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

Wind Noise Increase Around 80 mph for Model S - What's the Source?

Does the wind noise in your Model S change significantly at a certain (approximate) speed?


  • Total voters
    49

robotmechanic

Member
Dec 31, 2016
9
1
Boston, MA
I've noticed in my Model S (Dec. 2016, 75D) that around 80 mph the wind noise makes a big jump in volume and seems to change its sound characteristics as well. It's so pronounced that when I first got the car, I thought there must be a body panel that was loose somewhere, that was either vibrating or catching air. The sound seems to change from the same low hiss that it has from 0-75ish mph, to a dull roar at around 80 mph (depending on which way the wind is blowing).

I'm curious if other people have this experience too. And if this is a regular and well known problem, then does anyone have any idea what the source of the noise is?

Given that it happens at such a specific speed, it makes me think that there's some part of the car that has great airflow until around 80mph but as you approach and pass that speed, the airflow gets disrupted and becomes very turbulent, or maybe airflow stalls in one place and in turn causes buffeting in another, or maybe it starts vibrating a panel, or maybe there's some space under the car that acts like a tuned port and the air mass oscillates at those speeds (and above as far as I can tell).

My main motivations with this question is a) is this true for all MS's or just mine? and b) if I can find out what the source of it is, then maybe I can install some vortex generators and/or some other kind of modification or hack to get rid of the noise.

Unlike most road noise in most cars, this one seems to make a very definitive and distinctive transition at a specific speed, and that makes me think it has a very specific cause, and that makes me think we can fix it.

I'd be very grateful for anyone else's experiences related to this. Or in an ideal world, if anyone has any access to, or knowledge of, the wind tunnel testing that Tesla did, I have no doubt that this condition is a well understood (by the folks who did the aero work).

If there are already resources or threads that cover this topic, please point me there. I've been looking for a while but haven't found a really good discussion about it.

Thanks!
 

Destiny1701

M3 - Red Rocket
Nov 28, 2015
1,022
775
Canada
Check the back trunk alignment. There are 4 areas for adjustment to raise or lower the lid height. Usually if the lid is slightly mid aligned, it may cause buffering of air flow at specific speeds. There are older threads on this known issue with wind noise and buffering at higher speeds.

Good luck :)
 

dmc12

New Member
Apr 7, 2018
1
0
France
I got a similar "Wind noise" on my 100D.
Noise came from the Driver side, on the "A pillar"/small side window around 90 KMH (55 MPH, so slower speed than your problem)
This has been fixed when I went to the Service Center. They just adjusted the window alignment and the related rubber.
 

robotmechanic

Member
Dec 31, 2016
9
1
Boston, MA
Interesting that body adjustments of various kinds can get rid of some of this.

I think I need to get my spectrum analyzer out and measure the noise I'm hearing. It's possible that we are all hearing different things and are describing it qualitatively differently.

Thanks for the input!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bebop

Buster1

Member
Oct 13, 2016
582
276
Ft Worth
Some folks have a significant gap between the top of the windshield and the leading edge of the roof glass. That was found to have some wind noise effects for some cars.

Go around with some blue painters tape and mask of one seam at a time, then test drive and see if anything changes.
 

Joe F

Disruption is hard.
Sep 19, 2016
2,005
9,293
Outside Philly
Windshield gap to glass roof a source as mentioned above. In my S it's a whistle.

Side window(s) not fitting properly to gaskets usually the problem, and can be especially noticed in heavy cross wind gusts.

Consult your service center as they can fix the latter. Mixed reviews over the 1.5 years as to the windshield fix. There's a thread dedicated to the windshield gap noise.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: robotmechanic

AustinP

Active Member
Apr 6, 2015
1,312
1,053
Belgium
Here is my recent experience.
Happened at the same speed as yours.
I do have the Panoroof and in my case this is where it came from.
The seal between the front black plastic piece and the glass roof was not air tight when the roof was closed.
The SC fixed this by adjusting the piece of metal in front of the glass roof so that it would squeeze better the seal. Issue solved. At least up to 100mph. Haven’t checked at higher speeds yet.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: robotmechanic

TaoJones

Beyond Driven
Nov 10, 2014
3,064
3,028
The Americas
I got a similar "Wind noise" on my 100D.
Noise came from the Driver side, on the "A pillar"/small side window around 90 KMH (55 MPH, so slower speed than your problem)
This has been fixed when I went to the Service Center. They just adjusted the window alignment and the related rubber.

Just had this done after a particularly annoying return road trip. The SvC believed the problem stemmed from that driver’s side A pillar small window and seal.

Now the wind noise seems to be more front centered rather than “all over” as it was. So back it will go to the SvC with a request to examine the pano seals.

Interesting tip upthread about the trunk. Will ask about the trunk and frunk as well.

Also developing a dashboard rattle. Heh. It never ends.
 
  • Love
Reactions: crashvt

daktari

Member
Jan 21, 2017
935
1,101
Norway
I have gotten most of the windows adjusted, a huge reduction of wind noise, but still a lot.
At around 140 km/h I also get a buffeting sound.

Also using a roof rack with ski box is terribly noisy, so something is wrong with the sound isolating properties of the glass.
 

Theotherelan

New Member
May 22, 2019
3
0
San Diego
I've noticed in my Model S (Dec. 2016, 75D) that around 80 mph the wind noise makes a big jump in volume and seems to change its sound characteristics as well. It's so pronounced that when I first got the car, I thought there must be a body panel that was loose somewhere, that was either vibrating or catching air. The sound seems to change from the same low hiss that it has from 0-75ish mph, to a dull roar at around 80 mph (depending on which way the wind is blowing).

I'm curious if other people have this experience too. And if this is a regular and well known problem, then does anyone have any idea what the source of the noise is?

Given that it happens at such a specific speed, it makes me think that there's some part of the car that has great airflow until around 80mph but as you approach and pass that speed, the airflow gets disrupted and becomes very turbulent, or maybe airflow stalls in one place and in turn causes buffeting in another, or maybe it starts vibrating a panel, or maybe there's some space under the car that acts like a tuned port and the air mass oscillates at those speeds (and above as far as I can tell).

My main motivations with this question is a) is this true for all MS's or just mine? and b) if I can find out what the source of it is, then maybe I can install some vortex generators and/or some other kind of modification or hack to get rid of the noise.

Unlike most road noise in most cars, this one seems to make a very definitive and distinctive transition at a specific speed, and that makes me think it has a very specific cause, and that makes me think we can fix it.

I'd be very grateful for anyone else's experiences related to this. Or in an ideal world, if anyone has any access to, or knowledge of, the wind tunnel testing that Tesla did, I have no doubt that this condition is a well understood (by the folks who did the aero work).

If there are already resources or threads that cover this topic, please point me there. I've been looking for a while but haven't found a really good discussion about it.

Thanks!


There are these plug like campers on the underside of the hatchback. Spin them to the left (counter clockwise) a few revolutions each. That basically increases the pressure between the seal and has fixed my issue. Mine used to have the buffeting noise at 80+, now it doesn’t make the noise until I’m around 95+. I just found out about this fix yesterday so now that I know the fix, I assume I can make it so the noise goes away completely. Here’s a YouTube link that explains in more detail.
 

Theotherelan

New Member
May 22, 2019
3
0
San Diego
There are these plug like campers on the underside of the hatchback. Spin them to the left (counter clockwise) a few revolutions each. That basically increases the pressure between the seal and has fixed my issue. Mine used to have the buffeting noise at 80+, now it doesn’t make the noise until I’m around 95+. I just found out about this fix yesterday so now that I know the fix, I assume I can make it so the noise goes away completely. Here’s a YouTube link that explains in more detail.

*dampers
 

Theotherelan

New Member
May 22, 2019
3
0
San Diego
Check the back trunk alignment. There are 4 areas for adjustment to raise or lower the lid height. Usually if the lid is slightly mid aligned, it may cause buffering of air flow at specific speeds. There are older threads on this known issue with wind noise and buffering at higher speeds.

Good luck :)
This is what fixed my issue as well.
 

Vic_F

Member
Mar 8, 2015
277
168
Eagle, ID
I got a similar "Wind noise" on my 100D.
Noise came from the Driver side, on the "A pillar"/small side window around 90 KMH (55 MPH, so slower speed than your problem)
This has been fixed when I went to the Service Center. They just adjusted the window alignment and the related rubber.
Good to know, I have the same issue with the drivers side small window. Hoping it can be done mobile as the service center is 5+ hours from Boise Salt Lake
 

B1199S

Member
Oct 23, 2018
26
20
Beringen
I got a similar "Wind noise" on my 100D.
Noise came from the Driver side, on the "A pillar"/small side window around 90 KMH (55 MPH, so slower speed than your problem)
This has been fixed when I went to the Service Center. They just adjusted the window alignment and the related rubber.

I have the same problem on a 100D build in august 2018. When I press the pilar a little bit noise goes away. It started today after riding with an open window in 30 degree celcius wetter. Wonder if that could change the sealing a little bit. I just wonder how they can adjust that little window.
 

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