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Trying to identify this annoying sound when I'm relaxing in the Model 3

dspwhite

Member
Nov 21, 2012
131
31
UK
I have a 2019 Model 3P. When the car is stationary and I'm sitting inside in Park mode, there's a "click.....clack" sound which is repeatedly heard every approx. 20 seconds coming from in front of the steering wheel area, probably underneath the dash. It's pretty quiet, but like a dripping tap, it can get annoying. It's almost as though something is opening and quickly closing again.

Here's what it sounds like: Vocaroo | Online voice recorder (just the two clunks, ignore the rest of the pink/white noise).

Turned off climate control completely (long pressing the fan button), turned off cabin overheat protection, took out the USB drive, put my phone into aeroplane mode, and of course turned off the climate control / fan completely, but the click-clack sound is still heard.

Turning off the whole system via the Security tab did the trick, but then no heat / air conditioning :(

Is anyone else experiencing this? What could be causing it? For what it's worth, if I put the car into drive, and then back into park again, the sound is gone for around 15 minutes, but after that, the sound comes back again, repeating (as before) every twenty seconds.
 
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dspwhite

Member
Nov 21, 2012
131
31
UK
Okay, I've found the cause. If you gently rest your foot on the brake pedal, you can feel it when the sounds goes off. It seems like some sort of brake actuator check, but why is it happening every 20 seconds, and could there be a way to turn it off?

This ruins camp mode for us light sleepers and even just relaxing in the Model 3 to wait for someone, it feels like a dripping tap.
 

RayK

Active Member
Apr 5, 2016
2,222
2,221
San Jose, CA
FWIW, I've not ever heard that sound when sitting in my car. If you think it's coming from the brake system, are you on a hill or incline when it happens? If you are on level ground try putting the car into Drive and let the brake hold keep the car in place and see if the noise returns.

Temporary fix: turn the stereo on/up.
 

dspwhite

Member
Nov 21, 2012
131
31
UK
It's pretty quiet so maybe you haven't noticed. Can you try again to listen out for it when you get into your car? It happens every twenty seconds. If you listen out for it as soon as you get into your car without going into Drive gear, then it begins almost immediately.

Not on a hill. And if I put it into Drive, the noise stops, and stays stopped for 15 minutes after I put it back into Park again. Then the noise starts again.
 
Last edited:

XPsionic

Member
Jan 20, 2021
79
110
los angeles
Strange, I know that sound you're talking about because my car makes it when it's coming to a dead stop all the time. It definitely doesn't do that in P however.
 

sieler

Member
Apr 12, 2020
13
6
Cupertino, CA, USA
I have a 2019 Model 3P. When the car is stationary and I'm sitting inside in Park mode, there's a "click.....clack" sound which is repeatedly heard every approx. 20 seconds coming from in front of the steering wheel area, probably underneath the dash. It's pretty quiet, but like a dripping tap, it can get annoying. It's almost as though something is opening and quickly closing again.

Here's what it sounds like: Vocaroo | Online voice recorder (just the two clunks, ignore the rest of the pink/white noise).
...

Is anyone else experiencing this? [...]

Thanks *very much* for the audio clip ... it really helps readers (ok, listeners : ) understand if they're encountering the same problem!

And...yes, me too. For months. At night, my wife complains about it, but thanks to my hearing, I couldn't hear it.
Finally, it happened yesterday evening while I was standing near the car, and your recording nailed it.

At night both key fobs are about 30 feet away, in the house (except last night, while I was standing by car).
The car is on relatively flat driveway, in Park.
Sentry Mode off. Passive Entry (for what it's worth, hmphh) on. Recording mode Manual.

2020 Model S Long Range

thanks!
Stan
 

dspwhite

Member
Nov 21, 2012
131
31
UK
Thanks *very much* for the audio clip ... it really helps readers (ok, listeners : ) understand if they're encountering the same problem!

And...yes, me too. For months. At night, my wife complains about it, but thanks to my hearing, I couldn't hear it.
Finally, it happened yesterday evening while I was standing near the car, and your recording nailed it.

At night both key fobs are about 30 feet away, in the house (except last night, while I was standing by car).
The car is on relatively flat driveway, in Park.
Sentry Mode off. Passive Entry (for what it's worth, hmphh) on. Recording mode Manual.

2020 Model S Long Range

thanks!
Stan

Figured it out. It's the brakes. If you put your foot (or a single toe without your shoe) very softly on the brake pedal, you can even feel it slightly as the sound occurs.

Unfortunately, I don't know a real way to avoid it.
 

SaintMickey®

Closed
Sep 19, 2021
117
56
USA
Okay, I've found the cause. If you gently rest your foot on the brake pedal, you can feel it when the sounds goes off. It seems like some sort of brake actuator check, but why is it happening every 20 seconds, and could there be a way to turn it off?

This ruins camp mode for us light sleepers and even just relaxing in the Model 3 to wait for someone, it feels like a dripping tap.
Great job!!!

Teach a man to fish...feed him for a lifetime!

🤣
 

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