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Pressure Buffeting - Has anyone experienced it?

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by UMD86, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. UMD86

    UMD86 Member

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    The analyst from Cars.com experienced the same thing I did when I test drove the Performance Model. Below is his article. Has anyone ever experienced the same thing? Does anyone know why this happens?

    I noticed it in my other cars when I lower the rear windows only. It feels like your ears are clapping. I have to lower the other windows to prevent it. With the Model Perf. "S" it happens when ALL of the windows are up.
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    The ride quality is also firmer than I expected from a sizable five-seater; however, the Signature Performance I drove has 21-inch wheels; the lineup starts with 19-inchers. There was also a troublesome low-frequency resonance — a vibration felt more than heard — that was most pronounced on grooved-concrete interstate but which was also detectable at other times. It felt a bit like the pressure buffeting that sometimes happens when you drive with a moonroof open too far, but not accompanied by the higher frequency wind turbulence. I and a passenger — and another editor driving separately — found it terribly irritating.
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    This is concern for me. I will have to test drive both models before I finalize my order. I hope it's nothing major - I like the interior headroom of the perf. model.

    Here's the LINK:

    2012 Tesla Model S Review by Joe Wiesenfelder
     
  2. EKoS

    EKoS Model S P4291

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    I actually experienced the "pressure buffet" effect with all windows up once, during a test drive several months ago in an early-production demo vehicle (a non-performance S). It wasn't too pronounced but was definitely disconcerting. I have driven two other cars (one during the original summer test-drive series and one about a month ago), and did not notice any such effect. When I asked my delivery specialist about my earlier experience on that last test drive, she mentioned Tesla had changed something minor with the door seals and cabin insulation, though not certain it was related to the pressure effect. I suspect this might be a very rare/isolated issue, and perhaps it's not even something to worry about in the latest cars?
     
  3. kishdude

    kishdude P #130

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    I get this only one one specific overpass that I drive over that is only about 200 feet long. It happens with all windows up. Must have something to do with the groves on the road and resonance of the car.
     
  4. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

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    Never noticed this, although I am not driving a performance version. I know someone else who is though and they haven't mentioned it.
     
  5. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    Yes, I get it. It requires specific terrain because it appears to be suspension-related. It's relatively rare at least where I drive.
     
  6. rcc

    rcc Model S 85KW, VIN #2236

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    We've got a lot of grooved pavement around here so I've experienced this with other cars. When it happens, I don't think it matters if the windows are up or down (although mine have always been up). My take (which could be wrong) is that cars that really want to follow the road are more suspectible to this. So I'd guess you'd see this more with 21" tires than 19" tires but you'll still see it every now and then with the 19" tires because the standard S is a legimate sports sedan.
     
  7. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    FWIW I haven't noticed a difference with respect to this phenomenon on the 21 summers vs. the 19 winters (I've had both on my car each for about a month now).
     
  8. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Almost every car I've owned for the last 20 years has had pressure buffeting with the windows in some position or other. The only one I can think of that doesn't do that is the Roadster.
     
  9. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Ditto...
     
  10. CanuckS#69

    CanuckS#69 Member

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    #10 CanuckS#69, Jan 5, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
    I agree with Doug, every newer car I've owned or driven had this issue, most of them rather badly. My older cars (87 Mercedes, 90 Range Rover, 94 Miata) don't do this. I can't speak for the Tesla yet, it is too cold for windows down operation.
     
  11. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Just about everything will resonate at a given frequency...
     
  12. DrComputer

    DrComputer Member

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    This was one of the first problems I reported to Tesla. On my drive home from the factory I too noticed the horrible "pressure buffeting" when all of the windows and sunroof were closed. I tried several experiments to see if I lowered the windows slightly or opened the sunroof if it would go away. It didn't. After discussing it with the LA service center and them with corporate they determined this is a known issue and is actually caused by rear hatch. If you open the rear hatch you will find two thumb screw type rubber dampers on each side of the hatch by the edge (not the solid plates they press against on the car itself). If the screws are not far enough out the hatch acts as a large speaker bouncing up and down as you drive over uneven roads creating this uncomfortable pressure feeling. Adjust them out far enough so the hatch closes tightly but not too far where the automatic closer will not shut because there is too much pressure. This adjustment, in combination with the rear parcel shelf to absorb vibration, greatly reduces the pressure buffeting problem.
     
  13. Vger

    Vger Active Member

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    DrComputer, you are my hero!! I also experienced this right away, and it has been driving me CRAZY! It is the only thing that was seriously impacting my enjoyment of the vehicle.

    The explanation and fix, which I will try right away, explains why I did NOT experience this on either of the two cars I test drove before getting our own-- one a GET AMPED Fremont pre-production non-perf, one a perf out of the Bellevue, WA store.

    Just to clarify for others posting above, this is NOT the typical buffeting you get with a window down at high speed, which is indeed very common. This is a very loud, very low frequency sound inside the sealed cabin (all opening closed). As Cinergi mentioned, it is related to vertical shaking of the body due to road imperfections. A single bump will cause it, but it dies out quickly. Washboard pavement (like that right in front of the Tesla Vancouver Service Centre) will provoke and sustaining it for many seconds at a time. I have never heard anything like it before, in all my auto experience.

    I hope they train all the service managers about this, especially since the fix is so easy.

    Thanks TMC for coming up with another crowd-sourced solution!
     
  14. Blurry_Eyed

    Blurry_Eyed MS Sig #267, MX Sig # 761

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    #14 Blurry_Eyed, Jan 5, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
    Thank you DrComputer, I also have been bothered by the pressure buffeting and it was one of my only big disappointments with the car. I opened up the windows and the sunroof of my car and it didn't go away. I thought it had something to do with something in the car acting like a speaker and it seems as if the rear hatch was. The explanation makes total sense now. The movement of the rear hatch when going over certain types of pavement and bumps makes total sense. I'm going to try experimenting with the adjustments to see if I can reduce or eliminate it. Thank you!
     
  15. DrComputer

    DrComputer Member

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    Glad I could help.
     
  16. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    This is in regards to the buffeting (or buffeting-like effects on your ear drums) that happens with the windows closed. It appears suspension-related.
    Edit: or perhaps the trunk adjustment mentioned above. I'll have to try that!
     
  17. Blurry_Eyed

    Blurry_Eyed MS Sig #267, MX Sig # 761

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    I tried the fix tonight and it solved the issue for me! What I experienced before the fix was a low pressure in my eardrums when the car would go over bumps and certain types of pavement, regardless if the windows were open or closed (even tried opening up the panoramic sunroof and all the windows to see if it would help, it didn't) In other cars, I'd feel a similar buffeting if I had a window open in a certain way and in a certain combination (one rear window open and all the others closed for example).

    The two rubber screws on each side of the lift gate in my car were screwed all the way in (thus giving no extra support to the hatch over bumps in the road). I ended up loosening the screws (turned the screws to the left or counter-clockwise) to extend the screws further. I think in my case, I extended both screws about 1/4 inch or 3/8th of an inch. I extended them just to the point where the automatic lift gate wouldn't open back up. It makes the lift gate very snug against the rubber stops on the frame. I may experiment a bit to see how much I can retract the screws back into the lift gate to see where the threshold of buffeting is.

    I don't have a rear parcel shelf, so I think once I get that delivered from my due bill, that may help reduce the low frequency noise even more. But I'm now a happy camper!
     
  18. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    At least now we know why the parcel shelf is the way it is rather than the window shade type.
     
  19. Vger

    Vger Active Member

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    Same experience for me! Total fix!

    I am writing a note to an Ownership Experience guy I was in touch with on another issue to alert them to this problem and fix.

    They should re-train their final assembly and test crew at the factory to deal with this a priori.

    I also think that they should have rubber or foam shims to put under the adjustment screw-pads, so that they do not move once set correctly.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Actually, the parcel shelf does not really come into the closed-window pressure buffeting problem.

    Although, a Tesla service guy told me that the audio system sounds much better with the parcel shelf in place, because it better tunes the acoustics of the rear of the cabin. Note that there are speakers in the hatch under the rear glass.
     
  20. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    post #12 in this thread indicates that the parcel shelf is also supposed to help.
     

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