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Noises While Not In Car—What is It Doing?

PianoAl

Active Member
Dec 15, 2019
1,039
700
Far Northern California
Very often, I'll go into the garage long after I've driven and not when the car is charging, and hear some fan or other noises. I'd like to know what it's doing and assure myself it's not running the climate control.

Here's another example: Today I pull the car out of the garage to wash it. In the middle of washing, I hear some kind of fan running. The temp outside is around 50 degrees. What is it doing? I have my phone in my pocket—does it think I'm in the car??
 

RTPEV

Active Member
Mar 21, 2016
1,202
1,483
Durham, NC
It could be the HVAC, but it's more likely just the thermal management system keeping the battery comfy.

If you feel you really need to reassure yourself that it's not the HVAC system, try using your app to turn the climate system on (and then off) and see if it makes a different sound.
 

GtiMart

Active Member
Nov 13, 2019
1,832
1,700
Quebec City, Canada
When the car is awake, it will continuously circulate the coolant so you should hear an electric pump. The pump speed varies depending on multiple conditions. You could also hear the cabin fan either for cabin overheat protection or because you used AC when you drove and the car is drying the evaporator to prevent bad smells.
The car might stay awake 30min or even over an hour, and sometimes it will fall asleep quickly. It's not something you control.
You'll hear a pretty noisy "klunk" when the car falls asleep as it switches off the high voltage battery.

All is normal.
 

Ampre Sand

Member
Nov 18, 2016
89
60
Seattle
My 2021 Model 3 LR makes all sorts of noises, even when not driven for days at a time and left unplugged. I'll be down in the garage and sometimes hear the main contactors close with a clunk and coolant pump running. If the car has been recently driven or even if I just sat in it for a few minutes, it seems to go through a whole cycle of ventilating the cabin / drying the A/C condenser, which can be heard as a whoosh of air near the intake near the windshield wipers on the passenger side.

I assume the car is waking up periodically to charge the 12V battery (which probably causes the coolant pump to run).

On a side note - I haven't driven my car for a month, and it's only lost 10% of its charge. If I do my math right, that's averaging about 10 Watts standby.
 
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Silicon Desert

Active Member
Oct 1, 2018
3,786
3,998
Sparks Nevada
Very often, I'll go into the garage long after I've driven and not when the car is charging, and hear some fan or other noises. I'd like to know what it's doing and assure myself it's not running the climate control.

Here's another example: Today I pull the car out of the garage to wash it. In the middle of washing, I hear some kind of fan running. The temp outside is around 50 degrees. What is it doing? I have my phone in my pocket—does it think I'm in the car??
Ghosts. Call a priest to perform an exorcism before it starts spinning in circles :eek:
Good answers above. The car is going to do its thing with various systems when you are not around.
 
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Reactions: rxlawdude
Smart machines are taking over my life! It will be trouble when they all start communicating.
 

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