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Humming sound while gas engine running?


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41 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   ClyonCmax

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 07:06 PM

I have noticed a hum that starts about 2 secs after the gas engine comes on, and stays on until the gas engine shuts off. It will do this when first starting, going in and out of EV mode, etc. It seems more pronounced when the car is warmed up. It will do it about 95% of the time (basically every time I drive the car). I brought it to the dealer a couple times, and two techs sat in the car with me while I duplicated the noise. They told me it is the "generator" which seems...unlikely...but didn't find anything wrong. I think it's the fuel pump, but the dealer said they tested it and found it to be running normally. My car is a 2013 with under 20k miles, certified pre-owned (if that matters - apparently the fuel pump operation was checked on the CPO checklist I received).

Anyone experience this? Any resolution? I don't want to demand a new fuel pump but the noise is pretty annoying and I am not sure if it is a sign that something is going bad. Any help is appreciated.







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#2 OFFLINE   fotomoto

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 06:05 AM

Are you knew to hybrids?  They can and do make different sounds during operation.  Is a "hum" bad?  Maybe but not necessarily.  Unless you have a trouble light and code, guessing is just a guess.  For example, the fuel pump is located inside the fuel tank in the back of the vehicle.  

 

Can you post a video of the sound?  Maybe someone here might be familiar with it.



#3 OFFLINE   stevedebi

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 08:56 AM

I have noticed a hum that starts about 2 secs after the gas engine comes on, and stays on until the gas engine shuts off. It will do this when first starting, going in and out of EV mode, etc. It seems more pronounced when the car is warmed up. It will do it about 95% of the time (basically every time I drive the car). I brought it to the dealer a couple times, and two techs sat in the car with me while I duplicated the noise. They told me it is the "generator" which seems...unlikely...but didn't find anything wrong. I think it's the fuel pump, but the dealer said they tested it and found it to be running normally. My car is a 2013 with under 20k miles, certified pre-owned (if that matters - apparently the fuel pump operation was checked on the CPO checklist I received).

Anyone experience this? Any resolution? I don't want to demand a new fuel pump but the noise is pretty annoying and I am not sure if it is a sign that something is going bad. Any help is appreciated.

When the engine comes on, it is usually charging the battery - and running the generator. I don't notice a hum with mine, but I may well be used to it (I had an Escape Hybrid). However, I always thought of it as a whine, not a hum.



#4 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 03:07 PM

I don't recall any hum when the engine is running, and I haven't run mine since I got back from FL back in mid December.  I filled the tank back on 1/2/16 as I got some really cheap gas at $1.39 a gallon, and been watching the gas prices go down since then, from $1.89 to $1.73.  

 

I may have a trip to PA in the next couple of weeks, if I do I'll try to make note of any noise from the engine when running.

 

-=>Raja.



#5 OFFLINE   ClyonCmax

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 03:59 PM

I will try to get a recording of the sound to help diagnose the issue but I think it is more pronounced than normal hybrid operation. No trouble codes, warning lights, etc. I would say the noise is definitely a hum instead of a whine, and it fills the cabin, so it's hard to know where exactly it is coming from. It only occurs when the gas engine is running though, not during regen or any other method of charging the battery (if that helps). I do hear the regen "whine" and it is not that sound.

 

I am relatively new to hybrids (4 months total) and had a month-long 2015 C-Max Energi test car which did not make the noise. I also test drove a different new Energi which also had no noise. Just seems to be this car!

 

But, if it's normal operation and nothing to be concerned about, I won't worry about it too much; just trying to see if there is an actual issue. Thanks!



#6 OFFLINE   jzchen

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 04:46 PM

I hear a "hum".  Almost like a muted/faint flute sound.  A single tone/note?  That's what I hear....  I just shrug it off as normal.  It immediately goes away as the ICE shuts off...



#7 OFFLINE   ClyonCmax

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 06:26 AM

Here is a link to a video I took this morning. I started the gas engine 3 times and you can hear the hum (faintly) each time. Might have to turn the sound up to hear it but I hope it helps!

 

https://drive.google...iew?usp=sharing



#8 OFFLINE   jzchen

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 07:13 AM

Here is a link to a video I took this morning. I started the gas engine 3 times and you can hear the hum (faintly) each time. Might have to turn the sound up to hear it but I hope it helps!

 

https://drive.google...iew?usp=sharing

 

The tone sounds about the same, although it is hard to tell the volume/loudness from a recording.  I always thought it was my sensitive ears because I do not get complaints from my wife and son.  (When I was young the faint click of a quartz clock could keep me up at night.)  I am actually surprised you could actually capture it in a recording.  (I've never brought it up to service all the times it has been in.)



#9 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 07:14 AM

Hard to say, is it the sound of the engine?

 

-=>Raja.



#10 OFFLINE   jzchen

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 05:34 PM

I honestly can't say.  Maybe I got used to it.  I'll try to listen carefully next time I'm in the car.



#11 OFFLINE   drdiesel1

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 09:58 PM

Here is a link to a video I took this morning. I started the gas engine 3 times and you can hear the hum (faintly) each time. Might have to turn the sound up to hear it but I hope it helps!

 

https://drive.google...iew?usp=sharing

 

That is the fuel pump. It's a high pressure jet pump and they all make noise. Most run @ 60 PSI on SFI systems.

Some are louder than others. If the pressure and volume are good you could always current ramp the pump to look

at the commutators electrical signature as another way to evaluate the pumps integrity.

You'll never have a silent pump, but a new one might make less noise if you are lucky.

 

The dealer will not replace a pump based on a noise complaint alone.  Just turn up the radio and stop hyper-focusing on the noise.

All cars make this noise, but the PHEV's seem to always cause people to hyper focus on noise because it's so quite in EV Mode.

 

Here is an image of the pumps stator and it shows the 8 commutator segments. The next image is the pumps electrical signal

from a currant ramp using a lab scope. This pumps signature looks cut off from high RPM's from a pressure check valve was bad

and the pump was making 49 psi instead of the required 60 psi. It was bleeding back into the tank and made a loud whining noise

due to pressure loss.  Without a proper diagnosis, you'll be guessing if the pump has a problem and should be replaced.

Only a lab scope with a pressure transducer will give you the proper insight into what the pump is actually doing.

Most dealers don't have the proper tools or techs with the proper education to perform this type of inspection and rely on a pressure test only. 

Good luck getting it fixed!

Attached File  DSC_0002.jpg   90.62KB   0 downloadsAttached File  Untitled-3.jpg   95.25KB   0 downloads

 

 

The 3rd & 4th images are the pumps dynamic pressure readings using the lab scope with a pressure transducer to monitor the pumps

operating pressures from startup to shutdown and after shutdown bleed off. They should hold shutdown pressure for a minimum

of 15 minutes after the pump stops running. As you can see, this one drops off as soon as it shuts off. It's causing a hard starting

condition after the vehicle is parked for short periods and it's noisy while the ICE is running. This is not a hybrid/PHEV vehicle.

Attached File  Untitled-1.jpg   80.16KB   0 downloadsAttached File  Untitled-2.jpg   78.49KB   0 downloads


Edited by drdiesel1, 06 February 2016 - 10:12 PM.

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#12 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 07 February 2016 - 07:18 AM

In my old Mercedes, I would turn the key on, wait a second and I hear the pump prime the pressure up and then stop.  Then I crank the engine and it starts up.  Once running the drone of the engine makes it hard to hear the pump, with the exception of when the car is really low on fuel, if I shut off the radio I can hear the pump once it starts sucking some air, meaning I'm on fumes and I'd best get to a gas station asap like yesterday!

 

-=>Raja.



#13 OFFLINE   P=E/t

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Posted 07 February 2016 - 08:14 AM

I won't re-quote the entire passage above, but drdiesel1 that is a highly informative explanation of fuel pump health, thank you!

Reminds me of the ejection fraction parameter in cardiology, too. Interesting parallel.

#14 OFFLINE   ClyonCmax

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 09:25 AM

Well, I suppose this at least confirms my suspicion about the noise! I had a previous car with a slight fuel pressure leak causing some extra cranking at startup as drdiesel1 described, but I don't have that issue in this car (the good news). If the fuel pump is functioning properly to the best of the dealer's measurements I will just keep an eye on it while I am still under warranty since they are the only ones who would ultimately replace it. No sense in fighting them for a new fuel pump if the one I have is working and not showing other symptoms. Thanks for the help!



#15 OFFLINE   jzchen

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 03:21 AM

This weekend was all electric for us, so I'm afraid I couldn't check.  I've heard this sound since test driving them back in 2013, brand new from the dealer lot.  (They never had them charged up.)



#16 OFFLINE   ITFlyer

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 10:23 AM

I hear a "hum".  Almost like a muted/faint flute sound.  A single tone/note?  That's what I hear....  I just shrug it off as normal.  It immediately goes away as the ICE shuts off...

 

That's pretty much what mine sounded like, and only when the ICE was running. It got louder and louder until I decided I couldn't take it anymore and went to the dealer. They diagnosed it as a failed bearing in the transmission and replaced the transmission, which fixed it.


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#17 OFFLINE   jzchen

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 06:39 PM

That's pretty much what mine sounded like, and only when the ICE was running. It got louder and louder until I decided I couldn't take it anymore and went to the dealer. They diagnosed it as a failed bearing in the transmission and replaced the transmission, which fixed it.

 

Thank you for sharing!

 

I guess a similar sound can come from different things.  I remember the creaking/styrofoam squeak sound that has recently come back for me.  It seems for us at least it is the seal of the rear hatch door.  For one other it was a bad weld in the high voltage battery brace of some sort.  I am happy that Ford dealerships have come to address these issues for us all.


Edited by jzchen, 24 February 2016 - 06:39 PM.


#18 OFFLINE   jddonahoe

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 04:38 PM

I know why your C-Max hums...

Because it doesn't know the words.


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#19 OFFLINE   ClyonCmax

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 09:36 AM

Just to follow up with this, I ended up having the dealership do a fuel pump pressure test and they found my fuel pressure to be low. They replaced the fuel pump under warranty. The noise is gone and my performance has improved!

 

Unfortunately I had to go to two dealerships; the first one said it was the "generator" and left it at that. When I asked if they checked the fuel pump they said yes. I didn't ask if they did a pressure test. 

 

The second dealership tested the pressure and said it was low.

 

Both times I had to sit with the tech in the car to duplicate the noise, but this was easy to do since you can get the gas engine to come on when the car is in park and you press the gas pedal, and the noise will occur.

 

With the new fuel pump I would say that I use about 10% less "power" on the split power gauge when driving in regular hybrid mode than before. I have yet to hit the 3rd notch under hard acceleration; most of the time it stays at 2 notches. The battery and gas engine seem to work together more often now and I can stay under 1 notch of power in most situations now instead of wildly revving when the battery depletes. No more annoying droning/moaning/humming noise either!

 

So, I suppose sometimes it helps to be persistent if you think something is wrong with the car and to make sure the dealer does the proper testing.

 

Hope that helps someone in a similar situation!

 

Chris



#20 OFFLINE   Chris Gorczynski

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Posted 04 April 2016 - 04:50 PM

Well I'm on week 3 of being a 2013 C-Max Energi owner. The last week or so, I have heard a humming/whining noise coming from the driver min/rear portion of the car. I wonder if it's the same thing the OP had here. My car has 70k miles on it. Drive perfectly fine, but when the ICE is started it makes this noise, it also seems to make it only when the ICE is used to charge the HVB. Happens most when the HVB is depleted and car is working in 'regular hybrid' mode. The noise is not present when I'm either in EV Only mode or when I accelerate pretty hard (no chance for ICE to charge battery). 

 

Here is a video - Compare/jump between about 17 through 30 seconds and then 45 seconds till the end - It's like a completely different engine. The noise resonates pretty loudly both inside and outside the vehicle. Definitely NOT coming from the engine bay. 

 

Video: 

 


Edited by Chris Gorczynski, 04 April 2016 - 04:51 PM.









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