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Gear or drive unit noise on new 75D. Help?!!!

We bought our Model X 75D late last year here in Vancouver, Canada. The local service center have been generally great. There was a faulty sensor in one of the seats that meant we delayed taking delivery for a couple of months, and the Service Center graciously provided other demo Model X's to drive while we were waiting for ours to be finally ready, so i was used to the car before taking delivery of our own. Since day 1 our car has had a constant whining noise at all speeds, but most audible at around 50 or 60kmph. I know the gears and drive unit make a bit of noise here and there (again, being familiar with the other cars we'd driven), but nothing like the constant noise ours makes. I'm struggling to get the service center to pay attention to it. They just say it sounds normal, but how can it be if none of the other cars made the same noise? Stereo sound clip attached. Does this sound normal to everyone else? You'll hear it fluttering and chirping in certain parts of the clip. It's driving me insane!
 

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Thanks for those who are listening. I wouldn't post about it if i didn't think there were an issue going undiagnosed here. My wife even complains about it so i'm convinced something should be done! It's the high pitch noise that I'm talking about. It oscillates loudly at the 17 second mark (for a few seconds), and then again at the 1:32 minute mark. Any ideas what that could be?
 
I should add that the sound clip I shared was me driving from between 10 and 60kmph, and the high pitch whine/oscillation sound isn’t dependent on acceleration or regen. I suspect it’s gear noise as it’s there all the time and seems to change frequency with speed. I’ve tried turning up the music but it only partially masks it. Hard to live with on a $135k car (Canadian dollars!). Have sent the same clip to the SC but feel like i’m getting nowhere.
 

DCGOO

Active Member
Nov 24, 2015
1,653
978
Indianapolis, IN
Perhaps your recording does not really do justice to the problem. It has come up before over in the S forum largely audible from the front motor and DU. Likely due to the proximity of the front motor to the driver. I can make it happen in my S, most prominent around 50-60 kph. But I only notice it if there is no audio on (rare for me) and the climate system is off or very low, certainly no windows open.

If it is really bothersome, you should visit the SC (or showroom) and arrange for demo rides along with a technician and compare your car to others. I had a similar occurrence with squeaky leather between the seat and center console. Nothing really wrong, but I asked about it, and the SA smiled and "yeah that has come up before. We found a miracle 3M product that I think will fix it." It did.

In your case, I think you are going to have to take the SA for a ride.
 
Yes - I requested to re-drive the loaner X and it didn’t make the noise. Same for the loaner model S i’d had a few weeks earlier (the S was incredibly quiet). Done the ride along with the technician. It was rush hour in the city, so not ideal but he heard the noise and talked about harmonics, maybe adjusting some cabling, or at least flushing the gear oil to try fixing it. He took a recording, but I suspected it would be no good, which is why I took this clip. Through headphones it is close to exactly what you’d hear driving the car. It’s just so frustrating as up to now they’re not offering to do anything. The official response is “it’s normal, but if it gets worse or breaks we’ll fix it”, but I don’t think head office has isolated the issue. Willing to starting paying for them to try things, but what might help? Gear oil change was my first thought.
 

Peteski

Active Member
Oct 2, 2017
3,539
2,403
UK, Milton Keynes
I see what you mean about the high pitched whine. My X 75D doesn't do that at all at constant speed. I just get a satisfying subtle "turbo boost" noise on hard acceleration and then it's totally quiet once up to speed. I'm not sure if I'm just tuning into the sound more as I get more familiar with the car, but I could have sworn the P100D test cars I drove made less noise under hard acceleration. I know they have a different rear motor and perhaps higher drive gearing? No complaints though, it's a nice sound on acceleration and whisper quiet when cruising!
 
Tesla engineering have listened to it and say it's within the range of what they consider "normal". The more i've read through the forum posts over recent years the more examples I've found of others with similar whines. Some people seem okay with it, but the noise really bothers me. I'm willing to pay money to get rid of it, so i've asked the Service Centre to ask engineering what is making the noise. If it's a whole drive unit replacement needed then I'm probably stuck, which hurts having spent all that money on a car that i now don't really enjoy driving...
 

Peteski

Active Member
Oct 2, 2017
3,539
2,403
UK, Milton Keynes
Tesla engineering have listened to it and say it's within the range of what they consider "normal". The more i've read through the forum posts over recent years the more examples I've found of others with similar whines. Some people seem okay with it, but the noise really bothers me. I'm willing to pay money to get rid of it, so i've asked the Service Centre to ask engineering what is making the noise. If it's a whole drive unit replacement needed then I'm probably stuck, which hurts having spent all that money on a car that i now don't really enjoy driving...

The way I would approach this is to say that none of the loan/demo cars you have driven (and presumably you bought the car based on test drives) had this issue and therefore regardless of whether or not it is "normal" it is certainly "different" and falls short of your reasonable expectations. The very fact that you are complaining about it should be enough for them to make some effort to help you out. This is the sort of thing that makes or breaks customer confidence and goodwill. I wouldn't let them fob you off like this as the noise clearly bugs you!
 
I’ve escalated the issue via the executive escalation service and have received a response within 24 hours - although for now just to say they apologize that the noise is impacting the enjoyment of our new model x. They’re going to look into the situation and will come back to me with potential options and next steps. So, I have some hope! It became clear to me that the service centre wasn’t equipped to deal with these kinds of problems, so kudos to Tesla in offering this escalation service (assuming it works).

The sense of disappointment I feel having received the car with this noise is testament to how amazing the vehicle is. Everything else about it blows me away. Build quality otherwise appears excellent. No squeaks or rattles anywhere. So it’s almost a cruel joke that we have this constant 1.8khz tone in the cabin coming from the motor...

Will post an update when I know more about what Tesla proposes.
 

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,299
7,596
Canyon Lake,CA
I noticed that vehicles with 2 motors have a bit more sound in the font seat than just the rear wheel drive models. Were the loaners you drove also AWD?

I have a little noise in my X, but find it enjoyable. Yours seems a little more high pitched.

Maybe it will go away when you get some miles on it.

Nice that Tesla is taking a close look at it.
 
No, I don’t use range mode. When I put it on it doesn’t seem to affect the noise ours makes. I wish it were that simple!

To be clear, I’m fine with a little noise. However, the tone ours makes cuts through everything and feels inescapable. The radio can’t even mask it fully. Everybody who rides in the car can clearly hear it. It never goes away no matter what speed, power or regen etc.

I’ve only ever driven AWD Teslas. A couple of 75D Model X’s, a 100D Model X, and a 75D Model S. All were a little different in terms of their sound signature, maybe ranging by a couple of points here and there. However, none made any noise at cruising speed similar to ours, and to be honest under strong regen ours sounds quite a bit louder as well.

I’ve been surprised by how nobody at Tesla has taken a close look at the motor(s) under the hood. All they’ve gone by is the recordings and the ride along with the technicians. I’ve escalated because it feels like the service centre isn’t equipped to troubleshoot this issue, and they’re certainly not offering much assistance other than listening and now basically telling me to live with it.

I want a Model X that sounds like all the others we’ve driven! I have no idea what is causing the noise and so far the service centre has been unwilling/unable to find the real source or even try and figure it out. If I could change my driving style to mostly avoid it, I would, and maybe that would be okay, or if it were just when on the power, or under regen, then okay, but nothing seems to make a difference. Fingers crossed on this escalation...
 

Peteski

Active Member
Oct 2, 2017
3,539
2,403
UK, Milton Keynes
I’ve escalated the issue via the executive escalation service and have received a response within 24 hours - although for now just to say they apologize that the noise is impacting the enjoyment of our new model x. They’re going to look into the situation and will come back to me with potential options and next steps. So, I have some hope! It became clear to me that the service centre wasn’t equipped to deal with these kinds of problems, so kudos to Tesla in offering this escalation service (assuming it works).

The sense of disappointment I feel having received the car with this noise is testament to how amazing the vehicle is. Everything else about it blows me away. Build quality otherwise appears excellent. No squeaks or rattles anywhere. So it’s almost a cruel joke that we have this constant 1.8khz tone in the cabin coming from the motor...

Will post an update when I know more about what Tesla proposes.

Please do keep us informed, it will be interesting to see how they respond. From what I've heard of other local Tesla owners (UK) they seem generally good at dealing with customer issues - but can take some time to resolve! I know a guy who has been in loaners for months waiting for his S to be fixed (different issues). But they have been reasonable with him throughout - he's currently in a brand spanking new P100D while his 75D is sat in the workshop!
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
5,459
3,467
Northern California
I did not really notice much noise in your clip. Mine is nosier. It sound just like the electrified train cars (BART) we have here in the SF Bay Area. Same whine as it is accelerates and a constant whir at constant speed.
 
A constant whir would be fine. Ours is a high pitch whistle/whine. Done all the ride alongs. Engineering says it’s a 1.8khz tone (google 1.8khz tone and listen to one of the YouTube clips if you want an idea of the in-car sound). I’m sure some people wouldn’t be bothered by it, but it personally hurts my ears. If none of the other cars i’ve driven have made that noise, then it’s hard to just accept as “normal”, especially since i’ve asked and they can't tell me what it is, and are totally unwilling to even try to address it. At the very least I was expecting a good faith effort to try and do something about it, but they’re unresponsive. Starting to feel like the motors are an as-is part once they leave the factory, and as a customer you’re stuck with whatever you get even if it sounds like a tea kettle! Buyer beware I guess. I just wish i’d known ahead of time.
 

DCGOO

Active Member
Nov 24, 2015
1,653
978
Indianapolis, IN
Personally if it is as bad as you say, I would keep complaining, especially if it is a lot louder than other same model cars you have driven. Explain to them that your customer satisfaction is in the tank. It has been my experience Tesla does not like unhappy customers, and i’m dealing with ugly americans, not Canadians! I would think Vancouver would be all over it for you. You may have to officially escalate the problem.
 

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