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How much balloon noise is acceptable

Discussion in 'Model S' started by austintexas, May 7, 2016.

  1. austintexas

    austintexas Member

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    I have the dreaded high-pitch squeal sound, kind of like a leaking balloon.

    When we first got the car at 19k miles, we'd get this sound occasionally when accelerating quickly from 20-40 MPH. But it's gotten much worse since then. We have about 25k miles on the car now.

    Sometimes now it does it whenever we accelerate for an entire trip. If even does it on regen braking! Other times it's not bad at all.

    I took it to the repair shop. They said the sound is normal. They did say it was surprising that it would do it on regen. They asked me to submit bug reports when it does the sound on regen and, if possible, record the sound (easier said than done).

    We've submitted lots of bug reports but haven't been able to record it.

    The sound is so bad that it's started to give me that "fingers on a chalk board" feeling. It's annoying and can't be an "acceptable" sound.

    Does anyone have experience with how to properly push this to get it fixed?

    Thanks
     
  2. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    this is the dreaded drive unit problem.
    how well this is handled is dependent upon on how good your service center is, based on what your feedback was I am not confident that you have a good shop. The sound is NOT normal, while it isn't fatal it could morph into more serious problems if the unit is not replaced.
    I had to push them very hard, including an email and call to the mothership until I saw some proactive action by my local service center.
    some people here don't agree with my sentiments but to me this is an egregious failure that needs to be addressed immediately. good luck
     
    • Like x 3
  3. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    I agree with @kort677. Push the issue with Palo Alto. It is not normal at all. And normal or not, you shouldn't have to deal with that with a car at this level. Any car, really. Good luck.
     
    • Like x 2
  4. Mike K

    Mike K Member

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    I too had this. The drive unit would make a noise any time any throttle was applied or any time it was integer. The only time it didn't make noise is when it wasn't doing either.

    My service center had a tech go out with me who said it was totally fine but that they were happy replace the drive unit if it bothered me which is what I ended up doing.

    The new drive unit has been flawless for 10,000ish miles.
     
    • Like x 2
    • Helpful x 1
  5. austintexas

    austintexas Member

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    Thanks everyone. I guess I just need to push it with them.
     
  6. Mike K

    Mike K Member

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    Meant to say regen, not integer.
     
  7. austintexas

    austintexas Member

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    Some good news...

    Talked to the Austin service center today and they're going to replace the drivetrain. Only downside is they are booked until Jun2.

    Thanks everyone for your feedback.
     
    • Like x 1
  8. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    If you are talking about the milling noise, a DU swap will fix that.

    If you are talking about the balloon squeal, a DU swap will likely have no effect since the sound is emanating from the battery contactors. I, too, had the balloon squeal at high power and eventually my VIN number qualified for the "switch upgrade". This particular update completely resolves the balloon squeal issue, but you only get this update if your VIN number qualifies.
     
    • Informative x 1
  9. austintexas

    austintexas Member

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    Interesting, thanks. It definitely seems like a -highpitched sound, not the milling sound I've heard in some videos.

     
  10. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    good, there is light at the end of the tunnel for you.
     
  11. eyespii

    eyespii Member

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    How do you know if your VIN qualifies? I've had the balloon squeal on my car for months, and service said it was normal. I've just learned to live with it, but it is pretty annoying.
     
  12. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    if you are passive and accept that the sound is "normal" it will never be addressed by them.
     
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  13. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    Same. Had a pretty prominent balloon squeal since the day of delivery under substantial but partial throttle. Had a proactive contactor replacement performed, and haven't heard it a single time since. I was told my logs showed an anomaly so they decided to replace them. I'm not sure if my vehicle was in the VIN range where they would have done it anyway.
     
    • Informative x 1
  14. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    Mine just started doing the extremely high frequency squeal around 16000 hertz (estimated). I had it in for service couple of weeks ago and got it back with the exact same noise! My wife and kids now refuse to ride in my car and I have a buzzing sound in my ears after my hour commute. Very annoying - next appointment is in august, I may park the car and take my Miata until then.

    I don't think its the drivetrain - it sounds like its coming from the front of the car and doesn't change with speed or anything. Driving me nuts... Hopefully the crew at Tysons Corner SC can nail it the second time. My wife's car with similar mileage does not have this sound - so not sure what is causing it. Frankly I wish Tesla would just add a cabin noise canceling system - hopefully on my P100DL in the future!
     
    • Informative x 1
  15. austintexas

    austintexas Member

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    I'm a bit confused by your post. Does the sound occur when you accelerate, and sometimes when you regen? If it is the same high pitch sound I had (which is not constant during the drive), then replacing the switch is the solution.

    In my case they replaced the Drive Unit first due to some miscommunication. That didn't fix the problem. The switch replacement did.
     
  16. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    I am usually a Tesla cheerleader, but the balloon squeal is absolutely not normal. It may not be an issue that will get you stranded on the side of the road, but it is certainly a significant NVH issue (noise, vibration, and harshness) that interferes with the enjoyment of the car (and can be embarassing!)

    As I understand it the sound is from vibrating components when high currents pass through them, although that may not be correct.

    Regardless, I would push and elevate until you get it resolved. I'd say it's unacceptable.
     
  17. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    I must be the "contact switch relay" - I have never experienced this sound in our 2013 Tesla - just started in my 2014 @ 40,000 miles... I am going in for round two, but this car is not going on any road trips with this crazy noise - it reminds me of those old 1950's space movies where the aliens zap you with crazy sound weapon, but it doesnt change in amplitude or frequency once under load - just remains the same - I has to a high power electrical component that has some heavy current moving through it- I think you may have the diagnosis Todd!
     
  18. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Is there a consensus that the "balloon squeal" sound primarily occurs during hard acceleration, may occur during moderate acceleration, but not while holding a steady speed, and that it is a contactor issue? That is the impression I get from researching posts about that particular sound.

    Although the OP of this thread reported that his sound even occurred during regen, it sounds like that is atypical.
     
  19. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Here are some posts from a 2015 thread about this noise Has anybody gotten their "balloon squeal" noise fixed?
     
  20. STbreaker

    STbreaker Member

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    That's kinda the thing about Teslas...

    Growing up with ICEs, we have some kind of idea about what sounds/feels wrong with a car. With the S, I really have no idea. I feel like there should be a little more instruction on what to expect/look out for with your car. The first night at home I walked out into the garage and heard some fans going and was like "?!?" Of course that turned out to be the battery temp management and is completely normal.

    I noticed that if I'm coasting around 35-40mph there is a bit of a high pitched noise during regen. I'm kinda sensitive to that stuff so it does bother me, but If I'm listening to music I can't hear it at all. The car is working fine so I figured that's normal. I guess if it starts to get louder/happen more often then it may be "the milling problem?"
     

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