It's true: Model 3's wind noise is excessive

It's true: Model 3's wind noise is excessive

"... The car scored 'below average' on the fit & finish quality audit which looked at >1, 500 gap measurements," UBS' Colin Langan wrote in the note to clients. "The team also found the body-wind noise was 'borderline acceptable.'"

"The results confirm media reports of quality issues & are disappointing for a $49k car," UBS said.

They won't be easy fixes, either, UBS added, especially when it comes to the structural issues creating excess noise. ..."

This confirms my own observations, and of several other owners who have commented online and in person to me: the Model 3 is NOT a quiet car, due to the manufacturing defects and structural issues mentioned in the article.

If Tesla is able to do anything to reduce the amount of road and wind noise within the passenger cabin, I wish they would. I realize that some of the sources might be very difficult to remedy post delivery, but it is possible that some relatively cheap aftermarket additional dampening, insulation or seals could make a noticable difference. If so, then I suggest that Tesla should offer to make these adjustments on any Model 3 that could benefit from them (where the cabin noise is above a certain threshold, for example.)

I'm not asking for a freebie: early buyers of this car would have no way of knowing about the cabin noise level. The Model S I test drove wasn't this bad. And I, for one, noticed immediately how much noisier my Model 3 was, but I was told that the noise level was "within range deemed acceptable" (I.e., "as bad as expected") when I brought it in for service for an unrelated matter.

Don't get me wrong: I still love my car. I wouldn't want to give it back. I just wish Tesla could done more to insure that road and wind noise was lower and better isolated. I'm sure they will in the future, but my early production car is noisier than necessary.

ebmcs03 | 24 août 2018

What is your vin?

My 21,xxx seems ok. It’s not Rolls Royce quiet. But seems ok.

kram | 24 août 2018

They will fix this one with a software update. Cabin Noise cancelling with the sound system

slingshot18 | 24 août 2018

The two recent M3's (LR RWD, 18" wheels) I've ridden in were fine. Overall quieter than my Audi, but that could be due to engine noise.

cnistal1 | 24 août 2018

Mine was produced in March. Vin 99XX. I don't have this issue. I'm wondering when this issue was addressed? I've heard early production models have this issue.

dalesmith1962 | 24 août 2018

@veluvm3 and ebmcs03
Better question. When was your Model 3 manufactured? Mine was manufactured in June 2018 and is very quiet.

40milecommuter | 24 août 2018

Mine was manufactured in June 2018 and is noisy.

jjt2122 | 24 août 2018

I picked up my M3 on 8/18/18 and noise is fine to me, quiet as I would want

Magic 8 Ball | 24 août 2018

They should get rid of the electric motor and put in a V12 that will do 0-60 in 3.5s. You won't notice the wind noise then.

httran26 | 24 août 2018

The article was using a very early model. I believe Tesla has improved since then. From reading past threads, I do feel some Model 3 are quieter than others. My car is manufactured in March 2018. It's fairly quiet. I do hear more wind noise at higher speeds but it's nothing out of what is expected. I have a hard time hearing a difference between 70mph and 90mph.

dmastro | 24 août 2018

M8B dropping pearls of wisdom

ReD eXiLe ms us | 24 août 2018

It's true: this thread was begun by a Troll.

Polen | 24 août 2018

Looks like OP doesn't own a Model 3. He bought a Bolt back in November of 2017.

fskott | 24 août 2018

Mine is in the 26,xxx range, and though I love it, I do wish the wind noise was less. It's noticeable, other folks who've been in the car have mentioned it, and I even bought the RPM Tesla "wind noise reduction" rubber tube thingie, which hasn't appreciably helped.

Disclaimer: Do not own a Bolt; only a Mod 3.

CST | 24 août 2018

Mine it's at service and this is one of the issues I reported. It'll be interesting to see if they do anything productive. If not, i can certainly be happy with it as it is.. Really no worse than my Volvo.

mos6507 | 24 août 2018

[Cabin Noise cancelling with the sound system]

Can you say...kludge? That makes about as much sense as vader pouring water into a water jug in the middle of a lake.

The Model 3 was supposed to have the best aerodynamics of anything beyond the EV1. It shouldn'

weluvm3 | 24 août 2018

dalesmith1962: I took delivery last day of March. Probably March or Feb, but I will check when I have a chance.

I get it that a lot of people don't have problems with noise. I think that's kind of the point: the noise level has elements of design and manufacturing variability. Hence, some Model 3's have no need of additional aftermarket modifications and probably wouldn't benefit much. Which is good news, as it limits the total cost to Tesla in case they wanted to address this issue for those early production cars that could benefit.

Polen: You just are adorable. Don't ever change.

weluvm3 | 24 août 2018

FYI, my VIN is 88XX, for what it's worth.

Again, don't get me wrong: this is the nicest car I've ever owned in many respects. But there are some noticeable flaws and, yes, I totally don't get why a car which has such a low drag coefficient has more wind noise than other cars which are supposedly much less aerodynamic. Its just unintuitive. Is there anyone out there who can explain this seeming paradox? I'm honestly curious and really want to know.

Linkedscorpion | 24 août 2018

Some people have good hearing. Other (likely older) can’t hear that well.

My model 3 (57xxx) sounds like a normal car with wind noise (I’m 25 with I think good hearing). It’s just more noticeable because there’s also no engine noise.

Also, don’t noise canceling sound systems also need an array of dedicated microphones for ambient listening?

dmastro | 24 août 2018

ReD eXiLe ms us | August 24, 2018
It's true: this thread was RESPONDED TO by a Troll.

There, corrected for you.

How about letting a natural discussion happen without shouting down someone who articulates a legitimate concern (and did not make inflammatory statements)? If no one else shares the same concern, the thread will naturally fall to the bottom of the list.

Strike that, I'm expecting too much of an internet forum.

burdogg | 24 août 2018

It would be interesting to round us all up and drive the same car then get our verdict on "wind" noise. :)

I have VIN 66xx delivered March - and don't notice it - maybe even a little quieter than my 2015 70D model S? Not sure but pretty close.

If it were an inherent vehicle flaw as the article suggests - wouldn't we ALL have an issue - as they are saying it is structural creating the issue?? Oh well...

weluvm3 | 24 août 2018

dmastro: No worries. Some folks are already on my blocked list, including that fellow, apparently.

"Tesla Forum Enhancement Suite" works wonders!

weluvm3 | 24 août 2018

@burdogg I don't think it is the structure, by itself, that is causing the wind noise. It is possible that the design channels and concentrates airflow which, by itself, is not a problem unless manufacturing variances leads to excessive gaps or other issues which then cause turbulence or whistling through gaps?

Again, this is totally out of my area of expertise, but I can objectively say that my car is noisier at highway speeds than my wife's Bolt, which is hardly a luxury car and isn't nearly as aerodynamic.

It probably doesn't take a lot of turbulence to cause noticeable cabin noise. Think about the amount of noise you can crease blowing across the top of a bottle, for example: obviously, a car traveling at 60+ MPH is moving a lot more wind at speed than you can, right? Seems to me that gaps, misalignments or rough spots can potentially be enough to be a problem, and if your specific car doesn't have them in the "right" places and mine does, I will experience more noise than you do.

quinndo | 24 août 2018

Has anyone tried to objectively measure the sPL yet? I use SPLnFFT for ios on an iPhone 8, but there are many free ones to be had. It would be useful to see differences that owners are reporting ( i can't yet waiting for delivery). Here's a stab at a template:

Date mfg:
Wheel size:
Suspension mods or PUP:

App used:
Hardware placement in vehicle:
dB @ rest/55mph/65/70/75/85:

(speeds aligned with

dmastro | 24 août 2018

weluvm3 | August 24, 2018
dmastro: No worries. Some folks are already on my blocked list, including that fellow, apparently.

"Tesla Forum Enhancement Suite" works wonders!
Thank you, I think I need that add-on.

quinndo | August 24, 2018
Has anyone tried to objectively measure the sPL yet? I use SPLnFFT for ios on an iPhone 8, but there are many free ones to be had. It would be useful to see differences that owners are reporting ( i can't yet waiting for delivery). Here's a stab at a template:

Date mfg:
Wheel size:
Suspension mods or PUP:

App used:
Hardware placement in vehicle:
dB @ rest/55mph/65/70/75/85:

(speeds aligned with
Interesting suggestion! This is the kind of discussion, ingenuity, and collaboration I hope to find on the forum.

Thunder7ga | 24 août 2018

Not mine. It’s pretty quiet overall.

gbabula | 24 août 2018

I picked up my M3 dual motor a few days ago and one of the first things I noticed is how silent it is. The only thing I really hear at times is the motor when speeding up, although I personally enjoy that.

weluvm3 | 24 août 2018

@gbabula I am so jealous, on so many levels. I wish I had the patience to wait for dual motor availability, but I wanted my Model 3 ASAP. I'm still glad that I enjoyed it for a few extra months, even if mine isn't as fast (or quiet, apparently) as it could be.

Mzab | 24 août 2018

I’m excited about getting my Model 3 and like Tesla in general. However, I have no problem being objective and critical of the car. I took a test drive last Monday and I have to agree, there is excess wind noise coming from the left upper portion window at highway speeds. A lot more than my 2017 Lincoln MKZ.

fskott | 24 août 2018

Mine's pretty darned silent until I get up to freeway speeds. Then it's definitely noticeable to me (and I'm over 50, and 40 years of playing drums . . . you'd think everything'd be silent for me!).

To remove any unconscious "bias" (I mean, I love the car, so I'm not really biased per se!), I'm going to totally get a sound meter app on my iphone X (well, if it's free . . . ) and test it. It seems the loudness is coming from the upper corners, both left and right. Will let folks know what I find out . . .

Cyphr1s | 24 août 2018

It is most likely due to no engine noise so the wind noise is more noticeable.

gm_xeon | 24 août 2018

Maybe it's mostly due to variations in manufacturing quality? A lot of people say quiet, others say loud. Might just be that everyone's right.

Youtube also has multiple videos that have decibel comparisons between cars, Tesla Model 3 measures quieter than the Model S but can still be louder than some ICEs.

Atoms | 24 août 2018

I am happy with my VIN 34xxx. Yes the wind noise is noticeable in the upper left corner for the driver. A gas engine sound added to the audio system should cover that up with a simple firmware update. I’m told it is due to the shape of the glass there. There were probably some trade offs they had to make. Also I doubt they have an audio simulator combined with a CFD simulator to optimize this. Maybe in the next 5 years this will be possible to reduce further.
I’m happy.

Is the car perfect. No, but no car is perfect and no car can satisfy everyone. It is so much better than my other cars and that makes me happy.

Tesla firmware is finally good with 32.2 (not sure about spurious crackling audio yet - that has yet to be proven solved to me) but the rest is good.
Tesla Mobile service is taking care of all th small quality issues. Once that is done, then off to tinting and ceramic coating.

efuseakay | 24 août 2018

People need to stop being in denial about issues. The only way Tesla will improve the car is if we stop making excuses.

billstanton | 24 août 2018

57,000 ish. Quiet unless I have the windows down, then I have the music up too loud to notice.

slingshot18 | 24 août 2018

@efuseakay It may be variability, not denial. I just rode in my friends M3. Again, easily quieter than my Audi S4. Conversation with people in the back was very easy.

podvisot | 24 août 2018
gcklo | 24 août 2018

I got mine in Jul with 42xxx VIN and it is not noisy at all. I am loving my M3.

Why would anyone trust any greedy Wall Street wolves!

95dawg | 24 août 2018

It's hard to quantify what one person feels is loud vs someone else. Some people have great hearing, and can hear frequencies that others can't. There are people with literally twice the taste buds as average person and can detect flavors that others can't.

Not saying your car doesn't have issue, but we need quantifiable decibel meter data. Gut/butt meter doesn't always fly. :)

-TheJohn- | 24 août 2018

I think the only reason folks notice any wind noise is because of the lack of engine noise which normally covers that stuff up. It's really trippy hearing all the tire/road noise now and that's really the only thing I notice when driving about soundwise, besides whatever I'm rocking out to. 599#@ VIN btw

Frank99 | 24 août 2018

podvisot -
I was just going to post the same thing. The authoritative answer for wind noise on the Model 3.

BlueMeanie | 24 août 2018

Mine, luckily, has no problem with wind noise at all.

rxlawdude | 24 août 2018

Ours is a November 2017 build, VIN 138x. No wind noise like the whiner (who has to quote a Wall Street shorter of TSLA).

hzb | 24 août 2018

mine is very quiet :)

Mr.Tesla | 24 août 2018

My May 2018 191xx VIN is a delight. I sometimes just turn off the music on a smooth stretch of freeway and listen to the quiet. No engine drone always makes me smile.

Revelate | 24 août 2018

John: that’s pretty much what I took away from the model 3 videos I watched; I have pretty good hearing compared to others on this forum seemingly who were replying to the “Guess that squeak thread” but some of the road noise I picked up from the videos was obviously because it was so much quieter than my current ICE where I don’t notice it at all.

It is probably just a gap somewhere to the OP’s point, but that crowd sourced decibel meter comparison would be fascinating to see.

casun | 24 août 2018

mine is very quiet.

weluvm3 | 24 août 2018

It's a small sample, but it sounds like the amount of wind noise I am experiencing is above average, and not to be expected.

My car is most definitely not "nearly silent" at highway speeds as several have reported here. In fact, it is most definitely noisier than the other two electric cars I have owned. The Bolt, in particular, was just as blissfully quiet as some have reported their Model 3 was. I was the main driver of that car for several months, so I remember well what you are describing, and I miss it.

It sounds like this is clearly abnormal, and likely a manufacturing defect specific to my car. Therefore, I think the good folks at the Tesla service center should have investigated further.

djharrington | 24 août 2018

My 3 (001178) car was louder than my S, but just enough to make a determination. My S is pretty quiet. Both cars were noticeably more quiet than other cars I’ve owned (Audi A4, A6, Allroad, S4), and my MILs big ugly boat of a Lexus (although it had cooled seats, so kudos to it).

Mzab | 24 août 2018

I love reading all the little lamb posts. Constructive criticism is a good thing, not bad.

dgstan | 24 août 2018

I am abnormally super-sensitive to rattles, whistles, wind noise, odd hums, etc. I was very concerned about the Model 3 after reading all the complaints and seeing that $2 rubber gasket thing someone was selling.

My July-built Model 3 is extremely quiet. Certainly no more noise than one would expect a car to make going 80 MPH on the freeway. No rattles either. I don't know if I got lucky, but I'm very happy in this regard.