Ranger just told me there is no drivetrain issue.

I'm making a separate thread, because otherwise this will just be buried and missed. A Ranger from Vegas was doing some minor things to my car yesterday, and when he was done, I asked him about the drivetrain issue. He said there is no issue. A while back they replaced a few for customers that were complaining of noise, and the Tesla engineers wanted to use that as an opportunity to look at them. I don't remember the exact wording he used, but he basically said there hasn't been a need to do any in a while. He said the gears are spinning fast, and they will make some noise at high speed. You will hear them because there is no engine to cover that noise.

I personally have noticed that if I don't have the trunk cover/liner on in the back, or the rear seats are folded down, I will hear the motor/inverter/gears at high speed. With the trunk cover on, I don't notice it. There is no way they are going to be completely silent. I think part of what has happened is that a few people posted about their replacements on the forum, and a bunch of other people started listening and then wanted theirs replaced as well, thinking it was a good idea. I think Tesla was very happy to have volunteers who wanted their cars taken apart and a new drivetrain put in for minimal noise, so they could look at how the drivetrains were doing in the real world. Personally, I'm not going to have my car taken apart for no good reason. Obviously, this is different from the very few people that have developed a clunk when coming off the accelerator due to a rare gearbox problem.

So my thoughts are:
1) Parts moving at high speed are going to make some noise, and you will hear it since there isn't a loud ICE to cover the noise. It is normal and will change over time as parts break-in.
2) You will hear the noise less if you use a trunk cover and have the rear seats up.
3) This is not a reason to not buy the car or worry about the company, as a very busy service center claims they aren't doing many, if any, at this time.


Analysis... That is what I was thinking. Thanks for the update!

That makes sense. You don't know your clock makes noise until late at night when other noises are gone.

A sensible, drama-free post? It'll be buried on page three by tomorrow, but thanks for posting.


at least MS isn't making the death noise like the concept one from rimac. i don't think anyone would buy the car if it made that noise!

@rdalcanto so glad you posted this.
Now people can link to your thread as soon as the drive unit issue comes up. Not an official statement but close enough to calm the nerves of people.

Thx for posting dude :-)

I have no way of evaluating what the issue may be with a drive train. I got a step change in noise (a droning sound) at around 65 mph. I asked the service center if I should be concerned since I did not here the sound in any loaners at the same speeds. Engineering folks in CA listened to the sound and told them to replace the drive unit.

Fact is, it was replaced. Was there a serious problem? Ask Tesla engineering.

Sorry, but the word of one ranger doesn't mean anything to me.

@GaryREM That's exactly what the op said. It's not a real issue but Tesla engineers want to use the opportunity to take a look to verify what people are complaining about.

@omarsultan Maybe this thread will be kept alive for a while now. ;-)

People have short memories. A while ago (8-9 months?) there was a spate of droning noise at 65 mph issues with "several" cars. Not an epidemic, but not zero either. My car was one. It's a fairly early VIN, 58xx or so. Anyways, the noise progressively got worse to the point of really loud. They replaced the drive unit, no problems since. Given that we haven't heard about the noise much lately, I would venture to say that Tesla figured out the problem and have instituted a manufacturing fix.

Thanks for the informative post, OP.

I have had the droning noise, hum whatever you want to call it, at 65-70 for well over a year. Tesla said it was normal. I've had no issues. I think it is just how it sounds in that operating range.

It sounds like a motorcycle in your blind spot on your right rear. The sound may be unfamiliar to an ICE driver but, it makes sense to me. If it changed dramatically or increased as I accelerated I would be concerned.

All is good.

I had mine replaced for the drone and I am glad that I did. Some may accept it but it sounded like a truck was always riding in the next lane, and it changed tone with change of speed. I disagree that this is just normal behavior that you must accept, when car was delivered it didn't do it. The silence of the car is part of the joy of owning it, if I wanted a drone I would had bought an ICE.

A truck is a bit different than a motorcycle.


Thanks for posting this. It is of course interesting to hear that ranger's point of view and experience.

Still, I have to maintain that the problem of the drive-units seems to be more widespread than to be silenced by (no offense) a guy who's ranger said there was no problem. "These are not the drones you are looking for" comes to mind :-)

I heard another story from my local SC of them changing a drive-unit on one of the demo cars not too long ago.

In any case, you might argue that I and others are being overly careful, but buying a Tesla is a huge investment to many and we don't want to take unnecessary risks.

If this is all a storm in a glass of water (and it probably is), it would be easy for Tesla to reassure people. I would place my order right away if I got an official statement from Tesla on this. Fingers crossed for news from the Tesla event this weekend.

There is or was a loaner S60 at the Milford CT service center that has a drone/hum noise at about 65 mph. I have been given this same loaner twice and I heard both times and even pointed it out to them. My S85 doesn't have this noise and at the time, my car had the same number of miles as this S60 loaner.

I asked Villa Park about this and they said they replaced a few but it is not a systemic problem.

I once drove a loaner with the drone. It is a great detraction from the otherwise silent experience. I wish Tesla would divulge what they find from these units. I suspect something in the inverter, but it reminded me of a bad wheel bearing except no noise at low speed. It was an obnoxious sound, not just because the rest of the car is quiet. I've had a few minor sounds, they don't bother me. If I get a new loud sound, that would cause concern - especially if it kept getting louder over time.

I just had a drive unit replaced approximately 2 months ago. It was making a significant clunking sound. They said on inspection it was due to a broken motor mount. However after replacing the broken motor mount the clunk did not disappear so they replaced the whole drive unit which solved the problem. I have an S60.

To clarify, there are two types of humming noise from the motor.

1. Motor noise at high speeds, which most centers has said it's normal

2. Motor noise at low speeds, which was getting progressively worse, which was case where my motor was replaced.

I've had both noises, and was not concerned about the noise at high speed, but progressively worsening noise at low speed was noted to be due to defect (didn't tell me what the defect was)

Define high and low speed please...

That is more or less what I suspect is happening... I know some boxes will exhibit unusual wear and make more noise and some will fail. I just do not think it is a design flaw....

These cars are so quite we notice sounds you would never hear in an ICE car...

@jchangyy can you describe the low speed noise? I have a low speed buzz as well as high speed hum. Just curious if your low speed was a buzz or a hum.

New theory - the parcel shelf is now included as it reduces the high-speed noise. I've never heard the noise myself, but I also have the parcel shelf (and my hearing above 13kHz is not what it used to be). Then again I didn't notice any sound for the first 4 months when I didn't have the parcel shelf.

I wonder how many that hear the high speed noise:
a) Have or don't have the parcel shelf (and if having it is it in the down position)?
b) How good is your hearing? I just had it tested about a month ago, and it's fine except for some disappointing degradation at the high end.

I'm 100% sure some units are producing more noise than they should and it sounds like Tesla has replaced those units. I wonder if all cars produce some noise and if some owners are just more sensitive than others or the parcel shelf is a factor? I'd like to think I'm a sensitive guy, but that's another story.

+1 - that was my feeling as well when they announced inclusion of the parcel shelf. In fact, that is one of the reasons why I ordered it with my car. I read reports last year that the parcel shelf did a good job of deadening the sound from the rear.

TeslaTap, could you please use all caps when posting. I'm also a little hard of hearing.


Low speed: 20-35mph; power consumption of unto ~20kwh level or below, I hear more of a buzz. Sound gets louder until it peaks at above numbers and starts to disappear to higher pitch sound above that sound.

High speed: >65mph at higher power consumption. harder to hear depending on road condition.

My complaint to SC was not about high speed noise as that never bothered me.

Low speed buzz was getting louder as time went on over the course of 6 months and it was starting to drive me crazy on everyday comment (El Camion Real at 35mph)

I hope that clarifies a bit more. I don't have a parcel shelf (too cheap to spend $250 at the time)

I noticed that the loaner I got when I went in for my 1 yr service had quite a bit more whining noise under hard acceleration (not speed related) than mine does. Both S60s. Both had parcel shelf and both around 7k miles.

Some have the noise some don't, so I don't see how it can be normal. My car has 3500 miles on it, made early March 2014 and is totally silent except for tire drone and wind noise. I do have the parcel shelf (and a bit annoyed that I paid $250 for it and a couple of months later it was free)

Any noise that could be compared in loudness to a typical Harley just off your rear fender is inexcusable in a car this expensive.

Sorry, who said it sounded like a Harley?

Could it be normal that the inverter develops some characteristic noises with usage? Seems reasonable given Zap's description of work she's done with motors in the past.

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