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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Has any one experienced or noticed that their Volt emits a very high frequency (in audio terms) constant whine/whistle while being driven? I notice this sound in the driving cabin in my every day commute and it is quite annoying to my hearing. It goes away when I turn off the car and I don't hear it in my wife's car (an ICE type) so I don't think it's tinnitus or something hearing related.

It is most noticeable to me when accelerating but exists at constant speeds, as well. This is not to be confused with what is a very noticeable "futuristic" whine (that anyone can hear) in the lower frequencies when accelerating. This is a very obvious byproduct of electric propulsion that has that kind of "star trek" sound but that is not the sound I am talking about. It is a steady state tone in the 10-12kHz range, which is different from the acceleration whirr/whine that increases in frequency when the car speeds up. I have assumed that this sound must be part of an all electric drive train and, as this is fairly new technology, no one's thought that this could be a problem or even needs to be measured. I don't imagine that GM considered something this esoteric when designing the car. Or is it just my car?

Interested to hear from other Volt drivers on their experience.

Thanks

Mark
 

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There is a possibility you are hearing a high frequency sound coming from the inverter that charges the rear battery.

If you lift or remove the floor in the hatch area and the sound is noisier, that may be the culprit.

If so, check with your Volt advisor, they may be able to correct it or at least reduce it.

It is not normal for it to be loud enough for you to hear it, unless you have superior hearing to most of the rest of us. LOL :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Not sure what Regen whine is. Isn't regen related to braking? That's not the case here. It's a sound I hear during normal driving while in D. The post you mentioned above, seems to involve driving in L and can be heard outside the car. This is not the case for me. But thanks for the link. I'm not sure what I'm hearing is what is being heard in the aforementioned post, which seems to be related to poorly factory installed bearings.
 

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My volt also has the steady whine. I am 45 years old so I can just barely hear it with zero environmental noise (radio, tires, wind, traffic, etc). Normally there is so much environmental noise that I don't hear noise. If you are 25 years old or younger, the noise might be more bothersome. I believe ther is nothing wrong with your car and all exhibit this sound, but most people's hearing have degraded enough where they don't hear it.

-Eric
 

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The ONLY whine I hear is when I'm near a building on my left like say going through a drive through and the building amplifies the slight whine. Mine is barely noticeable and to be honest pleasant to my ears. It signals this is new school. I like it. But than I'm 60 and I'm sure my hearing isn't as acute as others.
 

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I'm 41 and normally test above average on hearing tests. I can just barely make out a high frequency inverter whine when the car is started, but not moving. When it's moving at low speed, I can also hear the "star-trek" whir of the induction motor that changes both pitch and volume with a little tap on the accelerator. The induction whir vanishes above about 10 MPH and by then, the inverter whine that I heard upon startup is also drowned out by environmental noises. I actually find these electronic noises to be pleasant and much preferable to an ICE.
 

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I have heard a high pitched whine momentarily while driving at local road speed while speeding up a little bit or coasting. I haven't paid enough attention to remember exactly how to reproduce it, but I don't think I have ever noticed it at constant speed. I also hear the whine from 0-5 or so mph, and this is different, more of a constant pitch. I am 53 and have also always had hearing outside the range of some others, but haven't had my hearing tested in a long time.
 

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I'm 41 and normally test above average on hearing tests. I can just barely make out a high frequency inverter whine when the car is started, but not moving. When it's moving at low speed, I can also hear the "star-trek" whir of the induction motor that changes both pitch and volume with a little tap on the accelerator. The induction whir vanishes above about 10 MPH and by then, the inverter whine that I heard upon startup is also drowned out by environmental noises. I actually find these electronic noises to be pleasant and much preferable to an ICE.
FYI both the Volt motors are permanent magnet motors not induction. So is the Spark EV's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
There is a possibility you are hearing a high frequency sound coming from the inverter that charges the rear battery.

If you lift or remove the floor in the hatch area and the sound is noisier, that may be the culprit.

If so, check with your Volt advisor, they may be able to correct it or at least reduce it.

It is not normal for it to be loud enough for you to hear it, unless you have superior hearing to most of the rest of us. LOL :)
Jerry, thanks for the advice. I'll try that. Though I'm 57, my hearing is quite good and honed by spending a lifetime in the audio business. It's quite fine-tuned to hearing things others do not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My volt also has the steady whine. I am 45 years old so I can just barely hear it with zero environmental noise (radio, tires, wind, traffic, etc). Normally there is so much environmental noise that I don't hear noise. If you are 25 years old or younger, the noise might be more bothersome. I believe ther is nothing wrong with your car and all exhibit this sound, but most people's hearing have degraded enough where they don't hear it.

-Eric
Eric,

I have normal hearing loss for my age, 57, but I can still hear this sound. I'm quite sensitive to it. I can hear it while I'm driving with a great deal of environmental noise. It would be hard to mask it, in any case, as it is in a frequency range well above everything else in the environment.
 

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My wife and I can hear it, too. When the car is turned on and while accelerating. It can also be heard while driving. We thought it was normal and it is one of the things she hates about driving with me.. and she'd rather driver her car in stead.

There are also some interesting drumming sounds when the car is shut down. It it probably all the pumps and stuff settling but it sounds like drummers banging away. Very softly though.
 

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Nope, the only whine I hear are my kids when they don't want to go anywhere with us or when they do, want us to stop at McDonald's for a cheeseburger.
 

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Nope, the only whine I hear are my kids when they don't want to go anywhere with us or when they do, want us to stop at McDonald's for a cheeseburger.
The only whine I hear is from the gas station owners since I don't buy any, LOL. Maybe too many years of driving racing Corvettes with open exhausts have dulled my hearing a bit. I do hear the "Star Wars" sound occasionally and I enjoy it too. Welcome to the future.
 
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Has any one experienced or noticed that their Volt emits a very high frequency (in audio terms) constant whine/whistle while being driven? I notice this sound in the driving cabin in my every day commute and it is quite annoying to my hearing. It goes away when I turn off the car and I don't hear it in my wife's car (an ICE type) so I don't think it's tinnitus or something hearing related.

It is most noticeable to me when accelerating but exists at constant speeds, as well. This is not to be confused with what is a very noticeable "futuristic" whine (that anyone can hear) in the lower frequencies when accelerating. This is a very obvious byproduct of electric propulsion that has that kind of "star trek" sound but that is not the sound I am talking about. It is a steady state tone in the 10-12kHz range, which is different from the acceleration whirr/whine that increases in frequency when the car speeds up. I have assumed that this sound must be part of an all electric drive train and, as this is fairly new technology, no one's thought that this could be a problem or even needs to be measured. I don't imagine that GM considered something this esoteric when designing the car. Or is it just my car?

Interested to hear from other Volt drivers on their experience.

Thanks

Mark
Afternoon Mark Mangini,

If you could PM me the last 8 of your VIN and best way to be reached, I will inform your Volt Advisor. Your Advisor has the ability to arrange a ride along with a tech, so you can show them what you are experiencing.

-Ian Chevrolet Volt Customer Service
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Afternoon Mark Mangini,

If you could PM me the last 8 of your VIN and best way to be reached, I will inform your Volt Advisor. Your Advisor has the ability to arrange a ride along with a tech, so you can show them what you are experiencing.

-Ian Chevrolet Volt Customer Service
Thanks Ian. Will do. What is "PM"?
 

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