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so I just bought a used 2014 Chevy Volt with ~41k miles on it. It appears(ed?) to be in very good condition, at least visually. Gas efficiency and electric range appear within stats. I'm trying to figure out what noise levels are normal. Something sounds off at ~18+ mph upwards to 80 mph.

After buying it, I drove it home on a road trip (~500 miles) and was quite surprised at how loud the engine was -- however I figured it was in gas-mode that it'd be loud, and that once in electric mode it'd get quieter. During the highway parts, the only way I could drown the noise out was to go ~81+ mph -- at 65 mph with the radio loud, it was still quiet audible.

The thought also crossed my mind that perhaps the free gas fill-up they gave me at the dealership wasn't the premium (but now know that's not the issue -- I went through entire tank 2x times since and it hasn't gone away).

When driving past construction parts/barriers on the road very close to my left/drivers side with my window down, I heard what sounded like faint mental grinding, but it was hard to tell. Only could hear it when the sound could reflect off the concrete barriers and back towards me.

Once getting home from the road trip -- in electric mode I'm still borderline wanting to wear earplugs when driving it. It may not be as loud as an engine, but it's DEFINITELY louder than the other electric car I've been in (my wife owns a '14 Nissan Leaf, which you can only hear a high-pitch when you first get moving at low speeds, then it's just wind/tire noise. Very pleasant at highway speeds. No characteristic pitch that changes with speed and sounds engine-like in the Leaf.) Can only tune it out with very loud radio.

So my question is this -- is this normal? The best way I can describe the noise is either:
a) A stick-shift car that's stuck in too low of a gear when driving too fast
b) Car with poor muffler/with combination of a)
c) Muffled lawn mower engine...? (gas mode)

I've listened to videos of bearings going bad in the volts (they sound more like a band saw, this sounds more like a gas motor but when in electric-only mode). I also still hear the noise when I pop the car in neutral and coast. Could the electric motors be going bad...? Wheel bearings? Couldn't be from the tires, could it?

I'm debating going to a dealer to test drive a different 2014 Volt to see if it sounds the same, because I'm not sure what to tell them when I go to the dealer to get a repair -- not sure if this is how it sounds. Keep in mind my prior car was a 350z, which I feel the noise wasn't nearly as annoying...

I've tried to include some videos which I feel illustrate the noise -- it's more audible when going from a fast speed and slowing down, you can hear an engine-like noise pitch change. What do you think -- normal or take it to the dealer and tell them...."too noisy"? "Noise 1" video I think you can hear it the best out of the 3x videos. My post count is too low, so you'll have to stick "youtube" dot "com" in front of the /'s to see it...
1) /watch?v=IKAwadrQ-WI&feature=youtu.be
2) /watch?v=DfRs7gSmcLg&feature=youtu.be
3) /watch?v=HY9to24GOnU&feature=youtu.b

Only other gripe is a creaking noise when you roll down the window partially and hit a bump, but it goes away when you push down on the window with your finger. Not a biggie, if I could get this noise thing to go away I think it'd be a stellar car from what I've seen so far (although no 350z for performance :)
 

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Well in a nutshell: No your Volt should be very quiet in EV mode. You should be hearing only tires on pavement type noise and nothing else.
 

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My guess is one or both wheel bearings. I got my passenger wheel bearing changed well before it got that loud. That was about a year and a half after Paula (the friendly service advisor) torqued my nuts to stop this popping noise when braking and accelerating.
 

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Hey, you never forget your first (nut torque)
 

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What kind of tires?

I drove a Bolt with studded snow tires last week and wanted to have my hearing checked when I got done with a 130 mile trip...
 
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