Air Vent Making a Cracking/Clicking Noise

Air Vent Making a Cracking/Clicking Noise

Lately I’ve noticed my air vents have been making a cracking or clicking noise when I startup the car. The noise lasts anywhere from 2-5 minutes usually and goes away later. I’ve seen others post videos of this issue but not sure if they got the issue fixed. My wife’s model 3 does not make these noises. Just curious if anyone else has experienced this and what caused it.

tsengw | May 17, 2019

I have the identical problem. Took to service, they couldn’t reproduce it. But it keeps happening. Pls let me know if you have any solutions. Thank you.

vvnguyen1981 | May 17, 2019

So I recently purchased an SR and I notice it happening as well. We also for a Dual Motor LR we bought two months ago that doesn't have that noise....

CharleyBC | May 17, 2019

I have not had this in my Tesla, but your description reminds me of other cars in the past. Something would get in the ventilation system and lodge near the fan, so that when the fan was spinning, it’d be clicking along on the object, which might be a leaf or twig. Could it be something like that? And even if it’s not plant matter, maybe some ill-fitting part of the duct by the fan?

bcb2220 | May 20, 2019

do you have videos to share @andrewsjra

andrewsjra | May 20, 2019

I took some but it was hard to hear with street noise. I found a video demonstrating the same noise:

Atoms | May 20, 2019

Yes, this is due to slippage of two plastic pieces which give way due to thermal contraction of cold AC air shrinking internal dash pieces. I need to take mine in. Very easy to reproduce. Make sure it is in the hot sun for several hours and then get in and set the AC to 65F. This should make it crack every time. Tesla clearly needed some tyvec washers between pieces making up the dash. Young engineers designed it without accounting for expected expansion and contraction with heating and cooling. Another piece designed by very capable but inexperienced engineers.

andrewsjra | May 20, 2019

Maybe I can tell them to replace the dash with a white one :)
I have mine wrapped in carbon fiber but the white looks clean.

Jlomb436 | May 21, 2019

Has anyone had a response from a service center on this? I took mine in Oct and in Dec and they basically said they're waiting for a replacement part.

yudansha™ | July 19, 2019

Has anybody had this resolved? I started getting this noise some time ago. Can't say for sure when as my music is usually loud, and it happens only in the first few seconds when I get into the car.

Magic 8 Ball | July 19, 2019

If you pre-condition the car (for a few minutes) you will never hear it if it is simply some thermal expansion (seems plausible).

yudansha™ | July 19, 2019

Strange, I haven't heard it in the past; just the last month.

Jlomb436 | July 23, 2019

As M* said, I'm guessing it's thermal expansion. I went into the SC about a month ago and was told they won't fix it as they deem it to be normal. I disagree, but that's what they communicated.

yudansha™ | July 27, 2019

@Jlomb436 Looks like I had a different problem. I took mine to the service center and they replaced the left dash a/c vent actuator assembly. As usual, they were cordial and quick at my service center. Always great experience.

david | December 10, 2019

Mine is going in for service tomorrow. When it's cold (below 50 degrees) and I get into the car, there's a click-click-click from the passenger side dash. When this first started happening, about a month ago, it was about once per second, but now is occurring at about 3 clicks per second. If I turn off the climate control, it immediately stops and then starts up again when I reactivate climate control. There's obviously something coming in contact with the climate control fan, but only at some temperatures.

Will update tomorrow, if there's any resolution to the problem.

kevo88 | January 15, 2020

@david did you find a resolution to this when you brought it in last month?

andrewsjra | January 15, 2020

From all my research on this it appears to be related to the plastic pieces in the dash are expanding when it gets hot. When I would turn the A/C in the cracking would start happening. After about a minute it would subside. I just live with it and crank my stereo up. Driving an electric car with the stereo off may drive people crazy who aren’t used to it.