Clunk while supercharging

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Aug 20, 2018
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East Peoria, IL
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#1
Yesterday we drove our Model 3 over to Peru, IL and used the superchargers there. A few minutes after connecting, we heard (and felt) quite a "thunk." I let the charger go beyond this point, for a total charge time of 12 minutes. Nothing else odd happened. The charging rate was amazing, topping out at 475 miles/hour / 118kw.

Are others observing this as normal behavior? It was at least unexpected and a bit unsettling knowing there was 118kw going into the battery pack. This being only our second supercharge and really the first one that went really fast, we weren't sure what to think.
 

iChris93

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#2
The clunk was contactors either opening or closing a circuit. Maybe your 12 V battery needed to be charged up and the contactors were closing the circuit to allow that to happen
 

Love

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#5
It was pretty loud. Everything functioned as expected, so I guess its normal, just a little disconcerting.
In the early days, (look at me acting like I’m an old grizzled Model 3 veteran), these cars made some FUNKY noises. Clunking often, making it seem the car was in a constant cycle of going to sleep and waking up.
My battery louvre video on YouTube is my most watched BY FAR!!! But all of that is ages ago (cough...since February counts as ages...cough) and things have been fixed with OTA updates.

I do think you’re correct to think this is normal. I’d suggest seeing how things go...and if you have a continued concern, try and record it with a phone camera and give your SC a ring.
 
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#6
I noticed that when the latest software patch was installed yesterday it sounded like the car was doing it's own system check. With clicks, fan sounds, and even a horn beep. It did this for about 5 minutes then my phone "pinged" and said that it had finished with the update.

When using a supercharger the car will open vents and start circulating cooling fluid in the battery pack. You will probably hear more of this when the newer superchargers come online. (Even faster charge)

Tesla needs to do a better job of explaining these things to customers if they want to go prime time.
 
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#7
In the early days, (look at me acting like I’m an old grizzled Model 3 veteran), these cars made some FUNKY noises. Clunking often, making it seem the car was in a constant cycle of going to sleep and waking up.
My battery louvre video on YouTube is my most watched BY FAR!!! But all of that is ages ago (cough...since February counts as ages...cough) and things have been fixed with OTA updates.
Can you link to that video? I'd like to see it.

I do think you’re correct to think this is normal. I’d suggest seeing how things go...and if you have a continued concern, try and record it with a phone camera and give your SC a ring.
I did email service and they said they want to see the car, but I explained it was a 3 hour drive for me to bring it Westmont and that unless it was urgent, I would prefer to wait until I bring the car in November for paint repairs from delivery. They agreed.
 

MountainPass

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#8
Sure thing. Here is the battery louvre’s video. It’s short, the microphone on my phone was picking up some odd clicking feedback too so that’s annoying. I think a few of us had this but it went away with an update some time ago.

There was also the center console noise/rattle. They fixed this easily, said something was a little loose.

@MountainPass said it 100% accurately here https://teslaownersonline.com/threads/damaged-brake-springs.8544/#post-146672, there’s no engine so we hear everything. I also am “blessed” with the ears of my mother, so I find any little out of place noise to be grating!! I’ll get better when I’m older...right? ;)
Sounds like you could benefit from digging in and using some felt tape to eliminate those squeaks and rattles!
 
Joined
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#10
Regarding OP's loud clunk, I had the same thing about 3 mins into my first Supercharge. I was sitting in the car and it scared the hell out of me. That was months ago, and haven't heard it since. I can only assume it was 'normal'
 

xlnc234

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#11
So i'm having this as well - I initially thought someone chucked a walnut sized rock toward the rear of the car. I had supercharged once before during good weather 70ish degree Fahrenheit (first time ever supercharging at 115kw rate) and it never happened them. Last night we were making our first road trip and second time supercharging 114kw rate (battery like 15% ish) - and THUD! (like 5 mins into the session) while sitting inside the car. Happened like 5+ times the 30 or so minutes I was there. No visible damage outside. Then it happened roughly the same number of times on almost every supercharger we stopped at from California to Washington (probably like 35 Fahrenheit outside) (im not even sure if this is related to cold weather). The last time it also happened when supercharging at 70kw stations (the mini supercharger) so I don't think its dependent on supercharging rate. Also this never happens at home (but now that I think about it - im not sure that it _doesn't_ happen at home cuz I'm not monitoring it - will put a recorder next time).

I'm also not sure if this is the contractors - which is kind of hard to replicate - because they go off when the car has been off for a while - and no one is going to sit in a car for it to enter sleep mode. Next time i'll wear a bigger jacket to see how it sounds from the outside.

Audio recording:
Tesla Model 3 P3D-
 
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#12
I was linked over here by TMC. Recently, we took a long road trip and the thunking happened not only while supercharging but also on the road.

I bet it’s metal plates flexing back and forth under thermal change. We were driving from about 2k feet to 7k feet of elevation and then down again, and the ambient temperature went from 60 to 20 to 60°F. The clunk happened on the way up and on the way down, and seemed to be related to changes in outside temperature/changes in battery temp (perhaps?) based on how cold it was getting and how much the batteries were discharging.

Also happened also on a nearly daily basis after driving first thing in the morning (ambient temp 40-50s most days, warming up as we drove). It’d be multiple clunks starting maybe 10-15 min after driving, and you could almost pinpoint the sounds to left rear, right rear, right front, center front.
 
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#13
Also saw the TMC link. Definitely not a normal mechanical sound of contactors, etc. I’ve experienced this hundreds of times and I am also convinced that it’s the metal floor plate above the battery undergoing thermal or mechanical flexion. Many reports associated with elevation changes complicate the hypothesis since that could be either temperature or pressure related. Most service centers have been unaware of this, though I’ve stressed the phenomenon to a service manager since the winter will cause this to be more commonplace. An astute ranger noted that Tesla is working on a fix to dampen the process. Conjecture that this may be an unintended consequence of eliminating the Flufferbot is reasonable.
So while contactors cause a predictable thunk, this is totally unrelated and hopefully remedied eventually through an on-demand bulletin.
 
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#14
Also saw the TMC link. Definitely not a normal mechanical sound of contactors, etc. I’ve experienced this hundreds of times and I am also convinced that it’s the metal floor plate above the battery undergoing thermal or mechanical flexion. Many reports associated with elevation changes complicate the hypothesis since that could be either temperature or pressure related. Most service centers have been unaware of this, though I’ve stressed the phenomenon to a service manager since the winter will cause this to be more commonplace. An astute ranger noted that Tesla is working on a fix to dampen the process. Conjecture that this may be an unintended consequence of eliminating the Flufferbot is reasonable.
So while contactors cause a predictable thunk, this is totally unrelated and hopefully remedied eventually through an on-demand bulletin.
Agreed, it’s a different sound than the contractors. How do you recommend I approach Tesla to increase their awareness of this issue—walk into SC, make an appointment and bring into SC, or ask for a mobile ranger?

I guess I’d have to plug into a supercharger and have them sit there with me until the sound happens!
 

garsh

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#15
How do you recommend I approach Tesla to increase their awareness of this issue—walk into SC, make an appointment and bring into SC, or ask for a mobile ranger?
Probably long-press the right steering wheel button and say "bug report banging sound from battery during/after supercharging".
 
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#16
Agreed, it’s a different sound than the contractors. How do you recommend I approach Tesla to increase their awareness of this issue—walk into SC, make an appointment and bring into SC, or ask for a mobile ranger?

I guess I’d have to plug into a supercharger and have them sit there with me until the sound happens!
Several people have brought it up to their service centers. There’s nothing that will be recorded by the car, which is a suggestion some have received. I don’t think it rises to the level of a ranger and the phone system has been inundated recently. If you live by a service center, you might drop in and have a conversation with the service advisor to see if the message is getting out. Between the cold snap and more Thanksgiving road trips, I’m hopeful it may start making their radar very soon. I’ve thought of trying to tweet Elon, but that’s pretty hit or miss. In the meantime, I’ve just been trying to address these sorts of threads with accurate information. A new one seems to pop up every other day at tesla.com.
 

breadfan35

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#17
Had a road trip to see family just yesterday and on the way home stopped at a Supercharger for the first time for a 30 min charge and we had the same sounds every few mins or so. I had no idea if it was normal or not. Seemed to be no issues otherwise. Might give service a call too...?
 

RichEV

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#19
I had two instances of -loud- thunk while supercharging on a road trip in October. Both times the screen also went black at the same time. Unsettling. A minute or so later the screen came back on and all was well. Would love to know what this really is.
 

jlquinn

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#20
I've also heard the clunk when supercharging. I haven't reported it to the dealer yet, though.

Model P3D-