whining sound at low speeds (audio capture)

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repoman

New Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2018
Messages
1
Location
Montreal\Laval
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#1
Hi,

Noticed this high pitched whining sound on low speeds (40 km\h to 70 km\h) with accelerating and regen braking affecting pitch on my model 3 dual motor which I took delivery two weeks ago,


Brought to Tesla service and they said it was normal, but it sounds pretty loud to me.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2018
Messages
13
Location
Tucson, AZ
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#2
I get this sound also on my M3 AWD. I think it's when the front motor is used. It's probably noise from the inverter. I find it annoying, but I also have this on the Model X, especially when regening. My Model S is rear wheel only and it's whisper quiet. I just updated to V 2018.46.2 yesterday on the M3 and during some highway and city driving today, I noticed this sound less. It could have been the route I took or the new software uses the front motor less.
 

PNWmisty

Legendary Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2017
Messages
2,539
Location
Anacortes, WA
Country
Country
#3
Hi,

Noticed this high pitched whining sound on low speeds (40 km\h to 70 km\h) with accelerating and regen braking affecting pitch on my model 3 dual motor which I took delivery two weeks ago,


Brought to Tesla service and they said it was normal, but it sounds pretty loud to me.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
I love it on my stealth P3D. It sounds like a quiet jet turbine spooling up, simply awesome. As to the volume, mines pretty quiet but it's impossible to judge the volume from a recording. I would trust the opinion of Tesla Service on this one.
 

JasonF

Top-Contributor
Joined
Oct 26, 2018
Messages
1,033
Location
Orlando FL
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#5
There are two sounds you can hear as you drive:

1. Gearing inside the motor assembly make a quiet whining noise akin to the sound of a differential in an ICE car. You don't hear it in an ICE car because the engine is too loud.

2. VFD (variable frequency drive) sound is a very high-pitched squeal that is actually louder at low speeds than high speeds.

Because electric cars are so quiet, if you really focus on it you can hear the suspension components make noise, the steering making winding and clicking sounds as you turn, the air conditioning compressor turn on and spin up, tires scrubbing on wet pavement in turns, and various motors and pumps running, and the battery contactors loudly clunking.
 

gary in NY

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 2, 2018
Messages
230
Location
Woodstock, NY
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#6
I've noticed the sound at fairly low speeds, but only for a split second or so, and at low volume. This on a LR dual motor. It may be that the road and wind noise hide it at higher speeds. I'll listen for it again.
 

ajdelange

Active member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
33
Location
Virginia/Quebec
Tesla Owner
Model X
Country
Country
#10
Each of the motors have magnetic poles around the interior surface of a cylinder (the stator) i.e. bits of special steel with coils of wire wrapped around them. These magnets get energized repeatedly by the inverters. When a stator pole is magnetized any other magnetic material in the vicinity gets pulled towards it in order to get all the field lines into steel (as opposed to the air gap) thus minimizing reluctance. This force turns the rotor. A similar effect occurs within the pole itself with the same goal: reducing reluctance. Within the steel the domains realign which can cause physical distortion of the material and hence noise. This is called magnetostriction and I am guessing (let me emphasize that word: guessing) that this is what you hear. Note that this is the same phenomenon that causes the 60 Hz (in the Americas and Japan, 50 Hz elsewhere) hum you hear near a transformer. The pitch is proportional to the frequency of the stator drive current which, of course, relates to the rotor and vehicle speed.

Without really knowing much if anything about the PMSRM's in these cars I can't help wondering if the salient pole construction might not enhance this effect. I do hear this noise in my pre-Raven (all induction motor) X but only at low speeds.

Note also that the field (stator) is excited whether the machine is motoring or generating so that one would expect the sound in regen mode as well as drive mode.
 
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