Constant noise from model 3 while parked. Is it normal?

Constant noise from model 3 while parked. Is it normal?

I notices that when my Model 3 is parked, it makes constant noise.
It sounds like a tiny motor is constantly running. It could be a fan or something.
The sound comes from the front of the car.

Any idea what it is about?
Is it normal for teslas to make this noise?

Alex_SD | August 2, 2018

Yes, it’s the cooling fan.
If you don’t like it, turn off the cabin overheat protection.
However, I would strongly recommend to keep it on...

kashyap02004 | August 2, 2018

@Alex_SD does that run even when it is cold (in 50s) at night?

xing.chen | February 6, 2019

Same question here. It parked for two days in the garage. After I unlock it to check something for a minutes, then lock it. It's making that noise for 20 minutes now.

spuzzz123 | February 7, 2019

Happens to me some times -- in both cool and warm weather conditions. I believe it is normal - - it may be the battery management system conditioning things. Don't worry too much -- you could call service and they can look at your data uploads but I feel comfortable enough this is normal so long as you aren't experiencing other bad things like unreasonably phantom drain.

billtphotoman | February 7, 2019

Mine occasionally does make noise even in the garage but coming from a Volt I am used to electric cars being chatty. My Volt made the oddest sounds but after perusing the forum I learned they ere normal.

Axle | May 1, 2019

I just received my Model 3 a week ago and am experiencing the same noise. It seems to be constant far as I can tell. I have turned off the alarm, Sentry, Dog mode, Overheat protection, turned my phone off, kept my key cards far away, reset the screen (via pushing in both scroll wheels while parked), and performed 'Power Off' from the screen. It still runs continuously. In addition, I am experiencing the 'phantom drain'/'vampire drain' issue others have reported.

I believe the noise and drain issue are related. I'm hard-pressed to buy into the suggestions that "'s just the battery conditioning itself," "'s the main batteries feeding to or siphoning from the 12v battery", or that "'s just normal because it's an electric car." As the majority M3 owners do not seem to be experiencing this, I am apt to believe this is not normal behavior, nor should it be. It is clearly doing 'something'. Constantly. I never *don't* hear it on my car. I'm currently leaning towards it possibly being the contactors from all the info I've gathered through the forums. My two chief points for writing this are:

1) I would really like Tesla to investigate further into this, as it's currently being *normalized* by Tesla staff. When I called, they said, "It does that, and you can always expect the batteries to drain some." Sure, but 1 mile of range per hour on the dot? C'mon, in just over a week with 0 driving the battery would be completely dead; that can't be normal.

2) I'm wondering if those who have the battery drain issue also are hearing the strange humming noise from the front of the car. Maybe we can establish a pattern and help Tesla in finding a patter and/or solution?

Thanks for reading my novel! :p

jimglas | May 1, 2019

The car makes noises, you will get used to it. I lose 1 mph when on sentry mode.

SteveWin1 | May 1, 2019

get down and look through the grille on the front of your model 3 -- you may need a flashlight. There are little black mechanized vents that swivel open when its drawing air and swivel closed when its not. If that's open, then that's your noise.

Axle | May 1, 2019

@SteveWin1 I'll go check that, thanks! I've got an endoscopic camera that may help also. I've actually been tempted to remove the underbody plastic shrouding and take a peek around. Would be interesting to see more of the mechanics anyway.

jamespompi | May 1, 2019

I had Tesla look at this when I first got mine back in August, If its the same small pump noise its the coolant circulating pump. It runs pretty much all the time, if it were failing you'd know.

derotam | May 1, 2019

...its just the car whispering to you... drive me.

Carl Thompson | May 1, 2019


No, that's not normal. My car is completely almost all of the time when not being driven. I've only heard it make noise sometimes while charging or when I just finished driving it.

I also do not get anywhere near that much vampire drain.

Carl Thompson | May 1, 2019

That should be "My car is completely _silent_ almost all of the time when not being driven."

CharleyBC | May 1, 2019

My wife and I spent two nights in the garage when we had a house full of guests and gave some our room. So we got the pleasure of sleeping with our Model 3. We discovered it makes noises intermittently. Clunk, whir. But definitely not continuously. So in my experience, the behavior described above isn’t normal. Or if it is normal, it must be under some certain set of circumstances.

SteveWin1 | May 1, 2019

Agreed, its not normal. Like Carl said, mine makes noise for a while when I first stop driving and while its charging, but is otherwise completely quite and I barely lose any range overnight even if I don't plug it in. You may want to make sure you don't have an app (Stats, TeslaFi, etc) keeping it awake all the time. Changing your Tesla password will automatically disconnect all apps, so you could do that just to make sure that's not it. I was getting a lot of vampire drain when I first started using TeslaFi, before I figured out how to get it to let the car sleep. I don't remember if it made noise or not, but if its awake, it may need to cool the battery and may make noise.

TesLife3 | May 6, 2019

I have noticed this noise after the software update two days ago. But I think this is probably not related. I think this is also related to the weather is getting warmer. I heard this three times. The first time was parked under the sun. The car was noisy but it's not cabin protection (as it's not over 105F yet). The second tie was at home after came back from the park. The third time is today after work. I think it's just the fan (or cooling system for the battery). It will turn off later. Or if you open the door (or unarm your car).

kg97 | July 2, 2019

I had my Model 3 Performance for 8 weeks and it was always quiet and silent with a light hum when it was cooling. Now the front fan ALWAYS runs and makes a loud vibrating rattling noise even when parked in cool or garaged climates. Will need to call service for this I think.

sametra1977 | August 31, 2019

I notices that when my Model 3 is parked, it makes constant noise.

vincelorto | August 31, 2019

So look at the threads regarding awful smell. I'm pretty certain that fan is to dry the condensation build up to avoid mold. The mold causes the bad smell. If it's a gan noise, it's ok. You want that running.

Magic 8 Ball | August 31, 2019

There is no evidence of cabin fans running a routine for anything related to smell. The A/C controls are user selectable. If you manually turn the fan to the "off" position, when you park, it stays off. There is no evidence of a software routine that turns it back on to dry anything out. Many noises are actuators and pumps running for the BMS and mistaken to be other things.

in7 | August 31, 2019

I believe that noise is the fan drying out the condensation which has built up from having the air conditioning on. If you try keeping the air conditioning off for a few days you can find out.

Magic 8 Ball | August 31, 2019

If you run the A/C and get it good and "sweaty" and then switch over to manual, fan off, there is no routine to turn the fan on to dry anything out if you leave the car. The A/C controls are user selectable and stay on the setting until car shuts down. No matter what setting you leave it on last that is what happens when you leave the car for about a minute. That means if you leave A/C and fan at 10 when you leave the car it stays in that mode (the A/C compressor does not stop creating cold and water in the evaporator when A/C is on). If you leave A/C and fan on at 1 and leave the car it stays at that setting for the same duration of time and so on. There is nothing that automagically changes to "fan only" to dry anything out.

in7 | August 31, 2019

Maybe the car sensed I was approaching it, so turned on A/C with the setting I was using during the last drive. I could try leaving my phone far away from the car, then walking up to it to find out if there's noise then.

Magic 8 Ball | August 31, 2019

Sit in your car with windows down and or door open. Play with all the controls and you will learn all the different A/C noises that way. Get in and out of your car and walk around it, so you know what the normal noises sound like when you are outside the car.

MKESHAVREDDY | September 23, 2019

Even though the Cabin Overheat protection is off and Car is not taken out / driven for some good number of Hours, i keep hearing the some Noise from Model 3 when Parked. Has any one reached out to Tesla Technician where your car was checked?

tesla | March 23, 2020

Anyone found the cause for this? I just got the my Model3 yesterday drove it a little bint and its been sitting all night long in the garage. This noise (as if something running) is continually on, this can't be normal.

EVRider | March 23, 2020

It's normal for the car to make noises at times when parked, but it's not continuous.

EDRXPARK | March 27, 2020

The fan should only be running intermittently when the vehicle is locked and unattended at normal temperatures. Be sure all doors are completely shut. The worst overnight phantom drain I’ve experienced was when the back door on the passenger side was not completely shut. I found the fan running in the morning and almost a 10% drain on the battery. Since then I ensure the car is locked up and have only experienced a 1% drain overnight since then.

WW_spb | March 27, 2020

When you check your car via app it wakes the car up and it will make weird noise until it goes back to deep sleep

lbowroom | March 27, 2020

Is it plugged in?

shonn.burton | March 27, 2020

I think this may be an issue with the app. When I access the app the car "wakes up" and there are some clicking and banging noises associated to this "wake up" process. Maybe the app is constantly trying to connect to the car in the background? Have ya'll with the constant noise issue tried force closing the Tesla app to see if that resolves the issue?

EVRider | March 28, 2020

Tesla’s mobile app won’t try to wake the car when you’re not using the app, but third party mobile and web apps might.

shonn.burton | March 28, 2020

@EVRider Your making an assumption based on your phone, your app and your experience. There are a lot of different behaviors that are possible based on various combinations of phone OS versions (iOS/Android), Tesla app versions and Tesla FW versions. It would be interesting to know for those that are experiencing the issue to try to force stop the app, so that it is no longer running in the background, to see if that makes a difference. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't, but it might be worth a try.

lbowroom | March 28, 2020

If you’re close enough to the car, it will connect.

compiler | April 30, 2020

I am a new Model 3 Standard Range Plus owner and was worried about this noise after taking delivery. I called Tesla and was told it was normal for the car to make noise while parked. I spoke to friends/family with Tesla and they told me it was normal for the car to make noise while parked. However, I was still worried.

My car stopped making the noise once it fully charged to my set limit and then went to "sleep". Opening the Tesla app either wakes up the car or resets "time to sleep", it seems. It seems to takes about 10 mins for the car to sleep after it is fully charged and the Tesla app has not been open (I can verify this by when it disconnect from my network).

In my case it would seem that this "constant" noise was just a byproduct of some pump or fan running while charging and the car being awake. I did not test how long it would take for the noise to go away with the car parked and not being plugged in.

Lonestar10_1999 | April 30, 2020

@compiler- I have the SR+ like you and it makes noise when parked, no worries. As you know the M3 never turns off completely. There are housekeeping tasks it must perform to maintain itself. Since the housekeeping drains some power, its best if you leave it plugged in while parked.

compiler | April 30, 2020

@Lonestar10_1999 - Thank you for the insight, that's pretty much the conclusion I came to once it went silent after hitting my charge limit.