Cracking Noise coming from panoramic roof

Cracking Noise coming from panoramic roof

I have had my 85kWH Model S for 2 months now. There is an annoying creaking/cracking noise coming from the support bar on the roof of the car. It is not temperature based since I live in the Bay Area. I continues all day long and drives me crazy since the cabin is so quiet. Every turn, bump, all I hear is cracking noise. Any other Tesla owners having this issue. Also, had the car hand washed and noticed fogging, and moisture in the front and rear lights. Last thing, and the most frustrating, is my Model S has been sitting in the garage, unable to open Charge Port. Rebooted, tried to "pry open", tried via computer and wifi on my phone. Just sitting and waiting for service to "fit me in". Other than that, the most amazing car I have ever owned.

edpalermo | 3 aprile 2013

I have crackling issue.. Been waiting for some posting here of a fix....

Eman | 3 aprile 2013

I HAD that crackling issue also, the Tesla rangers took my car for the day and fixed it, something to do with the sealant.

gan1812 | 3 aprile 2013

I have the same issue as well, very annoying sound coming whenever i go over minor road imperfections.

srichland | 3 aprile 2013

I've had it as well since delivery (November). Been to service twice for this issue. No resolution yet. Drove a 2013 Panamera the other day...reminded me of what quiet can be.

jlrush | 3 aprile 2013

I've had the same noise, too. I'm glad to hear you've had the problem resolved @eman.

DFibRL8R | 3 aprile 2013

I noticed the noise recently when I had the roof opened, it persisted after I closed it. I opened and closed again and it was gone.

marcsbussin | 3 aprile 2013

I have the same problem and have scheduled an appointment for Monday. Hope it is resolved as it drives me crazy!!

Jamon | 3 aprile 2013

I had the creaking problem after a few weeks and it was driving me crazy. I took it in to the Menlo Park service station and they did a quick fix (about 1/2 an hour - I think they added some washers). It's much better now, but still noticeable when the sunroof is open/vented. I'm hoping I can hold out until my 1-yr service if it doesn't get worse again. Time will tell...

mdennick | 3 aprile 2013

Too bad this isn't private.

I have it too. It's a stark contrast to the rest of the quite cabin. It is quieter when cold (so not bad) but obnoxious when in the hot sun. I drove a friends (tech4ever) black MS with pano the other day; it was perfectly quite. I think it's the plastic atop the "rollbar". I take it to the SC this coming Monday for replacement (the parts are in) so I'll let you know how it goes. They will take care of a few other minor things so it will be a couple days. I can't say enough good things about the crew at the Costa Mesa SC.

I'll miss the daily drive for sure. Great car!, regardless of the growing pains.

mikeadams | 3 aprile 2013

I have the issue too and figured out how to reproduce the sound. For me it is a occasional and very noticable 'Tih' sound with an emphasis on the T. Kinda sounds like something sticky being stuck to and repetatively being pulled off of a peice of metal. For me, it is coming from the ceiling crossbar on the driver side. I have the sunroof. If I sit and the back and wrap my fingers up around the gap at the top of the bar on both sides and then gently apply a downward presure from the top edge of the metal cross bar (not the plastic cover) alternating pressure on the front, then the back I can duplicate the sound.

mdennick | 3 aprile 2013

@write.mikeadams Same here, driver's side specific and easy to make happen. The bar seems to be aluminum on the bottom and plastic on the top fused/glued together.

I was thinking it was just me (I saw one other mention a month or so back). That's too bad, but they'll fix it.

mikeadams | 3 aprile 2013

Oh, an forgot to add... with the pano roof all the way open standing up in the back I can mostly see how the bar is held on. My bracket looked like it was greased up in addition to what appeared to be a felt washer where it is bolted on, but not obvious what exact spot is making the sound. I don't want to get in trouble messing with things. At least I figured out how to reproduce the sound at will, which is probably half the battle.

c.bussert67 | 4 aprile 2013

Our car has had this problem since day one, got it in november. I was hoping it would go away thru some sort of breakin, but after 4000 miles I finally took it in to see if they could fix it. All they did was grease the rails. It still has the issue like described. It only creaks when it is opened to any degree. They told me they might just wait until there is a redesign to fix the issue since it is quite common and will notify me when they do have a real fix.
It doesn't stop me from driving the car, but when you show it off, its a bummer to have a noise like that since the car is so quiet.
I also tried to get one of those elusive P85 badges and struck out on that as well.

Brian H | 4 aprile 2013

If at first you don't succeed ...

The badges are supposed to be universally available, AFAIK. (But I've never heard of a '40' one.)

bnwdon | 4 aprile 2013

Had the same noise, they removed the glass roof and fixed it. That was 3 months ago, it's coming back in a different area. Yikes!

MikeSFO | 4 aprile 2013

I have had the same problem since day 1 of the sunroof squeaking when it is fully closed, especially on the terrible surface roads here in San Francisco. In talking on the phone to service today I was told they know of this common problem and have a temporary fix to lessen the noise and are working on a more permanent fix. They will send out a bulletin to us when a fix is available.

christurbeville | 4 aprile 2013

Yea +1 on what I believe is officially called the pano creak:) Going to wait for my parcel shelf and spoiler to ask them to look. Don't like the sound of removing the pano.

Eman | 4 aprile 2013

All I can offer is that the Tesla Rangers in Watertown, MA were able to fix this, so maybe relay this...that they know how to fix the issue because that's where mine went for the fix.

jbunn | 4 aprile 2013

Tesla has a service bullitin on this. Mine goes in in the 9th for the fix

jchangyy | 5 aprile 2013

I had the creaking noise from my pano roof 3 days after delivery. Took it in to Freemont Service center and after 3 days in the service center (they took out the roof--"cut the glass"), creak is gone. It's been almost a month and so far so good. (knock on wood, cross my fingers, etc).

robertreedpeterson | 5 aprile 2013

I spoke to a tech at Rockville today and he said the fix basically consists of adding the sun shades to the pano roof... Not sure if this is what everyone else has been told but i'm a little weary of this as a fix.

Brian H | 5 aprile 2013


Don't knock too hard, you can damage yourself.

niks | 5 aprile 2013

I had the problem about 2 weeks into ownership. Very annoying. Had the car in Menlo Park service center for the past couple of days and they are returning it this evening. Hope the problem is resolved. Will report back when I test it later this evening...

aviatoruss | 5 aprile 2013

I just hit the 1200 mile mark and I am getting the same creak out of my roof. Thanks for passing along any news you may have regarding the fix.

djm12 | 6 aprile 2013

Whew. A few months ago, my mom had her sunroof fly off her caddy while driving down the interstate. It was a custom install and I was ribbing her about getting a sunroof. "Why would you spend money on that?" When I ordered my Tesla, my wife and I joked about the problems that the pano might have and decided that my mom would never let me off the hook if there was a problem. I'm going without the pano - it would have been really nice to have it, but now that I hear the stories about "pano-creak", I'm glad I came to this decision. If just a visit by a ranger is all it takes to fix the problem, no worries.

niks | 7 aprile 2013

Happy to report no creaks any more after I got the car back from the service center. There is a tech bulletin out and I believe the problem is with the plastic cover on the bar between the sunroof and the fixed glass panel. Haven't looked extensively, but it seems the re-glued the part with some spacers...

gbrody1 | 7 aprile 2013

i have a p85 with pano roof with creaking over the left shoulder of the driver side. i got the plastic cover off that runs left to right
at the inside top of the car covering a heavy metal bracing located just behind the driver. tried different things to stop the noise but nothing helped. Then i removed the plastic and drove the car plastic removed and the sound was still there. Got the car in to Toronto service for a few minor problems including the cracking. I picked up the car and was told the head liner at the front of the car was adjusted and the cracking was gone.
The cracking noise is NOT gone and is as bad as ever. Phoned Service as i drove away told them the noise was still there and i am waiting for a new appointment to try again

cbgosselin | 7 aprile 2013

I had that same annoying problem. I realise that when I set the roof open at VENT there was no more creaking.

I fixed this issue definitively by using rubber friendly lubricant (silicone grease) on the three alignments grommets that are part of the back side of the sliding roof. Open the roof at vent. These grommets are located on the back side (right, center and left). These are about 1/4in diam. x 2in long. When you close the roof, they tightly fit inside a continuous groove that is part of the back part of the fix roof, right over the cross bar. From outside the car, roof at VENT, grease the 3 grommets and the section of the groove where they fit when the roof close.

By magic, they are no more creaking, at lease in my case.

(Sorry for my English, I am very satisfied French Canadian MS owner).

rkang | 11 aprile 2013

I also sprayed rubber friendly lube all around the insides near the rails, etc.
Creaking disappeared. Then came back (but just a bit).
I took the car into the Queens, NY Service Center. They were very friendly. Did my alignment, rotated tires (my request), installed the rear facing child seats, front license plate, and tried to eliminate the creak. The technician working on my car said that the fix (if his first attempt didn't work) was that they send it to a body shop and work with the body shop to completely remove and reinstall the moonroof. He says it's worth it.
Well, I drove my car home and there is still a small creak. So I might take it back (eventually). But it's OK for now...

rkang | 11 aprile 2013

I have a feeling the creaking is related to the extensive use of aluminum. Aluminum has a tendency to creak...

marcsbussin | 11 aprile 2013

Cars in the shop now. Has been since Monday. They say its the bolts that have to tightened underneath the sun roof. Got an expert in to take the sun roof off only to find the bolts are now tightened from underneath(?) so they have to take the inside headers off and try again. Have to say I'm bummed about this and want my car back!!!

c.bussert67 | 11 aprile 2013

Marc, that is the same answer I got after they attempted to fix my pano creak. They gave me the option to leave the car for a few more days so they could drop the headliner. I opted out and just took as is. I was having bad visions of greasy techs playing with my sig white leather... I still have the creak. Honestly, the sound of the wind, when I open it, or the radio easily overcomes the creak.

Pbfoot | 13 aprile 2013

My pano roof was quiet until one day when I opened it all the way (100%). Prior to that, had only gone as far as 50% opening. After opening it all the way and closing it back up, it immediately started making the noise, and hasn't gone away since even though I've tried re-opening the pano and closing it back up.

Mliss | 16 aprile 2013

Checking in here... I just joined the crackling club (unfortunately). Mine was quite until I opened the sun roof the first time this weekend. Next time mine goes into the Chicago SC, I will hopefully print this post out so that the excellent folks at the Chicago SC can repair. Thanks everyone for the information. Love the car!

jbunn | 16 aprile 2013

Tesla has a service bullitin on this. There are something like three different reasons. Service techs check all three. Takes a couple hours. They did a good job on mine. I left the car over night to hang out in the city, and they returned it fully charged and vacuumed out.

Brian H | 16 aprile 2013



ronovan_mcnabb | 16 aprile 2013

Took my car in yesterday morning at 9am, and the Menlo Park service guys had it ready for me by 1pm. My roof was squeaking constantly at all speeds and road conditions, and I'm happy to report that my baby is now cured! Car was returned to me clean and in perfect condition.

robertreedpeterson | 17 aprile 2013

@ronovan_mcnabb Did they say what they did to fix it? So far i've been told several different things to try to fix it.

gan1812 | 17 aprile 2013

I dropped my car the Fremont Service center today for roof creak. I was told that it could take a couple of days as they intend to take the whole roof out fix some brackets and put it back together. Since i was there i also asked them to check the reverse tilt which was not working on the driver side mirror, the left side chrome strip on the A-pillar which as no longer flush and asked them to mount the front license plate.

I got a Taurus for the rental.

rdalcanto | 17 aprile 2013

Do we know if they have fixed the roof problem on new orders?

CommanderVideo | 19 aprile 2013

Boy, I hope they fix this before my car is delivered next Tuesday! Creaking stuff in my car drives me nuts!

But those of you who have had it serviced have gotten a fix from Tesla and it doesn't rattle anymore?

gan1812 | 20 aprile 2013

Mine came back today after being at the service center for a couple of days. So far no creaking sounds.

edpalermo | 20 aprile 2013

Mine was serviced and returned last Friday. After another 800 miles no more creaking from Pano roof..

robertreedpeterson | 20 aprile 2013

@edpalermo Did they say what exactly they did to fix it?

mdennick | 21 aprile 2013

I received my car back on the 11th; so we've had it over a week now and I'm very happy to report I haven't heard a single creak. It is sooooo much nicer now. They had replaced the back pano glass too, for a different reason and done it at a differnt bodyshop, so it was gone for 4 days. On a side note, I heared a tech mention they will be getting Model S for their loaner cars. If that's true that would make it so much easier to get along without your car, if it's ever in the shop. Driving an ICE car, and going to the gas station is such a drag now.

I did ask how they fixed it but didn't really get a definitive answer, lubrication yes, adjustments yes, but it wasn't really clear. I did ask if they have found a permanent solution, like a redesign yet, and the answer was no. I have a feeling the current workaround may not last forever but I'm happy with it for now. If it returns they can lube it again or hopfully have permanent solution by then. For now, I'll be driving down the freeway having a blast. ( I did my first OC to San Diego trip today in my 60. Pano open, closed, stereo blaring, and no cracking...Awesome!!! Watch out, this car will make you drive more.)

Brian H | 21 aprile 2013

Drivaholics Anonymous will be convening its first meeting soon, I predict.

OC_DC | 21 aprile 2013

I got my car March 22. Creaking sound started a few days after. Driving me nuts. Have service appointment May 6th at Costa Mesa SC for fix. Hoping this doesn't turn into a recurring problem.

Its a shame they haven't found fix at factory yet. The best marketing for this car is the dozens of rides for friends and family the first few weeks you own the car when everyone is curious. With the extreme quietness of the engine, the creaking really stands out like a sore thumb. Doesn't make me want to have others try the car. Not yet.

Other than the above: Wow! What a pleasure to drive. Finally, intelligence has arrived in the auto industry. Feeling like a 16 year old with first car all over again. Increase range to 500, reduce supercharging to 15 min. Game over for entire ICE industry.

mdennick | 21 aprile 2013

Brian H, +1

OC, I would do the same thing, resist demo drives with folks. I then realized almost no one noticed, as long as I didn't bring it up (and it wasn't really hot and I kept the Pano shut). There's usually too much talking anyway. So that wasn't really an issue, and I host lots of rides. There is one neighbor of mine I held off because he's a big ICE guy and makes digs about the car all the time (in a nice way but the undercurrent is there). I'm sure he would have noticed and it would have given him more fuel (npi). Now, I look forward to taking take him out.

The workaround fix is working great. Whether it's good for a few months or a few years I'd call this one manageable. I'd be surprised if at least the workaround isn't done at the factory by now.

BTW, it was Costa Mesa that fixed our creak. They have been great, overloaded of course (so I end up calling them most of the time), but they are working hard, care, and they have taken good care of us.

mmbg | 29 aprile 2013

Thanks for posting everyone -- glad to know we are not the only ones hearing this and that there is already a solution!

Alex K | 29 aprile 2013

I didn't have a creak in the Pano roof until I decided to open and close it one day while driving. So when I took my car in for service, I told them about the creaking. This is what they did to correct it according to the invoice:

Customer Concern: Rattle noise coming from panoramic roof when driving.
Cause: Panoramic roof shims require installation.
Correction: Panoramic Roof Creak Adjustments
Installed roof shims and torqued all roof frame bolts to spec.

Didn't have any creaking on my drive home after the service, but I didn't have a chance to open and close the pano roof.