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Maybe my ears are spoiled owning a 2012 volt but I swear my new 2017 sounds noisier.

For example my 2012 when fully charged and sitting idle you would never know the car is on, When taking off all you would hear is a slight whine of the electric motor.

On my 2017, sitting idle I hear what sounds like a fan running even when sitting idle, I know its not the air conditioner or fan because i turn the air conditioner power button off, I make sure the fan is turned all the way off (although I noticed when trying to turn the fan off it appears the last bar always stays lit).

Also road noise is more noticeable when traveling at moderate speed (0 to 40mph) once above 50 the road noise is about the same.

Is it just me or have seasoned volt owners noticed the same?
 

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I have a 2017 that makes a similar noise to what you've described. The caveat to this is whether the car is in gear or not. The second generation Volts have a pedestrian alert system that emits a rather obnoxious (in my opinion, take that for what its worth) howl at low speeds, or at a stop when in any driving range. It can sound similar to a fan running from what I have observed. Placing the vehicle in park while in an enclosed area with the windows down should confirm whether this is the source of your noise. Once in park, the sound should stop. As for road noise, several people here have commented about the same issue. In my experience, the car is quieter when on certain types of asphalt (recently paved black-top for example is whisper quiet). However, older roads, or concrete pavement (like what is found on many interstate highways) tend to be much louder in this generation. I'm not sure if this is due to tire construction, or if GM used different/less sound deadening materials from the first generation though.
 

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For the road noise, the Goodyear FuelMax Assurance on the Gen 1s are quite a bit quieter than the Michelin A/S Energy savers on the Gen 2s.

When parked, I have noticed the cooling fan running on my 2017 even when the car is off.
 

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The noise you are hearing is not a fan. It is the noise maker/speaker making sound so that pedestrians can here you.
The noisemaker is only active when you shift the Volt out of Park. If the Volt is plugged in it will sometimes run the fan, AC or battery heater, depending on the temperature, to cool or heat the battery pack regardless of the cabin climate control settings.
 
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