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Tinking, Sparking noise. Please help.

4489 Views 20 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Steverino

Hi guys,

I have a 2013 Volt and having an issue that I need your help.
Please watch youtube that I have posted (volume up). Can you hear clinking, tinking, sparking noise? It is difficult to describe that noise.

My Volt makes that noise in random time; however, it is not hard to replicate because it always makes that noise. I said random because it makes that noise sometimes when I hit the brake, release the brake, or even idling. But it always does that when it is slowly moving and stop. However, it doesn't do that when reversing.

I took it to a dealership for an inspection. The service advisor said that it is normal sound which every Volt makes, and further he said some volts make that noise when it is new and, for some, later. This explanation just doesn’t make sense to me. Is it to you guys? Furthermore, the type of noise that I am hearing wasn’t normal. Is it to you guys? To believe him, I asked him to bring a Volt which makes this noise from their inventory then I will believe him. He said no. Also, the technician ran DTC and there was no error code, and he visually inspected the vehicle and did not see anything wrong.

My questions to you guys are:
1. Is your Volt make this noise? If the noise is normal, then there must be many of your Volt on here make that noise.
2. Has anyone had this issue and got it resolved?
3. Those of who have not heard this noise before, is this sound normal robotic sound to you?
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When driving around in any parking deck with the windows open, I hear all sorts of noises from the car, some like this. I also hear squeeks and squeals from the calipers slightly rubbing against the rotors. I've concluded that because the car it so quiet. You can pick out these noises. Most ice vehicles have an engine running which tends to drown out these noises.
Good point, I thought it was from the brake when I first heard this noise.

However, what made me concerned are: the car makes this noise in random time, and the noise itself is random. For example, it sometimes makes "tic --- tic -tic" and sometimes "tititititic" "tictic." I would think that if the noise is coming from mechanical parts, it should, at least, have consistency. Furthermore, my Volt only has about 30,000 miles, and this noise started recently.
Noise is not loud; however, when the window is down, it is discernible. I recorded this video in a parking deck, just because my phone would pick up sound better in a quiet place like a parking deck.
I couldn't really hear anything. As recommended, find a night tight parking garage or alley and record it again where you can get some echo going on. Or if you have a selfie-stick (ugh :)) try and put the phone out the window and down closer to the pavement/car.
I have posted another video. Hopefully, you can hear it from the second video. It is the type of noise and loudness that makes it difficult to pick up from the video. If you hear something like static noise from your speaker, it probably is the noise from the car. When I hear it from my iphone using earphone, it sounds very clear.
find a place with a wall, and try recording that again with the sound bouncing off the wall, it might be easier to discern.
To me it sounds like either a bit of brake noise, or the start of a CV joint issue.

There have been a few '13 with CV noise, including mine. Fortunately mine was still under warranty when the issue showed up and was replaced at no cost to me.
I've read from this forum that the generation 1 Volt has known CV issue. Aren't CV joints/axles covered under the powertrain warranty?
I didn't do anything to my car recently. Only thing I did before I noticed this noise was putting LED switchback bulbs; however, I don't know if the noise started before or after the LED switchback installation.
Since I have 2 2013s I think I may have an answer. Believe it or not there is a firmware update that fixes that. Found the work order. Bulletin # PIC 5734A or B Corrected by (0103) (6573) Electronic Brake Control Module Reprogramming with SPS
Great. I will talk to the service advisor and Volt advisor about this. Thanks.
So, not everyone gets this update? I took my car last year and asked for any firmware update, and the service advisor said that there is no update. I am out of bumper to bumper warranty. A firmware update should be no cost to me right?
Here is live update:

I left my car at another dealership. I showed video of my car making the noise and gave the video to the service advisor so that he could show it to a technician.
A few hours later, I received a phone call from the advisor with the news of the technician visually inspect the vehicle and did not find anything wrong. Also, he could not hear the noise. The advisor said that he showed the video, but it didn't help.

I came back to the dealer waiting for the technician who looked at my car to have him hear the noise. I am going to drive the car and show him so that he can hear it live. However, he is on a lunch break.

I will keep you guys posted. In the meaning time, any suggestion?

I showed the advisor the GM technical bullet that 2voltfamily posted; however, he said that the technician reviews those by when they diagnosis. I am going to tell him about his when I see him.
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I just had a conversation with the technician, and he said basically the same thing.
No error codes, no visible parts that is wrong. So, there is nothing wrong.
I came back to where it all began.

I asked about technical bulletin that 2voltfamily posted, and the technician said that GM won't let them reprogram other vehicles. It is only specific to that vehicle.

What else can I do? Any suggestions?

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