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Ear pain/Pressure help

Sorry to hear that.

What car are you planning to replace the Y with?

We have test driven Toyota Highlander and Lexus RX 350 so far. Both are nice Lexus looks nicer, but Highlander seems more practical. Lexus has weird interface. May look at other cars. We have person interested in private party purchase next week.

On some of the other posts I tried the blankets and my wife said it felt better, but still feel something on rough roads which we have near our house. I had my headphones on this morning listening to music when I was putting the blanket in the back. Started to feel the ear pain and sure enough took off ear phones to hear the cooling system running.
 

polyphonic54

Member
Aug 29, 2019
354
286
USA
Cab is spot on in post #89. For Teslas, it's the hatch alignment & resonance from the body structure.

I have a parcel shelf, and a perfectly sealed hatch in my e-tron and it still booms. In fact, it has been completely filled with luggage, blankets, etc. and that made only a small difference. If you have any ear blockage, the problem is exacerbated.
 
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I was going to suggest this. They are in the same location (behind the rear wheels) on the model S. You access them by removing the interior trim panels. Look for videos on that. When I opened my trim panels on my Model S I discovered the vents on both sides were obstructed by pieces of foam that had come loose from the trim panels. Check it out...

also, these people rent good sound level meters by the day. Rental & Used Equipment - Sound & Vibration Instrumentation | Scantek Inc.

I finally got through to that sound company. He didn't think they would help for my problem. Thanks for the suggestion though.
 

cab

Active Member
Sep 5, 2013
1,045
746
Grapevine, TX
Having done about 3.4M hours of research on these issues on cars across a variety of forums, one interesting item I've seen on other cars are the various vibration dampers that are literally bolted on to parts of the cars. I've seen some bolted directly to control arms (which makes sense as it is an area closest to suspension impacts, and general road surface transmission) to crossmembers to exhausts to the large hatches on cars (Porsche Cayman). I'd love to try to retrofit one to my Model S, but my car is "good enough" these days.

Honestly, though, this is the kind of stuff that opens the door (for me anyway) to EVs from other competitors...having said that, I was totally bummed to read polyphonic54's comments about his e-Tron!! It makes me wonder if the battery packs themselves are acting like big drums at some level.

I still haven't test driven the Model Y, but have driven the Model 3 on multiple test drives (including a one day Turo rental) and I listened (and "tried to feel") for the same boomy/buffeting and didn't detect it (on one test drive I actually drove all the way to my house - it was a Tuesday morning and the rep had nothing else to do - where I have washboard roads and could not detect it. Now, the ride quality of the Model 3 is nothing to write home about, so I waited for the air suspension (that never came). When I saw the boomy/buffeting threads start to appear for the Model Y, my heart sank a little...
 

polyphonic54

Member
Aug 29, 2019
354
286
USA
I was totally bummed to read polyphonic54's comments about his e-Tron!! It makes me wonder if the battery packs themselves are acting like big drums at some level.

Us too! It was primary reason for purchasing the car, but it didn't present itself on the roads we test drove, and it is not mentioned in any review. One review calls the suspension 'jittery and brittle' but that was it.
That is an interesting point about the battery packs acting as giant drums. I never noticed this in the Model 3 and spent a lot of time enjoying the quiet sound at low speeds.
 

ainam88

New Member
Dec 18, 2020
3
0
Leesburg VA
Has anyone ever experienced ear pressure/pain after while taking a road trip? My wife and I were out in our new model Y this evening and after 30 minutes into the drive and going above 50+ mph, we both started to feel a lot cabin pressure. We both are young with no ear issues and we can relate this discomfort to our air travel experience. It was very strange experience and hard to described. We took the delivery of our Tesla last Monday and we really want to love this car but it was a painful experience this evening.

Any feedback, suggestions, advice would be highly appreciated!
 
We have had our model Y since June. Had a number of issues that have been fixed including misaligned trim, the back seat noise, loose amplifier, and a rock chip. One weird thing that the SC couldn't help with is ear pain my wife and I both have when in the car. Nobody there could experience it. I have a 3 and had an S before with no issues. I have been troubleshooting and narrowing down. I spent a lot of time on tailgate baffling and securing which seemed like it may have helped a little. I kept assuming it was driving and road noise related. Yesterday my wife decided to just sit in the Y with my sister and they noticed the ear pain with just the AC on. No driving. I just did the same and also experience. Its a mild pain in left ear for me tha takes a few minutes to notice and hangs around for maybe 15+ minutes after getting out. Wife changed the recirculate and the air out directions which seemed to affect the pain some. I ordered a wind noise kit yesterday but now seem to think that's not the issue. Live in Charlotte Nc, both of us are 40 which is much older than techs at SC. I have been trying to play with phone apps that measure noise frequency to see if that could be something but flying blind so far. Its frustrating because it seems so illogical. Any ideas? My wife wants to sell now which I am on board with if we cant figure it out.

I did. When I was test driving MY 70-80 mph on highway, I could feel "build up of air pressure" as if you are in a fast elevator or scuba diving. Oddly, I didn't feel the same pressure when I was test driving Model 3, same speed, same highway.... I thought I was the only person feeling this.
 
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cab

Active Member
Sep 5, 2013
1,045
746
Grapevine, TX
I did. When I was test driving MY 70-80 mph on highway, I could feel "build up of air pressure" as if you are in a fast elevator or scuba diving. Oddly, I didn't feel the same pressure when I was test driving Model 3, same speed, same highway.... I thought I was the only person feeling this.
No “big hatch” on the 3 to act like a speaker cone flexing in and out...
 
Does the back hatch, once latched, have the ability to bounce up and down a little? it's enough area that it might change pressure in the cabin. Mine seems to have a bit of give. That way, it could be aligned, sealed, still act like a piston changing pressure in an infrasound frequency. Infrasound is quite hard to measure and you need specialized sensors - most audiometers work on higher frequencies and most pressure sensors filter out infrasound as 'noise'. Maybe someone just needs to hop in the back of the car, jam a finger in between the hatch and body and see if there is any bounce occuring. If so, stiffer bumpers would make the hatch harder to latch, but would limit the bounce.
 

Yonki

Member
Supporting Member
Mar 31, 2015
601
1,771
Pacific Grove, CA
Man, I wish I'd known about this before we drove away with our Model Y. We just picked it up at the factory yesterday, VIN 907xx. My wife drove it the 90 miles home while I followed in my Model S. When we got home, I took the Y for a drive and holy crap is that low-frequency pressure/noise unbearable! I mentioned it to my wife and she said she'd heard it the whole way down and didn't tell me because she wanted me to drive it without any bias. I called Tesla the afternoon we picked up the car and was told they eliminated their 7-day return policy in October. I think I know why. Like someone else said in this thread - it feels like getting kicked in the teeth by your best friend (Model 3 owner, Solar/Powerwall owner, and as a big shareholder, it really pisses me off that other customers have to deal with this, too). And my service center historically has been one of the least helpful/cooperative service centers (compared to other stories I've read on TMC). So I'm not super-hopeful.
 

Yonki

Member
Supporting Member
Mar 31, 2015
601
1,771
Pacific Grove, CA
I wasn't the OP but I was having a similar problem. I was convinced that it was due to pressure, so I just bought a barometer. The pressure outside was 1014.5 mBar. When I got in and drove, it dropped down to 1013.5 mBars or so. It doesn't seem like the problem is the pressure, but I will definitely take more measurements. I'm thinking now it might be a sound from the AC.

You had the right idea, but the problem is that the problem/pressure is a wave - it goes high and low, because it's basically sound. So your meter will only give you the average pressure. In the car it could be going between 500mBar and 1500mBar, but the meter is only going to give you the average of 10xxmBar.

It's like trying to measure an AC voltage with a meter set for DC. You'll see close to 0V, even with 120Vac.
 
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N..8

Member
Dec 20, 2017
205
156
Sanford, NC
I had a Model S until recently and when I got it had the same problem. I spent a few minutes adjusted the hatch rubber snubs by sliding a piece of paper and closing it and pulling the paper out looking for enough tension to hold the paper.. After about 6 or so times the pads all touched and the buffering went away. This only happened on my Model S at around 65mph. Since getting my MY last month I've had the same issue and I'm working on getting this hatch adjusted also. This one sits higher in the back and I think it buffers more than the S but it's the same issue. I found this solution from a Youtube video a couple years back from a person with a WRX and it worked on the S.
 

Ldub22

Member
Mar 1, 2015
180
167
Kirkland, WA
We have test driven Toyota Highlander and Lexus RX 350 so far. Both are nice Lexus looks nicer, but Highlander seems more practical. Lexus has weird interface. May look at other cars. We have person interested in private party purchase next week.

On some of the other posts I tried the blankets and my wife said it felt better, but still feel something on rough roads which we have near our house. I had my headphones on this morning listening to music when I was putting the blanket in the back. Started to feel the ear pain and sure enough took off ear phones to hear the cooling system running.

Well, that blows every one of the "resonance" theories out of the water. You are stating that the cooling system is to blame, and you have the ear pain just when you are in proximity to the car.

I am a musician, and have played around with a lot of different "noisemakers" that can mimic almost any frequency and be adjusted within seconds to create all sorts of sonic waves. Most people aren't sensitive to a particular universal wave, it varies from person to person. You are apparently hypersensitive to the resonance of the cooling system. However, you are reporting it inside the car, outside the car, when you are driving, when you aren't driving. What you are saying is that the car emanates painful waves at you by simply being on. The fact that it bothered you when you were wearing headphones is, frankly, a little bizarre. I don't have that problem, but it doesn't mean it isn't there for you. My only concern here is that you may not get relief over time by switching cars, unless you address whatever it is that makes you hypersensitive to pressure waves. I wish you all the best!
 

David.85D

Active Member
Oct 29, 2016
1,552
1,331
USA
You had the right idea, but the problem is that the problem/pressure is a wave - it goes high and low, because it's basically sound. So your meter will only give you the average pressure. In the car it could be going between 500mBar and 1500mBar, but the meter is only going to give you the average of 10xxmBar.

It's like trying to measure an AC voltage with a meter set for DC. You'll see close to 0V, even with 120Vac.

you need a pressure sensor capable of reading at 500 Hz or so if you realistically want to see a wave at 250 Hz or lower. I bet most are set to update once per second or less. They do exist. Just not cheap. And then read the signal on an oscilloscope and not a voltmeter.
 
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polyphonic54

Member
Aug 29, 2019
354
286
USA
Well, that blows every one of the "resonance" theories out of the water

From what I gather, there are at least 3 known sources:

-cooling system or other component that runs when vehicle is parked (unique to Model Y?)
-resonance from body/chassis (when driving, known issue with several other vehicles)
-hatch buffeting (when driving, known issue with Model S)

I am considering a measurement mic that can pick up infrasound. Measurement Microphones — Earthworks Audio
If the problematic sound is infrasonic, headphones or earplugs wouldn't really be of much use.
 

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