Occasional clunk under driver's side floorboard in AWD

Occasional clunk under driver's side floorboard in AWD

Anyone else feeling an occasional clunk under their feet while driving their AWD?

I'm trying to nail down a consistently reproducible pattern (usually when going from a level road to uphill) but have yet to find a pattern I can hand off to a Tesla tech for resolution.

Is it just me?


neylus | 3 October 2018

200 miles in no clunks on my AWD so far.

nboege | 4 October 2018

This has happened to me as well but I wrote it off as something engaging or disengaging as designed. Doesn't happen enough to be a concern for me. But, now that I think about it, the times it did happen were at low speed transitioning from flat to uphill.

Bighorn | 4 October 2018

Lots of clunks when supercharging from various areas of the floor

Magic 8 Ball | 4 October 2018

Lot's of squirrels out this time of year ; 0

Malonicus | 4 October 2018

If the squirrels have hammers, you've nailed it. otherwise, still a mystery

gtbuzz | 4 October 2018

I've noticed some noises in my AWD as well, but only at low speeds. I don't recognize the noises, but they don't immediately sound like something has wrong either. For now I'm just attributing it to the car being so quiet and figure the noises were always there in other cars I could just never hear them.

Bighorn | 4 October 2018

What it sounds like to me is a big flat sheet of metal flexing under a temperature change. It can be quite loud. An early owner was told it is normal and many people have remarked on it. Still not sure the mechanism.

jcd82 | 4 October 2018

I had the same thing happen while supercharging. Only time I have heard it.

CB52 | 4 October 2018

I produce a popping sound with my left foot. Think the flooring is aluminum that flexes/pops as you push on it. I can reproduce it by applying slight pressure to areas of the floorboard. Not sure if that is the same sound you hear.

eandmjep | 5 October 2018

Non awd. May 24 Delivery 11,000 miles. Have heard this clunking a lot. First thought it was temperature changes but at the same time as temperature I am increasing or decreasing altitude. Not sure it its all temperature or pressure changes. I don't know how sealed the battery is or if there is a pressure valve. It is a good pop sometimes. I can feel it through the floor and steering wheel.

ccsccs7 | 5 October 2018

I hear a loud thudding sound while going up a hill and a wheel hits a large pothole. I *think* it might be the TCS as it reminds me of an ABS response when going down hill with a slippery surface in my ICE car.

stevenparker | 5 October 2018

Here’s my experience (and resolution). I'm not certain, but I t’s possible that this may be what you are experiencing:

My 1500-mile-old AWD was giving me a very occasional ‘thunk’ from somewhere under the front passenger seat. (It was actually difficult to isolate its location because of the number of hard surfaces in the car which can reflect the sound.) With a (great) Service Tech in the back seat — driving over a long stretch of cobblestone roadway — we were able to get the sound to repeat itself when the chassis was flexed a bit by the very uneven roadway.

When the Service Tech was finally able to hear the sound, he felt certain that he knew the cause. ‘Positioning pins’ on the seats are used (with corresponding holes) to ensure the seat is properly aligned before it is finally bolted into place during assembly. However, if one of the pins happens to be hard up against the edge of the hole when the seat is torqued into place, you can get the sound of the pin occasionally moving against the edge of the hole, thus the ‘thunk’.

In my case, it was an easy matter of the Tech loosening the seat, slightly repositioning it so that the pin was no longer making contact with the edge of the hole, then retorquing the seat.

Now, more than 1000 miles later (over some very tortured roads) not even a peep.

A great service experience that, I hope, may help you as well.

Malonicus | 9 October 2018

Thanks @Stevenparker. It happens on both sides so either both seats are whack or its something else. @CB52's comment feels relevant too since it's a noise and physical bump right under my feet. Will try to make it happen by pressing.

adam.j.odonnell | 10 October 2018

Yep. I took it to the shop, they said it is a known issue with no known engineering solution yet. I sounds like I am playing with a soda can. My $67,000 soda can.

slingshot18 | 10 October 2018

I hear it in the morning when I walk up to the car. Never while driving.

ldf8 | 10 October 2018

also had a clunk at a supercharger, only once

gadget63 | 10 October 2018

I have the RWD M3 and I have been hearing the same sound coming from the left front bottom of the car. The first time I brought it in to service they claimed to have replaced some parts on both front wheels, but on the trip home it stated up again. I have an appointment tomorrow so to be continued.

Getofyafones | 10 October 2018

non-P Dual motor here. Took delivery last weekend. I hear few clunks at very low speeds mostly while taking a left turn under the driver's side. Not sure if this is something related to tire control arms or something.

garibaldi | 10 October 2018

I hear no clunks while driving my AWD.

jerryg | 13 December 2018

Just found this..

I also have a random sounds a couple of times on the hilly part of my commute (RWD). Car was in for service the other day, and mentioned it, and they checked all the suspension connections, but that didn't solve the issue. Just today, realized it my be elevation related, as I don't hear it on the flat portion of my commute.

Tech told me to do an in-car bug report if I hear it again (which I've now done a couple of time). Tempted to also record my commute on my phone, and see how audible it is.

vts747 | 13 December 2018

Yes, often when turning sharp right from a standstill and accelerating. Scared the crap out of me, thought the car was ruined. Tech told me it is an "electrical high voltage switch" connecting and disconnecting for no good reason. So far it hasn't caused any real issues, but it still happens occasionally. Also, did it a few times during charging. Does sound as it is coming out of the front right area of the car. Perhaps, that's what you are experiencing? Mine is dual motor as well.

Bighorn | 13 December 2018

You can’t capture it in a bug report and it’s not a HV switch.

Rt002k | 13 December 2018

Every time I glance past this one I read it as "occasional drunk under driver's side floorboard in AWD" - which would also explain a clunk.

rabadia12 | 13 December 2018

Same experience in my RWD. I hear it often around the same places during my hilly commute. At first I thought something was rolling around somehow in the under carriage. But now I wonder if it is altitude. I go from 1200 ft to about 200 and hear and feel the thunk under my feet both near top and bottom of the hill both ways. I’ve been wondering it’s worth a service check or normal operation.

Malonicus | 15 December 2018

Still happening, everyday, at just about the same place on my commute. So odd. If it was a soft noise I wouldn't worry but If something clunks that hard enough times, it's going to break. Time for a service.

joe.lynn.atp | 15 December 2018

Is this the thermal expansion of the battery cover: it sounds like a piece of sheet metal flexing? I hear it going up a steep hill, sometimes multiple times. The sound moves around.

Malonicus | 26 December 2018

Well, so I setup an appointment to have a tech talk a look and of course, I couldn't reproduce the noise with the service gent in the car with me. Since the noise happens every commute, my next step is to turn on audio recording on my phone and hope to catch it clearly enough to convince Tesla that I'm not crazy.

Bighorn | 26 December 2018

Tesla so far considers it normal, but hopefully a fix is in the works.

rhettjay | 26 December 2018

Nice to see this thread. I experience the exact same sound/sensation in the exact same place in the car as the OP. Also, seems to be somewhat reproducible on the elevation gain part of my commute.

Bighorn | 26 December 2018

I’m thinking the elevation mechanism isn’t heat related, but a sealed container phenomenon. Happened around the same time my water bottle clunked. Also happens on descents where not much power is flowing to/from the battery.

tsig | 28 December 2018

Returned from a 1K mile trip last night and experienced this for the first time. We live in the mountains (Asheville) and during a long climb near the end of our return trip we we using ~800wh/mi we heard 4 or 5 pops, each one louder than the last. Yes, we could feel it under our feet. After reading the comments here I wonder if the combination of heat and gaining elevation is what caused ours to do this. We didn't hear it on the way down, at the beginning of our trip. I've never heard it when supercharging. Definitely disconcerting.

Bighorn | 28 December 2018

It’s been widely reported now. Tesla has no plan to address the thin metal top of the battery case, so far.

ajmach2 | 28 December 2018

I've heard the same thing a few times in my car, but I live near the coast and don't experience large temperature or elevation changes while driving. It's definitely not a voltage switch either. At first I thought I ran over something (like a small branch) on the road, causing it to be tossed up and it hit the underside if my car, but the road was clear and it has happened multiple times since.

Magic 8 Ball | 28 December 2018

We get it without really any temperature or elevation change but ours is probably not as loud as others are reporting. Our most consistent occurrences are backing up in a left turn into our driveway and going down a steep left turn. We do not "feel" anything in our feet but it does sound like a metal plate "drum" like sound. I am not concerned about car malfunctioning in any way because of this but I understand some will be more annoyed and disconcerted by it but, so far, it is a meh for us.

davidthoener | 28 December 2018

I have same exact issue. I called and they said they never heard of this kind of complaint !!!!! Huh ?

Bighorn | 28 December 2018

These is also a body flex cause.

lilbean | 28 December 2018

@david I used to hear that excuse many times. Maybe the person who answered the phone is just new.

Bighorn | 28 December 2018

Warmer locations/flat lands will be the last to hear. Where did you call?

goodman | 28 December 2018

I’ve heard and felt the clunk under my feet. Passenger feels it too. We hear it occasionally during flat-land driving but going up and down 3,0000 foot elevation changes we hear it MUCH more often. Haven’t asked Tesla about yet myself. Worrisome!

stephenjburgess | 31 December 2018

i just experienced this on my m3 awd for the first time last night traveling 70 mph for and hour on the highway. this was the first time i took her on a road trip longer than 1 hour and have only 3k miles on her. the clunk was under my feet driver side front and scared the hell out of me. it felt like i hit something or i feared more that a battery blew up.
i’m more comfortable knowing it’s a panel flexing, but that’s still a bit disturbing. thank you for this thread.

stephenjburgess | 31 December 2018

P.S. also a good thing to know, it happened the first time I fully charged my battery (only 305 miles... i thought it was supposed to be 315). and i only got 210 miles out of the charge. can’t say how glad i am that i got the bigger battery. perhaps the below freezing temps or higher speeds?

david.w.edmonston | 31 December 2018

Malonicus, any resolution? I have the exact same issue. I commute over highway 17 (hilly windy road) and it happens everyday. It also happens roughly in the same areas of the road. I think it's when the motors engage from front to rear and back. Going up hill I hear a clunk in the back, and when it straightens out or goes downhill I hear it in the front.
I hear it and feel it in my feet when it's on the driver side, but sometimes it's on the passenger side.

I took it to service and they couldn't reproduce it off course since it only happens going over the hill, and they wouldn't drive it over highway 17 without coming in with a recording of it, so I'll do that next.
They did tighten all the suspension, but said it was all normal, and of course it's still making the noise everyday.

I'll let you know what I find out.

vtec26 | 3 January 2019

I have the same clunk sound. I can also replicate it every time at the same part of my drive when transitioning from flat to about 16% grade and again at the end of the uphill road about .25 miles later. I can definitively say this is not due to motors transitioning from front to back because I have a rwd mid range.

Malonicus | 6 January 2019

@david.w.edmonston. Hah! Same HWY17 commute, same problem. I'll record this week during my commute.

matt80206 | 7 January 2019

I heard it twice this weekend for the first time (4k miles)

pgabikian | 19 February 2019

RWD M3, have experienced the clunk sound/feel stereotypically when transitioning from a flat surface up an embankment at low speed (example flat road change to an elevated embankment of a steep driveway); not related to temp or major elevation change. Seems that chasis/body flex is the most reasonable explanation.

Bighorn | 19 February 2019

It’s all 3.

chris.pribe | 20 February 2019

When I am backing out of my driveway which is has a slightly steep incline, I hear a thunk as I'm turning and transitioning into the street from what sounds like inside the front left wheel well area That is the only time I hear it, so could be flex.
I've never raised the issue with Tesla since it doesn't seem like a big deal. Still, if there is a fix, it'd be nice to have.
The VIN of my AWD 3 is in the mid 90,000's and I received the car August last year.