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So far I am loving my used 2013 Volt that I just recently bought. It has 65K miles on it, most of that on the ICE with about 11k on electric. Everything on the car is doing great. The only issue (and I have searched the forum for info) that I have is that when the ICE is running you can feel engine vibration in the car. Especially at certain RPM's. I swear sometimes it sounds like an airplane propeller or a motorboat echoing through the car. I can't imagine it sounding like this when it was new for it is quite noticable. It is almost like there is something (shield or something) that vibrates when the engine rev's up through it's rpms and it sends vibrations throughout the car or maybe the exhaust is touching the frame or body somewhere. The car has not had any accidents that I can tell. Carfax was clean and it was a fleet car so I have all maintenance records on it and no issues have been noted. The engine appears to run fine though and I don't have any messages or codes. It is just the vibration and the noise. Is this something that is common? I have not had the opportunity to ride in another Volt to see how others sound when running on the ICE. Just wanted to see if anyone else has had any excessive engine vibration/noise issues and what they may have found or done to get it fixed.
 

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The ICE is ... present... when running, and yes some RPMs are louder than others. I've no idea how bad yours is, but I can tell you that in less than two months from getting mine I'd completely forgotten how other small-engined cars feel when running, and it was kind of surprising riding with a friend in a three-year-old Versa, how much noise and vibration there was in the whole car.
 

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I think what you're hearing is probably normal. The engine in the Volt is not as smooth as any number of small Japanese or European four cylinders, not even as smooth as the 3 cyl in my smart car. And in certain situations, apart from a steady highway cruise for instance, GM has not done a good job with NVH isolation. As long as it is not excessively loud all the time I wouldn't worry. Driving in electric mode only makes ICE noises more obvious.
 

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As others...not sure EXACTLY what you're hearing but...
If you're depleting the battery range or running in HOLD or Mountain the engine will rev up as needed to replenish the battery to the reserve or back to where you set it at. There is quite a disconnect between what your foot is telling the car to do and what the engine is doing. This is why many use the ICE in highway or non-residential areas and save some charge for more quiet areas and switch back to battery in those instances. It doesn't make as much of a racket if you put on hold with some charge on the meter (I like to set at about 5 miles and then tap that as I approach home) as opposed to a depleted charge and the generator trying to replace depleted reserve.
Again, not sure if this is what you're hearing.
 

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There is a bulletin to check the exhaust for a loose or misaligned catalytic converter to exhaust pipe, you may want to have it inspected. Here is the bulletin number.

#15-06-05-001: Noise, Vibration, Moaning Sounds and/or Rattle Heard at Idle or While Driving - (May 13, 2015)
Subject: Noise, Vibration, Moaning Sounds and/or Rattle Heard at Idle or While Driving

Models: 2014-2016 Cadillac ELR
2011-2015 Chevrolet Volt

Also:

#PIP4870C: (EREV) Engine Or Exhaust Noise While Driving In Extended Range Mode - (Feb 4, 2015)
Subject: (EREV) Engine Or Exhaust Noise While Driving In Extended Range Mode

Models: 2011-2015 Chevrolet Volt
2014-2015 Cadillac ELR
2012-2014 Opel Ampera
 

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The engine really sings going up long, steep hills. As I understand it, GM has chosen to omit counterbalancers, (weight and cost saving) depending instead on hydraulic (?) engine mounts. Better than nothing, but it's a compromise. Gen 2 is improved somewhat.
 

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My 2013 was pretty noisy. And yes, at times, it sounded like a Cessna landing. My ELR is WAY quieter with the same engine. The Bose noise-cancelling stuff must work pretty good!

With the Volt, I would use hold on high-speed parts just to avoid the engine running around the 'hood.
 

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It is almost like there is something (shield or something) that vibrates when the engine rev's up through it's rpms and it sends vibrations throughout the car or maybe the exhaust is touching the frame or body somewhere.
Some cars had an issue with an A/C line touching the firewall and causing a buzzing, others an exhaust heat shield under the car. Or it may simply be the normal operation. At high engine RPM's (to recharge and empty battery) especially in city travel/at stop lights, you can hear the engine.
 

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I've read on these forums that excessive vibration may be attributed to a failed or failing motor mount(s). As far as the noise is concerned, I rarely run the engine, but when I do, I don't find it any louder than what I remember an ICE sounding like. Now if I mistakenly put it into mountain mode on a depleted battery....then the engine running is very noticeable. Otherwise, the engine purrs along quietly for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks everyone for the replies. I have printed out this thread and will take it with me when I go to the dealer to have them take a look at it. I do believe it may be a shield vibrating. It appears only at a certain rpm and when it does it sounds like it may be from the middle to rear of the car. Good info though from everyone. Thanks.
 
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