heater noise - sounds like metal crinkling / popcorn maker - is this normal?

heater noise - sounds like metal crinkling / popcorn maker - is this normal?

It has got cold here, and now the heater is coming on. There is a very distinct noise coming from the vents when the heater is on for around 30 seconds. It sounds like metal foil being manipulated. Please see this video Is this normal?

Can replicate 100 percent of the time by letting it stand in the cold, or running the AC and then switching to heat. obviously sounds like material moving from hot to cold, but does not sound like plastic.

jdcollins5 | 30 octobre 2019

It could be dust on the heater burning off from first time use in a while.

Lorenzryanc | 30 octobre 2019

Sounds like something stuck in the motor. Leaf stem or something flopping around in there. Force on to high and see if it'll change the sound, it may blow out. Check your filters too.

lbowroom | 30 octobre 2019

Normal? No, seek service.

Magic 8 Ball | 30 octobre 2019

Noise is normal, car tipped on side is not normal.

jonpaterson | 30 octobre 2019

@magic 8 ball I expected that the camera would rotate, sadly this is not the case. I am to assume that you also have the same noise? Do you know the cause?

Magic 8 Ball | 30 octobre 2019

To be honest I cannot hear much in your video but I do have, what has also been described by others, as a popcorn type sound that lasts a little while. I have also had this in other cars. The car is made of many different materials, each with a different coefficient of thermal expansion (they grow and shrink differently, in respect to each other, as temperature changes). As the expansion/contraction happens the parts rub against each other and release strain (like little mini earthquakes) until they reach same temperature and an equilibrium is reached.

lbowroom | 30 octobre 2019

I've never heard any unusual noises from my HVAC system. However, my brain probably filters for normal temperature related expansion.

Fuzzball | 31 octobre 2019

Normal in first 30 seconds to hear some crinkling type noise.

LostInTx | 31 octobre 2019

I am hearing this as well but didn't for the 1st 9-10 months of ownership. I hear the crinkling sound when the A/C starts, lasting about 15-20 seconds. I always question these "normal" sounds when they never occurred for almost a year.

I'm getting new tires tomorrow, along with a few rattle investigations. I plan on bringing the crackling up as well.

Manjushr | 31 octobre 2019

yes, same noise here. goes away after 30 sec. not worried

chris.franson | 13 mai 2020

My 2019 Model 3 SR+ makes this same sound when the heater is on. I don't think mine is quite as loud as yours, but for me it doesn't go away until the heater turns off.

Here's a recording:

I listed this as one of the issues when I brought my car in for service a few weeks ago. The technician and manager couldn't hear the sound after several attempts. A second technician was able to hear it, but said something like, "it sounds like a kid on roller skates two blocks away", which I think was to imply that I was being too picky. The manager also told me a technician reported that my air intake seemed dirty, and said that a sound like this isn't covered by the warranty, so further investigation would be costly. So it seems they suspected it was caused by debris in the HVAC system, but I keep the car very clean and parked indoors the vast majority of the time. They used an endoscope to look in the vents, but couldn't find any debris. They replaced the two cabin air filters for $69.

As expected, the new filters didn't help. After trying various HVAC settings, I found that heater activation seems to be the only factor. Fan speed doesn't matter. The temp in the garage during last night's investigation was 55 F. If the HVAC temp is set higher than cabin temp, the heater turns on and I hear the noise. It's harder to hear when the fans are set to a higher speed, but it's there. When I set the temp back to cold, the sound slowly winds down and stops.

Have any of you heard anything else about this? The only other thread I've found is OP's other post on ( I'd love to provide the service center with as much info as possible for another attempt at a resolution.