Squeaky, whirring, rotor noise coming from front left wheel well area.

Squeaky, whirring, rotor noise coming from front left wheel well area.

Has anyone beside myself heard a whirring, chirping, rotary like noise coming from the left front/frunk area after driving the car and putting it in park? The noise continues after exiting the vehicle. I'm also having the door-popping-open-upon-automatic-handle-present issue. My car is a P85 S purchased in June, 2013. I live in the Santa Barbara, CA area. Thanks.

mrneige | December 15, 2013

This may be normal (hard to tell from your description how loud the noise is).

A few cars have reported a line from the HVAC compressor touching another part that can make more than normal amount of noise. The compressor is located under the frunk liner. If this is the case, service can fix it.

Turn off the climate control to see if it goes away to at least identify if the HVAC system is the source of the noise. Normally you shouldn't near much (if any) noise inside the car when the car is closed up (i.e. all the Windows up, door closed, pano roof closed).

You will hear some noise outside the car. It also makes more noise when first starting up and the HAVC system needs to go to maximum speed. For example, in a very hot or cold climate. This usually goes away after several minutes once the cabin temperature gets to the desired point.

Bighorn | December 15, 2013

Yes, I think the sounds are normal, but you likely need a new door handle. Not sure if you're hearing climate, battery or brake related functions.

Dr. Bob Reinke | December 15, 2013

I believe you are hearing the the AC condenser fan running in a colletion of sand and/or salt that has accumulated through a poorly designed venting outlet. Last spring mine began to squeek. Removing the left fender, I found the AC fan locked in about a quart of salty sand that had accumulated through the venting around the AC condeser. Until Tesla corrects this design problem, it will be necessary to frequently take your model S to service to remove the sand. Or you take the fender liner apart and clean out the sand yourself. Since notifying Tesla of the problem, I have heard of no solution.

Dr. Bob Reinke | December 15, 2013

Sorry: ment to say, "Open the left fender."

trsnow | December 16, 2013

Thank you all for the input. You've helped confirm my suspicion that the noise is coming from the AC unit. Although the problem is intermittent I know now to explore different fan speeds while driving. See if that creates the post-drive noise. In response to the noise level is very noticeable outside the car- maybe 40-50 dbs. Can't hear it inside when all buttoned up. I will try turning off the climate control again- didn't make any diff when I turned it off yesterday...

Re the door handle popping open it too is intermittent. I will have to speak to a Tesla ownership rep. about that as it is a real safety concern.

Thanks again, all!


drp | July 15, 2014

I had that AC noise and it was repaired by just having them move the conduit pipe a little bit. However, more recently, I get a noise that is functionally related to speed and acceleration. It comes from the front again. It is not the AC unit because it is off and the ambient temperature is right around 65° so that had nothing to do with it. I don't know what it is. If I am going 70 mph and take my foot off the accelerator, the noise goes away but the moment the power goes into the orange range it makes the noise again.