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Thumping noise while Supercharging

kbecks13

Active Member
Dec 27, 2017
1,917
2,367
SoCal
So there are some reported problems with the battery pack expanding and making a popping sheet metal sound, but typically people also hear the contactors opening/closing at the beginning of the charge session which is totally normal.
 
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Reactions: go2realize

araxara

S-P85#3,218 X-LR M3AWD
May 11, 2012
1,021
392
Tucson, AZ
There is a service bulletin where they replace the breather valves on the Model 3, assuming your car falls within a date range. This is supposed to fix the problem. You may want to check on that. At the same time they may also perform some other small service bulletins.
 

mreynolds767

Member
Jul 11, 2019
728
403
Boston
Not sure the breather values service is the issue in this case.
Also have a 2019 built in Sept and hear these thumping loud metal sounds when supercharging. Been 6x to the SC and heard it each and every time.

Going with the assumption it is normal, if someone has had the sounds go away after a service that would be great to know.
 

acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,794
1,792
Richland, WA
Not sure the breather values service is the issue in this case.
Also have a 2019 built in Sept and hear these thumping loud metal sounds when supercharging. Been 6x to the SC and heard it each and every time.

Going with the assumption it is normal, if someone has had the sounds go away after a service that would be great to know.

My July SR+ has this as well... next time I'm near Spokane I'm going to try to see if I can have Tesla do the TSB on it. Some of the bangs are really loud metal on metal bending/smacking each other kind of sounds. Even if it's not "bad" it can't be good. Metal shouldn't be stressed like that back and forth, especially if Tesla has built in a vent system to equalize the pressure but it's not just quick enough or triggering at the right temperatures/pressures....
 

M3Rider

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Oct 3, 2018
1,508
7,700
CO
My car does this in winter and colder weather.
Not Supercharger limited. See this:
 

acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,794
1,792
Richland, WA
My car does this in winter and colder weather.
Not Supercharger limited. See this:

Ugh, I hate how that guy over reacts to everything.

Anyway, I understand how metal contracts and expands with the temperature, but these bangs are LOUD. I literally got out of the car to walk around on the third loud bang since I felt unsafe sitting on a bunch of batteries with 90+ kW going into them. Also, the sink is empty, run some cross beams over that since it's a ridged structural component, pack it full with stuff, secure it tightly to the car and now think about that expansion happening. It just seems like it can't be good long term with that metal or swelling of cells or anything. His bang is also hollow sounding, mine was like taking a large metallic bar and striking something else metal with it. There's certainly that metallic ping, but then a deep metal bang, like it smashed against something that doesn't flex or budge nearly as much or at the same rate...
 

M3Rider

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Oct 3, 2018
1,508
7,700
CO
Ugh, I hate how that guy over reacts to everything.

Anyway, I understand how metal contracts and expands with the temperature, but these bangs are LOUD. I literally got out of the car to walk around on the third loud bang since I felt unsafe sitting on a bunch of batteries with 90+ kW going into them. Also, the sink is empty, run some cross beams over that since it's a ridged structural component, pack it full with stuff, secure it tightly to the car and now think about that expansion happening. It just seems like it can't be good long term with that metal or swelling of cells or anything. His bang is also hollow sounding, mine was like taking a large metallic bar and striking something else metal with it. There's certainly that metallic ping, but then a deep metal bang, like it smashed against something that doesn't flex or budge nearly as much or at the same rate...
There was supposed to be the fluff/foam layer somewhere in the battery(top?), but fluffer bot was too slow and people not a whole lot faster, so I think they decided to bypass the fluff and this bottleneck to ramp up production. My understanding anyway, doesn't bother me a whole lot.
 

hoang51

Member
Aug 22, 2013
882
837
NoVA
Yes, that's the one. They performed this service on my Model 3 along with several other service bulletins. One was for the replacing charge port pins. They didn't email me the receipt, so can't be more specific.

Thanks for the confirmation. I had my charge port pins replaced while my car was in service not too long ago. But nothing with regards to the breather valve, even though my car was made within the date range in the TSB. My car does make flexing metal sound when Supercharging. The first time I heard it, I was like wtf. Every now and then, I hear it while supercharging and I just ignore it. And this is 11k miles on the odometer with exclusive Supercharging and still going.
 

kbecks13

Active Member
Dec 27, 2017
1,917
2,367
SoCal
Just drove my 2018 M3 from Bellingham, WA to Indio, CA and my car was thumping hard at every supercharger. Very shocking and I can't imagine its a good thing.

You are almost certainly hearing the contactor and this is normal operation for the car. It is the main disconnect and cycles during supercharging, typically at the beginning and it's a fairly pronounced "CLUNK" sound.

Contactor opening/closing = normal, happens all the time and probably what you're hearing. Normally you hear this when charging starts, you wake-up the vehicle or reset it. Try sitting in your car during a software update and you will hear it thunking away quite a bit!

Metal Flex noise = quieter, typically only happens when supercharging in freezing temps and/or driving with with altitude changes. If you hear a noise in the middle of supercharging and it's cold, it's likely this.
 

acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,794
1,792
Richland, WA
You are almost certainly hearing the contactor and this is normal operation for the car. It is the main disconnect and cycles during supercharging, typically at the beginning and it's a fairly pronounced "CLUNK" sound.

Contactor opening/closing = normal, happens all the time and probably what you're hearing. Normally you hear this when charging starts, you wake-up the vehicle or reset it. Try sitting in your car during a software update and you will hear it thunking away quite a bit!

Metal Flex noise = quieter, typically only happens when supercharging in freezing temps and/or driving with with altitude changes. If you hear a noise in the middle of supercharging and it's cold, it's likely this.

Quieter? Mine happened about 3 times during supercharging when it was only about 50F out. It was also MUCH louder than the contactor open/closing. I would say at least twice as loud but probably more like four or five times as loud. Like I said, it got me to get out of the car and walk twenty feet away or so because of how loud it was (and I was watching a YouTube video at the time). I hear the normal connect/disconnect every morning when waking my car or starting an AC charge, so I’m totally used to that...
 

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