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Normal Charging Noise?

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by Tex EV, May 10, 2016.

  1. Tex EV

    Tex EV Member

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    After plugging in, the car makes a loud pulsing sound from the front for about 1 minute. Is this normal?
     
  2. josh-io

    josh-io Member

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    My 1.5s make the same sound when the fans spin up, but the pulsating isn't something I've heard before.
     
  3. asgard

    asgard Member

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    That sound seems normal. It's the two fans, with air vortexes slightly out of sync. Happens often in closed spaces. Should not be an issue. My 1.5 does it sometimes and I just open the garage door and the sound goes away.
     
  4. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    #4 wiztecy, May 11, 2016
    Last edited: May 11, 2016
    That sound, the pulsing sounds like your HVAC unit firing up and beginning the chill cycle. When the fans kicked on and the HVAC system was getting 100% of the HVAC unit, it sounded fine with that fast constant hum. But earlier, that pulsing sound, the sound like a vibration going up and down isn't normal.

    I'd have it checked out ASAP. You might want to pop the front hood the next time you experience this and try to get more information on what's going on. It possible that there's very low refrigerant in it. But I've never heard one when they're super low. Also the HVAC system is pretty good at throwing errors when the refrigerant is below a certain threshold it likes. If its below 32F out and my pressure drops as a result, the HVAC on the VDS screen tells me pressure is low. So thinking in those terms its highly unlikely. The other guess is that the HVAC pump is on its way out if you checked that its nothing simple as something rubbing against the HVAC system while its starting up.
     
  5. Tex EV

    Tex EV Member

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    Hopefully this is all it is. It makes the same sound when I first turn on the AC while driving, and then the AC only blows cold for a few minutes. Trying to get it into the nearby SC sometime soon.
     
  6. DaveD

    DaveD EVs Kick Gas!

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    I agree with @wiztecy: get this checked out ASAP. I've had my A/C compressor fail, and before it did, it was making loud sounds not unlike (but not exactly like) what your video recording has. Before the compressor failed (got an error display - forget what the error code was), I was concerned about the abnormal noise and took it to the local SC and had them empty and refill the refrigerant. It didn't fix the problem, in my case, but it's definitely not something that you want to wait on getting looked at -- the A/C is going to run every time you charge your Roadster, given your climate and the warm ambient temps there in Texas.

    Just to prepare you for the worst case on this -- the compressor replacement cost is $1600, not including labor costs to put it in.
     
  7. Tex EV

    Tex EV Member

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    I'm guessing the A/C isn't "optional" if it's part of the charging process, as in it helps to regulate battery temperature? Going to be hitting 90s here pretty soon.
     
  8. Habious

    Habious Member

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    Not only is it not "optional", but cooling the cabin and occupants is of secondary importance. If the battery pack needs to cool down, it'll take cooling power away from the cabin A/C and devote most/all of the cooling power to the pack (at least for a period of time).
     
  9. Tex EV

    Tex EV Member

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    Not confident that I can get the car into a SC this week or even next. Tesla is still in the process of getting the car updated in their system with my information, and won't schedule any service until that's done. If it's just a check and recharge of the A/C system, is this a job any competent HVAC shop should be able to handle? I just took a look under the hood and decided it's not for me...
     
  10. pharma5

    pharma5 Roadster F#25

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    I agree with wiztecy and others... I've not heard the "pulsing" sound in the front of your video before, starting around 0:04. Seems to overlap time-wise with running of the compressor ahead of when the front fans start spinning. Could something nearby be a bit loose and just making extra noise with the vibration?

    When the front fans come on at 0:44 onward (and the pulsing stops), that part sounds normal to me from my 1.5, nearly always charging in my garage as well.
     
  11. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

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    You can do a quick check of the refrigerant level by looking at the sight glass with the system running. If you see bubbles inside, the system is low. It is directly in front of the wiper motor, down on the round aluminum canister (the drier). Look between the two aluminum A/C lines connected to the top of the drier, and you will see a little round glass port. Turn the A/C on with the fan on high and check it after about a minute. It should be clear with no bubbles.
     
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  12. Stefan T

    Stefan T Member

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    That's posible to read the pressure of the refrierant in the service menues
     
  13. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

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    But that still won't tell you if it is filled to capacity. You would need temp readings and the low side pressure also to determine that.
     
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  14. Tex EV

    Tex EV Member

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    Just a quick update. The SC found that a bracket on the A/C condenser had cracked and was rubbing against the A/C lines during system startup, causing the pulsing sound. The rest of the system is fine. Since the bracket is part of the condenser, I'm getting a new condenser with fans. Not cheap, but not as bad as a new compressor!
     
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  15. DaveD

    DaveD EVs Kick Gas!

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    I'm happy to hear the problem was found and fixed, and that it wasn't the compressor that failed. Thanks for the update.
     

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