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Air Conditioner Issues?

Hi -

I live in Arizona and am noticing a large whining from the compressor in the front left that is extremely loud and can even feel the vibrations inside the car - it lasts for ~2-4 minutes then settles down typically when first cooling down (and not even hot here yet :-)) . I am also seeing the A/C cut out while driving (typically 30 seconds or so?) then restarts, so asking if any other owners are seeing these issues? Appreciate the feedback!

I just noticed this same issue yesterday. Would be interested on any insight from other Model S owners.

Same thing happening to mine.

Me, too...Virginia owner here. Don't know if it coincided with hotter weather or 4.4 upgrade....

It's normal. I worried about it the first time it happened - I could not believe how loud it was. Talked to the service folks in Arizona and they assured me it was normal. As you said - it goes away after a few minutes.

Also took it to service and was told it is a third party A/C unit designed for hybrids and that although it protests mightily it works and that's normal. They are working on ways to reduce the vibration but no official fix yet. They suggested checking back with them periodically.

FYI, pre-cooling the car using the app mostly avoids having to hear the clamor!

Yup - started pre-cooling and can hear it from 50 ft away... guess just start even longer time to pre-cool... Just concerned when we hit 110F here and then how long will it whine... we'll see...

I was wondering what that noise was! Today was the first time I've used the AC. Now I know. It was rather alarming, I'll admit. It sounded like a far-off jackhammer almost.

That's a bit worrisome that they call this behavior "normal". Certainly not desirable.
I'm in AZ too and plan to place my order as soon as park distance sensors are available . I hope they improve on this issue soon.

Me too.

I think we've all concluded that the noise is annoying, but normal.

It's the drop-outs, however, that concern me a little more.

I'm also seeing the 30 sec to 1 min drop outs in air conditioning. I basically get warm air blowing at me for a bit until the compressor kicks back in.

It may have been happening all along, but I'm definitely starting to notice it on hotter Southern Californian days.

Anyone else seeing those?

I haven't had the dropout (except when the center display randomly rebooted while driving yesterday!), but my Infiniti used to do that under heavy accleration or anytime power needed to be prioritized elsewhere (very annoying here in Austin where the car can get quite toasty in 30-60 seconds. The dropout is most likely not normal (maybe it's--ironically--overheating?); probably worth calling service to ask.

As for pre-cooling, it seems like about 5 minutes before you need to drive anywhere seems pretty adequate for the cabin to be cool and for the clamoring to be overwith! I seem to lose about a mile of range for every 30-60 minutes of running the A/C while not in the car.

I get the drop-outs of the AC - but they are only for seconds. Nevertheless you can feel them right away in Arizona 100F weather:-)

Hi, I too live in az and have had the drop-outs. Service was nice enough to check it out and they seemed to fix it, it does not drop out anymore.


About the drop outs, are you on v4.4 or 4.5? There were one or more bugs in v4.4 that would cause AC to drop out in various cases.

I have my car in range mode all the time and that will limit the max setting the A/C will go.
After a day in the sun at work the initial A/C noise bothered me. With car in range mode I can range mode the A/C noise I am OK with that. Takes a little longer so I keep the windows down a little longe.

yeah, I noticed it too last week, very loud, but only heard it when I got out of the car, and then it stops within a few 10-15? seconds.

I just updated to v4.5 yesterday, and noticed the loud noise today. Never happened on v4.4, and weather has not changed significantly.

It is getting hot in Philadelphia so I've been using the AC more. I typically pre-cool the car, but yesterday I went out to get something from my car at lunch time and I heard the compressor come on, and it was pretty loud. It quieted down after a minute or so. The HVAC cools the car very well and I haven't experienced any drop-outs. I have been on 4.4. 4.5 was scheduled to install last night. Haven't been near the car today so I can't say if there is any difference. I'll report back if I notice anything pertinent.

Also, the absence of engine noise does tend to make other sounds more noticeable. Most ICE cars compressors make a fair amount of noise, but it is somewhat masked by the engine sound. Not saying the Model S compressor isn't loud, but it probably sounds extra loud compared to what we are used to.

Speaking to ownership this morning they've suspended the 4.5 roll out. Maybe to correct some of these A/C issues?

Guess I got lucky, assuming 4.5 works ok for me. I set it to install at 11p.m. Friday night but apparently I forgot to OK the deferred install. Today I went down to check on the install and found the dialog box still on my screen waiting for the OK. I hit install now and it began. Checked a few hours later and had 4.5 and I like the new features it has.

When we get the notice that a new update is ready to install, is the file already cached in the car waiting for us to tell it when to do the update? That's what I'm assuming since I installed 4.5 at about 5-6p.m. on Saturday 6/1. If the car had to get it from the mothership and the rollout has been stopped, it wouldn't be available to install. It would also seem to me safer if the car downloaded the full package before installing it so that a 3G service interruption or slowdown wouldn't cause an update to fail or take an inordinately long time. Just guessing here really, but I am curious if anybody knows how it's done?

We also have had a startling noise in the left front fender; however, ours was caused by the tires rubbing on a bulge in the inside grill in the front fender liner. Removing the fender liner we found about a quart accumulation of road sand and salt packed and hardened around the AC electric condenser fan. The accumulation was sufficient to prevent the rotation of the fan. Not sure if Arazona owners would have the same problem, however, in states like Wisconsin where millions of tons of salt are dumped on the winter roadways this is going to be a persistant problem. Other than frquently pulling out the fenderliner to clear the road sand and salt, I have no solution. The Chicago service center is aware of the problem so hopefully Tesla is working on a solution.

I, too, have experienced the loud A/C noise. I normally deal with that by lowering all of the windows to release trapped warm air and then I regulate the temperature until the noise is more tolerable. If the outside temperature is not excessive, normal driving will cool things down, so after a while, I lower the setting, which improves cooling but, this time, without as much noise.

I wish TM would have a setting that would cap the fan/compressor speed. I'd like that for heating, as well. The setting would just change how aggressively the car tried to reach the desired temperature. I prefer a little more temp discomfort over noise discomfort.

I have contacted them about the bug.

the one thing I can tell you to quickly fix it in the meantime:

turn it on/off. It stops 10/10 and the noise is gone.


I too have the noise. Hope it is fixed

Just noticed the same issue yesterday on a hot and humid day in NY after updating to 4.5.
It had never happened before the update.

Yeah, it's loud at first. I don't really care though since it's so cold. I don't have any noticeable dropout on the AC. I pre-cool the car just about every time before I get in. The interior temp read over 130 the other day and was a nice 78 before I got down there. So awesome, and only ate a few miles of range.

Josh got 4.5 so will check it out. Yesterday 109F and it dropped for up to 30sec and I'd say every 10min driving. Clearly the front left compressor kicks in the to cool it down then works for a while. Honestly at this point would be less worried about noise than A/C not working when it gets *truly* hot at 115F... I sold my last car due to A/C not able to cope with lovely AZ summers...

@ jmwalden1123 - I live in the Phoenix west valley area, I'll be following your adventures to see how this issue plays out. I am waiting until after the 6/20 announcement to place my order, but I also need to know that the AC isn't going to drop out when it's hot outside. I hope the issue gets resolved for you!

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