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Thread: Brand new Tesla has a weird sound (video included)!

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Dec 2013

    Brand new Tesla has a weird sound (video included)!

    Got my car about two days ago. Just today I noticed a weird sound coming from the front of the car while backing up. You can hear it in the video below. It's kind of a grinding vibrating sound. Has anyone had this experience? If so, what was the cause? Thanks.
    Last edited by NigelM; 2014-03-10 at 11:54 AM. Reason: Fixed Video link

  2. #2
    Senior Member ToddRLockwood's Avatar
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    Sep 2012
    Burlington, Vermont
    I believe that's the air suspension compressor, probably adding air because of settling while the car was parked. Alternately, it could be the power steering or brake system compressor. They're all located under the frunk. Nothing to be concerned about.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member steve841's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    Confirming Todd's response ... sounds like the air suspension compressor ... normal. Unless you notice your car settling wrong (as in front end low, rear high, etc).
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Ha, my car makes that sound everytime I start it up in the morning. I call it the fridge sound. And fyi my car does not have air suspension.

  5. #5
    Member Wattson's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
    Lake Zurich, IL
    I also do not have the air suspension and my car makes the exact same noise when it switches from "Car off" to ready to drive. I believe it is the brake compressor, correction: vacuum pump.
    Last edited by Wattson; 2014-03-10 at 02:00 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lloyd's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    Actually, I believe it is a vacuum pump.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member islandbayy's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
    Greendale, Wisconsin
    I hope you will all take my word on this, however, that IS the Vacuum pump for the brake booster (What gives your vehicle powered brakes).

    If you want to confirm. With the car in park. Just press the brake pedal in rapid succession 10 or so times, and the vacuum pump kicks in, you will hear the sound. ICE vehicles do not usually use a Vacuum pump, as they use the natural vacuum of the internal combustion engine to power the brake booster. EV's do not have that, thus, need a special vacuum pump for the booster. This is not the Air Shocks. If it is the compressor for the air shocks, then they would be defective and leaking, and once parked, the car would lower to it's lowest possible height on the air shock pouch that was damaged.
    The vacuum pump usually cannot be heard while driving due to the road noise covering up the sound. At extremely low speeds or at a stand still, it can be heard, and especially when in a garage where the noise can echo.
    Now, just imagine all the noises a ICE car makes if it didn't have the engine to mask the sounds

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  8. #8
    Senior Member AmpedRealtor's Avatar
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    Jun 2013
    Buckeye, AZ
    My Prius made this same noise and it did not have air suspension.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by islandbayy View Post
    I hope you will all take my word on this, however, that IS the Vacuum pump for the brake booster (What gives your vehicle powered brakes).
    Cool, learned my new thing for the day. I'd always assumed it was the air suspension, but this makes much more sense. Especially since changing my air suspension setting never made a noise remotely like this.

  10. #10
    Future Owner Mr X's Avatar
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    Jan 2013
    Simi Valley, CA
    That is the same exact noise my Smart ED makes!

    its the abs, or that vacuum pump. My dads Volt makes a noise as well.

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