Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

White "smoke" coming from car while Supercharging

Wray

Member
Oct 7, 2021
7
8
Basel, Switzerland
Hi everyone

I had a mobile technician at home today, nothing serious just a few cosmetic things to be adjusted.
About 2 hours ago I went to the nearest Supercharger, a 125KW Charger. I had about 18% left and wanted to charge fully (in preperation for a trip tomorrow).

I was minding my business, watching a video on Youtube when just 5-10 Minutes into charging i see a lot of white smoke coming out of my front wheelwells, frunk and front bumper.
I immediately ran out of the car to unplug the charger and called the same mobile technician. While waiting for him to arrive, I see another MY having the same thing (just a few seconds long and not alot of smoke)!
After about 30 minutes he arrives, checks my car and tells me that everything is in order. Apparently there's condensation leaking from my low pressure valve (connected to the Super Manifold), atleast that's what I'm told.

So his advice was to just ignore it and if it happens again, I should oben a Service appointment in the App (not as a Service/ Checkup, but rather as a Note to the technicians).

I'm super paranoid to drive with my M3 (2021) again.

Has anyone else experienced this?
 

Shelburne

Member
Mar 9, 2021
256
216
Shelburne Falls, MA
I've had my M3 for just over a year and never had that problem. You called it smoke. He called it condensation. If it was condensation it would have no odor, or at most a very slight odor of dampness. But if it was smoke, the smell would be radically different and stronger, even acrid if it was from an electrical issue (and being a Tesla what other kind of issue could there be?).
 

spsheridan

Member
Sep 30, 2019
410
390
Los Angeles
Apparently there's condensation leaking from my low pressure valve (connected to the Super Manifold), atleast that's what I'm told.
Technically, condensation leaking from a valve is a liquid - it's is called vapor when it turns into a gaseous form that you can see in the air. Probably, what the technician meant to say was the condensation leaking from the low pressure valve heated up and turned to vapor. I assume the heating was due to charging. I am curious if the condensate was water or something else. If you couldn't smell it, it was likely water.
 
Last edited:

Wray

Member
Oct 7, 2021
7
8
Basel, Switzerland
I agree with all of you; there was no smell or odor to it, so it most likely was water.
I was just really scared when I first saw the smoke and wondered if that is normal.
Just gonna carry on with my life and hope it really is just some water vapors.

Thanks!
 

corbett666

Member
Apr 20, 2021
173
229
Cambridge, UK
This just happened to me in my 2021 M3P at a supercharger on the way home from a weekend away. Just sat watching Netflix with my girlfriend, started charging at about 20%, it was about 15 degrees and fairly high humidity, but suddenly a big puff of white ‘smoke’ came from under the front wheel arch! I instantly panicked, leaped from the car and told her to get out, but it quickly vanished, left no smell and after crawling under the car with my phone light I saw no evidence of any issue. The car was giving off some heat, might be heat pump related? The car continued to charge to 80% with no issue, and drove home around 200 miles with nothing to note. Very odd!
 
  • Informative
  • Like
Reactions: voxel and jebinc

corbett666

Member
Apr 20, 2021
173
229
Cambridge, UK
Very thick steam or water vapour is my best guess. No sign of actual fire and or smell to it at all. I’ve contacted Tesla service centre to come look at it… but it has to be steam. Just a big shock!
update on this. Tesla ran a diagnostics on my car and found no issues. The support guy explained that it is indeed the super manifold with the heat pump. Apparently the temperature writhing the plumbing around this can vary from freezing to boiling, it will sometimes release pressure and in colder weather this discharge can be seen as a puff of vapour. So basically all newer cars with heat pumps will have this. He also pointed out that if there ever was a fire, it would be black smoke since the plastics and insulation would burn very dirty. So nothing to worry about.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Baluchi and Sklith

Wray

Member
Oct 7, 2021
7
8
Basel, Switzerland
update on this. Tesla ran a diagnostics on my car and found no issues. The support guy explained that it is indeed the super manifold with the heat pump. Apparently the temperature writhing the plumbing around this can vary from freezing to boiling, it will sometimes release pressure and in colder weather this discharge can be seen as a puff of vapour. So basically all newer cars with heat pumps will have this. He also pointed out that if there ever was a fire, it would be black smoke since the plastics and insulation would burn very dirty. So nothing to worry about.
In the meantime, another friend of mine (who just recently, about 4 weeks ago, got his M3 LR/AWD) also had this while charging at a hypercharger (but only at 50KW/h). Mine was also charging and again, it "steamed".
I asked 2 different Tesla Technicians. One of them told me it was normal, the other told me they don't know for sure and are investigating it. Other 2021+ Cars also reported this according to him.

Let's just hope this is a simple fix and not harmful for the car.
 

father_of_6

Member
Jan 24, 2021
310
320
Buffalo, NY
I had failed PT sensors on my M3... they failed on the 7 hour drive home from picking up the car on the first day of ownership. It was the middle of winter with no cabin heat. During that drive home we stopped at 2 superchargers. The first we *did* have heat and it was uneventful. The second was without heat, and when charging began we experienced a significant "steam event" from under the frunk.

I assume the battery and/or other components were very cold and then subjected to heat. It was the only time I've experienced steam. The PT sensors were replaced about a month later, as well as the compressor. No other problems since then.
 

SpecYal

New Member
Oct 24, 2021
2
0
Massachusetts, USA
Hi everyone

I had a mobile technician at home today, nothing serious just a few cosmetic things to be adjusted.
About 2 hours ago I went to the nearest Supercharger, a 125KW Charger. I had about 18% left and wanted to charge fully (in preperation for a trip tomorrow).

I was minding my business, watching a video on Youtube when just 5-10 Minutes into charging i see a lot of white smoke coming out of my front wheelwells, frunk and front bumper.
I immediately ran out of the car to unplug the charger and called the same mobile technician. While waiting for him to arrive, I see another MY having the same thing (just a few seconds long and not alot of smoke)!
After about 30 minutes he arrives, checks my car and tells me that everything is in order. Apparently there's condensation leaking from my low pressure valve (connected to the Super Manifold), atleast that's what I'm told.

So his advice was to just ignore it and if it happens again, I should oben a Service appointment in the App (not as a Service/ Checkup, but rather as a Note to the technicians).

I'm super paranoid to drive with my M3 (2021) again.

Has anyone else experienced this?
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top