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Ear pressure heat pump humming?

I just took delivery of my MY a couple days ago. I’ve been experiencing ear pressure whenever I was driving it so I looked it up on the forum and found the hatch buffeting issue. I adjust the hatch stops, but I think my issue may be coming from a different source. I’m sitting in the car in my garage right this moment and I’m feeling the same sensation in my ears. The only thing happening right now is the humming from the heat pump so I’m wondering if the vibrations or frequency from the humming is affecting me? My wife feels it too for what its worth. Are we just very sensitive or anyone else having similar issues?
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
7,977
10,105
Boise, ID
I just took delivery of my MY a couple days ago. I’ve been experiencing ear pressure whenever I was driving it so I looked it up on the forum and found the hatch buffeting issue. I adjust the hatch stops, but I think my issue may be coming from a different source.
I am glad I found this thread. My wife and I just went and test drove a new Model Y on Saturday. She liked the car, but when we got on the interstate, she started to feel that air pressure pulsating, which really hurt her ears. She has always been pretty sensitive to that.

On our 2014 Model S, it had that problem really badly when we got it to where I could feel it too. That one was because of the large liftgate bouncing because of the stoppers not being adjusted properly. Once we had those done, it stopped that, and it's been fine for years.

This may be that, but seems different. She felt it but I didn't quite feel a pulsing, but more light a "tightness" of the pressure inside the car.

Same issue with my wife's Model Y 2022 which we just took delivery of 2 days ago. I googled to try and see if the humming sound was normal as i am very sensitive to noise, plus we never experienced any humming while test driving the car twice, and found this Model Y and Model 3 Humming Noise Issue
This isn't a humming sound, which that article is about. It's not a sound that you hear, but a force.

I was just talking with a friend of mine in Tesla sales, and he thought of another idea this may be. The newer cars have the super air filtering with the HEPA filter and bioweapon defense mode fancy stuff, and part of the function of that is creating a higher air pressure inside the car to try to prevent the infiltration of stuff from outside getting in. That seems like it likely could explain this. I'll check into it more and see about disabling that HEPA filtration part.
 
Guys I experienced the same thing, certainly while driving. Ear pressure, sinus discomfort, nausea.
At one time I thought maybe it had something to do with the A/C and airflow out of the vent. The effects on my sinus’ changed as I changed the airflow direction out of the vents. Thought maybe it was the HEPA filters or BIODEFENSE or overpressure of the cabin.
At one time I thought I could feel it while sitting in the garage, but the effects of the ear and sinus pressure lasted for days, so even after driving you can “think“you feel it.
I was seriously Considering selling the Model Y, because it was killing my ears and sinus’. I even cut a couple holes in the interior hatch area side-cubby panels, that are adjacent to the body pressure vents, thinking the interior needed more pressure relief. Result was No help.

I then started following a couple threads on ear pressure and hatch movement.
I made some rigid hatch stops and …The Problem Is Gone!. Driving or stationary & I can have the A/C airflow set to any direction and I feel nothing in my sinus’ and ears.

The hatch is causing pressure pulses. The effect is lasting, even when stationary.
My Model Y is like a normal car now. Moving or stationary I experience none of the above now.


 
Last edited:

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
7,977
10,105
Boise, ID
I was just talking with a friend of mine in Tesla sales, and he thought of another idea this may be. The newer cars have the super air filtering with the HEPA filter and bioweapon defense mode fancy stuff, and part of the function of that is creating a higher air pressure inside the car to try to prevent the infiltration of stuff from outside getting in. That seems like it likely could explain this. I'll check into it more and see about disabling that HEPA filtration part.
I forgot to come back around to this thread to tell about the resolution to this. We went back to the Tesla store to experiment with this in another test drive. In our case, it was not related to the back hatch, since we could turn this pressure pain on and off just by climate settings while sitting still. We tried several things, and it all came down just to fan speed. With the fan speed down at about 2 or maybe 3, my wife felt OK. Going any higher than that fan speed, it would boost up the cabin air pressure too much, and hurt my wife's ears. That speaks to how good the seals are of the car's cabin, I guess. She said now that we found something that would work and not hurt her, she was fine with buying one, so we placed our order.
 
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Interesting experiences. I've now become more used to the car so it doesn't bother me as much as it did, but the issue is still there. I don't think it is related to the hatch as I experience it when the car is not moving, though I did adjust the hatch stops. I'm looking at the post where the OP basically installed his own hatch stop, but I'm nowhere near as handy so I would screw it up for sure.
I do feel pressure some times in my Y as well, so I was curious where the air leaves the car. I turned the A/C on high and had my wife sit in the car, while I would feel around the back of the car. I could feel air coming out of what looked like two drain holes and around the hitch cover. So I removed the hitch cover and once I did I could feel quite a bit of air blowing out. I'm not sure if removing the hitch cover will help with the pressure problem, but it might since it's giving the air that is being blown in the car an additional place to escape.
Where is this hitch cover you mention?
 
The headaches in this car are driving me crazy. I love everything about the car, but there's something wrong with it. I was thrilled (if not disheartened) to find posts like yours acknowledging similar issues. I've never had this situation in any car before.

At first I thought it was electromagnetic fields causing it. Then found the hatch buffeting discussions online, and considered that. I've also considered it's HVAC related. I'm interested in your perspective that this is an Ear Pain thing, but I don't exactly feel the pain in my ears, it's more centered in my forehead. I'm wondering if the same issue could be experienced by different people in different ways. Do you get headaches resulting from this ear pain?

@watsongrg who experienced nausea: I've never head nausea in my Model Y. But I did experience nausea in a Model 3 loaner I had for a few days while my Y was at the service center. I also experienced headache in the car even though the trunk is hidden behind the seats so I suspect the hatch buffeting wasn't to blame. Every theory I have about the headaches seems to have a hole in it and it's been difficult to be scientific. I'm heartened that you say you solved the issue with rigid hatch stops though.

 
I’ve got an EMF meter. I’ve had surprises before, like the field at a friend’s Brooklyn apartment was crazy high (a transformer hung outside on the street) or finding out that transformers in the base of lights we bought at ikea were emitting unhealthy amounts of EMF, and that the floor of my office isn’t great since it’s right above our house‘s breaker box, but I’ve tried the meters in Teslas, including during charging and the rates are really low. All I can think of is that sound may be the culprit.
 

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