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Plaid Impressions, Road Noise & Real Solutions

alexbpm

Member
Oct 22, 2021
8
13
San Diego
I have spent the previous 2 weeks renting various Teslas on Turo. Model X P100D, pre-raven Model S P90D, Model S Raven Performance, and most recently a Plaid. Wanted to post my thoughts before asking for possible solutions in regards to wind noise and road noise.

The Plaid is the only car I have really connected to emotionally during my time testing out various Teslas for long periods of time, the pre-raven P90D came pretty close. But the yoke, the comfort, sound system, and quiet ride (under 50mph at least) make it the perfect daily driver for me.

LIKES:
1. Love the yoke. I thought I would hate it, and I adapted to it and loved it within 2 hours of driving the car. The elbow rests are perfectly placed so you can comfortably set your hand on the top nub of the yoke while cruising. Additionally, no reviewer seems to have mentioned the benefit of being able to cruise at low speeds around town without having to place a relaxed grip around a wheel. For people with carpal tunnel like me, being able to make a turn simply by extending an open palm facing upward and lifting the flat bottom of the yoke instead of having to actually grip a wheel is phenomenally relaxing way to drive, super comfortable. At least it is for me. This is a bonus, and if given a choice I would not want to trade it for a wheel. I also did not find 3 point turns or u-turns frustrating in anyway, it's rather fun.

2. Love the ability to swipe the screen to quickly go into drive or reverse. I prefer it over a stalk driver selector.

3. Love the seats. Far more comfortable and cushy while also being more supportive than any of the previous models I've driven. Really love them

4. Good ride quality. Not fantastic, not an S class, but still good. Compliant over rough roads, you can still feel the road but it's just enough to strike that balance between luxury and sport. I will say that I still prefer the suspension in the pre-raven P90D. It's slightly more comfortable and compliant, seems to absorb the road better. I'm not convinced that the new air suspension was done to provide more comfort, it seems to be focused on flexbility.

4. Love the cabin noise at speeds under 50mph. Feels like a luxury car until you go over 50mph

5. Love the new sound system. I'm an audiophile with quite a setup at home, I have litearlly walked away from buying a range rover because their so called "top of the line" Meridian system was trash. This is one of the best sound systems I've heard in a car at this class. It's not audiophile level, but it's so enjoyable with such a wonderful sense of space and air around the music, with very tight bass. Sold

6. Speed and launch control. Obviously

DISLIKES:

1. Windshield wiper button placement. I've activated the windshield wipers 5 times in the course of 24 hours. Taking a perfectly detailed car, and dirtying it up with fluid. Not good. I hope a software update makes this button a long press which would fix this issue. They need better QA at tesla because this seems like there was no thought put into this.

2. Auto drive selector. Twice the car defaulted to the incorrect driving mode when their were clearly obstacles behind or infront of me and began accelerating in the wrong direction. This is a very dangerous feature. Regardless of the arrows that appear on screen to inform the driver what direction the car is about to go, this car is designed to convince the driver to sit back relax and let the car make decisions. Not a good habit to get into at this stage of the vehicles development.

3. Door unlock via cellphone. The car only detects me standing in front of it half the time, therefore it will not open the door when i need it to. Someitmes I have to swipe my cell phone in front of the door to open it.


HATE/DEALBREAKER:
Road Noise and wind noise at speeds above 50mph. This is the real deal breaker for me and the only thing preventing me from placing a deposit and buying the car. Totally unacceptable on a car of this price that is marketed as a luxury car.

I'm having an odd love/hate with the Plaid because it has two distinct personalities. Under 50mph it's everything I want in a daily driver. Quiet, compliant, butter smooth on roads, and I love the steering when set to sport. Above 50mph however, I hate it. I am extremely auditory and very sensitive to road and wind noise, it causes tension and aggravation, and reminds me the vehicles I hated in the 90's and early 2000's.

The wind noise is so distracting at speeds above 70mph on the highway, that I actually conteplated buying another car just for comfortable freeway driving, and relegating the Plaid to city streets. I HATE driving this car on the highway, it reminds me of my 2010 BMW M3. All the other Tesla models I've driven at highway speeds measured 69-71db on a a meter. The pre-raven P90D was the quietes on the highway at 69-70db above 70mph. The Plaid is measuring 72-73db above 70mph. The wind noise is just too much. It's not deafening, but it distracting and drowns out the music playing on the sound system. Hyundai and Ford do better than this at under half the price, and my moms BMW X3 SUV from 2009 certainly does. It's truly an embarrassment, and I do not think a noise cancelling feature is the answer.

I'm aware there are multiple threads on various weather strip solution, but I'm not interested in any solution that does no result in at least a 3db reduction in noise. Has anyone successfully mitigated road noise over 3db on a Model S using Dynamat, window treatments or similar solutions? The noise seems to be coming from the areas surrounding the windshield and the small triangle windows between the windshield and the side windows. If I can truly mitigate it, I would buy the car. But not in it's current state. It's a literal dealbreaker. Thanks
 

whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,788
8,624
Seattle area, WA
If noise if your big complain, check out Mercedes EQS - apparently the quietest EV ever built. The EQS as a whole seems to be a luxury version of a Model S, sans Plaid straight line acceleration. EQS has more range and better brakes too.
 

David29

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,293
1,972
DEDHAM, MA
I have spent the previous 2 weeks renting various Teslas on Turo. Model X P100D, pre-raven Model S P90D, Model S Raven Performance, and most recently a Plaid. Wanted to post my thoughts before asking for possible solutions in regards to wind noise and road noise.

The Plaid is the only car I have really connected to emotionally during my time testing out various Teslas for long periods of time, the pre-raven P90D came pretty close. But the yoke, the comfort, sound system, and quiet ride (under 50mph at least) make it the perfect daily driver for me.

LIKES:
1. Love the yoke. I thought I would hate it, and I adapted to it and loved it within 2 hours of driving the car. The elbow rests are perfectly placed so you can comfortably set your hand on the top nub of the yoke while cruising. Additionally, no reviewer seems to have mentioned the benefit of being able to cruise at low speeds around town without having to place a relaxed grip around a wheel. For people with carpal tunnel like me, being able to make a turn simply by extending an open palm facing upward and lifting the flat bottom of the yoke instead of having to actually grip a wheel is phenomenally relaxing way to drive, super comfortable. At least it is for me. This is a bonus, and if given a choice I would not want to trade it for a wheel. I also did not find 3 point turns or u-turns frustrating in anyway, it's rather fun.

2. Love the ability to swipe the screen to quickly go into drive or reverse. I prefer it over a stalk driver selector.

3. Love the seats. Far more comfortable and cushy while also being more supportive than any of the previous models I've driven. Really love them

4. Good ride quality. Not fantastic, not an S class, but still good. Compliant over rough roads, you can still feel the road but it's just enough to strike that balance between luxury and sport. I will say that I still prefer the suspension in the pre-raven P90D. It's slightly more comfortable and compliant, seems to absorb the road better. I'm not convinced that the new air suspension was done to provide more comfort, it seems to be focused on flexbility.

4. Love the cabin noise at speeds under 50mph. Feels like a luxury car until you go over 50mph

5. Love the new sound system. I'm an audiophile with quite a setup at home, I have litearlly walked away from buying a range rover because their so called "top of the line" Meridian system was trash. This is one of the best sound systems I've heard in a car at this class. It's not audiophile level, but it's so enjoyable with such a wonderful sense of space and air around the music, with very tight bass. Sold

6. Speed and launch control. Obviously

DISLIKES:

1. Windshield wiper button placement. I've activated the windshield wipers 5 times in the course of 24 hours. Taking a perfectly detailed car, and dirtying it up with fluid. Not good. I hope a software update makes this button a long press which would fix this issue. They need better QA at tesla because this seems like there was no thought put into this.

2. Auto drive selector. Twice the car defaulted to the incorrect driving mode when their were clearly obstacles behind or infront of me and began accelerating in the wrong direction. This is a very dangerous feature. Regardless of the arrows that appear on screen to inform the driver what direction the car is about to go, this car is designed to convince the driver to sit back relax and let the car make decisions. Not a good habit to get into at this stage of the vehicles development.

3. Door unlock via cellphone. The car only detects me standing in front of it half the time, therefore it will not open the door when i need it to. Someitmes I have to swipe my cell phone in front of the door to open it.


HATE/DEALBREAKER:
Road Noise and wind noise at speeds above 50mph. This is the real deal breaker for me and the only thing preventing me from placing a deposit and buying the car. Totally unacceptable on a car of this price that is marketed as a luxury car.

I'm having an odd love/hate with the Plaid because it has two distinct personalities. Under 50mph it's everything I want in a daily driver. Quiet, compliant, butter smooth on roads, and I love the steering when set to sport. Above 50mph however, I hate it. I am extremely auditory and very sensitive to road and wind noise, it causes tension and aggravation, and reminds me the vehicles I hated in the 90's and early 2000's.

The wind noise is so distracting at speeds above 70mph on the highway, that I actually conteplated buying another car just for comfortable freeway driving, and relegating the Plaid to city streets. I HATE driving this car on the highway, it reminds me of my 2010 BMW M3. All the other Tesla models I've driven at highway speeds measured 69-71db on a a meter. The pre-raven P90D was the quietes on the highway at 69-70db above 70mph. The Plaid is measuring 72-73db above 70mph. The wind noise is just too much. It's not deafening, but it distracting and drowns out the music playing on the sound system. Hyundai and Ford do better than this at under half the price, and my moms BMW X3 SUV from 2009 certainly does. It's truly an embarrassment, and I do not think a noise cancelling feature is the answer.

I'm aware there are multiple threads on various weather strip solution, but I'm not interested in any solution that does no result in at least a 3db reduction in noise. Has anyone successfully mitigated road noise over 3db on a Model S using Dynamat, window treatments or similar solutions? The noise seems to be coming from the areas surrounding the windshield and the small triangle windows between the windshield and the side windows. If I can truly mitigate it, I would buy the car. But not in it's current state. It's a literal dealbreaker. Thanks
Your comments about road noise reinforce my long-term dislike of Tesla's repeatedly choosing to use frameless windows on the doors of all their models. making that design change alone would mitigate so many noise complaints and would also reduce a number of other issues around door and window operation. I have never understood their preference for the frameless design Whatever small savings in weight they might provide are certainly offset by the noise issues that everyone experiences.
 
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alexbpm

Member
Oct 22, 2021
8
13
San Diego
If noise if your big complain, check out Mercedes EQS - apparently the quietest EV ever built. The EQS as a whole seems to be a luxury version of a Model S, sans Plaid straight line acceleration. EQS has more range and better brakes too.
I'm waiting on the AMG version actually. The front grill and overall shape of the current model is not my cup of tea. Reminds me of when manufacturers intentionally made their electric cars the least visually appealing in their lineup
 

alexbpm

Member
Oct 22, 2021
8
13
San Diego
Your comments about road noise reinforce my long-term dislike of Tesla's repeatedly choosing to use frameless windows on the doors of all their models. making that design change alone would mitigate so many noise complaints and would also reduce a number of other issues around door and window operation. I have never understood their preference for the frameless design Whatever small savings in weight they might provide are certainly offset by the noise issues that everyone experiences.
Now that is an interesting assesment. And one that I had not noticed or taken into consideration. If the frameless windows are the culprit, I'm hoping someone has a DIY solution. It truly is a shame that Tesla has gone in that direction if that is indeed the case.
 

Plaidish

Member
Aug 21, 2021
54
42
NY
I wonder if something was amiss with that Plaid. With my LR most of the noise comes from the tires.
Same, no wind noise, all tire. First ev but it is very distracting. Just wondering if it’s so much more noticeable because of the lack of engine noise.
 

whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,788
8,624
Seattle area, WA
I'm waiting on the AMG version actually. The front grill and overall shape of the current model is not my cup of tea. Reminds me of when manufacturers intentionally made their electric cars the least visually appealing in their lineup
Yea, the styling of the EQS is very bland, but the rest of the features seem great. Personally I'm waiting for a Taycan Cross Turismo, but if the EQS just had a bit more power (0-60 in sub 3 or less) and some tight sport suspension mode option, I'd get over the external styling especially that it makes for one of the most efficient designs for drag coefficient and I always values function over form.
 

alexbpm

Member
Oct 22, 2021
8
13
San Diego
Same, no wind noise, all tire. First ev but it is very distracting. Just wondering if it’s so much more noticeable because of the lack of engine noise.
That isn’t the issue considering that the P90D I drove was considerably quieter at highway speeds, I could live with the P90D. I cannot however live with the wind/cabin noise I experienced in the Plaid. This makes me question the possible variance from one vehicle to another. Reminds me of the silicon lottery when buying CPU’s and panel lottery when buying LCD TV’s.

This company came up with an interesting solution to handle the wind noise from the triangle window, sadly they dont have any that will fit a Tesla
 

David29

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,293
1,972
DEDHAM, MA
Now that is an interesting assesment. And one that I had not noticed or taken into consideration. If the frameless windows are the culprit, I'm hoping someone has a DIY solution. It truly is a shame that Tesla has gone in that direction if that is indeed the case.
I am saying that based upon my own car, which admittedly is 6 years old. I have read that Tesla has added sound insulation over the years, and I understood that the latest model S has thicker glass in the front doors. But it certainly seems as though the lack of tight-fitting door frames would make a big difference. It makes the noise a hit or miss proposition to some degree, because the fit between the windows and the gaskets could be subject to so many manufacturing variables. On the other hand, rigid door frames have a fixed, tight track for the windows to slide it, which makes them inherently tighter and quieter.
 

cab

Active Member
Sep 5, 2013
1,043
746
Grapevine, TX
I am saying that based upon my own car, which admittedly is 6 years old. I have read that Tesla has added sound insulation over the years, and I understood that the latest model S has thicker glass in the front doors. But it certainly seems as though the lack of tight-fitting door frames would make a big difference. It makes the noise a hit or miss proposition to some degree, because the fit between the windows and the gaskets could be subject to so many manufacturing variables. On the other hand, rigid door frames have a fixed, tight track for the windows to slide it, which makes them inherently tighter and quieter.
Agree 100%. The frameless doors seemed to be a.) a cost cutting measure and b.) a Mechanism to allow for Tesla’s less than precise fit and finish (more “wiggle” room in fitting door).
 

CorporateB

Member
May 17, 2021
65
100
UT
3dB shouldn't be that much of a difference, but the difference in frequency of the noise could make it seem better/worse. The car is definitely not quiet, and it's a shame ANC hasn't been released yet so we could get some real reviews about how effective it is.

My understanding is that tires may make a non-trivial difference, maybe partially contributing to that. The tire guy I used in the past said he had Model 3 and Model S customers that got new tires and they were noticeably louder so they swapped them out. The stock summers have the dampening foam though, so I don't know that any others will be that much quieter.

I struggled with noise-reduction strategies in the Model 3 and never really found anything. There are tons of kits that sell weather stripping to put in between everything, but most people reported minimal difference and even issues when it started getting pushed in too deep.

The only 'real' thing I've seen so far is putting a rubber seal between the front windshield and top glass *IF* the top glass is not flush with it. If they are flush (as they should be, but Tesla...) then it wouldn't matter.

Have you driven multiple refreshed S's or just the one? I've seen reports of poor hood alignment causing a lot of extra noise too. The car is definitely NOT quiet, but some may be way worse if you're unlucky enough to have poorly aligned hood, not-flush roof, any seal issues, trunk alignment issues, etc.
 

brookman

2016 P90DL
Jul 26, 2019
55
18
chandler az
3dB shouldn't be that much of a difference, but the difference in frequency of the noise could make it seem better/worse. The car is definitely not quiet, and it's a shame ANC hasn't been released yet so we could get some real reviews about how effective it is.

My understanding is that tires may make a non-trivial difference, maybe partially contributing to that. The tire guy I used in the past said he had Model 3 and Model S customers that got new tires and they were noticeably louder so they swapped them out. The stock summers have the dampening foam though, so I don't know that any others will be that much quieter.

I struggled with noise-reduction strategies in the Model 3 and never really found anything. There are tons of kits that sell weather stripping to put in between everything, but most people reported minimal difference and even issues when it started getting pushed in too deep.

The only 'real' thing I've seen so far is putting a rubber seal between the front windshield and top glass *IF* the top glass is not flush with it. If they are flush (as they should be, but Tesla...) then it wouldn't matter.

Have you driven multiple refreshed S's or just the one? I've seen reports of poor hood alignment causing a lot of extra noise too. The car is definitely NOT quiet, but some may be way worse if you're unlucky enough to have poorly aligned hood, not-flush roof, any seal issues, trunk alignment issues, etc.
Decibels are logarithmic, 3dB is 2x louder.
 
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Unclepaul

Member
Jan 15, 2020
128
174
SoCal
I had an X with a similar issue. Service squirted some foam into below the front A pillars and that really quieted the wind noise down. Said it was a known problem and foam was an effective solution. Loved how quiet my Tesla was after that.
 
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Bull

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Oct 25, 2020
530
1,468
Tucson, AZ
Maybe the tires were over inflated.
I run my 21s at 38 psi which is 2 psi below the new recommended pressure and that dramatically reduces road noise. Every time the car has been serviced though they air them up to 44-45 psi which dramatically increases road noise. It seems that many service techs are not aware of the new lower recommended pressure.
 

Cheburashka

Active Member
Jan 29, 2018
2,572
3,775
Los Gatos, CA
Damn saddens me to hear this. Hate the noise in my S even after applying dynamat to the doors. It's better but not great, nowhere on the level of a Lexus. I wonder if ANC is really the magic bullet here.
 

jcpetit

Member
Aug 19, 2020
35
19
Montreal
I had an X with a similar issue. Service squirted some foam into below the front A pillars and that really quieted the wind noise down. Said it was a known problem and foam was an effective solution. Loved how quiet my Tesla was after that.
Hello Unclepaul,
would it be possible to have a picture of the foam installed?
 

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