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[Resolved] My P85 has developed the milling noise and Tesla won't fix it.

kenkamm

Member
Mar 28, 2015
59
1
Somewhere, MD
I've really been loving this car (2013 P85) and the Rockville MD service center has been great. But recently my car started making the milling noise. They made a recording and sent it to Tesla and was told that it was within tolerances.

I'm not satisfied with that response from Tesla. The noise is annoying and taking enjoyment away from ownership. It's getting worse which may be an indication of imminent failure. The noise started suddenly, which is an indication that something has gone wrong. Not all cars have this issue, so the argument that it's within tolerances doesn't hold water with me. It's a known Model S issue and I want Tesla to take ownership of this and fix my car before it ends up leaving me stranded on the side of the road - or worse. My car has about 33,000 miles on it - does Tesla plan to just wait for my warranty to run out and then volunteer to repair it?

I'd like to find out who I can escalate this issue with in MD - anyone know?
 

cgiGuy

Active Member
Jul 9, 2013
1,500
1,081
Everywhere, Nowhere
I just had second drivetrain replacement about a month ago due to this noise. (The first one had milling at low speed, plus droning sound at 70; second was just milling noise.) While getting replaced, I was told by my SC that they have "new" drivetrain designs that are better than the early ones, and the new ones shouldn't develop these noises any more. Keep pushing.
 

Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,672
3,719
NoVa
You have an 8 year unlimited mile warranty, so no, they're not waiting for you to hit 50k miles.
 

yobigd20

Well-Known Member
Oct 28, 2012
5,929
532
Skaneateles, NY
I was told by my SC that they have "new" drivetrain designs that are better than the early ones, and the new ones shouldn't develop these noises any more. Keep pushing.

this i don't believe because I just had my DU swapped with a brand new unit (not remanufactured) 6 weeks ago and I have 3k miles on it and it already has started developing the milling noise again.

- - - Updated - - -

it's also worth noting that when this originally started happening to me I went to 3 different service centers before they would swap it. the first two were like 'thats normal' and gave some long spiel explaining that the extreme high power and voltage will cause the components to make that noise over time yadda yadda yadda and it wasn't until i went to a 3rd different service center where they were like 'uh yeah thats not normal and is the milling noise' and have since done 3 DU swaps for this (soon to be 4th DU swap I guess whenever this one gets loud enough to annoy me).
 

mknox

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
10,103
1,870
Toronto, ON
My second drive unit developed the "clunk" and Tesla said it was within specs. It then developed the milling sound (angry mosquito / buzz saw off in the distance) and Tesla said it was just "cosmetic" but would replace it when parts become available because it is now out of spec. Since then, it's gotten even louder. Still waiting on my replacement.

Perhaps simply bring it up at each service interval. If it is getting worse, it will eventually cross some threshold that Tesla has set.
 

AnOutsider

S532 # XS27
Apr 3, 2009
11,957
200
I'd like to find out who I can escalate this issue with in MD - anyone know?

Just posting your tale here alone could lead to a phone call from someone offering to fix it. Good luck. I know it can be frustrating trying to pierce Tesla's communication defenses.
 

PunchIT

Member
Jan 14, 2014
85
38
Washington DC
I've really been loving this car (2013 P85) and the Rockville MD service center has been great. But recently my car started making the milling noise. They made a recording and sent it to Tesla and was told that it was within tolerances.

I'm not satisfied with that response from Tesla. The noise is annoying and taking enjoyment away from ownership. It's getting worse which may be an indication of imminent failure. The noise started suddenly, which is an indication that something has gone wrong. Not all cars have this issue, so the argument that it's within tolerances doesn't hold water with me. It's a known Model S issue and I want Tesla to take ownership of this and fix my car before it ends up leaving me stranded on the side of the road - or worse. My car has about 33,000 miles on it - does Tesla plan to just wait for my warranty to run out and then volunteer to repair it?

I'd like to find out who I can escalate this issue with in MD - anyone know?

I think they'll wait for it to get worse and then replace.

I had the humming noise which all my friends complained about. Telsa didn't replace it until it became the clunk noise on load reversal.
 

kenkamm

Member
Mar 28, 2015
59
1
Somewhere, MD
...when people ask what that annoying noise is - it is pretty hard to sell them a Tesla!
In my case the noise is loud enough that my wife and friends have independently noticed it and asked about it. Yet it's "within specs" according to Tesla. When you're not the owner of the car, it doesn't seem as bad. A short test drive does not necessarily reveal how annoying it gets to hear it on a daily basis. It's very evident in certain parts of my commute. Of course, I don't have a Tesla tech in the car with me at those times.
 

hpham007

Banned
Jul 17, 2015
166
1
Houston
In my case the noise is loud enough that my wife and friends have independently noticed it and asked about it. Yet it's "within specs" according to Tesla. When you're not the owner of the car, it doesn't seem as bad. A short test drive does not necessarily reveal how annoying it gets to hear it on a daily basis. It's very evident in certain parts of my commute. Of course, I don't have a Tesla tech in the car with me at those times.

The noise is an inherent issue with the Tesla drive units. Despite claims by some that tesla has found a solution, I've yet seen evidence of this. Since a DU replacement is inevitable (perhaps multiple replacements), it appears that Tesla will try to get the most mileage out of each unit before replacement to save on costs. The downside is that the owners will have to live with the milling noise.
 

EVenthusiast

Member
Jun 17, 2013
279
3
US
First thing I thought of was the RAV4 EV, which experienced similar issues (Tesla drivetrain of course).

Is this the noise you're talking about? Is it worse?


(jump to 2:04 to really hear it)
 
Last edited by a moderator:

vgrinshpun

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 5, 2013
5,886
22,792
PA
I've really been loving this car (2013 P85) and the Rockville MD service center has been great. But recently my car started making the milling noise. They made a recording and sent it to Tesla and was told that it was within tolerances.

I'm not satisfied with that response from Tesla. The noise is annoying and taking enjoyment away from ownership. It's getting worse which may be an indication of imminent failure. The noise started suddenly, which is an indication that something has gone wrong. Not all cars have this issue, so the argument that it's within tolerances doesn't hold water with me. It's a known Model S issue and I want Tesla to take ownership of this and fix my car before it ends up leaving me stranded on the side of the road - or worse. My car has about 33,000 miles on it - does Tesla plan to just wait for my warranty to run out and then volunteer to repair it?

I'd like to find out who I can escalate this issue with in MD - anyone know?

First step in escalation would be to speak with the Service Center foreman (not just service advisor or technician), if this does not work ask foreman for the contact information for the regional service manager, and discuss the issue with him. Good luck.

- - - Updated - - -

The noise is an inherent issue with the Tesla drive units. Despite claims by some that tesla has found a solution, I've yet seen evidence of this. Since a DU replacement is inevitable (perhaps multiple replacements), it appears that Tesla will try to get the most mileage out of each unit before replacement to save on costs. The downside is that the owners will have to live with the milling noise.

There is no *inherent* issue with the Tesla drive units. According to statistical data collected by Consumer Reports the rate of this problem is somewhere between 2 and 3% for older (2012) cars, less than 1% for newer cars.

- - - Updated - - -

I know I will not buy a Tesla as long as this is not definitely fixed. A great reason to buy an electric car is silence. This ruins it.

May I ask what car do you currently own/drive?
 

Cyclone

Cyclonic Member ((.oO))
Jan 12, 2015
5,058
1,143
Charlotte, NC
My second drive unit developed the "clunk" and Tesla said it was within specs. It then developed the milling sound (angry mosquito / buzz saw off in the distance) and Tesla said it was just "cosmetic" but would replace it when parts become available because it is now out of spec. Since then, it's gotten even louder. Still waiting on my replacement.

Perhaps simply bring it up at each service interval. If it is getting worse, it will eventually cross some threshold that Tesla has set.
...when people ask what that annoying noise is - it is pretty hard to sell them a Tesla!

My car was delivered with the noise. The first time I complained about it, they took a recording and sent it to Engineering. Over the next month, my car developed the clunk and when they checked that, they went ahead and put a remanufactured DU in my car. After three months of driving with the milling noise, it was such a wonderful experience to have the silence in my car. It really is very noticeable. So much so that 5 out of 8 test rides I gave asked about that sound during those three months.
 

kenkamm

Member
Mar 28, 2015
59
1
Somewhere, MD
First thing I thought of was the RAV4 EV, which experienced similar issues (Tesla drivetrain of course).

Is this the noise you're talking about? Is it worse?


(jump to 2:04 to really hear it)
Mine is a higher-frequency noise best described as a metal-milling sound or perhaps a sound similar to that of a cicada. I can't really tell by listening to your video whether mine is worse or better. My iPhone doesn't pick up the sound very well because it seems to capture low-frequency noise much better than high-frequency noise, so in iPhone recordings I just hear wind and tire noise. In person the noise is easily heard. If I crank my music I can drown it out, but if I listen to an audiobook I can hear it during every little pause.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

hpham007

Banned
Jul 17, 2015
166
1
Houston
First step in escalation would be to speak with the Service Center foreman (not just service advisor or technician), if this does not work ask foreman for the contact information for the regional service manager, and discuss the issue with him. Good luck.

I agree; this definitely needs to be escalated. To pay for a 100k car and asked to live with irritating noise is unacceptable.
 
Mar 11, 2010
4,569
1,445
Humboldt/Los Altos
First thing I thought of was the RAV4 EV, which experienced similar issues (Tesla drivetrain of course).

Is this the noise you're talking about? Is it worse?

this sounds more like gear whine to me

- - - Updated - - -

I agree; this definitely needs to be escalated. To pay for a 100k car and asked to live with irritating noise is unacceptable.

true.
The only time I have been sad driving my Tesla is when it was making the 'inverter' noise. It also caused me to try and drive differently so that I'd never be coasting at the low power draw that would produce the sound. Either floor it or put it in neutral and coast.
the whine makes it sound like a bad Karma
 

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