Tesla is undoubtedly the world’s leading electric car manufacturer, but even though its Model 3 is one of their more technologically advanced models, it can experience quite ordinary issues—one of them: incessant rattling noises. Last time you checked, your Tesla was not a rattle, so what’s going on here?
Identifying and fixing rattling noises in your Tesla Model 3 is quick and easy to do; just put your best ears on and get ready to do some looking around in your car.
Rattling Causes and How to Fix Them
Unlike other manufacturers, Tesla doesn’t manufacture yearly updates to their Model 3 or any other of their cars. They do make minor adjustments and upgrades to the original Model 3 every now based on their research and customer feedback, however. Therefore, if you bought a Model 3 at the end of 2019, it is significantly different from the one in 2017. Some of the problems we are going to look at might not apply to your car because they occurred in an earlier version and were fixed before you got yours.
1. Noises From the Center Console
If the rattling sound you’re hearing is coming from the center console, especially when you’re driving on a rough road or at high speeds, it could be due to a loose latch on the armrest. Placing your arm on the rest usually makes the vibration stop. Because you can’t necessarily do this and drive safely all the time, you’ll want to find a solution. Locate the latch, and use adhesive foam or tape to secure it. Otherwise, bring it into a service center and have a technician tighten the armrest.
2. Near the Passenger-side Front Wheel
If the rattling noise is on the passenger-side front wheel, it may not be your suspension. The squeaking, rattling noise happens at the meeting point of the fender line and the passenger side fender and is especially loud at high speeds. Don’t panic when this happens; it’s not a life-threatening situation. You can solve it by simply applying some window adhesive foam between the fender liner and the passenger side fender.
3. Rattling Sound From the Passenger Door
These sounds are especially common in the earlier Model 3 and are not only heard when the car is in motion but sometimes even in park.
Put your car in park. If you have music playing and you hear the rattle, it’s because the vibration is coming from the passenger’s door speaker grill. The speaker grill in the earlier released Model 3 is only held into place by a few screws. When these screws are loose, the grill vibrates, especially when you are driving at high speeds. To fix it, just tighten the screws.
A few users also reported tweeter assembly noises on both doors. The tweeters are only attached to the plastic enclosures using a few bolts. Enforcing the tweeters with super glue or silicon worked well during tests. You don’t have to worry about superglue ruining the plastic enclosures. They come as a unit when you buy a replacement for the tweeters.
4. Air Conditioning Vent
Several Tesla Model 3 car users have reported a rattling sound from the air conditioning vent under the dash on the driver’s side. Confusingly so, the noise happens regardless of whether the AC is on or off. To stop this sound from continuing, apply some adhesive foam on the right and left sides of the vent. The adhesive will hold the vent firmly in place, causing the noise to cease completely.
5. Rattling in the Backseat
In some Model 3 backseats, you’ll hear a funny noise can around the headliner. Technicians found that a loose rubber band was the culprit. You can locate this rubber band behind the headliner (when you open it) between pillar B and C. It looks idle and out of place, but in essence, should be attached firmly to the headliner. Once you do this, you will find that the rattling sound will stop.
These are just a few of the reasons why your Tesla Model 3 is making a rattling sound. Fortunately, these are the most common and benign of the issues, and you can easily fix them if you know exactly where to look. If you find that the rattling noises continue or are coming from a part of the car we did not mention here, we advise you to contact your local Tesla support.