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Extremely loud noise when charging from the wall connector

redapex

Member
Nov 19, 2016
19
16
SoCal
Lately I have noticed that my Model S (built in August 2016) makes a very loud noise when charging from the Tesla wall connector (at both 40A and 48A). It's very quiet in the beginning, and then after 1-2 hours the fans turn on to cool the battery and the noise gets so loud that you cannot carry a conversation if you stand next to the car! It's definitely louder than what I heard while charging at a supercharger. The problem seems to be that the louvres remain closed when the fans turn on, and the air seems to be escaping around the closed louvres making a loud noise. If I unlock the car while it is still charging, get in the car and turn the AC on, both louvres open and the sound diminishes considerably - you can still hear the fans running but it's much quieter. When the fans turn on to cool the battery while I am at a supercharger, the louvres open immediately. So the problem comes up only while charging in my garage.

Have any of you noticed the louvres remaining closed when the fans turn on while charging at home?
 

MarcusMaximus

Active Member
Jan 2, 2017
3,789
16,747
Los Gatos
I had exactly this happen. Measured the sound at 85dB. For whatever reason the service center was reluctant to take my car in on short notice but ended up doing so anyway. They ended up having to replace the entire HVAC system. Highly recommend taking it in immediately. It could have just been coincidence, but over the few days of charging like that before I got an appointment, I lost ~8 miles off the maximum range on my car.
 
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redapex

Member
Nov 19, 2016
19
16
SoCal
Wow! Thank you for your response! I have an appointment set for next Monday (the local SC didn't have any earlier availability). I haven't thought about the HVAC system being a potential culprit - since the louvres open normally during AC operation and at superchargers, I thought it's probably a mechanical issue with the louvres operation or a software issue, but after seeing your response I realize that it may be the HVAC...
 

MarcusMaximus

Active Member
Jan 2, 2017
3,789
16,747
Los Gatos
Wow! Thank you for your response! I have an appointment set for next Monday (the local SC didn't have any earlier availability). I haven't thought about the HVAC system being a potential culprit - since the louvres open normally during AC operation and at superchargers, I thought it's probably a mechanical issue with the louvres operation or a software issue, but after seeing your response I realize that it may be the HVAC...

Ya, I had the same louvre behavior as well, though I never checked at a supercharger after the issue started occurring. I believe the service center did replace the louvres first, but then found there were bigger problems with the whole HVAC system and had to replace the entire thing.
 
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David29

Active Member
Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,326
2,001
DEDHAM, MA
Ya, I had the same louvre behavior as well, though I never checked at a supercharger after the issue started occurring. I believe the service center did replace the louvres first, but then found there were bigger problems with the whole HVAC system and had to replace the entire thing.

So, two people say they had the "whole system" replaced. Wow. That strikes me as poor diagnosis. It does not make sense to me, based upon owning a dozen or so cars with HVAC systems over the course of 40+ years, that there is not just one or maybe two components accounting for this behavior. Seems like very drastic action.

How can Tesla ever become profitable if they make these types of repairs when there is probably something less drastic they could do, if only their diagnostic tools or skills were better.

Then again, perhaps I am taking the comments too literally. Can someone clarify what is meant by replacing "the whole system" -- AC compressor? Evaporator? Condenser? Dryer (if there is one)? pumps? Fans? control circuitry? Fluid lines? Louvers? connecting wiring?
 
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MorrisonHiker

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Mar 8, 2015
10,486
10,436
Colorado
So, two people say they had the "whole system" replaced. Wow. That strikes me as poor diagnosis. It does not make sense to me, based upon owning a dozen or so cars with HVAC systems over the course of 40+ years, that there is not just one or maybe two components accounting for this behavior. Seems like very drastic action.

How can Tesla ever become profitable if they make these types of repairs when there is probably something less drastic they could do, if only their diagnostic tools or skills were better.

Then again, perhaps I am taking the comments too literally. Can someone clarify what is meant by replacing "the whole system" -- AC compressor? Evaporator? Condenser? Dryer (if there is one)? pumps? Fans? control circuitry? Fluid lines? Louvers? connecting wiring?
Actually, @MarcusMaximus stated in two different posts that his was replaced.

It does seem they could just replace the affected parts unless there was a major problem with the entire system.
 

Don85D

Member
Mar 25, 2016
331
302
Markham, Ontario
Changing all AC components is the better way to go. Any debris inside the system due to a component failure can never be totally evacuated so changing only the failed component results in another system failure in a year or so. For a better repair changing the entire AC system is what I would prefer.

On the other hand, if the problem is louvers not opening that should be a separate problem and repair. I might try propping them open as a temporary fix. More air flowing has to be good except maybe in winter.

Another thought for your consideration.
 
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MarcusMaximus

Active Member
Jan 2, 2017
3,789
16,747
Los Gatos
So, two people say they had the "whole system" replaced. Wow. That strikes me as poor diagnosis. It does not make sense to me, based upon owning a dozen or so cars with HVAC systems over the course of 40+ years, that there is not just one or maybe two components accounting for this behavior. Seems like very drastic action.

How can Tesla ever become profitable if they make these types of repairs when there is probably something less drastic they could do, if only their diagnostic tools or skills were better.

Then again, perhaps I am taking the comments too literally. Can someone clarify what is meant by replacing "the whole system" -- AC compressor? Evaporator? Condenser? Dryer (if there is one)? pumps? Fans? control circuitry? Fluid lines? Louvers? connecting wiring?

To be clear, those were both me. My second comment was just clarifying that the louvre bit occurred with my car as well. Tesla didn't give me very specific information, and just said that they replaced the whole HVAC system. It's possible what they actually did was less drastic than they made it sound.
 
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Reactions: David29

gavine

Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast
Apr 1, 2014
2,615
2,184
Philadelphia, PA
Did your HVAC work in terms of cooling the cabin? If so, I wonder why it needed to be replaced to cool the battery. This doesn't make much sense to me, unless there are two-separate cooling systems for the battery and cabin, which I doubt.
 

MarcusMaximus

Active Member
Jan 2, 2017
3,789
16,747
Los Gatos
Did your HVAC work in terms of cooling the cabin? If so, I wonder why it needed to be replaced to cool the battery. This doesn't make much sense to me, unless there are two-separate cooling systems for the battery and cabin, which I doubt.

It did generally, yes. It occasionally dropped completely for a bit on really hot days a few months before, but I think that was a common issue at the time, and may be coincidence. And from my understanding, it’s the same system for both.
 

Jmcgee22

Member
Aug 28, 2021
11
0
Seattle
My 16 Model S was doing the same thing, I took it in to the SC and they told me that the louvers were working fine and that they couldn't find an issue even after looking at the cars charging logs. It hadn't happened again that I know of in the last week or so, although I just went out while charging at 110v 16amps and it was doing it again.

When I got in the car the fans immediately turned off. Another piece that is very concerning to me is that while the fans were up high the charge time increase from 13hrs all the way up to 24+ hrs. When I got in the car the charge time started almost immediately dropping back down towards 15hrs.. Since then its been about 30 minutes and it seems to be back to charging normally again. Although I keep checking my app every 5 minutes or so to make sure the charge time is not jumping back up again.

I just scheduled another appointment with the SC but its like 2 weeks out from what the app is telling me. I'm worried about this damaging the battery. Especially if it happens again overnight while when I'm sleeping.

Has anyone elses charge time jumped like that before while the fans kicked in super high? Or does anyone know what this could be?
 

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