60mph + motor humm?

60mph + motor humm?

I am hearing an audible humm coming from what sounds like the rear of the car on the passengers side.
This is ONLY audible when:

• The speed is 60-75+
• The accelerator is being pressed.

I do not hear it up to that speed.
I do not hear it when I back off the accelerator.
It is constant at this speed range.

(Sounds like there is a truck driving next to me)

Please note: This is found in normal freeway driving. NOT jumping on it. I know the whine that comes with that.

I do not remember this for the first 4 months of ownership. It seemed to happen when I did a software update.

Anyone else?

negarholger | July 10, 2013

I hear the same when I am on a quiet surface between 60 and 70. It was there since day one. It is coming from the rear and sounds like the very early stages of a wheel bearing failing (would never hear this in an ICE). I guess it is most likely some buffeting from the rear gate, but I haven't tried to adjust the rear gate.

Captain_Zap | July 10, 2013

I started getting that noise after one of the updates. I mentioned it to engineering. Maybe you should too.

bioengr | July 12, 2013

I hear a high pitch whine when the accelerator goes up to about 200 kw. I am going to the Costa Mesa service center (for that and another issue) soon. I'll report back.

AaronM | July 12, 2013

My #2355 suffered the exact same problem. It took a few visits to service, but ultimately they replaced the drive inverter and the problem hasn't been heard since.

JohnnyMac | July 12, 2013

Yes, my P85 exhibits both the whine under heavy acceleration as well as the humm you describe at exactly 60+ mph. In my case, this began around 750 miles and 3 weeks of ownership and was not at all related to any sw updates. I attributed simply it to the break in of the motor (not necessarily in a good way). I had it in last week for service and they said both of these sounds are normal. At this point, I plan to give it a bit more time and track both noises closely. Personally, I find more of an issue with the whine/baloon squeal than the humm but am not giving up on either. I believe Tesla needs to come up with a fix for these as neither seem to me to be "normal". BTW, my P85 loaner car, which had 400 miles on it, had these exact same characteristics and made the exact same noises. It had the AC start up rumble as well.

jeremythehunt | July 12, 2013

Mine started doing that after about 800 miles which was just a few days ago. Doesn't seem to be a big issue but definitely noticeable. I'll wait to see what happens with others before taking it in for service since it doesn't seem to be a problem.

markhanso | July 18, 2013

I have exactly the same humming which only started this week. Both my wife and I noticed. Highways here are not quiet (south of Boston) and it is still prevalent. Car is about 3 weeks old.
Definition of ' normal '?
Hard not knowing what noise(s)indicate an issue vs just being normal ?

Brian H | July 18, 2013

"Jerome, I want it back the way it was."

renadp | July 19, 2013

I've had my car since March. It has just over 4000 miles on it. Just this week I started to notice a new hum while driving on the freeway only while accelerating. As soon as I ease off the pedal the noise stops. I too am curious whether this indicates a problem or is "normal".... But since it's new, I don't think its normal.

jay.kropp | July 19, 2013

I've had it since I've owned the car. Got it about a month ago.

redders | July 19, 2013

Remember when the answer to everything electronic was "try a reboot". I'm starting to wonder if an owner complaint is being met with "that's normal" as the stock answer to everything.

rsmits | July 19, 2013

I have the same hum at 60+ under the same conditions since the first week. The odd thing to me is I do not notice a hum under other heavy power draw conditions such as going up a steep hill. The hum seems to be speed related. Haven't gotten around to asking service about it.

jbm6207 | August 5, 2013

Interesting, I have the same problem. I drove up to Tacoma the weekend before last from Portland, no noise. I got a software update while in Tacoma and noticed the "hum" on the way home. Maybe coincidence... I am taking into service tomorrow, we'll see what they have to say.

negarholger | August 5, 2013

I now think it is tire balance related. I am soon due for tire rotation and I'll let you know in case it went away.

Robert22 | August 5, 2013

This sound has been described ad nauseum (Volkerize for details) for the past several months. Tesla is aware of the sound and its cause. It involves "proprietary information" and is being further investigated. They are not characterizing this sound as abnormal at this time. Additional information will be provided in the future by Tesla as it becomes available. This information comes from a service manager who responded to my request for an explanation for the squeal that most are talking about.

arreefdiver | August 8, 2013

I have an S85, notice hum at 75 and above, but not only on acceleration. Actually its louder when foot is off the accelerator and motor is in regen, then hum disappears below 75. Not super loud but definitely there and a bit annoying. Had a P85 loaner and no noise in that car (at speeds way above 75 - couldn't help it :). I was told can't be compared because different configuration, different suspension (mine is standard). It's tough not knowing what is a normal sound and what isn't on a new EV, sometimes I'm not sure Tesla knows!

eddiemoy | August 8, 2013

I have the noise above at 80mph. I just had the car for about 1 week. Still trying to figure out what the issue is.

CAdreamin | August 8, 2013

I wonder if all the noise issues is with MS with 21" rims?

Any drivers with 19" wheels having this noise problem?

mortgagebruce | August 8, 2013

I have this same noise on a 2 week old car. I did not notice this until just a couple days ago so I'm not sure if it wasn't there and now it is or if I just didn't hear it.

When I let off the pedal it completely goes away.

I do have 19" wheels on my S85.

I have the air suspension - curious if it could be related to that and the car lowering at higher speeds? Does everyone else hearing this also have the air suspension?

eddiemoy | August 8, 2013

I have air suspension and 21" wheels performance plus. I was wondering if it was some resonance with the widener performance wheels. Mine sound more like gear noise.

Ralph_G | August 8, 2013

I have the same noise at speed, I kind of like it. It allows to track my speed( my normal ICE speed was 118 km, now 130 km in the S). I had the invertor hum for a sort period of time and then it decided to go away all by itself.

What I notice more is that sharper turns create a noise in the front end, I assume it's the power steering but not sure yet and nothing to compare it to.

At the end of the day I really don't care if there are a few noises here and there, we need to get use these sounds simply because they are different from what we are a customed to from ICE vehicles.

The car has a few little flaws but it gets me from point A to B with a big smile. Tesla will learn from our experiences and build on that. I have never been an early adopter of anything, this is a proving ground I want to contribute to so I won't complain but I will share with Tesla my experiences so they can fix what needs fixing.

Good health all

Colasec | August 8, 2013


>>I hear a high pitch whine when the accelerator goes up to about 200 kw. I am going to the Costa Mesa service center (for that and another issue) soon. I'll report back.

I'd expect that sound to be the well-documented "normal" noise, but what did they say? Did they do anything to your car?

arreefdiver | August 9, 2013

So the whole story for my car is I hear the hum from 75 to 85 mph, not above or below. I can make it most noticeable by going up to 90, taking foot off accelerator, regen brake down, noise starts at 85 and disappears at 75. I have s85, standard suspension, 19 inch wheels. My service center, which I have no complaints about and has really tried their best to address this noise which they initially felt was abnormal, changed out drivetrain TWICE, still same noise. As I said on an earlier post, the loaner I had did not make the noise (and also had no dashboard rattle- mine does- and a lot less wind noise than mine). I love the car but can't help but feel like I got a little bit of a lemon with my particular car :(

jbm6207 | August 16, 2013

Further my post on August 5th...

After a week of engineering analysis at the Tesla factory, they have decided to replace the entire drive train (gearbox, electric motor, and variable speed drive) as a result of the humming (and high pitch squealing) noise I have been experiencing. It appears that this is not a normal noise nor does it have anything to do with the tires or tire balance. I suspect it is a problem with the variable speed drive but since Tesla has designed the entire drive train as one unit, fixing the variable speed drive means replacing it all.

Brian H | August 16, 2013

That's a Humm-dinger of a fix!

Mel. | August 16, 2013

The hum does not go away ,it changes frequency with the speed you are traveling. Tesla is aware of the problem and will fix when you tell them.

Colasec | August 16, 2013

@Kleist I agree that one of these noises is related to tire balance. This week I took my three-week-old S60 in for an alignment. I did not have the 60+mph/"truck-next-to-me" noise from the rear prior to taking the car in, but since I got the car back there's a very clear hum at 60mph and above from the rear. I'm a little disappointed since the car was noticeably quieter before, but at least now it drives perfectly straight and doesn't pull to the right at all, like it did before the alignment.

arreefdiver | August 18, 2013

Does anyone know if the motor and wheels are "decoupled" in neutral? Still trying to figure out hum at 75 mph, wonder if I put car in neutral at that speed and motor rpms go down to zero (almost like it would in ICE) that would help figure out if it is road/tire/suspension noise vs motor.

alohasara | August 18, 2013

My car started the acceleration hum after about 1 week. As time went on it got louder and started to make the noise at lower speeds. I took the car in for service and took the tech for a drive so they could hear it. They contacted the Fremont engineers and ended up changing out the inverter, which resolved the issue.

On the flip side, since they fixed the inverter I seem to be using more energy. I haven't figured out yet whether its because the lack of sound means I don't notice the heavier foot or whether I had reduced power available to use when the inverter wasn't functioning properly.

It's hard to know what's " normal." I drove over 5000 miles before I decided something must be wrong.

bryceha | August 19, 2013

I am noticing a 'truck in the next lane' sound between 72 and 80 mph. The pitch of the sound varies with speed, and does not appear to be tied to acceleration or deceleration; in other words, the volume of the sound is constant whether the motor is under load or not. I noticed it first on a trip out of town on the interstate where the speed limit is higher. (60 kwh battery, no air suspension).

LionPowered | August 20, 2013

I have the same noise issue. I tried putting it in neutral and the sound remained. I started noticing it within days of taking delivery. At first I thought it might be noise from the new Michelins, but the tire noise is different and changes when the road surface changes. I called and they said to bring it in to the service center. I get the feeling this is a common problem.

William9 | August 21, 2013

Just took my MS in for it's first 12,500mi service. I mentioned the 60+mph noise and they tested it yesterday. Now waiting on "Engineering" to get back to them. In the meantime, I'm driving a P85 loaner where the sound isn't evident. One surprising thing about the the P85 loaner, it has standard suspension, no air suspension.

Pungoteague_Dave | August 22, 2013

Our S85 has the same noise under power and we took it in to Rockville yesterday - we are also driving a loaner P85 for now - interestingly it has no speed limit, no creep, and no active air suspension. The window sticker is in the glove box, shows a $1,500 delete credit for the standard suspension. We hate the standard suspension - very floaty, does not lower at speed to reduce drag, cannot be raised to get in our driveway. But man is it fast compared to our S85!

Brian H | August 22, 2013

Shouldn't be floaty. Suggest they check the axle nuts torquing.

mfrey | August 22, 2013

I just drove my model s 60 down to NY from Boston. I too have the loud hum at speeds greater than 55 or so. I have only had my car for 2 weeks now and approx 800 miles. I will be making an appointment when I return back to Boston.

William9 | August 23, 2013

Just got my MS85 back from it's first annual service. I mentioned the 60+ mph noise and they said they'd check it out. Later that day I was told that engineering had looked at it (logs, I guess) and told them to replace the drive train! Motor, inverter, the works. Boy did that do the job! As quiet as I remember it the day I picked it up. Thanks Tesla!

Had fun with the P85 loaner, but it's a bit too brutal for my. Not only does it pin you back, the turbine sound accentuates acceleration. Go my 85 back and welcomed the quiet, smooth acceleration.

Brian H | August 23, 2013

I can see it now, all owners with hi-speed whine demand new drive trains. William, you're bad! >:p 9-\

lnxcar | August 24, 2013

interesting - I am now hearing the same, since last night (2.8k miles on car, 3.5 months). when I am on the onramp and accelerate as soon as it hits 65-70ish I hear a high pitch tone that's never there, it's pretty loud, it's not the softer hum when you start from 0.

mfrey | August 25, 2013

Brought mine in. Went on a test drive with the tech. He could hear the loud hum right away.
They are now replacing the motor and drivetrain. Will hopefully
Be done by Tuesday.

AmpedRealtor | August 25, 2013

Wouldn't a tire balance issue also cause feedback to the steering wheel?

myTesla | August 25, 2013

I picked up my car last friday august 23rd. I get the humming on my very first drive home at speeds >110kph. i have an siganture P85+

timmsteiner | August 25, 2013

I have it, too. 1 month on P85.

Those who had it fixed, what did they think was causing the noise?

Brian H | August 25, 2013

The motor and inverter are preparing to detonate.

William9 | August 26, 2013

I got the feeling that the flawed motor/inverter were going to be sent back to factory for evaluation. Don't think they'll go public with that knowledge.

Dr. Bob Reinke | August 26, 2013

I get what I would describe as an exhaust noise at speeds between 65 and 75 MPH. We have only noticed it for the last month or so, and yes it sounds like a semi passing me. I thought it was something failing in the power transmission train. Perhaps it could be from worn tires.

ehandman | August 26, 2013

I had this exact problem too. First Fremont service said it was "normal". After I insisted, we drove another P85+ so I could hear the same "normal" sound.

No noise on that one. And they agreed.

Then they took my car back and replaced the drive system, including the inverter. Now my car sounds the same at 75 as it does at 65. Don't back down and they will fix it.

alohasara | August 26, 2013

Mine was fixed. It was diagnosed as the inverter. It was quiet for a few weeks, but now the hum is back, but only when I go over 70 mph. Before, it started as low as 20 mph, but that was after I put about 5K miles on the car. I'm sad that it's back, but I'll probably wait to see if they can figure it out before I take it back to service again. Hopefully, it'll be okay for a while, until they can figure it out once and for all. Keeping my fingers crossed...

mark_g | August 26, 2013

alohasara : Almost the same experience: humm during acceleration, replaced inverter, quiet for a month, humm is back but starts at a higher speed.....

mfrey | August 27, 2013

Just picked my MS60 from service and it is now whisper quite on the highway. Wow what a difference. They replaced the drivetrain.