Tesla Model 3 Whistling Sound – Stop the Noise

Hearing an aggravating whistling sound while driving your Model 3 Tesla is discouraging to say the least.  You are proud of your Tesla and now it has a sound that you cannot pinpoint or correct.  Is a manufacturer defect or can you rid your Tesla of the whistle?

Why does my Tesla Model 3 make a whistling sound?  The Tesla Model 3 makes a whistling sound because the lower windshield trim is not correctly connected.  If you are driving at high speeds or during a time when there are high winds air is going to become trapped and you will hear a whistling sound coming from the tiny space between the trim and the windshield. 

The source of the whistling sound is because of the wind traveling along the windshield and then getting trapped anyway where the trim along the windshield is not holding well against the windshield.  However, other sounds have been reported that are coming from a similar area.  One such sound is a chirping sound that coming from the dash while driving.  It is more random and it is not based on the wind conditions.  I did some research to find out what the cause of this chirping could be and here are my conclusions.

Why do I hear a Chirping Sound coming from my Tesla Model 3 Dash?

This chirping sound is not something that will be constant.  It will sound as if tiny pieces of metal are rubbing together.  Personally, this sort of sound would make my Tesla trips a nightmare.  It is always hard to figure out the exact cause of sounds in car even if it is brand new.

Here is a video of an owner that reported this chirping sound:

I read through many such reports and found a solution that might work for this noise.  The noise could be caused by the VIN plate.  The VIN plate could be touching the windshield.  A simple solution is to reposition slightly the VIN plate so that it no longer is able to make contact with the windshield.  I would advise you to take your Tesla to a dealer and mention to them that others have stopped the noise by moving slightly the VIN.  Manipulating the dash vent on your own is probably not a good idea.

If the noise comes back, you will know that you will need to rid yourself of the chirping in another fashion.  If you notice that the noise is more present during colder weather, then something is contracting and expanding with the dash and you should have a mechanic troubleshoot with you.  I would suggest that you take a video of the problem and make a note of the outside temperature. Many of us have encountered the situation where we take the Tesla in for servicing, and the odd sound refuses to surface during a test drive.

If you notice that the chirping gets worse during windy conditions, then perhaps you need to take action to reduce noises that could be caused by wind.

How to Reduce Wind Noise in a Tesla Model 3

If you are a new EV owner, it will take some time for you to get used to how quiet a Tesla Model 3 can be because it is electric.  You might even have to turn audio to drown out the silence.  If there is any sound at all, it will be amplified.  For instance, if you are driving along and you notice that you can hear the wind outside of the Tesla, it could be nerve-racking.  Here are some tips to get rid of the wind noise:

  1. If the wind sound seems to be coming from a door, there is a chance that the seal is loose.  You should take it in for servicing to have a mechanic check the seal.  I have read that you could spray water around the edge of the doors to see if any water is able to get in.  Of course, this water pressure on the seal is not the norm, but it will at least give you an idea as to whether or not wind is getting into the Tesla via a door.
  2. If you are still not used to the wind noise while driving fast, it could be time to mentally block it out.  You could simply turn on an audiobook or listen to some music.  This will help to block out the wind sound and it will also distract you until you have adapted to the quiet Tesla.  The sound system in a Tesla is great and it will help you to relax while taking long drives.
  3. Nevertheless, if the wind noise is still apparent while driving at a lower speed such as 40 MPH, there could be a problem with the windshield.  I would check with a mechanic to ensure that it was installed correctly.  I have read about one owner that never had to deal with wind again after having his windshield changed.
  4. Another possible solution for wind noise is mentioned in the manual.  The manual explains how to make a slight adjustment on the windows so that when they are closed, they will be better protected from the wind.
  5.  If you have the Model 3 windshield that is double-paned glass, there is a chance that wind is entering at the side of the windshield.  I have read about one owner that noticed that his windshield was protruding 6mm on the driver’s side. This could require another windshield replacement.

As mentioned above, sometimes the wind noise becomes so loud that you can hear a whistling sound.  I will explain how to correct the problem if the sound is coming from the driver’s side window.  If it is coming from there, the problem is worse because it will make it harder for the driver to talk on the cell, or to even listen to the GPS commands in peace.

What to do if you hear a whistling sound coming from your Model 3 Driver’s Side Window

  1. First of all, check the seal that is around the window.  It could be just a slight seal problem.  Nevertheless,  if you do not see any sort of damage to the seal, there are other tactics that you can take.
  2. One conclusion that I have made is that it might be a problem with the window if the sounds disappear at higher speeds.  If the window is the problem, it should still be there even at a speed of around 75 mph.  If it disappears, the change in the airflow on the windshield is more pronounced which could eliminate the whistling sound. You have to sure that it is not a sound that is coming from both sides of your Tesla.  If so, this a standard sound one is more aware of due to the silent nature of an EV. Just remember that taking a Tesla in for a diagnosis constantly could influence whether or not your service center invoices you for a diagnostic fee.
  3. If you feel that the noise is coming from the windows and you also notice that the windshield fogs up easily, it could be that the windshield was not installed correctly.  Time to take your Tesla into the dealership so that they can check to see if the windshield seal is perfect or not.

If you are having trouble determining whether or not the whistling is coming from the window or the windshield, another method to cure the problem is to conduct some minor soundproofing of your Tesla.

How to Soundproof a Tesla

You can purchase sound reduction kits for your Tesla.  It is best to have a seal kit that is made with a flexible material that will reduce the sound level of wind and also it will ensure that water does not enter the cabin via the doors.  Another benefit is the cooling system will not have to work overtime to cool the interior.  Any openings in door seals will compromise your Tesla cooling system.

I recommend the Basenor Door Seal kit that was designed to work with a Tesla.  Click here to see the current pricing on Amazon.

Another source of sound in a Tesla is road noise.  It is more noticeable in an electric car versus a regular gas car due to the lack of internal noise.  The biggest culprit is tire noise due to uneven pavement. A lot of the sound will enter through the truck area since this space does not seem to be well insulated for sound.  If you inspect your truck space, you will notice that the top portion is simply metal, and sound vibrations will travel through this metal into the cabin area.

To insulate the truck space, you need to add padding.  I have found a matting product by Mixsuper for the front truck that is available on Amazon (click for pricing).  This product works well for a Model 3 Tesla.  This mat is easy to install.  It only takes about 10 minutes. You will need to clean the inside of the truck first.  Then remove the red tape from the pad and press it into place.  The next step is to add in the screws that have been finished.

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