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Extremely loud air conditioning and while charging

Super Dude

Member
Mar 9, 2018
50
26
Philadelphia
So for the past couple months or so I've noticed my air conditioning has been very loud. By very loud, I mean that I can hear it across the parking lot, in the house and it's very loud while driving. It's like a jet engine starting up! After it cools down, the sound gets quieter. Also happens when charging and supercharging. I've never heard an S this loud. Cooling works, but it and the heat sort of slow down when I stop the car at a light and pick back up when I begin to move. I also get a vibrating noise at a certain fan speed. Any thoughts on what could be the issue? Probably time for my bi-monthly trip to the SC. Thanks a lot.
 

ckoval7

Mild One
Sep 19, 2018
668
639
Maryland
This is normal. The system has to move a lot of air to keep the battery and the cabin at a reasonable temperature.

EDIT: If it is in fact not normal, someone please let me know, because mine is also super loud on 90+ degree days.
 

Chaserr

Hyperactive Hyperdrive
Sep 5, 2017
2,666
6,523
Logan
Mine does this too. Tesla said "it's normal" but that was what they said when my drive unit was noisy and slow until it stranded me. I've had other Tesla owners ask what was wrong with my car because it's so loud when supercharging, and sometimes it even does this at home when scheduled charging and wakes me up so I had to reduce charge amps to 10 to make it stay quiet. I don't know how to fix it when the shop says every loud and obvious problem is "normal" until it catastrophically fails so any suggestions are welcome. Do you think we should ask for a battery coolant flush?

EDIT in my case it was always loud fans cooling the battery when supercharging, but it suddenly got 2-3 times LOUDER than it had been for years and now the car vibrates. This is probably what wakes me up / makes others comment.
 
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jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2012
20,004
24,698
Texas
When it's hot out the A/C is going to be used at a higher speed than when it's cool during Supercharging. For just driving, you can control the speed by starting at a high temperature (when the car is hot from sitting) and lowering it as the cabin cools.
 

cybergates

Member
Feb 14, 2017
545
240
So Cal
yep sounds normal when charging. Now early on with my AP2.0 2016 S, there was a problem with the louvers in the front lower grille getting stuck and that was causing the car to run hot and the fan was running even louder and the A/C was becoming less effective and completely stopped in the peak summer in AZ. They fixed it under warranty. I was told and someone here can help that those fins should open up when its hot and presumably should open when supercharging (I will check this the next time I supercharge).
 
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Super Dude

Member
Mar 9, 2018
50
26
Philadelphia
I gotta think this isn't normal. I've never heard a car this loud before. And it's not like it's always been this loud, it started a few months ago. As for having to move a lot of air, cabin's smaller than any SUV, so that's not the issue. For supercharging, I've never heard another Tesla this loud at a supercharger. It's tough to just say "it's loud" without actually being able to hear how loud it really is. Sounds like it's an issue for others as well.
 
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Chaserr

Hyperactive Hyperdrive
Sep 5, 2017
2,666
6,523
Logan
I agree, loud is normal but "suddenly louder than it has ever been in years" isn't normal. That's the definition of abnormal.

I recently did a road trip and the comments I got from multiple owners concerned for the damage my car seemed to have sealed it for me, but knowing Tesla they will still say normal. I'll comment if the coolant change helps at all, but the vibrating makes me think a fan might be failing.

EDIT I should also mention that supercharging is rate limited to under 80kW now, so it's louder than ever and slower than ever at the same time.
 
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maximizese

Member
Jan 16, 2018
490
479
California
I think it's been widely accepted as normal, but my 2013 S 85 got suddenly louder with the louver fans on 90+ degree days recently. I recall the fans were relatively quiet about a year ago, but during a road-trip this spring the fans got very loud. I was driving an average 75mph over 180 mile span in 92 degree weather. When I stopped to Supercharge, the fans sounded like being inside a small turboprop plane. In additional, the vibration could be felt through the driver seat, pedals, and steering wheel. The sound and vibrations drop at some point when the charging rate tapers.

I'll bring this up with the SvC the next time I have an issue. I'll have to grab a recording and measure the decibel level.
 

Shadnic

Member
Feb 8, 2019
160
60
San Diego
When it's hot outside my AC compressor sounds like a lawn mower and you can hear it from outside the car quite a ways away. I've been told by the SC that it's both abnormal and normal but weirdly enough, I haven't heard it happen while charging. I know it SHOULD, but even when super charging outside in the heat I never hear the lawn-mower AC compressor start up.
 
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David29

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,269
1,961
DEDHAM, MA
So for the past couple months or so I've noticed my air conditioning has been very loud. By very loud, I mean that I can hear it across the parking lot, in the house and it's very loud while driving. It's like a jet engine starting up! After it cools down, the sound gets quieter. Also happens when charging and supercharging. I've never heard an S this loud. Cooling works, but it and the heat sort of slow down when I stop the car at a light and pick back up when I begin to move. I also get a vibrating noise at a certain fan speed. Any thoughts on what could be the issue? Probably time for my bi-monthly trip to the SC. Thanks a lot.

I see you are in Philadelphia. The Northeast, including where live in the Boston area and presumably Philadelphia, has had an incredible heat wave over the past week or so. On days like we have been having, I can also hear my Model S from across my condo parking lot when I am pre-cooling the car. My car is nearly 4 years old, so I know this loud sound is "normal" because I have heard it in past years. I say normal so long as the sound is like a fan (or more likely a compressor) that is turning fast, but not making grinding noise or excess vibration, just a "smooth" sound. In my car, and I assume yours as well, the sound drops abruptly when you open the door to get into the car.
I will say, however, that this past weekend was beyond my car's capability. On Saturday, it was 95 or so here, and very humid, and the car's HVAC system could not cool the car down to my usual setting of 69F when it was 90+ outside, even with more than 30 minutes of precooling. I have described in more detail in another post that the system seemed to be giving preference to the battery cooling, because it was making noise, but not much cool air was getting to the passenger compartment, even with the fan speed manually set to 11. So, I may make an appointment for a system check.

So, i would not judge by the sound level, I would judge by how cool the car gets. I see posts all the time from people who say things like, "I live in Arizona where it is 110 or more, and my Model S is always cool," or words to that effect. So apparently the system should be able to handle severe heat. But it will indeed make a loud noise when supercharging or precooling.
 

Joe F

Disruption is hard.
Sep 19, 2016
2,005
9,293
Outside Philly
For supercharging, I've never heard another Tesla this loud at a supercharger.
Then you've not heard mine. It was what, 100 yesterday in Philly? My S sounded like a jet taking off when parked in a heat soaked parking log for an hour yesterday when I got back in the car. Supercharging on hot day after a highway run, even louder. Normal.
 
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Chaserr

Hyperactive Hyperdrive
Sep 5, 2017
2,666
6,523
Logan
I think the difference here is when your normal is that loud and you still comment on the car you can hear over your own because it's so much louder than normal.
 

David29

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,269
1,961
DEDHAM, MA
Then you've not heard mine. It was what, 100 yesterday in Philly? My S sounded like a jet taking off when parked in a heat soaked parking log for an hour yesterday when I got back in the car. Supercharging on hot day after a highway run, even louder. Normal.
Did the car cool as normal? How long did it take to cool down to your setting (assuming you use 70F or so)?
 

Joe F

Disruption is hard.
Sep 19, 2016
2,005
9,293
Outside Philly
Did the car cool as normal? How long did it take to cool down to your setting (assuming you use 70F or so)?
Can't say yesterday as I left it set to 75 and "stay on" while food shopping. Cold as ever though after resetting to 70 and taking the few minutes to walk to the car across a blistering hot parking lot. Heat index was about 107 here yesterday...

Parking out as far as I normally do (no dinged doors so far!) where the asphalt is always in full sun all day might have been a factor with the battery pack heating it not doubt caused. Couple that with the air conditioner on and no air flow under the car from being parked and not driving makes for a noisy car after an hour or so. Quieted down after a few minutes once things cooled after driving.
 
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David29

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,269
1,961
DEDHAM, MA
Can't say yesterday as I left it set to 75 and "stay on" while food shopping. Cold as ever though after resetting to 70 and taking the few minutes to walk to the car across a blistering hot parking lot. Heat index was about 107 here yesterday...

Parking out as far as I normally do (no dinged doors so far!) where the asphalt is always in full sun all day might have been a factor with the battery pack heating it not doubt caused. Couple that with the air conditioner on and no air flow under the car from being parked and not driving makes for a noisy car after an hour or so. Quieted down after a few minutes once things cooled after driving.

Thanks! Your answer is increasing my feeling that my system needs to be tested. In 95F weather, it never got the car below about 80 in an hour's drive on Saturday, even with 30 minutes of pre-cooling.
 
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electricar

Member
Jul 31, 2018
266
329
NotCal
That definitely is not normal - my car cools off almost immediately and it is HOT here - however I have noticed at superchargers lately since the charging speed was upped that all the cars sound like a 767 taking off.
 

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