Sounds of our new world

Sounds of our new world

Most of us new Model S owners are getting used to a new set of sounds. Subtle as they may be, they are there, and they *have* to be there. We don't know what to expect when we first get the car, and there is precious little official information available.

In the old days, we could diagnose the car's health by listening to it, recognizing specific sounds, and identifying the ones that didn't belong. With this car, all that experience is useless, and we have to rebuild our "database".
So, why not use this forum to help each other by listing the normal sounds we hear. It will go a long way toward setting our minds at ease, but also to help us identify problems early.

Again: I want to stress that I believe these are normal sounds, so to the naysayers: Don't take this as "an owner complaining". Far from it. The car is *deliciously* quiet. But with so much silence, the working parts will be audible, and we should recognize their sounds.

Here are a few from my car. I'm sure I left some out, but you're welcome to chime in.
Note that these sounds are very low, but I amplified them so their character can be identified. (I hope this post gets formatted correctly. If not, I apologize.

The Door handle.

When I first "wake the car up", something at the front end starts up with this sound, for about a minute or a little less. I held the mic right to the grill, and it is amplified:
Wake up

Before I turn the car on, there is a very slight sound in the interior, again strongly amplified here:

Then, when the car is "on", the suspension pump is audible as it brings the car to its correct height. As a reference, I left in the sound of me fastening the seat belt.

This is the - again heavily amplified - driving sound as I speed up quite rapidly, then make a U-turn and stop. Note the sound of some device spinning down after I reach a standstill, which I don't remember hearing the first day, but which might be totally normal. I'd like to hear feedback on that, i.e. if your car does that, and if someone knows what it is.
Acceleration, U-turn, Stop

Sounds I didn't record:
When the AC starts up, there is an initial rumble that goes away after a few seconds.
The same sound is present when the heating starts, so I'm thinking it's the fan spinning up.

At freeway speeds, I hear the tires, of course, and a slight hum from the drivetrain. The pitch is in the baritone range and is directly relative to the speed. It remains the same in loudness whether the car is accelerating, coasting or decelerating.

diegoPasadena | February 27, 2013

Sorry about the last two. Here they are:


Acceleration, U-turn, Stop

kenliles | February 27, 2013

awesome! thanks diego

Hills | February 27, 2013

To me, the most prominent sound is the acceleration sound made by the motor (I think), it is fairly high pitched, and coincides exactly as one accelerates. Of course, there is the deceleration sound which is different. I did not here these in your recording.

diegoPasadena | February 28, 2013

I accelerated to about 40 or 45 only, but I don't hear anything different when going to higher RPMs.

Hills | February 28, 2013

See the engine whine thread.

nickjhowe | February 28, 2013

@diego - you can edit the original post to fix the links. You should see an 'edit' link top left of the page or when you hover over the Tesla logo.

TonyF | February 28, 2013

You guys are nuts!

diegoPasadena | February 28, 2013

Thanks, Nick. I didn't know about the edit feature. It's well hidden in plain sight :^)
Now, how do I delete the post with the now unnecessary correction?

DouglasR | February 28, 2013

@diego - you can edit the title and first post, and you can move the entire thread to "None Selected" (i.e., delete it), but you cannot change the other posts.

ir | February 28, 2013

Also try turning off the car (via the touch screen) and then waking it up. You can hear the relays / contactors clicking under the car.