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Solved: wind noise

dutchchili

Member
Jul 16, 2019
484
392
The Netherlands
FIXED IT!

Problem
With speeds off 70 mph and more, I experience wind noise in the A-pillar. I perceive it as a non-constant crispy sound, which depends on the wind speed and direction. Very annoying.
It occurs on both sides.

Root cause
The A-pillar is open on the front end. Air can enter from the fender as well as the windscreen area. This causes vortices in the a-pillar / sound that resonates in the a-pillar.
The A-pillar opening is partly closed a by a rubber flap. But this flap is not attached very well and may lose when opening the frunk.

Solution
Close the A-pillar opening to prevent the vortices / resonance.
In order to establish this without dismounting any parts, a sponge can be inserted from the windscreen side to close the A-pillar sufficiently the remove the noise. It appears that this solution not always eliminates the crispy sound, but the overall wind noise.

Do-it-yourself
1) by a household sponge like these
AH Schuurspons hard bestellen | ah.nl

2) use scissors to cut off a 1,5cm strip as shown below
img_20191213_102452-jpg.487807

3) cut off the green part. You don't need that.

4) Push the rubber flap away from the a-pillar opening (as shown below)

5) push the sponge into the hole. Make sure to pinge the sponge with your thumb and index finger so that it will fit through the hole and can expand once inside.

6) the end results should look like this. The yellow stipes indicate the position of the sponge. It doesn't really matter if it sticks into the fender or the A-pillar. The effect is the same. Putting it perfectly into the A-pillar will keep the sponge more dry.
img_20191213_102101-jpg.487808

6) put the rubber back in place.

7) enjoy silence :)

8) donate any remaining sponges to the housekeeper.

Disclaimer: a sponge may hold water, causing the a-pillar humidity to be higher than normal. This may cause rust if the a-pillar is not well protected against that.
Thanks to the root cause of the wind noise, the sponge will dry quickly with every dry drive.
 

destructure00

Active Member
Mar 2, 2019
1,468
1,620
Scottsdale, AZ
Trying this today! I've hunted down and fixed nearly all of my rattles, now it's the wind noise that's driving me crazy. Thanks for posting! Will post back with my results...
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,226
13,878
West Vancouver, British Columbia

RB88

Member
Mar 18, 2019
179
136
Seattle, WA
FIXED IT!

Problem
With speeds off 70 mph and more, I experience wind noise in the A-pillar. I perceive it as a non-constant crispy sound, which depends on the wind speed and direction. Very annoying.
It occurs on both sides.

Root cause
The A-pillar is open on the front end. Air can enter from the fender as well as the windscreen area. This causes vortices in the a-pillar / sound that resonates in the a-pillar.
The A-pillar opening is partly closed a by a rubber flap. But this flap is not attached very well and may lose when opening the frunk.

Solution
Close the A-pillar opening to prevent the vortices / resonance.
In order to establish this without dismounting any parts, a sponge can be inserted from the windscreen side to close the A-pillar sufficiently the remove the noise. It appears that this solution not always eliminates the crispy sound, but the overall wind noise.

Do-it-yourself
1) by a household sponge like these
AH Schuurspons hard bestellen | ah.nl

2) use scissors to cut off a 1,5cm strip as shown below
img_20191213_102452-jpg.487807

3) cut off the green part. You don't need that.

4) Push the rubber flap away from the a-pillar opening (as shown below)

5) push the sponge into the hole. Make sure to pinge the sponge with your thumb and index finger so that it will fit through the hole and can expand once inside.

6) the end results should look like this. The yellow stipes indicate the position of the sponge. It doesn't really matter if it sticks into the fender or the A-pillar. The effect is the same. Putting it perfectly into the A-pillar will keep the sponge more dry.
img_20191213_102101-jpg.487808

6) put the rubber back in place.

7) enjoy silence :)

8) donate any remaining sponges to the housekeeper.

Disclaimer: a sponge may hold water, causing the a-pillar humidity to be higher than normal. This may cause rust if the a-pillar is not well protected against that.
Thanks to the root cause of the wind noise, the sponge will dry quickly with every dry drive.
Can you post a more zoomed out image for more context on where to put this?
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,046
4,670
MA, NH
Good find. But you might want to find a material that breaths/drains so it does not retain water. Like the green stuff you cut off still might stop the vortices but still drain.

A clear piece of PPF might work over the seam too.

Should let RPMTesla know and they can sell sponge slices for $29.99 a pair ;)
 

dutchchili

Member
Jul 16, 2019
484
392
The Netherlands
in reply to all the replies:
- i would like to here if this helps for you too.
- i never experienced any wind noise issues until my fender and bumper where repainted (and remounted). The first it seemed the car because quieter. The second time the crispy vortex sound appeared. As far as i can see without dismounting anything, some panel gaps are now winder and some rubber pieces are not so good in place. But overall, with this fix, the sound level (not noise) of the wind seems lower. Even if you don't experience any issues, this might make your car quieter.
- Flexible Urethane would be a better solution indeed. Might be difficult to get it in the right place without dismounting panels. And it might cause other issues to. A fully/perfectly closed a-pillar could resonate at difference frequencies. That would make me feel....f****.
- Rust: not to concerned. I would like to know if the a-pillar is treated with anti-rust stuff. I don't have a camera to look inside... But without the fix, the area will become wet too. i only drys faster.

-zoomed out shot below, insert the sponge where the arrow is pointing to.:
IMG_20191210_220511.jpg

In the above image, you see the front left fender. The right panel is the a-pillar.
 
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destructure00

Active Member
Mar 2, 2019
1,468
1,620
Scottsdale, AZ
Just did mine using some picture corner protectors I found at Home Depot for $8. Same material used in pipe insulation. Will take a test drive soon and see what the result is. I did tape those gaps this morning and went for a drive and it took the "harshness" off the wind noise. Didn't eliminate but made it sound smoother and a bit quieter, so I consider that a win.

IMG_20191214_101348.jpg
IMG_20191214_101407.jpg
IMG_20191214_104040.jpg
IMG_20191214_104047.jpg
IMG_20191214_104106.jpg
 

dutchchili

Member
Jul 16, 2019
484
392
The Netherlands
That piece might be a bit too large, unless you managed to put the rubber piece back in place.
As long as the a-piller is closed up you should the desired effect. Taping is not sufficient as it only closes the gap 'to the outside of the car', not from the fender to the a-pillar.
I tried that first too, with the same result you experienced. Reduced noise, not no noise.
 

destructure00

Active Member
Mar 2, 2019
1,468
1,620
Scottsdale, AZ
That piece might be a bit too large, unless you managed to put the rubber piece back in place.
As long as the a-piller is closed up you should the desired effect. Taping is not sufficient as it only closes the gap 'to the outside of the car', not from the fender to the a-pillar.
I tried that first too, with the same result you experienced. Reduced noise, not no noise.

It went back together ok as pictured. Had to compress it a bit to get the plastic piece with the pop rivet back in place, but it went ok.

Just went for a drive. Wind noise is reduced by probably 50-60%. Still there but much quieter now.
 

dutchchili

Member
Jul 16, 2019
484
392
The Netherlands
I'd be careful with that. May expand in any direction and possibly difficult to remove. A full closure of the a pillar might also introduce new resonance.
As you proved: obstructing a lot of wind helps significantly.

I'll stick to my sponge and enjoy the silence.
 
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destructure00

Active Member
Mar 2, 2019
1,468
1,620
Scottsdale, AZ
I'd be careful with that. May expand in any direction and possibly difficult to remove. A full closure of the a pillar might also introduce new resonance.
As you proved: obstructing a lot of wind helps significantly.

I'll stick to my sponge and enjoy the silence.

Very true. I'll probably just stick with this and enjoy the near silence lol. Thanks again for posting this, never would have thought to do this.
 
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