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

Discussion in 'Model S' started by robotmechanic, Jun 19, 2018.

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

  1. 70 mph or lower

    37.5%
  2. 75 mph

    12.5%
  3. 80 mph

    50.0%
  4. 85 mph

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. 90 mph or higher

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Other

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. robotmechanic

    robotmechanic Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    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!
     
  2. Navsarin

    Navsarin S100D Red Rocket

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2015
    Messages:
    664
    Location:
    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 :)
     
    • Like x 2
  3. dmc12

    dmc12 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2018
    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    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.
     
  4. robotmechanic

    robotmechanic Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    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 x 1
  5. Buster1

    Buster1 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2016
    Messages:
    477
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    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.
     
    • Like x 2
  6. Joe F

    Joe F FUD Buster

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2016
    Messages:
    1,150
    Location:
    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 x 1
  7. AustinP

    AustinP Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Messages:
    326
    Location:
    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 x 1
  8. Raechris

    Raechris Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2017
    Messages:
    235
    Location:
    Boston
    Also check the front lower air dam. I remember seeing a thread on here about that piece
     
  9. robotmechanic

    robotmechanic Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Would you happen to remember what in particular to check for? My whole consciousness fragmented thinking of all the possible things that could be going on with the air dam to cause wind noise. :)
     
  10. TaoJones

    TaoJones Beyond Driven

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Messages:
    2,912
    Location:
    The Americas
    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 x 1
  11. daktari

    daktari Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2017
    Messages:
    611
    Location:
    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.
     

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