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AM Radio Stations make a "whir" sound as the car accellerates and slows....

AM Radio Stations make a "whir" sound as the car accellerates and slows....
how can that be eliminated

Amplitude Modulation is a crap form of transmission and is incredibly susceptible to noise. I doubt you will be able to eliminate it.

You can eliminate it by listening to FM stations :)

Some owners have found that when they complained about this the techs found that the antenna was grounded to a painted surface. Properly grounding the antenna improved reception for both bands and eliminated much of the interference.

My car is in the shop today and this is on my list. I'll let you know what they find.

Wow, I cannot even fathom how/why the antenna would not be properly grounded during manufacture. How do some of these vehicles pass internal inspection?

I hope that is the problem because it is incredibly easy to affect AM regardless, adding inadequate install in there is blasphemy :)

Thanks! I have the same problem, and it is worse when I go through and underpass. My other cars do not have this problem. I'll have them check it out when I bring it in for service.

I radio reception on AM in this car (at least in mine) is just horrible.

But you don't have to put up with it. Get iHeart Radio on your phone and just stream it.. comes in perfectly and much better then any AM radio. I have also used TuneIn and that worked as well..


The body paint is applied before any electronics are hooked up. That paint spot would have to be specially removed for any grounding to the frame or body, during installation. I can easily imagine that step being missed in the first production runs. Perhaps they've remedied that, now.

Took delivery last Friday, AM reception is almost unusable. Every time you accelerate or decelerate can be heard through the AM station as a whining sound, almost like a siren off in the distance. I do not believe this is an antenna grounding issue, as that is too basic of mistake not to have been addressed in a year of production. It seems like everyone has this experience with Model S, so I'm left to assume it has to do with the electronics in the car, inverter, motor, etc. that are causing interference. It's similar to what you hear when you drive under some high tension wires, except the severity of the noise is directly tied to the accelerator pedal. When sitting inside the garage with the car basically off except for the radio, the AM reception sounds perfect.

Most radio stations nowadays stream their signal via the internets. Use TuneIn to listen to your favorite AM stations. Select from the touchscreen: Media/Internet/TuneIn Radio/Local Radio. And if you have a good 3G signal, the reception will be great.

On the AM radio bit, I think there is a known problem where the radio gets improperly grounded to painted metal.

Good luck on a quick resolution to the other items.


Why not use TuneIn? You can save the presets and the stations should be crystal clear. I have horrible AM reception within my house - I have no idea why - and the day that I discovered that all of these stations were available through the Internet was the day I never tuned in an AM station again.

The true beauty is that you can be 400 miles away from home and still tune in your local AM stations - crystal clear.

Not making an excuse for why the AM reception doesn't work in the Tesla - it should!

Regarding AM vs FM. Due to the type of signal response AM is much more susceptible to electrical noise than FM. Being an electric vehicle the Model S would tend to create the noise that AM will pick up so if the antenna is not grounded properly I would be surprised if you could even listen to AM.

AM and FM on this car just sucks. Keep making noise to your service rep and perhaps they will come up with a fix. I just had service to fix roof noise and asked about the radio as well. Came back with, radio operating normal.

Tesla should be embarrassed to have such an awesome car with such poor radio reception.

The antenna grounding issue happened to one person, I believe, and has attained urban legend status! I spoke with my service center, they said there are no service bulletins regarding the AM radio reception and that what I am experiencing is due to interference from the inverter/motor. When the signal is strong, the whirring noise is barely there. When the reception is weak, or if driving through an area of high voltage wires, the whirring noise is louder than the station.

This appears to be a universal problem.

I think a better shielding of the source and/or the antenna system should solve this problem. It would be really a shame for the car as a whole, if AM reception becomes an impossibility.

This one may be urban legend, too, but "Colasec" says he/she was able to get the service center to solve it with a new booster antenna. See

I have just emailed the Costa Mesa service center to ask if they solved it for Colasec.

Costa Meas service center says they've never heard of a fix...

Phoenix told me basically not to hold my breath on the AM radio, so there you go.

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