gaskets settle (~1 week)
3. Adjust the four stops correctly so the each make good contact.
4. Enjoy a really nice and fun car.
 
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Pianewman

2021 MYLR VIN 88,XXX, Rd/Wh, 12/20 delivery
Supporting Member
Oct 28, 2020
1,975
1,574
Fort Worth
MY-Y: I've only adjusted the 4 stops, not the hatch strike. I can push up/down on the hatch, and there's absolutely no movement. Do you think your method would still help me out?

How do you access the 2 bolts on the hatch strike? Remove the trunk seal, and then the plastic trim piece is accessible?

FYI: My wife and I, both with hyper-sensitive hearing (haha...we LOVE the silence in a concert hall during a performance, when we both claim to hear skin cells crashing to the floor) just went for a 25 mile ride, both city and highway. This is on ubiquitous aging concrete, lots of expansion cracks, washboard. It's curious that even at 5-7 mpg, going over tar strips, that we can hear the "bass drum" effect. For me, this would imply that it's not the rear hatch moving, but rather vibration transmitted from the tires>>>springs/control arms>>>frame.

Anyone here think the strut/shock and control arm bushings could be too hard? I know hard-core "racer" types prefer hard bushings, for a more direct feeling of control. Maybe Tesla's choice for these bushings is just too hard?
 
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MY-Y

Active Member
Mar 4, 2020
1,313
1,560
MD
MY-Y: I've only adjusted the 4 stops, not the hatch strike. I can push up/down on the hatch, and there's absolutely no movement. Do you think your method would still help me out?

How do you access the 2 bolts on the hatch strike? Remove the trunk seal, and then the plastic trim piece is accessible?

FYI: My wife and I, both with hyper-sensitive hearing (haha...we LOVE the silence in a concert hall during a performance, when we both claim to hear skin cells crashing to the floor) just went for a 25 mile ride, both city and highway. This is on ubiquitous aging concrete, lots of expansion cracks, washboard. It's curious that even at 5-7 mpg, going over tar strips, that we can hear the "bass drum" effect. For me, this would imply that it's not the rear hatch moving, but rather vibration transmitted from the tires>>>springs/control arms>>>frame.

Anyone here think the strut/shock and control arm bushings could be too hard? I know hard-core "racer" types prefer hard bushings, for a more direct feeling of control. Maybe Tesla's choice for these bushings is just too hard?

You can lift the seal on one side a little so you can grab the trim and pull it off. I just gently moved the gasket lip off the trim as I removed and reinstalled it. Its been several months since I did this adjustment, but I think the two bolts are large Torx heads. I think it will help you, but will not remove all of the low frequency noise. I'd prefer that the ~30-60 Hz noise wasn't there, but I have learned to ignore it. My family doesn't even notice it.

The buffeting is much lower frequency (below what my cell phone mic can pick up). This is the pressure I could feel on the highway, gave me a headache, and was addressed with the hatch adjustment. I suspect the buffeting made me pay attention to the other low frequency noises in the car.

I really hope you can get the issue solved and enjoy the car. Keep us posted.
 

MY-Y

Active Member
Mar 4, 2020
1,313
1,560
MD
Yep, I agree. Adjusting the hatch definitely helped me, but I still feel it. My wife says she feels it when the car is in the garage, leading me to believe it isn't just the hatch.

See my post #167 above about the 30-60 Hz noise when just starting to move. I've also heard low (<30 Hz) rumble with the fan speed at 4 and the vents pointing towards the screen. Unfortunately, speed 4 is commonly used on auto, so I just make sure my vents aren't pointed high and wide. I normally wouldn't have them pointed like that anyway.
 
See my post #167 above about the 30-60 Hz noise when just starting to move. I've also heard low (<30 Hz) rumble with the fan speed at 4 and the vents pointing towards the screen. Unfortunately, speed 4 is commonly used on auto, so I just make sure my vents aren't pointed high and wide. I normally wouldn't have them pointed like that anyway.

I just sat in my car for the first time in a week. (it really hurts my ears so I have been avoiding it). My wife and I both felt the ear pressure with the car sitting in the garage not moving with the door open. I tried turning off the AC to see if that was it, but by that time my ears already hurt and I wasn't going to notice any difference. I'll try repointing the vents next time.
 

Pianewman

2021 MYLR VIN 88,XXX, Rd/Wh, 12/20 delivery
Supporting Member
Oct 28, 2020
1,975
1,574
Fort Worth
...and I've now driven my Y over 500 miles, and I'm no longer impacted by the sound, at least, not obviously. Maybe I'm losing my hearing?

Regardless, later this week, my acoustician friend and I will set up some equipment and get some sonic readings. They'll probably duplicate what others have done, but that would work in our favor, assuming (and that's a big assumption) that Tesla will be interested.

Tesla MUST be monitoring these forums, so this complaint won't be new to them. Maybe they're even working on a solution? (YES, glide, I can only hope!)
 
Has anyone that experienced this problem tried either a spoiler or roof rack with an air dam to change the air flow over the hatch?

There are obviously a few different things people are probably experiencing, but the most dominating sound for me personally, and I would think what others are hearing also is low frequency booming. It literally feels like your inside a subwoofer at times and can be extremely uncomfortable.

I originally thought this could be an air flow issue over the hatch also, but after paying more attention to it I feel like it has nothing to do with airflow or the hatch.

You can be driving at a consistent speed with nothing happening that would change the airflow over the car and the booming sound will start, last for a few seconds and then just as quickly as it comes, it goes away. Again nothing with airflow changes during this. The only thing that could be changing is the road surface. I really feel like a certain road surface encountered at a certain speed is causing some sort of sound the resonate through an area of the car (rear under floor storage, empty space behind panels, etc.) and causing this booming pressure sound.

Also you can hear this same sound, but in a lesser amount during a lot of the driving like hitting a bump or a concrete expansion joint here or there, but it’s usually tolerable. Then other times you get these big slowly increasing waves of the same sound that grows in intensity over a period of a few seconds until it peaks and then it trials off. It’s almost like the sound starts at the tolerable level and then if the conditions are just right it builds and builds and builds on itself multiplying its intensity until it then begins to slowly trial off. I rarely get these big waves at highway speeds. I would say the speed that this happens the most is the 40-50 mph range.
 
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I just sat in my car for the first time in a week. (it really hurts my ears so I have been avoiding it). My wife and I both felt the ear pressure with the car sitting in the garage not moving with the door open. I tried turning off the AC to see if that was it, but by that time my ears already hurt and I wasn't going to notice any difference. I'll try repointing the vents next time.

have you tried disconnecting the subwoofer?
 

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