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Howl or Drone when AC first turns On

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by gtimbers, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. gtimbers

    gtimbers Member

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    Jan 9, 2013
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    Location:
    Van Nuys, Ca.
    It has just warmed up in So Cal these last few days. When I get in the car to go home after work, I get a drone/howling sound which is compressor related. If I shut off the air, the noise goes away. It has not done it at lunch time so a heat soak is necessary. It is probably around 85 -90 degrees max during the day. The noise continues for 5 minutes or so and then fades away. The AC is still running. I can also feel a vibration in the controls when the noise is present. It is easily louder than the sound of an ICE motor and partially drowns out the radio.

    Anyone have this issue? I need some more days/data points before I call Service. I plan to record the sound since it may not get hot enough in Santa Monica where my service facility is located.
     
  2. Liz G

    Liz G P03056

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    Heard it in my S and in a friends. Asked the service guy who also heard it and he said was normal. Hasn't been that bad for me so I haven't pressed the issue. Been focusing on getting my air leaks around the windows fixed, as its cold out. Maybe once it gets hotter here this will become more of an issue and focus for me.
     
  3. patp

    patp Member

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    I also have it and it seems its getting stronger than when I got the car.
     
  4. steve841

    steve841 Active Member

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    I believe that's the compressor firing up...... You hear sounds now that you can't hear on an ICE.
     
  5. gtimbers

    gtimbers Member

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    This noise is way louder than what little engine sound I have on my previous ICE cars. I hope Tesla doesn't consider it "normal". It drowns out conversation. I, like Liz G, have quite a bit of wind noise from 45-50 mph and up. Way more than my Lexus SUV (gX470) and way more than the Ford Fusion I rented to go pick the car up at the Factory. This is not an engine masking thing. The car is just plain noisy at highway speeds compared to a Mercedes, Lexus, Ford, etc. This has been a disappointment for me.
     
  6. Liz G

    Liz G P03056

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    Gtimbers mine isnt wind noise. I can actually feel the cold air coming in around the little triangle window while driving. Really dont hear any wind.
     
  7. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    That's unusual. I can have conversations in almost a whisper at 70 mph. Take it in for service.
     
  8. DrComputer

    DrComputer Member

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    Location:
    Sherman Oaks, CA
    Get used to it. Tesla chose to use a similar (and very noisy) A/C compressor in the Roadster and Model S. At full speed it can be quite loud. I really wish they would have used the one that Lexus uses as it is very quiet.
     
  9. gtimbers

    gtimbers Member

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    Bummer Dude! My next plan is to use the phone app to turn on the AC while I'm walking out to my car after work. This should allow it to do the hard part while I'm not there. It appears to only be startup that is so noisy.
     
  10. aviators99

    aviators99 Model S - R140

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    Yep. This is what I do. Still embarrassing when I demo the car unexpectedly. Being in Miami, I've been complaining about this for 3 months, but as it starts to get warmer in other places, I expect the outrage to start spreading!
     
  11. Zextraterrestrial

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    I never (ever?) use AC but the heater makes the noise as described here.
     
  12. gtimbers

    gtimbers Member

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    Location:
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    It is my understanding that they are using a heat pump so the heater should be using the AC "backwards" I haven't had the need to heat severely so I haven't gotten the noise in the heat mode.
     

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