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Is this sound coming from my car normal??

Loud sound when shifting gears - is it normal?

Happens when shifting from park into reverse and back again. Sound recorded on an iPhone while standing by the rear driver's side door. I don't ever recall hearing it before, and wondering if this is normal. Car is new - fewer than 1000 miles on it.

Dropbox - Tesla Shifting.m4a

*edit* also happens when shifting into drive!
Last edited:
Awesome - thanks for the reassurance everyone! Parking brake makes sense - the sound only occurs when shifting from Park --> Reverse or Park --> Drive, but not from Drive <--> Reverse. I am planning to put close to put about 1k miles on her in the next 5 days, and I was having nightmares that my baby would be in the service bay and I'd need to take the ICE!

To thank everyone for their help at this late hour, here's a quick shot that I took of my baby after her spa day (at the detailer) this morning! She certainly looked radiant!

This is EXACTLY the same sound I got nervous about yesterday when I was in my garage going from P to D and from P to R. I must not have noticed it because I always have the windows up when I leave or return home or park somewhere. So yes, seems like this is normal.

I didn't notice for a few days because I just got my windows tinted when I first got the car, and couldn't open my windows until today! Tells you how well insulated the car really is.


Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
Toronto, ON
If you've ever had an ICE car with an electric parking brake... it sounds the same. The difference here is that the Model S does not have a transmission and hence no "parking pawl" when you put the car in Park. The only way to hold the car from rolling is to activate the electric brake every time. The ICE equivalent would be like leaving the car in Neutral with the parking brake applied.

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