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A guide to the noises your electric car makes: The sounds of a Tesla


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    Tesla Self-Driving

    Tesla has produced a new guide to familiarize yourself with the sounds that its electric cars make. Even though EVs are quieter than gasoline-powered vehicles, it doesn’t mean they are noiseless.

    Electric cars not only reduce pollution from harmful emissions at the tailpipe, but they also reduce noise pollution.

    That’s a benefit that is often underappreciated, but a reduction in noise pollution has been associated with a reduction in stress, which is a silent killer in our society.

    Studies have even directly linked electric cars and a reduction in stress to noise reduction.

    However, for some, the lack or reduction of noise in electric vehicles is a downside. Many gearheads like the noise of engines and feel like the lack of noise in an electric car is a downside to the driving experience.

    While electric vehicles do make less sound than gasoline-powered vehicles, especially when they accelerate, they do still make sounds, and all electric motors make different ones.

    Interestingly, Tesla decided to help its owners familiarize themselves with the sounds that their electric vehicles make by putting a guide of “Normal Operating Sounds.”

    Electrek found the guide released on Tesla’s support website last week:

    While your Model 3 is incredibly quiet, it is not completely silent. There are some sounds your vehicle makes as part of its normal daily operation and are not a cause for concern. Below is a list of possible normal operating sounds your vehicle could make based on where the sound is coming from.

    In the guide, Tesla includes sounds that it considers normal inside of its vehicles, like this “Humming, Whirring, or Wooshing Sound” when driving.

    The automaker did start the guide with a quick warning:

    This is a general guide to help you understand common sounds you may hear from your vehicle during its normal course of operation. It is not a diagnosis of your vehicle, and does not represent a comprehensive list of normal sounds you may hear. If you wish to schedule an appointment with Tesla Service for any reason, contact your local service center.

    Here are some of the other “sounds of a Tesla”:

    Vibration Sound/Feeling in Steering Wheel

    This sound is specifically caused by the steering wheel vibrating because of Lane Departure Warning alerts.

    Whirring or Whining While Driving at Low Speeds (if Equipped with Pedestrian Warning System)

    That’s just the pedestrian warning sound that Tesla is forced to add as part of regulations regarding “quiet vehicles.”

    Noise in Driver’s Footwell When Brake is Pressed

    This sound is related to the “Hold” function that may initiate after coming to a stop.

    Tesla has also included sounds that you may hear when the vehicle is parked.

    Clicking, Clunking, or Thumping Sound From Floor of Vehicle

    This sound has an interesting origin. Tesla writes in the guide:

    When Parked, Model 3 opens the HV Battery contactors to help conserve energy. This sound occurs when you start the vehicle after it’s been Parked, and signifies that the high voltage contactors are closing the circuit between your vehicle and the Battery.

    Creaking or Cranking From the Tires or Brakes

    As the name of the sound indicates, this is as simple as the brakes being released.

    Banging, Clunking, Popping, or Thumping Noise While Supercharging

    This sound while supercharging apparently can be explained by the metal components in your vehicle’s battery pack naturally expanding or contracting to accommodate ambient temperature changes.

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