Normal Operating Sounds
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:
Mechanical Enable/Disable Thumping Sound
Brake Pad Tick
When shifting out of Park, you may notice a tick noise from the brakes. This is caused by slight contact between the brake pad housing and caliper upon brake release.
Clicking, Clunking, or Thumping Sound From Floor of Vehicle
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 From the Tires or Brakes
When your vehicle is Parked for a long period of time and you shift into Drive, you may hear this sound. This is because your vehicle is using its disc brakes to hold the wheels in place while in Park. The sound occurs when the brake calipers release from the rotors and can be quite loud, especially in cold weather or after heavy rain. This sound can also come from the front tires when turning the steering wheel, and is not a cause for concern.
Use an Authenticated Key to Drive
This sound occurs when your vehicle does not detect a valid key. To begin driving, follow the instructions on the touchscreen to authenticate your key. See Keys for more information.
Banging, Clunking, Popping, or Thumping Noise While Supercharging
This sound comes from the floor of your vehicle (where the HV Battery is located) and occurs when the metal components in your vehicle's HV Battery naturally expand or contract to accommodate ambient temperature changes.
High-Pitched Whining Noise while Accelerating
When you press the accelerator pedal, you may hear a high-pitched noise in the cabin. This is the sound of your vehicle accelerating. Because electric vehicles are so quiet, this sound may be more apparent while driving.
Cabin Noise during Acceleration with Ludicrous Enabled
A/C Compresor Roaring or Wooshing
Outside the vehicle: When your vehicle is Parked, especially outside on a hot day, you may hear a humming or slight ticking sound from the front of the vehicle near the front trunk. This may happen even when your vehicle is not charging. You may also hear this sound when Model 3 is parked after a long drive. This is the sound of your vehicle cooling the battery to maintain its optimal temperature. It signifies that the A/C compressor is working to cool the cabin. This is caused by extra demand on the climate system to meet all your vehicle's cooling needs. The sound may gradually decrease in frequency and/or volume as the optimal temperature is reached.
Inside the vehicle: You may hear this sound coming from the cabin of Model 3, but this is normal and occurs for the same reasons as above.
Vibration Sound/Feeling in Steering Wheel
In this instance, the steering wheel vibrates because Lane Departure Warning alerts you that the vehicle detects an unintentional lane line crossing.
Whirring or Whining While Driving at Low Speeds (if Equipped with Pedestrian Warning System)
This sound is audible when the vehicle is driving at low speeds to alert nearby pedestrians that the vehicle is in motion. The whirring or whining sound is slightly different depending on whether Model 3 is driving forward or reversing.
Noise in Driver's Footwell When Brake is Pressed
Motor Humming or Whirring when Navigating to a Supercharger
When navigating to a Supercharger (or third-party fast charger in some regions), Model 3 preconditions the Battery to prepare for charging. This ensures you arrive with an optimal Battery temperature, reducing the amount of time it takes to charge. In some circumstances (such as cold weather), it is normal for the motor(s) and components to make noise, such as humming or whirring as it generates heat to warm the Battery.
Seat Belt Not Engaged
Chimes when the vehicle detects a passenger in one of the front seats is not wearing a seat belt. You can see which occupant is not wearing a seatbelt by seeing the red seat belt icon on the touchscreen. See for more information.
Chimes when your vehicle detects an occupant in one of the rear seats is not wearing a seat belt.
Various chimes, beeps, and alarms sound when your vehicle detects a possible collision, lane departure, etc. to keep your vehicle and its occupants safe.
Forward Collision Warning
Lane Departure Warning
This warns you when your vehicle detects a possible lane departure. The lane marking is also highlighted on the Autopilot visualization on the touchscreen. Apply corrective steering and stay in the middle of the lane. See for more information.
You are getting very close to a detected object. Proceed with caution and leave yourself enough space to safely park.
This warns that you are too close to an object. Allow yourself more space to park.
While Autopilot features are engaged, numerous chimes may sound to draw your attention to the vehicle. See for more information on feature details and limitations. Pay attention to the roads and keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times in the event Autopilot becomes disengaged.
This sound can occur for several reasons. Look at the alerts on the touchscreen for more information.
Hands on Steering Wheel Now
This warns the driver to put their hands on the steering wheel, otherwise Autopilot may disengage for the safety of the passengers and other vehicles on the road. Place your hands on the steering wheel to silence the chime.
Traffic-Aware Cruise Control
You hear this sound when Traffic-Aware Cruise Control is disabled.