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Clunk sound while driving

Clunk sound while driving

I have read reports of clunking sounds when supercharging Model 3s, but I experience an occasional clunk while driving. Not related to speed or road conditions. Sometimes it will go an hour without the clunk, sometimes multiple times within minutes. It comes from under the car and I can feel it. Its position varies, sometimes front, sometimes rear, etc. The best I can come up with is either a metal plate flexing due to heat expansion or electrical arcing. What is everyone´s latest thoughts on this?

vmulla | 7 November 2018

First drive around with nothing on the frunk, trunk and console - just to eliminate the possibility of noises from objects you placed in the car.
Here are a couple of possibilities, but keep in mind only a service center visit can help you.

I've had a strut replaced after I reported clunking. It took the service folks multiple visits to identify the problem. Funny thing, even though the problem was from the front wheels it felt as though the noise was coming from the back.

Also, other folks on the forum reported clunking noise from the rear passenger wheel well, and that's related to improperly torqued bolts.

base428 | 7 November 2018

My thoughts are this clunking noise will eventually be a real problem. Our 6 month old LR RWD doesn't have this issue, but our one month old LR AWD does. Pittsburgh Tesla service says it's "normal".

Magic 8 Ball | 7 November 2018

If the clunk is due to differential expansion (most likely culprit identified so far) it may not really be a problem but an annoyance. Oil cans last for centuries and the description of the more common "clunk" seems to be something expanding and hitting a sudden release point. There are other clunks, as described by others in this thread. If there is a thermal caused "clunk" it may be a simple insulator or friction reducer could be a solution.

amitvora | 7 November 2018

Just got my M3 on Monday. Car is in the garage right now. One thing I did notice is that as I approach the car from the back (with my phone in hand), you hear a clunk noise (almost sounded like a brake release or something). It has done that multiple times now. I was showing the car to someone yesterday and opened up the Garage Door. While we were standing there, we heard the sound. It is pretty loud. It also did it again this morning as I was approaching it to charge the car. I have only noticed it when the car is stationary (not running).

Could it be that the parking brakes are getting applied and then released? That is the only thing that I can think of (btw, the clunk noise is pretty loud).
Thanks.

vmulla | 7 November 2018

A clunk in the world's smoothest drive train is a problem.
No one here can help you diagnose it, please go to the service center. And please share what the resolution was.

Carl Thompson | 7 November 2018

@amitvora

It sounds like what you are hearing are reportedly the contactors closing as the car's main drive battery system powers up on your approach. That sound is normal for all Teslas I've seen. It also notice that sound happens when I connect to the car with app when it's been sleeping.

I believe the sound the OP is talking about is different.

Atoms | 7 November 2018

Don’t go to the web asking about problems with your liver; go to a doctor. Same with a Tesla, set up an appointment online with your service center or mobile service.

Bighorn | 7 November 2018

The terminology is confusing people, There is a mild clunk associated with relays. I think you’re describing something different that is being ascribed to thermal and mechanical flexion of metal plate in the floor. It’s an aural annoyance, but not indicative of anything.

Bighorn | 7 November 2018

@atoms
The service centers are not aware of the issue nor is there a technical bulletin, obviously. I impressed the issue on St Louis service last week. Lots of discussion elsewhere amongst owners. Apparently there is a team at Tesla working on a remedy, but it’s not been disseminated as an issue to local centers.

Bighorn | 7 November 2018

The forum won’t allow this link, but see the thread on TMC about sheet-metal-pop-sound.

lswall46 | 7 November 2018

@Bighorn, mil gracias. I looked through the TMC thread and I am pretty sure we are talking about the same thing. I haven't supercharged the M3, but I will. I have noticed it only moving, from crawl speed while driving through a parking lot to highway speeds. My first and best guess was metal sheet oil-canning. Hope Tesla is on it and we get a fix. I'm not worried about it being unsafe, but it is an annoyance.

Bighorn | 7 November 2018

@Iswall
It's definitely an annoyance when you're trying to sleep! First time I thought I was under assault by projectile bearing yutes.

Scottliver | 30 December 2018

Some good info on this with the above and threads. I’ve had my model 3 two months and never had this issue before this past weekend. It happened three times with a few minutes while climbing from Phoenix upto Prescott, AZ. Then didn’t reappear until I stopped at a charger on my way back. Then after 30 minutes of charging, another “clunk” I also got a sound file of the clunks. I have a maintenance appointment on January 8th, and will insist they correct the issue, as it’s not something we should be experiencing.

Kirbster | 1 January 2019

+1 for the clunking. While driving i70 from Denver to Summit county it happens 20-30 times more while going up or down a steeper grade.
It goes in to the SC on the 4th for some other things I’ll report back the results.

Bighorn | 1 January 2019

Denver service has already declared it normal. No sense recording it or taking it in for this issue. Whether Tesla chooses to address it remains TBD.

Scottliver | 1 January 2019

It would be great to view your results and I will certainly share mine. I don’t believe they can call it normal when it was not an issue when the model 3 was new from the dealership.

Bighorn | 1 January 2019

Mine happened new from the “dealership”. Supercharging noise is cold dependent.

Kirbster | 2 January 2019

@Bighorn thanks for sharing your experience. Car is going on for other reasons this is just something else on the list.
If it’s normal hopefully they can explain what is triggering it in some situations and not others.

kcheng | 2 January 2019

Just under 3 weeks of ownership, and I had some metal clicks/clunks under the floor.

bakki.kudva | 3 January 2019

I am having this issue in a dual motor AWD delivered on Sept 1. Made an appointment with mobile service but cancelled the appointment because it is impossible to reproduce it. Sometimes it does not happen for a day or two and then I hear it suddenly but does not seem to correlate to cornering, braking, speeding up etc. I have not been able to have the car make the noise on demand. First I was wondering if the tires pick up a small pebble and eject it later but then it happened once just backing out of a driveway almost at a crawling speed. I do wonder if this is a safety issue. But as long it cannot be reproduced consistently there is no way to diagnose it. I would love to hear from someone who has solved this.

Bighorn | 4 January 2019

@bakki
Did you follow my suggestion to read the thread at TMC? It is well understood as flexing of a metal plate above the battery. Not s safety concern.

ConvexWaffle | 30 January 2019

This issue happens on my Model 3 as well. Mid-range delivered in November. It occurs when ascending or descending hills for the most part. I took it in for service. They applied more sealant to some plates under the passenger side foot well area. Even after that, I'm still hearing it. As long as it isn't a safety concern, I'm not worried about getting it fixed.

First time it happened though, I thought I hit something. 0.0

Proflutzy | 22 April 2019

Fwiw I have the exact same problem. Booked the car in to see if it can be fixed. Will see

Bighorn | 23 April 2019

No fix AFAIK. Until there’s a service bulletin, I suspect we all have the same situation, so best not to jam up the service centers.

Coloradofun | 17 June 2019

I have a 1 month old M3 AWD LR that is amazing and I love! I drove up Trail Ridge Road ~11,500 last night (42 F) and the first time I have ever heard this clunking sound but happened ~ 10 times but first occurrence was near the top of the pass. First time I thought I hit some snow but the road was clear, the second time I was positive I had not hit anything and my wife started asking about it. The sound did not seem to be related to speed, ascending or descending but more random in location and what the car was doing at the time. It was cooler outside and the car was working hard to climb up from 5,000' to over 11K' and handled it like a champ. I stopped and looked under the car everything looked normal. As soon as we got down lower it stopped, last one was ~ 8,500' and then never heard one again. My guess at the time was it was related pressure relief or metal expansion related to altitude, temperature and battery heat or some combination of the three. But it was very bothersome because I kept thinking there was something under the car or the regen braking had a loose part. Reading the forums this morning I see it is a regular issue with higher occurrence in colder weather and while climbing - I will not contact the service center knowing now this is "normal", so thanks for providing all of your reports. Good to know the cause but I hope it is fixed so I do not always have to wonder if there is a problem with the car. Good news this is the first issue I have had with my M3!

Coloradofun | 17 June 2019

I have a 1 month old M3 AWD LR that is amazing and I love! I drove up Trail Ridge Road ~11,500 last night (42 F) and the first time I have ever heard this clunking sound but happened ~ 10 times but first occurrence was near the top of the pass. First time I thought I hit some snow but the road was clear, the second time I was positive I had not hit anything and my wife started asking about it. The sound did not seem to be related to speed, ascending or descending but more random in location and what the car was doing at the time. It was cooler outside and the car was working hard to climb up from 5,000' to over 11K' and handled it like a champ. I stopped and looked under the car everything looked normal. As soon as we got down lower it stopped, last one was ~ 8,500' and then never heard one again. My guess at the time was it was related pressure relief or metal expansion related to altitude, temperature and battery heat or some combination of the three. But it was very bothersome because I kept thinking there was something under the car or the regen braking had a loose part. Reading the forums this morning I see it is a regular issue with higher occurrence in colder weather and while climbing - I will not contact the service center knowing now this is "normal", so thanks for providing all of your reports. Good to know the cause but I hope it is fixed so I do not always have to wonder if there is a problem with the car. Good news this is the first issue I have had with my M3!

wuman8 | 30 June 2019

I got my Model 3 LR AWD yesterday. When I drove to the parking in the basement, when I make a left turn at low speed, I can hear the clunk sound. I can almost reproduce it every time.
(https://youtu.be/1nZEhfWY-1Y)
I will bring it to the service center on Tuesday.